Wednesday, June 25, 2014

6 FREE NYC Summer Art Adventures

free summer art events in nyc
(get your art on summer 2014)
There are so many free and almost free art activities you can do this summer in New York City hosted by museums and sketch groups. Discover an art adventure that is right for you and your family.

All these events you can do by yourself, with a friend or your artistic teen.  Here are some of the best I found, and I am sure there are loads more!

Now, I am not talking about the ones where parents stand around checking their smart phones while their toddlers glue construction paper onto paper plates. These are more sophisticated classes and activities that you can do whether or not you bring artistic tweens. They will not be bored and neither will you. By the way, if you are planning a visit to New York, check out each of the museum websites to see what activities are going on when you are here so you can discover the perfect one for you.

1) Metropolitan Museum of Art "Sunday Studio"

Chinese Calligraphy at   the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Learn how to do Chinese Calligraphy at
 the Metropolitan Museum of Art ( for free)!
With the price of the museum admission you can choose from lots of family friendly art activities and materials are provided.You do not even need a reservation, just show up.

on my calendar

On Sunday July 6th and July 20, 1:00–4:00 p.m. you can learn Brush and Water: Chinese Calligraphy All the Metropolitan Museum of Art "Sunday Studio" classes are held in conjunction with exhibits so you can draw inspiration from the gallery and then try your own artwork.

I have this Chinese Calligraphy class on my calendar. Although I am going away both weekends the class is being offered,but if I have any energy left at all, I may head down to the city to learn Chinese calligraphy.

asian art by @schulmanArt with decorating idea
Asian Art inspired by Japanese textiles, sketched at the Museum 
and completed in the studio. You can collect your own inspiring 
Asian art for your home from imagekind

2) Met Museum "Drop in Drawing"

Another "class" I have done at this museum is "Drop in Drawing" Usually, this is the first Friday of the month.  Each month you meet in a different art gallery. When it is crowded they ask participants to rotate every thirty minutes but during quieter months you can stay the whole time.


There is a teaching artist to guide you ( if you wish) and all materials are provided including charcoal, paper, drawing board, stools and wipes for your hands when you are done. Docents circulate the gallery replacing your worn out pencils with freshly sharpened ones.
You are welcome to bring your own sketchbook, but they prefer you use their (safe in the museum) drawing materials. When I have done this, I have gone home and created artworks based on my sketches. You can see the African Art and Asian art I did during other Drop in Drawing events.

african art by @schulmanArt with decorating idea
African Art, fine art print - collect your own from Imagekind
Some events for everyone, some just for kids...

All ages are welcome to the drop in drawing but your teenager may prefer the parent free teen drawing events. (also free...who knew?) I  used to take my daughter to "art treks" and other art activities which were all age appropriate and allowed me to explore the galleries on my own while she participated in interactive art history classes with her peers.
Drop in Drawing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

marked my calendar!

The "Drop in Drawing" I have marked on my calender is Friday, August 1, 6:30–8:30 p.m. where you can draw decorative objects in gallery 554. ( ask any info desk and they will let you know where to go)

The Deno's Fabulous Wonder Wheel, Coney Island

3) NYC Sketchers

This free group meetups on Saturdays in locations around New York City to sketch.This Saturday (June 28th 10:00) they are meeting in Cold Spring, New York. I have never been to this quaint upstate town and this is the perfect excuse to go. Anyone is welcome to join this enthusiastic group of sketchers. They maintain a blog and a google group so you can notified of upcoming events.

how to join

To be notified of upcoming sketching events, including our weekly sketching meet-ups and World Wide Sketchcrawls, join Urban Sketchers NYC Google Group.


4) Museum of Modern Art

This is another favorite of my family until my daughter grew out of them and then got too busy following her own musical passions. To participate in the age appropriate family activity, you do have to register (although it is free) but there are also lots of drop in events as well.

gallery events

Gallery Sessions are creative exploratory experiences facilitated by Museum educators that allow visitors a unique perspective on works in the galleries, art history, and the creative process. Groups meet in the galleries noted on the daily schedule. Gallery Sessions are free with Museum admission. No registration is required.

on my calendar

Red Studio by Matisse
Red Studio by Matisse
Although there are lots of events to choose from, I was intrigued by this one on "Matisse: The Color of Our World" Saturday, July 26, 2014, 1:30 p.m.  The description on the website says:

According to Henri Matisse, “Modern Art is joy spread through Color.” Color, and its radical use, was fundamental to the artist’s practice. Come experience and understand Matisse’s employment of color, and look at works like Red Studio (1911) and Dance I (1909) in a whole new way. 

