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  • January 2015
  • J+C Magazine: Valentines’ Day Edition (4 of 6)

    Front Page of J+C Magazine
    Front Page of J+C Magazine
    Special Valentine's Day edition. This is self-publishing at its best!
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    Hey all you sassy lovers! Curl up with your loved one and laugh at the unintentional humor and wit of J+C Magazine, Volume 4 –Valentine’s Day Edition. This magazine was self-published in February of 2001 so you’ll be sure to find weirdo articles about Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and Steve Irwin (God bless his soul).

    Check out the Volume 1, Volume 2, and Volume 3 for more early 2000s celebrity gossip told from the point of view of two twelve-year-old artists. Comment and share with your friends for a hoot and a holler!

  • A Girl’s Gotta Eat: The Economics of Art

    There’s a reason why the starving artist stereotype exists. Five months after quitting my comfy day job, I’m getting hungry.

    For most of my life, I have been challenged to think about my creative work conceptually and aesthetically. And I truly appreciate the institutions and individuals that helped me develop as an artist to think critically about my work. However, the security of being a student is gone I’m challenged to think about my work in another way: financially.

    I’ve been working on several projects and doing small gigs here and there to make money, but a project that I’ve been pushing with notable persistence are my harmonographic designs.  I built my two-pendulum harmonograph and three-pendulum harmonograph earlier this year and have created my harmonograph art since.  I will be demonstrating my 3-pendulum harmonograph at RAW:Hollywood this Friday at Boulevard3, so come and prepared to be mesmerized!

    It has been both terrifying and enlightening to treat my artistic practice as a business venture. In light of my artistic and financial needs, I chose to continue pushing my harmonograph designs for the followings reasons:

    1. HYPNOSIS (Spectacle Factor)  – I’m only half-joking about this one.

    The artistic process in creating a harmonographic design is hypnotizing to watch. Check out this video of my harmonograph in action.

    Did you watch the whole 2 minutes? The human eye and brain are hardwired to observe patterns as they unfold.  The motion of the harmonograph is the perfect example of how our pattern-seeking brains work.

    Because the artistic process of the harmonograph is hypnotizing, I always make sure to bring the harmonograph with me when I sell my work at markets. It’s a great way to create and maintain crowds. I need to find a way to convert the spectacle of the harmonograph into something that is financially rewarding for me. And, by God, I WILL find a way!

    2. CONSISTENCY – The designs are beautiful…always. I view the harmonograph as a vessel for Nature’s voice. Nothing beats simple physics and consistency is key in any business venture (or so I’ve heard).


    Harmonograph Artist Statement

    3. SPEED – The designs are quick to make and I can create an original drawing in less than 5 minutes. I did a little back-of-the-envelope-calculation about the profitability of an original painting I sold a few years ago versus my current harmonograph art. (DISCLAIMER: I don’t actually make $2400/week, but if you know how I can, then let me know!)

    J_Sayuri_Art_Economics_Harmonograph_Painting_BlogI spent about 20 hours making a single painting that ended up selling for $250. At the time, I gave myself a mental high five. But with a few years under my belt, I realize now that I was making just over minimum wage when calculating in my time and materials.

    So, by focusing my time and energy on creating a body of work that is quick and easy to manufacture, I am able to maintain reasonable prices (and get them out of my parent’s garage). Also, did you notice that the harmonograph art is almost 10x more profitable than the single painting per hour of work? Simple economics works wonders for artists.

    Does that mean that I make $2400 in half a week? NO WAY! I WISH. I true challenge here is not creating my harmonongraphic designs or how fast I can make them, but actually getting them SOLD – every artist’s challenge, I suppose.

    Simply said, a girl’s gotta eat.  Let me know if any of this helps other artists out there.