Sunday, March 30, 2008

DPT Spotlight: Photography by Mikiep


Congratulations! OAKMONSTER is the winner of the "Seventeen" printer's copy of the original Mike Pedersen fine art print contest! Thanks so much to everyone who entered...and be sure to check out this week's give-a-way by Kat Roman!

LA-based photographer Mike Pedersen translates and transforms unconventional subject matter most would describe as ugly, industrial, neglected or bizarre in a manner that gives pleasure to the mind and senses...and this is the very reason that I fell in love with his work. Using a Speed Graflex camera from the 1950’s and Polaroid Type 55, a negative / positive film, Mikie takes photographs interpreting a conscious arrangement of colors, forms, movements and other graphic elements. He then deliberately damages and mutates the negatives with sandpaper, steel wool, a hammer or other odd objects. After scanning the images into his computer, he creates and builds layer upon layer, reconstructing the new image into an aesthetic success.

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Don't miss his upcoming show "Deciduous" which takes place next weekend here in downtown Los Angeles. Please see the end of this feature for more information, directions and YOUR chance to win one of his fabulously haunting pieces of work. YAY!

Spotlight Feature: Mike Pedersen

* Tell us a bit about yourself... My name is Mike Pedersen aka Mikiep. While most men over the age of 38 really wouldn’t like to be referred to as “Mikie”, it’s just stuck for me. Growing up with a father and an uncle who had the first names of Mike and Michael, it was just natural for me to be Mikie. Luckily, I wasn’t my nephew [another Michael…he got the nickname “Mickey” instead. : )

* What inspires you? Where do your ideas come from?
My ideas come in 2 parts. First the
photography aspect…I love to document landscapes, so I love going on trips with my beautiful wife where we just drive, drive, drive and find great shots along the way. I zone off and watch the vistas go by like they are on a TV. When my hawk-eyed wife or I see something we like, we do a little pit stop and I click click away. Sometimes when we drive long-distance, it can take 8 hours for us to go only 100 miles during the daylight hours because we stop so many times. Then during the dark hours, we put the pedal to the metal and go 700-800 miles straight to our destination. Luckily, my trusty better half keeps me happy and awake, armed with lots of caffeine and entertainment. I let the photos sit until one jumps out at me and then I start the digital part of the process. Being a darkroom fixer junkie and having idols such as Ansel Adams, Avedon and Salgado, I love seeing black and white images with subtle tones. I age my pictures by compositing layers upon layers to obtain depth and texture. My pictures build themselves inside my head…some flow freely and some I fight with and put away until later.

* Apart from creating things, what do you do for fun? I love spending time with my wife, traveling, going to flea markets, watching movies or snuggling up on the couch to watch HGTV or the cooking channel…yes, ladies, I can cook. : )

* What has been your most memorable moment selling your art? After buying my first Epson 9600 and printing the first print, I was ecstatic to be able to sell anything…but that first print turned out to be one of the first prints I sold for $500.

* Any advice for fellow artists...
When you can see the finished product in your head, you have to shut out the rest of the world
and all of it’s influences and to be able to create art that comes from your heart. In the beginning for me, my work sure didn’t look like it does now. Technique and personal style really is a growing process. Your art will grow and change with what is happening inside of you. Stay Inspired.

*Any upcoming shows or projects? I actually have a show coming up next weekend April 5th & 6th at the Brewery in downtown Los Angeles. It’s an Artwalk where we, along with other artists in the complex, open our studio to the public and usually thousands of people walk through looking at and buying art. This show is called “Deciduous” and it contains tree images that I took over the past several years. I love taking photographs of trees because no two trees are alike. They each seem to have their own personality. I guess I have a love for trees because they take me back to my youth where my Sunday afternoons as a little boy were spent climbing trees or laying under them letting the shadows dance around on my face. Trees create shapes and sounds all their own as each branch moves…Truly fascinating and peaceful.

Etsy Shop:

Sales, Bookings or Press contact:
Patricia at Serpentine Republic AR - 323.397.5599

Upcoming Exhibition:

"Deciduous" Exhibition of Fine Art Photography -
Brewery Artwalk, Los Angeles 2008

620 Moulton Avenue, Studio 209, Los Angeles CA 90031
  • Saturday, April 5 [11am-6pm]
  • Sunday, April 6 [11am-6pm]

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Enter this week's Give-a-way!!

This week's give-a-way is a super special treat and I am so happy to be able to offer it to you!