If you can't make it when I think I am going, the event repeats several times and there are loads of others to choose from on the museum's website.

studio sessions

Lygia Clark, Caminhando
Lygia Clark, Caminhando, 1964 (Photograph: Beto Felicio)
Yes, more free ones! The only ones I found are this weekend so I will have to choose between this and the Cold Spring sketchers.... hmm... but this really sounds interesting so if I don;t feel like driving myself somewhere I may hop the train to the city instead. This weekend there are free studio immersions connected with the Lygia Clark: The Abandonment of Art, 1948–1988. MoMA Studio: Breathe with Me is an interactive space that explores the intersections between art, therapeutic practice, and the ways in which we relate to objects and people through physical encounters. Taking Lygia Clark’s art as a reference point, the Studio presents a series of drop-in programs, participatory experiences, and artist-led workshops that reveal the profound resonance Clark’s work has had with contemporary artists. Come see how a Moebius strip can be transformed with a pair of scissors, watch a net of rubber bands expand through movement, and twist and connect your body in unexpected positions like an octopus, and more. (hmmm..... )


5)  Museum of Art and Design

This design museum on the west side offers lots of studio classes that are either specific to teens or young adult friendly. Check out the Sunday Studio for drop in classes that $10 each! Like the other museums, the studio classes explore techniques on exhibit and give you a chance to try your hand at creating your own jewelry or other 3-D design. There were a lot of great studio classes, I am afraid I am travelling too many weekends to pick one, but I bet you will find one just right for you.

6) The Frick Museum

botanical drawing from the Frick Collection website by @schulmanArt
Several of my drawings from Sunday Sketch
 are still on the Frick museum website
My daughter adored the Frick programs for middle school and high school students and there are also events for us adults too. I have done the drop in drawing on Sunday, but I am intrigued by the Wednesday night sketch groups which allows you to go into the galleries. Depending on the event, you may have to reserve your spot.


Stools and materials provided. You may bring your museum approved own materials. The museum website says you are limited to paper 12x18" and dry media such as lead and graphite pencils. When I did this event in the past, I took my drawings home and added color in my studio. You can see what I did in this blog post.
12 x 18 inches and with charcoal or lead pencils only - See more at:
12 x 18 inches and with charcoal or lead pencils only - See more at:
12 x 18 inches and with charcoal or lead pencils only. - See more at:

on my calendar
Same drawing from above, but with pastels added 
in my studio. You collect your own botanical drawing or 
any of the others I did that day at the Frick
Wednesday, July 16, 2014, 5 – 7:30 p.m I just signed up and was delighted to learn that not only is the event free, but you get free museum admission too! ( in case you are wondering, many of these programs are funded through generous donors... whenever I get the opportunity to take advantage of a free event I often spend double the museum admission in the gift shop to "support the museum" as well as my art addiction)


I will be sharing my summer art adventures here on the blog

Looking forward to going and sharing these fun interactive art events with you. (are you subscribed to my blog via by Email / RSS / BlogLovin / NetworkedBlogs ??)


So, how are you getting your art on this summer?

mentioned in this blog post: @metmuseum @MuseumModernArt @MADMuseum  @frickcollection
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Monday, June 23, 2014

A page from my art journal on mindfulness.

This blog post is about mindfulness in all that you do whether it is an ordinary moment, writing a blog post, listening to music or making art.
Why hurry? ( Be Mindful) this moment 
may be the best one of your life.

(Be Mindful)

This has been an interesting year for me artistically and with my art business. I have started tuning the knobs of focus and understanding (slowly) how I need to have a purpose for each aspect of my art making and marketing. In the past I have flit from project to project like a butterfly and then just tried to market on social media where more was thought to be better ( ie more followers, more likes etc)

Mindful Blogging

Now, the focus has will see that most notably here on the blog. In the past I have let my interns write blogs for me on almost anything they fancy unless somehow it was in someway connected to art... Although I will still have interns working for me ( a new one starts next week) I realize that the blog must be in my voice. They can help me spread the links around on social media but I recognize that folks read my blog because they want my point of view, not an impersonal article. Hence, mindful blogging.

dragonfly art | collect your own:
Dragonfly Art, collect your own from my etsy shop

Art Journal ( It is important)

I've mentioned before that one reason I resisted keeping an art journal for so long was because the act may take me away from my art making that was for profit. (artists have bills too) However, I have found that sharing my point of view in my art journal-- my inspirational musings-- has helped me connect with lovers of art. In addition, I have started offering inspirational prints adapted from the pages of my art journal ( I don't believe in starving artist syndrome, I like to eat!) The shower curtain and other accessories with the same design are available from cafepress.

