Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Interview with Art Holeman Part 1

We have worked with Art Holeman for years. We have always admired, not only his photography, but also his work with Through Each Other's Eyes. TEOE is a not-for-profit organization celebrating their 20th anniversary in Arizona. Their goal is to promote international understanding through photography. A very dedicated group of volunteer photographers will take trips in a cultural exchange with a pair of photographers from that native country. Art recently came back from a trip in Mexico and sat down with us to share some of his experiences as well as his inspiration and background in photography.

MI: How did you decide to become a photographer?

Art laughs. "I wanted to be a photographer after seeing the ads in Playboy. When I first subscribed it truly was because of the ads. The lighting and composition intrigued me. When I started photography, I didn't shot people for years. It was the commercial side of photography that inspired me."

MI: Did you have any formal training?

"Yes, I completed a two year program at the Hawkeye Institute of Technology. Prior to that I had life experience shooting what was around me living in Michigan. I wrote to Kodak to inquire if they had a photo school I could attend. They did not, but were kind enough to send me back a booklet of every photo program in the country at the time. I chose Hawkeye Inst. and focused on commercial photography."

MI: Tell us about Through Each Other's Eyes

"I feel fortunate to be a part of that group. There is a board of 20 photographers. I have been a member for 2 years. I, along with Colleen Miniuk-Sperry, just completed our cultural exchange to both Japan and Mexico." Art adds, " One of the most important things that is required is if you can live with your fellow photographer on the road for a week. Colleen is very easy to get along with. I would travel with Colleen any time." He then smiles as he divulges, "Colleen loves to get up for sunrise shots."

Check back for part two of the interview where Art talks more about his experience traveling to Mexico and Japan for TEOE.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Wallpaper is back - and you may not recognize it

We have seen a resurgence in the usage in wallpaper lately. With the ability to print directly from a digital file, interior designers, photographers, or any creative soul can now see their vision realized in a big way. Many designers are using this technique with an accent wall of a custom motif created specifically for that space. Although this article highlights ready to sell wallpaper designed by specific artisans, anyone can achieve a similar look and get it printed for about half the price as a prefabricated product.

Wallpaper is back and design-forward: Distributed by McClatchy Newspapers

Wallpaper was a booming industry for years until the late 1990s, when it fell out of fashion as faux paint finishes came roaring onto the interior-decorating scene. Floral patterns and fruit borders were no longer innovative.

Wallpaper looked tired.

But fear not, people: Wallpaper is back. But it's different -- so different, you might not recognize it. (Full disclosure: My husband is a wallpaper hanger, so some of my evidence is firsthand.)

Accent Design Studio in Fort Worth, Texas, has seen a big increase in the use of wallpaper in its interior designs in the past two years. And it's because the new papers really complement the faux-paint walls. "It may cost 40 percent more to wallpaper a room than paint it, but the impact is worth it," Accent co-owner Cindy Peck says.

Popular TV designer Candice Olson, host of HGTV's "Divine Design," wallpapers an accent wall in many of her designs and is helping to make wallpaper hip again. She started her own line of wallpaper, available through York Wallcoverings, a year and a half ago. Olson's new collection comes out in December.

Consider these emerging trends:


When I saw this wallpaper, it took my breath away. It's absolutely a piece of art. Trove is a wallpaper studio based in New York. It uses photographic imagery to create depth in large-scale prints. This pattern, Indi, inspired by Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds," is simply stunning. Roll width is 35.5 inches, $16 per square foot. The image featured is 12 feet high by 6 feet wide.

Trove, under the direction of Jee Levin and Randall Buck, began with images inspired by the 100-year-old flower market in the middle of Manhattan. The studio uses natural elements as the basis of its designs. Serendipitous, too, that the paper itself is eco-friendly and recyclable. Learn more at

Friday, February 13, 2009

Lighting Essentials' photo contest

Don Giannatti at Lighting Essentials is starting up a monthly photo contest. This is the first month, and it looks like there are already some great submissions. This month's assignment is portraits in an environment; "Show the subject’s relationship to the environment". We are one of the sponsors by offering the second place winner with a free 16x20 glossy print. We are excited to see who wins!

You have until February 28th to submit images if you are interested. Please check out Lighting Essentials for all of the contest rules and details.

We have a wonderful sponsor, and they will be awarding a grand prize of a weeks rental of any of their great photographic gear. Our wonderful sponsor, Mighty Imaging will be presenting a free 16×20 for second place and our third place will receive the Lighting Essentials 1 DVD.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Mighty Imaging featured in The Big Picture Magazine

In the February 2009 issue of The Big Picture Magazine, their feature article focused on the 'art' of fine-art printing. Mighty Imaging was honored to be asked to share some of our ideas and techniques that have made fine-art printing a successful venture for us. Our many thanks to Clare Baker, who wrote the article, and to The Big Picture Magazine for asking us to participate.

