Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Inspiration -- imitation-- art theft? - UPDATED

Imitation is not flattery. But is it art theft?
It's disheartening for artists to see their work replicated and claimed by others. How can artists protect themselves?
Original work is what distinguishes artists from imitators.
Original work brands an artist. Original art builds a loyal fan base. Original art keeps artists ahead of their copycats.
Here is a link for an article by Mark Monlux on the Graphic Artists Guild website.
 https://graphicartistsguild.org/tools_resources/avoiding-copyright-infringement
Mark's article discusses the "circumstantial evidence test" for infringement, and three elements of the test: Access to protected work; Copying protected work; Creating "substantially similar" work to protected work.

My blog post here features two case studies of an artist's original artwork  -- compared to artwork that is "substantially similar" but credited to another artist.

Original Art by Gemma Correllhttps://www.gemmacorrell.com/
Gemma has done several versions of her Reward/Self Care stickers

https://ohhdeer.com/self-care-stickers

https://buyolympia.com/Item/gemma-correll-i-wish-i-still-got-stickers
https://buyolympia.com/Item/gemma-correll-orange-i-wish-i-still-got-stickers-vol-2
Gemma's stickers date back to at least 2016.

Imitation art by Jeremy Nguyen???

In August 2017, The New Yorker feature "Daily Shouts" was a series of "Freelance Achievement Stickers" attributed to artist Jeremy Nguyen.

These images appeared on The New Yorker Facebook page on 8.7.17. Several fans of Gemma Correll commented on the similarity of Jeremy's art to Gemma's pre-existing works and linked to Gemma's sticker series. My own comment focused on how Nguyen's stickers imitated the style, font and subject matter of Gemma's work. The New Yorker never replied to any of the comments in the feed. As far as I know, Gemma never made a public reply... but she did post this link to her stickers on her Facebook page that same day. https://buyolympia.com/Item/gemma-correll-i-wish-i-still-got-stickers

One comment felt Nguyen's art also imitated work by artist Hannah Daisy.
https://www.instagram.com/p/BXI2rafj2bt/
http://www.hannahdaisy.com/

This is just one case study of how hard it can be to determine that art is original, when it can also be seen as "inspired by"... or "substantially similar" to another artist's work. Gemma Correll is an established artist... with an agent, published books and works, and a world-wide following. I wasn't the only fan who felt Gemma had been ripped off. Take a look at the link and the art by Jeremy below. What do you think??

"Freelance Achievement Stickers" art by Jeremy Nguyen in 8.7.17 "Daily Shouts" in The New Yorker (3 sample images below)
http://www.newyorker.com/humor/daily-shouts/freelance-achievement-stickers



What would you do if your art was being imitated????

Each art theft case is unique. I'm not an attorney, but I'm a passionate advocate for artist rights. That includes getting artists and fans educated about protecting IP. Each case study of art theft is a chance to learn more about vital artist rights.

Recent cases of art imitation prompted me to check in with Intellectual Property (IP) attorney Jonathan Tobin at Counsel for Creators. I learned about Jonathan from an indie artist pal, and I've subscribed to his firm's "Creators Legal Program" for about two years. With this service, I pay a monthly fee, and can schedule phone appointment to get legal advice/opinions on art theft issues (among other benefits).

You can read more about the Creators Legal Program and the services offered here:
http://clp.counselforcreators.com/

The thoughts I'm sharing in this post aren't legal advice.

My comments here are points of discussion I've had with indie artists trying to protect their rights.. and with lawyer Jonathan and his tips on action artists can take to protect themselves.

When you start to look closely at cases of  "similar" artwork.... proving an art theft case can get slippery. You have to start with original images where the artist has registered their copyright. There really isn't a legal leg to stand on without that registration certificate.

The strongest cases for art theft seem to be where the original work is traced or flipped. The exactness of the similarities matters. Cases where the subject matter or poses of the subject are similar are more challenging to make a legal case for as art theft. This doesn't absolve the "imitation" artist from some shady activity. It just means that there's still lots of legal gray area when it comes to inspiration, imitation, and infringement.

For example.. in the case above of the reward/achievement stickers, I see a case where Gemma's pre-existing art is being imitated/infringed on by Jeremy.

Another look at the example might see both Gemma and Jeremy's work as being influenced by the font and palette of the old "Schoolhouse Rock" videos. Yet another view might see images that are described as stickers... but also similar to boy/girl scout badges.

If a freelance artist got an assignment to illustrate "merit badges for Freelance Achievement done in the style of Schoolhouse Rock" it becomes easy to tread on many toes. Especially if the client is really pushing for an imitation of something they already like.. but perhaps can't afford to license.. or to hire the original artist.

