Call for Artists:: Waxing Lyrical


EBSQ is accepting entries for Waxing Lyrical through 29 February 2016.  The full prospectus can be found here. The Member’s Choice winner will receive $100 cash! So what are you waiting for? Find a song whose lyrics inspire you and get creating!

Get Inspired in 2016


This year, EBSQ is continuing its commitment to supporting its member artists by hosting monthly exhibits with a $100 cash prize for the winning entry voted upon by you.

Take a look at this year’s schedule. Maybe a theme or two will catch your eye. Try something new. Revisit something old. Be brave and enter an exhibit. I can guarantee you’ll be in good company. And perhaps you’ll be the one who takes home the next prize.

Swimmer by Alessandro Andreuccetti from January 2016’s Go Figure exhibit


In case you didn’t get yesterday’s memo

Are you ready to get “Ripped Off”?

This annual collaborative art event, now in its 15th year, is like no other at EBSQ
Image above: 2014 Ripped Off winner Fractured Fractal Caladium by EBSQ Artist Elizabeth Fiedel

A bit of history:

Ripped Off was started back in 2001 as a direct response to a slew of copiests ripping off EBSQ member art on selling it on eBay, the same venue where they discovered it. We decided to create an event where permission was given to riff on another member’s art to create something new that still related strongly to the original inspiration. We’re hoping this annual event has brought some awareness to how critical PERMISSION is, and a reminder that it’s not cool to simply “borrow” another artist’s vision and repackage it as your own for profit.

How Ripped Off works:

It’s actually pretty simple. EBSQ Artists are encouraged to look for one (or multiple) partners, and gain permission to create something based on a previously existing work done by their partner. The new piece should not be an exact copy, but rather an expansion of the original. In addition to generating new work, we’re hoping new friendships are formed as well.

What happens to the new work?

It’s up to the partners. Some people swap originals or provide a reproduction for their partner. Some people sell their new pieces. It’s completely between the two of you.

How do I find a partner?

You can either contact an EBSQ artist you already know, or put out a call for partners either on the EBSQ in-house forums or in our Facebook group.*

What do I need to include with my show entry?

In your accompanying artist statement, make sure you cite the name of the artist whose work you’ve ripped, the title that served as your inspiration, a write a bit about why you were attracted to the inspiration piece. Optionally, you may include a jpg of the original source work as one of your detail images to give others context for experiencing your work.

What about awards?

It pays to get involved! The Member’s Choice winner receives $100 cash and the artist whose work was ripped off receives $50 cash, simply for serving as inspiration!

What’s my deadline?

All Ripped Off entries must be in by 11:59 EDT on 31 July 2015. Voting starts the next day. Winners will be announced on 8 August 2015.

Speaking of exhibits–entries are still being accepted for Portrait of the Artist through 11:59 PM EDT on 30 June 2015. We’re looking for portraits of artists in the following genres: visual, literary, and musical. I personally know at least a dozen of you have perfect pieces just sitting in your portfolios–go on and enter! It doesn’t have to be brand spanking new to be eligible,simply never used in a previous exhibit.

With gratitude,

-Amie on behalf of Team EBSQ
Supporting living artists since 2000

* Not yet a member of our private EBSQ Facebook group? It’s already proving to be the easiest way to connect with your fellow artists and EBSQ staff. Simply apply through the page itself or reply to this message, indicating your interest in the FB group if you’re a paid member, and we’ll make sure you get an invite!

From the EBSQ Archives: Scrotum and Taboo- The Reactionary, Visionary Paintings of Odd Nerdrum by John Seed

Imagine if the owner of a Nerdrum could invite peasants from any third world nation into his home (I suspect male collectors will dominate the Nerdrum market) and let them see what he had collected. How would he explain that he had spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on a painting that depicting women shitting on a rock, or a man with a rifle leaving bed to protect his family on an ominous summer night?

Wouldn’t these things just be too familiar if you lived in the Sudan, or in Mexico? Or in Afghanistan?

