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Merry Christmas Madonna Icon Card

mary xmas

This painting is reminiscent of icons from medieval times. It evokes the  symbolism used to convey information to a largely illiterate world. In those days, gold coins were beaten with hammers until they were paper thin and then glued to the surface as gold leaf. Gold immediately conveyed the importance of the subject and was used for halos of saints. The only thing more valuable than gold in these times was lapis lazuli, a stone that was a beautiful deep, rich blue in color. This stone was ground into powder and made into paint to clothe the Queen of Heaven; the mother of God: the Virgin Mary.

This holiday season, celebrate in style with a card made from this original painting.

card is 4×6 folded. blank inside. envelope included.

$5 each or 10 for $30 plus shipping

please fill out the form below with your name, email address, shipping address, and number of cards you would like.

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It’s Coming Right at Us!





Christmas is fast approaching, and I Have a feeling I’ll still be getting ready for it when it’s gone. I should be done with cards, but knowing that there’s time between now and Christmas makes me just want to keep designing new ones. I’ll make the one that everyone just has to have, and that will open the floodgates to the selling out of everything else in the store. That’s the fantasy. The reality is I need to figure out how to promote my store(s) cheaply and efficiently. Dropping my life’s savings into advertising on Summergetaways.com might get me some eyeballs on my sight, but there’s probably a better way to go.

My budget for advertising this year is free. I can advertise anywhere that’s free. Actually, that means facebook & google+, which is better than nothing, but not much. So I’m interested in google adwords. I love google. they own this blogsite, the browser I’m using (chrome), the software that operates my phone (droid), my email carrier, and of course google+ (which many people are saying isn’t a big deal, but there are a ton of people on there). Of course they also use the search engine that is most popular for finding things, so they have tools to help people who invest in their products. My girlfriend who runs ahtees designs, turned me on to Google adwords keyword tool, which analyses and suggests keywords, the tags that help people find your stuff.
I just joined for the purpose of reporting the cost to this blogpost, and they let you create whatever budget you want. I put in $2 a day which doesn’t sound like much, but is considerably more that $0. In fact; it is 2×365 or $730 a year, so that’s an estimate based on how much I spend on coffee a day. It’s also about $60 a month. This is kind of a lot for me, but I have no idea how it translates into how much advertising it will buy. They say that once my budget is exhausted for the day that my ads will stop appearing. That means that perhaps they wont be seen during high traffic times, but it doesn’t matter because it’s not tv or radio, only one person is looking at each screen, so the same number of people will be exposed to my ads whether its all in the morning or spread throughout the day. There’s also pay per click (again a bid I set that I have no idea how competitive it is.) I didn’t intend to get this deep into this subject for the purpose of this post, but I’ve been hovering over the “join now” button for a while, and I haven’t commited to anything yet, so I’m ok so far. I’ll let you know when I know more.
I finnished the Santa card, and need to make more shirts, and designs. I’ll leave you with this: successful people are the ones who do what they love.
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Holiday Prep!

Now that Halloween is over, the holidays are coming at us like that round bolder in Raiders of the Lost Ark! I have been making cards and gifts for Christmas since late summer, but I feel constantly behind. I finished the painting I told you about last time and am pleased with how it came out. It was originally supposed to have fog, but you can’t have everything. I made it into a card, and maybe I’ll make a second one out of it. I sold a print of St. Hildegard (Thank you!) so now I’m offering more prints of my paintings.
I am also offering t-shirts with my block prints on them. I’m really happy with how they look, and hope that people will get them as gifts. The images I make are meant to be iconic so they really work well on shirts. I have tried to solve the problem I would have with overhead and storage by making shirts to model but stating that they can be any size and will be made to order. I would like to offer long sleeved shirts and sweatshirts, but I also have to spend $ on presents so I can’t just buy a bunch of sweatshirts hoping someone will buy something. I know Ihave to spend money to make money, but I have to be realistic also.
That doesn’t mean I can’t still make more stuff for Christmas. Going with the icon theme I’ve been trying to come up with an iconic Christmas image for a block print. I’ve already done a Christmas tree which came out great, but I’m looking for something that will have more of an impact; is bolder or more “dramatic”. My girlfriend suggested Santa, which I initially rejected as too cliche to register with viewers but I like the idea that icons originally were saints portraits and Santa Clause is just how little kids pronounce Saint Nicholas. This probably won’t go on a shirt, but I’m just thinking about Christmas cards. It makes sense that in order to catch anyone’s attention whether it’s cards shirts or anything else, my job as an illustrator is to create an image that is bold, iconic, arresting, and all the other synonyms for “eye catching” I’ve used so far.
Religious Icons generally hold something in their hands to make it easy for viewers to recognize them. I’m haveing a hard time figuring out what to have Santa hold. First it was his list of naughty and nice, but I thought people might not know that’s what the scroll was meant to be. I thought maybe coal in one hand and a toy in the other, but I really think Im going to stick to red and white for colors, so that wont work. let me know if you have any ideas!
Oh! Maybe a thumbs up with one hand and thumbs down with the other!