The best advice for artists -- for your own work and with assignments -- is to make sure your work is your own. Respect the work of your fellow artists. Original, unique art will be far removed from any source material you may be influenced/inspired by/assigned. Make sure your work inspires confidence, not comparisons.

The strongest protection of IP comes when you INNOVATE.. not imitate.

Why enter in to a "substantially similar" swamp? Artists can avoid it by being exceptional.

Many art subjects are so popular and generic they are particularly difficult to render in unique ways: unicorns, mermaids, fairies.

The artists who build a fan base with these subjects create identifiable versions based on their own vision. Fans are attracted to the new and unique. Educating fans to appreciate the value in this talent helps secure a supportive fan base.

Protecting IP is an ongoing challenge for artists. This is especially true in the internet age. Social media thrives on image sharing. Sadly, the framework of social media was not constructed with artists rights as the priority they should be. As a result, there is a culture online of sharing images without credits for the creators.

Posting images online puts artists at risk for art theft. Can every case of art theft be stopped? Sadly, no. But the more cases artists share.. the more they reinforce the value of their art.. and the more fans get educated and involved in protecting artists.

It's not enough to "like" an artist -- a real fan is invested!

Art life is entrepreneur life. Art schools are aware of this. Required courses include Copyright basics. Online sources.. from art schools, to tutorials, to websites like these.. offer education for artists at all career levels.
https://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/index.html
https://graphicartistsguild.org/tools_resources/browse

This handy info graphic by artist Lili Chin explains Copyright Basics.. and is available as a free download on her link:https://www.doggiedrawings.net/copyright-101


More on Art Theft case studies here:
http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2016/09/combat-art-theft-case-studies-and.html

--- Here are 3 steps to protect against art imitators ----

1) BUDGET FOR LEGAL PROTECTIONS
Schools, workshops, conventions and artist peer groups are ideal places to give artists resources to learn about IP. Protecting IP is priceless.. not expensive. Gas is expensive, but you budget for it to drive the car. Food is expensive, but you have to eat.

Preparing for life as an indie artist means budgeting your legal needs.
Make a budget to register your copyrights.
You can't afford to not to.
You cannot pursue legal action against infringers unless you have a copyright registration for your work. International cases are even more complicated.

2) EDUCATE
Many indie artists are using social media to educate their fans about art theft issues. It's so exhausting and expensive for indie artists to fight back against the onslaught of online art theft. Educated fans are the ones who report art theft to artists. Use the help of these fans. Don't chase after every case... but do use every case to reinforce how vital fan support is.

Artist Anna-Maria Jung http://www.annamariajung.com/
is often the victim of art theft. She posts warnings to let the counterfeiters .. and her fans .. know that art theft is not invisible. Art theft is a reminder for fans to be sure they are supporting artists: purchase directly from the artist; purchase from the artist's approved sources; report art theft to the artist.

Artists lose money to counterfeiters. Some sales to these thieves are inevitable. Use these loses to reach out to fans... educate them.. and appreciate their support.

Sample post from Anna-Maria


The Art of Anna-Maria Jung
BEWARE OF STOLEN ART!
If you see a "Firefly Fans", or "Totoro Fans" or some other "Fan" page on Facebook selling shirts - Chances are these designs are STOLEN - Either from independent artists or just ripped off images of official merchandise.
Click through to the page - If you can find the name of the artist and it doesn't clearly state that it's an OFFICIAL, licensed design, it is STOLEN. Use tineye.com to reverse-image search the design to find the original artist and support their work.
These "Fanpages" use web-resolution sized images for the print, so it will look terrible if you buy it there.

3) INNOVATE
Artist Liana Hee  https://www.etsy.com/shop/LianaHee
is especially known for her personal works of charming mermaid art. Her unique interpretations of this popular subject matter has gained her a devoted following. Her art is available online. Like many successful artists, she has been targeted for imitation.

Innovative artists like Liana are the leaders. Leaders will always be ahead of their replicators.

When someone imitates an innovator's art and puts their own name on it... even if it's not to make money on merchandise... it's still a theft. Turning these thefts into teachable moments helps expose the wrong-doing. Copying figure/subject poses may not be a copyright infringement... but seizing on the style, character and whimsical tone of an innovators work feels criminal.

Art with impact shines on its own merit.

A recent popular Buzzfeed post exploited Liana's work.. and credited it to another artist.
(info graphic below by Liana Hee).


Liana created this info graphic. It's an effective visual aid to educate her fans. It calls out the injustice of imitators. The Buzzfeed Quiz post garnered over 60,000 "likes" --- responding to art that was cribbed from the innovator. 