As I left the Forum Gallery in Los Angeles after viewing the exhibition “Odd Nerdrum: Current Work,” I took about two steps down Beverly Boulevard before I stepped on a steaming fresh dog turd. While I scraped my shoe on the curb, I had to laugh, since shit seemed to be a theme for the afternoon. Just ten minutes before I had been contemplating a sprawling 76 1/2″ by 106 1/2″ canvas by the Norwegian painter Odd Nerdrum, titled “Shit Rock.”
Self-portrait in Golden Cape, 1998 167 x 144 cm
Self-portrait in Golden Cape, 1998 167 x 144 cm
In this dimly lit canvas, three nude female figures squat in a group, their posteriors facing the viewer. Each woman extrudes a broad, healthy turd into the brooding Icelandic world which Nerdrum’s visions typically inhabit. This world, which the painter claims is set in the future, seems to be a place where whatever Freud claimed, at the opening of the twentieth century, was repressed or hidden in Western culture, is reclaimed by Nerdrum as a vitalistic principle.Erections, pissing, shitting, fighting, are common Nerdrum subjects, while sexual acts are not. Although many might find some of his works obscene, the artist seems to avoid portrayal of sexual acts since that is the realm of common pornography, and his work avoids any imagery that might have a mundane popular appeal. The shameless display of ids and egos appeal to the artist as more truly provocative and passionate.
In Freud’s lifetime there were bordellos in Vienna where clients could pay to see women defecate into glass bowls. In Nerdrum’s vision, the coprophiliac, the necrophiliac, the scatological and the phallic are all disclosed in public. Nerdrum creates a heterosexual world where civilization and technology have wilted as a natural result of their evils against nature, and the tribal society of Nordic peoples that remains, many of them twins or clones, no longer need to keep their bodies, their desires, or their biological predispositions hidden.Fetishism no longer exists, and has been replaced by Post-Pagan rituals which retain traces of Christianity. Civilization, Nerdrum seems to say, is a set of taboos which can fall away and reveal our authentic passions and spirituality. In the setting of a gallery, a group of Nerdrum paintings also seems to serve as a litmus test which can determine who does or does not belong in the world of the cultural elite. If you like the work, you must belong.

Wanderers by the Sea, 2001 78 x 101 1/2 inches
Wanderers by the Sea, 2001 78 x 101 1/2 inches
While I was looking at the show, a gallery representative was having an animated conversation with a young potential client. The client, who was not ready for a “major” work (“Shit Rock” is priced at $265,000.00 ) was contemplating a smaller work perhaps under $100,000.00. When offered a Nerdrum that portrayed a mother and child, he responded that if he would were to buy something, it would need to be more “difficult.”I would assume that many clients for Nerdrum’s Los Angeles will come from the world of entertainment, especially television. After all, for people who go through tremendous struggles to create images that will be popular across a broad demographic, within acceptable cultural standards, Nerdrum’s “difficult” images must be a welcome relief. The violence in “The Sopranos” is graphic and edgy, but we will not be seeing shitting women on any network soon.As a cultural emblem, having a Nerdrum in your living room is a way of saying to your friends “I may live in a four million dollar house with a security system, but there is nothing I can’t handle.”

Another sense of relief that Nerdrum can offer to Hollywood’s wealthy comes from the types of bodies he displays. Every Nerdrum figure, from the babies swaddled in hides to the tribal elders appear unmodified, except by weather and nature. Nerdrum’s Arctic world is thousands of miles from the beaches of “Baywatch.”

A major strength of the artist’s work is his virtuoso technique. Nerdrum grinds and mixes his own oil colors, and has a Rembrandtian range of textures, glazes and effects. In one of his skies, the lower edge of oil-laden brushstrokes, when dried, becomes the suggestion of relief that forms the shadow for the bottom of a cloud. In the faces of his figures, eyes water, lips crack and drool, and skin reflects the Northern light. On the strength of his technique alone, Nerdrum has joined a small group of living painters who seem to have the alchemy of turning paint into flesh: Lucien Freud would be one of the few working at this level. Few young artists seem to have the training to have a painterly dialogue with Nerdrum at his level.
Summer Nights , 2001 71 1/2 x 75 1/2 inches
Summer Nights , 2001 71 1/2 x 75 1/2 inches
When Goya retired to Bordeaux, he created his most “difficult” works, including an image of Chronos (time) devouring his own child. Goya had lived through revolution, illness and war, and his dark vision was personal and deeply embedded. In contrast, Nerdrum himself, and his clients live in societies where their wealth, access to modern medicine, and the protection provided by modern defense give them an easy real world exit from the painter’s spare, imagined world. Whether the purchasers of Odd Nerdrum’s paintings will really be able to live with the punishing gap between their own protected lives, and that of Nerdrum’s Post-Modern Vikings remains to be seen.Imagine if the owner of a Nerdrum could invite peasants from any third world nation into his home (I suspect male collectors will dominate the Nerdrum market) and let them see what he had collected. How would he explain that he had spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on a painting that depicting women shitting on a rock, or a man with a rifle leaving bed to protect his family on an ominous summer night?Wouldn’t these things just be too familiar if you lived in the Sudan, or in Mexico? Or in Afghanistan?

