ART BY TECHNIQUE: digital collage

NEW PRODUCT - CUPS FROM SMALLEQUALS.COM

In the ten years I've been doing this blog, you've seen me introduce a host of new products. Some sold well. Others didn't. Running a business is always a process. Or, as the trendies say now, a "journey."

Now I'm introducing mugs. I found a wonderful printer in the US that manufactures and drop ships. That's great for me, because the last thing I want is shelves full of inventory and trips to the post office. That was fine when I was younger, but now...no thanks. But with all the advances in print technologies and online servicing, it's now relatively easy to do make a great product AND have it delivered to the customer's home in a pretty package, safe and sound. 

Phew! Here's where to shop

 

 

cup, when women rule everyone will be free, 11 oz mug from small equals
When Women rule, everyone will be free. 11 oz mug from Small Equals


 

When Women rule, everyone will be free. This is a variation on a print I designed, first as a silkscreen and then as a digital collage. Now available in mug form. The girls are a highly altered version of a mid 20th century matchbox label. I just adore them, and use them over and over.

 

Mug, Lead your own parade, smallequals.com
Lead Your Own Parade. 11 oz mug from Smallequals.com
 

 

Lead Your Own Parade. This little saying popped into my mind a couple of weeks ago, I thought it would be a cheerful idea to ponder with morning coffee or tea. I went on an image hunt,  I found this illustration at a library digital collection, from a 1902 children's book illustrated by Maud Hunt Squire and Ethel Mars. It suited perfectly. 

Children of our town  carolyn wells  illustrations by E. Mars and MH Squire 1902  copy
The Children Of Our Town. Carolyn Wells. Illustrations by E. Mars and MH Squire. 1902

 

I went ahead and cleaned it up in Photoshop, designed the template for the cup manufacturer, and then set about researching the artists. I found Ethel Mars and Maud Hunt Squire.

Lo and behold the Misses Squire and Mars were American artists who met in art school in Ohio in the 1890's, then moved to Paris where they became pals with Gertrude Stein and Alice Toklas, and of course they worked and exhibited with many of the artists there. 

During world war one they moved back to the US and lived in Provincetown, MA, then back to France, where they lived in Vence. During Ww2 they hid out in Grenoble, then went back to France until they died in 1955 and 1956. 

The Gertrude Stein's word portrait "Miss Furr and Miss Skeene was based on them. .

And now they've landed on my cup. I'm delighted but no longer shocked by these everyday moments of serendipity. 

 

Mug LOVE YOUR MOTHER EARTH SMALL EQUALS CUP MOCKUP
Love Your Mother Earth. 11 oz mug from smallequals.com

 

Love Your Mother Earth. Yes, I use this phrase often in my art and products. Because it's so important! This design is based on another print I made as a silkscreen. The silkscreen design was based on a photo I took of a package of Easter Jelly Beans. I'm not a Christian, but Easter packaging always makes me happy. The colors!! 

This digital version, quite different from the original, is now gracing a mug. My goal is to give you something happy and positive to absorb with your hot beverage of choice. I think it's so important to start the day with happy thoughts to set the tone for the rest of the day. 

Here's what it looked like as a silkscreen. I made this and all my silkscreens at Iskra Print Collective in Burlington, VT.

 

silkscreen, liza cowan, jelly beans
Jelly Beans silkscreen by Liza Cowan 2017 


 Find the cups here


My Digital Downloads on Etsy

I've been meaning to try selling my designs as digital printable downloads for quite some time. No more stocking printed inventory, no more shipping costs. The buyer just pays, gets an immediate download, and takes the file to the printer to have the image made as they like. Pretty cool. And Etsy makes it easy. 

Here are some that are already available:

The Masculine Woman 1905 postcard
The Masculine Woman, 1905 Postcard. Now a digital download.

Isn't she grand? I made a 600 dpi scan of the is card so it can be printed HUGE! Of course, the purchased download does not have a watermark. 

 

Harbells and bees, digital collage, liza cowan, source images japanese matchbox labels
Harbells and Bees. Digital collage by Liza Cowan

 

 I made this collage using images from two different Japanese matchbox labels. It looks great when it is large because the dots from the lithography become even more interesting at large scale. 

