Chinese, Korean, and Japanese Tiger Art

Chinese, Korean, and Japanese Tiger Art

Welcome to this lens dedicated to the tiger art of China, Korea, and Japan! Tiger art from these three countries has become famous all around the world and many tiger paintings, sculptures, statues, and other forms of art have been made in these countries over the centuries. Many have been purchased by art collectors the world over.

In this lens we’ll study the tiger art from each country, the characteristics of tiger art in these countries, and the meaning of the tiger in the traditions and folklore of China, Japan, and Korea.

Thank you for your visit and I hope you find this lens informative!

Lens intro image: Edo-period Japanese artist Utagawa Kuniyoshi’s (1797-1861) tiger print. Image used courtesy of

Table of Contents

Korean Tiger Art
Chinese and Japanese Tiger Posters on Amazon
Chinese Tiger Art
Japanese Tiger Art
Kishi Ganku Tiger Painting
Tiger Statues and Sculptures
Tiger Tattoos
In Conclusion
Tiger Art Link List
From the Same Author
New Guestbook

Korean Tiger Art

Traditional Korean Minhwa (folk) painting of a tiger and a magpie. In Korea, tiger art has been very popular over the millinea, especially in traditional Joseon-era Korean folk art (known as “Minhwa”).

Tigers made some of their earliest appearances in Koguryo paintings where they were being chased down by archers on horseback. Many of these mural paintings can still be found today on Koguryo-era temple walls in modern-day North Korea.

Tigers are an important character in traditional Korean beliefs and folklore and the mythical white tiger is traditionally the guardian of the East. Until the 1920s, the Siberian white tiger called Korea home and the tiger is mentioned in the creation myth of Ko-choson, which is one of Korea’s first dynasties. Tigers are one of the most common and prominent subjects of folk paintings, and are often portrayed as being friendly, approachable, and even silly or stupid. This stands in contrast to the artwork of most other countries where the tiger is portrayed as being an intelligent, proud, and fierce animal! In many folk paintings, the tiger is a companion to the mountain spirits. Many Korean folk paintings feature a magpie (a bird that’s considered to be an auspicious omen and a bearer of good news) cackling at a tiger, or the tiger with a lion or rooster. Tiger skins were also painted by minhwa artists and were much more affordable to the common person than real tiger skins. These paintings were supposed to invoke the tiger’s guardian powers.

However, the tiger also has more serious portrayals in Korea. Many Koreans believe the tiger is a mountain god that can determine the fate of a person. Also to many Koreans, the tiger is the guardian spirit of Korea. Tiger decorations can be found in many Buddhist temples and shamanistic ritual sites across Korea and tigers are also found on mural walls of many of Korea’s ancient kingdoms such as Koguryo and Paekche. And of course the tiger has also been the silly, clumsy animal in many a Korean folk painting and folktale.

In 1988, the tiger took on a new significance for Koreans when a tiger was chosen to be the mascot for the 1988 Seoul Summer Olympics. The tiger was named Hodori (derived from “horang-i dori,” or “boy tiger,” in Korean) and he was featured on many an Olympic souvenir item that year! There was also a female tiger named Hosuni, but she was rarely used.

Chinese and Japanese Tiger Posters on Amazon

Here are some nice reproductions of the famous Chinese and Japanese tiger paintings of centuries ago (as well as some modern-day artwork) available in poster format from Amazon:

Chinese Tiger Art

A Song Dynasty, Shaoxing Period-era (1159 AD) illustration of a tiger from a medical book. In Chinese culture, the tiger is revered as a creature of great courage, prowess, and beauty. It is the king of the wild and is a creature of masculine principles. The Chinese tiger has the power to drive away demons and ghosts and brings good fortune and luck to all those who keep its image close at hand. Furthermore, the tiger represents the basic drive to progress, achieve, and succeed. Also according to traditional Chinese beliefs, a tiger lives to be 1,000 years old and when it reaches the age of 500, it turns white. Therefore any tigers in Chinese white tiger artwork are said to have passed the age of 500 years.

Tiger statues dating back some 7,000 years have been found in China and tigers are carved on many a tomb or monument. Many of the Chinese deities and legendary figures such as the Taoist “First Master of Heaven” Zhang Daoling, the God of Wealth Chao Gongming, and (occasionally) the mythological exorciser/ghost vanquisher Zhong Kui are often depicted riding a tiger in Chinese art.

For all these reasons, Chinese tiger art is displayed prominently in many Chinese businesses, offices, and homes. In addition, tigers appear on children’s clothing and many women in southern China place paper tiger images in their homes on the birthday of the tiger (March 6th, or the second moon of the lunar calendar) to prevent quarrels and to keep vermin such as snakes and rats away.

In Guizhou province, many of China’s ethnic minorities such as the Miao incorporate tiger motifs into batik artwork. Many of these pieces are very stunning and intricate.

Tiger paintings in China can range from folk art paintings to simple watercolors to modern paintings most people nowadays associate with the Chinese tiger. All of these paintings have one thing in common: they capture the ferocity and gracefulness of the tiger for all to see!

Japanese Tiger Art

Tiger art is also prominent in Japanese culture. The white tiger in particular is a common motif in Japanese paintings and artwork due to its status as a deity in the Shinto religion. Ironically enough, tigers aren’t native to Japan, which is why many Japanese artists from centuries past copied their works from the Chinese paintings.

Three Japanese artists who became particularly famous for tiger paintings during the Edo period were Kishi Ganku (1749 or 56-1839), Maruyama Okyo (1733-1795), and Katayama Yokoku. Ganku had the head of a tiger which became the basis of many of his paintings while Okyo had a tiger pelt which made drawing a tiger’s skin very easy. Yokoku’s paintings often depicted tigers as a traditional symbol of strength, and the tigers in his paintings are often shown emerging from bamboo.

In addition, other prominent Edo-era Japanese artists such as Okyo’s student Kameoka Kirei (1770-1835), Ganku’s son-in-law Kishi Renzan (1805-59), Kano Tsunenobu (1636-1713), and Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) painted some very famous tiger paintings. Hokusai’s “Old Tiger in the Snow” and “Running Tiger” as well as Kirei’s “Tiger Looking to the Moon” are staple Japanese tiger paintings from this period.

The popularity of tiger art continued during the Meiji era (1868-1912) in Japan. Artists such as woodblock (Ukiyo-e) artist Koson Ohara (1877-1945) made some amazing tiger paintings and woodblock prints during this period.

Since tigers are not native to Japan, it was not very easy to find a live tiger to get all the facial and body features down exactly as it was in China. However, there was an abundance of tiger skins and the Japanese artists of the time often based their paintings on these skins. This is why in many of the paintings the tiger’s skin is beautifully accurate, but in other paintings the tiger has a flat nose, abnormally large eyes, large paws, and small ears!

Tigers were also frequently used on the banners and wall paintings of samurai, to whom the tiger represented ferocity, strength, courage, and stubbornness, as it still does to the Japanese people to this very day.

Today tigers are still painted by many Japanese artists both on canvas and brush and in modern-day computer vector drawings. These artists have picked up where artists of centuries past such as Ganku and Okyo have left off!

Kishi Ganku Tiger Painting

This is one of Kishi Ganku’s paintings of a tiger. Notice the flat head and small ears on this tiger. This is very typical for Japanese tiger paintings from that period of time.

Tiger Statues and Sculptures

In addition to paintings, tiger statues and sculptures are commonplace in China, Japan, and Korea. Generally speaking, the statues and sculptures have all the same meaning as the paintings, but some have had and still have traditional uses.

In Japan during the Edo Period (1600-1848 AD), small tiger dolls made of papier mache known as Harikonotora were carried by travelers on the Tokaido highway. These were especially popular among samurai lords who believed the tiger could travel a thousand miles with ease and the dolls would inspire his entourage to do the same. Also many years ago in Japan, small tiger sculptures were given to boys on Boy’s Day (now known as Children’s Day) as a token to protect them from evil spirits and to foster growth and maturity.

Tiger Tattoos

Chinese and Japanese tiger art designs are very popular tattoo designs. Generally speaking, tiger tattoos can be found in virtually every country in Asia and have been for many centuries. However, Japanese tiger tattoos (i.e. tattoos with Japanese tiger designs) are the most popular and prevalent of all the tiger tattoos.

Tattooing in Japan has a very complex history that would take a very long time to explain on this lens. The popularity of Japanese tiger tattoos in particular stem from the tiger paintings described above. The tattoos drew inspiration from the Chinese and Japanese tiger paintings described above. However, it wasn’t until toward the end of the Edo period that tattooing became popular in Japan. The tattoo designs that have become famous over the years were widely influenced by the Ukiyo-e (traditional Japanese woodblock art) prints of the time. Another source of inspiration were the Chinese tiger paintings of the time. After seeing these elaborate paintings, many people – Japanese and non-Japanese alike – were inspired to have tattoos of these drawings drawn on their bodies.

