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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Social Network users beware - identity/art theft

I was recently approached by an "agent" on MySpace who sent me a very complementary message about my work. This person then offered to work as an agent for me - going to galleries and boutiques and pitching my work to them. I was interested and wrote back asking for more information, including commissions fees and a description of their working process.

The reply I received to my email immediately asked me to send a CV (resume') and high quality photos of my work. There was no contract, no description of commission or working processes, no references. There was however, more complements about my work.

This smacks of IDENTITY FRAUD AND ART THEFT to me.

If you sell your art NEVER send out your CV/resume' or high quality photos of your work to anyone without some kind of legal business arrangement first.

Perhaps this "agent" is just new to running a business and simply did not think to offer full details and a contract. But if an agent offers to work with with you, please recognize the risky situation in handing over your private information without entering into a legal business contract first.

If you do get a contract - read it properly! If you don't understand anything, ask someone who does understand legal jargon to explain it all to you before you do anything else.

As artists we are largely trusting people who are easy pray for art thieves and because of our presence on social networking sites we are also easy prey for identity thieves too.

Alarm bells should go off in your head if someone ever gives you too many complements and then asks for private information! Please be careful. MySpace is not the only place this can happen, any social network where you advertise as an artist can invite this kind of fraud. I love using these sites, don't let this put you off them! They are an awesome marketing tool! Just be careful.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Exhibition, mice and face painting

Next weekend will be the opening night of my latest exhibition! I'm very excited about it as it is the largest collection of my paintings that I have ever shown. Anyone who finds themselves in the neighborhood of Amsterdam is most welcome to come and see it. I will be there from 18.00 to 19.00; I will also be celebrating my birthday that night!

I also managed to find time to make some new mice for my shop! Cpt. Jack Sparrow mouse, Photographer Mouse female and Mother & Baby Mouse. I'm so pleased with how they all came out. If you want more info or more to see them from other angles go to www.thehouseofmouse.etsy.com.

One of the other things I do to earn some extra money is work as a children’s face painter. Since I have over 15 years of experience with painting, the transition to painting faces was pretty simple. The only differences are that my new canvas is three dimensional and often likes to wriggle around while I try to paint it!

I love face painting, it is fun and I get to work with kids all day! I also get to paint the odd adult too sometimes. I work one regular shift a week at the Hard Rock cafe in Amsterdam every Sunday afternoon. It's only for four hours and I get a free meal out of it too. I little regular income is always a good thing for an artist, since we regularly don't know where the next paycheck is coming from.

Today I not only had my Hard Rock booking but also an earlier booking with a private party as well. Private children’s parties are great! Although today’s one was a bit hair-raising. The lady who made the booking would have loved for me to be able to stay longer, but since I have a longstanding agreement with the Hard Rock I could only stay for one and a half hours. It was a big party, with an equal number of parents who wanted to get their faces painted as children! When I was finished there was a large selection of boys and girls with princess, tiger, cheater, dinosaur and Spiderman faces. And to add to this mix there where also a few 30-something women with sparkly pink butterflies on their faces, and several 30-something men with puppy dog faces - complete with pink tongue hanging out! Once I was done I had to race off on my bike to the Hard Rock for my other shift.

One party on its own is more than manageable, but I always find myself drained after 2 in a row! But was worth it though for the extra money, which can go towards all the new frames I needed for my exhibition paintings!

Friday, April 18, 2008


This page is here for you to suggest any mouse ideas you have. I love to hear new ideas!

Looking forward to reading your suggestions! I will also be posting some of my own here too - just in case I lose my ideas journal again.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Contact Me

Email: info@thehouseofmouse.co.uk

Or fill out the form below:

The Beginning

Hello! Welcome to my little corner of the blogsphere!

Since this is my first blog posting I should introduce myself. My name is Anna, I am 28 years old and I love creativity in all its forms. I am an oil painter and I also run a business as a toy maker. I am an improviser, performing improvised comedy on stage in the heart of Amsterdam on Friday nights. I am a daughter, wife, sister, friend and many other things besides. You will learn more about that later I’m sure!

For now I will share with you a few of my creations, since an artist’s work often says more about them than any words could. This painting entitled “Self Portrait with Blue Light” is, I think, my favorite of all my paintings. It has a special and very personal meaning to me, but was created with the intention releasing a different meaning for each viewer.

Oils on Canvas
(4’ x 2’8”)

You can see more of my paintings on my personal website

I also mentioned that I run a business making toys, so I should include a little about them too. I make little felt mice. My shop is called The House of Mouse. Each mouse is hand sewn and stands approximately 2.5inches tall (7cm). In the right hand column can see a small selection of them, and below one of my favorites. You can see my store at www.thehouseofmouse.etsy.com

This blog, as the title suggests, will be my musings on life, creativity and everything else. I will blog about my creative process, exhibitions and business. The highs and the lows and any other experiences I think might interest you. I will also hand pick other artists and crafters who’s work I believe deserves attention and include them here. I imagine this blog will evolve and change with me and I hope I will still be writing in it 10 or 20 years from now!

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