The Perfect Gift: Stand Out Amongst The Rest

Christmas is quickly approaching and you haven't completed your Christmas shopping or even started for that fact.

You're freaking out - the mall crowds, everything will be out of stock and you have no clue what to get anyone on your list. 

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We all love to tell ourselves that we are going to get our shopping done early in a stress free manner, but let's face it... most of us are procrastinators. That leaves you with making a classic dad move: picking up a good old gift card.

I am here to say DON'T DO IT! I have your answer!

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The Perfect Gift: ARTWORK

Artwork can be a great gift for any occasion, whether it is for Christmas, a birthday, baby shower, a thank you gift, etc.

Buying artwork for someone else can be quite daunting and intimidating, but I am here to tell you it does not have to be. When they receive this gift it will without a doubt make them feel very appreciated and special. 

Now you do not need to get them a gigantic piece to go in their foyer or above their couch. A small artwork that won't take up much room on their wall is the safe way to go, that way you are not risking them not having the wall space to hang it up. 

So let's get into the reasons why artwork makes the perfect gift!

1. It is unique/one of a kind

When shopping for a gift, you are trying to avoid these problems all people fear facing: the receiver not liking the gift and getting them the same thing someone else got them. Most people do not keep what they receive, as 54% return their gifts to the store. 

You want your gift to be as unique as possible to avoid this embarrassing moment and huge let down for you and the receiver. So to avoid this at all costs, getting an original artwork is the perfect answer.

They will think you are a genius and put in a great amount of effort to purchase this gift - you being the best person ever!

Skyline, Handmade collage - matte print mounted on omega bond, 72" x 24"

                                           

 

 

2. They need it

 

Nearly 70% of people have never purchased artwork for their home, with almost 50% citing cost as the main barrier to buying. So, chances are that person has empty space on their walls.

People also do not tend to buy art since it is not a priority or an essential need. It can be a costly luxury. All artwork is not millions of dollars though! You can find many original artworks under $500. 

The best thing you can do is to support an emerging artist, who usually prices their artwork quite low, like moi!  Your wallet will be happy and you will be helping an artist with their career.

And this brings me to my next point: it becomes an asset.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Broken Telephone, Handmade collage on wooden panel, 11 x 14 inches

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3. It is an asset that could make them rich one day

If you give someone a pair of socks, they wear them over and over again and eventually have to throw them away. They deplete in value, like most gifts you would choose to give.

Artwork is a gift that will only appreciate in value. You are providing an asset for that person to potentially sell in the future. Who knows, maybe that emerging artist you bought an original artwork from becomes famous and that artwork is worth millions!

If you are on a tight budget you can always purchase a print of the artwork you had in mind, which you can usually find for $100 or less. 

 

Check out SOCIETY6 for a wide variety of affordable prints and fun merchandise from artists: 

https://society6.com/nicolemoss

4. It is personal and will last a lifetime

 

When purchasing an artwork think about their favourite colours, passions, personal style, where they come from, etc. All of these little things you know about this person will be helpful when picking out that drawing, painting, collage or sculpture. When they see their interests in this artwork they will notice how well you know them and feel very valued.

Every time they look at it they will feel that joy of when they received it. You are not only giving them an object, but giving them an experience and feeling that will last a lifetime.

The best gifts are the ones you can go back to every now and then and be reminded of the wonderful memories and connection you have experienced with that person. 

You can also commission an artist to create an artwork based on your ideas and specific guidelines. This would be even more personalized and special!

 

The Other Side, Handmade collage on wooden panel, 16" x 20"

So where do you find this perfect artwork?

There are many options: go to a gallery in person or shop through online galleries like Saatchi Art, Zatista, Amazon or Ebay. You can also shop directly on artists' websites, like mine. Feel free to check out my online store for original artworks. I have free shipping on originals until December 31st (use code:FREE upon checkout)! Take a look:  http://www.nicolemossart.com/available/

 

If you are still hesitant to whether an artwork is the right gift to give, take a look at my testimonial page and read about how happy people are to receive a personalized artwork: http://www.nicolemossart.com/testimonials/

I hope this helped you on your journey to find the perfect present for that special someone. HAPPY SHOPPING!

