Wednesday, April 28, 2021

NFTs in the news. Case studies. (updated 5.10.21)

 NFTs were in the news in April. The Los Angeles Times had a front-page story. Several articles appeared in the Wall Street Journal. (links included in this post).

In this blog post, I’ll give excerpts from these sources to provide some basics on NFTs and these case studies. (UPDATE 5.10.21 added Case Study #7)

What are NFTs?

Let’s start with the basics..

This definition of NFTs is from a page on the Graphic Artists Guild (GAG) websitehttps://graphicartistsguild.org/non-fungible-what/?fbclid=

NFT: Non Fungible Token

“Non-fungible” means something unique which cannot be interchanged, and “token” means something which represents something else. As with the cryptocurrencies bitcoin and ether, NFTs reside in the blockchain. However, similar to real currencies (and unlike NFTs), cryptocurrencies are interchangeable in divisible units. NFTs exist as unique, whole tokens. While each NFT contains a non-transferable identity that can’t be altered, they are extensible – two NFTs can be combined to create a third unique NFT.

Since they are unique, NFTs can “tokenize” digital assets, like artwork, animations, music, digital real estate, and even the first-ever tweet. NFTs permit transactions that are simplified and efficient. Since the data about the NFT is permanently encoded within the blockchain, there is a lower risk of fraud in the NFT purchase transaction. For artists, NFTs permit transactions directly with art buyers, eliminating the middleman. The blockchain metadata fields for an NFT can contain information the artist may want to include, such as their signature, licensing terms, or copyright transfer. Many NFT marketplaces also permit artists to set a resale fee so that as their artwork is sold from buyer to buyer, they receive a passive income.

What is essential to understand about NFTs is that the digital artwork itself does not reside within the blockchain with the NFT.  Instead, the NFT functions as a frame that points to an address for the artwork. Independent reporter Amy Castor writes on financial fraud and cryptocurrencies. As she puts it, “Really, an NFT is simply proof that an object exists.” Unless the artist has explicitly included usage rights or a transfer of copyright as part of the transaction, the NFT does not transfer any rights to the artwork. The buyer of an NFT can’t prevent other people from viewing the artwork, downloading it, or otherwise control that work outside whatever safeguards exist on the server on which the artwork resides.

So, what exactly is the buyer getting when they purchase an NFT? Essentially, the buyer purchases proof of ownership and authenticity – or “bragging rights” – to an original piece of digital artwork. The purchase includes whatever terms or information the artist decides to include within the blockchain data fields. Some artists include copyrights, licensing options, or even printed, signed copies of the artwork to sweeten the deal.”

The GAG website page on NFTs includes sections on “Buyer Beware,’ “Artist Be Aware,” and “To Tokenize or Not,” as well as a link for an NFT resource list.

Five Case Studies

Case Study #1


LA TIMES

“Who Can Sell a Wonder Woman NFT?”

https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/story/2021-04-14/nfts-intellectual-property-marvel-dc-comics-who-gets-to-make-millions

by Matt Pearce APRIL 14, 2021

Artist José Delbo worked for decades drawing superheroes for Marvel and DC. Now in his late 80s, he had been making money at conventions selling “fan art” of favorite characters. It’s not just for fun.. it’s often the retirement plan for indie artists in comics. Covid shutdown conventions and this income stream. Delbo’s grandson introduced him to NFTs. Here’s an excerpt from the article about what happened next…

“NFTs, or nonfungible tokens, are unique pieces of code that work like electronic certificates of authenticity. NFTs make it possible to buy and sell things like JPEGs of Major League Baseball cards, video clips of NBA highlights, virtual sneakers or even an NFT “flavor” of Pringles crisps using cryptocurrency. Think of it as an electronic deed for an electronic house.

Serious comics fans have spent hundreds or thousands of dollars for Delbo’s superheroes drawn on paper, so why not try the same thing online with NFTs?

The experiment paid off. This spring, as the rest of the world was scrambling to understand the NFT phenomenon, fans paid the equivalent of nearly $2 million for a set of NFTs by Delbo and the two-person artist team Hackatao featuring DC Comics character Wonder Woman.

“I have been able to take my art to a whole new place,” Delbo said on Twitter of his late-career pivot. Delbo’s latest drop, featuring a new, original hero, netted more than $1 million.

Comic artists dreaming of similar NFT paydays may not be so lucky. Especially if their images include highly profitable intellectual property controlled by DC Comics, Marvel or other studios. As the initial thrill of this spring’s NFT craze recedes, the new technology has started exposing age-old tensions between rank-and-file creatives and powerful entertainment corporations over who gets to prosper from a new market. In the comic book industry, that’s not been a fight that many artists win.

Shortly after Delbo’s sale, DC — which like Marvel long has allowed artists to sell original ink-and-paper drawings used in comic books — sent a notice to artists forbidding the minting of NFTs with DC characters.

“As DC examines the complexities of the NFT marketplace and we work on a reasonable and fair solution for all parties involved, including fans and collectors, please note that the offering for sale of any digital images featuring DC’s intellectual property with or without NFTs, whether rendered for DC’s publications or rendered outside the scope of one’s contractual engagement with DC, is not permitted,” said the letter from Jay Kogan, DC’s senior vice president for legal affairs.