During the 17th century or so, tattooing in Japan became both taboo and forbidden by law due to the popularity of Chinese culture in Japan and the popularity of tattoos among the underclass and the Yakuza mafia syndicates. Laws prohibiting tattoos in Japan were lifted after 1945, but this taboo still exists up to the present day. Despite this traditional taboo, a growing number of young people in Japan are becoming more and more open-minded about tattoos and getting some of their own.

The tiger in the tattoos often represent power and dominance. A resting tiger may represent dominance whereas an attacking tiger may represent power and aggression. This symbolism has made the tiger tattoos very popular in Asia over the centuries.

In Conclusion

Tiger have been a part of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean cultures for almost as long as they’ve been in existence. They’ve been in the artwork of these countries for many thousands of years and hopefully will remain in their artwork for many more centuries to come!

Thank you for stopping by and please come back! I will update this lens when time permits. Please remember to check in again for any new updates!

All images copyright: Wikimedia Commons.

Tiger Art Link List

You can read more about Asian tiger art and art from Asia in general at the sites below:

Japanese Tiger Art
Interested in tiger paintings from Japan? Be informed about the various mediums in which the Japanese have produced Japanese tiger art.

Tiger in Chinese culture – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Wikipedia entry about the tiger in Chinese culture.

Chinese Tiger Art
The tiger has been a potent symbol in Chinese art throughout the history of the nation. The animal is one of the twelve characters of the zodiac calendar. As such the tiger is considered to have an authoritative personality that is considered to be t

About Korean Paintings
Another resource for Korean art that’s very in-depth and reliable.

Japanese Tiger Statue – The Old Tokaido
Blog entry about Japanese tiger statues.

Korean Focus eBulletin: White Tiger to Roar Loud and Proud in 2010
Very fascinating and in-depth article about the tiger in Korea and its place in Korean beliefs, culture, and society.

Japanese tattoos – what do they mean? Japanese Tattoos Designs & Symbols – Japanese tattoo meanings
Japanese tattoos – what do they mean? Tattoo Designs & Symbols – Japanese tattoo meanings

Japanese Tiger Tattoos
Interested in a tiger tattoo from Japan? Discover the age old traditions associated with Japanese tiger tattoos.

Tigers in Japanese Art at the Saint Louis Art Museum
Article about Japanese tiger art and the artists who painted them.

The Beautiful Oriental Art of Koson Ohara
Very comprehensive site about Koson Ohara. Featured on this site are a biography and many of his paintings.

The Asian History Blog
A new blog from yours truly pertaining to the history of Asia.

From the Same Author
While you’re at it, I would appreciate it very much if you would check out some of my other lenses related to Asian culture! All feedback on these is greatly appreciated.

The Artists of the Old West

The Artists of the Old West

Capturing the Wildlife (and Scenery) of the Old West (Recent West, Too!)

When explorers started their journey from the Eastern United States to discover the Western United States, they encountered Native American cultures and communities and wildlife they may have never imagined.

They encountered various Native American groups such as the Lakota Sioux and Blackfoot, the Comanches of the Western plains and mountains, and the Apaches, Navajo, Pueblo tribes of the American desert Southwest, to the groups of Pacific Northwest tribes such as the Bella Coola, the Haida, and the Kwakiuts. Most of the time, their encounters were friendly… although many times misunderstandings caused later conflict.

The explorers also encountered the numerous critters of the Wild West–grizzley bears, wolverines, timber wolves, antelope, moose, elk, deer, skunks, porcupines, great horned owls, flying squirrels, bald eagles, turkey vultures, and other critters.

In those days, photography wasn’t yet well developed (sorry… bad pun)… so those in their exploratory groups who had any art skills wound up drawing a lot of what they saw in their journals. Some of these artsts came to more fame because their art was so realistic and dramatic. And many more modern artists came into the field to further this capture of images from the wild west.

This Squidoo lens explores some of these artists and provides links and resources to more information on these amazing folks.

Charles M. Russell by the Bay…. eBay, That Is

I was born in Montana — and my adopted Grandpa, who normally worked as a logger in the deep forests of the Montana Northwest (near Kalispell and Flathead Lake), was also a wilderness guide for hunters. My Grandpa had some wild stories about his adventures in the Montana boonies–many of his stories were unbelievable.

One of his wilderness guide “clients” when Grandpa was younger was an artist named Charles M. Russell. And he had an original painting by Charles M. Russell in his living room that illustrated aspects of some of these adventures (the painting he had depicted some Native Americans going after a grizzley bear). (Grandpa Lloyd also had a huge bear rug on the floor of his living room–I used to play on it when I was a toddler and still remember it.) He also had some paintings by other western artists decorating his walls in other rooms of the house. His house was a veritable museum of animal trophies (most of the animal had been used for meat) and western art and other decorations. Maybe it helped that Grandma was a member of the Flathead Indian Tribe–Grandpa had an “in” with the backwoods of Montana.

You may find your own Charlie Russell artwork here for your own western-themed office, den, home, or cubicle!

The early wilderness and explorer artists created their work in a rough way…

Sometimes they had to make their own tools, inks, and surfaces…
The Mountains of the American West – Aspens and PinesCarrying art materials on the long journeys in the early days wasn’t easy… and having the right tools for drawing sometimes meant having to make them on the spot. Some charcoal from a campfire or the carbon from a lamp was used to create a drawing tool or ink. A tanned hide of a deer, elk, or antelope may have been used to make a flexible, foldable surface for the artwork. Pigments from the wildflowers, tree barks, and different mineral-content clays may have been used to create the various inks and paints. But most of the travelers most likely also carried their journals…. handing books of blank pages on which they could capture their notes as well as their impressions of the striking scenery, events, animals, and people they were seeing.

Athough some of the first wilderness old-west artists were Charles M. Russell and Frederic Remington, later artists carried on their tradition of capturing the adventure of the American Wild West.

Elmer Sprunger by the Bay… eBay, That Is…

After World War II, Elmer Sprunger came to Bigfork, Montana to live and work. His experiences with the wildlife of Montana became the theme of his drawings and paintings. And since my folks and I also lived in Bigfork, Montana for a while, we got to know Mr. Sprunger and his family. My Mom and Dad were teachers in Bigfork–and probably got to know Mr. Sprunger through his kids at the Bigfork school.

No matter how they met Mr. Sprunger, my folks developed a friendship with him such that they were able to acquire some of his paintings. Mr. Sprunger passed away in 2007– but he has left his legacy of beautiful wildlife paintings and drawings for others to enjoy.

Sports Illustrations of Gary Patterson

Sports Illustrations of Gary Patterson

Sports Illustrations: The Art of Gary Patterson

The sport illustrations of Gary Patterson capture our favorite pastimes in images which have the uncanny ability to play havoc with our memories of these popular recreational activities.

It’s the sport of hockey, football, golf, tennis, skiing, and fishing as visualized through the eyes of Gary Patterson. Delightful and entertaining this is art designed for those who love their recreation time.

Shine up your favorite golf clubs and take a walk onto the green with Gary Patterson.

Where breaking par is the highlight of your week.

And getting caught in the sandtrap is your biggest fear.

They say that art is a personal experience and it seems that Gary Patterson took this to heart.

Gary Patterson’s sports illustrations have the magical ability to stir our deepest emotions. Art is meant to be enjoyed and his work certainly fits the bill.
Gary Patterson’s art leads our imagination into scenarios that are much more than just a little probable to occur. He’ll tickle your funny bone and coerce a smile to your lips.
He trudges us onto the golf course and up hilly slopes to gracefully ski to the bottom of the hill. He leads us into the thick of a great game of hockey and tempts us onto the lake to go fishing. Tennis or football? Well those sports are in his illustrations as well.
(Photo of Gary Patterson used with permission.)

Gary Patterson’s illustrations give us a whole new take on the term “Birdie”.

Gotcha! A truly exceptional sports illustrator envelopes us in his view of the game’s play.

Golf is only a game? Nope. It’s one of those all important ways to relax after a long hard day.

It truly is great to get out onto the green.

Sports illustrations are the ideal art form for those who love their game.

We all know that sports can have a tendency to get a little rough. For some it is a natural part of the excitement of the game. For Gary Patterson it is a natural characteristic of many of his sports illustrations.

Love the game, or hate it, you can’t help but be amused by a wry twist of humor directed toward it. Football, baseball, hockey, tennis, surfing, or golf, no sport is left untouched by the humorous imagination of Gary Patterson. For sports lovers it’s the perfect art work to hang on their wall.

The game play in football can get a little intense.

It’s a sport where your imagination really doesn’t have all that much to design. You know it is gonna hurt.

Touchdown! It’s football as seen through the eyes and art of Gary Patterson.

Art is the excitement of a tennis victory.

And Gary Patterson’s humorous view of sportsmanship.

A fastball really can be a fireball when you are the one swinging at it.