The thoughts behind this art

In my art journal I layered scraps of paper, piano music and loads of paint in summery colors of blue, yellow, green and coral. On top, I added a mini print of my dragonfly art. For the words, I sat with a book of meditations and thought about what I wanted to say with my art. What kept coming up to me over and over again is the practice of mindfulness, and this really spoke to me.  At the time I was sitting peacefully with my husband while he listened to music. When one listens to music, you don't worry about reaching the ending. You enjoy each note as it comes. So for this art I combined the idea of not hurrying through like ( Why hurry?) To be mindful in each phase (be mindful.) Perhaps it is a bit of hyperbole that each moment is the best one of your life, but it is about not taking for granted the specialness of an ordinary moment.

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Saturday, June 21, 2014

Make a list of your Summertime Goals!

Summer is a great time to review your yearly goals and set new ones for the summer. Challenge yourself to make a list of goals this summer and link up your list.

dragonfly art with inspirational quote by @schulmanArt
Summer is here with endless possibilities...
Why should you wait once a year to make a list of goals? To me, summer is full of possibilities that parallels the end of the calendar year, but with much more meaning. 

Why do we make resolutions in January?

Sure, in January we flip a calendar, but what really ends and what really begins? Where I live, January is the beginning of bad weather. Maybe it is because I never learned to properly ski and I spent a childhood in Florida but I fiercely countdown the days to spring and summer.

June is a time of endings and fresh beginnings

 I remember as a high school student the feeling of being at the end of an intense marathon, and when you are a parent the feeling can be even more acute. In addition, to shepherding your kids through a stressful exam schedule and watching endless end of year recitals, you are responsible for all the behind the scenes planning for "transition."

art journal page for you @schulmanArt
You can print this out and use it to make YOUR own list!
Finally, with the final bell and the last class you are free. For me, it means the end of carpools and I have ushered my kids past yet another milestone for whatever grade they are in.

Summer is a hiatus from race to no where 

Since the school year marks an ending, the summer marks a new beginning. We can start fresh with a clean slate and the pressures of another year seem far away with warm barefoot carefree days.

Summer Promises

Mentally, I make promises to myself that I will clean out closets, organize the basement, get in shape, get this or that done for my art marketing and my art making. However, as with anything I find the only goals that I meet are the ones I write down.

Summer is a great time to review your yearly goals and set new ones for the summer. Challenge yourself to make a list of goals this summer and link up your list.

 art journal page by @schulmanArt
Adding a dragonfly to my art journal page

Make a list

So, in this halfway point of the year why don't you join me and we can make some lists? This week's challenge on this first day of summer is...

What are your summertime goals?

You can download my blank list if you like and print it to have some additional inspiration.

Here are my summertime art goals.

  1. Make musical jewelry to offer at my kids' music school holiday boutique
  2. Design a calendar for 2015 based on my inspirational art
  3. Coordinate a set of inspirational note cards to offer all year long
  4. Create a portfolio of 6 Fall themed artworks and 6 Winter/Holiday artworks
  5. Submit said portfolio to 10 manufacturers or artist agents
  6. Paint my own set of patterned papers to use in my mixed media art ( instead of scrapbook papers) so that all that I do is original and my own design
  7. Attend an art retreat (signed up with the fabulous Julie Fei-Fan Balzer... and guess what we are doing? Creating our own set of patterned papers. Perfect!)
  8. Submit my art journal for publication.
  9. Finish the 4x6' peacock ( I absolutely have to do this... it's a commission)
  10. I want to make sure I got to at least three art exhibits over the summer. I have a few in mind.. Maybe I should wait to share my summer wish list for another post.. ( are you following my blog? you can even subscribe to get an email with each new post or a weekly summary. click here to subscribe by Email)

and for nosy folks... here are the personal goals I have set for myself...
Scarsdale Community Outdoor Pool
Scarsdale Community Outdoor Pool