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Art Toronto 2017 Highlights

Art Toronto, Canada’s international contemporary and modern art fair, located at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre took place over the weekend of October 27-30. This fair is one of the most important annual art events in Canada. Being an artist myself, this is an event I look forward to every year and aspire to be a part of one day. 

Artwork from leading Canadian and International galleries are presented. Therefore, most booths have many different artists represented by one gallery. 

I find this art fair to be overwhelming because of this. To have a successful booth I believe the gallery has to choose art pieces that work very well together, while taking risks in order to be noticed. 

I find it takes a lot to grab my attention at this exhibition, but some booths and individual artists definitely caught my eye.

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NICHOLAS ZIRK - 

 

Breakfast of Champions

2017

Acrylic, Oil and Spray Paint on Canvas

48" x 60"

http://www.nicholaszirk.com/

I was so excited to see an artist from OCAD University's 2017 graduate exhibition: Nicholas Zirk. OCAD University always has a great booth at Art Toronto exhibiting recent graduates and I was so glad to see his work! I love the connection his paintings make to identity and the surreal aspects and feelings they evoke. His paintings have almost everything I ever look for in an artwork: surrealism, a personal connection, a story and humour. 

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NICHOLAS CROMBACH -

 

 End Of The Chase 

 

2017

Polyester Resin, Wood, Synthetic Hair, Paint

55 x 18 x 15 in

Edition of 6

https://www.nicholascrombach.com/

 

This sculpture stopped me in my tracks. I had such a mixture of feelings when looking at it. It made me smile, yet evoked feelings of concern and worry. This work was so clever and strange because of the fact it was doing the complete opposite of what you would expect it to do - to be stationary and lifeless. My take away from it was a message communicating the death of childhood and the end of innocence. 

One thing I do not like about this show is that most of the time the artists are not present, so it is a downside that you cannot speak to them personally about their work. This sculpture was the first thing that really grabbed me and I am usually not too fond of sculptures, but this really encouraged me to engage and conceptualize the meaning behind it. 

Loved it!!!

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LAURENT LAMARCHE - 

 

Fossil Petri Series

 

2017

Engraved plexiglass, aluminum 

http://laurentlamarche.com/

Multiples of these engraved plexiglass works by Laurent Lamarche were presented, which were illuminated by bright lights, making them very easy to be noticed. OUUUU BRIGHT LIGHTS! The details were so amazing and was easily the most beautiful artwork collection I saw there. He creates fictional living organisms, marrying art and science. He aims to question our relationship to nature and technology and this is exactly what I took away from it. It is refreshing when you do not have to make your brain hurt to understand what is going on in an artwork. Sometimes you just want art to be clear and straight forward. The concepts are simple, but the visual work sure is not!

You have to take a look at the different views to really appreciate the visuals, so please click this link: http://laurentlamarche.com/fossile/

My favourite booth was DOWNS & ROSS from New York. On the outside corner of the booth was a mannequin child about two and half feet high facing the wall. It looked like she was playing the classic game of hide and seek - her face up against the wall looking like she was counting down until she would embark on the search for her hiding friends. I thought it was a real child at first! It shocked me and made me laugh. This placement of the child was very smart, as it encouraged me to turn the corner and enter the booth. When turning the corner I saw there were others. They were all facing the wall, so I was unable to see their faces. I really enjoy art that tricks the mind and brings an element of surprise, so this caused me to choose this gallery as my number one choice. I also loved the paintings presented. I enjoyed the combination of realism with the graphic illustrations and lines. They were technically impressive and had a great colour scheme. The style of the hands reminded me of traditional Renaissance paintings or tarot cards. Overall, the choice of art pieces and presentation satisfied me emotionally and visually. 

Visit their website to learn more: http://www.downsross.com/

 

Comment below for feedback on my choices and let me know your favourite artist, artwork or booth from Art Toronto 2017!

Queen West Art Crawl 2017: Top 3 Artists

The weekend of September 23rd and 24th in Toronto was an unusual scorcher, considering this time of year we are usually getting into our fall jackets and drinking hot pumpkin spice lattes.