Gary Patterson’s art captures our love of the great American Baseball game.

The hazards of fishing come to life in Gary Patterson’s humorous fishing illustrations.

Did you ever have the feeling that you lost something?

The only thing better than a relaxing afternoon fishing is perhaps not going fishing?

Or an overnight camping trip?

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water.

In hockey the penalty box is where the misbehaving players go to spend a little time cooling off.

Gary Patterson’s sports illustrations show us the excitement of being a goalie.

Gary Patterson’s sport illustrations show us hockey in a vividly accurate light.

Players comparing battle scars.

The artistic son of an artist.

Gary Patterson’s father was an artist creating images for the Navy and of the Los Angeles Fire Department. It was by watching his father create his art, and seeing the joy that his fathers art brought to so many, that Gary also developed a love for artistic work.

Gary Patterson plied his hand to creating fine art, and won awards for this venue, but it was the work of creating humorous illustrations which gave him his deepest satisfaction. So he followed his heart and took on the title of “Creator of Smiles”.

Going up.

Going down.

Going downhill a little differently.

Facing the windchill on the slopes.

Days on the slope when you aren’t quite sure what went wrong.

Be sure to stop by the official Gary Patterson websites:

The official Gary Patterson website.

The official Gary Patterson Facebook page.

The Gary Patterson Smile Factory.

Humor in Art

A great piece of artwork evokes emotion in those who view it and the art of Gary Patterson does just that. His work is a serious attack on the old funny bone.

Great works of art really do not have to be serious to be amazing.

Gary Patterson proves that humorous art can be one of the most wonderful avenues of art to explore…Humor in Art: The Artwork of Gary Patterson.

Free Art Tools Online

Free Art Tools Online

Art Resources

Who has time for art? While I love art, it’s inconvenient to take out all my supplies, paint, and clean up. Not to mention, my kids want to participate too. I spend so much time teaching them how to create things that I don’t get to fully enjoy my own work or time. It just leaves me frustrated.

There is an easier way to find your inner artist

Free Resources
Several places online offer a variety of ways to create graphic art with just the click of a mouse. Most programs load right into your web browser and are easy to pick up. Other, more complex, programs need to be downloaded, installed, and learned.

Art is at the tip of your fingers. A few minutes of art every day spent creating art is entrancing. Don’t you deserve a few minutes each day?


Harmony Harmony is one of my favorite programs online.

*Free to Use and Save
*No Registration Required
*Several Drawing Styles
*Simple Layout (uses most of the page to draw on)


PsykoPaint PsykoPaint is a site that you can create paintings from your own photographs even if you don’t know how to paint.

*Register is Required for many features
*Able to use with Wacom or digital tablets
*Send a postcard with your art
*Send a digital card by email

Flash Paint

Flash Paint Flash Paint is an online paint tool that uses Flash in your web browser

*No Sign Up Requirements
*Save your images
*Share images in the Gallery
*Simple Tool Set


OdoSketch OdoSketch is a unique online Flash drawing application.

*Paper Background
*Easy tool system
*Account Required to save images


the Bomomo One of the simplest web browser art generators out there is Bomomo

*Works only with Firefox and Safari
*18 drawing tools to experiment with
*Save finished work to your hard drive
*Nothing to sign up for or download

My Oats Draw Tool

My Oats My Oats is an online, web browser art generator.

*Advanced Editing Tools
*Share with the community if you want
*Save your images (must make an account)
Great Art Resources on Amazon

ToonDoo – Make Comic Strips

ToonDoo ToonDoo is the fastest way to create comic strips online.

*Registration Required
*Draw Characters – Create different looks for each character
*Choose Comic Layout
*Use the DoodleR to add personal touches
*Create Books of your comics
*Print your creations on T-shirts, posters, cloth, mugs, mousepads, keychains and more!


SketchPad SketchPad is a more complex drawing tool that offers a variety of patterns, brush options, and shapes to create with.

*A little more difficult to learn than some of the others
*Easy to save
*No Sign-up Required


Draw To Draw.To lets you draw anything you like and share it instantly via email, instant messaging, Twitter, Facebook and more!

*No Registration Required
*Embed drawings in your blog or website
*Add to existing drawings
*Works in your web browser, no downloads required
*Also works on iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch

The Image Mixer

Image Mixer If you love abstract art, try experimenting with the Image Mixer. It’s a web based generator. Unfortunately, you can’t add your own photographs. There are a lot of great patterns that you can create as well as a gallery from other users.

Generate abstract images in your web browser
Generate as many images as you desire
Customize the size, color, patterns, shape, opacity and scattering

Modern Art Generator

Modern Art Generator The Modern Art Generator

*Create abstract drawings online in your web browser
*Experiment with different color palettes
*Adjust opacity and image size
*Save your images


Brushter Brushter is an online painting machine for all ages. This Shockwave interactive includes more than forty brushes and customizable size, transparency, texture, and stroke options. A rainbow palette, along with a toolbox of special effects that blur, ripple, smudge, blend, and fragment your designs help make BRUSHster a full-feature painting program.

*No Registration Required
*Save work to your computer
*Auto Draw Mode
*Requires Shockwave Payer (Free Download)

Sumo Paint

Sumo Paint Sumo Paint is an online image editor and digital paint program.

*No Sign up required
*Several Tools to choose from
*Extensive “How To” section
*Filters to create effects on your work
*Browse other community art for inspiration

Sketch Swap

Sketch Swap With Sketch Swap, you can draw images online and trade it with another person. It’s all anonymous, so there’s nothing embarrassing to worry about.

*Runs in your web browser
*Nothing to download
*Simple pen tool
*Redraws another person’s art after you submit yours


FlockDraw Flockdraw is a free to use online whiteboard based painting & drawing tool.

*Draw online free with multiple people for fun or business
*Have unlimited people in a room
*See drawing changes in real time
*Use different colors, shapes and text
*Signup Required


ScribLink Scriblink is a free digital whiteboard that users can share online in real-time. Sorta like pen and paper, minus the dead trees, plastic, and the inconvenience of being at the same place at the same time.

*No Registration required
*Privacy: the board is all yours, open only to the people you choose to invite
*Dynamic Tools: use shapes, hundreds of colors, a size bar, a text feature, and a grid to help guide your drawings
*File Options: gives you the ability to print, save, and email your work
*Image Uploader: upload an image onto the whiteboard as the background, allowing you to share it, mark it, deface it, or highlight key elements
*In-Screen Chat: when working with others, no need to sign in to third party software, simply use our in-screen chat
*VOIP Conferencing: if you have a mic for your computer, you can automatically connect with your collaborators (no software necessary) and talk for free for as long as you like
*File transfer: when emailing is too much of a hassle, simply transfer files directly to anyone you’re working with

Online Color Palette Generator

Color Palette Generator The Color Palette Generator is an amazing tool for any digital artist.

How many times have you needed to pick up the colors on your images to create a color pallets? The color dropper tool is effective, but it’s slow. Also, if you’ve used the dropper you’ve noticed how each pixel can be slightly different. This generator find the number of colors you need for an image. Just upload a sample image under 100KB and select your color palette grid size.

You can use .png, .gif, .jpg, and .jpeg formats
No Limits on the amount of palettes you generate
Create precise or average color palettes.

Gaffiti Playdo

Graffiti Playdo Graffiti Playdo uses adobe flash player and allows you to paint on a wall with cans of spray paint. Draw graffiti together with your friends! Save your art to your album and share with your friends. With multiplayer functions so you can paint together in real time.

*No Registration Required
*Connect with Facebook to save, share, and draw with friends

ArtisanCam – Graffiti Art Board

ArtisanCam ArtisanCam provides an insight into the lives of contemporary artists. Using a mixture of video and interactive activities, we introduce children to the world of contemporary visual art before encouraging them to have a go themselves in fun and exciting ways.

*No Registration Required
*Much more art content than the graffiti paint program”


Kerpoof Kerpoof is a fun program for both children and adults. It’s simple enough for the young users but versatile enough for adults to fully enjoy. The website is owned and operated by the Walt Disney Company.

*Flash and Java browser
*Free to use and to download JPEGs
*Must have an account to save unfinished work
*Make artwork (even if you aren’t good at drawing!)
*Make an animated movie (really! it’s easy!)
*Earn Koins which you can trade for fun things in the Kerpoof Store
*Make a printed card, t-shirt, or mug
*Tell a story
*Make a drawing
*Vote on the movies, stories, and drawings that other people have made

Draw Here

Draw Here Draw Here allows you to draw on any web page. If you save your drawing, other Draw Here users will be able to see what you’ve drawn. Use it to share your artwork, comment on web pages, or just doodle while you are browsing.