From the EBSQ Archives: Frida Kahlo- Identity/Duality by Amie R Gillingham

Although Kahlo’s work is intensely autobiographical on the surface, it can be seen as her own patriotic metaphor. Her work was able to transcend the personal to have political and national relevance. Frida held her self up, both in her art and her life, as the ideal post-Revolutionary Mexican.

The period between 1934 and 1940 was tumultuous for Frida Kahlo. Although her husband, Diego Rivera, had been unfaithful in the past, an affair with her sister Cristina was too much for her to bear. During this period she separated from twice and then divorced Rivera at his request. In addition, her various health problems continued to plague her; she required several operations at this time, including an abortion.

The Broken Column, 1944
The Broken Column, 1944

All of this wracked havoc on her delicate sense of self-esteem. Despite an excellent reception to her art both at home and abroad, she felt she was nothing without Diego.

It was during this time that Frida began a series of paintings which delved into the roots of her selfdom. As she was a mestiza, she was having something of an identity crisis, along with the rest of post-revolutionary Mexico. Her personal experience was completely analogous with the restlessness and confusion of her beloved homeland. Most of the population was a mix of Spanish and the indigenous peoples to some degree. (Frida’s husband even had a claim to a title in Spain which he sold to a cousin for funds to continue his painting in Europe.)
Most of the “mixing” had occurred several generations before, but Frida had the problem of being a first generation mestiza with of the identity problems inherent in a mixed heritage. Her father was a German Jew and her mother was an indigenous Mexican/Spanish mix. After the revolution, Mexico tried to reassert its pre-Conquest sense of self for a new, nationalistic cultural identity with Pre-Columbian society as its model. All things Eurocentric were reviled. Frida as “the patriot,” therefore, had the task of trying to reconcile her Mexican self with her European self in her search for wholeness.

My Grandparents, My Parents, and I (Family Tree), 1936
My Grandparents, My Parents, and I (Family Tree), 1936

This tendency was first explored in My Grandparents, My Parents, and I (Family Tree) which she executed in 1936. In this painting, she illustrates busts of her Mexican maternal and German paternal grandparents connected to her parents via a blood-like red ribbon which she (as a naked child) holds at the center of the composition. Her mother and father are in their wedding garb whose formality is undercut by the anatomically-correct fetus superimposed on her mother’s portrait. A sperm cell fertilizing an egg furthers this idea of fertility and reproduction. Frida stands stoically in the middle courtyard of Casa Azul, the house in which she was born (and later died). Her home lies poised between the exotic landscape of Mexico and the sea, implying her family’s European ties. In this painting, Frida does not yet seem to be questioning her origins so much as showing herself as the culmination of them. Still, the delicate balance between her two worlds is inherent.

My Wet Nurse and I, 1937
My Wet Nurse and I, 1937

Her next candidate for the series is My Wet Nurse and I (1937). The dichotomy between her Mexican and European selves is apparent. She had always felt that weakness stemmed from her German blood. In this painting, a wet nurse with an Aztec mask nurses an infant Frida in European garb with an adult head. The landscape is lush with vegetation and the sky is raining milk upon them. Milk drips from both breasts as well (a recurrent theme of hers); the breast she is nursing from has vegetation superimposed on it, emphasizing both fertility and nourishment.

This image is fascinating for many reasons. The composition is in many ways traditional, evoking icons of the Madonna and Child. In this vein, even the adult head is not odd as medieval art often showed “Man-child” images of Christ with his Mother. Yet the traditional religious imagery is at odds with the blatant pagan aspect of the Earth as mother. Some believe the nurse is a metaphor for Frida herself, with the indigenous side of her personality lending strength and sustenance to her weaker, European self. Others feel it may be a reference to her Mexican mother. This ambiguity cropped up earlier when she painted My Birth around the time of her mother’s last illness and death. Regardless of the various biographical readings, the schism between her selves was becoming more obvious in her work.

