Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
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12/05/2005: "Small Beginnings"

Well, the first issue of Art in Alaska will be small but Iíve identified a few interesting topics and the people working on the articles seem enthusiastic so I think it will be OK. I know Kasia is right; I probably wonít receive much of a response initially because people from other parts of the state donít necessarily know who I am or why the hell they should care about/help out with this publication. Maybe I need to reiterate that this magazine is *not* going to promote my artwork *in any way*.

In other news, I only worked on one crappy painting over the weekend. Iíve read before that paint will not improve a poor drawing, and I can say with 100% certainty that it's true. The piece that I didnít like when I had drawn it out, looked even worse (if thatís possible) after I had painted it. I felt completely discouraged but then I got another request to order prints of my paintings which perked me up substantially.

I *really* need to figure out a pricing and shipping system for this though. The artist consultant I spoke with from San Francisco said that charging at least 3 times what it costs you to have them made is a good rule of thumb (plus shipping and handling). Marcello Munoz showed me how to ship prints flat which works great for small prints but I had large prints made (big mistake) which cost more and are more difficult to ship.

I did order a sample 6Ē diameter mailing tube from the Associated Bag Company and it would be ideal for shipping larger prints but they are expensive and you have to buy them in packages of 50. GrrrÖany suggestions anyone?

Oh, and Gallery Walk was fun. I knew most of the artists who were showing and through my friend Maren I met the director of the AWARE shelter here in Juneau; I may do volunteer web development for them (in addition to the Alaska Library Association, the Juneau chapter of the League of Women Voters, and the Glory Hole (don't laugh, it's a mining term) soup kitchen. It's great to have skills that can help out non-profits though I have to guard against my tendency to get stretched too thin.
(Now, only if that were literally instead of figuratively)

Replies: 5 Comments

on Monday, December 5th, holly said

Ack! This post too big for my drive-by commenting session! But mainly, I would totally buy a print of something of yours. Hell, I would totally buy a painting of yours (I would prefer to do it in person, at a show-- I get a kick out of the instant gratification of watching people look sadly at the little red dot while I stand back and think, "Hands off! It's miiine! All miiiine!!!"

'K, I'll be back later...

on Monday, December 5th, Elise said

Thanks Holly, some day when you win the Nobel Prize for obscure Mideval art research and make tons of money I'll be counting on you to become one of my patrons!

From the other side of things, there's nothing more exciting than seeing those red dots go up when you're the artist!

I have this gallery set up for the prints that I've never linked to, the image files are made from the actual scans they used for the prints.

Groovy eh?

on Monday, December 5th, ann said

Prints? I hadn't thought of that... I'll definitely have to keep your prints in mind (after the holidays)...

on Tuesday, December 6th, dave from Nebraska said

Hi Elise!
First off , thanks for the email! My shoulder is better but I'm not up to baking cookies....yet.
For shipping my prints I use 3" jumbo kraft tubes from They come in various lengths and have plastic caps that snap in the ends. I order the 72" size and use a chop saw to trim them down. You do have to order a min. of 50 but they are sturdy and as cheap as anything out there I suppose.
I also use their foam roll material 1/16 thick 48"X1,250'. It looks like a HUGE roll of toilet paper. I use this to wrap around my prints and then slip them in the tube.
This system works very well for me.
Keep up the good work!

on Tuesday, December 6th, Elise said

I hear ya Ann, everything will have to wait until after the holidays (including tooth paste, bread, dishwashing detergent etc.)
And Dave, thanks so much for the information. I wasn't sure if 3" diameter tubes were wide enough to not damage the prints from being rolled. I know a lot of people do use them though, so if you haven't had any complaints from your customers it must work just fine.

And I'm glad that the shoulder is better, these things take time! I'm sure you'll be baking up a storm in no time.