*Free to Join
*Free to use
*Highlight parts of a webpage
*Doodle while you read
*Write notes right on the screen
*Deface your photos just for the fun of it

Draw Island

Draw Island Draw Island was just launched early Feb. 2012

*Iphone version , Minimalist version
*Draw online : change sizes, colors and use shapes like rectangle, round,…. and save result
*Generate animations (see button) with your drawings…(max size 400×400 pixels with 10 frames max)
*Video Tutorial

**Updates Coming :
– new options(Import Image)

Favicon Icon Drawing

Favicon Favicon is a drawing program to create a 16×16 pixel icon in 16 colors with optional transparency.

*No Registration Required
*Generate Icon button to save the icon to your hard disk
*The icons you generate are not recorded anywhere


Scribbls Scribbls – Bees plus flowers gives you honey. Pie and rat together make “pirate.” Putting any two things together is bound to have an interesting, even hilarious, effect-or outcome. At Scribbls, you can combine thousands of different drawings to create an infinite number of outcomes.

*Registration Required (Free Sign Up)
*Collaborative drawing community
*Uses Flash Player
*Occasional Contests

The Scribbler

The Scribbler The Scribbler takes simple vector based input (in the case of the online toy, your drawing) and creates its own drawing on top of it based on a number of simple rules. When a new scribble line is created it chooses a few numbers at random that eventually determine what sort of line it will draw.

*No Registration Required
*No Save Option (Take a screenshot)
*Experiment with different colors and line thicknesses
*Change colors during the scribble process

Deviant Art Muro

Deviant Art Muro Deviant Art Muro is a free online painting tool that offers both a pro version (layers) and basic version.

*No Registration Required
*Wacom Tablet Usability
*Purchase additional brushes
SketchPAN SketchPAN is an online drawing community where anyone can participate and share their art.

*Use Drawing PAN to record your drawing process
*Animation PAN lets you create flip books
*Together PAN lets you create something with others
*Shop PAN lets you start with something more than blank paper


Queeky Queeky is an online drawing community.

*Save your work either on, or on your local computer
*Publish your work to the galleries
*Vote and Comment on other art
*Import photos, Blur Tool, Select Tool, custom gradient fills, multiple windows, layer effects and many more
*Premium Version Option
*Share your work and comments on Facebook
*Study the technics and workflow of your favorite artists

Pencil Maddness

Pencil Maddness Pencil Madness a free online sketching tool. PencilMadness is a Flash application that lets you draw and publish images in our gallery.

*Save images as jpg or Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) directly to your computer
*Sign Up is Not Required


Penolo Penolo is a simple sketching tool where you can post results to Twitter if you want.

*No Registration Required (Unless using Twitter)
*Simple Tools
*Tons of Color Choices
*Easy enough for kids to use

Pixlr – Online Photo Editor

Pixlr Pixlr enables web developers to use Pixlr applications on their own site. Everything that is done on this site can be done on yours. Added advanced image editing capabilities is very easy.

*Completely free
*Uses Flash
*3 applications in our suite: Pixlr Editor, Pixlr Express, and Pixlr-o-Matic
*Uses Layers
*Color Effects

FREE Digital Image Editing and Painting Programs

There are a variety of 2D graphics software products useful for creating art, manipulating photographic images, or to just experimenting with for the purpose of gaining insight. Most of these programs need to be downloaded and installed to your computer. All have free versions.

Free Programs Include:

GIMP is a versatile graphics manipulation package. GIMP allows you to customize the view and behavior the way you like it. Starting from the widget theme, allowing you to change colors, widget spacings and icon sizes to custom tool sets in the toolbox. The interface is modulized into so called docks, allowing you to stack them into tabs or keep them open in their own window. Pressing the tab key will toggle them hidden.

My Paint
MyPaint is a fast and easy open-source graphics application for digital painters. It lets you focus on the art instead of the program. You work on your canvas with minimum distractions, bringing up the interface only when you need it.

Easily create pixel art and manipulate digital photos.

Pencil is an animation/drawing software for Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux. It lets you create traditional hand-drawn animation (cartoon) using both bitmap and vector graphics. Pencil is free and open source.

Helios Paint
HeliosPaint is a feature-rich, easy-to-use and powerful paint program for editing photos, drawings and icons. It runs on Microsoft Windows, Apple Mac OS X, Linux and Unix. Helios Paint utilizes Java. While it’s a simple program, it does offer a lot of tool options.

Real World Paint
Draw, Retouch Photos, and Animate Gifs with this program. You won’t have to leave your old projects behind. Real World Paint can import and export native image files of other popular image editors. Images are imported or exported with layers. Real World Paint installs or requires NO additional packages on your computer.

Dia can be used to draw many different kinds of diagrams. It currently has special objects to help draw entity relationship diagrams, UML diagrams, flowcharts, network diagrams, and many other diagrams. It is also possible to add support for new shapes by writing simple XML files, using a subset of SVG to draw the shape.

An Open Source vector graphics editor, with capabilities similar to Illustrator, CorelDraw, or Xara X, using the W3C standard Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) file format. Inkscape supports many advanced SVG features (markers, clones, alpha blending, etc.) and great care is taken in designing a streamlined interface. It is very easy to edit nodes, perform complex path operations, trace bitmaps and much more. We also aim to maintain a thriving user and developer community by using open, community-oriented development.

Project Dogwaffle
It’s a light, yet powerful tool for artistic expression. It’s a fully functional version with some new features too. It is not save-disabled, there’s no time-limit, no need to register, and there’s no spyware or adware coming with it.

Twisted Brush
The free edition of TwistedBrush with most of the great features of TwistedBrush except for brush editing and with a just handful of very fine brushes with the option to add additional collections of brushes. layers, realistic media, photo cloning, tracing, masks, particles, filters, script recording, scripts to AVI, drawing tablet support, brush shapes, patterns, textures, Adobe compatible plug-in support, integrated scanner support, image brushes, drawing guides, reference image views, dirty brushes, scratch layer, dynamic palettes and a whole lot more.

Free 3D Editing Programs


You can build models from scratch, or you can download what you need. People all over the world share what they’ve made on the Google 3D Warehouse. Redecorate your living room. Invent a new piece of furniture. Model your city for Google Earth. There’s no limit to what you can create with SketchUp.


DAZ|Studio is a free software application that allows you to easily create beautiful digital art. You can use this software to load in people, animals, vehicles, buildings, props, and accessories to create digital scenes. DAZ|Studio includes two pre-configured scenes ready for you to Load & Render within DAZ|Studio. Just double-click on the scene thumbnails inside of DAZ|Studio, and everything will come on screen posed, lit, and ready for you to create a stunning digital image. Click here to view a sample scene render from DAZ|Studio using the included content. With DAZ|Studio, you can turn your 3d dreams into reality.


Bryce 7 gives you the ability to work faster and create more realistic environments than ever before. From the new Instancing Lab and totally redesigned bridge to DAZ Studio, to the improved skies and clouds, updated HDRI and advanced lighting, Bryce 7 will breathe new life into both your future and existing Bryce scenes. Whether you are a professional designer, or a recent 3D graphics enthusiast, Bryce provides you with the tools to literally create a world of your own.

Fantasy Art of Exotic Women

Fantasy Art of Exotic Women

The Fantasy Art of Exotic Women, Warrior, Elf and Maid

We all need to escape from time to time and the fantasy art of women lets us do that.

I would love to be able to paint the full illustrations like you see on the Dragonlance books in acrylics. However I also love to explore the world of fantasy art in D3 art as well. Below is a collection of art from around the web, some mine some not.

This is about all types of fantasy and fantasy art exotic women, Fantasy Vixens, Vampire women, pictures etc. I have been a huge fan of fantasy and its art ever since I was first introduced to it. There is a never ending supply of fantastic books and art.

The female 3d fantasy art, artwork is out of this world

How I was Introduced to Fantasy Art

I discovered fantasy art quite by accident when in a shop with my sister. I had a bad back at the time so decided to sit on the floor pretending to read a book on the bottom shelf. little did I know that this one act would change my life. This book was Dragonlance. On the front was a simple picture of a warrior, Kender and magi. This book along with the art drew me into a world quite unlike anything I had ever experienced before.

A world of magic, death honor and betrayal. A world of gods and man and friendship. I loved and lived the book but it was the art that blew my mind. Since then I have been a fan of all things fantasy. The stories the art the dragons and the adventure.

This lens shares that interest and the amazing art of both known and unknown artists from around the net.

I lvoe the magic and the mystery of the worlds that are though up by different people and that each and eveyr magic has different rules and ideas. Not only that the designs of the robes are all different.

The Fantasy Art of Beautiful Women – Sybilla by **Miralys

Gifts for Those Who Love Fantasy

I always loved fantasy and having gifts related to that is great. However it does depend on a persons personal interests. For me it was the art, how to create it and also I loved some of the figures as they sparked the imagination.

3D Fantasy Art Woman Warrior by Infinity Rain

I Create My Own Pictures Using 3D Models

One of the great things about digital art is that anyone can do it and you don’t have to be the next Da Vinci to Succeed. I love creating 3D works of art using the different models that you can get.

