Do No Harm

I want to share the story of my lovely fellow artist, studio mate, super mama and friend, Emily Schwank of Raincliffs Photography.

Em works tirelessly to support her family – shooting families, weddings, and fine art images – as professional photographer. She is perhaps best known for her work photographing children, especially her own. They are beautiful, innocent, playful, deep and inspiring images of her brood. She makes no excuses for how she and her husband are raising their five incredible kids.

In the last week, someone (maybe more) has targeted her social media accounts, these are accounts that she uses daily to promote her business, part of her livelihood. It appears there’s someone out there who would rather report her accounts to Instagram and Facebook than simply unfriend or unfollow and it seems to the many who support her to be a personal attack.

While heartbreaking to experience and, as a friend, to watch, there’s something really great that has come out of this. The number of people coming to Emily’s defense with their kind words in recent days is truly remarkable. Additionally, Emily has shown herself to be resilient and I’m proud of her for it. She posted this on Facebook earlier today (after getting her account back):

“Hi Everyone,

Well, here is my official statement. I want to take a moment to explain exactly what has happened in the last week. First I was thrown off of Instagram for inappropriate images. I am permanently deleted from from Instagram and at this point it doesn’t even look like I can open a new account. My account was public, as I use it for work and to share my art work. Then one day later, I was reported on my personal Facebook account.This account is locked down which means, in all honesty, someone I am FB friends with reported me. Then last night an image on business page, Raincliffs Photography, had an image reported. It’s the one of Alice playing Duck Duck Goose that Chris posted below. My Raincliffs page is public and anyone might have reported this image. FB locked me out for 12 hours.

It is certainly hard to not take this personally and to not try to point fingers and there is no question I feel attacked. As a woman, an artist, a mother– I feel as though I always have to work have to get my voice — my work — out there and taken seriously . So yes. This hurts. A lot. But here’s the deal. I’m DONE with pain. I can only hope people who don’t like my work, my message and/or me just stay away. I won’t, I CAN’T stop doing what I’m doing and I feel even more motivated to do so. All of your words of love and support mean so very much to me… more than you can imagine.

Let us all go into world and Do No Harm… But Take NO SHIT.

Love to you all. And thank you, thank you for standing by me.”

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Alice playing Duck Duck Goose… the image in question.

So what’s the takeaway? Be the amazing artist that you are and take no shit from anyone.

My little piece of The Fault in Our Stars

I enjoy the act of making art so much that sometimes I forget that sharing it is part of the process. I work away in my corner of a studio I share with some amazing women… making, making, making… I do it because I don’t know how not to, but on some level, I do it for other people. I harbor that fantasy of being “discovered”. I don’t care about being famous or anything, but don’t want the work to go unseen either.

So I make and I paint and I post. I update Facebook, Instagram, my website, Etsy and blog as a means of showing the world what I’m up to (and in hopes of making a living). And sometimes it works.

In August 2013, I received an e-mail from a woman who said she was a set buyer and that she had seen my website and would I be interested in having artwork in a feature film? To be honest, the skeptic in me thought it was a scam at first. I called her anyway and it was the real thing.

My phone call was brief and excited and plans were made. Within a week I was commissioned and working on a set of sketchbooks/journals for the film adaptation of Indianapolis author John Green’s bestselling novel, The Fault in Our Stars.

I’ve kept sketchbooks/journals for a very long time and because they are built up over time, it can take a year or more to complete each one, if you could ever really consider them complete. I somehow (magically, insanely, exhaustively) created three in four days and shipped them off to the set in Pittsburgh (for more on why this Indy-based film was shot in Pittsburgh, I give you Hugh Vandivier’s Sky Blue Window article here).

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Samples from previous sketchbooks.

Much of what fills the pages is from the past ten or more years of my own sketchbooks. It made for a great opportunity to go back and see where I’d been artistically and mentally over a number of years. I loved every minute of this project!

I only generally know where to look for these books, I’m told they will be somewhere in the main character’s bedroom and you can be sure I’ll be on the look out for them in each of what’s sure to be many viewings. They may only be on screen for a brief moment, but I’ll know they’re there, and that’s good enough for me.

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I’m happy to say that I have artwork in a movie, especially this movie, and hope to do something like this again. Seriously, go read the book and then let’s all go see The Fault in Our Stars when it comes out on June 6.

 

Trailer: 20th Century Fox | images copyright Kate Oberreich 2013/14

The Progress of a Commission

It’s not time-lapsed or anything, but here’s the progression of a recent commission featuring (surprise!) paper airplanes. Yes, the obsession continues and now I’m bringing others into the madness.

This painting was commissioned with a specific space and color story in mind…

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For the most part, I love doing commissioned work. It works best when you already like what I do and want something custom in a similar vein.

Need something special for your home or as a gift? Drop me a note, I can work within a variety of mediums and sizes to fit your budget.

Location, Location, Location!

Whilst snowed in not quite two months ago I embarked on a mini watercolor painting project. Unable to make it the studio, I parked myself in front of the TV with a marathon of season two of Homeland and created a mini map of downtown Indy.

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After posting a couple of in progress pictures on Instagram the requests for prints came in. Now I’m happy to oblige.

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8×10 inch prints (which is pretty dern close the original size of the painting) are now available for $25 each. Special orders for different sizes and colors are an option as well.

You can get yours by contacting me directly, or by swinging by Silver in the City on Mass Ave (which you can then locate on the map).

Let it snow

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We’re hunkered down in the cozy Yellow Bungalow while the snow continues to fall. I LOVE this kind of weather. Several inches already on the ground and more to come.

I plan to restart this blog in the new year and tell you more of my art projects and shows, but for now, it’s snowing and there’s a warm cat snoozing on my lap.

On Not Blogging

Hey friends,

Apologies for my lack of updates. I’m having a great time in Portland (here for a workshop with Sabrina Ward Harrison).

Exploring the city, which is easily walkable with tons to see and do. The food has been great and I’ve made some new friends at the workshop.

Plenty more to come, but I’m excited to get home and back in my studio. Feeling re-inspired.

Enjoy your day!

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Website and Life Update

I’m sorry. I’ve been horrible about adding new things to the blog. I’ve even lost track of my photo-a-day project. There’s a good reason for it though.

The last month has had me preparing for my trip to Portland (thank you so much to my supporters, both financial and otherwise for helping me get there), launching the new Tiny Shows at Seed & Star Studio, finishing out a couple of commissions and starting on a new, secret-for-now project. Don’t worry, as soon as I can say more I will.

In the meantime, I’ve snuck in a quick update to my website. PSA to artists – get a website (or blog, or some other venue for people to see your work online). Even my age old, hardly updated website has put enough work out there to hook me up with the afore mentioned secret project.

Homepage

I’ve added several new images to the Art section, 2011-present, including many that have been on view at Ashland Gallery over the last few months. Many thanks to John McKee for the show with my mom, Sandi Finney.

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Swing by the site, take a look around and watch for more regular updates.