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With it being sunny and 30 degrees, the Queen West Art Crawl in Trinity-Bellwoods Park was packed with people. This annual juried outdoor art exhibition features live music, food vendors and best of all, artworks on display by 200 artists.

Being an artist myself who participates in art exhibitions like these, I never really get the chance to view other artists’ work while at my booth, so I took this opportunity to be on the viewers’ side for a change!

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While walking around, I was very impressed by the quality of work and enthused to be introduced to many new artists. A strong community is built within these art exhibitions, a community I am so proud to be a part of. I am delighted to share with you my 3 favorite artists from the show. You will see why I chose these artists when you take a look at my art practice.

I know what type of art I love and what I am attracted to, which is thought-provoking, surreal, clever and narrative artwork. So without further ado, here are my top 3 picks from the 2017 Queen West Art Crawl.

TOP 3 ARTISTS:

1. TAKASHI HILFERINK

These were the first artworks that immediately grabbed my attention. Hilferink creates his paintings with acrylic and oil paints on gold or silver metal leaf that contain visual narratives that command the viewers’ attention and patience. His series Humane Sacrifice presents colourful silhouettes of individuals in beautifully destroyed landscapes.

These surreal paintings encourage one to engage and think about his artistic choices. They are so technically exquisite and rendered so realistically, which enables the viewer to really enter the narrative and personify with the faceless colourful silhouettes. What I love most about his work is that it promotes one to think of the destructive realities in our world without actually painting an event seen in reality. Instead, much like me, he confronts these issues with a world that confronts our truest fears – the dream world.

Check out more: http://www.takashi-hilferink.com/

2. RICHARD AHNERT

Let’s face it…everyone loves animals and I can not help but love these work.

I have seen Ahnert’s work at The Artist Project previous to this show, so I instantly recognized it. It is a challenge to make recognizable work when painting animals since so many artists do it, so hats off to this creator! Much like Hilferink, he presents narratives, but narratives that are humorous, fun and playful. They touch on the human-animal connection and explore themes of emotion and reflection.

On occasion I create artwork presenting animals with humans, using them as metaphors to explain human behaviour, so this caused me to connect with his themes. I was especially attracted to the oil paintings of whales, where most are shown swimming or flying in the sky. The whales have an industrial feel with their graffiti, trademark logos and clues of humankind inventions and actions on their bodies, as if we as humans have claimed them as our property.

These paintings have a mystical feel and definitely transport me to another world. Overall I love the surrealism aspect, as I believe animals to be the perfect expression of our primitive and subconscious desires.

Check out more: http://mycanvas.ca/ 

3. ERIKA SHRESTHA

This artist made my list because

1. Her work was different from anything I had seen at this exhibition.

2. Her work reminds me of one of my favourite artists: Wangechi Mutu

3. It incorporates aspects of collage.

On display was her Selfie Stick Series, which were mannequin heads covered with found materials (ex. beads, sequins, string). They are frightening, yet strikingly beautiful. Her work explores the idea of absurdity and beauty inhabiting the same space. Shrestha states, "The impetus for the heads was a desire to create identity through the use of found objects. The idea of hybrid, the weaving together of culture and society through using bits and pieces of pre-owned objects represents our way of recycling ideas, using the old to inform the new."

My take away from her work was an outlook on the social society we live in today and a reflection of how we view ourselves, especially through social media.

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I think her work perfectly captures the frightening aspect of our obsession with beauty and the fabricated self we present to the world, while providing the viewer with the opportunity to appreciate the intricacy and details of each object added to the face.

"These heads represent us all, we are all hybrids, the self is a shared identity."

-Shrestha

 

Check out more: https://www.erikashrestha.com/

 

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Overall I really enjoyed this outdoor exhibition and will definitely be keeping tabs on new work these artists will be creating! I am done with outdoor art shows for the summer, but am in the process of creating new work for my 2018 shows. Check out my most recent collages to see the similarities between me and these fantastic artists I have chosen as my top 3. 

Thanks for reading and Happy October!