It makes it much easier to create pictures. You don’t have to ba able to draw or paint and anyone can learn to use and model the figures you can get. There are many different outfits with everything from fantasy to Sci fi to the office girl

What I love about them is that they keep producing new stuff all the time and there are lots of offers and a great Platinum club.

It shows you how and where to create your own digital art. You can create lots of your own fantasy art of exotic women – and ANYONE can do it! The link is to save me writing it all out several times – its too big for a lens.

Deciding on a Theme For My Work

When I am thinking about pictures I usually like to think about a theme.
What is the story behind the image?

Who are these people and what are they doing or how do they feel. There is very little space to show everything so each movement, expression and pose is vital to the whole image.

What feeling do I want to show? Are the character happy or sad or in pain.

Is the picture meant to show darkness or light or is it meant to show suffering and death or a battle. The pose and the face are very important.

Here this picutre also by André Verwijs shows a classical pose. This is very similar to the book I found in the shop with the way Tas the Kender sits. Even to the point of the weapon resting on the shoulder.

I find clothese are also a vital point to show the overall effect. A woman dressed in a long flowing gown will show quite a different character to one in skimpy armor.

How I Learned to Create Art in Digital Form

I have found that creating my own fantasy art using a number of mediums is great fun. One of the easiest to start out with is actually 3D fantasy art! This is because some enterprising people have gone to a lot of trouble to create models, backgrounds and lots of clothes that you can download for a small fee – and sometimes FREE!!! These can be used to create your own art pictures, videos and avatars for games etc.

I found this is a great way to start as it is fairly cheap compared to setting up a traditional art medium.

© Photographer: Fyswan | Agency:

There are software packages that you can use that start out free as well. This means you can concentrate on buying quality models, landscapes and clothes to create your fantasy art women pictures.

I found that using this gave me access to creating pictures that most of us only dream of. Many people create things that are much better than I can and they will spend hours on one picture and then update them using Photoshop.

The problem comes when I have to use the computer for lots of other things as then you don’t feel like creating pictures as well.

Other Fantasy Pictures Created with Digital Art


There are lots of Places on the net that you can get hold of these amazing images. Like here some are free and some are paid for. But as this image shows you needn’t spend a fortune to get some great art.

I find I can learn a lot from seeing what others do and how they create their art. I have found that the forums are a great place to get help and other artists are more than willing to show me where I am going wrong. Often though it sparks a great debate.

Discover Women of Fantasy

I find that a great way to share your passion or that of your friends is the various kinds of gifts that you can give, some will love the books to try it out for themselves while others will enjoy the well designed figurines. I have many fantasy pieces and books collected over the years that I treasure.

A very bold strong picture. The woman looks less than happy. I love the way the artist has used the colour and how it comes together with the dress and the colour them continued in the background. And the dress is stunning.

A Video of Art Collections

This video shares some fantastic images. Gives you ideas and inspiration for your own unique designs or pictures. Or just enjoy the amazing artwork oft he artists.

Digital art has grown and expanded in recent years with many professional artists and armatures alike using it.

by ELIA IGLESIAS | video info

How To Create Your Own Female 3D Fantasy Art

Creating 3d fantasy art whether it be of the women, the dragons or any of the other themes can be fun to create for both men and women. Many great artists now use digital art techniques for their art and it doesn’t have to cost a lot to start.

Many people who would not otherwise try it will try to create their own works will try to do the digital art.

Featured Fantasy Art Lenses

Kinds of Art

I love all kinds of art yet the outfits and designs of these is fantastic and also you can put all kinds of designs and personalities into your art. I love the adventurous pictures and the beautiful gowns. This kind of art sparks all kinds of imagination and stories.

Some heroines like in the Legend of the Seeker where the Kayla the confessor wore a white medieval robe which she actually fought in.

Some dress in a more revealing style. Often the domain of the male fantasy artists and fantasy for men these women’s outfits are little more than show-pieces. However increasingly women are entering the field of fantasy art and that of designing other women.

Exotic Japanese Tattoo Designs

Exotic Japanese Tattoo Designs

Find Exotic Japanese Tattoo Designs

There are many amazing exotic Japanese tattoo designs for men and women that can be bold or elegant strong or delicate. Many of these designs have meanings as is often the case with oriental tattoo designs and images. Some will suit a small are while others like the beautiful dragon on the ladies back cover a large area – these are for the brave or seasoned tattoo bodies!

Japanese Dragon Tattoo Designs

Unlike the traditional western dragon that represents evil the Japanese Dragon Tattoo Designs represent wealth and good luck. It also represents fearlessness and freedom and power or strength. So these are some very strong meanings to have on your body.

Japanese dragons are also a different shape from the stocky western dragons being more serpent like in design. They come in the most amazing colors

Japanese Mask Tattoo by Jorge Pérez

Warrior Japanese Tattoo Designs

japanese mask tattoo designs

Originally the meaning of the word Samurai was to serve or to attend to something or someone. However the meaning that most people today would place on it would be more in line with the dictionary definition which states that a Samurai was a Japanese feudal aristocrat who was a provisional warrior or military person in this class. The meaning to serve here then changes or to guard or watch. They had a strict code of honor and sense of justice and a strong sense of duty. To wear the symbol or image of a Samurai embodies this meaning.

Beautiful Japanese Tree Tattoo Design by sinterbear

Japanese Woman Tattoo Idea

Japanese Tattoo Designs Ideas

Japanese tattoo design
© Photographer: Antipathique | Agency:

Ancient Japanese tattoo
© Photographer: Frescomovie | Agency:

Koi carp tattoo
© Photographer: Zubada | Agency:

Koi is the Japanese word for Carp which are brightly colored fish. These are very auspicious in meaning for the Japanese.

These beautiful fish come in many different colors which is handy for tattoo designs as it gives lots of choice. These colors range from yellow to orange to gold. There are also white fish and grey ones. Usually these fish are designed showing them in action, climbing a waterfall for instance. They are a strong masculine symbol and embody many positive traits such as strength, courage, determination overcoming the challenges life throws at you and obtaining your highest goals. Many of the Koi traits are similar to those of the Samurai. In Japan these fish have a high status, perhaps due in part to their meaning or perhaps due to the myth and mystery that have surrounded them for centuries.

Cottage Paintings

Cottage Paintings

Cottage Paintings and Cottage Art for Your Home

My husband is Richard Burns, painter extraordinaire. When people see his cottage paintings for the first time they invariably say that his artwork looks like that of Thomas Kinkade. I might be biased, but I think Rich’s are better. Mr. Kinkade actually had other artists paint for him and then he would add the finishing touches and sign them. I’m not bashing him; many artists do this. But he also added extra and unrealistic light and perspective to create artificial effects. Just a little contrived for my taste. Well now Thomas is gone from us, so no more cottage paintings will be available from him.

But Richard Burns still paints cottages all the time, a new one every Christmas for all those Christmas cards and calendars put out every Christmas, and a few for galleries and clients. Here I am showcasing some of the more famous ones, which are available as prints, and in puzzles. Lots of people like to do puzzles and then frame them as art, and many of Rich’s paintings are available as puzzles. We also have many originals available so if you are interested in any original cottage paintings by Richard Burns, contact me on my bio page for pictures and prices.

Meanwhile, enjoy some beautiful cottage paintings here, by him and others!

Image: Christmas Cottage, 2012, © Richard Burns, Please do not copy. You can buy Richard Burns’ art at,,, Fine Art America, many galleries, and directly from us. Just contact me on my bio page for more information.

Richard Burns Cottages

Serenity Cottages II

Serenity Cottage by Richard Burns

Cottage in the Country

Cottage Lighthouse by Richard Burns

Lighthouse by the Sea

Serenity Cottage III

Richard Burns Cottage Painting

Cottage Oil Painting

Cottage in the Woods


Drake’s Cottage Richard Burns Puzzle

Cottage Puzzle for Kids and Adults

Richard Burns Lighthouse Art Puzzle

Cottage by the Sea Puzzle

Thomas Kinkade Cottage Puzzle

1000 Piece Thomas Kinkade Cottage Puzzle

Paint Your Own Cottage Painting

Easy to Paint by Numbers Cottage Painting

Learn to Paint Cottage Paintings

Your Own Cottage Paintings




What is ASCII Art?

Text Art has been around long before computers. It predates even typewriters.

ASCII Art is a form of text art. It is named so for the 95 printable characters defined by ASCII.

ASCII stands for American Standard Code for Information Interchange, it is a character encoding based on the English alphabet. ASCII codes represent text in computers, communications equipment, and other devices that work with text.
Most examples of ASCII art require a fixed-width font (non-proportional fonts, like on a traditional typewriter) such as Courier for presentation.

The ASCII character set

! ” # $ % & ‘ ( ) * + , – . / 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 : ; & l t ; = > ?
@ A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z [ \ ] ^ _
` a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z { | } ~

Fixed width fonts versus proportionally spaced fonts

Fixed width font: Every character, symbol, and space occupies the exact same width.

