Friday, September 28, 2012

Highlight from the Sydney Art Expo 2012

The Sydney Art Expo (September 21-23 2012) provided Art lovers an accessible opportunity to view a wide variety of art styles, mediums and content. There were plenty to see from paintings, sculptures, and ornaments, homewares to art objects. 

There were  great art workshops, and business seminars available during the show, you could stay all day at the show and there were lots to explore and gather inspirations and ideas from show.

The Sydney Art Expo is about discovering new emerging artists. Whether you're an experienced collector, or new, you'd find artworks to suit your taste and budget.

image courtesy from Art Expo

Adding to Sydney's vibrant art scene the show featured over ten galleries, close to seventy artists' studios, and hundreds of new artworks. It was a wonderful space to be and learn about art.

One aspect we liked the most was you can actually connected with the artists at their stands. Many of the artists were available to meet and talk with about their art. They 
were there to share a passion for art and design. It was so inspiring to experience that expression of passion, and to see such talent on display. And we here at ArtSHINE were delighted to meet so many talented people in one space.

Me & Gabby Malpas

In the next couple weeks we will featuring some of the artists we met at the show. The  weekly ArtSHINE “Close Up” interview series will allow us to highlight and feature artists and artisans as they live their passion and do what they love.

The series we’ll share knowledge and experience, as well as promote Australian and international artists and spread the word about creativity.  My partner Stuart Horrex and I  have a commitment to assist artists and artisans gain greater recognition for their work, and create the business lifestyles that will serve to sustain their art practices. That’s why the ArtSHINE project was initiated.

We’d like to thank all the artists and designers who shared their work with everyone at the show. A big thank you to Art Expo team for organising such a great show and  thanks so much for the opportunity to be part of the show and allow us to do our talks at the Art Space.

Here are some of our highlights from the show:

Art Workshop

image courtesy from Art Expo

Name this Art Competition
image courtesy from Art Expo

ArtSHINE Business Seminar

Portraiture demonstration
image courtesy from Art Expo

Work of Art

Live sculpting demonstrations

Interested in exhibiting?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A goal setting road map

Point A to Point B 

Achieving goals can be challenging. Particularly if you over estimate what you can reasonably achieve. And sometimes that means we give up before we even start.

Why does that happen?

There are many reasons why we behave this way. Some of them are:

  • Goals were unclear with no real purpose in mind.
  • We get scared
  • Negative Mindset
  • We get distracted
  • Poor execution
  • No milestones set
  • No reviews, or you fail to follow up with your goals
  • There's a lack of commitment

Let's say you do know where you want to be, you do know the goals you want to set, but you're still unsure about how to get there... What would you do?

Like driving a car to get from point A to point B you need to set a clear direction right?

One of the key steps in goal setting is to map out your action steps and make some decisions about how you're going to get from point A to point B.

As you embark on your journey you may also be faced with many challenges on the road too. Sometimes you are lucky enough to get a smooth ride, but sometimes you're not so lucky, and you get the experience of a bumpy ride. Just like a road can be closed for repair, you're delayed at traffic lights, or stuck in a peak-hour traffic jam, there can be some road blocks to acheiving your goals too.

Sometimes even you have a map or GPS to help you along the way, but you're still unclear, distracted, and loose focus, which means you lose your way.

And then there's the wrong turns, and getting lost...

Sound familiar?

So what do you do when you experience those sort of problems?

Do you just give up, get out the car, and stop driving?

I don't think so! Maybe you gt  bit frustrated, but you'd go back to your plan and retrace your steps, review your journey, adjust you direction accordingly, and you'd try again.

Setting and achieving your goals is like driving. Even with a destination in mind, sometimes the process along  the way may turn out to be quite different to how you have planned. You may achieve your goals quickly and smoothly, or sometimes you may struggle.

This is because when we do plan to travel from point A (your starting point) we don't have a crystal ball to always predict the exact action steps.