 Liana's fans appreciate the value of her IP and were quick to respond on the Buzzfeed Quiz comments. My comment was just one:

Dear Buzzfeed Quiz... art here is ripped off from original artist The Art of Liana Hee. Credited artist "adekvat" on this post has produced derivative, substantially similar works based on Copyright protected IP of original artist Liana Hee. Unauthorized use of online images is a chronic problem in the internet age. Art fans.. and consumers... are calling out art theft. Social media sharing includes taking notice of companies that infringe on creative rights or promote it by condoning it. Artist rights protect art life. We all enjoy image sharing... we all have the responsibility to respect the artists who make that possible.

Calling out companies can be a mixed bag. Personally, I feel it's worth it. The feedback from educated customers helps raise awareness for the companies and others visiting the post.
Giving an artist an assignment to create work should not mean imitating the protected work of another artist.
Being "inspired" by another artist should be a take-off point... not a rip-off exercise.
Fans have an important voice in this.
If you're a fan... speak up.
If you're an artist.. give your fans the visual tools and vocabulary to help them help you.

Your Guide to Behind the Scenes at Stuart Ng Books 8.22.17

Start here to learn how to use this blog..... You are about to explore SNB adventures from my (Amy's) perspective ... Stuart's website links to this blog, but Stuart does NOT write these posts.

For the latest news on Stuart Ng Books, you can follow SNB on Facebook or Twitter. To receive Stuart's email newsletter (with lots of exclusive offers) use this link from the SNB website: http://stuartngbooks.com/join-our-mailing-list.html
For info on ordering books, and a website chock full of our extensive inventory, start at the homepage for  SNB: http://stuartngbooks.com/

Welcome to the realm of Bride of Bookseller. The posts are all written by me. This blog exists to educate and entertain by sharing resources that can benefit artists.

It takes talent and commitment to thrive as an indie artist. But it also takes balance and fitness. No one talks to artists about this truth: You have to be well enough.. physically.. mentally..emotionally...financially... to get your work done. At the same time, so many artists struggle with chronic conditions that impact their productivity. No wonder artists are stressed. Many posts on the blog here offer possible solutions.... and celebrate the traits all the best artists share: (button below from Alaska Robotics http://alaskarobotics.com/)
Scroll down this "Your Guide" post  and you'll discover background on the blog (SNB and BTS backstory)....
Then these three categories of highlighted posts:

1) POSTS THAT GET UPDATED --- Art and Anxiety - Dance Steps and Resources; Copyright Info for Artists; Combat Art Theft; Podcast Recommendations

2) POSTS OF NOTE -- Angouleme and France; Yoga For Artists; Maleficent; Martin "Marty" Mouse; Indie Art Fairs; Google Doodle Mystery Artists Revealed; Cecil the Lion; Comic Con; Claire Wendling in California; Science Themed Posts; Activities and Attractions near the SNB Store; Horse of Course; Posts from the Most Active Year

3) a)Other Popular Topics; b) Humorous and Historical Posts
______________________________________

SNB and BTS BACKSTORY


For the origin of the SNB logo, see this post: http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2015/07/snb-logo-origin-story.html

Stuart Ng Books is very small business in Torrance, CA. Our niche is books on illustration, animation and comic art. Our wonderful, loyal patrons are artists, students and collectors in these fields.
We started in the genteel era of old school hands-on bookselling, and we've weathered the transition to the Online arena. Our bookstore is mostly mail order.  In addition to our website, we sell books at conventions and book fairs.
I say "our" because SNB started as a 2-person operation. We had a book room in the house for inventory. The dining room table was the packing station for mail orders. I was the voice on the phone, processed orders, and schlepped boxes to the post office. But it's called Stuart Ng Books for a reason. Once the books started earning their way and moved out of house and into their own office space, I'm was ready to segue into BTS (behind-the-scenes) mode.
Stuart is a man on a mission. He is always on the job: in constant search for great books and artists. He is known for discovering treasures during his annual trip to France to attend the festival in Angouleme, Europe's largest comic art convention. He doesn't speak or read French; he selects his inventory strictly for the art. He's the visual one. I'm more verbal. I took some French lessons... so now I can try to talk with people there (and order more than a ham and cheese sandwich at the cafes).
When Stuart launched the business full-time in 1997, we had no idea we would become a world-wide resource for books in our field. When I married Stuart... a LONG time ago.. I had no idea I would also be marrying a small business (we didn't meet in business school.... but that's another story). We have exhibited at San Diego Comic Con for 18 years. Where we find ourselves now, all these years later, is a creative and engaging place to be.
Our patrons seek out Stuart at conventions and online. They buy books from him because his "eye" and expertise are a bonus they value. Part of the fun of Stuart Ng Books is how we get to facilitate connections and inspiration. We get to see the artistic process in action. We steward the passing of cherished books from the reference libraries of artists who are masters in their field into the hands and creative spirit of a next generation. I try to remind us of all this on the days when our "What is the Matrix" question haunts us: Can a little book business survive in the internet age? Stay tuned ....
I started my blog in 2008 as a way to share topics I discussed with friends and patrons who visited us at conventions. I also use the blog to share trips to exhibits and shows we attend that artists might find inspiring.
Reoccurring themes on the blog archive include "Get Inspired"... "Your Science Lesson"... "Your Business Lesson," "Con," "POV shot," "Horse Show," "Book Fair"...
See "FAQ," "Stewardship" and "Legacy Books" for posts about bringing YOU the benefits of a devoted rare bookseller in world where mom and pop bookstores are themselves becoming endangered!
HELLO WORLD -- 120 and counting
For a complete list of the 120 countries that have visited the blog, check out this Aug 11, 2011 post: "Hello World.."  http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2011/08/hello-world-please-leave-comment.html And one final stat -- as of Oct 2016, the blog has tallied over 200,000 all-time page views.

