Stir it Up
An eNewsletter for the online decorative artist. Vol. 12
Novacolor Decorative Solutions.
Jan 25, 2021 – Beth Warnecke
Novacolor was first established in 1982 in Forlì, one of the most productive areas of Italy. In 2009 Novacolor became part of the San Marco Group, a leading Italian Group in producing paints and varnishes for the professional building industry, with eight manufacturing plants worldwide. Thanks to the intuition and creativity of its people, marketing strategies, and knowledge of the market as well as the careful selection of innovative raw materials, Novacolor has expanded worldwide, offering architects and designers a complete assortment of textured effects and mineral plasters for both interiors and exteriors, as well as wall coatings for contemporary and historic town setting.
Today Novacolor is represented in over 70 countries around the world and is a proud partner of prestigious international architectural studios.
NOVACOLOR is vertically integrated and a real specialist in the interior design segment. We design and develop with our R&D department every product and customize tailor made textures for specific architectural projects. Customers can count on a great knowledge and sustainable solutions.
Novacolor has a great team and works with passion, creating relationships with clients and end-users, using its expertise to promote successful projects in the field of design and architecture.
Its commitment is to offer efficient and cost-effective solutions with high performances and innovative raw materials which fully respect the environment and all our people. We want to create a better world, green and sustainable.
Novacolor is a customer-oriented company, and “Customer Service” is of primary relevance. The company supports its clients in the pre and post-selling activities and it is committed to offering full training to ensure the proper use of its decorative wall coatings and architectural paints.
With targeted investments in development, research, and technology, a great attitude toward design, together with a solid and committed internal organization, makes Novacolor one of the most prominent players in the world of architectural design and a trendsetter in the textured paint segment.
Novacolor Decorative Solutions:
Use of organic and high-quality raw materials
Products with low environmental impact
Enhancement of the surface as a “piece of art”
Creativity, R&D, cutting edge products
Colors and textures with a trendsetter attitude
Beth has been in the Fine Finish Industry since 1998. She has excelled in application and teaching throughout the US. For the past 6 years, she has been training and instructing specifically with Novacolor Italy and is currently an Independent sales representative of the Novacolor brand. She has instructed at IDAL conferences for the past 3 years and is a past president of her area's IDAL chapter.
... share the wonders and beauty of our imaginations to help enhance our living environments.
It's Faux Easy
– Reflections on the craft and future of a decorative painting career.
Jan 25, 2021 – Gary Lord
I have been blessed to find a vocation in the arts where I could use my God-given talents and share them with others. What a wonderful yet somewhat rare thing to be able to do. Statistically, only around 1/3rd or less of society loves what they do for their vocation. It is even rare when you drill that down even more into those that can make a living in the arts. I believe for many of us artists that, it is in our souls to create and share the wonders and beauty of our imaginations to help enhance our living environments.
We are asked to make that environment more comfortable and allow them a place of joy, tranquility ...
After 9/11, I wondered if my craft was frivolous and unnecessary. Why would anyone think the way your room was decorated would be important? I spoke about these concerns at length with my staff. One of them told me something that stuck with me, he said “We are invited into the most private and intimate places in a person’s life, their home. We are asked to make that environment more comfortable and allow them a place of joy, tranquility, and a place where they can feel comfortable, at peace, and safe.” What a rare thing we as humans, can offer one another. I never doubted my career after that.
I was able to parlay my skills into not only sharing my company’s talents with our clients but also teaching it as well. I come from a family of educators, and teaching seemed like a natural extension of my craft. I loved sharing what I had learned and the talents that I have. Nothing is better than awakening the passion for art in others and seeing them blossom.
I met other like-minded artists who shared similar passions and became good friends with many of these artists.
To be able to make a vocation for themselves and share their talents with humanity is very rewarding as a teacher. I also benefited greatly in this process because I met other like-minded artists who shared similar passions and became good friends with many of these artists. My favorite organization to do this with was SALI, which became IDAL because they, too, have the same desire. I was asked to be in their new mentoring program when I retired. I immediately said yes. I was lucky to have two outstanding mentees to work with.
I was placed with someone at the very beginning of her career and someone who was 15 years or so into her craft. Each had similar yet several different needs. I found with them, as well as with most of us, that the biggest stumbling block is marketing. Creating awareness of who we are as artists and what value we can bring to any design project is crucial to our success.
I admire IDAL for setting up a mentoring program to use the knowledge and skills of many highly talented artists ...
The IDAL mentoring program was designed as six months of working together. During that time, we dealt with how to get work, how to market yourself, and where to spend your limited advertising dollars. We also addressed how to deal with professional designers, builders, and architects and incorporate them into their external sales force. I also helped with their problems on current projects and how to navigate through those issues. I even had a ZOOM session showing how to use specific tools that one of the mentees was unfamiliar with.