Proportionally spaced font: A character’s width is defined by the amount of width needed to display that particular character.

Why are there proportionally spaced fonts?

The letter ‘i’ is, by its very nature, a narrow letter. It doesn’t require much width. The letter ‘m’, on the other hand, is rather wide. One could write three ‘i’s’ in the room it takes to display only one letter ‘m’. When you create a font that is proportionally spaced, it has a tendency to be much more pleasing to the eye.

Why are there fixed width fonts?

There are two reasons.

1. The typewriter. When the typewriter was invented it was, at the time, a fairly advanced piece of mechanical engineering. By pressing keys, a metal arm with an embossed letter would stamp an ink ribbon and produce the image of that letter on a piece of paper. Then the roller assembly that held that piece of paper would move to the left just a bit so the next letter that was typed wouldn’t go over top of the last. Instead it would be positioned just to the right of the previous letter. Since there was no way for it to know which letter was last typed, they had to decide on one fixed amount of space each letter would have. As a result, they had to design the letters in sucFonts with gridlinesh a way that they wouldn’t look silly all having the same amount of width. The letter ‘m’ gets squished and the letter ‘i’ has elongated serifs to make it appear wider.

2. What turned out to be a limitation of the typewriter actually turned out to be a useful tool in the computer age. Early computers did not display graphics. The screen was a grid of characters. The evenly spaced grid also employed a fixed width font. Programmers found this useful because they could plot the exact point on the screen where they wanted their character to appear. Fixed width fonts were employed for this scenario. You can still see this today; just open a DOS window on a Windows PC. A fixed width font will still be displayed. You can change the font used in a DOS window, but it only allows you select from fonts that are fixed width. When the Macintosh introduced the world to the graphical user interface, or GUI, it was no longer necessary to use fixed width fonts. And so was born the explosion of desktop publishing and WYSIWYG.

ASCII Art Links

An ASCII Art portrait of Seth Godin
An ASCII Art portrait of Seth Godin, creator of Squidoo and other amazing keyboard art pages of interesting people, celebrities and others of reknown.

Star Wars: ASCII Art-oo
Recreations of some of the most famous Star Wars ships, in ASCII. By Joe Reiss

Nerd Boy
The Adventures of Nerd Boy. An ASCII comic strip by Joaquim Gandara.

The canonical list of Ascii Cows.
ASCII art gallery by Joan Stark.

Popular Mechanics 1948
An article about “Keyboard Art” done with a typewriter in an October 1948 edition of Popular Mechanics.

While purely entertaining, doodling with a typewriter gives vent to the imagination and originality of both the experienced and the hunt-and-peck typist. Fill-in pictures are the easiest to “draw” with a typewriter. An example is shown in the flower which is made with the letter X alone. Such pictures, whether a flower or a portrait, are made by using an outline of the subject as a typing guide. This is done by tracing the outline lightly on paper and backing it with carbon paper to type the picture. Caricature or cartoon “drawing” combines letters with symbols as shown in the examples below. Here, half-spacing of the typewriter is required, as in the case of the owl’s beak and feet. The log cabin shows what can be done in drawing a picture in perspective.

Popular Science 1939
Typewriter Artist Produces Pictures Like Tapestry

Pictures that resemble tapestry are produced with a typewriter by Rosaire J. Belanger, a mill worker in Saco, Me. Belanger first draws a pencil sketch on a sheet of paper, then inserts it in his typewriter and fills in the sketch with various characters to produce shading and outlines. With carbon paper, he transfers the picture onto graph paper, and copies it on blank paper.

The worlds most beautiful celebrities like you’ve never seen them before.

An Art Fair Primer

An Art Fair Primer

Some Basic Information To Get You Started Doing Art/Craft Fairs And Festivals

This lens was created to provide information to those thinking of getting into the art fair circuit. It is designed to cover the fundamentals and the many challenges of doing this kind of event.

I am a working artist who has been marketing my art through art fair venues for over 15 years. I can honestly say that art fairs are what has taken my art from a hobby into a thriving art business.

5 best things that I like about art fairs.
1. Being out in beautiful weather
2. The hauling and toting keeps me in shape (sort of)
3. The positive feedback and high sales (Okay maybe money should have been 1.)
4. Travel. I go to places that I otherwise would not.
5. People. Not only meeting animal people and hearing their stories but also making new artist friends.

Anyone who has read my blog Fur In The Paint has heard me go on and on about the difficulties I face doing the art fair circuit every year. I have been rained on, rained out, hailed on, and once even snowed on! There have been tornadoes. I have suffered from heat exhaustion, freezing temperatures, cranky customers, unprofessional art fair management and the list of atrocities doesn’t end there. This all culminates in the fact that the older I get, the less I like all the hauling and toting as we pack around 1,500 lbs of artwork, displays and tents (yes, we take more than 1 tent.)

5 Worst things about art fairs.
1. Inclement weather
2. All that hauling and toting
3. Emotionally crushing low sales
4. Sales tax collection
5. Obnoxious or rude people

So if your pondering doing fairs and festivals read on as this will give you some idea of what’s in store and how best to handle it.

All copyrights are retained by the artist,
Mona Majorowicz of Wild Faces Gallery.

The artwork or content in this lens may not be used or reproduced, either
in part or in whole, without the express written consent from the artist.
Brookings Summer Art Festival

Finding An Art Fair Venue That’s Right For You

Sorting Through The Sea Of Art Fair Events To FInd A Good Fit For You and Your Work
Okiboji 2009 There are plenty of events out there to choose from and most every small town town has at least one. Small events are good for testing the waters and getting the hang of what actually goes into a successful fair for you. But the real money comes from doing larger events.

Here are some rules of thumb I use for choosing events.
To be clear it doesn’t mean that an event that falls into these rules can’t still be successful, it’s just a whole lot less likely.

* Must have an attendance of at least 30,000 people for the event. Ideally 75,000 to 150,000 is good.

* Event has been running for at least 5 years. Usually new events struggle to advertise adequately. It takes time for a good event to build a client base. That doesn’t mean I don’t do new event, especially if they are local. But I go into it with the thought that I am helping the event take off, not that the event will make me money.

* It’s specifically an art event. Meaning it’s not Apple Days Festival, or Antique Tractor Days or something similar where the main draw is something else and they just are happening to have an art event at the same time. This is true even for things which you might think fit your niche perfectly. Most often when people are attending for something other than buying art, they usually don’t buy. There are some exceptions to this rule, but they are very few.

* Outdoor events make more money than indoor events I know it sounds crazy and messed up, but it’s so true.

Resources For Finding Quality Art Fairs

I have used all of these at one time or another and all provide excellent information. But perhaps the best option is to go to the events you are interested in and talk with exhibiting artists.

The Art Fair Application

Why Submitting Quality Images is Important To The Art Fair Apllication Process
actual application for art fair

So what are the two most important thoughts (as in: what will get me approved) in regards to filling out art fair applications?

1. Submit good images. Scratch that. Submit the best darn images you can create, both artistically and in the reproducing true to the original.

2. Words have power. Be able to write a personal statement intelligently and succinctly, as well as you describe your work to its best advantage.

That’s it. By doing these two little things well, your chances for acceptance just went way up.

Submit quality images

By entering quality images you show the jury that you are a professional and care about your art. You may well say to yourself “This is good enough to give them an idea of my work. Sure it’s a little blurry, but surely they can see that I have talent.”

While this may be true, you are competing against other artists who are submitting great images representative of their work. In the end, the jury will go with the ones who put in the effort.

It is understandable if creating good digital images is not your thing. But if you want to get into bigger and better events you need to either take on the challenge and learn it, or hire a good photographer. Showing your work to it’s best advantage speaks to your professionalism.

What constitutes a good quality image.

1. Clarity. No fuzziness or blurry areas. Also no shadows or glare.
2. Color is true to the original. Too light or dark is not acceptable.
3. Image Only. No framing, matting, glazing, or fingers, grass, carpeting. You get the idea.The nice thing about digital files is this is easy to crop out.
4. Image is square. This means the image is not crooked or fading off into the distance on one end.
5.Your best work only. You will be judged on your weakest work guaranteed. Most applications take 3-4 images. If you have 3 outstanding pieces and one so-so piece. It is the so-so piece that will determine your entrance into the event.

Art Fair Applications: Words Have Power

Knowing The Best Way To Describe Yourself On An Art Fair Application May Mean The Difference Between Getting In And Not

The written word
It is important to be able to write (in brevity) a description of your work. The events I have applied to have requested this supporting information anywhere from under 100 words to just 3 words. (In case your curious “Equestrian & Wildlife Artist”) Something this brief is generally for inside the catalog or map information. Anywhere from 7-25 words is often read to the jury while viewing your work.