  1. Finally attach the (finished) lace onto the (finished) vest that I made a year ago but never got around to putting together.
  2. Get started on the sweater project I bought in the fall ( or was that last fall? yikes)
  3. I do have closets to clean... but I think I will just set the task of cleaning out the bottom of my craft closet and the linen closet. (manageable)
  4. However, I just now went to fetch the bug spray from under the bathroom sink and I know I have been meaning to clean out under my sink vanities for some time... should save us money in all the extra toiletries we have been hoarding.
  5. I joined the outdoor pool this year.. I better go. Okay, the goal is I have to go to swim 8 make that 12 times.( I am mentally dividing the cost I paid on the individual pool membership by the number of times I will use it) I haven't gone yet because truthfully I keep forgetting that I joined.
  6. We may be the last family in Scarsdale without a flat screen TV. I have been preaching "sustainable living" to my son as the reason for why we don't have one. Lately, the tv started getting so much static I had trouble seeing the white soccer ball during the world cup ( I wasn't really watching, he was) It is time... 
  7. which means I really need to get a carpenter to help me refit the bookcases in the den to accommodate that... and oh yeah, repaint the ceiling in the den where water from the upstairs bathroom leaked down...twice. (embarrassing...)

What are your summertime goals?

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Friday, June 20, 2014

My Inspirational Book

(otherwise known as an #artjournal by @schulmanArt)
#artjournal art journal pages | #quote | you alone are enough art by @schulmanArt
Working on my art journal... added a motivational quote by 
Maya Angelou: You alone are enough
You have nothing to prove to anyone.

I am getting to the last pages of my art journal with a bit of sadness and also trepidation. I promised myself that when I reached the end of the journal I would submit it for publication to one of the many art magazines I read. 

I am a little sad because I will be parting with my art journal that gives me comfort, and also a little scared that the publishers won't be as in love with my pages as I am.

Preparing the Pages for Publication

I am going to have go through the pages, clean them up. Mark some as "not for publication" and others as "previously published" ( I was featured in an online art journal magazine not so long ago.. you can get information for a free download of that magazine HERE)

decorating ideas | inspiration art by @schulmanArt
Inspirational Art for your home. Art reads: Believe in the Beauty of your dreams.
You can own this art in your choice of sizes and framing when you collect art {read MORE}


Pros and Cons for Keeping a Journal

It's amazing that I hadn't even truly started keeping an art journal before January. The process has been much more than I anticipated in both positive and negative ways. 

inspirational art collect it
Decorating Idea features inspiration art simply framed. 
mantra reads: Breathe in Strength, Release your fear.

Personal Art

One of the reasons I resisted keeping an art journal for so long was I thought  (correctly) that the art making process in my journal takes away from time I spend making art for sale. However, lately, I have scanned some of my best pages, cleaned them up in photoshop and are now offering my inspirational musings for others. In addition, I have noticed that some techniques I have experimented with in my journal has found its way to my art on canvas and other art for sale.

Redefines my artist mission

Initially, the biggest benefit for keeping an art journal is for me to gain personal insights. However, ever since a close friend had a breakdown ( you can read that story HERE) I have turned my attention to creating mantras that are not just for me but to help the disenfranchised. This has helped me redefine my life purpose as an artist. 

art journal pages by @schulmanArt
Colorful quote art to empower yourself the 
whole day through whether at home or at work.

Slow Sales ≠ Bad Artist

For example, the past few days I have been feeling down that my art sales have slowed...which they normally do in the summer. Even though I recognize that my art sales are cyclical with ups and downs, it is still very easy to question yourself as an artist when sales are slow. First, you have the financial considerations of bills to pay which are not being met completely by your job and second artists, myself included, start to question their self-worth as an artist.

Thankful for Art

Yesterday, I was fortunate to receive an email from a facebook fan after I posted the work in my art journal (shown above) She said:

I just wanted to tell you that I am thankful for your art. I've never met you and live 3500 miles away but you have made my particularly horrible day a bit better. Please keep sharing your work and your inspirational book.~Michelle B.

My Inspirational Book


I loved that she called it an "inspirational book" so from now on instead of calling it my art journal, it will now be called my Inspirational Book. So from now on, I also understand my mission as an artist is to empower and inspire .
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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Rothko Watercolors @pacegallery

(Recharging my Creative Batteries) 

This blog post reviews the Mark Rothko art show at the Pace gallery in New York featuring his watercolor paintings. In addition, I give you a humorous view into a day trip into New York City.