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Guide to Requesting a Commission

Do you want to commission a collage but don’t know where to start or how it works? Here is a guide to help you out! 

A lot of people enjoy my work, but do not see a collage they like enough to take home or the one they want is already sold, but not to worry! We can work on a collage together based on your ideas and visual preferences whether it is for your home or a gift for someone else.

Have this guide open while filling out your form to help you out with each step.

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Commission Request Form

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After your form is submitted we will discuss my availability, the time frame I will need to finish your collage and down payment.

 

1.  SIZE AND QUANTITY

There are lots of options for sizing to fit your needs whether it be for a specific wall space or simply needs to fit your budget.

Please email me through my contact page to request a price list based on sizing.

Available sizing for wooden panels (1.5" deep):

3” x 5” (diptych)

6” x 6”

8” x 6”

8” x 10”

10” x 10”

12” x 12”

11” x 14”

12” x 16”

16” x 20”

*If you would like larger than 16” x 20” I can reproduce your collage as a mounted print and frame it. Example sizes are 28” x 34”, 44” x 30”. With reproductions we can do any size you like.

These large reproductions are matte prints that are mounted on omega bond and finished off with a white floater frame. You will be given the original along with your reproduction.

They look absolutely beautiful. See examples below.

 

2.  IDEAS & COLOURS

What themes, ideas, objects and aspects do you want to see in your collage?

Examples: love, relationships, family, animals, etc.

You can be very vague or specific with this part. Some people know exactly what they want to see and others let me take the reins and enjoy being surprised in the end. If you like a collage that is sold and want something similar provide me with the title. This will help me see what style you like and are looking for.

From this information I will look for base images that relate to your ideas and themes. I will provide you with at least 2-6 options for you to choose from. You can also provide me with your own images – send me the images and I can decide whether it is something I can work with.

What colours do you want in your collage?

Some like me to decide this, but if you have colour preferences let me know.

 

3.  TIME FRAME

When do you need this collage completed by?

Here is a time frame guide showing approximately how much time I will need to complete your commission:

              

3” x 5” (diptych)

6" x 6"                                    ---->   1 WEEK

8" x 6" 

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8” x 10”    

10” x 10”                                 ---->   1-2 WEEKS                        

12” x 12”                           

11” x 14”

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12” x 16”                                  ---->   2-3 WEEKS       

16” x 20”

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Large Scale Reproduction     ----> 1-1.5 MONTHS

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4.  Down Payment

 Once you give me a thumbs up on the project I will send an invoice to your email for the down payment.

 

For any wooden panel collage the down payment is $100.00.

 

For a large reproduction the down payment is $800.00.

 

{REFUND POLICY - WITHIN 3 DAYS OF DOWN PAYMENT}

 

I hope this guide makes it easy for you to request your commission and I look forward to creating and collaborating with you!

 

Click here to see examples of my commissioned work.

 

 

 

 

Collage Care and Conservation

Congratulations on purchasing and now owning an original Nicole Moss artwork!

Here are some tips on how to care for your handmade collage made on wooden panel. 

 

  • The best way to protect your collage is to frame it properly behind a sheet of glass or plexiglass, leaving a space between the glass and the collage surface. This will act as a barrier to airborne dust and pollutants, as well as the hands of people. You will need to make sure the piece is well secured in the frame; if it is too loose dust can creep in.

                                      Toronto Image Works is great for framing. Click here to visit the website.

  • Proper glazing on your frame will help in the longevity of your collage. Higher grade glazing provides greater protection for your piece.

  • Framing your work protects the collaged image from light, as light and UV can make the artwork fade overtime.

 

  • You do not have to frame your collage or frame it behind glass, as you can take care of it by dusting it every now and then. I have coated your collage with a waterbase sealer/finish to insure it lasts and is protected. I would personally not frame it because I have put details on the sides of the collage that are beautiful to see!

  • Incandescent light has no UV component, so your artwork will be safe with this type of light without a frame.

  • Your collage should be kept in an environmentally controlled room at 18-23 Degrees Celsius, with low humidity.

 

Last but not least take care of it with love.

Enjoy!