Perceptions of Art or Craft
There is usually a great debate around what should be considered “art.” Umm . . . I am definitely not going there. Instead I’ll comment on how the word “art” is perceived differently from the word “craft” and why that may be important to you when filling out applications.The way you describe your artwork has a great impact on how it is perceived

The first thing is to be aware of what the connotations of the word “craft” are. In the December 08 issue of Art Calendar Magazine the article Art or Craft what’s in a name states that in their survey 87.2% felt that a finished creation was perceived as more valuable when classified as “art” rather than “craft.” 68.4% perceived “art” as having superior quality to that of a “craft.”

The magazine suggests the word craft should be avoided completely except when talking about

The word craft should be avoided completely except when talking about “craftmanship.”With the application process how you describe yourself plays an important role in how a jury perceives you. In the same article it tells how many artists are using broader words like “objects,” “creations” or “works” to replace more traditional descriptors like ceramics and sculptures.

A Brief Word About Using Zapp For Art Fair Applications

Also Known As Zapplication: Automated Art Fair Application System
Lately many events have been switching their application process over to Zapplication

This is a pretty straight forward application to use and it does make it easier in some significant ways. But being a bit of an old dog. I’m not fond of learning new things. So Zapp wasn’t exactly embraced by me with open arms.

Also there has been more than one occasion that for some reason rejection notices were sent when they shouldn’t have been. I imagine this could happen in the old way using snail mail as well. But perhaps things being sent out instantaneously isn’t always the best idea.

Things I like About Zapplication
* Relatively easy to set up an account.
* Once an image is uploaded it is archived.
* No messing around trying to get good quality slides.
* You can check out criteria for other shows.
* It allows you to find shows you may not have had access to before.

Things I don’t Like About Zapplication.
* You need to have a good quality digital image.
* Computer monitors color gamut varies. Hard to say what your image will “really” look like to the jury.
* Some shows require payment by credit card. Personally, I don’t like using credit cards for this.
* Events that have switched to Zapp now have way more (as in doubled or tripled) the number of artists applying.
Loring Park Art Fair, St. Paul MN 2009

5 Ways To Know If That Art Fair You Signed Up For Is Really A Craft Fair.

And why it’s important to know the difference.
Riverrsance Festival Of The Arts If want to preface this by saying, I am not an art snob. The reason it’s important to know the difference between being in a craft fair instead of an art fair, is it attracts a totally different set of buyers. Besides doing Art Fairs I have done Art & Craft events as well as just Craft events. But knowing what they “really” were allowed me to pack appropriately, (like lower ticket items for when I do craft events.) In the end, what’s important to me is that I make a certain amount of money. It is usually irrelevant whether I get there by selling original art or by selling notecards.

Initially a way to determine if an event is one or the other is by how the declare themselves and whether they jury. To be clear, Just because an event calls itself an “art fair” doesn’t mean it can’t be crafty. They can and often are. Or that a craft event can’t have great art. They do. This is just another reason that whenever possible you should attend the event as a patron before committing your cash for a booth.

Art Fair Vs. Craft Fair

And The 5 Signs Your In A Craft Fair Are . . .

1. It has the word craft in the title. Okay, so that sounds a lot like an obvious answer. But soooo many artists think that if it is called an Art & Craft Fair that means there will actually be some art available for sale. This is rarely the case. Generally if the word craft is used the event will lean heavily in this direction.

2. “Stuff” on a stick. This in general means yard baubles on a stick. (weather vanes, water gauges, those glass ball sphere thingys.) Though you’d be surprised how well anything sells when attached to a stick.

3. There are far more stock trailers than vans. Huge stock sized trailers often mean metal yard art, though indicates anything bulky. If you’ve got a parking lot filled with big trailers, your at a craft event. For the most part, only crafters can sell a stock trailer full of stuff.

Personally I gotta admire their sales juju. I mean seriously, to know with certainty that you can sell that much of “any” product takes a large set of salesman stones. Don’t you think?

4. Buy/Sell This is where someone purchases something in bulk and then may or may not alter it slightly, and then resell it. This kind of thing is the bane of most art events and perfectly acceptable in a craft event. Even really good art events can take in something like this from time to time. However if the event is heavy in this . . . you are at a craft fair.

5. And finally People ask you where the birdhouses are. Yes this has happened to me. One event the lady was complaining there was just “too much art” and all she wanted was a new birdhouse.

Omaha Summer Art Festival

Artist Vehicles

Passenger Vans vs. Cargo Vans For Hauling Art Fair Equipment
Our Art Fair Vehicle For those of you thinking about getting into doing art fairs, the vehicle you drive is critically important. The exclusion to this is jewelers. They can show up in a compact, if they know how to pack it.

This is our van. Isn’t she a sexy beast. Okay, okay it’s a land whale but here’s why it’s the vehicle of choice for us. This is actually a passenger van that we took the seats out of. Why did we go with a passenger van over a cargo van? Read on.

Cargo Vans
Our van is essentially the same as a cargo van with some important, comfort related distinctions.

Cargo van are often an empty shell on the inside. Literally the raw metal of the vehicle make up the interior. This means the van gets colder in the winter and hotter in the summer. Many artists custom build in an interior for comfort.

Also often cargo tend to have few features Often they don’t usually come with air conditioning (and possibly cruise control) standard. Be sure to check that out if your looking at one.

And lastly most cargo vans have very few windows. This may not be a big deal if you pack it to the ceiling. We pack most of the time so we can see out our windows. This really helps when driving in unfamiliar cities.

How To Choose The Right Van For Traveling The Art Fair Circuit

When It Comes To Hauling Your Artwork To Art Fairs Size Matters

Here’s a few pointers for choosing the right vehicle.

Square is good. The boxier the better. The reason for this is you can pack more stuff in square than you can in a round type of curvy van.

Tinted Windows are nice. They not only keep the interior cooler, but they also kinda hide the fact that your vehicle is packed with “stuff.” Unfortunately this van does not have that feature

Measure your interior and the space between your wheel wells. This is really most important when it comes to your display panels. Most pre-made panels run approximately 3 foot x 6 foot. Display panels are really the most difficult object to pack and make fit.

Note the doors that fully extend open allowing you the maximum space to put large objects inside.

Bigger is better. Our previous van was a Safari which was considerably smaller. We got almost as much in it as our current one but we had to pack it in a specific order to get it all to fit. Which meant we generally had to tear everything completely down so we could put our tents in the bottom, then the display, then artwork, totes, etc. If the weather is nice, this is no big deal. However, if it is driving rain and lightening, having to pack in this way, becomes a noticeably a bigger pain in the arse. Also with the larger size van, we can now do two booths at an event with plenty of inventory for both.

Artist Display Panel Options

The Importance Of Looking Professional At Art Fairs
Armstong Panels So now you’ve got your tent you need something to display your work.. As with all things there are many companies which makes units to fill this function but here are the four most used by the professionals that I know.

All pretty much the same thing which is panels that can be joined to together to form a gallery-like look in your booth. Some are carpet covered which come in a variety of colors. While others are fabric or wire mesh. Most companies offer various accessories like display print bins, shelves, height extenders, half walls and podiums.

The carpeted version really pulls off a gallery look which is pretty amazing when your in the middle of a parking lot.

Pro Panels Probably the most used company. among artists.

Armstrong Panels Pretty much the same thing as Pro Panels but they offer a wire mesh version which is the one I use.

Graphic Display This is the more economy minded version which only comes as a wire grid system.

The Flourish Company They make the non-rigid fabric mesh panels that require little space for storage.

Why I Prefer The Mesh Walls For Outdoor Art Fairs

Mesh panel system I prefer the wire mesh to the carpeted panels for outdoor events because it lets the tent breathe.

* On windy days the wind just rushes through them while it pushes on the carpeted panel walls in some cases tipping them.

* Also for the completely windless days it allows what little breeze to stir through the tents while the carpeted paneled tents are stifling.

What To Pack: Art Fair Essentials

For Indoor Art Fair Events
1. Lights. This has to do with the “S Rule” (Shiny Stuff Sells) The more light the better.
2. Extension cords.
3. Tables with cloths and covers.
4. A rug for the floor is a really nice touch.

Outdoor Art Fair Events
1. Weights and stakes
2. Clamps (An absolute minimum of 10 – preferably 30)
3. Tie downs and Cambuckles
4. Tarps
5. Ice and something cold to drink.
6. Snacks
7. Tents. (of course)
8. Sunscreen, hats or umbrellas for your chairs.