The Big Picture does not post their magazine on line. Here are some excerpt from the article.

Fine Art from All Angles - Clare Baker

It's safe to say that fine-art printing is not for everyone, regardless of whether you've been in the business of wide-format printing for just months or you've spent dozens of years in the output arena. Besides the printer, media, and inks required for fine-art printmaking, the print provider must devise and accurate proofing process, be sensitive to the needs of fine-artists, and, of course, cultivate a viable client base, all of which can be a pricey and time-consuming undertaking. Fine-art printing, one might say, is an art within itself.

Mighty Imaging (, in Phoenix, also serves a more commercial demographic. Owner Peter Fradin says that his shop, which opened in 2005, serves those "who need the very best imaging on a large scale." He elaborates, "I felt that the large-format channel was being filled by sign shops and repro houses rather than true masters of color and printing, to detriment of fine art, high-end retail display, and interior design." His clients range from graphic designers "whose passion and vision get lost without high-quality output"; national Web-based companies with products that require printing and shipping; corporate wall-art programs that produce artwork and murals for lobbies, offices, conference rooms, and board rooms; architects and interior designers; and rounding out his client base, photographers and fine-artists. "I try to be solution-based when making a sale," says Fradin. "We are constantly bringing fresh ideas to market...At the end of the day [our shop is prepared] to produce all types of graphics and prints."

Looking Ahead

If you're still only in the deciding or planning stages of adding fine-art printing capabilities to your shop, it would not be surprising if you're hesitant to do so given the current economic climate. Even the most successful print providers are probably feeling their business soften as the economy continues to slow. While only you can judge what is best for your shop, the shops we spoke with are finding unique ways to keep as well as find business during these times.

Mighty Imaging's Fradin, for instance, has settled on an arguably bullish way to deal with the slowing markets: "We have decided not to participate in the recession," he jokes. Despite what he acknowledges as trying times, he's doubling the shop's marketing efforts in hopes of identifying those artists and businesses that are looking for a higher level of quality from their current large-format fine-art print provider. "We're in the process of acquiring the best technology and latest equipment to make those folks' vision a reality," he says. "I know I'm incurring a great risk right now in trying to grow my business in the current economic environment-but as I see it, if our efforts here don't make our customers money, then we really haven't done our job."

We were also flattered that they selected an image of work we have done for Stuart Anthony Black of the PANGEA Gallery to illustrate their point for the article.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Try and Find a Battery It Can’t Charge

Since there is no more football, you may decide to grab the digital camera and head up North to get some cool winter shots. Unless your digital camera is fully charged you could be left “out in the cold”.

What really is a drag is whether it’s your camcorder, cell phone or digital camera each of the batteries differ in shape and size and require their own dedicated charger. Well, the good folks at Lenmar have addressed this multiple charger dilemma with its PowerPort Clip universal charger.

The small charger uses adjustable contact points that can adapt itself to almost any battery. After the contacts have been set, users slide the battery under the clasp and plug the PowerPort Clip into any standard USB port using the built in, swiveling conector. And since it’s self contained there are no wires to untangle.

It is very simple to use and features technology that not only extends the stand time and durability of your batteries but since it uses less power than all other alternatives, you can be “Green” while doing so. To learn more about this outstanding product just check them out at

Sometimes I dig being out in nature alone, but this is one travel companion that’s coming along for the ride!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

2009 Arizona Fine Art Expo

Springtime in Arizona means there are lots of events to attend. We just finished the Barrett Jackson Car Auction, the FBR Open, and in a couple weeks Phoenix will be hosting the NBA All-Star Game. If cars and sports are not your thing, there is also the 5th annual Arizona Fine Art Expo being held in Scottsdale.

The 44,000 square foot tented event features 100 artists, from photographers, painters, jewelry makers, woodworkers, and sculptors. You can get up close and personal to the artists and their process. Many will be creating pieces at the event as well as offering classes that you can attend for an extra fee. They also have a 2 acre sculpture garden with a koi pond and a butterfly exhibit. Dogs are even welcome to come along! It sounds like a great time. The Expo will be open until March 29, 2009. For more information check out their site.
Meet 100 nationally acclaimed and award-winning artists passionately creating artwork inside or in the outdoor working cabanas. The Arizona Fine Art EXPO brings you seventy-four continuous days of spectacular art adventure!