Mikiep is giving away a printer's copy of his limited edition "Seventeen" print from his upcoming show "Deciduous". Image size is 15.5"x 29"... printed on a 16.50"x30" sheet of Archival watercolor paper with border for framing. This print will be signed by Mikiep and is a $200 value!

How to Enter...
Take a look on Mikie's website or in his Etsy shop and
leave a comment here regarding your favourite photograph or illustration!
NOTE: If your favourite photograph or illustration is not part of your comment, your entry will be disqualified...sorry, but yes, it's true.

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This contest has been extended and now be 2 weeks long since I won't have a chance to do an artist feature this weekend due to our art show..., meaning the deadline for this contest is now to be until the very last most littlest minute and second of Saturday, April 12th, 2008, PST.
This contest is open to everyone around the globe, but please leave a viable way for us to contact you. Duplicate entries will be deleted. The winner's name will be drawn out of a hat...the good ole' fashioned way to do things.

Best of luck to you, My Pretties!

Friday, March 28, 2008

In the Closet...

Oh, it's a hard life for sure...having so much money that you MUST have an apartment-sized climate-controlled walk-in closet to house all the designer swag you've obtained over the years. I mean, I have a room dedicated to my clothing, shoes and hats ['cuz we don't have any cuties yet to fill up all the extra rooms we have], but it doesn't even compare to these diva digs.

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Paula Abdul

While large and full of designer clothing and accessories, Paula's walk-in closet in her 5,000 square foot Mediterranean style home looks packed to the hilt. I wouldn't want to be the one who has to clean up after her if she ever goes on a "don't know what to wear try-on and toss frenzy" that all of us women go through from time to time..., but at least all of her outfits and coordinating accessories are numbered with tags. That way her assistants can [somewhat] easily pack for her trips and events. Like I always say, money doesn't buy taste ...and in this case, it doesn't buy organization skills either. Paula should visit Nicky Hilton [featured below...] for some tips to keep her closet looking neat as a pin.

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Mariah Carey

I'm not a fan, but her shoe closet alone is spectacular...especially if you like gold, which I do NOT. Mariah has an enormous designer shoe store in her 12,000 sq ft Manhattan triplex...and most of her shoes are in storage still. Mariah, who owns over 1,000 pairs of shoes, designed this climate controlled dream space with gold-leaf and bleached wood floors...and I do like how neat and clean it is. She says, "If someone else ever bought [my apartment], she'd have to be a total diva!" ...Amen!

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Nicky Hilton

Sister to the infamous Paris, this Hilton heiress and fashion designer has what I'd consider to be thee ultimate closet in her 1950s two-story ranch above the Sunset Strip here in Cali. The home has two super organized couture ridden walk-in closets and the clothes in the walk-in closet are in separate closets...Meow! ...I love that! ...Not to mention the dark stained doors and floors with the contrasting white furniture. This is definitely my favourite.

Photos courtesy: InStyle

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Wordless Wednesday...

I am literally at a loss for words on this photo of Madonna...what do you think?


Another Give-a-way!!

I didn't get the chance to mention this before, but there are some of my items not currently for sale in my shop that are part of a sweet give-a-way on the Downtown Boutique Blog!

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Angie from
The Downtown Boutique has sweetly featured yours truly and we are giving the following "Dirty Pretty Things" away on her blog.

You'll get:
  • My "Black Dahlia" Flower Card - Beautiful photographic image on fine Italian cardstock with envelope
  • My "Black Cosmos" Flower Card - Beautiful photographic image on fine Italian cardstock with envelope
  • My Sweet Pink Trio of 3 Large Glass Gem Magnets - with super strong rare earth magnet discs
So, go and check out the interview and the items you could win, comment on her blog about what you'd like to buy from my shop and you're entered to win!

...But you gotta go now, cuz the
contest ends Thursday at midnight PST...and that's tomorrow!

Good Luck!

...oh, and a bunch of kisses to Angie for all her sweetness!


Sunday, March 23, 2008

Pretty Things Spotlight: * TamaraDrama *

Congratulations! BUNNY B. is the winner of the Tambatoys "Can You See Me" art magnet contest! Thanks so much to everyone who entered...and be sure to check out this week's give-a-way photography print by Mikiep!

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When you first see Tamara's art for Tambatoys, you get a sense that she really loves what she does. Tamara's art truly comes from some magical wunderland.

There are floppy-eared bunnies, pretty flowered birdies, girlies in striped socks and MaryJanes and dot-filled bouncy balls...all moving about in her magically muted colours.
Each whimsical character is having fun in Playland and we want to be there too!

