Wednesday, December 16, 2009

How to Shoot a Jane Bown Portrait

Guardian Photographer, Eammonn McCabe gives a lesson on shooting the perfect portrait, Jane Bown style (in honor of Bown's November exhibition at Kings Place).

Click here to watch the video, describing how to make sure you:

  • Get the background right
  • Make sure you have good light in the eyes
  • Think about hands, do you need them?
  • Create a relaxed atmosphere
  • Try uprights as well as landscapes
  • Try different lenses
  • Think about black and white
  • Watch the light
  • AND FINALLY... never admit you don't know what you're doing!

Creating a Portfolio to Get Into Art School: A "How To" Guide

While most college-bound students research schools and apply to those that fit their preferences (such as location, programs that match interests and future career paths, those that correspond to academic achievement thus far, etc), art students have the additional daunting task of putting together a flawless art school portfolio - one that showcases the artist's best work, while also displaying the variety of talents and unique skills of the perspective student.

There are many decisions to be made when gathering a portfolio, and Karyn Tufarolo, an admissions counselor at Philadelphia's University of the Arts, has written a detailed article about preparing an admirable portfolio (which is extremely important for art students wishing to get into BFA programs).

Generally, she states the following characteristics that should be included in and noted when preparing a noteworthy portfolio:
1. drawing from observation
2. work in color
3. design work
4. other media
5. requirements for a particular school

To read more about what admissions officers look for, what to expect during the application process, and some of the "dos" and "don'ts" associated with applying to and getting into art school, click here.


Inventors of every kind know about the trials and tribulations associated with financing their projects. While it is frustrating to be so passionate about an idea - but be roadblocked by the inability to fund its production, I recently came across a resource that may be of some use called Kickstarter.

Kickstarter calls itself a "funding platform for artists, designers, filmmakers, musicians, journalists, investors, explorers..."

This innovative website, which is based in Brooklyn and was founded by five men residing across the U.S., gives creative people the opportunity to put their ideas out there, get funding, and yet, still maintain 100% ownership and control of their ideas and inventions. Although some aspects of the process are a little daunting - it's all or nothing (i.e. if an artist needs $5,000 in funding and only $4,999 is pledged, that artist gets nothing) - this resource is a novel approach for inventors struggling to find a way to fund their projects.

Current popular projects that have received over 100% funding include: "Designing Obama" (a book of art and design from Obama's campaign), "Robin Writes a Book" (A detective story set halfway between San Francisco and the Internet), "OpenIndie: 100 Pioneering Filmmakers Embrace Modern Cinema" (a project for a user generated film screening website), and "Poorcraft: A Comic Book Guide to Frugal Urban and Suburban Living."

Read more about this exciting resource here.