Tags: editorial


From the Editor: Staying Inspired Whenever Life Gets You Down, Mrs. Brown

Pillow Thoughts by Gina Cochran
Gina Cochran

July was an absolutely crazy month with one crisis after another. We had chaos on the forums. We had chaos at home. My youngest child turned two. We all got the flu to varying degrees afterwards. I've been dealing with what has felt like non-stop migraines all month. It's enough to make you want to throw the towel in and go get a less-stressful job as a cashier at Target. And yet...I get up every morning and start again.

My secret is to stay inspired. And you can find inspiration in almost anything. I've been watching the sun rise over Stockholm via a webcam a lot this past month. Following Google maps to see if it's possible to drive from Malmo to Liverpool (yes!) Listening to an obscene amount of Sigur Ros (my favourite painting music). Taking a mental vacation (much cheaper than the real thing) has been rejuvenating. And I think some good art will come out of the process. I look forward to what August brings.

What do you do to stay inspired and keep creating when life conspires against you? Drop us a line and let us know!

Amie Gillingham
1 August 2008
Get out of the vacuum and express yourself! 


In this issue:

Amie Gillingham "Staying Inspired Whenever Life Gets You Down, Mrs. Brown"
Melissa Morton "EBSQ Live: August 2008: Lapidary Workshop with Marvin Lee Billings"
Aja "Live Studio: Knife Painting 101"
Kris Jean "EBSQ Live Studio: Best Practices Part I"
Amie Gillingham "Featured Artist: Shawn Marie Hardy"
Amie Gillingham "Featured Artist: Mystele Kirkeeng"


May 2008 From the Editor: Facing your Artistic Fears

La Renaissance De La Mort by Emily F Balivet
Emily F. Balivet

Last month, I got the opportunity to tackle an artistic fear of mine: hot glass. The Pittsburgh Glass Center offers classes ranging from beginner to expert from some of the greatest glass makers in the world and I'd been dying to try something since the center opened 5 years ago. I pictured myself as a brilliant glass artist, making beautiful objects I could never quite picture fully in my head, and showing at the lovely glass gallery down on Ellsworth. Of course, now that I live an hour away instead of walking distance, I finally got my chance via a short 3-hour workshop to create a garden float.

Why so scared? Well, a lot of reasons. One would be my asthma and fear of not being able to blow (I didn't have to, thank goodness!) or having an asthma attack from the heat. Another fear was being burnt. This may seem silly, but I am also famously the person in Tom McClelland's "Intro to Bronze" class that ended up in the emergency room for foolisly thinking I could use my bare fingers to wiggle off a bit of metal flashing I'd been grinding and ended up with hot bronze slivers under my skin. (Tom wouldn't let me back into his class without gloves after that). Plus, there is something scarily seductive about hot glowing glass that makes you want to touch it. And that would be bad.

But the biggest fear? Lack of aptitude. I was lousy at bronze, although I'd give it a go again in a heartbeat. I was never terribly good at printmaking either since I couldn't wrap my brain around why I'd want to make multiples of anything. There is a very good chance that I will be utterly crap at glass as well. I still haven't seen how my globe has turned out since it had to go straight to a kiln for a controlled cool down. But I am so glad I tried it despite the fear-and the heat. And if I stink at it, at least I'll know.

What artistic risk have you been putting off?
Amie Gillingham
1 May 2008
Get out of the vacuum and express yourself! 


In this issue:

Amie Gillingham "Facing your Artistic Fears"
Melissa Morton "EBSQ Live: May 2008: Palette Knife Painting"
EBSQ "EBSQ Announces Newest Juried Artist Members"
Cary Dunlap "Rediscovering Community: One Artist's Take on Art All Night"
Amie Gillingham "Featured Artist: Bruce Cantwell"


Editorial March 2008: March Makeover Madness!

Embrace by Lori Mirabelli
Lori Mirabelli

Recently a old friend blogged that the poppies are starting to bloom in San Francisco, but for so many of us, we're still locked in a battle with winter blahs. I personally like to do proactive things to cajole spring into existance. Spring cleaning is chief among these activities. If you've logged into EBSQ in the past couple of weeks, you'll have noticed we've done some spring cleaning "under the hood" so to speak. We knew that some of our members struggled with the "urban-sprawl" that occurs when a site like ours evolves organically over close to a decade. So we've dusted things off, put like items together, and labeled things better so their uses are more obvious.