"I spend way to much time 'making stuff and admiring other people's art' and not doing dishes, etc..."

Spotlight: TambaToys

* Tel
l us a bit about yourself
My name is Tamara Maguire I live in inner-city Sydney, Australia. I
love designing and creating and have been doing since I can remember. I spend all my free time making or admiring art.
I like to use lots of different mediums from the sewing machine to the computer to create my art.

* What inspires you?
I have been ‘making stuff’ all my life, in
one medium or another. I’m inspired by classical artists and modern contemporary artists to cartoons (I’ve been watching The Simpsons for 20 years!)
I am one of those people who live mostly in my head and I find
inspiration everywhere. I often have great ideas sitting on the bus going to work. I get inspired by movies, children’s books, nature, even buildings. I find I have too many ideas and not enough hours in the day to pursue them. I am driven by a creative urge that is a necessary part of my sanity, but also to develop an idea from it’s visualization all the way through to the finished piece.

* Apart from creating things, what do you do for
Love seeing live music, going to art galleries, watching DVDs the usual fun!!

* What has been your most memorable moment selling your art?
Seeing a painting for a yet to be born grandchild, because the customer wanted her first gift to be art!

* Any advice for fellow artists...
One of the things that held me back when I was younger was fear, and always thinking that other people were better than me. But my dad died a few years ago and it had a very profound impact on me. It made me look at what really makes me happy and to try and pursue it, instead of letting fear stop me. I decided to use other people’s talents to inspire me instead of inhibiting me. My advice is don’t compare yourself to other people and don’t be afraid of creating bad art. The important thing is to get in the habit of being creative and working at it all the time, don’t give up because you write one bad story, or paint one bad picture. There are a few people who are born with natural talent but most of us have to work really hard at it. Art is like everything else in life, practice makes perfect, try and create as often as you can, you may get frustrated but you will definitely get better!

* If you could be one of the things that you draw/make, which would it be and why?
It would be fun to be an imaginary being, …any of my characters look like fun!

*Anything else you'd like to add about yourself or your work.
I started designing t shirts 6 month ago which sell through which have become my latest design addiction and
doing well.

Etsy Shop:

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Enter this week's Give-a-way!!

You must enter for this cute little magnet entitled "Can You See Me" by our featured artist, TamaraDrama!

This cute little magnet features original artwork and will brighten your fridge and your days!

How to enter:
Take a peek into TamaraDrama's shop and leave a comment here regarding your favourite item! If your favourite TamaraDrama/Tambatoys cutie is not part of your comment, your entry will be disqualified...sorry, but true.

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All entries must be received before next Sunday..., meaning the deadline is to the very last most littlest minute and second of Saturday, March 29th, 2008, PST. This contest is open to everyone around the globe, but please leave a viable way for us to contact you. Duplicate entries will be deleted. The winner's name will be drawn out of a hat...the good ole' fashioned way to do things.

Best of luck to you, My Pretties!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Bunnies & Other Springtime Cuties...

Here's a sweet little treasury full of bunnies and other Springtime cuties by Mikiep. He's included a funny little joke in the title that I'm sure will give you a little chuckle. ...and all just in time for Easter!

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...and here are more goodies from Mikiep, who does wunderfully inspiring illustrations.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Pretty In Pink...

Those adorable little Devil-kins are back again...and this time in antiqued sweetly sassy pink and white simple and wunderful!

Due to requests, Angel Boy and Angel Girl Silhouettes will be back soon too...Stay Tuned!


My Heart is Like a Red Stain...

I'm feeling a bit moody today. Here's a peek inside.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Pretty Things Spotlight: * Elephantine *

Congratulations! Amber is the winner of the Elephantine "Menagerie Tour" notecard contest! Thanks so much to everyone who entered...and be sure to check out this week's give-a-way treat by Tambatoys!

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Elephantine is a whimsical little shop full of quirky little monster plushies, cards and stickers. Each little cutie plushie is lovingly handcrafted and therefore has a unique personality of its very own.

"I love making things. For as long as I can remember, I've wanted to open a little
shop and share my creations with other people."

In my own little wunderland imagination,
these little critters seem to come alive... romping about the flowers in a lush green meadow or hiding behind the mushrooms in the forest, just waiting to jump out and play!