1)  POSTS THAT GET UPDATED  

ART AND ANXIETY -- DANCE STEPS AND RESOURCES
I've also started posting links for resources regarding Art and Anxiety (updated 9.17.16... includes tips on how to communicate the value of your work!...http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2015/07/get-inspired-art-and-anxiety-dance-steps.html

Terrific Tumbler post by (gal artist .. just saying :)  C.Spike Trotman has this gem below and other panels explaining steps to success for indie artist life ....http://spikedrewthis.tumblr.com/post/64136324548/this-is-everything-i-know-a-24-hour-comic-about

More "art has value" on this post on how to turn a charity request into a paying job ... http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2015/07/your-business-lesson-turn-charity.html

Lots here on the blog for artist health -- physical, emotional, financial....
Graphic above by Patternson Clark...

"PSA on Killer Chairs" post on dangers of too much chair time for anyone with a desk job .. and tips to help fight the effects of damage to posture and hand and wrists
...http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2014/11/posts-in-progress-and-psa.html

COPYRIGHT INFO FOR ARTISTS



This is a post from July 2014 that I frequently update with new links and case studies of Copyright Protection for images posted online! UPDATED 2.24.17. Lots of resources listed here -- and case studies on unauthorized commerical use of artist owned images for profit by others:
http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2014/07/copyright-info-for-artists_15.html
Also see blog post from June 11, 2016 with FREE infographics by Lili Chin on copyright 101
http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2016/06/copyright-101-infographic-by-lili-chin.html
Lili's infographics are available as free downloads on  her link:
 http://www.doggiedrawings.net/copyright-101

Lili Chin is also the successful, established indie artist who had to file a lawsuit against Kohls when the retail giant stole her artwork.

This Oct 2016 post has background info and updates on this potentially groundbreaking legal case in the fight against art theft: http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2016/10/indie-artist-lili-chin-files-lawsuit.html
Lili's suit settled for an undisclosed sum.

Important info on blog post  "Fan Art -- Playground or Minefield." Includes link to video clip of panel on IP. This post on the grey areas of Fan Art is also updated.
http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2016/04/fan-art-playground-or-minefield.html



COMBAT ART THEFT --
case studies and taking action


This "Combat Art Theft" post (updated 8.6.17)  compiles case studies and how artists are fighting back. There is a dangerous culture of tolerated piracy when it comes to online art. This. Must. Stop. Links on this post explain the risks.. and offer solutions.http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2016/09/combat-art-theft-case-studies-and.html

PODCAST RECOMMENDATIONS
In 2015, I started listening to more podcasts. There are many great ones out there. If you "don't have time" for podcasts... or fitness... try planning a time to get up from your chair for a 10 or 15 min walk once a day, and listen to a podcast while your moving around. See if it becomes a happy habit with benefits! Some podcast segments are under 15 mins. Many are about an hour. Listening to a podcast adds a learning opportunity to many activities. Here's a post where I gathered a list of podcasts recommendations, including these 3 top picks.