Spring is a great time to tweak. Here are some subtle nudges to make use of these newly dusted tools, particularly if your account is growing cobwebs in the corners and dustbunnies under your Art Case.

Is your contact information up-to-date? Make sure we have your current private email address for lost password retrieval and public contact information for people who want to learn more about your art. We've often seen members post that they do commissions but don't offer a contact method for potential buyers.

Are your website and blog addresses still correct? How about your eBay and Etsy ids? Again, if we don't have the right information, people aren't going to be able to find you or your work at your prefered sales venues.

When is the last time you took a look at your artist's statement? Do you have a "Hi, I'm new," message that you posted back in 2004 and simply forgot about? Or notes about your Christmas sales? Are you talking about your past realist work when you're now showing a portfolio full of abstract expressionism? Have you done any new shows or changed galleries? Don't forget to add this new information to your CV.

Have your commission prices changed? If so, don't forget to make these edits if you have pricing listed on your commissions page. Or maybe you don't do commissioned work at all anymore--you can always turn off this feature by unchecking the "commissions available" box in your profile tools.

Ok, so maybe your account is totally up-to-date and you're still not getting the kind of traffic you'd like. If so, we'd like to hear from you. This month we're cross-breeding March Madness with Extreme Makeover Home-Edition to bring you March Makeover Madness! If you're willing to let us do a show-and-tell with your profile in the EBSQ blog and participate in a public discussion about your profile on the EBSQ forums, we'd love to put you under the knife (so to speak) and have better results by prom night. We'll be looking at your:


  • copy (that's marketing spiel for all of the writing in your profile)
  • general online presentation
  • SEO (that's search engine optomization--all the things you do to help Google bring eyeballs to your art)
Up to the challenge? Drop us a line--and let's clean our way into spring!
Amie Gillingham
1 March 2008
Get out of the vacuum and express yourself! 


In this issue:

Amie Gillingham "March Makeover Madness"
Melissa Morton "EBSQ Live - March 2008 - Jewelry Fabrication"
Kris Jean "Opinion: What's the True Price of Art?"
Aja "Book Review: Theories and Documents of Contemporary Art"
Kris Jean "Live Studio: Gridding"
Amie Gillingham "Featured Artist: Barbara Haviland"

February 2008: Do you heart EBSQ?

Love is the Key by Hope Mary Nagley
Hope Mary Nagley

Last month, a new member gave us a review that was so glowing, it humbled me completely. I'd like to share her thoughts with you now:

I'm really enjoying the experience of building my little piece of EBSQ as well as the very helpful and supportive, collaborative community. Not to mention the huge collection of inspiring art at my disposal for inspiration, grouped by medium, etc. I like to peruse all of the eZine archives, too.

AND I CAN'T TELL YOU HOW MUCH I HEART THE LIVE STUDIOS! I've bookmarked two already and refer to them often. I can't wait to start making the mosaic jewelry mirrors (a la Dorothy Edwards) and now have the courage, and desire, to do some collage/assemblage work with new materials I don't normally experiment with.

Why on earth I didn't get over here years ago is still a mystery to me. And the membership fees are incredibly low considering the professional quality, functions and value of the site as a whole, but also as marketing tools for the individual artist.
-Laura Winzeler

It's almost silly to ask, but do you heart EBSQ? Has something here inspired you? If so, we'd love to hear about it. Write a blog post. Make a video and post it on youtube. Tag it with EBSQ--we'll find you. Your feedback is what keeps us going on those challenging days. You could see your "valentine" in this space in the future!

It goes without saying. EBSQ "hearts" you. This is easily the best job in the world. I get to live my passion for art and technology. There's something new to see every day. The energy here is amazing. In short: you guys rock.
Amie Gillingham
1 February 2008
Get out of the vacuum and express yourself! 