mark rothko watercolors pace gallery
A view of the gallery when you step off the Art Deco elevator. There is a quote on the wall.
artist Miriam Schulman
Selfie-- my daughter says I looked like a tourist. I didn't think so.
Yesterday, after I polished off my blog post I decided I had to go into the city. Briefly I considered not going but I really couldn't find an excuse compelling enough to stay behind and do my artwork or housework. It was a beautiful day in New York so I threw my book and art journal into a canvas bag and away I went. I knew that the Rothko watercolor exhibit closes this week and this would be my only chance to see it. Anyhow, since I am a watercolor artist, seeing art shows is part of my job. {see all my watercolor paintings for sale}

Walking in the City

Lucky me, the train station is less than a mile away and an easy flat walk. Less than an hour after I left my house, I was already on the streets of New York waiting for a cab. After a few impatient minutes I decided to walk to the gallery as well. Grand Central is at 42 and the Pace gallery at 57th is also less than a mile. I'm glad I walked because the walk back and forth to the gallery was definitely the highlight of my trip into the city.

Park Avenue- more corporate...

Trend spotting on Madison Avenue

The walk up Madison Avenue took me past great shops and even better dressed people on the streets. I took note of several fashion trends and took mental pictures. I wish I had an inconspicuous camera hidden in a pen so I could take pictures of all the styles I saw. The three trends I noticed were lace dresses or lace elements on clothes, tribal prints and rompers, both long and short. I even saw one woman wearing all three trends in one outfit (tribal print, lace bodice, romper) Oh yes, and peplums... lots of peplums on dresses and on shirts... ...but I digress. 


I also saw a few homeless people sitting on the sidewalks. The first woman had a small toddler in her arms and was talking to herself.. or perhaps singing to the baby. I gave her a dollar and later regretted not giving her all the money I had saved on the cab fare.

mark rothko watercolors @pacegallery
The gallery looks well lit-- when I was there it was dim.. 
perhaps I should have asked them to turn on the lights!

The Gallery Show

When I finally reached the Pace gallery it was a bit of a let down. Not that the art isn't good-- but just the sites on the street were more entertaining. I had wanted to take some photos inside the gallery but the security guard seemed to know what I was up to and was stalking me around the room. The other problem I had in the gallery is that it was very poorly lit which meant that the few photos I snapped did not come out. The photos online are much brighter making me regret not asking the preoccupied gallery assistants to turn on the lights..
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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Metamorphosis in Art

Art whether it is traditional painting or a modern mixed media piece is often created in multiple stages and layers. Earlier layers may be beautiful but often the under painting gets covered up with subsequent layers. Just as in life, you can not be too in love with your younger earlier versions of yourself or you can't move on and change. Although I loved the first stages of these artworks, I knew the art had to evolve and grow so I gave myself permission to allow change.

Sometimes art is about letting go too

If you become too attached to the first stage, you can't move on. Babies are cute too, but they can't stay babies forever... you have to allow them to grow and change. Then they may also be beautiful teenagersm but then again they need to change and add layers in their lives and move on. As we age we must embrace changes and our ideals of our beauty change with it. Wrinkles and freckles are beautiful as they show experience and the passage of time.

Art must grow and evolve

With these two artworks, I took two paintings which I really liked and thought they were beautiful but decided they had become stymied in an adolescent phase and not allowed to fully mature. By adding layers of detail, I added meaning and beauty to each artwork.

Which do you like better? The art before or after? The "before" art can no longer be collected as an original artwork, but prints are available of this art on imagekind. The art on the left is called Poppy Hoppy The art on the right feels like a completely different artwork, so deserved it's own name, just like we don't call butterflies "caterpillars". The art on the right is Butterfly Brahms. 16x20" original mixed media collage art

How about this one? Do you like the art better before or after? The art before is called Poppy Don't Preach and you can collect it as a fine art print in your choice of size and finish from imagekind The art on the right is renamed Beethoven Butterflies and you can collect the original 16x20" canvas from my etsy shop.
Want to save on this art right now? let me email you the latest coupon
I asked my facebook and instagram followers 
"What color should I paint this butterfly?"

What color should I paint this butterfly?

I asked my facebook and instagram followers, "What color should I paint this butterfly?"

red poppy art | butterfly art | mixed media collage art by @schulmanArt
Beethoven Butterflies, If you want to own this art you can 
collect the original mixed media art on canvas or a fine art 
print in your choice of size and finishes.

What my social media followers picked

The most popular choice was yellow which led the way with 30% of the comments. Shades of blue ranging from aqua, teal and turquoise was the second choice garnering 20% of the comments and shades of purple including violet, lavender and fuchsia into the purple category had one less vote than blue. Orange or white were the choice for many getting 10% each and two people told me not to paint it at all and leave it the way it is! Several people asked for multicolored butterflies or even green.

