Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Gift Certificates!! and Virtual Gift Notices!!

If you need to get a gift from, and it's past Dec. 18th, watcha gonna do?

Get 'em a gift certificate!! or buy that gift anyway and I'll send a virtual gift notice!!

Gift Certificates

Available in $15, $25, $50 and $100 denominations, these Gift Certificates can be delivered via e-mail up until Midnight on Dec. 24th, 2008. I can send the electronic version of your certificate to either you, for printing and wrapping, or forwarding if you want it to come from you. Or I can send it directly to the recipient in your name.

Virtual Gift Notice

Say you want to purchase an actual gift, but it can't get there in time for the 25th? You can still purchase the gift, and I will send an e-mail notification to your recipient with an image of the print(s) you purchased. Then, in the days following the 25th, your recipient will receive the actual package containing your gift.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

New Dogs!!

It should be so hard to get dogs done, but it always seems to take for ever :) I do have a couple of new ones since the last time I was in here.

I now have a Pit Bull (which I hope to have variations of very soon), and a West Highland White Terrier.

I am smack dab in the middle of the busy season, and will write more once the 18th comes and goes.

Monday, December 01, 2008


One day only! The only public BOGO sale I'll have this year.

Buy one print between 9:00am and 12:00am on Dec. 1st, 2008, and receive a print of your choice of equal or lesser value. Put your BOGO choice(s) in the Message to seller. Purchase only the prints you want to pay for.

I'll honor the BOGO on up to 4 purchased prints. Offer not available on non-print items. Sale ends Dec. 2, 2008 at 12:01am.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Home stretch 2008!

Been super busy these last months! Launching a supply store has taken up what little free time I had, but I am grateful that the shop has been well-received. Now if I can just shorten the turn-around time for orders. Thanks to all who have been patient with me on that front. I'm still doing both stores all by my self, which I don't recommend unless your shipping system is well-established but adaptable.

It has been very educational running a different type of store on Etsy. I spend a lot more time on communications in the supply store than I do in the art store. The supply products tend to generate more questions for potential buyers than does the art. And supplies take longer to package. But in most aspects, running both stores is pretty similar.

Good things are happening art-wise. Several new catalog opportunities are brewing, so it ought to become easier for more folks to buy framed reproductions of some of my work soon.

Looking forward to Thanksgiving, as it might give me time to try to get a few more dogs ready in time for the Holidays.

Hope you all have a nice holiday!! Don't overdo it.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Welcome to Etsy - Wardomatic!

I am very excited to see that a buddy of mine has his Etsy shop up and running. I have always loved his work, and really like what he has available. Soon, we will also be able to enjoy and buy his wife's photography on Etsy as well.

Check out Wardomatic.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Cool giveaway!! is sponsoring a giveaway of 3 prints of the winner's choice from my Woodland Critters Series.

Rules on how to enter are here.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Fabribot Invasion!!!

After letting this big pile of printed fabric sit around for the better part of 4 months, I finally got down to business with Fabribots, cloth versions of my Quelstar Tin Toy Robot Series.

I was a bit rusty at sewing, but after the first few, I was able to pick up a little speed, and have used almost all of the fabric I had on hand. Got 5 more to sew (including Electroman and the x-9) and I'll be done with this batch. Just ordered fabric for another 36 robots, so I hope to have more for the Holidays.

These are not really intended for children under 6.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Land of Nod...

We love Land of Nod in our house, so I was pretty excited when they contacted me about carrying a few of my prints.

They chose 3 images from my Quelstar Tin Toys series, and it's nice to finally be able to share this news with everyone.

These are available at the Land of Nod website, and as they tend to do, they have created a nice room with available bedding and such, a room of which these prints can be a part.

Monday, October 20, 2008

UV Resin Tutorial...

Another tutorial, this one on UV Resin! UV Resin is much easier to apply than 2-part resin, as you don't mix anything. It starts to cure once exposed UV light, so you can cure it in sunlight as an inexpensive solution, or using a UV lamp for more consistent results.

Has a nice window of workability in which you can deal with bubbles and such prior to exposing it. It sets very quickly though once exposed, so it is important to minimize bubbles and such as much as possible prior to exposure.

One of the best things about it is that the quick "setting" of the resin lets you see which pieces aren't coming out well, and the resin can often be popped out of your finding before it sets completely, giving you a do-over of sorts.

Monday, October 13, 2008

A new leaf, and all that...

So I am about to take the littlest one to preschool, and when I get back, my wife and I are going to start a walking program. And by walking program, I mean we are going to walk around the block at least once. Maybe on Wednesday we will go twice.