2) POSTS OF NOTE

ANGOULEME AND FRANCE
Each year, Stuart recharges with travel to France to attend the largest Comics festival in Europe. It's held in the city of Angouleme, about 2 hours from Paris. During this trip, we get to reconnect with artist pals and colleagues.. and I often get to document my side trips to museums and other art reference adventures. You can find these France related posts in the February posts of most years on the blog. Here's link for most recent: http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2017/02/paris-2017-sites-and-recommendations_20.html


YOGA FOR ARTISTS
In 2015 I launched a series of posts to share stretches and restorative options for Artists and others whose work demands long hours of sitting. These simple exercises will help undo the strain on back, shoulders, arms, wrists and hands. Posts feature stills and video with certified yoga instructor Simone, who gives helpful workshops at the SNB showroom for crew and colleagues. Simone's Facebook page also offers links to online tutorials she finds and recommends: https://www.facebook.com/simonemarket
Here are links for "Yoga for Artists" lessons on the blog:
Lesson #2 - Upper Body Stretches using Chair, Wall and Blocks http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2015/06/yoga-lesson-2-upper-body-stretches.html

MALEFICENT
Current favorite posts include the 4 posts I wrote in June 2014 for film "Maleficent" .. with 2 detailed posts on the QandA with director Robert Stromberg and Production Designer Dylan Cole that I attended at Gnomon school.

Here are links for the four June posts on Maleficent --
 http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2014/06/making-of-maleficent-event-held-at.html
http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2014/06/making-of-maleficent-talk-with-robert.html
http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2014/06/he-art-of-maleficent-sleeping-beautys.html
http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2014/06/many-messages-of-maleficent-updated-6814.html
More Maleficent posts in Sept and Oct for the "Once Upon A Dream" book signing including this re-cap of the event http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2014/10/once-upon-dream-maleficent-dream-event.html

(LtoR, Dylan Cole, Robert Stromberg, Charles Solomon, Don Hahn at Center Stage Gallery for book signing co-hosted by Stuart Ng Books)

March 3, 2015 post on "Art of Motion Picture Costume Design" exhibit at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising Museum.  http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2015/03/maleficent-birdman-etc-at-fashion.html
Here's link to LA Times story about the exhibit... http://www.latimes.com/fashion/la-ig-fidm-exhibit-20150222-story.html
The featured costume for this exhibit was the Maleficent gown from the christening scene.

FIDM exhibit 2016




MARTIN "MARTY" MOUSE tours the cons ... and the world!
Internet phenom Marty is the star from Martin "Marty" Mouse facebook page https://www.facebook.com/martymousetherat by Photographer Sarah Hunt http://sarahhuntphotography.com/. Her glorious photos of Marty have been featured on Buzzfeed, Cute Overload, etc and bring the charm and comic fun of wee ones to a world-wide audience of over 25,000 + fans.
I'm delighted to escort Marty (in squeeze Marty pillow form -- art designed by Steph Laberis https://www.facebook.com/stephlaberisart  ) at conventions and on other adventures, documented here on the blog, with links to featured artists and other finds.
Here are the Marty posts
WONDERCON 2015
http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2015/04/wondercon-2015-tour-con-with-marty-mouse.html
PARIS AND ANGOULEME 2015
http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2015/02/france-2015-preview-of-posts-in-progress.html
COMIC CON 2014
http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2014/08/comic-con-2014-fun-of-camaraderie.html
CTNX 2014
http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2014/11/behind-scenes-with-martin-marty-mouse.html

Plush art tour pals for 2016
Huggable Koi #10 in France
http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2016/02/huggable-koi-in-france-2016-angouleme.html

Plush Art Pals Tour WonderCon
http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2016/03/wondercon-2016-tour-with-plush-pals.html
How does art plush happen??? Check out this Kickstarter that surpassed its funding goals and launched its artist/creator to a whole new level  ... 

INDEPENDENT ARTIST FAIRS AND SHOWS
Your local art fair is a great place to find artists in your own neighborhood. Here in SoCal we have a number of these. I especially enjoy the Patchwork Art Fairs, organized by DearHandmade Life http://dearhandmadelife.com/patchwork-show/.

GOOGLE DOODLE MYSTERY ARTISTS - REVEALED!!!
May 2014 post, also frequently updated, reveals the "mystery artists" behind Google Doodles. This post also includes background info on some of my favorite Google Doodles over the years. March 2016 update has info on annual Google Doodle contest for students K-12th grade.
  http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2014/05/google-doodle-mystery-artist-with-links.html


CECIL THE LION

Image above by Manny Carrasco...
The tragic circumstances with Cecil the lion in 2015 provoked an outpouring of tribute art. I collected some images on this blog post.. as well as articles about conservation efforts.
 http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2015/08/cecil-lion-art-stories-lessons-and.html


5 POSTS ON BLOG FOR COMIC CON 2017
Views of the Exhibit Hall and around the convention... including links for the Blade Runner Experience interactive attraction.http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2017/07/comic-con-2017-1-of-5-stuart-ng-books.html



COMIC CON 2016

Six posts .. highlighting SNB booth.. Indie Artist Exhibitors....Pavilions, Toys and the Price of Popularity.. link for podcast on Exhibitor Tips for Artists.... Revisit the show starting with  #1 of 6 http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2016/07/comic-con-2016-snb-booth.html