What I did

I'll tell you a secret-- for the butterfly in question I had absolutely no intention of going by a popular vote. In fact, I had already begun painting it orange as the comments poured in. However, I was intrigued by many of the suggestions so I painted a few butterflies in the other colors and held them up to the canvas to see what affect they had. I ended up using a blue-violet shaded butterfly in other areas of the canvas. And then blue became an accent color around the sides of the piece. I felt this added a tribute to the art that was once so dominated by the cobalt blue shade.

mixed media collage art | butterfly art | red poppy art by @schulmanArt
Butterfly Brahms, Collect this or any red poppy art from my etsy shop.If you love butterflies, then explore all my butterfly art .


 Other blog posts you might like:

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Friday, June 13, 2014

Summertime Challenge for you!

art journal ideas | #artjournal by @schulmanArt
Want to join me on a summertime creative adventure?
Looking for inspiration for a blog post or for your art journal? This blog post includes an art journal prompt and a challenge for you to write or create each week this summer.

About #52lists


This year I got started on art journal and list making. Blogger Moorea Seal had been posting ideas on her blog each week for a list. Since she opened her new boutique in Seattle she understandable has let the 52 weeks of list making fall by the wayside...but that is no reason for you or I to stop making lists.



art journal ideas | #artjournal by @schulmanArt
What are YOU most  looking forward to this summer?

Summertime List Challenge

I decided to pick up the baton and host a weekly creative challenge. Each week I will post an idea for you. You can answer the challenge in any medium you want where you simply want to write a list, make a more elaborate spread in your art journal, make an artwork on a theme or anything else. The point is that we do it and share in a weekly link up party! I will host the link up right here on my blog. You can add a link to a brand new creative work or even an older one.. You can add your link right away or come back to it in a week or two. It is all up to you. All link parties will be open until the official close of summer on September 21st.

art journal pages by @schulmanArt
Summertime means barefoot in the sand!

Summer Has Begun

Summer officially begins on June 21st.. In New York, my kids still have school through June 25th, believe it or not.. I know for some, they feel summer is already here with their children out of school or their pool open.

This Week's Challenge

So in keeping with the start of summer, this week's challenge is to make a list of what you are most looking forward to this summer. (perhaps this weekly challenge?)

art journal pages | art journal ideas | #artjournal by @schulmanArt
A page from my art journal...

My Summertime Loving List

For me summer is about simple pleasures...
  • I can wear a t-shirt and shorts
  • swim outside
  • no carpools
  • sitting on my front porch
  • sunshine that keeps me warm
  • happy and hot
  • barefoot

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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

5 reasons you are losing followers on instagram.

(in other words, why I stopped following you on instagram and other annoying things you might be doing.)

If you want to know how to gain followers on instagram then you should avoid these five annoying behaviors so you don't lose followers. You can gain followers without following them back by being interesting and engaging... hmm, that's another blog post. Once you get an instagram follower, you want to keep them engaged and interested.

I started using instagram about six months ago and use it to get inspiration and to share pictures of my art process to raise awareness of my "brand." ( I am @schulmanArt, by the way) Last I checked I do have a few hundred followers. I can't profess to be an instagram expert but I can tell you why I stopped following you on instagram.

So, if you are doing any of these things and want to build your social media following, beware. Because if this annoyed me, you can bet it annoyed someone else too.
gain instagram followers
Gain instagram followers ( don't lose them)

instagram 101

Instagram, for those who have been in some kind of technical cave, is a picture sharing app on our smart phones. You can use it to follow your friends or you can follow a brand or a celebrity. Since this is a visual application, all the sins are posting too much of something we don't want to see. Here are the five reasons I have stopped following people on instagram. Are you doing any of these things?


1) You post too many pictures of your new baby

I started following you because you are this fabulous interior decorator and blogger. I loved seeing all the pictures of your new apartment, and when you got pregnant, I even enjoyed seeing you delight in new each new addition to the nursery. Then the baby came and with it endless pictures of your infant. Look, I like babies too-- but this isn't why I started following you. I mean, why not post pictures of your cousin's baby or your Aunt? You don't do that, right? Why? Because we are not interested. If you want to share your baby pictures get a personal account. I mean, I liked seeing one or two pictures because it is nice to know you are human and have a life. I even sometimes pretend you are my friend, but I got bored. By the way, I stopped following you months ago, but I just peeked again at your account and four of the last 8 pictures you posted were of your baby.