Over the last two years we haven't had a lot of exercise, so we're trying to get active again. I had started walking/running this summer, after I returned from a week at summer camp in the mountains. I started that week with a swim test that I thought would kill me. I had to jump into some pretty cold lake water which was over my head, swim 200 yards, any stroke, and then backstroke 50 yards, and then tread water for 30 seconds. 100 yards in, I thought I was gonna die. I had thought that my arms would tire, and that is what would get me, but it was the breathing that was the culprit.

I made it to the end, and got out of the water, equal stunned that I had made it, and that it had been so hard. It took 2 hours before I felt back to normal after that.

Then there were the hills. And shinsplints. But towards the end of the week, I started to crave the burn. And when I got back to the flat ground of the coast, I couldn't walk fast enough to get that same level of exertion, and I'm not quite ready to full-on run just yet. So that, along with a low-level of fitness, and my general lack of dedication to physical activity led me to stop walking in the mornings.

But now we are resolving to eat smaller portions, walk 3 times a week, and get more sleep. So new leaf, consider yourself turned. For now.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

New Digital Art Demo

This new video has been waiting on deck for me to do the voice over, and it's finally done. It's probably an intermediate level demo, in that it might make more sense to you if you have a little Photoshop™ experience, but I like to think you can just watch it just to see the process I go through as I create my digital art.

Monday, September 08, 2008

New Dogs...

I finally had a chance to do some new dogs, a German Shepherd and a Doberman. On the way to those breeds, I ended up with the beginnings of about 7 other breeds. Got lots more breeds to get done before the holidays.

You can find them on Etsy.

Back to Normal

Everything is back to normal, following Hanna. We are keeping those in the path of Ike in our prayers.

Had a pretty cool thing happen recently, that I have been meaning to post about.

One of my customers in England sent me this photo of something he happened upon whilst shopping in a John Lewis store.

Yup. Those are some of my dogs, all framed up and available without shipping charges. I'm pretty excited to be getting my work in front of new viewers and to be included in such a high-quality store.

Now just trying to catch-up from a half-day on Friday.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Pretty Quiet Night

There was some wind, but very little rain as Hanna passed through.

We lost power at some point, but it was back on by 4:30am or so.

Headed out soon to check the studio, gallery, etc.

It's moved again

The 11pm advisory has Hanna going 30-45 mins to our west. It has been extremely quiet, with little rain or wind. Last I heard, landfall was going to be around 3am.

Not staying up for that.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Ho hum...

Still pretty much just rain. 8pm advisory seems to say same projected track.

Battening down... or not.

The much mentioned trip to storage finally happened. Saw one store that was shuttered, a grocery store.

Did not see any other dwelling or structure with any hurricane prep. My house included. So I would say many folks here aren't expecting much damage, IMO.

Annnndddd...She's back

That did not take long. The 5pm advisory shows Hanna's projected path heading right over top of us again.

It's actually a little sunny out, and I can tell it rained a little. I fell asleep on the couch watching the Weather Channel. Told you the wait was exciting. :)

Still have not gone to storage, so that's gotta happen soon. It will be interesting to see what folks have done to get ready.

I am not Hurricane/Tropical Storm Obsessive enough

Can't believe that I let a whole 20 minutes go by before I realized that the 2:00pm advisory was up. :)

So Hanna's a bit stronger, close to hurricane strength, and it is picking up forward speed, and the path seems pretty much unchanged since 11am. We had the first rain bands come through about 45 mins ago, and they were pretty heavy for outer bands.

Gotta head to storage units to secure some things there.

A little bit of wind...

We are getting ready by grabbing all the loose outdoor stuff and securing what we can. The 11am advisory has the storm passing further to our west, so for at least the next hour or so we are no longer directly in the path. But we are still awfully close. Looks like it may move through a little later than thought in previous forecasts.

We are starting to feel the wind pick up and a few raindrops now and then. Going to run out in a little while to secure things in our storage units.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Here comes Hanna!!

Welllll...Looks like Tropical Storm Hanna is headed our way, and she may be a hurricane by the time she gets here. It's a bit of a scramble today, to get as many orders out as possible, so they won't get stranded in the Post Office here if things get dicey.

We are hoping that the storm will stay a lower level hurricane, which is what is forecasted.

Should give some time to blog though. I blogged about Hurricane Ophelia as it passed through 3 years ago, and I like to say I think I really captured the mind-numbing level of boredom that a wait for a hurricane to strike can achieve.