There's also to fect that you haven't been to point B (your desired result) before. So how do we even know if the plan we have to get from point A to point B will even get us there?

Most of the time, the planning steps will help us move forward and give us a direction to mover closer to point B. Even though it won't always be a perfect ride,  at least we have a plan to work towards our goals.

It's here where most people throw in the towel and give up. They underestimate the steps required to achieve their own goals. They don't like the driving experience, even perhaps deciding to do a U-turn and going back where they started from.

So, are you the person who gives up easily on your goals and dreams?

Here' s a useful tip...

If you ever get lost while pursuing one of your goals, just think of a time when your were driving and were lost. Focus on the process of how you got yourself out of that situation. The next step is to determine how to get yourself back on track so you can reach your desired destination.

Would you like to learn how to set purpose goals the ArtSHINE way?

It’s as simple as 1...2... 3...

            1. Like  ArtSHINE's Facebook page
2. Send an e-mail to this ArtSHINE :

3. Contact Vinh for a no cost, no obligation coaching 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Close Up Interview with Singer & Actress Vivienne Powell

Tell us a little about yourself and what you do.
I am a singer and actress. I have also done some voice over work. For most of my professional life in the performing arts, I have been a concert artist as a classical and opera singer.  I started my working life as a teacher - a classroom teacher - and I also trained many children’s choirs and vocal ensembles over my teaching career. Some years ago I returned to my love of acting, and now like to combine both disciplines, singing and acting.

Who (or what) inspires you to do what you love?
Human beings inspire me, characters that capture my imagination, whether in a song or a play, film or television program. I love to tell someone’s story, even if it’s just in a three- minute song. People and their stories fascinate me.

Sentimental Journey- Special tribute to Ella Fitzgerald

Where do you get your inspiration from when you sing & perform?
The individual journey of the character, how the character meets and overcomes challenges. This is what I find inspirational. Great artists inspire me, great singers, great actors, and visual artists whose work I find beautiful. People who are at the top of their craft, great talent, intelligence, compassion, humanity, all these qualities inspire me. And inspiration also comes from within, trusting that one does have the answers inside oneself. Trusting in one’s own inner guidance. In order for me to feel inspired it is also important for me to feel at peace, to have at least some contact with nature regularly and to not feel overwhelmed and burdened.

What are the five words that people who know you would use to describe you?
Loyal, kind, brave, talented, warm

Tell us about your very first job and what path have you taken since then?
 My very first job was as a casual sales assistant in a pharmacy when I was a teenager, to raise money for a school trip to New Zealand. I then graduated to a holiday sales assistant job in a dress shop, which helped to convince me that retail was not to be my chosen career path. For some reason, which I am still not quite able to fathom, I did not choose a career in the performing arts when I left school, but became a teacher instead, even though the happiest times for me were performing solo roles in the college music productions. That’s when I felt most alive. The rest of the training I generally found quite boring, well unfulfilling to say the least. But for some reason, maybe lack of self-belief, I continued on, rather than leave and study music and acting full time.  Later on, when I had been studying singing for some years, I started to sing professionally in recitals and concerts, and it grew from there. The passion unfurled and has continued to grow over the years, and now it’s stronger than it ever has been.

New  Release CD
Sentimental Journey with Doris, Ella & Julie

Tell us about your current show “Sentimental Journey with Doris, Ella & Julie?
In June and July this year, I performed my solo cabaret show, “Sentimental Journey”, which opened in the Hunter Valley, followed by two performances at the Sound Lounge, the cabaret room at the Seymour Centre in Sydney. The show was based on the lives and music of Ella Fitzgerald, Julie London and Doris Day, with a special tribute to Maria Calls with the singing of the “Habanera” from the opera “Carmen”. It was two years in the planning - gathering and learning the music, researching the lives of my artists, and writing and learning the script. I performed it with a jazz trio, piano, double bass and drums. It was an amazing experience and I learned a lot, about the artists I researched, about myself and about the art of cabaret. Along with the cabaret, I recorded my first CD, also entitled “Sentimental Journey”.

