Michael Weinstein, RIP


By Brian Hieggelke I once asked Michael Weinstein—who passed away suddenly after an aortic aneurysm at home last week at the age of seventy-three—why he recommended every photography show he reviewed for us, in nearly every single issue of Newcity beginning in 1990 and up to and including the edition you’re reading right now. He […]

via Newcity Art http://ift.tt/1KEpGHb

Reeders Digest: How Two Brothers Curated the School of the Art Institute’s 150th Anniversary Exhibition


By Brian Hieggelke In a year of important anniversaries at major visual art entities in Chicago, none is more surprising, or significant, than the 150th birthday of the School of the Art Institute. Surprising, in that unlike so many of the city’s oldest leading cultural organizations which were founded in the 1890s and are thus […]

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Kadenze Offers Free Online Classes on Art Studies and Creative Technology

We love online courses here at Lifehacker , but you may not be interested in studying law or learning how to code. For the more artistically inclined, Kadenze has free online courses on modern art, sound production, and careers in media technology from academic institutions like Stanford, UCLA, Princeton, and CalArts.http://ift.tt/1h9Guxu…

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How to Improve Your Photos and Videos with Affordable Lighting

The big difference between good looking photos and video and bad ones comes down to how well things are lit. Whether you’re an amateur photographer building a home studio or a budding YouTube star, here are some simple tricks for casting the right light without spending a fortune on professional equipment.

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Which Art Businesses Are Leading the Race for an Audience Online?

For the latest edition of its quarterly report on e-commerce and media, Skate’s Art Market Research has taken a close look at how traditional brick-and-mortar auction houses, like Sotheby’s and Christie’s, are faring against various digital upstarts, like Artsy and Invaluable, which have various … Read More

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Handmade Business Cards

I needed a handful of business cards for an art fair I was doing. I only needed a small run and it seemed like a bit of a waste to order such a small batch from a professional service. There are a few professional printers that I like to use for higher runs and business products. I decided to look into DIY options for handmade business cards.

I looked through some ideas on Pinterest. I was particularly interested in these watercolor business cards I found made by Akula Kreative. The cards looked super clean and each one was one of a kind. This was a win win for a DIY project.

Handmade business card

Business card inspiration

What I Did

The recommended custom clear stamp was not available so I decided to make my own rubber stamp. I looked through some tutorials and decided to go with the Parchment Paper Method for transferring ink to the stamp for carving. Instead of going out and buying watercolors I just used acrylics that I already had.


  • Speedball® Speedy Carve Kit $10-$20 from Michael’s (cost depending on how many cutters included)
  • Parchment paper from grocery store $4.31 (including tax)
  • Black ink pad from Staples $2-3 (I found a tutorial to make your own stamp pad but I decided not to go this route)
  • An hour to carve the stamp (more if the design is complicated)
DIY Handmade business cards

DIY business cards try #1


The text on the card doesn’t look as clean as the inspiration. I think this is because the stamp was carved by hand instead of being machine made. Instead of being a bad thing I decided that I liked the handmade business card look and that this added to the meaning of the card.

The acrylic doesn’t look the greatest. I could have tried again and watered the paint down more. Instead of fussing with it I decided to just go without a background color. So far I’ve probably handed out 50 of these and everyone seems to be pleased with them.

DIY business card black and white

DIY business cards final product

Further Reading: Tutorials

Rubber Stamp Materials – particularly helpful if you are new to carving your own stamps like I was

Parchment Paper Method

Boomshaka: A New WordPress Solution For Artists

When you really get down to it, WordPress can be frustrating for image based designs. I’ve been using WordPress since 2008 and have helped many artists with their websites. I see a lot of the same problems. Navigation can be overly complicated and take too many clicks to see images. Images and galleries usually only look good on large monitors. Lightbox plugins look cool but they complicate analytics. Those are some of the big ones and those situations don’t even include e-commerce which complicates things even more.

I recently teamed up with master coder Jordan Kanter (also a longtime friend) to embark on designing a theme from scratch. We figured that given our knowledge we could design out a lot of common problems that we had noticed.

We’ve been working hard for the past three months. Today, I’m pleased to present the first live version of that code, which we call Boomshaka. You’re actually looking at it right now on this website. We saved a lot of time by using the amazing codebase from the underscores theme (thanks guys!).

We are currently in Beta testing and accepting applicants. As of this post, the Boomshaka theme has grown to solve more problems than initially intended. Here are some of the big ones:

  1. responsive design and adaptive images (mobile and tablet friendly)
  2. artist oriented usage of WordPress (rather than blogger oriented)
  3. e-commerce ready (WooCommerce supported)
  4. analytics on everything
  5. easily (but not annoyingly) sharable
  6. handicapped accessible
  7. robust styles – allowing for easy browser minimize/maximize functions

If you would like a new beautiful website that uses our code we’re ready to help. We can also accommodate existing WordPress users with transitioning their site. Please visit our signup page or send us an email at boomshakadesign@gmal.com. Also If you have any feedback on the project we’d love to hear from you.