Our craft is a difficult one to make a full-time vocation.
I admire IDAL for setting up a mentoring program to use the knowledge and skills of many highly talented artists in this organization. We have something different to bring to help each other along our paths. We all become stronger when we share the skills and knowledge we have found along the way. This act of sharing enhances the entire industry and benefits society at large. I cannot think of a better way to have spent my time working.
Gary Lord’s career in decorative painting spanned over 45 years. His company Gary Lord Wall Options won 10 national first place awards for being the best decorative painting company in the nation. Wall Options also won many region and local awards for their artistic talents. Gary parlayed his skills into writing 5 books and numerous magazine and newspaper articles promoting decorative painting. He also was a national and international radio and TV personality and appeared on over 100 different segments as an ambassador for the decorative arts. He also shared those skills with others by teaching his craft for over 30 years.
5 Organic Ways
– to Increase Your Follower Count on Instagram
Jan 25, 2021 – Regina Garay
Instagram is an easy way to share your projects and, of course, your aesthetic. Growing your follower account organically (meaning, no ads) takes time and diligence, but the results will reflect your efforts. I’ve put together five ways to help grow your follower account organically.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF NEW TOOLS
Instagram provides a lot of algorithm attention to their tools, and here’s the key, rewards those who use them. You are missing out on organic growth if you put up your posts and not using anything else on Instagram. Some of the more prevalent tools are Stories, IGTV, Live, Reels, and Guides. Get to know them and continue using those that appeal to you.
At one point, you could only search for hashtags and other accounts on Instagram’s search bar. Recently, they added keyword searches. This means that you can type in a keyword and Instagram will showcase posts containing that keyword. Longer captions were already hot on Instagram, so think "engaging and informative" and not "quick and cute" for your copy.
CLEAN UP YOUR PHOTOS
Instagram has leaned away from perfectly curated feeds, however, it is necessary to share attractive content. Potential clients may be seeing these so it is advantageous to ensure your photographs are visually pleasing and that they convey how finishes can transform a space. Use photo apps to help your photos look their best.
Someone may follow you because they like your content, but if you are not active, they may choose to unfollow you for that reason. Posting consistently helps your account stay interesting. Also, be engaged with others by leaving comments, sending feedback on their stories, watching their Lives, and more. Gain a following by consistently sharing your work and appreciating those of others.
REACH OUT TO BRANDS YOU WORK WITH
I have a lot of experience working with brands and artists who use their products. These brands want to see your work and might also share it (with your permission, of course). Being featured by a brand is an easy way to enhance your visibility. Consistently tag the brands you are loyal to – and think outside the box to tape, ladders, brushes, trowels, shops, etc. One word of caution: don’t tag a slew of brands at the same time, especially if the product doesn’t show well or if they had nothing to do with the project.
I hope this helps jumpstart new ways to look at your Instagram! If you'd like more information on managing your Instagram, and other social accounts, stay tuned for IDAL's online classes.
Thank you for reading my recommendations, and let me know how they work for you. I’m also leaving you with a bonus. If you’re curious about hashtags, grab the free download, Hashtags for Creative Shares. Enjoy!
January 25, 2021 – Lorie Wolff
I opened One Horse Studio, LLC, from my Oregon home in 2001. My background was in commercial interior design, textile design, and office furniture sales. I love traveling to take classes or attend conventions and am a sponge when learning new or studying historical techniques.
In this article, I am going to share with you one of the most interesting and challenging segments of my business.
For over 10 years, I have been an artist for hire, or they call me their scenic painter, with an extensive exhibit company. One of the best things about working with such an out–of–the–box client, is that there are no rules or standard methods, impossible timelines and the work is very demanding. They simply wanted the art to deliver an experience that their customer is looking for.
One of my favorite examples of this was when I was hired to paint on a very large cathedral, as an exhibit for a gaming convention. The client wanted the guests at the convention to immerse themselves in one of the signature location elements of the game. So, when I was hired, I was presented with a modular exhibit built out of pressboard. I had to think about how the design would look as a set. I soon realized that incorporating higher contrast between darks and lights and bold textures would work better under the lights of a convention floor.
The first challenge was how to seal the pressboard, knowing I needed to use a lot of water to get an old patina appearance. With one day’s notice, I was able to hire a painting company to apply an oil paint white basecoat the night before I was supposed to start work. My job was then to make it look real, make it look old, and make it look weathered.
Scenic painter for hire.
Faux-aged stone using acrylic tints and house paints. The project included finishing the inside and the outside of the structure. It was completed in 5 days with a small crew. The work was performed in a warehouse and shipped to the exhibit in modular pieces.