The Two Fridas, 1939
The Two Fridas, 1939

The apex of the series is The Two Fridas (1939). After returning home from an exhibit of her work in Paris, she divorced Rivera. This painting illustrating a literal split between her two selves is from this period of turmoil and self-doubt. The composition is striking. On the right is the Mexican Frida in traditional tehuana dress. On the left is European Frida in a colonial white dress, possibly intended to be wedding garb (it is similar in many ways to her mother’s wedding dress in “Family Tree”). The two women are seated on a green bench, holding hands. The anatomy of their hearts is superimposed on them both; the one belonging to the European self is seen through a hole in her dress at the breast. A blood line originates at a cameo of Diego as a child held by the Frida on the right. It twines between them both and is ultimately terminated by a medical implement held by the Frida on the left. Blood stains intermingle with the red flowers at the hem of the dress.

This is the painting for which she is best known. Certainly, it is one of the largest (27″ x 27″) which makes it all the more notable. Also, it is one of the few self-portraits she has done in which she is seen in full. The serene clouds and placid look on the two faces is juxtaposed with the graphic medical imagery to illustrate her internal conflict. The composition is so balanced that the hem of the tehuana skirt is our only cue that she is feeling vulnerabilities which she has come to symbolize with her European incarnation. The efforts of the Mexican self to nurture the second frida have been thwarted by the weaker half.

It is interesting to note that Diego loved and encouraged Frida to dress in the native style that was in en vogue at this time. In fact, Kahlo kept up the style long after it had gone out of fashion to make it uniquely her own. Yet Frida associated her indigenous self with Rivera. Hence, after their initial split, she abandoned her traditional garb and cut her hair as an act of rebellion.

After their reconciliation and remarriage in 1940, Frida again took to wearing her native costumes. It would seem that her internal war, on this matter at least, had been won, if only temporarily. Continued self-portraits in native dress coupled with Mexican landscapes and still lifes strongly support this.

Tree of Hope, Stay Stong, 1946
Tree of Hope, Stay Stong, 1946

It is only when her health seriously begins to decline again in 1946 that the topic of duality is broached again with Tree of Hope, Stay Strong. Kahlo reintroduces dual depictions of herself. Her European self is lying on a gurney, her bloody back towards the viewer. On the right is her indigenous self, long identified as her inner source of strength, dressed in a red tehuana dress. She is holding an ex-voto style banner with the title in one hand and a metal corset not unlike the one worn in The Broken Column (of two years earlier) in the other. The idea of duality is further heightened by the differentiation between day and night to divide the composition in half. In the background is the metaphoric barren Mexican landscape which is a hallmark of much of her more surrealistic work.
It is not odd that the splintering of self occurs again in this period. Although her life with Rivera had become more stable in their second marriage, her health had taken a downward swing from which she never fully recovered. All of her self-portraits at this time emphasize her pain. Kahlo was having problems with chronic recurrent depression, alcohol abuse, and addiction to many of her prescription pain killers. Much of her painting was done in a specially made easel so she could paint while confined to her bed. Rivera was spending much of his time away to work on his own art, so she was alone for much of this ordeal. Hence, much of her self-doubt and insecurities were resurfacing in her art.

Although Kahlo’s work is intensely autobiographical on the surface, it can be seen as her own patriotic metaphor. Her work was able to transcend the personal to have political and national relevance. Frida held her self up, both in her art and her life, as the ideal post-Revolutionary Mexican. She was politically active right up until her death in 1954. In her home, she surrounded herself with an ever-growing collection Pre-Columbian folk art and indigenous crafts. Frida wrote her own role as the proto-typical Mexican and she played it meticulously. Kahlo meant for her art as well as her life to serve as the example that her “split-personality syndrome” homeland so desperately needed. In exploring and attempting to heal her own schism between worlds with her paintings, she helped Mexico to heal its own.


  • lecture notes, Modern Mexican Painting, University of Pittsburgh 1996
  • Herrera, Hayden. Frida Kahlo: The PaintingsHarperCollins Publishers, Inc. New York 1991
  • Rivera, Diego. My Art, My Life: An Autobiography (with Gladys March)Dover Publications, Inc. New York 1991
  • Schrimer’s Visual Library. Frida Kahlo: Masterpieces W. W. Norton, Munich 1994

this article was originally presented in 1996 at the University of Pittsburgh without the accompanying pictures. All work shown by Frida Kahlo–ed.

O yea! O yea! A royal sale is on!

Bluebird of Happiness by EBSQ Artist Sherry KeyThose of you know know me even slightly likely know that I’m a bit of an Anglophile, and Happy British Things are usually excuses for a sale. The birth of Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge is no exception!