Marvel sent a similar notice after artists auctioned NFTs of their original artwork of Marvel characters.

The warnings landed heavily in an industry where crossing Marvel or DC can hobble an artist’s ability to work on high-profile projects.

Popular comic artist Kode Abdo, known as BossLogic, canceled an NFT drop for art themed on the movie “Zack Snyder’s Justice League” after DC became concerned that “NFT projects have made substantial revenues without permission or consideration for studio IP,” he wrote on Instagram.

Jason Schachter, a comic art dealer whose NFT sales of current Marvel artists’ NFT art is thought to have prompted the company’s crackdown, said both Marvel and DC had written letters “asking us to put a pause on selling any NFTs with their licensed properties.”

“It’s not in our best interests to bite the hand that feeds us,” said Schachter, who halted NFT sales to maintain what he says have been good relationships with Marvel and DC. Marvel and DC declined to comment for this story.”…..

…This article also goes into some of the history of IP and comics…

“DC and Marvel have made billions and dominated the comics world by protecting their rights to characters like Batman and Wolverine, marketing the images to millions of fans through comics and movies as well as toys, T-shirts and video games. Those projects, however, are made possible by an army of artists — many of them contractors who don’t receive health benefits and have struggled for decades for greater recognition and creative rights.

“It’s tough to make a living doing comic book art,” said Jimmy Palmiotti, a comic publisher, writer and artist who has worked for Marvel and DC Comics. “There’s no union. There’s no retirement. There’s no parachute. You have to constantly hustle. The companies know there’s a ton of talent all over the world willing to draw comics for next to nothing, and they’re willing to take advantage of it.”

As the first Superman movie began development in the 1970s, it was revealed that the Man of Steel’s creators from the 1930s, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, did not initially stand to cash in from the comic industry’s expansion into a lucrative new market. Industry activism in that era resulted in artists winning the ability to sell their finished pages to fans as collectibles after the publishers put out the comic book.

Some Marvel and DC artist contracts appear to strictly limit even those rights, according to recent agreements reviewed by The Times. One contract said the original “physical” (not digital) art remained the property of Marvel, “but shall be returned to Talent as a courtesy” and allowed to be sold according to Marvel’s art-return policy, “as determined from time to time by Marvel.” Translation: Marvel makes the rules.

DC’s legal rights, asserted in one artist’s contract, appeared to be even more sweeping. While paper original sales are allowed, the artist otherwise assigns ownership of the comic art to DC “and all other rights to exploit the Work in all media now known or hereafter devised, throughout the universe, in perpetuity.”

Many fans may not realize that these labor arrangements are why some comic book artists illustrate covers and major inside “splash” pages on paper, while producing less-important pages digitally. Digital art often can be easier to produce, but paper pages can be sold to collectors once the publishers are done with them. That’s why Batman might get drawn on paper while his butler, Alfred, might get drawn on a screen.

But as more comic artists’ work migrates onto the digital space, some worry this creative right from the print era might disappear.”

Case Study #2

WALL STREET JOURNAL

“NFTs the Method to the Madness”

https://www.wsj.com/articles/nfts-the-method-to-the-madness-of-a-69-million-art-sale-11616164200

By Jason Zweig March 19, 2021 

This article gives basics on NFTs  including the sale of an NFT of this popular image:

“You’ve heard of nonfungible tokens even if you don’t yet know what they are—because the people buying them sound so crazy. In February, an NFT representing the Nyan Cat video meme, which looks like a feline Pop-Tart dragging a rainbow through outer space, sold for more than $500,000. A video NFT of LeBron James dunking a basketball sold for $208,000. On March 11, an NFT attached to a digital collage by the artist known as Beeple sold at Christie’s for $69 million.

Although such prices are baffling—and may, in fact, be crazy—NFTs could solve problems that have dogged the art world and other markets for centuries. Think of a nonfungible token as a unique digital serial number that certifies the authenticity and ownership history of an associated object.

That information, along with other data, is recorded on a blockchain. This is a ledger, or immutable record, that resides on a decentralized network of computers world-wide. The blockchain technology underpins bitcoin and ethereum, the leading cryptocurrencies. Any of the ledger’s millions of users can instantly verify that the information is accurate and complete.

By connecting the blockchain to art and other creative work, NFTs bring the objectivity of computer code to fields that are notorious for subjectivity. Artists, writers and musicians struggle to find audiences and make a living. Curators, dealers, collectors and art historians bicker nonstop about the quality and value—and the authenticity—of major works.

Consider the French artist Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, who was jokingly said to have painted 3,000 canvases, 10,000 of which were bought in the U.S. Is a particular Corot genuine or a forgery? Who were its previous owners? Has it ever been exhibited at a museum or previously sold at auction? Was it ever seriously damaged and extensively restored?

Until now, buyers often had to take the answers to such questions on faith. An NFT, however, can integrate reams of information about an artwork into an authoritative, permanent digital record.

Case Study #3

WALL STREET JOURNAL

“Artists Jump into NFTs”

https://www.wsj.com/articles/artists-jump-into-nfts-seeing-a-digital-bonanza-11617634274

By Kelly Crow April 5, 2021

“An NFT frenzy is raging and artists want in. From museum darlings to digital upstarts, artists across the marketplace say nonfungible tokens could be a game-changer, roiling gallery loyalties and reshaping what creators can demand financially and how they work.