In this issue:

Amie Gillingham "Do you heart EBSQ?"
Melissa Morton "EBSQ Live February 2008: Fine Art in the Grid"
Aja "Opinion: The Motives of an Abstract Artist"
Paul Helm "Comparing Print on Demand Calendars: Café Press, Lulu, & Zazzle"
Amie Gillingham "Featured Artist: Jill Falk"


A post in which we remember our grown-up manners and say Thank You!

Long Winter by Abigail M. Hill
Abigail M Hill

We're almost at the end of another year. Melissa, Bill, and I have been perpertually busy listening to feedback, making plans, working on new site features, and doing what we can to ensure that our members are happy members. We could not have come nearly as far as we without our wonderful site volunteers who have helped us take care of this ever-growing community of ours. Special kudos go out to:

Our Peer Mentors:

Our forum Topic Hosts (yes, many of these folks do double duty as mentors):

Our Bloggers:

Our wonderful site advisor, Anne Truitt Zelenka.

Our legal guru, Cheri Carper Bennett.

Our freelance programmers, Melanie & Nate Drake

While we haven't reached all of the goals we set for ourselves at the advent of this year, I'm pleased we made some serious progress (even if a lot of it was behind the scenes and not terribly useful to you guys yet!) We've aslo seen a ton of good art. Some really amazing shows. Raised some serious cash for two great causes. And for that, we're really thankful. But that pales in comparison to how thankful we are for all of you. EBSQ would be vacant real estate without your art and your words. We know there are a lot of other art communities out there. A lot of flashier websites than ours (we're working on it!). We know you have a ton of choices, and we thank you for sticking with EBSQ. We're looking forward to bringing you a ton of excellent things in the future!

So from all of us to all of you, Happy Holidays! Here's to an artful new year!
Amie Gillingham
1 December 2007
Find art. Share art. Support living artists! 


In this issue:

Amie Gillingham "Happy Holidays from EBSQ"
Melissa Morton "EBSQ Live: December 2007:"
EBSQ Self-Representing Artists "2008 EBSQ Exhibition Schedule"
Harlan  "Live Studio: The Science of Oil Painting"
Melia Dawn Newman  "How to Construct a Homemade Lightbox"
Natasha Wescoat "Ten Things They Don't Teach You in Art School"
Amie Gillingham "Featured Artist: Elizabeth Fiedel"
Amie Gillingham "Featured Artist: Diana Maus"


From the Editor: Moving forward in grand style with two great exhibits

Leia and Ian by Glen Pollard
Glenn Pollard

This month we're continuing to celebrate our 7th anniversary with two very special events I'd like to bring to your attention. First off is a ground-breaking juried show, hosted joined by EBSQ and our partner, Imagekind. The Art of the Equestrian will be available for entry between October 1-25, after which time it will go to our juror, Eva Sandor. The results will be announced jointly between EBSQ and Imagekind, and the show will continue on Imagekind's site for the full month of November. What's particularly special about this show is that every single piece entered will be available as a fine-art reproduction from Imagekind with the proceeds going directly to the original artist. We're really excited about this joint-venture, and we hope you will be too!

Another big event this month is EBSQ's Think Pink exhibit to benefit the Susan G Komen Foundation to support breast cancer research and education. EBSQ is participating as art of the Komen Foundation's Passionately Pink for the Cure intiative. If you're a participating artist or simply a site patron that appreciates this exhibit and supports this cause, we request that you contribute a $5 or greater donation. EBSQ will be sending a pink ribbon pin and some EBSQ goodies to the first 50 participants that contribute. EBSQ will also be offering Think Pink t-shirts via our new EBSQ Bling Shop, and 100% of our Think Pink gear profits will also be donated to the Komen Foundation as part of this fundraiser.

And if you think these projects are fun, we invite you to sign up for next month's 7th Annual Portrait Swap as well as share your ideas about what you'd like to see on the 2008 exhibition schedule. All this and more can be found on the EBSQ Member Forums

Let's make October magical!
Amie Gillingham
1 October 2007
Find art. Share art. Support living artists! 