I would have done other performances of the cabaret, but I needed to get busy learning new repertoire for my Farewell Concert, “From Schubert to Sondheim’, before I leave to further my career in the US in early November. The first performance was in the Hunter Valley on 15 September, and the Sydney concert is on 7 October at Killara.

Farewell Sydney Concert,7 October at Killara

As a Singer & performer, what is your biggest frustration?
Self marketing and promoting my own shows. Finding promoters who will believe in my vision as strongly as I do.  I am also looking to work with a scriptwriter for my next solo project.

Tell us about how you prioritise your work.
It is important for me to start the memorization process early and in plenty of time before a performance, and to have adequate rehearsal time, in order to provide the most fertile ground for the blossoming of self-confidence and to avoid feeling panic stricken and overwhelmed, states which supress creativity. It helps to focus on the next project in hand, and to avoid the mind flying in all directions. This is when the thinking becomes scattered, and our work can suffer as a result.

Sentimental Journey- Special tribute to Maria Calls

Can you please tell us about how do you connect with other artists, and your audience/fans (i.e. how do you network)?
I find some online networking, such as Linked In and Facebook, and online performing arts sites, such as Stage Whispers, helpful in connecting with other artists and in expanding my audience. I feel there is more I can do in this regard though. Master classes and workshops are also helpful in bringing artists together.

What advice can you offer other creative people who are just starting out and following their passions?
Believe in yourself and what you have to offer.  If you have blocks to feeling good about yourself, then get some help, as this is so vital. Realise that you are unique, and no one else can offer the world what you do. Be very firm about quieting (or silencing) the negative voices in your head, as these can cripple creativity and sabotage your success. Once again, get help if you can’t do this on your own. Have a support network and surround yourself with positive people who believe in you. Avoid regular contact with negative people who drain your energy. Negativity can be toxic. Avoid it as much as you can.  Read inspiring books, listen to inspiring messages, be around people who make you laugh, who are kind.  Spend regular times in nature. Have inspiring role models, whether you know them personally, or if they are other artists whose work you admire.

What dreams do you still want to achieve or fulfil in your life?
I have another two projects that I am developing, involving bringing together my acting and singing skills, as a classical and cabaret artist, so it will be exciting to see these come to fruition. I would love to do more singing with orchestras as a concert singer. I would love to do some interesting film and television work, in the US the UK and Australia. I would love to do my own cabaret shows in New York. I would love to sing professionally in Paris. I would love to do more singing work with jazz musicians. I want to record another CD, next time with orchestra. I have a number of dreams that I envision! That is just a few.

What is your proudest moment so far?
Personally, it would be the birth of my three children. Professionally, it would be singing with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra on the Concert Hall stage of the Sydney Opera House and being called back for a second curtain call. Graduating with my master’s degree in music, Master of Creative Arts, was a pretty special moment too. Holding the completed thesis when it had just been printed…yes I felt very proud and moved then also. That’s more than one special moment, but they’re all up there with each other in their own special way.

Performance at The City Recital hall

Who do you most want to meet and why?
As an actress, I am greatly inspired by the work and life of Meryl Streep. I find her talent to be extraordinary. She is always riveting to watch on screen and I learn something new about the craft from each of her films, in fact from each scene! I also love her as a person, her warmth, fierce intelligence and sense of fun.  She is so grounded and has healthy relationships with her husband, children and friends. As a singer, I would love to meet the great opera singer Jessye Norman, for her dignity, her unshakeable sense of self, and of course her fabulous voice. After doing intensive research on Doris Day, Ella Fitzgerald and Julie London for my cabaret show, “Sentimental Journey”, I would love to meet Doris Day, now 88, whom I admire enormously. She is open, active and positive, all traits I admire. I would be over the moon if I could meet Doris when I return to the US soon to live. I keep that vision!