NFTs are tokens that amount to digital certificates of authenticity and allow images that exist only on screens to be traded and tracked.

Top-tier artists like Damien Hirst and John Gerrard already are converting some of their works into NFTs. Now, Urs Fischer is diving in. The 47-year-old Swiss-born artist will offer his first NFT, “Chaos #1 Human,” on Fair Warning, an auction app, on April 11. The animated work depicts a 3D scan of a brown egg and a cigarette lighter slowly colliding and moving through each other. It is part of a new series exploring cultural artifacts through hundreds of NFT pairings of everyday objects that will be capped with one amalgamation of all 1,000 images.

The rest of the art world is still catching up to what NFTs do and how they might transform transactions. Museum trustees said they are adding cryptocurrency to their portfolios—while dealers and art advisers are trying to pinpoint which NFT artists are trendy. Auction houses, early out of the gate, are tacking on classes to teach collectors the ropes. On April 26, Christie’s education arm will hold a three-day online course titled the “Comprehensive Guide to NFTs.”

Case Study #4

WALL STREET JOURNAL

“Digital Artist Pak Sells NFT Works for 17 Million”

https://www.wsj.com/articles/sothebys-enters-nft-market-with-17-million-sale-of-art-by-enigmatic-artist-pak-11618429617

By Kelly Crow April 14, 2021

“(Artist) Pak maintains a cryptic persona and has declined through a Sotheby’s spokesman to confirm any biographical details, other than to prefer the pronouns “they/them.” It also remains unclear if Pak represents an individual or a group of designers.

Pak’s auction will likely elevate the artist’s profile in traditional art circles. Until now, the artist was best known for The Archillect, a social-media feed Pak designed to be run and curated by an algorithm of artificial intelligence. Even so, Pak is widely known in digital design circles for creating sleek, wryly conceptual artworks that explore ideas about value and ownership, and this latest series, “The Fungible Collection,” explores the NFT world’s market aspects in fresh way

Max Moore, the Sotheby’s specialist overseeing the sale, said, “Some people think there’s a stigma to buying a JPEG, but once you dive into the technology, there is a conceptual sophistication that’s not possible anywhere else in art,” adding, “With Pak, we’re just scratching the surface.”

Mr. Moore said the house broke with auction convention by allowing the artist to sell an open edition—or a conceivably endless supply—of “Cubes,” and nearly 20,000 cubes sold for $500 apiece during a 15-minute time slot on the sale’s first day. That amounted to nearly $10 million on Monday alone. Similar time slots were opened on Tuesday and Wednesday—attracting so much traffic on Tuesday that Nifty Gateway’s site temporarily bogged until the glut of credit-card transactions could get processed. All in, the artist sold 23,598 cubes to 3,080 people for a combined $14 million.

After the cube sale opened, Pak added another twist by saying these NFTs could be “burned," or destroyed and thereby converted from unique art tokens back into the artist’s newly created cryptocurrency dubbed ASH—a crazy-eight value loop that could befuddle traditional collectors but appeal to cryptocurrency veterans accustomed to plying their fortunes into tradable digital coins.

Colin Goltra, a Manila-based executive at a cryptocurrency exchange said he bought cubes and followed the sale, and the artist, closely. He says, “Pak is our Picasso.”

Case Study #5

ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST

“What’s an NFT?”

https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/nft-everything-you-need-to-know

by Nadja Sayej March 17,2021

“Christie’s auction house made headlines last week with a groundbreaking digital art sale—the first purely digital artwork has sold for $69 million. This is the latest craze in the art world, as NFTs, or “non-fungible tokens,” are seeing a gold rush in the art market.

An NFT is a special type of cryptographic token that acts as a digital stamp of authenticity. This digital artwork, called Beeple’s Opus, is created by Beeple (the art moniker of South Carolina artist Mike Winkelmann). It is a collection of 5,000 images, including photographs, illustrations, digital sketches, and abstract 3-D renderings that traces the evolution of the artist over the past 13 and a half years. Noah Davis, a contemporary art specialist at Christie’s New York, calls this artwork as “a kind of Duchampian readymade.”

Now, Beeple is the third-most-valued artist, in terms of auction prices, after David Hockney and Jeff Koons. The artist shared his own disbelief on Twitter. This one NFT sale signals a shift in the art world. “Digital art is a long established medium; however, it wasn’t until the introduction of NFTs and blockchain technology that these artists were able to stake their claim in the art market,” says Davis. “It was a vote of confidence in the artistic community, from both the crypto-art market and the traditional art world.”….

…..One can only buy a NFT, as a “purely digital” artwork, with cryptocurrency. This one is collected through Ether, and its proof of ownership is recorded on the Ethereum blockchain. This completely original digital signature has information recorded and encrypted through its blockchain ledger with numbers and letters and can’t be copied.”

Case Study #6

NY TIMES

"The World Knows Her as ‘Disaster Girl.’ She Just Made $500,000 Off the Meme"


https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/29/arts/disaster-girl-meme-nft.html?referringSource=articleShare

By Marie FazioApril 29, 2021

Excerpt: "The name Zoë Roth might not ring any bells. But chances are you’ve seen her photo.