Love our mother earth digital collage by liza cowan
Love Your Mother Earth. Digital collage by Liza Cowan



Love Your Mother Earth. A timely and beautiful message. I made this using several images from vintage seed catalogs. How gorgeous would this look printed large, hanging in a living room?

 

Intergalactic women's time, amazons allons-Y, small equals, digital collage by liza cowan
Intergalactic Women's Time. Amazons Allons-Y. Digital collage by Liza Cowan

This one was by request. From the Amazons Allons-Y Series. 

 

 

Red birds and bees, digital collage by Liza Cowan
Red Birds and Bees. ©Liza Cowan. digital download on Etsy

Red Bird and Bees, incorporates a few of the images I use over and over. Birds and bees. Classic. 

 

 

All images, and more at my ETSY SHOP HERE

 


Pinback buttons by Liza Cowan for Small Equals

A bird in the hand redbird articulated hand wooden hand smallequals.com
Red Bird button. Small Equals. ©Liza Cowan

I have always believed that beautiful things need not be expensive. In fact, I prefer the things I make to be available for not that much money. Sure, sometimes I've put a large price tag on some of my work that is one-of-a-kind like the paintings in my FAKE!™ series. But for the most part, I prefer to make things affordable. 

My new buttons, a series of 12, is pretty cool. I like adornment, a lot, so these buttons are purely decorative. And, following my FAKE!™ aesthetic, some are made to fool the eye. They are not REALLY set into a silver bezel, they just look that way. 

Parrot on crackled green on circle with silver bezel ©Liza Cowan, smallequals.com
Parrot button in silver bezel ,small equals, liza cowan design

 

The watches don't REALLY tell time. They just look like they do. 

WATCH, button,  ritzi SMALLEQUALS.COM
Watch, Ritzi. ©LIza Cowan, small equals

 

I've also remade an old favorite of mine, one I published first in the mid 1980's. American Sign Language, "I love you." 

American Sign Language button pinback button sign "I love You" from Smallequals.com
American Sign Language "I love you" ©Liza Cowan, Small Equals.

You can see the whole series in the sidebar ad right here on the blog. The link takes you to my online store  where you can buy retail OR wholesale. 

But if you prefer shopping at Etsy, I have a shop there, too.  I also sell vintage ephemera from my Etsy shop. 

 


Digital collage, the "Maybe" series of time- traveling ladies.

Liza Cowan digital collage, vintage Kodak ad, greenhouse photo by Liza Cowan at Horsford Nursury Vermont, time travel

I've been busy making digital collages, mostly using a combination of my own photographs and images from vintage Kodak ads, vintage sewing pattern packets, and old ads or images of 19th century ladies in swimming costumes and bicycles. Finding the images is just the first step. 

I separate the people from the background using Photoshop, which can be tedious, but once I have them done, I save them as PNG files and they are ready to go for the next collage. For the Greenhouse picture I  ran my original photo through the Waterlogue app on my iPhone. I do most of my actual design and composing using PicMonkey because it's much easier than Photoshop for this kind of work. For me, anyway. 

how to make digital collage with photoshop, original photos and waterlogue app

Some more examples. 

digital collage by Liza Cowan. Maybe they visited with girl taking photo of cat. vintage kodak ad. Photo by Liza Cowan

Digital collage by Liza cowan. Maybe they liked to play by the shore. 19th century ladies bathing suits, bathing costumes, photo by Liza Cowan at Shelburne Bay, Vermont

Digital composition by Liza Cowan. Alice Austen, Clear Comfort, Staten Island, vintage ladies bathing suits, bathing costumes

Digital collage. Mabye they took pictures in the garden. Liza Cowan photo. Vintage Kodak ads, pug, seagull

Liza Cowandigital collage. garden party. vintage sewing pattern. 1940's ladies slacks.
digital collage by Liza Cowan. Maybe they biked over for a visit. Photo by Liza Cowan, vintage ladies on bicycles, 19th century bicycles