In this issue:

Amie Gillingham "EBSQ Moving Forward in Grand Style"
Melissa Morton "EBSQ Live: Found/Recycled Object Jewelry"
Melissa Morton "EBSQ Juried Artists"
Dorothy Edwards "Live Studio: Mosaic Mirror"
Amie Gillingham "Featured Artist: Mats Eriksson"
Amie Gillingham "Featured Artist: Mark Satchwill"


EBSQ at Seven Years Old

Mohawk Punk by Debra Schott
Debra Schott

Seven years ago, a handful of artists selling on eBay were tired of trying to compete with Chinese sweatshop art and mass produced posters and prints from famous artists being listed on eBay. First, they started using the names of artists with whom their work had an affinity, ala if you like Warhol, you'll love my stuff. EBay shut this down pretty quickly as "keyword spamming." But California art professor John Seed had the inspiration to come up with a unique keyword that would forever change the eBay landscape. He chose "EBSQ" (short for e-Basquiat, one of those famous artists with whom this early band of artists had an affinity) and EBSQ was born.

Things have changed radically in the past seven years. John Seed handed over the group to me 6 years ago, along with his original mission to support all living artists, regardless of style or education or even talent. The website as we know it was born 5 years ago thanks to another great idea, this time from my darling husband, Bill. We've moved well beyond eBay. You can find EBSQ artists on Flickr. Etsy. Squidoo. Artbyus. Imagekind. Deviantart. Art.com. We've infiltrated the blogosphere, too. We have shown together in groups out in the brick and mortar world. We have thrown baby showers for each other. We've sent flowers in times of loss. On 9-11, after checking in with my family, this is where I came, as did so many of you. The evolution of EBSQ has been nothing short of amazing.

Thank you, all of you, for believing in our vision and trusting us with your art. It's been quite a journey so far; I can't wait to see where we go next!
Amie Gillingham
1 September 2007
Find art. Share art. Support living artists! 


In this issue:

Amie Gillingham "EBSQ at Seven Years Old"
Melissa Morton "EBSQ Live: Repurposed: Mosaic Mirror"
Amie Gillingham "Outstanding EBSQ Volunteer Awards 2007"
Haze Cerrato "Live Studio: Repurposed: From T-Shirt to Skirt"
Heather Sims "The Robin on a Stick Project"
Amie Gillingham "Sneak Peek"
Amie Gillingham "Featured Artist: Toni Chiapelli"
Amie Gillingham "Featured Artist: Cynjon Noah"


From the desk of Amie Gillingham, August 2007

I'm Too Sexy... by Ashley Butler Bryan
Ashley Butler Bryan

Last month, I think it's safe to say that I got a couple of bees in my bonnet. I was mad at some sources of the media (and within the artworld itself) disparaging the self-representing artists movement. And I managed to start what ended up being EBSQ's most positive kerfuffle ever when I posted a call to action on going public with more of our forums so we can reach out to the wider world (and they in turn can reach out to us, with a little help from Google). What ensued was a flurry of activity which resulted in some major developments in our private member forums.

We're combining some logical forums into bigger shared space to get more folks talking to each other. We created an entire new section for member-created workshops (our composition workshop in particular is really jumping!) And our discussion about our media / genre specific forums spurred a series of conversations that led to a whole new approach to how we organize our discussions about art. Check out our new Art and Process section! Huge props go out to Harlan and Kris Jean for their extreme out-of-the-box thinking during this huge community brainstorm. And perhaps the best news is that we'll slowly but surely be cracking open a "window" into our community life by making a few more forums public. We'll be starting this month by public-izing sections on Art Supplies 101 and Topics in Art History. We invite you to stop by and say hello. If you're not a paid member, but have a free account on our site, you'll have automatic posting access to these sections. And if you're not yet a site patron, it's free and easy to sign-up here! Your contribution to and participation in these newly public sections will be a vote of confidence in EBSQ's forums moving toward a more public face in the future. Hope to see you there!

Amie Gillingham
1 August 2007
Find art. Share art. Support living artists! 


