business of art

Saying goodbye to North Light Books

I’ve met some of my favorite people through books: real, live people who wrote the books that introduced me to collage and mixed media art. So I’m a little sad to hear a specialty publishing empire is crumbling. F+W Media, which owns North Light Books and several other imprints, declared bankruptcy recently. North Light published many art technique books, including Destination Creativity: The Life-Altering Journey of the Art Retreat.

Ric ë  Freeman-Zachery and Earl Zachery in 2010, collecting material for the book Destination: Creativity

Ricë Freeman-Zachery and Earl Zachery in 2010, collecting material for the book Destination: Creativity

I was lucky enough to watch Earl Zachery collect photos while Ricë Freeman-Zachery collected the words. And then Ricë turned around and included a comment from me in the book. (I still get a little thrill out of seeing the pull quote.) I’ve also become friends with her editor Tonia Jenny, who edited two books by another artist/author pal, Michael de Meng.

Michael de Meng mugging for the camera during Artfest 2011

Michael de Meng mugging for the camera during Artfest 2011

Fortunately, none of these people rely on F+W to pay their bills anymore. But I still have their books in my collection, and I still keep up with some of their authors on social media, including MaryBeth Shaw, Crystal Neubauer and Gina Rossi Armfield.

Making silly faces with Michael de Meng at Artfest 2011. Photo by Lana Guerra.

Making silly faces with Michael de Meng at Artfest 2011. Photo by Lana Guerra.

If these artists keep writing, I hope Quarry Books scoops them up. (Quarry published three of the five books in which my art and commentary appear). I want them to help my artist/author friends keep blowing people’s minds. In the meantime… g’night, North Light.

Collecting art: the joy of anticipation

Before I go semi-incommunicado for Christmas, I wanted to share an early present I received recently: a thank-you note from someone with “a budding little art collection.”

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This person’s anticipation of receiving their artwork soon kinda puts me in a holiday mood. I was one of those kids who savored the delicious agony of waiting for Christmas Day to arrive. Now, the feeling I get waiting to ship out the artwork feels almost as good as hearing it arrived safely. Only one more sleep — I mean, “installment” — until this collage heads to its permanent home!

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Happy holidays… and please let me know if you’d like to start 2019 with a new piece of art (or the first installment of a payment plan).

Serious inquiries only

Today I learned firsthand what it’s like when a stranger slides into your DMs on Instagram. I invite you to… “enjoy” the following exchange:

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Aaaaand here it comes: the moment when it’s clear this person is creepy for a living.

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“Fastly”… LOL. Pretty sure this is not a serious inquiry from a dedicated art collector. Well, it’s not the first art scam I’ve encountered, and it probably won’t be the last.