One Saturday morning in 2005, when Ms. Roth was 4 years old, her family went to look at a house on fire in their neighborhood in Mebane, N.C. Firefighters had intentionally set the blaze as a controlled fire, so it was a relaxed affair: Neighbors gathered and firefighters allowed children to take turns holding the hose.

Ms. Roth remembers watching the flames engulf the house when her father, an amateur photographer, asked her to smile. With her hair askew and a knowing look in her eyes, Ms. Roth flashed a devilish smirk as the fire roared behind her. “Disaster Girl” was born.

In the years since Dave Roth, Zoë’s father, entered it in a photo contest in 2007 and won, the image has been edited into various disasters from history, with Ms. Roth grinning impishly as a meteor wipes out the dinosaurs or the Titanic sinks in the distance. Now, after more than a decade of having her image endlessly repurposed as a vital part of meme canon, Ms. Roth has sold the original copy of her meme as a nonfungible token, or NFT, for nearly half a million dollars.

The meme sold for 180 Ether, a form of cryptocurrency, at an auction on April 17 to a user identified as @3FMusic. As with any currency, the value of Ether fluctuates, but as of Thursday, 180 Ether was valued at more than $495,000. The Roths retained the copyright and will receive 10 percent of future sales.

The market for ownership rights to digital art, ephemera and media known as NFTs, is exploding. All NFTs, including the “Disaster Girl” meme Ms. Roth just sold, are stamped with a unique bit of digital code that marks their authenticity, and stored on the blockchain, a distributed ledger system that underlies Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

In the meme hall of fame, “Disaster Girl” ranks alongside “Ermahgerd,” a pigtailed teenage girl posing with “Goosebumps” books; “Bad Luck Brian,” immortalized in a grimacing yearbook photo with braces; and “Success Kid,” a toddler on a beach with a clenched fist and an expression of intense determination.

In an interview, Ms. Roth said selling the meme was a way for her to take control over a situation that she has felt powerless over since she was in elementary school. 

Before making the decision to sell, Ms. Roth consulted “Bad Luck Brian” himself — his real name is Kyle Craven — and Laney Griner, the mother of “Success Kid.”

“It’s the only thing that memes can do to take control,” Ms. Roth recalled Mr. Craven telling her.

“Disaster Girl” memes have spread far and wide. Once, a group from Poland asked permission to use the meme for educational material about a dying Indigenous language. Someone in Portugal sent Ms. Roth pictures of a mural with the meme…..

…..(Now a university senior)…After graduation, Ms. Roth plans to take a gap year before pursuing a graduate degree in international relations. She said she would donate the fortune she has made from her likeness — which is still in cryptocurrency form — to charities and to pay off her student loans, among other things.

When she’s home, she often walks past the lot where it all started and wonders if locals know that it’s a “meme place,” she said.

“People who are in memes didn’t really have a choice in it,” she said. “The internet is big. Whether you’re having a good experience or a bad experience, you kind of just have to make the most of it.”

Ben Lashes, who manages the Roths and stars of other memes including “Nyan Cat,” “Grumpy Cat,” “Keyboard Cat,” “Doge,” “Success Kid,” “David After Dentist” and the “Ridiculously Photogenic Guy,” said his clients had cumulatively made over $2 million in NFT sales."

He said that NFT sales had helped establish memes as a sophisticated art form and “serious pieces of culture.”

Case Study #7

LA TIMES  Op-Ed 

"What do you acquire when you buy an NFT?"

https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2021-05-09/nft-art-token-blockchain

by Margaret Wertheim 5.9.21

Excerpt: "....What is this beautiful, special thing you acquire when you buy an NFT? It is not generally the artwork. Rather, what one is buying is a digital “token” that, strictly speaking, refers to a transaction.

Digging into Foundation’s website, the limitations of NFTs become clear. The site’s “Community Guidelines” state that a collector of an NFT “can’t claim legal ownership, copyrights, trademarks, or other intellectual property rights” to a work. What the buyer acquires is an “NFT that represents the artwork on the blockchain.”

This crypto-jargon is rarely unpacked. In layman’s terms it means that when you purchase an NFT you are literally buying an entry in an online ledger — which is to say data on a “blockchain.” Most often an NFT-affiliated artwork will be a digital file of an image, a video or an animation. The blockchain doesn’t contain this file, or only very rarely. Rather, it contains a link to a database where a copy of the file is stored.

While crypto-art enthusiasts make much of the uniqueness of NFTs, they are unique in the way a bar code is. A bar code is a distinct identifier associated with an object, say a pair of sneakers or a can of sardines. Bar codes enable stores to keep track of inventory; NFTs allow keepers of a blockchain to keep track of transactions about a file.

As to what’s in this file: It may be best thought of as a representation of an artwork. There may well be more than one such representation (just as there are multiple cans of sardines), each with its own blockchain entry and its own NFT. Canadian musician Grimes made several million dollars selling hundreds of NFTs for copies of two short videos with cherub images.

In a sense this is the digital equivalent of a photograph or print that’s part of a numbered edition. One difference with an NFT is that the exact image it links to is probably available online for anyone to enjoy as much as the collector who’s paid thousands of dollars for a token.

Sometimes, NFTs are connected to physical things, as was the case with the disappearing Basquiat. High-end sneakers, expensive streetwear and baseball cards are some of the items now on offer via NFTs, which act here as a kind of ownership certificate. In the spirit of Andy Warhol, I’d like to mint an NFT for a can of Campbell’s soup.

