January 31, 2011

My Props are on the Move

In the photo world I am sometimes referred to as a "Prop Stylist". What this means is that In addition to designing large sets and the overall look of things, I am sometimes also responsible for bringing and arranging the smaller items that an actor or model would have around them in the world that we are creating.

Usually a "prop" is designated as anything that the talent touches or interacts with during the shoot. For example a book they pick up, a telephone they answer or food they eat would all be considered props. On the rare occasion I get asked to bring an animal in to use as a prop. I LOVE THESE OCCASIONS. Cute puppies, kittens, rabbits, monkeys --- you name it I've "propped" it. Last week I was asked to bring in an exotic, domestic, kitten to use for a shoe and handbag catalog.

I made a few calls and I found Simba, a gorgeous, 5 month old Savannah Kitten.
She is new to the business, this was her first official shoot, but she was immediately a star.
Although the animals are working, they are always well cared for. A lot of patience is required because it can take a while for them to do what is needed. And when the animal is finished for the day it will let you know it and that is that. The trainers I work with are all very professional and treat the animals with a lot love and respect.

Below are a few pics of my favorite animal requests that I've had to arrange.
The chimpanzee was for a story in GQ ... the one I'm holding is a baby, she's only 3 years old. As chimps get older they get much stronger and much more aggressive, we had an older, male chimp on set who we were not allowed to interact with. We had to avoid eye contact so as not to accidentally upset him. They were very much like working with children, they understood what was asked of them and would get rewarded with a bit of root beer after a job well done.

The Lion was trucked from from a reserve in North Carolina to a studio in New York. This was one prop that I didn't want to hold. Although Drew got pretty close to the cat, this actual picture was manipulated in photoshop, she sat closer to the tail away from mouth and jaw. The large chains around the neck were also taken out digitally. Working with a lion means the lion is the boss --- the lion does what it wants when it wants, we just hoped to get a good shot out of it.

The Dolphins were for a Teen Vogue story. We went to them (it's really hard to get dolphins into a photo studio) -- we shot this at an aquarium in Miami.

Yes, that is a real bird sitting in Russel's nest of a hairdo. It's actually a white pigeon which is most commonly used as a white dove. Getting the bird for this shoot was the easy part. Convincing Russel to let us put it on his head was a little more difficult. In the end he was a good sport.

January 27, 2011

New Paper Prints in my Etsy Shop

I've finally had the chance to add a bunch of new paper prints to my Etsy shop. All the prints are on beautiful, thick, 100% cotton and eco friendly french paper. They are hand pulled screenprints, in stock and ready to ship right now. Check out my Etsy shop and let me know what you think.

January 24, 2011

A Sparkletaneous Year

Three years ago instead of New Years resolutions I decided to pick a word for the year. The word or words can be anything. It should represent something you want to work on or focus on for the coming year. The first year I got together with a bunch of my close girlfriends and we stamped our words on necklaces. Last year we made dream boards. This year we all gathered at Color me Mine and painted our words on pottery.
Most of us chose mugs, figuring what better way to focus on your word than drink a cup of coffee with the word staring you in the face every morning.

Everyone had great words for 2011. This year I combined two words to make a new word: SPARKLETANEOUS.
What's your word for the year? Do you have any annual traditions with friends or with yourself to start off the new year?

January 20, 2011

Printing the layers of Space Ace

And of course --- the cat that started it all:

January 13, 2011

Samples of customer customizations

I spent a lot of December creating and filling custom orders. At the show I had a sample chart of colors as well as background options. People were excited to have the opportunity to change colors in the designs they liked in order to specifically match their rooms. One interesting request I had was to do a set of Poppy Poppies without the stems. It was for a baby boy and the mother loved the design but wanted something a little more abstract. She gave me a swatch of fabric to match for the background and a little dish to use to match the flowers. See the samples and results below.

to see more custom color combination's check out my newest facebook album

January 10, 2011

Travel in Style with Trunki

I was searching for a kids size grand piano for my other job and came across this product by Melissa & Doug. How brilliant is this. A carry on suitcase that your kids can ride on. I have to admit I kind of want one in my size. Wouldn't it be perfect for waiting in those long lines at the airport?

January 06, 2011

Setting Goals for 2011

I decided to take a three week vacation from Skårtshop. No blogging, no Etsy posting, no stat checking. A real vacation. I didn't even bring my computer with me (who knew one could suffer separation anxiety from a machine) I was so on vacation it got to the point I didn't even want to answer questions about Skårt when friends or family would ask how it was going.

Now it's a new year and I'm back. Ready to get to work and ready to focus. My favorite Blog - Crafting an MBA has helped me get in gear by asking their readers what their goals are for 2011.

For my first Blog post for this year I present (in no particular order) my Goals for 2011

Business Goals
1. Get into 10 stores in the US and Canada
2. Start Licensing out some of my designs
3. keep blogging twice a week
4. Get one celebrity endorsement (and a blurb with a picture in People magazine)
5. Maintain a revenue which will sustain the business

Personal Goals
1. Keep working and improving on my cooking skills
2. Be a little more spontaneous and try to enjoy the whole "go with the flow" mantra
3. Do a mini Triathlon
4. Go to Cuba and/or China
5. Take some dance classes

What are your goals for 2011?