Spotlight: Elephantine

*Tell us a bit about yourself

My name's Rachel Blakley and I live, work, and play in Sea
ttle, WA. I'm an interactive designer by day, then trade in my keyboard and mouse at night for some felt and a needle. I'm an only child, I took German during college, I used to make a magazine when I was really young called "Kid's World" but sold it to my (adult) relatives, my contacts are different colors so I don't mix them up, I like 80's music and 90's movies, I would eat pasta for the rest of my life if I could, since the very beginning I've wanted to be a novelist, and I've known my boyfriend since we were in kindergarten.

* What inspires you?

Other Etsians constantly inspire me – I love having that, "wow, I would have never thought of making it that way," reaction to something. Before I starting creating things, I had this kind of hard-to-pin-down idea in my head about what I wanted the overall look and feel of my work to be like, and I've been working hard since then to attain that daydream. Usually I'll sketch a lot until something evolves that I think would work as a plushie or as an illustration.

* Apart from creating things, what do you do for fun?

Pretty typical activities, I think: watching movies (a sucker for sci-fi and good foreign
films), cooking (nothing gourmet), both window and splurge shopping, reading (salinger, plath, and ellis are some of my favorites). I like to play tennis during the summer. My moody, complaining cat named Rufus keeps me on my toes as well.

* What has been your most memorable
moment selling your art?
Being contacted for wholesale and custom orders is a great confidence booster. I
also always love when someone lets me know how they found my work, or what occasion they're purchasing it for. Etsy is such a great support system for both brand new and experienced artists.

* Any advice for fellow artists...
I think what's most important is
to make things because you love to do it. And try to show not only what you can make but who you as a person. People are more drawn to work when they can learn about the process or know a little about the artist's life. It makes perfect sense... when you really think about it, the point of all this creating and crafting is to connect with other people.

Etsy Shop:

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Enter this week's Give-a-way!!

The give-a-way for this is week is the sweetest little notecard entitled "Menagerie Tour" by our featured artist, Elephantine!

The "menagerie tour" notecard is a print of an original artwork illustration drawn first in ink, then colored digitally. Printed on a natural colored card.

How to enter:
Take a peek into Elephantine's shop and comment here on what your favourite item is from her sweet little shop! If your favourite Elephantine goodie is not part of your comment, your entry will be disqualified.

All entries must be received before next Sunday's feature, meaning the deadline is to the very last most littlest minute and second of Saturday, March 22nd, 2008, PST. This contest is open to everyone around the globe, but please leave a viable way for us to contact you. Duplicate entries will be deleted. The winner's name will be drawn out of a hat...the good ole' fashioned way to do things.

Best of luck!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Dirty Pretty Things: Fashion Crimes

How to Look Like You've Dressed in the Dark...

I know, I think you're fabulous.
And you will always find someone else who will tell you that you are because they are desperately trying to be in your circle of friends. Examples: Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears...

There's just one thing...You look like you dress in the dark and your idea of fashion should be no where near the pages of Vogue.

Let us today use Chloe Sevigny as our example. Chloe recently designed a collection for a line called "Opening Ceremony". Think: Laura Ashley meets Esther Williams meets 80's and 90's fashion faux pas, seriously.

First of all, allowing a girl who can't dress herself to "design" clothing for other people is just wrong. That's like asking Britney to watch your children.

Secondly, the pieces aren't unlike what you might find in those cheapy stores such as Rainbow Shops or Fashion Bug, etc, the 90's! I suppose they thought that if they threw it together and took terrible, badly lit, blurry photos, people would think that they had a pulse of what is fashion forward. Sorry. It's just a horrible horrible crime against...well, fashion...and photography.

Here's a [bad] taste of what you could look like this Spring...

So, take note of what you've just witnessed...ALWAYS dress with a light on and spot check yourself in the mirror before you leave the house. If your clothes look like something that Chloe, Bai Ling or Phoebe Price might wear, go and change...Quickly!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

What Great Timing!

Oh Miss Gwen Stefani...I do so love your Harajuku Lovers watches! I definitely have a fatal attraction to such cuties.

Let the cuteness begin with some of my faves...

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Do you have one of my Gwen Stefani prints yet? Well, if you love Gwen as much as I do, then yer definitely gonna want one of these!

"The Sweet Escape" print is available now and you can get yours here or here today!

Oh, and I know I've been a real bad girl too... just like the rest of you Cuties! ;)
*hee hee*

Isn't good to be bad??


Sunday, March 9, 2008

Pretty Things Spotlight: * Jenna Colby *

Welcome to the magical world of Jenna Colby...