It’s possible the creator of an NFT-affiliated work may also sell its copyright as part of the deal. The Basquiat sellers claimed to be offering “all related IP and copyright in perpetuity.” (IP being “intellectual property.”) Yet this is the exception. Most “minters” of NFTs retain subsidiary rights.

Perhaps the rights NFT collectors most highly value are bragging rights: They can say they “own” a work. Yet their copy has no special qualities aside from its NFT, so under the hood of the hype, the frenzy is about the token, in which there is now a booming secondary market.

It’s hard not to see this as a case of digital tulip fever. Can you imagine paying millions of dollars for a bar code? Then again, perhaps this is the apotheosis of Warhol’s soup can strategies — attributing value to that which seems the most banal.

Art NFTs put me in mind of film auteur Werner Herzog’s distinction between the “truth of accountants” and “ecstatic truth.” NFT mavens wax lyrical about the “authenticity” of these tokens as if they are trading a semi-divine quality, yet the authenticity encoded by an NFT is the same kind encoded by a transaction number on a credit card statement. They are a dressed-up species of bookkeeping. What art needs is less auditing and more ecstasy.

Moreover, there are serious legal issues. Will databases containing NFT-linked files disappear, as Myspace did? Already, defunct links have caused collectors to lose access to files. If an artist or minter forgets the “seed phrase” (a passcode) to their “digital wallet,” they lose access to the proceeds of sales with no recovery path.

And does the minter really own the underlying work, or its rights? Fraud is rife. Scams abound. Misunderstandings, shall we say. The Basquiat sellers seem to have misunderstood basic copyright law.

On April 28, the artist’s estate intervened in the Basquiat offer. “No license or rights were conveyed to the seller,” we learned. The drawing’s owner could not legally reproduce it or reuse it in any way. It all went pfft — there was no legitimate NFT.

So, buyer, beware. The real value in NFTs may well be this: a bonanza for copyright lawyers."

Monday, April 12, 2021

Your Guide to Behind the Scenes at Stuart Ng Books (4.12.21)

 3.11.21 marks the one-year anniversary that Covid-19 was declared a worldwide pandemic. Covid continues to impact indie art life as well as small and large businesses. March and April 2020 on the blog were devoted to Covid.  March has info that is out of date, but I've left there to document how that month unfolded for indie artists. April 2020 features 15 Covid-themed posts on the blog. Check them out for still-current links. Lots of info and activities there for indie artists, content creators, and even online resources for families. (info graphic below by @Ecowith Em_ )

-----------------------------------------------------------

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. This "Your Guide" posts updates monthly.

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 categories of highlighted posts:

1)  POSTS ON INDIE ART LIFE -- PROTECTING ARTIST RIGHTS and SELF-CARE TIPS

INCLUDES LINKS TO COVID-19 POSTS

2) SNB -- CONVENTIONS AND WENDLING CONNECTION 

3) ART LIFE -- RESOURCES AND EXHIBITIONS

4) SCIENCE THEMED POSTS

5) ACTIVITIES and ATTRACTIONS NEAR SNB TORRANCE STORE

6) HORSE OF COURSE

7) POSTS FROM 2011 --MOST ACTIVE YEAR ON THE BLOG

8) OTHER POPULAR TOPICS/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 hands-on bookselling, before the internet. We were mentored by colleagues, some of whose stores folded under the pressures from Amazon. We weathered the transition to websites. Stuart worked hard to build a brand in this tough business environment.  Our bookstore started as a printed mail-order catalog. I say "our" bookstore because it was just the two of us for years. 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 into a store location, I was ready to segue into BTS (behind-the-scenes) mode.

Sales are still mostly mail order. Stuart ships books all over the world.  In addition to our website and Torrance store location, we sell books at conventions and the occasional special event expo or festival. Scroll down for links for convention appearances. Here are two examples of expos/festivals:
https://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2019/05/snb-at-ncsfest-may-17th-19th.html
https://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2014/11/vis-vis-french-bande-dessinee-meets-la_26.html

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). Where we find ourselves now, all these years later, is a creative place that keeps us both engaged with artists. Stuart Ng Books has exhibited at San Diego Comic Con for over 20 years. For 2020, Stuart planned to open a retail location in Burbank. He’ll resume the search for the ideal spot once conditions allow -- so if you have any suggestions, please contact him directly.
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.
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 122 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 February 2020, the blog has tallied over 500,000 all-time page views.

1)  POSTS ON INDIE ART LIFE --
PROTECTING ARTIST RIGHTS and SELF-CARE TIPS 

NEW CALIFORNIA LAW REGARDING FREELANCE WORK
Effective January 2020



CASE ACT (Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act )
OPTION TO FIGHT ART THEFT
UPDATE January 2021 -- This is the Bill has become a federal law. Read all about it here: 
(images below from the Graphic Artists Guild)


Several posts here on the blog explaining the CASE Act Bill, as well as links to other sources.