It's supposed to start raining tomorrow, so at some point I need to stop and get everything off the floor here in the studio (possible flooding) and cover everything with plastic. Many years ago, the building that the gallery is housed in had a collapse of a facade on to the roof of the building. It took out 3 floors on the way down.

I'm next door to that building, in a building just as old (1850s).

Hopefully we will not face anything worse than power loss.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Handmade Kids Contest

It has been a busy summer, and once again, I barely blogged about it. So I will have to do it in retrospect.

First bit of news is that I am a finalist in the art category of Etsy's Handmade Kids contest. Yay! You can go over and vote for all kinds of cool handmade kids stuff here. And, of course, if you want to include me in your votes, that's much appreciated. My "No Monsters Allowed" print was chosen. Voting enters you for prizes. Mmmmmm...prizes...

Got more news about spreading my art across the world, but I'll save that for another post.

Golden Supply Co. is off and running. I have begun to set up a page for Golden Supply Co. on for those of you that are not Etsy members. I've got lots of new findings coming in, and I am excited to get those up and available.

Monday, July 28, 2008

What a couple of weeks...

Well...the drawing dogs in the back of a van as it drives across half the country was an ill-fated idea. Much too bumpy :)

The trip was good, and the subsequent week in the woods at summer camp was nothing short of transformative, if that's a word. Walking up and down hills all week went from "this is killing me" to "my body is starting to crave this".

Back now, in the studio, filling orders. My wife and I have opened another Etsy store, this time to meet the rising demand for the ring blanks that I use in my resin tutorial. We will also be offering the pendant plates I use as well. So many folks were having trouble finding the rings, and now they can get them using Paypal.

The new store is called Golden Supply Co.

More on my week in the woods later...

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

19 hours each way...

End of this week, I will embark on a long and arduous journey. My son and I, and my sister, my uncle and my folks are all piling into a vehicle and drving halfway across the country to our annual family reunion. Sure...flying would be faster, but I'm looking forward to the opportunity to spend a lot of time with my son (in addition to the full week we are going to be spending at Scout Summer Camp later this month) before he goes off to become a middle-schooler. And I am looking forward to the time with my extended family.

It has become harder and harder to find large blocks of time to work on creating new art, and the list of requested breeds for my dog series has gotten long. So, I'm thinking as I cruise through North Carolina, Tennessee, and parts beyond, that I could get a little art done. and maybe shoot a few photos on the way. And maybe eat an indigenous sandwich or two. I have this dream to one day rent an RV and travel the country eating the sandwiches that originated in the various parts of the country. I have a feeling that this will be a $5 footlong version of that dream, at various Subways along the way.

If I can get Wi-fi access, I'll post each day's progress.

For now though, I've got a lot of prints to get out before I leave. Got new rings and pendants underway, working on glass pendants, and thanks to Spoonflower (some fellow North Carolinians, I might add), I'm getting closer to seeing my robots in a form you can pick up and hold. I wanted to create something using my Quelstar Tin Toys series, in keeping with the era that inspired that artwork. So, introducing the Fabribot, a retro-styled stuffed fabric robot in 6 or 7 models. These will probably be sold with a small print of the box art for that robot design.

These are hand-sewn by me, using fabric that Spoonflower has printed for me. Yes, I sew. It was a requirement that I be able to sew and do my own laundry before being allowed to leave home for college.

It will probably be a few weeks before I can get these in the shop, due to my upcoming road trip and a week at summer camp shortly thereafter, but maybe I can get a few in there late next week.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

So slow to post...and to grow

I've had plenty of little tidbits going on that I might have blogged about, but I have been I have sort of been keeping my head down and working. I finally got caught up on leaving feedback (some went as far back as December), and may have finally, after almost 2 years on Etsy, perfected a system for making sure that every buyer gets a personal estimate of ship date and a personal notification of shipment. I have had to rely on the e-mails that are automatically generated since things got brisk on Etsy about a year and a half ago.

I have been thinking lately that I am standing on the brink of more growth both personally and professionally. Two people gave me Eckhart Tolle's book, "A New Earth" for my birthday back in May. One gave me the printed book and the other the book on CD. I read the book whenever I could get a moment, and listened to the CDs driving to and from work. The reason these folks gave me the book was because they saw me in its pages. And I did too. It has helped me a lot to get to work on changing a lot of conditioned behaviors that I exhibit and that I think waste a lot of my energy and keep me from being focused on the task at hand.

It did help me figure what I think my purpose here is, just in time to have a chance to serve my purpose pop up (see prior post). But still there is a lot of growth to come there.

Father's Day was great! Got lots of cool t-shirts from Etsy sellers and Mario Kart for the Wii. I'm looking for Wii friends to race, so you can comment here if you wanna join in. Just put your Wii number (comments won't be visible, unless I approve and post them, which I won't do for Wii numbers).