What is the most important lesson in life that you have learned?
Always be true to yourself, and have the courage to go for your dreams. Do what you love, what excites you, what you feel passionate about. I have not always done this in my life, and to live this way now is very liberating. It sometimes takes a lot of courage, to take the next step in one’s journey, when the outcome isn’t clear. That’s where trust is important, when you’ve done all you can, then it’s important to let go and trust, in life, in a higher power, whatever is meaningful to the individual. Oh, and never think you are too old, or too young, or too anything, to go for your dreams! Now is exactly the right time.

What book are you reading right now, and do you have a book you would like to recommend?
I am reading “Daring Greatly” by Brene Brown, and also constantly dipping into “Spiritual Liberation” by Michael Bernard Beckwith, one of my favourite spiritual teachers. I could highly recommend both of these wonderful books and also two classics which have helped me a lot on my journey, “Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway” by Susan Jeffers and “A Return to Love” by Marianne Williamson. And I must also mention another classic, “You Can Heal Your Life” by Louise L Hay. I also admire her enormously. She’s 82 and still growing, still learning, and living life to the full.
Coffee in Paris

Where do we find you? 
My website is My performances and projects are listed there.

My CD, “Sentimental Journey”, is available at my personal performances and will be available online through my website soon.

My next performance is my Farewell Concert, “From Schubert to Sondheim”, on Sunday 7 October in the lovely Killara Uniting Church, cnr Karranga Ave and Arnold St, Killara. It starts at 5pm and entry is $25 (at the door) The repertoire is very wide ranging, from classical song and opera to musical theatre, songs by Cole Porter, Piaf, the wonderful music of Steven Sondheim, and more. At the piano is the acclaimed Glenn Amer, known as having “the fingers of Liberace and the voice of Pavarotti”.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Inspirational Quote of the Week

"A dream is your creative vision for your life in the future. You must break out of your current comfort zone and become comfortable with the unfamiliar and the unknown".

~Denis Waitley

Thursday, September 20, 2012

How Can Independent Fashion Designers Learn From the Catwalk?- Guest Post by Stylepilot

Perhaps the best part about being an independent fashion designer is the creative freedom that you have to put together absolutely anything you want to. At the same time, even the most creatively minded among us can have days where we yearn for inspiration and need that one glimmer of light to show us the way to mind-blowing ideas.
With this in mind we looked at some top tips for learning from top designers and what they produce on the catwalk.
A Balancing Act
Ironically, one of the biggest possible things you can learn from top designers is what not to do. You probably quite often look at catwalk shows and think “what is that?” Established designers have built up their “credit” in the industry to such a degree that many of them have licence to do whatever they please in the knowledge that people will pay attention.
As an independent, up and coming designer, of course you want to grab the attention of as many people you can. The best way to do this is not necessarily to produce shocking items, but to produce thoughtful, high quality designs that you can sell online yourself or licence to a retailer. If you go for the loud and over the top early on, your credibility will suffer. Once you have an audience, a following, and are making money as a serious designer, then you can get a little wild.

Identifying Trends
Again, as an independent designer you may well have decided to be rebellious and go against general trends of the time. Remember that catwalk shows are generally an indication of what you can expect to see in six months’ time, so you have a big window of opportunity for putting together your response.
At the same time, there is definite value in identifying upcoming trends and following them to a degree, perhaps putting your own slant on a particular garment or using patterns and colour in a different way. In a similar manner to we looked at grabbing attention, when you are trying to establish yourself it is better to be “different” yet similar to current trends rather than a million miles away.
Putting on a Show
If you have a great collection that you are proud of, then put on a fashion show! Even if it is something on a relatively small scale, for example at a local college or shopping mall, it is still putting yourself out there for people to see what you are about. Perhaps link it with a social media competition or something similar to attract more followers, and give yourself a platform to raise awareness of your design talents.
Stylepilot is a leading mens fashion and style website catering for the fashion conscious males. They host one of the largest collections of mens clothing in the UK aggregating a number of the top UK retailers.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Procrastination poisons passion - Part 1

So, have you been procrastinating?