This January 2021 link from Copyright Alliance has FAQ on how CASE Act Small Claims court will work, and when it will start: https://copyrightalliance.org/case-act-signed-into-law/

COPYRIGHT INFO FOR ARTISTS



It was around July 2014 that I started posting frequently about Copyright Protection for images posted online. My artist friend Lili Chin of Doggie Drawings https://www.doggiedrawings.net/
had become a target for outrageous levels of art theft. This included an impostor in the UK who downloaded Lili's dog images, flipped them, painted them on canvases adding painted dog collars with actual rhinestones on them, then sold them at art fairs and even a gallery! The gal ended up on a British TV show bragging about her successful business. Lili's fans alerted her -- a great example of how an educated, loyal, invested fan base is the front line for fighting art theft. Even more vital: Lili registers her copyrights. It was a long, expensive, frustrating fight to watch my friend go through. The gallery was appalled at the impostor and kicked her out. The impostor went into hiding. It became a dead end for Lili (and the expensive UK lawyers she had to hire). Lili has won successful settlements since then, but is still fighting art theft. I see how exhausting it is. This waste of artist time and resources, not to mention livelihood, inspired my activism. So I started learning more and posting more. Since 2015, I've subscribed to an intellectual property legal service that allows me to schedule phone consultation appointments. It's an investment I make on behalf of the blog. I want to post info that's as accurate as possible given that many of these issues are fluid with new laws in the works. I use this source to fact check my own IP questions directly with an IP attorney. More on the service here: https://counselforcreators.com/creators-legal-program/

My blog post links below share resources and case studies on unauthorized commercial 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 won a settlement against Kohls when the retail giant stole her artwork.

This Oct 2016 post has background info on this groundbreaking legal case in the fight against art theft: http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2016/10/indie-artist-lili-chin-files-lawsuit.html
This post also has links for the infamous case Lili suffered in 2013 with the UK art thief.
Lili's suit against Kohl's settled out of court 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 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

Loyal fans alerting artists are the front line of defense against art theft. Artists educating fans about creative rights helps curb counterfeiting... (chart below by Ginger Davis Allman -- more info in these links --
https://thebluebottletree.com/copyright-guidelines-polymer-clay-artists/
https://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2015/12/copyright-guidelines-chart-by-ginger.html)

PRICE YOUR ART RIGHT -- 
DON'T WORK FOR FREE
August 2019 posts with insights from industry pros about the damage done to artists at all levels when art is undervalued..
http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2019/08/stop-working-for-free-industry-vet.html

SELF-CARE

The long trauma of 2020 impacted everyone. 2021 continues to bring many self-care challenges. Please be mindful of your mental, emotional and physical health. 
Artists and other indie creators must be well to work -- they are the only ones who can do their jobs. You can't do your best from a place of unwellness.

Use the internet and social media wisely. Share facts, not fear. Always SIFT before sharing.
Stop.
Investigate.
Fact-check/Find corroborating stories on credible sites.
Trace posts back to original context/media. 

The SIFT system was coined by Mike Caufield, a digital literacy expert at Washington State University. 
Please check out more SIFTing tips here:



BLOG POSTS ON COVD-19
There are 15 Posts for April 2020 on the blog regarding COVID-19. Here's link for #1 of 15 of the April posts:
http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2020/04/covid-1-of-15-april-2020-snb-open-for.html
The 15 posts in April include links for indie artist funding resources (post #s 3-5) , DIY disinfecting tips, post #7) links for credible, science-based sites to find the latest on Covid (post #s 12-14). Post #s 9-11 have oodles of online links with family friendly sites like links to zoo and aquarium live cams, as well as tips for home office and self-care survival tools. 

I'm leaving the March 2020 posts in tact with the announcement that they are untouched from 3.31.2020, but are valuable as a record of information we  had available as the crisis hit.

Chart below from this article:
https://piphd.com/articles-2/2020/3/29/covid-19-the-road-to-a-new-normal?fbclid
Info graphic below from Compound Interest

ART AND ANXIETY 
I also post links for resources regarding Art and Anxiety. This 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

Link below is for Tumbler post by (gal artist .. just saying :)  C.Spike Trotman. The gem below is just one of the panels from the Tumbler post explaining steps to success for indie artist life ....http://spikedrewthis.tumblr.com/post/64136324548/this-is-everything-i-know-a-24-hour-comic-about
The link hasn't been active for awhile... but I'm leaving it here as a record and in case it revives somewhere else. Meanwhile, here's the link for the book form of this terrific comic about indie art survival: https://ironcircus.com/product/this-is-everything-i-know/


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

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:
Always consult your own doctor before beginning any fitness routine.
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

FREE SHIPPING IS A MYTH
Indie artists struggle to either absorb shipping and handling costs or factor them into their prices. Customers have been indoctrinated into the myth of Free Shipping. What is that really costing all of us? http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2020/01/free-shipping-is-myth-it-costs-indie.html

PROCESS POSTS --
I will always advocate for using tutorials to monetize your online art. Educate followers so they can grow with you as supporters.
Art below by Catherine Scartaccini
https://csillustrator.com/

Documenting your creative process engages followers. It's also a great way to make your artWORK work for you. You're going through the steps already. You're taking the time.. and spending your resources... to document them. They are perfect to make multi-purpose. Monetize them. Never undervalue your time, talent and effort. Art life requires art work that is compensated.