I came across Jenna's work one day by chance...and it's a bittersweet story. It was around the time of what would have been my brother's birthday, but sadly he is no longer with us. Around that time of year, I celebrate in my own way, by purchasing a little something in his memory. It is at that time, I came across this print "No one Remembers" [right] in Jenna's Sooopajdelux shop on Etsy.

“I make it a point to take note and assign a story to the passer by, giving each moment in time purpose and creating color.”

I was instantly entranced by her work...mesmerised by her quirky characters and the melancholy mood that each portrays.
I now own two of her prints and she will forever be one of the artists near and dear to my heart.

Spotlight: Jenna Colby

*Tell us a bit about you
rself... i live in a little hut like house behind two full grown appletrees the way i see it... it is very hello kitty meets smurfland-- altho to the untrained eye it is just a simple craftsman. the trees are old and gnarly... very magic... and they make apples too! it is nestled in a town on a chunk of land floating in the puget sound which is the water separating the large squareish chunk of washington state on the right from the smaller sliver on the left... close enough to seattle... but not right up in it.. best thing about it is that the commute to seattle is via boat. to a kid from the midwest.. it is a trip.
fun facts... hmm this can be dangerous... my mom tells me that when i was a wee one in diapers...(oh jeez.. these stories never end good) she would put me to bed in my crib all safe and snug as a bug next morning she would often find murals made of poo from my diaper on the wall ...i actually remember it sorta (sans the poopy details) but i do remember forming shapes and color variations on the wall... it was a tad bit sculptural too. iwould always find things to make things out of... always. paper bags and teacups and cookies and anything i could find. my grampa was a junk collector... so it was extra fun. i never really grew out of it altho i have been introduced to other media over the years... and have gotten better dexterity... what im doing now has come from years of full time tinkering. im not "a natural" by any means... i am obsessed.

*What inspires you?

extreme moods... thinkers... stories... animals... books... faces in
a crowd and the stories i make up about them... politics... justice and injustice... strong women... real rags to riches stories... people who overcome it is endless...

*Apart from creating things, what do you do for fun?
i dont know about "fun" but i do try to be as active as i can politically.. i am really concerned about the state of things. i often fantasize about being a us congress person. i would love to have that access. im a c-span junkie... but i can see why i am a minority in that there is absolutely no overt WOW to c-span... but once i got into it... it is ADDICTING! and the CRAZY goings on affect us all. i think it would be cool to go in and shake up c-span by acting all crazy and doing some extreme truth telling to get more people watching. i could and would do that as a congress grl but yah... since i promised the moon and stars that i am serious about this "art" thing and i have made the commitment to do this full time... i dont do much else. it is like working 2 or 3 full time jobs... but im not complaining. im chasing dreams and there isnt a better place to be in this life i used to be really into nature activities... anything active that gets me into the dirt, moss and ferns (even the snow covered kind) ESPECIALLY since moving to washington. the pacific nw is unexplainable how magical it is. i would love to get back into snowboarding... i used to go all the time and was passionate about it. i feel like i am cheating on a lover... i chose art over snowboarding.. but art always meant more... and for some reason i had to choose and i chose art. i still have massive love for snowboarding and in quiet moments when i close my eyes i can still feel it.

*What has been your most memorable moment selling your art?
my first time having art hanging on a wall would have to be it. it was at a show called re-start in seattle a few years back. it was such a wild mix of emotions... i spent most of the night overwhelmed with emotion crying and hiding in corners. once i realized those little red dots next to the paintings meant they sold... and not that i was in some sort of trouble... i was so transformed... sad to see something that i spent time with and created go... selling a piece for the first time can be a tad bit sad... but at the same time... this thing that was nothing i made into somethng and now it has value to someone and they want to spend time with it on their wall in their living space!!! wow!! i had been painting my entire life and had stacks of work piled up around the house... but never really felt like it was anything anyone would want to look at. people told me i should.. and FINALLY the opportunity revealed itself and i went for it. seeing my paint hung on a wall in an official way for the first time was lifechanging.

*Any advice for fellow artists...
be strong
if you arent dont bother.. this shit will eat you alive if you give a damn about what you are
doing.. you will find yourself hurt quite abit (but the good parts are SO worth it!!!) if you dont give a damn about what you are doing you will be no good. this thing has been so much more than painting pictures to go on walls... everything changed.

*Anything else you'd like to add...
a dash of yubness <3

Etsy Shop: