Sunday, August 30, 2015

More Fun with Using Printmaking for Product Design

© 2015 Sheryl Karas
In my printmaking class last semester I had a lot of fun combining printmaking techniques. Monoprint was a favorite. That involves painting with ink on glass and then, for me, wiping designs into the ink with my fingers or scratching designs in the ink with a variety of tools. We also learned how to make collographs which involves making a printing plate using a variety of three dimensional objects.

In this piece I did all of that, then scanned it into the computer and added more effects. I loved the idea of using this for textiles and I might make fabric like this. But for now I'm using outside manufacturers to make products with my designs.

Some of my first items are available on Etsy now. I have pillows and duvet covers, mugs and totebags in addition to framed and unframed prints for sale. They are all made when you order them so please allow extra time for the items to be made and shipped to you.
Buy this pillow in my Etsy Shop
The pillows would look great with this duvet cover!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Beware of Capitalists in Sheep's Clothing

© 2015 Sheryl Karas, Print available for sale.
My printmaking class last semester has been my favorite class at Butte College so far. It allowed my illustrator artist self a chance to come out and play. Linocut was my favorite way of making prints and this was my favorite linocut all semester.

I've made it available as a print for sale, both framed or unframed, on Society 6.

You can also buy it on a wide variety of t-shirts.

Buy it on a T-Shirt at Society 6
And on a wild looking shirt printed all over.

And on mugs and tote-bags and other things.

I am COMPLETEY aware that me trying to sell it is Capitalist. I'm not opposed to Capitalism. I'm opposed to crooked politicians and bankers and corporate predators who try to wrap themselves in Christianity to appear like something else.
Buy this shirt!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Place of Art in a Socially Conscious Life

Epigenetic History, © 2015 Sheryl Karas
Wild Ride, © 2015 Sheryl Karas
As has often been the case in my life, on and off, different sides of my personality quarrel with each other. The artist part would like nothing better than to do art all day in any subject, any style, any medium. But there never has been enough of a stable financial base to dabble away, expressing my vision any way I want. A "professional artist" has to focus, produce in a series, keep a particular look so the gallery scene has a commodity they can market. And by "commodity" I mean being an artist with a recognizable style, a "brand," so to speak, like any manufacturer tries to create for their products. Like I do with Mama Love!

The business woman part of myself totally gets this! Without my focus on creating a recognizable brand and packaging, Mama Love never would have existed.

But my brand also holds me back. Mama Love never succeeds at selling a romantic swoon-worthy high end perfume even though I have a product that would fit the bill if it was in another package. The folksy healer Mama doesn't fit the image of that. I'd have to create a new brand and storefront for that, and I just don't have time for that right now.

So as an artist, I hate the idea of wrapping myself in a limiting brand.

And I hate it as a human being as well.

As I started to say, I would love to do nothing but art all day but the demands of modern financial life take precedence. And, frequently, the demands of a world in crisis do as well. Global climate change, income inequality, racism, out of control police departments. . . I could fill this page with problems. Can a socially conscious person just spend all day knitting (my latest obsession) or painting pretty pictures?

An inner voice screams "Yes! You have to. Somebody has to remind people of the beauty of life and what we are here for."

Yes, I think, with a sigh but I haven't ever made a living as an artist doing that. I have, however, made a living with a day job / career job focused on making the world better. Working in book publishing for a company doing books on feminism, gay rights, alternative health and self-empowerment, for instance, at Crossing Press (now out of business). Or as a family consultant helping people doing family caregiving for a person with dementia. Decent paying jobs focused on helping people. I even felt like I had energy and time to do my art when I had the last one.

So that's where I'm at today. Casting about, looking for a decent job doing good work for the world (or at least some part of it) while keeping my creative artist's heart well fed. And, oh yeah, God—if you're listening—I'd also like to have a lot more fun.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Pink Rose Petal and Rooibos Lemonade


Make a full pot of tea, putting the following ingredients in a basket strainer (or other infusing device):

1 tsp of Rooibos
1 tsp of Honeybush (or 1 more tsp of Rooibos)
2 tsp dried Rose Petals
1/2 tsp Cinnamon Bark
a few drops of Vanilla extract

Steep 10 minutes. Let cool. Add to your favorite homemade or store-bought lemonade.

I use organic lemonade from Trader Joe's and all my tea ingredients are organic, too. (Especially important for the Rose Petals). My personal preference is 7/8 tea and 1/8 lemonade (because I don't like things too sweet or overly tart). But try it different ways to suit your taste!

I frequently carry all of the tea ingredients except Vanilla extract in my Etsy shop, but, at the time I'm writing this blog (August 23, 2015), I'm sold out of everything except organic Rose Petals. (But do check as I'm certain to have many of these ingredients in stock later!)

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Menopause Tea

I don't always drink herb tea for menopausal bitchiness, but when I do, I drink Mama Love's Pink Goddess.

Will it work for you? All I can say is: it works for me!

100% Organic.

Sunday, August 09, 2015

I was on the Radio!

"Wild Ride," © 2015 by Sheryl Karas
I recently had the pleasure of doing an interview with Dolores Mitchell on North State Public Radio (KCHO 91.7 FM, KFPR 88.9 FM) on the "Weekend Showcase" show. We chatted about the ability to find inspiration anywhere, my technique, and how my mother nurtured my artistic tendencies as a child. Weekend Showcase is heard weekly, Fridays at 3:00 pm. You can listen to it here on Soundcloud.