Design

Using craftgawker.com to Promote Your Designs

April 9, 2013

As an avid craft blogger, I know the magic of getting a post featured on craftgawker. One DIY or tutorial posted on the site usually means thousands of new visits to my blog! We even use it as a tool to promote UncommonGoods design challenges and blog posts. But it recently dawned on me how helpful the gawkerverse could be in gathering inspiration and promoting your work so I reached out to Maria, their designer and editor, to pick her brain. As a designer herself, Maria has some great advice for using the gawkerverse to it’s greatest advantage.

How can a designer use the gawkerverse community to market their designs?
Anyone can use the gawkerverse to share their work. Our goal is to publish posts that are inspirational to our readers. Sometimes that comes in the form of a DIY or recipe, an artist’s interview, or a post that shares a behind the scenes look at how something is made.

If you are a designer looking to share your work, the best gawkerverse site to submit your work to is craftgawker or dwellingawker. A great way to get readers to check your post is to offer a printable or a DIY, as people like to participate. If you don’t want to provide a DIY or printable, another great way to get noticed is to provide an inside look at your process. Did you just create an amazing logo? Why not share some of the ideas that led up to the final? The same thing would work for a fine artist. Rather than only sharing the final painting, why not share some of the in-progress photos? People love to see how an artist/designer got from point A to point B.

Also, remember that photography is important! Photos are important for any blog or website, because most people are visual, but it is especially important when submitting to the gawkerverse. You only have a short time to draw someone in, and the best way to do that is with a photo that makes them stop and look.

What is the most creative thing you have seen submitted to the gawkerverse?
That’s a really hard question, because we get a lot of amazing submissions but here are a few posts that stand out.

This post by The 3R’s Blog utilizes a paper craft we all know how to make from our childhood and repurposes it into this modern, geometric lamp shade!

This DIY by My Poppet is a great way to restore old, hand woven, cane chairs. Cross stitching turned this old chair into a modern, colorful work of art.

This recent post by Feathers of Gold shows us how to create this awesome hexagonal ornament with stir straws!

Where do you seek inspiration?
I usually don’t have to look too far for inspiration, since I am one of the craftgawker moderators, so I see tons of amazing ideas daily, but some of my favorite design blogs are Design Work Life, Weekday Carnival, and Door Sixteen.

I try to find inspiration everywhere. Packaging, posters, magazines, catalogs, they all give me ideas and inspire me to try something different.

What makes a good gawkerverse submission?
Our goal is to inspire our readers to be creative. In our opinion, there is no better feeling than creating something! Whether your creative outlet is food, art, your wedding, your look, or an entire room, we want people to experience the satisfaction you get from making something yourself.

The most important component for a good gawkerverse submission is a great photo. Beautiful photos are always inspirational and will usually do well on our site. It’s the first thing a reader will see and it is what makes them want to find out more.

Next we look for good content. We always prefer DIY, but we will accept anything that we believe our users will find inspirational. That includes process photos, interviews, or any discussion about what inspired the blogger to create.

What are some tips for taking gawkerverse-worthy photos?
In my opinion, lighting is the absolute most important component for taking a good photo. If you don’t have good lighting, the photo won’t be successful. Natural diffused light is always best, because very direct light can create distracting shadows.

Next, composition plays a huge role. It’s always important to consider your subject matter and be sure that it’s always your focal point. An image can be perfectly exposed, with amazing light, but if the composition isn’t right, the image won’t be successful. It’s always important to consider your subject matter and compose a balanced shot that will work in our square format. When in doubt, keep it simple.

The Uncommon Life

Uncommon Personalities: Meet Katie Giannone

April 5, 2013

*Editor’s Note: Katie left UncommonGoods on May 10, 2013 to embark on a new adventure. We wish her the best of luck in all of her future endeavors!

Katie Giannone, UncommonGoods Associate Buyer – Home Décor, Seasonal, Desktop, Art

My hometown is…
Wilton, CT; a smallish, ruralish town about an hour outside of NYC.

My favorite product that I’ve brought into the assortment at UncommonGoods is…
VERY hard to pick just one, but I would have to go with one I brought in recently – the Grow Old With You Terrarium – a solid mix of sweet sentiment, creativity, and handcrafted, clean home décor.

I’m inspired by…
My friends, the masses of extremely talented and creative handmade designers sprouting up across the US, and the outdoors.

My guilty pleasure is…
Relishing the sun.

An uncommon fact about me…
Let’s see… pick your fave: at 6’1”, I am the tallest person in my family. I broke my arm sledding onto an iced over pond in VT when I was about 8 years old. I had a pet bunny named Flopsy when I was little, but my mom didn’t like caged animals so we treated it more or less like a domestic cat – it would go out into our yard and the woods behind our house during the day and explore, coming in at night for dinner and shelter. I practiced jazz dance until I was nearly 14.

My favorite place to eat in New York City is…
Three way tie between St. Anselm, Marlow & Sons, and Peasant.

My Style is…
I’m aiming for timeless.

Since working at UncommonGoods I’ve learned…
How wonderful it is working with handmade designers who are extremely passionate about their work.

With a pile of stuff in front of me I would make…
(You’re given paper, glue, glitter, sticky notes, an aluminum can, bakers twine, and a rubber band. What do you make and who is it for?)

I would make a kinetic mobile to hang above my nephew Grady’s crib.

Design

Art Contest – The Fun Will Never End

April 4, 2013

The call for entries for the 2013 Art Contest ended on Sunday night with close to 200 amazing submissions. We were blown away with the response and the caliber of work that was entered, so we went back to the drawing board. Seeing your artwork only once a year is not enough. With a customer base that loves art prints and buyers who love picking them out even more – we decided to keep the Art Contest going… all year long! Keep coming back to send us your brand new pieces every month and get more involved in our design community.

For the most part the rules and prizes are still the same. Midnight on the last night of every month is the deadline for that month and the buyer’s picks will make it into our community voting app.

Check out the Art Contest page for more details.

The Uncommon Life

Is apple pie really all-American?

April 4, 2013

Apple pie is only American in the sense that, like the country itself, it is an immigration success story. It had been a traditional treat in Britain and across Europe for centuries, but in the Americas the colonists were lacking one key ingredient: apples. America’s only indigenous apple is the crab apple. Seeds were brought over, and orchards began to spring up, but most of that initial fruit was too tart for eating and was instead made into cider. It took nearly 100 years, as sweeter varieties were being cultivated and as the settlers grew more prosperous, for the apple pie to put down roots as a culinary favorite in the New World.

Fruit and Jelly Bird Feeder, $35