Grab these royal savings through the end of July!

  •     Monthly memberships for just $6.50 (click here)
  •     A full year for just $66 (click here)
  •     A pay-once-and-you’re done permanent account for $299 (click here)

Already member and want one of these better rates/different plans? Feel free to grab one. We’ll then cancel your existing plan and update your account accordingly.

So pip pip, cheerio, and save a few quid in the process!

Image at right: Bluebird of Happiness by EBSQ Artist Sherry Key

With gratitude,

-Amie on behalf of Team EBSQ
Supporting living artists since 2000

PS This is a special email & social-media only event, with these prices not advertised on the EBSQ site. So feel free to pass these savings on!


Is your art marketing a hot mess?

Mothering Chaos by EBSQ Artist Kelli Ann Dubay
Mothering Chaos by EBSQ Artist Kelli Ann Dubay

So. You’ve been reading up on how to market your art, gathering advice and tips from a smathering of friends, colleagues, and online experts.  You believe in your art. You’ve got the requisite accounts at EBSQ (obviously), Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.  You have a blog. (You even occasionally update your blog.)  So, why isn’t it all coming together?

Sometimes it takes an outside eye to see what you’re missing. To that end, we’re looking for up to three artists to review, critique, and case study.  Totally on us.

Interested? Leave us a comment with your name, EBSQ Artist url, and let us know why you want our help. If you’re chosen, you’ll get to work with us for 90 days, totally for free, to see if we can help jump start your marketing efforts and find you some greater success.  We’ll be profiling our selected artists during the case study via the EBSQ blog. Even if you aren’t one of the lucky artists selected, we hope our case studies will be able to help you as well!

Ready? Let’s get started!

PS Not yet an EBSQ Artist member? Why not join today?

Friday Five: At the Movies

Today’s Friday Five is a bit unconventional.  In honor of Roger Ebert’s life and passing, we bring you five pieces inspired by a shared love of film:

Custom Painting: Clint Eastwood by Christine E Steimer
Custom Painting: Clint Eastwood by Christine E Striemer
Metropolis #2 by Ruth Edward Anderson
Metropolis #2 by Ruth Edward Anderson
We Saw Avatar in 3-D by Sherry Key
We Saw Avatar in 3-D by Sherry Key


Real Housewives of Oz by Vyckie Van Goth
Real Housewives of Oz by Vyckie Van Goth


Movietime by S. Olga Linville
Movietime by S. Olga Linville


Rest in peace, Mr Ebert. We’ll see you at the movies.



EBSQ Data Center Outage

If you visited EBSQ this afternoon (6 March 2013) you might have noticed things were sluggish, then spotty, then completely down. We’ve discovered the problem isn’t on our end, but rather at our Data Center, where their network is completely down. They’re working to correct the problem now.  Thanks for your patience!


10pm EST The good news is that the problem has been diagnosed by the good folks at our data center. The bad news is that the replacement part the data center needs to get their customers (including EBSQ) back online will not be available until tomorrow morning.  It’s been a long frustrating day, and we appreciate that a solution is on its way.

Thanks  for hanging in there, folks. Once we’re back up, we’re looking forward to seeing all of the new art created during our rather unexpected downtime!

Heads up–anticipate a brief period of site inaccessability

6:25pm EST We expect a brief outage within the hour while we replace a piece of equipment in our server array. We anticipate it being 5-10 minutes total. Thanks in advance for your patience, and sorry for any inconvenience!

7:16pm EST Our new equipment is installed and we’re running tests to make sure everything is working as expected before switching back on. ETA 5-10 minutes

7:46pm EST We are still mid-testing process.  Sorry this is taking longer than expected, but we want to make sure everything is smooth sailing once we’re back up. Thanks for your continued patience!

8:45pm EST All EBSQ services are back online. Truly sorry this took longer than anticipated!

EBSQ is back online

9:12am EBSQ is currently down. We’re working with our server people to quickly resolve the problem. We’ll be updating this post with further information as it becomes available. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience.

10:18am Our current estimated uptime is no later than 11am EST. Thanks for your continued patience!

10:50am The issue has been resolved.

Winners, Voters, & Winter Membership Sale

We have a winner!

Guest-juror Robb Padgett has finished reviewing EBSQ’s Zombie Apocalypse and the results are in!

Juror’s Choice:

Peelings, nothing more than peelings

“Peelings, nothing more than peelings” by Windi Rosson

Stop by and see who else won, as well as some thoughts from our juror here.

