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   Welcome to my blog! I'll be posting thoughts about art, photos, happenings, and other things that strike me--and hopefully my readers--as interesting. And please visit my website by clicking the link to the right--thanks!

   Also please check out my second blog, The Painting Archives to see older (pre-2004) paintings for sale.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007
  making photo pages
A couple of people have asked me how I make the photo pages posted on 1/19 that I use for gallery submissions, so here are directions and tips. I need to credit painter Glenn Ossiander for the basic idea for these, which he shared with me a few years ago.

To make photo pages: (I use a PC--there may be differences for a Mac.)

In Microsoft Word (or other word processing program) create a header and footer for your name at the top, contact info below. Use one font, but experiment with sizes, colors and other settings to find something pleasing. Use this same format for every page you send out as a group. (I do think it's OK to have both "landscape" and "portrait" formats in a group of photos, so I use whichever is appropriate to the painting.)

Then create a text box (under "insert" on the tool bar) and into it insert a photo of your work from your picture files. (I'm not going to go into that, but it's pretty self-explanatory once you do it.) You'll have to experiment with the size for the photo--most of mine seem are about 800 pixels high/600 wide. The text box can be moved around to find the best placement. Then add another smaller textbox for the info on that particular image, title, size etc. Again, experiment and find a good type size and settings, but use the same font throughout your page. Make sure things are centered as you want them.

When you're ready to print, go to "properties" for printing options (from the initial printing box that appears when you push print.) Here's a great tip I learned--select "transparency" or "film" for your paper type, even though you're actually printing onto paper (preferably the very highest, professional quality.) Also select the "best" or "high" setting for print quality. You can also choose "preview before printing" to make sure everything looks good.

If you are printing several pages of photos (I have a set of 10 I'm sending out) save all of them into one file in your documents so it's easy to just click through the whole batch instead of searching for them here and there in various picture files (as I have always done in the past.)

I've been sending out ten photo pages in a packet to each contact, using a nice, laminated 2-pocket folder (look for the kind with little tabs at the inside corners to hold everything in place.) I include a cover letter, resume, SASE and artist statement too, of course. You could add anything else you have such as a brochure, or whatever is requested by the gallery. Have your packet weighed at the post office the first time, and purchase plenty of appropriate stamps so you can do postage at home. Mine cost $2.55 for each envelope (outside and return.) Another thing to watch for, if you change paper brands for some reason mid-way, the weight may change and your postage will be off. (I learned this the hard way.)

And finally, some more advice learned the hard way: If you are going to mail out a bunch of these, don't start with the galleries that you're dying to get into. It's counter-intuitive I know--but start at the other end of your priority list. You're bound to discover things that you want to change as you go along, or discover something crucial you left out (my inital set of photos lacked my email address!) and you won't have to cringe thinking of who got your first attempts.
Good ideas, Rebecca. I do something similar since about 2001 when I planned a trip to Santa Fe. I made up some portfolios with about 2-3 images printed out like this and then had my cover letter, business card, slides and info all included in the packet. I only printed a few images hoping that would catch their eye so they would look at the rest of the portfolio. I still do this today but I send a CD now that I don't care about being returned and forget the SASE.
I figure that they might keep it and if they like my work but don't need it now, they might look me up in the future.
Cheryl--I debated about including the SASE, since there is nothing crucial about getting photo pages returned. And as you say, better that something is kept on file or passed along than sent back. Still, many places stress that you include the SASE; perhaps it makes their job easier not to have to discard so much stuff when they get piles of submissions. My compromise was to include it but to also say in my cover letter--please feel free to keep any or all of these materials.

I also thought about using a CD for addtional images but decided my website would do a better job of presenting the work so just made a point of its address. But I agree that a CD os a very good option.

By the way--a week after sending the first of these out, I got a call, and today I'm shipping out two paintings! Way faster than I expected. I'll put something official about it in my blog if it all pans out...it is a wonderful gallery, and one I have seen in person....fingers crossed!
Congratulations Rebecca! What a great inspiration. And it is a wonderful and classy gallery! Although Rebecca is not ready to reveal it, I was there with her. After a day of trying to squeeze in all the galleries in Santa Fe, this is one of the most memorable galleries. There was a very strong sculptural exhibit.
Thanks Chris! I'm so glad you were there with me to see the gallery. (And for all the rest too, it was a fun and memorable trip--even the 20+ hrs. each way!)
Hi Rebecca.
Thanks for the acknowledgement on your blog about the flyer format. It was very nice of you to do that. Glad things are continuing to go well for you. The reason you have not heard form me lately is that I had a serious health issue come up last spring. It had me distracted (or should I say focussed?) a while. I have been actively painting though and have had some real good luck at NYC art fairs. George Billis Gallery sold paintings at Art212 and The Affordable Art Fair. They are taking more work to The Red Dot Fair this week.So wish me luck. Good to be in touch again. I'll try to keep up.
Hi Glenn-it's great to hear from you! I'm sorry to hear that health has been a problem, and I hope things are better for you now. Congrats on recent successes. Last I heard things were taking off in a good way and it sounds like that has continued for you.

The photo pages you sent me (back whenever that was) were very nice--inspiring--though I put off doing a big mailing like that for myself for awhile. I guess I just wasn't quite ready. But now it's done and I've had a good response. So thanks again!
As you know from all my frantic emails, I had trouble printing my photo pages. The first one on good thick photo paper never dried. I tried othe printer settings. The transparent setting looked striped. Another friend turned them into jpegs that I could take to a photo shop. They would only print 4x6 or 5x7. I liked the full letter paper size much better. I finally put them on a CD and took them to Kinko's. They used a laser printer and it worked great.
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       Rebecca Crowell