The photos show that the result was a stunning example of trompe l’oeil stones, aged effects, and textures. The combination of the scale that I needed to paint and the quick turnaround schedule of 5 days meant I needed to get creative not just about the materials, textures, and overall look but also in the procedure for getting it done quickly. My primary tools were garden sprayers and large mops, using long sticks with painted edges to print the grout lines of the massive amount of stones. Knowing that when complete, thousands of people will be able to immerse themselves in an enhanced personal experience because of the game environment that I helped bring to life was quite exciting and nerve-racking! The temporary structure was modularly taken down and re-constructed on the convention floor in a city many states away. The photos show that the result was a stunning example of trompe l’oeil stones, aged effects, and textures. The combination of the scale that I needed to paint and the quick turnaround schedule of 5 days meant I needed to get creative not just about the materials, textures, and overall look but also in the procedure for getting it done quickly. My primary tools were garden sprayers and large mops, using long sticks with painted edges to print the grout lines of the massive amount of stones and knowing that when complete, thousands of people would be able to immerse themselves in an enhanced personal experience because of the game environment that I helped bring to life, which was quite exciting and nerve-racking! The temporary structure was modularly taken down and re-constructed on the convention floor in a city many states away.
Friends TV series "Monica's Apartment" set design exhibit.
Friends TV series "Monica's parquet dining table" set design exhibit.
Another of my favorite projects had to do with the infamous TV show, Friends. Twenty-five years after the show ended, I was brought in to help re-create two of the show's famous sets for promotional fan experiences that would be displayed in various locations around the country. This exciting project includes painting the show's coffee shop, “Central Perk” and the interior of Monica’s apartment. Very few reference photos were provided, so the project included much watching and pausing the show to gather details.
The background cabinets, the apartment kitchen table and chairs, the walls, the coffee bar, and other miscellaneous items were painted to look like the reference photos. Again, my exhibit company client manufactured the furniture and wall pieces from the pressboard. The Central Perk countertops were painted to look like the original marble, of which only a single grainy photo was available. Even the parquet dining table in Monica’s apartment was painted using faux bois techniques.
I painted four central perk sets and one of Monica’s apartments, which were carefully shipped and set up in different cities. The client team expected every detail to be authentic; I spent approximately four months executing the many, many aspects of this particular project.
Every project was not large. Let's talk about teeth. For one project, I was hired to fix a large tooth on a character for a video game display. I arrived on the scene and used floral foam, paper mache’ and various glazes to bring the tooth back to total health. No anesthetic is required! If only a real tooth could be fixed so easily.
How about a plane crash? Once again, this was a gaming convention project.
A prominent story feature in the original video game is a crashed plane.
A bathroom in an end-of-the-world scenario.
A series of bar stools where the legs of the stools looked like human running legs
How about a plane crash? Once again, this was a gaming convention project. A prominent story feature in the original video game is a crashed plane. In the exhibit, the plane was made out of wood. My job was to make it look like it had crashed in the jungle, burned, and then aged with time. I added the silver metallic finish and the scaring and aging using glazes. I enjoy taking something new and making it look old and messy, and was able to give the display a sense of history with my techniques that helped to enhance the impact of the story.
Another video game exhibit involved the players ending up in a bathroom in an end-of-the-world scenario. Like with the cathedral and the airplane, my job was to make things aged and smoke damaged, as if a bomb had gone off. My technique was staining the walls using water and paint, letting drips and other irregularities remain. On the old bathtub, I used tissue paper and paint to emulate decay, which I don’t do every day!
On a different type of project, there was a lot of room for creative freedom with the running company display I was hired to complete. My challenge was to create a series of bar stools where the legs of the stools looked like human running legs. I was provided with a box of mannequin legs and a collection of brand-new shoes.
I sketched mock-ups of the various ideas for client approval and added as much individuality to these legs as possible. Each set of legs was unique, with the choice of socks I doused in glue to adhere to the legs, skin texture, clever sayings, tattoos, and anything else that made them unique. My client’s client wanted to celebrate the running culture that has built their business.
Over the years, I have had the privilege of practicing almost all aspects of decorative painting. However, working on exhibits that are, for the most part, temporary has been some of the most satisfying. Maybe the quick turnover, the vast creative freedom, or just having a respectful, polite client makes these projects my favorite. I never know when they will call, I’d like to think that I have developed a deep trust with them as they realize I absolutely jump when they ask. They answer to very demanding clients, often I am not given enough detail to complete what is asked but over time, I have figured out what they want even though their clients may not even know. This might make some of us in the industry crazy but because this exhibit company has a respectful, non-dramatic, just-get-it-done culture, I am happy to accommodate!