Our thanks to Robb, our three award winners, and to all of the participating artists!

Still time to vote!

Voting continues for our other three December exhibits. EBSQ Members can log in to vote for Member’s Choice and site patrons and visitors are invited to utilize our social-vote buttons for the Cloud Choice awards. Winners will be announced on 8 January 2013! So vote now!

Our winter sale continues–grab a great deal before they melt away!

We’re gearing up for big changes at EBSQ, including going advertising-free, but we need your help to do it!  Unfortunately, we still haven’t met our goal of 150 new members to replace the lost advertising revenue.

To that end, monthly memberships and permanent accounts are still on sale. Each new (and returning) monthly member helps us meet our monthly bills and expenses. Each permanent account purchase goes toward upgrading equipment, software licenses (including a major upgrade to our forum software), and building toward our future so we can compete with the big fish out there.

Please help. Spread the word. Forward this to a friend. Join (or re-join) if you can. Together, we can make 2013 an incredible year for the self-representing artist.

Wishing you peace, prosperity, and an Artful New Year,
-Amie Gillingham on behalf  of Team EBSQ
Supporting living artists since 2000

Gearing up for an Awesome Artful 2013

Lo and behold, it’s a new year. What the heck happened to 2012? Or that pesky zombie apocalypse we had on our calendar? The whole year just seemed to whiz by. Anyhow. 2013. It’s here. Time to gear up!

Is your portfolio ready for 2013?

Check out these 7 art portfolio readiness tips here on the EBSQ Blog!

Speaking of  2013…
Our 2013 Art Exhibit Calendar has been announced! Which shows are you most looking forward to?

Finally–New Beginnings

December was a rough month for Team EBSQ. Everybody was down with the flu (and other ailments) multiple times. I think I can count the number of days I personally wasn’t sick on one hand! As a result, the finishing touches on the newest iteration of the EBSQ website is running behind schedule. We’re looking forward to getting back on track in 2013, bringing you a faster site, e-commerce tools, a significantly improved FAQ (I can hear many of you applauding), and hopefully, a site that will be advertising-free.

To achieve these ends, we can also use your help. We still haven’t met our goal of 150 new members to replace the lost advertising revenue. To that end, monthly memberships and permanent accounts are still on sale. Each new (and returning) monthly member helps us meet our monthly bills and expenses. Each permanent account purchase goes toward upgrading equipment, software licenses, and building toward our future so we can compete with the big fish out there. Together, we can make 2013 an incredible year for the self-representing artist.

Wishing you peace, prosperity, and an Artful New Year,
-Amie Gillingham on behalf  of Team EBSQ
Supporting living artists since 2000

7 Art Portfolio Best Practices to Start 2013 with a Bang!

Day of the Dead New Year by EBSQ Artist Susan Brack
Day of the Dead New Year by EBSQ Artist Susan Brack

Ok, I admit it: this is a repost from last year. But the advice is just as timely.  Get ready for 2013 with these 7 readiness tips.

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

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

An addendum to the above: Have you linked to all of your current venues? And have you unlinked venues you no longer use? If you’re primarily selling at FineArtAmerica, but you only have a link to an abandoned eBay account, you’re squandering an opportunity to direct interested parties to work that’s currently available. We suggest you consider removing venues you aren’t actively using or maintaining. This includes placeholder websites and blogs that haven’t been updated in over a year.

When is the last time you took a serious look at your artist’s statement? Do you have a “Hi, I’m new,” message that you posted back in 2007 and simply forgot about? Or notes about your Spring cleaning sales from last year? Are you talking about your photography or sculpture when you’re now showing a portfolio full of abstract expressionism? Have you done any new shows or changed galleries? Don’t forget to add this new information to your CV.

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

Are you showing your newest work? While we do have members that update their portfolio as soon as they have something new, others simply upload a handful of work when they join and forgeddaboutit, letting their portfolios collect cyber dust. When was the last time you added something new? Every time you add new art to your portfolio, that piece shows up on the front page of EBSQ, which in turn brings more people back to your portfolio.  For best success, we strongly suggest you upload new work monthly, or even weekly. “Post and Pray” does not work.

Is it for sale? If so, you can add in a PayPal “buy it now” button directly in your artist statement. You’re also welcome to link directly to other venues where a specific piece might be available. (Just make sure you update your information if it’s already been sold!)

Have another great tip for getting your portfolio into shape? Please share it in the comments below!


