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The Other Side of Customizing - Pricing Your Art

       Everyone loves a beautiful model at a price that fits our pocketbook. It's quite common for a potential customer to ask the artist if they will take a lower price, or pay for postage, or both.      Let's do a little math to see if a hypothetical artist should take an offer that is lower than her asking price of $100 postage paid. To simplify the math, let's say the model is a repainted Breyer Stablemate (in bay) without any customizing. We'll look at the costs of the model, supplies, the time it takes to create the art, and the costs of doing business online as an individual not running a business. I'll use Michigan's 6% sales tax, 4.25 state income tax, and 12% federal income tax. Stablemate:                    $3.99 plus .24 tax = $4.23 Cost of the Stablemate (let's assume they didn't have to pay shipping) Prepping supplies: Files (Harbor Freight):     $6.99 + .42 Tax = $7.41 Sanding sticks ten per pack (Hobby Lobby): $1.99 +.12 Tax = $2.11 Sand
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Primer, Paint, & Sealer Experiment

With hobbyists painting models this February, I noticed several discussions about possible yellowing of primer, paint, and sealers. As artists we want our models to be enjoyed for many years to come. And, hopefully, their coat colors will remain true. I have been customizing since the late 1980s using a wide range of art supplies with a wide range of results. Although I do not have access to all of my work, I haven't seen any yellowing of the primer, acrylic paint, or sealer. Yet, I was curious about the discussions on Facebook. Was this an issue? Was it an issue with supplies that I used? Being married to a color scientist who works at a paint manufacturing company, my first thought was to run an...  ex ·per·i· ment noun   |   ikˈsperəmənt ,   ekˈsperəmənt   |   a   scientific   procedure undertaken to make a discovery, test a hypothesis,   or   demonstrate   a   known fact My subjects   Step 1: Prime four Breyers with my usual primer Rust-Oleum 2X Ultra Cover in Flat White, le

The Halloween Show Live VI

After hosting Little Mitten Plastic Classic in September, it was nice to show at the Halloween Show Live in Hastings, Michigan. October is a wonderful time to visit Hastings with the leaves on the trees changing colors.  Thanks to Karen Zorn for hosting the show and a shout out to the five judges for their hard work double judging for breed and workmanship.  I had two fun coincidences happen. One was a model named Mr. Potts, which is my real horse's name. The artist said she saw the name in a post online and loved it. The second was Traditional Saddlebred painted like the real horse Snowy Harlem. I had used Snowy Harlem for inspiration for my 2020 Retro Vintage Custom named Harlem Road. They looked snazzy together. Two models painted like Snowy Harlem. I didn't spend a lot of time taking photos, but I did catch a few cuties.  Love the little dapples on these models: Just beautiful: And so much fun:

National Retro Vintage Month 2022 is Here!

National Retro Vintage Month is a customizing challenge for artists working in a vintage style. For the month of August you can join Sarah Minkiewicz-Breunig and others on Facebook as you work on your project. For me, this is a great time to break out a G1 Stablemate! I think I’ll work on a Maureen Love Standing Thoroughbred foal. Such a cutie! So to participate in NaReViMo, just follow these parameters: ~ Customize any model in the vintage custom style. ~ Use any methods and media, old or new. ~ Don’t copy any vintages or other people’s work. However, if you created a vintage custom in the past that you’d like to attempt again or it’s been destroyed and you’d like to recreate it, go for it. ~ You can just do a repaint, a repaint/hair, or a full blown repaint/remade/hair, it’s your choice. Sculpted manes and tails or original manes and tails are okay. ~ All participating models must be signed and dated for posterity. ~ All models must be created only within August as defined as August

Breyerfest Prep 2022

I've had a bit of a bumpy road to Breyerfest 2022. My Boston Terrier, Nicki, is elderly and needs lots of care, so leaving her is hard. I have my fingers crossed that she'll be good while I'm away. I'm keeping my trip short this year and not showing at NAN or seeing the sights. Nicki I had hoped to reserve a table at the Breyerfest Swap Meet like I had in previous years. (I had my fee returned for the table I reserved in both 2020 and 2021.) And this was the bumpy part... this year, Breyer decided against having custom models at the Swap Meet and limited them to the Artisan's Gallery. But, not surprisingly, the AG didn't have enough space to meet the demand. While I was waiting to hear back from Breyer, I had been to two large live shows in Ohio and Michigan and didn't sell models just in case I would need them for three nights of sales. When I got the  news that I didn't get a table at the AG, I posted cuties on my website and shipped models to collect

I made a video!

  I don't know about you, but I enjoy model horse videos on YouTube! YouTubers in the hobby have such great energy. I'm always inspired by them. It's so nice to see hobbyists sharing projects, tips, and crafts. There was a time (this will date me and how long I have been in the hobby) when artists were tight-lipped about how they customized models. There was this vibe that these techniques were secrets not to be shared. Myself and others disagreed with this and published books (read photocopies) on how to customize, hair, add glass eyes, etc. My first book was called Creating Champions, and while very dated today, I feel it is a tiny part of the welcoming and sharing culture the hobby enjoys today. Since I am new to making videos, I kept my first one simple. In it I share some customs on one of my favorite Breyer Stablemate molds: Rivet. Enjoy!

Lake Erie Live Show

​The inaugural Lake Erie Live Model Horse Show was originally scheduled for April 2020 and was rescheduled to 2022. Let me say that it was worth the wait! The show hall at the Kalahari Resorts Convention Center was roomy and lovely. Many thanks to Tiffany Rufo and Katie White for hosting this amazing show. In Custom and Resin Breed the little ones showed alongside the big ones. The Customs ring had a wonderful variety of manufactures represented, like this WIA Sharif. This little one was a Papo mold. And Peter Stones The Breyer Stablemate Customs were adorable... The shading on this MFT was stunning! The Appaloosa class had some cuties! Glad I wasn't judging. Ponies the custom mini ponies were sweet... And a little spicy... My cell phone photos didn't capture just how nice these paint jobs are. A seasonal decorator on clear ware. Great color on this sweetie! The Custom Fantasy Class was something else! Every ring was filled with beautiful models... I couldn't keep up with t