For Either Type Of Art Fair
1 Calculators (at least 2 preferably 3) Heat and cold will fry them.
2. Change. This includes bills. I usually take around $400 worth of 1, 5′s and 10′s.
3. Totes (for storage)
4. Pens, receipt books and bags.
5. Comfortable chairs
6. Guest book to collect names for mailing list.
7. Breath mints preferable to gum because you’re not chewing while talking with patrons.
8. Comfortable Shoes
9. A change of clothing in case you get wet.
10. Display Units, baskets etc.
11. Plenty of Inventory. Nothing torks me off more than running out of something.
12. Zip Ties Excellent for everything from securing your display to binding lighting wires together.
13. Counterfeit money detector pen

A Few Things That Are Nice To Have But Are Not Essential
1. Small broom for sweeping outdoor booth space
2. Blankets
3. Extra tarps
4. Tool Kit complete with zip ties
5. Shims for uneven or not level surfaces

A Word Or Two About Fair Or festival Tents And Canopies

Types Of Art Fair Or Festival Tents
Since Outdoor events almost always have better sales than indoor events, I thought I’d cover the topic of tents and weights.

When choosing a tent you should get only a white tent. It allows in the most light and shows your work to it’s best advantage. Colored tent cast a glow onto the work and at dusk turn your booth into a cave.

Most art fair canopies come in two main types.
1. Craft Hut type (Dome or Hoop top.) Trimline and Lightdome
2. EZ-Up type (pointy top) Other brands are KD Canopy, First Up and Caravan.

The Craft Hut Type tend to be much sturdier and water proof. They are not nearly as easy to assemble and cost between $800-1500 depending on brand, model and features. If they get damaged your parts cost will be high as will your replacement cost.

EZ Up Typeis the most common of its type because it is the easiest to buy as it is available at Sam’s Club for around $200. These tents tend to be very light weight, not all that sturdy and often in a heavy downpour they’re not water proof. (You can buy a water proof spray coat and take care of that yourself.

On the other hand they are quick to set up, though still much easier with two people despite what the box says. And if they do get trashed they are easy and cheap to replace. EZ-Up tents work just fine if you know how to use them. But since often it is newbies who buy them, they often come crashing down.

An Art Fair Tale Of Woe

A Personal Story Detailing The Devastation Left In The Wake Of A Storm
The spot where my both was. See that big barren spot in the foreground where the people are standing? Well that is where my booth was located just one short hour before this photo was taken.

Omaha Summer Arts Festival 2008
Even though it was sunny, clouds could be seen rolling in from the west. I began getting antsy and went over to the artist information booth and asked what the weather was going to do. They promised it was going to miss us but perhaps we may graze the edge and get some rain out of it. They were so very wrong.

By the time the tornado sirens went off we had already begun packing things away because I had a bad feeling about it.. We got all the originals and large framed prints indoors (with help from some of the volunteers.) There wasn’t enough time to get it all so everything else was put into totes and we zippered down and secured the tent as best we could. I was told several times to get inside by the time I was actually heading indoors.

As I was walking to the Landmark Building it was eerily still and stifling but I could feel the change in the atmosphere. I heard the roar of the wind before I felt it or seen the trees move. Once inside we were in the basement for around an hour.

When we finally came up it was shocking to see the mess. Booths were completely gone. My totes had literally blown down the street. Most had their lids popped off and were filled with water. Nearly everything that had been left outside was destroyed. An artist friend of mine who was farther down the street and in a more sheltered location was in good shape. She stayed with me until the wee hours sorting through the wreckage to salvage what we could. (Big Hug! Thank you Belinda!) While Mike was dismantling the tent parts and doing general cleanup.

Our neighbor did silk clothing and their clothes were scattered all over. Their daughter was crying. They packed up that night and left. Of the 135 artists, less than 20 left. All others, even some who lost their tents (including us) carried on. In the end I lost a little over $10,000 worth of inventory and equipment. It could have been much worse. Some artists lost as much as $30,000 and most had no insurance. Fortunately we had insurance since I have an actual gallery. It only covers replacement costs but that is better than nothing.

The Storm
We didn’t actually have a tornado on site, (though there were some in the area) but had anywhere from 80-120 mile winds. That was enough power to move a food tent that had over 2000 pounds of weights over to wipe out 3 other booths. A window of the landmark building was damaged by flying debris. In parts of Omaha they had quarter sized hail and semi trucks and cranes were toppled by the wind. And of course it rained with considerable flooding.

Note: We had over 500 pounds on our tent. This is a ridiculously high amount for any other event. We normally have 300 pounds at all other events, which is far more than most artists use. The art fair actually has an architect and a engineer inspect every artist’s tent to make sure it has sufficient weight on it. The art fair also supplies free sandbags for any artist wishing to add more. This is the only event that does this. It’s the little things like this that show that they really do care about the success of their artists.

Disaster Relief For Artists

And now for some good news.
For any artist that has losses severe enough to be considered career-threatening, you can contact the Craft Emergency Relief Fund (CERF). While CERF generally cannot respond to all weather related claims at outdoor shows, they will certainly consider applications from those most severely hit by the storm. Please contact CERF directly at (802) 229-2306 or at Craft Emergency Relief Fund for more information.

More Information Regarding Art Fairs

Covering everything you’ll need to know about doing art fairs successfully.
So if my story of tragedy and woe at an art fair hasn’t yet put you off to the idea of doing art and craft events as a way to make a little extra cash, then check out my other art fair lenses for even more information on the the how to and why you should consider doing art fairs.

10 Tips to Promoting Creativity

10 Tips to Promoting Creativity

Here are 10 steps to promote creativity in your life and lifestyle.

The truth is I believe everyone has some creative bent; a creative talent or way of expressing yourself. Some people arrange flowers; some sew clothes; some love to bake or cook; some are into interior decorating. Whether you are writing novels or just blogs; drawing portraits or architectural plans, carving wood or jewelry-making, taking creative photographs or taking pi to the next level, everyone is exercising their creativity some way. As creative people, we need to cultivate time, space, and a mindset to allow for that creativity to happen.

Photo credit: Photo of my friend, Merrily McCarthy, a fabulous artist living in the Yosemite Valley in California.

1. Time.

The first thing you must do is carve out the time to allow for creativity to happen. Whether you have toddlers under foot or a corporate job to run off too, you still have to find the time to energize your creative soul. You can carve out time at the beginning of the day or after everyone else has gone to bed, or dedicate a Saturday to your creativity; which ever way you do it, make sure you have a block of uninterrupted time just for you. The truth is we make time for what is a priority in our lives. So the question is, how important is your creativity to you?

2. Space.

With me, as a painter, I find I am energized to paint at the drop of a hat, if there is a space set up for me to close the door and keep the world at bay. For some, it only needs to be a small corner of a table or bench, for others you will need a garage or a separate studio. Whatever the need, make sure your space will accommodate you and your creative work and allow you to step into and out of it with relative ease.

Photo credit: Photo taken by myself of workspace at Sorenson Studio in Fresno CA.

3. Support.

This seems an obvious necessity but sometimes it has to be asked for. Your family needs to know that you NEED this, so ask for their support. It helps to have a spouse or children that will have your back when it is your creative time. You will be happier for the time and they will be happier to have you fulfilled.

Photo credit: Royalty free image from

4. No Interruptions.

Turn off all electronic devices that may call you away and suck up your creativity time. Turn off your email alarms and twitter feeds. Turn off your phone. You can always get back to people later. That’s what God made messages and voice mail for.

There are times when interruptions are unavoidable, such as children needing you or emergencies. However most interruptions can be avoided by simply turning off ringing devices. Think about it.

Photo credit: Photo I took of my granddaughter playing with the phone.

5. No excuses.

As you build up the habit of taking time for your creativity, you may find you are not in “the mood” every day or every time you have it on your schedule. The funny thing is that if you let that be a good excuse, you will stop keeping your scheduled creative appointments. Make yourself, whether you feel it or not and the feelings will follow. It’s funny how the mood comes as soon as you start creating and not before. I like to read about artists
who overcame great odds and obstacles to create world famous works of art. In light of their sacrifice, I feel I have no room to complain that I’m not in the mood.

6. Make a list.

I don’t always know what to do during my creative time, so I have begun making lists. In the middle of the day or at night an inspiration may hit me. I have started the habit of writing these inspirations down and later when I have the time, I can explore them more fully. Some people tell me they get inspired in the shower or driving. It is as if creativity will hit you most often when you aren’t really thinking about anything. Write it down. You will be excited to see how the list grows.

9. Join a group.

Join a group of like-minded creatives in your area and actually attend meetings. There are writers groups, art groups, woodworkers, drama and theater groups; you name it, there is probably a group somewhere nearby. The benefit of being able to visit like-minded creatives is so varied that I could never list them all. One of the best benefits is the constant inspiration. Every time I come home from a meeting with my art group, I feel inspired to create something new.

Photo credit: Photo I took at my last art group meeting as we watched a demonstration.

10. Share your creativity.

Dean Dallin demonstration There is a certain fulfillment that comes with sharing your creative bent with others. Donate a work of art per year; create something for a family member’s birthday or holiday; share a photo of your work on social media; volunteer to do a demonstration. Wherever you share your work, make sure it is with someone who will appreciate what you have done. Nothing hurts worse than giving a gift of your creativity to someone who doesn’t like your work or doesn’t appreciate you. However those who do appreciate creativity will serve to energize your future work. Create on.