In this issue:

Amie Gillingham "From the Editor: August 2007"
Melissa Morton "EBSQ Live: August 2007: Repurposed T-Shirt"
Lesley Chandler  "Live Studio: Repurposed: Jeans to Skirt"
Amie Gillingham "Featured Artist: Eclectic"
Amie Gillingham "Featured Artist: Sujati"

From the Editor: May 2007

Lady in Blue (Libby) by Mark Satchwill
Mark Satchwill

We spend a lot of time here offering tips on how you can do better with marketing your work. But this month, we'd like to turn the tables and ask you how we can do better. In a nod to one of my long-time blog buddies, we're officially declaring May "EBSQ Delurking Month." We'd love to know more about who you are, why you're here, and how we can better serve you as an artists' organization. Now, we know a lot of you from the forums (and have even met many of your personally over the years!) but we'd really like to hear from folks we've never heard from before.

  • What prompted you to join EBSQ?
  • Are you using your membership the way you envisioned before becoming a member?
  • What three things do you like most about EBSQ? The least?
  • Any new features you'd love to see?
  • In general, how can we do a better job at fulfilling our mission to support living artists?

Whether you stop by the forums, post a comment on our blog, or drop us an email is entirely up to you. But we do want you to know that we don't bite, that actual people work here, and we'll actually write back!

Amie Gillingham, editor
1 May 2007

In this issue:

Amie Gillingham "From the Editor: May 2007"
Melissa Morton "EBSQ Live: May 2007"
Amie Gillingham "Repurposed Exhibit Winners Announced"
Naquaiya "Live Studio: Coloring Scratchboard"
Martin Devine "Art: A Way In V"
Shawn Marie Hardy "Honoring Children Through Art"
Amie Gillingham "Featured Artist: Shano"
Amie Gillingham "Featured Artist: Christine Wasankari"

In support of Kathy Sierra

This was originally posted in my personal journal, but I felt it was important to cross post it here as well. 

I  discovered Kathy Sierra's blog, Create Passionate Users, roughly 18 months ago, via a mention by Amy Jo Kim, whose book, "Community Building on the Web" I had just finished reading. Kathy's blog opened up a whole new world to me, since I was at that time a relative newb to the tech blogosphere and the whole web 2.0 movement of which we hadn't even realized we had been a part. Kathy and her cohorts radically impacted how I think about my business and how well I am able to do my job. Her blog has remained a must-read, and a great many of her posts have been forwarded to our team at EBSQ as "required reading" as we move forward with the next version of our site software and improved user interface.

Jump to present day. I had noticed on Twitter some talk about sexual harrasment and threats on the web, but wasn't sure of the context since I wasn't an active part of that conversation. Well, it became abundantly clear yesterday when Kathy posted this on her blog. The story that unfolded was sickening. Terrifying. I am not ashamed to admit I ended up in tears by the end of the post. Whether Kathy realized her role in my life or not, she's been a mentor to me, and one of my business goals for next year was to get the chance to see her speak in person. How can that happen now? What sin has this woman committed that she has been threated and harrassed thusly that she's cancelled her speaking gigs and may never blog again? How many other people are out there, like myself, that are dependent on her good work for making effective changes within their small (or not so small) businesses? How many people will ultmiately been impacted by the loss of Kathy's uncommonly good sense because she has been effectively silenced?

The kind of behaviour cited by Kathy in her blog is not cute. It is not "edgy" or "artistic." It's not satire. It's greatly disturbing. And yet, I see it more and more. I've seen it in EBSQ's own community (to a MUCH lesser degree) where people used our forums to be "free" of political correctness by spouting trash because they felt they could, and because it amused their inner circle. I am thankful things did not go so far down the spiral, but it could have if gone unchecked. Has politcal correctness (which has become this past decade and half's word for what people used to call "good manners") become such a noose that a segment of society is vocally opposing it for opposition's sake? And when you bring misogyny and threats of violence into the mix, the landscape of the blogosphere is altered irrevocably. 

Web 2.0, among other things, was supposed to be about bringing down barriers. About making connections. Transparency. But when I see something like this happen to someone I so greatly admire, someone who is admired (or at the very least, greatly respected) by so many in the tech community, it all feels like bunk. It makes me want to friendslock every personal post I've ever written, close off the pictures of my kids on flickr, and just retreat back into my walled garden. So I can hardly blame Kathy, at whom the actual threats were leveled, for doing so.

Be well, Kathy. You'll be missed. And god willing, we'll see you again soon.  

-Amie Gillingham, co-founder, EBSQ