2) You post too many pictures of what you eat

Okay. Now, I know this isn't a problem for everyone... food bloggers and people who like to cook like to see this sort of thing, I know. I don't follow those accounts. But you are a fashion designer. I really didn't think I would have to look at what you eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Not interested in that. If I wanted to see food, I would have followed Cooking Light ( they have an instagram account, right?) or  Bon Appetit. I don't mind seeing Anthropologie's stylized pictured of lemonade on an Italian Veranda... those make me want to run out and buy an embroidered top and sandals so I can look chic drinking said lemonade. That's because these brand marketers hired professional food stylists to take their pictures. I know it is not fair, but your dimly lit picture of dim sum taken with your iphone (even with a fancy filter) doesn't make me want to buy your clothes. You see? It is all about the brand. Want to take pictures of your food? Save it for Weight Watchers.

(this is not me... in case you were wondering!)




3) I forgot who you are or why I started following you in the first place.

This actually happens more that you think. Perhaps, I started following you after I read Huffington Post's list of artists you should be following. Maybe I started following you because I saw another artist I liked was following you. Anyhow, you blend in with everyone else. Your name is "CreativeGirl5" or "artChick2" and I am not sure what your point of view is...and, well, yeah, who are you? I think this happens because you never post any pictures of yourself so I don't feel connected to you.

you are famous, and I sort of remember who you are but you are just random

Yeah, well. These may even be famous folks who may have lots of followers. We are following you because you are famous but you don't have a clue to what to post. You take artful pictures with your phone reminiscent of my high school yearbook... Those black and white pictures with Valencia or some other filter may look cool but... wait, who are you again?  Lots of times you have chosen a handle that has no relation to your real might be famous, you may even be the boy I had a crush on in college.. but now I forgot who you are and your content is just not all that interesting. So, unfollow.

4) You are just too negative

Complain, bitch, moan... negative quotes like "life's a bitch and then you die".... all that. I come to instagram for a feel good buzz, not to feel your pain. By the way, I stopped following you on facebook too for the same reason... you don't know that because I may have just hidden you from my newsfeed, but yeah...I stopped following you.

how to gain followers on instagram ( not lose them!)
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5) You are a braggart.

Yes, we know that you are the most successful licensed artist on the planet, and I even bought your book or maybe even took your ecourse... but do I want to see the inside of the closet in your new mansion and every new piece of furniture you bring in? No, I do not. I did not mind seeing pictures of furniture from said decorator above (until she started posting pictures of too many baby pictures) well, because she is a DECORATOR but you, well you are just showing off. And I really didn't enjoy seeing what you wear every single day. I mean, I like Anthropologie too but I am following you because you are an artist, not so I could get clothes envy. So I stopped following you. So there.
click here to follow me...
So, if there is a theme to all of these reasons it is definitely  "I started following you because I like your apples but you are posting oranges." Perhaps you need a personal account and an account for your business. I like sneak peeks into your life, but only a limited view. Make sure you choose an instagram name that is related to your name or your brand.  I am @schulmanArt everywhere on the internet, find me on instagram and you can follow me. I promise not to post endless pictures of my kids or what I eat.

Other articles you might like:

How about you? What annoys you on instagram?? 

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Thursday, June 5, 2014

Three Decorating Ideas for Your Home

Let's Decorate with Art!

Colorful art can change the whole attitude of a room. Don't underestimate the power of art to uplift your mood and the spirit of everyone in it. Art is good for your health and your home and you should always surround yourself with art that you love.  Here are some great decorating ideas for incorporating my new red poppy art into your home decor.

Living Room Wall Decor

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Here, the red poppy art is displayed without a frame. You can own this art too, either the original art from etsy or collect a fine art print in your choice of framing.
Art does not have to match the sofa

Proving that art does not have to match the soda-- or anything else-- Don't you love the way the red poppy art pops against the pale blue living room walls? In this decorating inspiration, the wall art is displayed without a frame to give it a modern and contemporary feel while also solving the problem of a narrow space to hang art. There are some light blue tones in the artwork but the art is the only red in the room which makes the art a focal point and help anchor the room. If you are afraid to decorate with color, then art is a risk-free way to bring color into a room.

Art can move from room to room

One trick I like to do in my own home is to move the art around. The whole room can get a new look just by swapping pieces in the dining room for artwork in the living room or bedroom. Do you see how this art works in all three rooms? So never worry about choosing the perfect art for one room, just collect art that you like and it will work anywhere in the house.