PS Not yet a member? Grab a great deal on EBSQ Artist Memberships through 31 December 2012!

One on One with Zombie Apocalypse Juror Robb Padgett

Wrong Turn by EBSQ Artist Mark Satchwill
Wrong Turn by EBSQ Artist Mark Satchwill

We did the online version of sitting down with Zombie Apocalypse juror Robb Padgett to get his take on all-things zombie. Since the world might sort-of possibly end soon, we decided to make things fun–just in case.

What for you epitomizes the pinnacle of High Zombie Art?

Here Comes Honey Boo Boo – If one defines “Zombie Art” as art created by zombies. If you’re talking about “Art in which the subject matter is zombies” then I’d have to say Night of the Living dead by George A Romero. Sure, that would mean the genre peaked early, but when dealing with Zombies as metaphor, what else is there really to say that George didn’t? Of course, he popularized the genre so much that George himself went on to make a bazillion more zombie movies. But I like to think he made those movies ironically in order to illustrate the point of the first film.

What do you think most influenced the our current zombie aesthetic?

I’d have to say George Romero again. Although, 28 Days Later by Danny Boyle seems to have taken the zombie genre in a slightly new direction. If “faster zombies” can be considered a new direction.

Vampire. Zombie. Werewolf. Who wins in a mud wrestling match?

Werewolf. Absolutely. It would be a long battle since zombies have stamina. But werewolves are scrappy and smarter. They say a dog is about as smart as a toddler. They say zombies are about as coordinated as a toddler. Any vampire worth his bejeweled medallion wouldn’t be caught undead wrestling in mud.

What’s your favourite side dish to serve with fresh brains?

Is “more brains” an option? I think if one is committed to eating brains, it’s best to avoid distractions.

What is the one non-essential food you’re going to hoard prior to Friday’s Apocalypse now that Twinkies are off the menu?

Fluffy Stuff. It’s cotton candy in a bag. It’s delicious and filled with preservatives so it will last long enough for it to become “essential” again. I plan to live well past the apocalypse so I’ll need to hoard a lot of Fluffy Stuff. My horticulture skills are abysmal. If you ever need to find me after Armageddon, I’ll be the guy on the permanent sugar high. Also, my skin will have probably turned pink and blue from the colorants.

What is the single most important tip you could give someone facing a horde of zombies?

Acquiesce. I’ve never heard a zombie complain.

~ . ~

About the juror:

Robb Padgett is a new-media potentate living in Los Angeles. His webseries Vampire Zombie Werewolf and Life from the Inside have been viewed millions of times and have been liked by dozens.

Entries for Zombie Apocalypse are being accepted through the end of the month, or the end of the world. Whichever comes first. There is a sliding-scale fee per entry, and you could win a $150 cash prize!

A special appeal on Cyber Monday

12 years ago, EBSQ began in a small 2-bedroom apartment in Pittsburgh, PA. We’ve now doubled in size (4 total employees instead of just Bill and me), we *finally* own our own servers, and the bulk of the day-to-day work is done via an ancient laptop on my dining room table. In the past dozen years, we’ve seen competitors, many of whom had a lot of capital backing them, go by the wayside. There’s no question, it’s a tough market for artists–and the sites that support them. I suspect it’s our very smallness that has kept us going where others have failed. But we’re ready to grow. And we need your help to do that.

Bill has spent the last 6 months re-writing 100% of the EBSQ site code in another programming language (and let me tell you, this was no easy feat!). This will make the site significantly faster, and it will be easier to maintain–and extend. And over the next 6 weeks, we will be fine-tuning as we prepare to launch what we think is a gorgeous version of the site that WILL include e-commerce. Now, something I have lobbied for time-and-again is for the advertising to go away. It’s ugly, it detracts from the art, and frankly, it slows down page load time. But it’s been a necessary evil since it’s how we’ve kept the lights on. I’m not going to lie; each month when that money comes in is a HUGE relief.

Here’s how you can help: plain and simple, we need more members to make up for the huge deficit that going advertising-free would create. To be exact, we need 150 new monthly members before the end of December.

Today through the end of November, monthly memberships, normally $8.95, will be on sale at the grandfathered rate of just $6.50 a month. That’s less than a month of Netflix. And for this week only, we’re making Permanent Accounts available for the discounted price of $499.

Will you help us grow? We are calling all former members, all of the artists who have been on the fence about joining, and on current members to lobby their artist friends on our behalf. Please, we need you. Each and every one of you. Come grow with us.