Do you have an important task that you have put off for a while?
Do you hear yourself saying "I'll do it tomorrow"?
Do you always wish that you have more time?
Do you find that everything in life and business is too overwhelming?

One of the biggest road blocks most of us face in our Business LifeStyle is procrastination.
It's one of the main issues that we help so many of our clients with too...

That's why our motto at ArtSHINE is:

"Make Tomorrow Today"

You have the power to decide how you spend your time.

You have choices:  

  • You can toss the procrastination habit away,  and
  • Replace it with the habit of taking action,
  • You can stay exactly where you are right now.

Procrastination is not a disease, nor is it a hereditary condition. Procrastination is a learnt behaviour.

And a behaviour that you've learnt is one that you can unlearn too.

We all know that everyone falls into the procrastination zone from time to time.

Which type of procrastinator do you think you are?

  • The meticulous over planner - The over thinker with an obsessively organised mind who is unable to get anything done because they're paralised by information overload and can't decide on a single course of action.
  • The grudge holder - Something's happened to the grudge holder in the past that they just can't let go of. They're holding grudges and they're unable to move on.
  • The rebel - The rebels won't commit to process or systems, and they dislike routine. "It stifles my creativity" they say. Nothing happens because they can't get themselves organised to actually do anything.
  • The fearful - The fearful are worried about failure and disapproval. They're unable to step out of their comfort zone because they're afraid of how people see them.

These procrastinator types can also be linked to some of these feelings too:

  • Self Doubt - Second guessing decisions and delaying action. Feeling insecure and self critical. And although being eminently competent, not always feeling confident. Procrastination means that we can avoid that unconfident feeling.
  • Anxiety - Avoiding tasks that are imagined to cause distress, or that may cause discomfort.Procrastinating means that we can avoid that anxious feeling all together.
  • Guilt - Leaving tasks unfinished creates feelings of guilt. So, not starting tasks means that there's no chance to feel those guilty feelings when the job remains undone.

Procrastination can also become a habit,  it can become a day to day routine. The mind becomes an auto pilot and when any challenging tasks arise your head chatter will respond with things like; "It's too hard, and too much work", Why bother". "There's no time, I'll do it later".

Do any of those excuses sound familiar?

So, which type of procrastinator are you?

Being honest with yourself  means that you can take the appropriate steps to stop procrastinating.

Tune in next week and we'll share some useful tips to beat procrastination.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

ArtSHINE Business Workshop at The Sydney Art Expo 22-23 September 2012

Business Seminar for Artists, Designers,
& Creative Professionals
21-23 September
Hordern Pavilion Entertainment Quarter

"How to turn creativity and passion into profit"

Discover how to create a sustainable Art & Design Practice.
Learn how to build a Business LifeStyle through your art, your craft, or your design passion and skills.

  • Saturday 22 September    12.00pm
  • Sunday  23 September     12.00pm

See you at the show this weekend!

Close Up with with Andrew Adams Exhibition Manager - Art Expo

Tell us a little about Art Expo and your role?
Art Expo is a celebration of all things art.  An exciting new event set to showcase Australia’s most promising names in art and a new wave of emerging artists under the one roof, together with a host of other visual art activities

Andrew Adams  with Sarrita King and
 Keith Murphy from Dreamtime Elements

What are the five words that people would use to describe Art Expo?
Diverse, Electric, Entertaining, Vibrant and Hands-on    

What was the purpose on starting your Art Expo Event and how has the concept come about?
I worked for a number of years in a commercial gallery and in that role I attended a number of art fairs as an exhibitor.  At each of the events I loved the concept and the camaraderie of the exhibitors and was blown away by the diversity and talent of the artists represented. 