So many artists posts these valuable tutorials for free. Why not share a few, but then use these sorts of posts to move followers to platforms where they can find more by supporting your art life on Patreon or with Ko-fi.  
Art below by Hannah Stiles, Ainigmati Studios
https://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2019/11/process-post-ainigmati-studio.html



GET INSPIRED BY LOOKING BACK, LOOKING OFF-GRID and
NOT BEING LIKE EVERYONE ELSE LOOKING ONLINE 
The internet has been a game changer, but recently I've heard professional artists, executives, instructors and collectors concerned about the growing trend of mediocrity. The easy access to so many versions of familiar images and subject matter means that everyone's art starts to look the same. Imitation is the death of growth. Don't copy other artists work, tweak it a bit, and call it your own. That's fine for practice in your sketchbook, but it's no way to build a brand and audience of your own.
 If you want to reach the next level, get away from the screen. Go in person to look at original art. Attend events that lend themselves to sketching. Visit the zoo, aquarium, museums. Look back in books and at libraries to see what artists were doing generations ago. These are habits the exceptional artists share. Disney legend artist Andreas Deja is a prime example of this. His highly educational blog shares treasures from his personal collection of art by past artists who have inspired him.  My blog post on his wire sculptures shows his work, an artist that inspires him, and links to his blog:
Art history in all genres can expand your own visual vocabulary. Here are some posts that showcase art inspiration from icons of the past, or activities that inspire sketching... 

Icons to study...





activities to sketch and study anatomy



2) SNB -- CONVENTIONS AND WENDLING CONNECTION

CLAIRE WENDLING IN 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.
WENDLING IN CA - 2015
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

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:

CLAIRE WENDLING IN CA -- 2019
Wendling was a featured guest at the inaugural Lightbox Expo.
She also had a signing at the SNB store in Torrance.

LIGHTBOX EXPO -2020
The online version of Lightbox Expo exceeded expectations with its virtual Artist Alley and array of panels and programs that were recorded and available to re-watch. Here's first of 3 posts on the blog:

Views of the virtual artists alley...

sample of multi-artist "jam session"

LIGHTBOX EXPO -- 2019
September 2019 was the inagural Lightbox Expo at Pasadena Convention Center. 
Five posts here on the blog detailing this new convention and highlighting guests and exhibitors. 
Lightbox Expo also hosts the annual Concept Art Awards. I was very grateful and proud when this community of elite industry professionals recognized Stuart with an important honor.




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. While I used to attend annually, I have taken an indefinite sabbatical from intercontinental travel. You can find France related posts in the February posts of most years on the blog: http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2017/02/paris-2017-sites-and-recommendations_20.html

SNB at SAN DIEGO COMIC CON (SDCC)
Yes, Stuart Ng Books exhibited at Comic Con 2018 and 2019. However, I did not attend these years so there are no posts here on the blog.

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

CTNX
From the first CTN Animation Expo in 2009, Stuart Ng Books has been an annual exhibitor at this event. We missed out on 2019 because booths were sold out when Stuart went to sign up. Instead we enjoyed a more relaxed weekend just shopping and visiting with colleagues.
http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2019/11/ctnx-2019.html

Posts on the November entries here on the blog over the years document this Expo's explosive growth. The 9 blog posts from 2011 show a range of activities and guests:

Artist tables moved into the large outdoor tent in 2016. 
An admission ticket to this large outdoor tent venue at the Expo is still a great way to meet many artists and buy directly from them. 

WONDERCON
Blog posts document booths at WonderCon from its days in the Nor Cal San Francisco Bay Area through its transition to current location in So Cal at Anaheim Convention Center. 
In 2009 we almost didn't make it --

First blog posts of WonderCon at Anaheim are from 2014
http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2014/04/wondercon-2014-snb-booth-and-beyond-1st_22.html

DESIGNERCON
Stuart rarely gets to exhibit at or attend this con, as it's on the same weekend at CNTX. However, many of our artist friends find exhibiting at DesignerCon is a good fit for them. I have posted on the blog about it on the times I've been able to attend. 
As an experiment, SNB was at both CTNX and DesignerCon in 2018 -- but we were stretched thin as you can see in this brief blog post
This 2014 DesignerCon post shows it at the Pasadena Convention Center

EMERALD CITY COMIC CON
NEW YORK COMIC CON
Stuart attends these cons, but I haven't been to them, so no posts here yet.

SNB KNOWN FOR BOOKS SIGNED BY ARTISTS
Exhibiting at conventions and long-time personal relationships with artists are just some of the ways Stuart is able to provide signed copies of books for his patrons. He is also called on by studios and art schools to provide book sales for guest artist lectures. Signed copies allow SNB to carry some in-print titles from major publishers. Indie bookstores can't compete with the massive price-cuts on current books offered as loss-leaders by online giants. They are selling books at a loss. They don't care about books. They want your consumer dollars for all sorts of other purchases and services. Stuart wants to offer in-print books as a convenience for his patrons. So he adds the priceless benefit of the book having been in the hands of the artist and/or author. This way Stuart can offer the book at a reasonable price that covers his inventory expenses etc and helps deter outsiders from buying signed books from him just to flip them for higher prices online. Most of the signed copies Stuart stocks sell out right away. This is because they are going right into the collections of fans who treasure them. Win-win.

Signings at a convention...

 Some studio arranged signings..


