Month: September 2009

How NOT to contact a professional artist!

For all you young guns out there who want to crack into the film, design, art industry and feel the need to contact working professional artists, art directors, producers etc.. this is how NOT to do it!

Dear, Wanye

im an  industrial design student, engaged in my major design project, which is visualising a Philip K. Dick short story “the trouble with bubbles”

do you have any advice on approaching conceptual design for a futuristic society.

Is there a preferred format for presenting concepts to clients within the film industry?

i appreciate that you may be busy and any advice would be greatly appreciated.

S. W.

I received this email from a young man studying Industrial Design here in NSW, Newcastle TAFE, north of Sydney. First mistake, he got my name wrong! The other mistakes are too obvious to go into here suffice to say that I’m a little saddened that we pump these kids out of our education system without some of the most basic communication skills.

Unfortunately he has made a bad first impression and that can have fatal consequences for your future career.

Did he exhaust all other options before contacting me? Did he even spend five minutes on Google? Doesn’t look like it. He expected answers to be handed to him on a platter. It took me all of five minutes to track down who he was, where he lived (city), what school he went to and what year he is studying. I then contacted his head of dept and passed on his email.

So if you’re reading this young Mr. S.W, Google is your friend.. so is the spell checker and punctuation! Once you have clarified your thoughts and questions AND exhausted all other options, contact me again and I’ll do what I can to help.

As artist’s we communicate with imagery, we assume that writing is irrelevant as the images will speak for themselves, but when you’re out there in industry, your first port of call will most likely be through writing. Be clear, succinct (I’m not so good at that part) and make sure you’ve done your research. There is no excuse these days what with the world wide interweb or whatever it’s called..!

Now that ol’ grandpa has said his piece, he’s off for a little lie down!


Studio Lighting for oil painting..

Hi all!

I’ve been asked about the lighting set up in my painting studio, so I thought I would post some pics and a brief description.


My studio is quite small as I’m using the second bedroom in my 2 bedroom apt as my painting studio, the first being used as my digital studio (I sleep in the main room!), so space is limited. The room has built in robes with mirrored doors. This is a bonus as it allows me the ability to not only view my paintings from a longer distance, but also back to front. So what I lack in distance to the painting front on, I gain in reflected distance.



The obvious thing in the photo is my lighting set up. I wanted to be able to paint day or night and not have to worry about exterior light variations. My experience as a studio photographer kicked in and I bought a pair of Manfrotto Auto-poles. They basically telescope up and clamp against the ceiling. This allows me to clamp lights onto them and reduces the footprint at the floor saving more space. I’d have to use stands with legs otherwise and they would get in the way.


The light source is supplied by two compact flouro’s, daylight balanced at 5000 – 5500k. Equivalent power output is supposed to be that of a 120W incandescent bulb. They run cool which means I dont cook in the summer months and they use much less power than a standard tungsten bulb. Total cost of that set up was approx A$500. That was the two poles, three light heads (one is in the cupboard and could be used as a modeling light), the bulbs, two Manfrotto Superclamps (to hold the lights). The light heads were el cheapo units and I have no idea what brand they are! You could probably get all of this cheaper if you bought 2nd hand too.

You could save some money and run one pole across horizontally from wall to wall and suspend the lights too..

Anyway, I hope that was informative..