COMIC CON 2015
Comic Con 2015 Seven Posts in all on topics from SNB Booth to Cosplay .. to Marty Mouse Tour..to SDCC survival guide.. plus lots of links for commentary and photo albums. Start here for topic titles and links: http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2015/07/comic-con-2015-seven-posts-hundreds-of.html

CLAIRE WENDLING 2015 VISIT TO CALIFORNIA
The Stuart Ng Books - Claire Wendling connection dates back to 2005. That year, Claire was the featured artist at the annual  Angouleme Festival of Bande Dessinee, the largest comics festival in Europe.
Prior to the 2005 festival, Stuart had discovered Wendling's work via her sketchbook of personal drawings "Desk" (first published in France; current edition published by Stuart Ng Books)....
 http://stuartngbooks.com/wendling-desk.html

....and her award-winning art for the Bande Dessinee (or BD) series "Les Lumieres des Amalou" (written by Christophe Gibelin).
http://stuartngbooks.com/les-lumieres-de-lamalou-edition-integrale.html

Inspired to attend the 2005 festival for the chance to see a career retrospective of her work, and perhaps meet the artist, Stuart embarked on his first-ever trip to France. In fact, it was the first time he had ever traveled outside of the US. Stuart does not speak or read French. Fortunately for all of us, Claire and her charming husband and colleague Christian speak fluent  English.
Even from those first meetings in the city cafes, Claire and Stuart spoke a common language of appreciation: for Claire's unique skills; and for Stuart's ability to bring her visionary talent to an ever-expanding US and worldwide community of peers and fans.
In the years that followed, Stuart's annual trips to Angouleme for the festival also included a visit with Claire and Christian... bringing them news and appreciation from her US fans ... and always talk of a hopeful visit by them to the US.
In 2015, on the 10th anniversary of the Claire Wendling-Stuart Ng connection, Claire was able to accept two long-offered invitations that Stuart had conveyed to her from mutual friends. Claire appeared as a special guest at the  Big Wow comics convention in early April. She accepted an honorary doctorate and speaking engagements at the Academy of Art Universtiy in San Francisco in April and May. Photo below shows Claire and Stuart at Claire's table at Big Wow.
Here on the blog are a series of 6 posts with photos and behind the scenes highlights from this long-awaited return of Claire Wendling to her beloved California ... where she worked for Warner Bros Feature Animation in the 1990s.
Claire Wendling at Big Wow Convention (background post)
http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2015/04/claire-wendling-at-big-wow-convention.html
Claire Wendling -- Highlights from Big Wow and speaking engagement at Academy of Art University
http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2015/04/post-in-progress-claire-wendling.html
"animal" art show at Gnomon School (Claire attended and met with several of the artists)
http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2015/05/animal-benefit-art-exhibition-at-gnomon.html
Paul Choy photos from Claire Wendling signing at SNB
http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2015/05/paul-choy-photos-from-claire-wendling.html
Behind the Scenes at Wendling signing and CA visit
http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2015/05/behind-scenes-at-wendling-visit-to-snb.html
Claire Wendling sketching at Big Wow, link to video by John Fleskes
http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2015/05/claire-wendling-sketching-video-from.html

CLAIRE WENDING IN CA - 2016
Wendling was a featured guest at the 2016 CTNX Animation Expo. Here's link for an interview with her on the CTN website: http://tv.creativetalentnetwork.com/a-conversation-with-claire-wendling


3 posts on CTNX 2016 -- including this one w/info on Wendling book that debuted:

SCIENCE THEMED POSTS

YOUR SCIENCE LESSON.. (Aug 27, 2009) video clip from Musee Curie
http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2009/08/your-science-lesson-for-today-musee.html

YOUR SCIENCE LESSON... INTL YEAR OF CHEMISTRY (Nov 7, 2011)  AND DEBUT OF MARIE CURIE PLAY AT GEFFEN IN LOS ANGELES  http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2011/11/your-science-lesson-for-today-2011.html

(another fun SCIENCE LESSON post -- CHEMICAL HERITAGE FOUNDATION LIBRARY (in PA) and MUSEE CURIE (in Paris) post from Aug 21, 2009)  http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2009/08/elements-are-everywhere-your-science.html


ACTIVITIES and ATTRACTIONS NEAR OUR STORE

If you want to visit the SNB showroom -- and your family or S.O. (significant other) wants something to do besides look at books -- here are some links to local attractions:

From SEPT POST 9/5/11: Two "Family Fun" posts about Wilson  Park. See pics of the ballparks, tree house, and more ... also a paved walking trail that's mostly shaded and about a mile long. (As of 10/15, duck pond in pic below fenced and drained due to drought). Still there are lots of amenities.. and if you bring a bag of unsalted peanuts.. chances are you'll make friends with some squirrels!
 http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2011/09/family-fun-wilson-park.html