Dining Room Wall Decor

collect dining room wall decor from red poppy art with coral butterfly
In this dining room decorating idea, the poppy art has a frame
to coordinate with the dark accessories. You can still hang it
without a frame in this setting... framing is a personal choice.

About the interior design

Karyl Pierce Paxton's New Orleans interior is filled with picturesque painted furniture that flaunts its age. In her dining room, a French neoclassical-style dining table, circa 1800, wears its original paint. Pulled up to it are Louis XVI-style chairs upholstered in a silk from ABC Carpet and Home. Orange embroidered Indian silk curtains from the Silk Trading Company are sexy because they remind us of women's silky lingerie.  And yes, orange and red do go together and make for a very modern combination.

Mixing cultures in one room

When you decorate you can mix cultures in the same room. Don't make your house like a Disney theme park where each room is a different culture. To Paxton, mixing cultures in the same room makes a livelier space. An Italian console holds a silver tea set from her grandmother as well as sculptures from New Guinea and Africa, flanked by lamps Paxton designed for the Pierce Paxton Collection by Savoy House.

Modern Wall Art

The original art in the room was swapped out digitally to show you how the poppy art would look in this eclectic dining room.

Bedroom Art

bedroom decorating ideas | bedroom ideas | collect bedroom art ::
Mixtures of brights in a happy guest bedroom
Take a peek inside a colorful ocean-side abode with vintage style by designer Mona Ross Berman. According to House Beautiful,
Berman used quieter shades of her palette in the guest room. "Even when I don't use the same colors everywhere, I still like the room to feel connected. The bedroom should never feel like it’s in a completely different house from the living room—the whole house has to make sense as one." 

Wall paper is a great backdrop for Mixed Media Art
I chose this room, because I loved the happy pops of coral, lime, pink and yellow.  Although wall paper is not always a great choice for art lovers because it makes it trickier to change paintings when you put a hole in precious wall paper, mixed media collage art does look right at home in a room like this. 

Coral is the new orange

Another decorating trend to note is that although orange is still very popular, light more coral shades are now trending and will make a better investment for your home as they will look modern and fresh.

How to collect this art for your own home.

If you want to collect this art for your own home, there is only one original painting which is offered on etsy or you can choose from your choice or sizes and framing options in a fine art print on imagekind. In addition, this happy art is available on home decor accessories from cafepress.

Do you love art and decorating?

Get your FREE Guide to Choosing House Paint Colors to transform your home in 2015

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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Art Journal Prompt: Mantra Match Up

This blog post give you an easy way to come up with some meaningful mantras for your art journal. This art journal prompt asks you to choose a "mantra starter" from one column and match it with a "meaningful ending" from another column.

art journal pages | art journal ideas | art journal

My daughter's art journal journey

My daughter has become addicted to her art journal which I also call "her excuse to use letter stickers." In the beginning she would use the letter stickers just for the heading, do some traditional journal writing and then use stencils to put art on top of the writing.

An excuse to use letter stickers

Lately, she admitted that she abhorred the writing part and her favorite part was the letter stickers. I told her there really is no rule in art journal making so just stick to the part that makes you happy.

This Art Journal Prompt

She likes me to come up with art journal "assignments" or prompts for her. She was tiring of the list making and the other prompts so I suggested a mix and match prompt. I told her to pick a "mantra starter" from one list and a "mantra ender" from the other list. 

How She Applied the prompt

A peek at a teenager's art journal
She asked me if it was "okay" to use more than one word from the "ender" list and although that wasn't my intention, I reminded her there were no rules. Here is a sneak peek at her art journal... since this page isn't too personal I hope it is okay to share it. My grandmother used to read my diary while I was at school and then discuss it with my mother. Clearly, sharing a page from a journal on the internet would trump that... oh well, if she doesn't like it I can always take it down when she comes home from school and hope that this post doesn't go viral.

My intention

My intention is that you make single phrases.. the words that you need to hear the most right now. You can play around with the tense of course.. So you can use "Follow your" + "passion" to make "Follow your passion" or you can write "Be passionate." You can say "Stay Strong" or perhaps "yes to strength". Don't feel you have to limit yourself to the ideas here! The words you come up with yourself are the words you need to hear!

If you want to see all my inspirational art, you can take a look at the art on display on etsy. I also offer more inspirational prints that you can collect on imagekind.

You can do it too!

art journal ideas | art journal |art journaling
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So tell me, what do you think of this art journal exercise? 


Is this something you think you might like to try?

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