More on signed books here:
https://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2016/08/signed-books-service-prized-by-snb.html

3) ART LIFE -- RESOURCES AND EXHIBITIONS

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 you’re 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.

Bancroft Bros Animation Podcast (SNB is a sponsor)
Here's a post on one of my favorite episodes of this podcast:
http://taughtbyapro.com/category/podcasts/

Hirschfeld Century Podcast

The Complete Creative
Originally known as "The Business of Art", this podcast was re-launched in Oct 2019 as The Complete Creative. It's an outstanding resource for all indie entrepreneurs. The episdoes are all archieved here:

Between Diapers and Deadlines
Artist Brett Bean and his wife Julie, a designer, deliver truths about juggling parenting with indie art life. They also interview other artists for tips on artlife with families.

Matheatre -- History Science Theatre podcast
Lives of scientists are dramatized as musical theatre podcast episodes. An entertaining way to look at science using music and drama. (Full disclosure -- I'm a longtime fan and sponsor of Matheatre's online zoom lessons with historical scientists and I also sponsor this podcast via Patreon). 
Link for the podcast: https://matheatre.com/podcast/



For more on the zoom classes (the Tuesday sessions are geared for grade school, but suitable for all ages). These programs can also be customized. https://matheatre.com/distance-learning/


Distillations
The podcast from one of my favorite science museums -- the Science History Institute (not related to Matheatre programs above). 
Tons of art prompts and premise potential in the interviews on these episodes. Everything from alchemy to Covid-19.
Science  Vs
Outstanding Podcast I discovered via Distillations when it interviewed producer about this October 2019 --prior to Covid -- "what if" episdoe regarding pandemics:
Science Vs has interivews with Dr. Facui and other top scientists looking at Covid as well as science history.

FILM COSTUMES

MALEFICENT
All-time favorite posts include these entries on film franchise Maleficent:

2019 -- preview posters with artists credited!!! (art below by Andy Fairhurst)
http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2019/10/maleficent-poster-artists-credited.html

4 posts I wrote in June 2014 for first 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




INDIE ARTIST PLUSH ART PROJECTS ENGAGE FOLLOWERS 

MARTIN "MARTY" MOUSE tours the cons ... and the world!
Internet phenom Marty is the star from Martin "Marty" Mouse facebook page which has grown over the years into the Marty Mouse House https://www.facebook.com/martymousehouse/ by Photographer Sarah Hunt https://sarahhunt.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 75,000 + fans. More on the Marty Mouse House world https://www.martymousehouse.com/
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


4) 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

See February posts in 2016 and 2017 for extensive photos of  my favorite museums in Paris..
the Musee Curie...
http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2015/02/france-2015-rodin-museum-musee-curie.html
http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2017/02/paris-musee-curie-2017.html

In early 2021, the Musee Curie released this awesome animated comic, available online in French and English! https://lamethodecurie.fr/en/



the Grand Gallery of Evolution ...
http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2017/02/paris-natural-history-museum-2017.html

and the Hall of Comparative Anatomy.
http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2016/02/


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
The Chemical Heritage Foundation Library is getting a new name in 2018. As of Feb 1st, it will be known as the Science History Institute.
http://www.philly.com/philly/entertainment/arts/chemical-heritage-foundation-science-history-institute-philadelphia-20180103.html

5) ACTIVITIES and ATTRACTIONS NEAR SNB TORRANCE 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. 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


The duck pond pictured above is closed now. It was fenced and drained back in 2015 due to the drought and general maintenance issues with this water feature. After long delays and increased costs detailed here... https://www.dailybreeze.com/2017/02/08/torrance-moves-forward-with-splash-pad-at-wilson-park-despite-11-million-price-tag/
It's been renovated as the "Splash Pad" -- an interactive water fountain, popular with kids on hot summer days.

Here's a link to Yelp reviews of the park. http://www.yelp.com/biz/wilson-park-torrance

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 few 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/



6) 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.
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. All proceeds from this charity horse show benefit Children’s Hospital LA. More on PCCH here: http://www.pcch.net/

With the launch of Lightbox Expo in 2019, my annual visit to this horse show is on hold, as Lightbox is the same "first weekend in September" date! Auuugh.

Five posts on 2015 horse show... including this one featuring background on artist Terryl Whitlatch (her book was 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  and 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



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

7) POSTS FROM 2011 --MOST ACTIVE YEAR ON THE BLOG
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




 8) OTHER POPULAR TOPICS/POSTS
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 started as 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 was only outside vendor.
In 2019, the event was combined with the studios annual holiday market -- so the artist vendors expanded to include jewelry, home decor items, apparel and even holiday decorations.
https://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2019/11/dreamcon-2019.html
We are lucky to be invited there every year, as they kindly consider Stuart's 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 been along to attend:
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

LA PRINTER'S FAIR
2014
http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2014/10/los-angeles-printers-fair-2014.html
2015
http://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2015/10/la-printers-fair-2015.html
2019
https://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2019/10/la-printers-fair-2019-intl-printing.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/

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
Stuart was featured on an MSBNC show in 2010. The link hasn't been active for awhile, but I'm leaving it here just in case it resumes :http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/innovation/video/american-business-super-niche
The segment was also reported here: https://www.cartoonbrew.com/books/stuart-ng-books-on-msnbc-34229.html
See 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.