Here's link to Yelp review of the park. http://www.yelp.com/biz/wilson-park-torrance
The duck pond pictured above is closed now. It's being renovated into a splash pad water playground.. expected to open May 2017 http://www.dailybreeze.com/lifestyle/20160817/cool-your-jets-splash-pad-coming-to-torrances-wilson-park

There are activities for all ages in and around Torrance... so if you want to browse our showroom for awhile and your family doesn't... you can all come to Torrance and do different things! We are minutes away from shops and AMC movies at Del Amo Fashion Mall http://www.simon.com/mall/del-amo-fashion-center  A miles north will get you to the South Coast Botanic Garden  http://southcoastbotanicgarden.org/ ..... and we're also close to the Lomita Train Museum http://www.lomita-rr.org/

On Saturdays, Wilson Park is home to the Torrance Farmer's Market -- great produce and food booths. http://www.yelp.com/biz/torrance-city-farmers-market-torrance. Wilson Park is also home to the Southern California Live Steamers Minature Railroad http://www.southerncalifornialivesteamers.com/  Ride the trains at the Park every 3rd Saturday!  http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2011/09/family-fun-wilson-park-train-rides.html


Even more culture just minutes from our showroom -- The International Printing Museum. This tiny gem hosts an annual printers fair (http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2011/10/printing-museum-printers-fair-today-sat.html) -- as well as a Dickens festival (post nov 29, 2010 http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2010/11/morning-brew-nov-29-family-fun-at.html ) a Ben Franklin b'day celebration (post Jan 6, 2012  http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2012/01/b-is-for-ben-franklin-and-family-fun.html), and a founding fathers independence day event in July. Check their website for calendar of upcoming presentations:  http://www.printmuseum.org/



HORSE OF COURSE

Why is Stuart Ng Books located in Torrance? One reasons is the proximity to HORSES!!


No, I don't have a horse -- but just a few miles from us is the rural enclave of  Palos Verdes (PV)  -- a thriving equestrian community -- with miles of trails -- lots of riding stables -- all located right on the coast with ideal weather. If you want to sketch horses and equestrian life in a mild, shaded climate there are a number of public parks in PV with rings that riders use to train their horses as well as the various public and private stables in the area. Here are links for two of the public parks:
Ernie Howlett Park (site for annual charity horse show)
http://www.yelp.com/biz/ernie-howlett-park-rolling-hills-estates
Dapplegray Park, Rolling Hills Estates
http://www.ci.rolling-hills-estates.ca.us/index.aspx?page=116

Every September, a nationally ranked charity horse show, The Portuguese Bend National Horse Show, is held in PV.

Five posts on 2015 horse show... including this one featuring background on artist Terryl Whitlatch (her new book highlighted in the horse show program) http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2015/09/terryl-whitlatch-horse-art-and-creature.html

This horse show is a family friendly event with TONS of amenities. -- and an outstanding sketching opportunity for artists. There is a large, shaded, grassy knoll where you can sit for hours and sketch. You can also get quite close to the horses and riders if you want. While many equestrian events in PV are FREE to attend, there is a nominal admission charge for the charity horse show on Sat  & Sun -- because all proceeds for this event are a fundraiser. Admission to the charity show is free on Fridays. The show runs fri - sun on the 1st weekend in Sept.
"HORSE SHOW 2011 - PREVIEWS AND PICS FROM PREVIOUS SHOWS" post from 9-6-11 has some of my favorite action shots of horses and gives you a flavor of this very special event.
http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2011/09/1-day-until-horse-show-sept-9-11.html

The show has been held for almost 60 years by the non-profit PCCH (Peninsula Committee Children's Hospital), an organization that raises money for Children's Hospital Los Angeles. More on PCCH here: http://www.pcch.net/



For more info on the annual Portuguese Bend National Horse Show -- including date for this year's show and schedule of activities, check out this link to show webpage:
http://www.pcch.net/index.php/horseshow/

EQUINE ARTISTS POSTS
Popular post from 2016 featured contemporary equine artist Jo Taylor (pictured below in her studio)

One of the most popular posts on the blog concerns artist Norman Thelwell.
http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2014/09/get-inspired-norman-thelwell-special_5.html


other Equine artists I've highlighted
George Ford Morris   http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2011/12/gift-of-inspiration-george-ford-morris.html
CW Anderson   http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2011/12/gift-of-inspiration-cw-anderson.html
Post on Horse reference and scale models (including Breyer horses)
http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2008/08/more-horse-reference-scale-models-up-to.html