>>Click here to grab a great deal!

Thank you for your consideration. And from us, to you, have an artful holiday season!
With gratitude,
-Amie Gillingham
co-founder, EBSQ
Supporting self-representing artists since 2000

PS Don’t let these great deals pass you by! Invest in your artistic future–and ours–by grabbing an awesome deal today!

Past the halfway marker: where are you with 12 in ’12?

At the St Vincent Monastery Run Wetlands by Amie R. Gillingham
Since it’s my small son’s birthday today, I will indulge in sharing my entry from last month’s Wildflower exhibit. Thank you for awarding it an honorable mention in the Cloud Votes!

The 12 in ’12 Challenge, started back in January, has been a hot topic of conversation lately on the EBSQ Member Forums.  So I thought now might be a good time for an official (ish) pulse check. Where are you in your progress. Did you enter the shows you hoped you would back in January? Are you still going strong, or losing steam?

I also took the challenge. So far, I’ve entered entered 6 shows with 9-total entries. Some of it has been new work executed for the show, but I admit I pulled a couple from my archives, too.  I was hoping to enter more than just photography and actually get some painting and drawing done, but my Muse has been off holiday, apparently.  Maybe I can lure her home with this month’s Pointillism exhibit

Ready to jump into the fray or get back on track? Here’s what’s left in 2012:

Cats & Dogs
FOTM: Prairie Plants
Plein Air: Water

Wild Birds
FOTM: Berries & Fruit

FOTM: Carnivorous Plants
Think Pink (to Benefit Breast Cancer Research)

Tortoises & Hares
FOTM: Leaves & Fronds
Norse Mythology (juried)

Holiday Pets
FOTM: Botanical Wreaths
Zombie Apocalypse (ends 21 December 2012, with no voting since the world will have ended, obviously)
11th Annual Better Late Than Never Show

So–16 more exhibition opportunities. Are you in? Are you IN?

Let’s do this thing!

Our LAST EVER Annual & Permanent Account Sale is ON!

Tom Had to Think Quickly by EBSQ Artist Nancy Denommee
Tom Had to Think Quickly by EBSQ Artist Nancy Denommee

Yes, the rumours are true. We’re retiring the annual and permanent account billing options for EBSQ on 1 August 2012* and moving to monthly-billing only for new members. If you’d like to grandfather in with either type of account, here’s your chance to do it at a discount! For this week only, we are offering both account-types at last year’s Cyber Monday sales price.

Grab an annual account for just $66/year (a $23 saving over the current rate) or a permanent account for just $349 (that’s half off the $699 list price!)

*It is important to note that people who have annual billing get to keep their rates for as long as they stay a member. We are firm believers in grandfathered rates. And obviously, permanent accounts are permanent. We’re a small family business and we appreciate your support of our services and community. Without you, we don’t exist.

Both deals are open to new and existing members. So click here to grab what is easily our best deal of the year today!

Of course, we’ll always offer monthly memberships!

Huge cheers,

-Amie on behalf of Team EBSQ

PS Don’t let this chance to grab a grandfathered-rate annual or half-price permanent account pass you by. Upgrade your account today!

Help EBSQ qualify for a $250,000 grant from Chase and LivingSocial.

Mission: Small BusinessLast night, we heard about the most amazing opportunity.  One that could change everything.  Chase and Living Social are awarding grants to small businesses across America to help them thrive, and we really want to be one of them.  Our application is in, and we desperately desperately desperately need help getting the 250 necessary votes before the 30 June 2012 deadline.

Help us receive 250 votes on the Mission: Small Business℠ page to get closer to qualifying for a $250,000 Grant. After clicking “Support” on the home page, look for our business and vote for us!
1. Click here:
2. Then click “Log In & Support”
3. Log in using your Facebook account
4. Search for EBSQ toward the bottom of this page
5. Click on the blue “Vote” button next to our business name to show your support for EBSQ.

Edited to add:  “Search by Business Name” has been hit or miss. If you can’t find us by searching “EBSQ” please look for us manually under Pennsylvania > Greensburg

Easy peasy lemon squeezy!

PLEASE HELP US SPREAD THE WORD! This would literally change everything. We could afford to hire talented people at a living wage. And we can finally bring e-commerce to EBSQ which will help us bring our artists a living wage. It’s a potential win for everyone, but we can’t do it without your help.

Thank you for your consideration and your support.

With much gratitude,

-Amie on behalf of Team EBSQ