On a number of occasions, whilst working in the gallery, we took clients to artist’s studios and on site to watch artists paint en plein air, and on each occasion it was a revelation to the clients to see the methods and processes involved to create a beautiful work of art.   I believed this concept could be expanded on, so in 2011 I approached Expertise Events about holding an Art Show.  The business MD Gary Fitz-Roy was interested having previously explored the concept.  Sydney Art Show was the result with the first show at Darling Harbour in 2011.  In 2012 we expanded under the banner of Art Expo with shows in Brisbane and Sydney.

Artist-Gabby Malpas

We have not categorised who can be involved and this is amongst the reasons we have been shunned by a number galleries.    Increasingly there are large numbers of independent artists who are unable to gain gallery representation, due to the demise of so many commercial galleries in recent years and there are artists who choose not to exhibit through the gallery scene preferring self marketing and driving sales through art shows and client interest back through their own websites.   Art Expo has morphed into a forum where artists are able to exhibit their artwork in a cost effective way and gain access to a client base they would not otherwise be exposed to.   

In our ideal world galleries will also embrace Art Expo as a concept in marketing and promoting the artists they represent.  When an audience is coming to look at and buy art, why preclude yourself from the possibility of making a sale or meeting new clientele.  A lot of people are intimidated walking into an art gallery for the first time, Art Expo levels the playing field and creates a more relaxed and less intimidating place to meet gallerists and artists alike.

Christelle Hug

How many show do you do in a year?
This year we have run a show in Brisbane and Art Expo Sydney begins on the afternoon of Friday 21st of September and continues over the weekend of September 22 and 23.

We have received very positive feedback from a number of our exhibitors and we are currently working on the schedule for 2013 with shows anticipated in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.

Brisbane Art Expo 2012

What are the most common issues that relate to artists who come to see you?
The majority of our exhibitors are seasoned professionals when it comes to art shows and have a wealth of experience.   Those taking the plunge for the first time generally have questions about marketing themselves and gaining the best advantage from exhibiting.  

Through Expertise Events we are fortunate to have a proactive MD Gary Fitz-Roy with more than thirty years of industry experience.  Gary provides exhibiting tips through a monthly newsletter and also sharing his knowledge in seminars held throughout the year.  These are free for our exhibitors to attend and provide and great ideas and achievable concepts to implement that help make the most out their exhibiting.

Tell us more about your services that you provide to the Art industry?
We provide the most cost effective means of showcasing artworks in front of thousands of art lovers, the opportunity to build a data base of future clientele and creating sales opportunities into the future.  We have teamed up with Graeme Stevens from Colour in Your Life in promoting and highlighting the vast artistic talent we are lucky enough to have in Australia.

Tell us about your process for working with clients / exhibitors?
Firstly finding artists, generally on the web but also through referrals, contacting them and chatting about where they are with their art and wether exhibiting is something they had contemplated.  It is about building relationships and providing a sounding board.    I have been an exhibitor, I have bumped in, stood all day smiling and answering questions, I have talked and talked and talked to show visitors to get a sale and afterwards bumped out again.  I understand what it is like to be an exhibitor and I am trying to make it as simple a process as possible.

What advice can you offer to artists who are looking for art event to exhibit their art?
Call me !!  Exhibiting at an art show creates an opportunity to get their artworks out there in a market place in a cost effective manner.   Having your artworks out in the public domain creates opportunities that you don’t get sitting at home waiting.

Brisbane Expo 2012-Photographic Workshop

Do you have a book that you would like to recommend?
I am a Ken Follett fan with his historical series having just done a Follett-a-thon with , Fall of Giants, The Pillars of the Earth, World without End.  In the realms of art I have re-read Irving Stone’s The Agony and the Ecstasy a few times too.  Maybe I just like fat books...

Where do we find your services? (list office, links websites & contact personnel)

Free Wrapping Service

Pure Leverage

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