POSTS ON SPECIFIC HORSES:
SECRETARIAT(Sept 2010)  http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2010/09/morning-brew-sept-28-big-red-arrives.html


 and THE BLACK STALLION (Oct 2010) http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2010/10/secretariat-black-stallion-winner-is.html

POSTS FROM MOST ACTIVE YEAR
2011 was the most active year on the blog. Here are links for some of the most frequently visited posts:

NOVEMBER 2011 POSTS:
9 POSTS on CTNX
(includes posts on REGIS LOISEL http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2011/11/ctnx-2011-regis-loisel.html


TERRYL WHITLATCH (This post updated 6/14; added you tube interview with her from Academy of Art University)  http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2011/11/ctnx-2011-terryl-whitlatch.html

and SKETCHTRAVEL book US DEBUT and SIGNING)  http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2011/11/ctnx-2011-sketchtravel-debut-signing.html

ANIMAL ANTICS.... SNB publication of Pres Romanillos sketchbook previewed here on the blog.  http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2011/11/ctnx-2011-pres-romanilllos-sketchbook.html

A set of three  "FAMILY FUN" POSTS ON ANNUAL MODEL TRAIN SHOW (oct 30th 2011) http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2011/10/train-show-2011-live-wire-train-town.html




Three  POSTS ON "MARY BLAIR PANEL" AT ACADEMY OF MOTION PICTURE ARTS SCIENCES http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2011/10/mary-blair-panel-updated-post-coming.html




3a)  OTHER POPULAR TOPICS
ART OF ANIMALS (Aug 2010) exhibit at Forest Lawn in Glendale with links to more images from amazing artwork at this show! http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2010/08/get-inspiried-menagerie-art-of-animals.html

"DREAM CON"

Dream Con is an annual Book Fair for and by the DreamWorks Animation artists. They get to showcase some of their personal projects -- self-published sketchbooks, photography, original art etc. It's held on the DreamWorks animation campus and SNB is the only outside vendor. We are lucky to be invited there every year, as they kindly consider our booth a "perk" they are providing their artists. Always a great day with fun folks at a beautiful setting. Here are links for the years I've posted about:
2016 http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2016/10/dreamcon-2016.html
2015 http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2015/10/dreamcon-2015.html
2011  http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2011/10/snb-at-dream-con-oct-2011.html

Posts on animal sculpts -- "BRONZE ANIMALS BY ERIC BERG"  http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2011/10/bronze-animals-by-eric-berg-new-post.html ... and "BRONZE ANIMALS, LAZY DAISY CAFE OSCAR'S HOME IN BEVERLY HILLS" http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2011/10/bronze-animals-in-beverly-hills-front.html

TWO "GET INSPIRED" POSTS WITH FREQUENT HITS:
"GET INSPIRED - Printers Fair 2014"
http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2014/10/los-angeles-printers-fair-2014.html
also 2015 post
http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2015/10/la-printers-fair-2015.html


"GET INSPIRED - TIM BURTON MoMA SHOW AT LACMA"  http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2011/09/get-inspired-tim-burton-moma-show-at.html

LA COUNTY MUSEUM OF NAT'L HISTORY
Want to sketch bones??? Check out these three posts on the LA County Museum of Natural History and the Sept 2011 opening of the new Dino Hall:
 http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2011/09/get-inspiredfamily-fun-natl-history_06.html  Link for LA County Museum of Natural History http://www.nhm.org/site/

3b) HUMOROUS AND HISTORICAL POSTS
SNB experiments (like our booth at a Twilight convention Oct 2010. http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2010/10/hillywood-show-with-wendling-desk.html  ); Scenes from our bookscouting trips (Aug 2009 is a good one  http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2009/08/planes-trains-and-bookstores-back-east.html ); Even a post on the time someone shipped us a book in a used pizza box (Aug 2008 post  http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2008/08/place-holder-1.html)  . For posts written back when I was "the voice" on the phone at SNB and at the order desk full-time, search "Daily Brew" (2008 - 2010). All this and more lurks here on the blog for you to discover..

Some blog posts highlight the directions that SNB takes me (but not necessarily Stuart)... search the archive posts to find Hoops and Yoyo  http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/search?q=hoops+%26+yoyo; Twilight http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/search?q=twilight;
Ready for a dance break? Enjoy this music video of band Ok Go w/ agility dogs! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nHlJODYBLKs
Here's the link for the MSBNC show that featured Stuart:http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/innovation/video/american-business-super-nicheSee AUGUST 2010 posts additional pics and info on SNB on MSNBC...

FYI notices: 1) Stuart's last name, "Ng", is pronounced like the suffix "ing" in "drawing" or "Wendling." 2) you can email comments or questions directly to me at seahorse310(at)gmail.com. Aloha and thanks for visiting.