I got to thinking about how much our perspective of our progress can affect our actual progress. I think my life as a working artist is bursting to grow more and needs to grow more and is going to grow more, but I am nervous about being able to handle more business than I already have. I think I need another set of hands to handle a lot of the managerial aspects of the business. As it is now, I do everything related to my Etsy store, with the exception of my wife listing for me when I am trying to get packages out.

So then I started thinking that maybe it's me thinking that I can't handle any more growth that's kept growth steady but slow. Never more than I could handle. I do believe we get what we ask for, and by fearing more success, I may be asking not to be given more than I think I can handle. So I have stopped thinking that. For the most part.

So, then, some major things happened business-wise this week. And those things have great potential to lead to great growth. Of course, we will all have to wait and see.

So...what's my point? My point is don't hold yourself up with doubt. If the potential for growth comes, don't worry if you are ready for it. It wouldn't be there if you weren't. Oh, and give "A New Earth" a chance. It has been life changing for me.

Here's to being overwhelmed.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

New Critters...

From the moment I created my very first critter in my Woodland Critter series, I have wanted to create other groups under the Critter umbrella. So, finally I have begun the Aquatic Critters. Right now, that consists of the Colossal Whale, the Nimble Octopus, The Playful Porpoise and the Patient Seahorse.

More subsets, sub-series, etc. to come.

These are available in my Etsy shop.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Opportunities to do what it feels like you were meant to do...

So I write a good bit about about some of the more mental and spiritual aspects of trying to follow a dream, for lack of a better term. It's now been more than a year since I realized that being a working artist is what I am "doing" with my life.

So far, so good. No one at the Golden house is going hungry. But it still feels like there is a long way to go before being what I wished for will make a comfortable lifestyle for us. Of course, being a working artist has removed a lot of the stress and turmoil that is built into being a freelance graphic designer, so, in a huge way, we are already living a more comfortable life. A shift in attitude from "There is always something else I need to be doing for work" to "This is exactly what I am supposed to be doing right now" has resulted, and all kinds of opportunities present themselves.

The most fulfilling of those has been the opportunity to give a piece of my art work to someone for whom I truly feel it was made (plus the opportunity to have my almost six-year old daughter at my elbow as I type this, telling me the words I am typing, "You writed (sic) 'good' in your sentence didn't you?").

About 2 years ago, I created "A Good Robot Would Do Wonders for Your Soul", as a companion piece to my "Rayguns Don't Kill People". At the time, I chose text that I thought was a play on the idea that a traditionally "soul-less" oject, a robot, could be good for your soul. These little text snippets that I use pop into my head, and I know that somewhere, out there, that the art and the text will click with someone and have some meaning to them.

If you go deeper, I would say that robots and depicting them has been very good for my soul, as I now am able to finally be a working artist, and that drawing a few robots has allowed me to draw many other things for which I have affection. But I don't believe that to be the true meaning anymore.

Many folks have connected with "A Good Robot...", and I think we all have different reasons for connecting with the piece. Once again though, a stranger reached out and delivered a message. The message in this case was the answer to the question: What am I here to do?

My thanks go out to Bryn for helping to get "A Good Robot..." into to the hands of the two people that I feel somehow it was made for.

I will warn you, this link takes you to a blog that will break your heart. But it will also inspire you, and may remind you that your own troubles are small. I am linking you to the entry from 11 weeks ago. I recommend you read the entries in order.

Matt, Liz and Madeline

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

International shipping is back!

After much research into the myriad of affordable options for shipping internationally...well,'s not a myriad exactly, I am pleased to announce that I have reinstated international shipping in my Etsy shop!

Now everyone can get their mitts on some John W. Golden art :).

Monday, June 02, 2008

What's better for aches and pains than camping?

I took 7 kids camping this weekend, just so I could sleep on the ground and add a whole new set of aches and pains to my repertoire. We went on a 5-mile hike, but I don't feel any worse for the wear from that. Except for the sunburn. Had some of the best spaghetti, and some of the best scrambled eggs, bacon and sausage ever cooked by a bunch of 11-year olds.

On the art front, I continue to work on my list of dogs and cats, critters, etc. and I am gearing up for another round of rings and pendants. I hope to add another resin pendant design – a stainless steel tab with rounded corners and no sides. I'll shoot a sequel to my resin tutorial that covers that process.

I mentioned before that my resin how-to has been entered in the Spread the Craft contest over on The overall winner will be picked by judges, but there is also a People's Choice winner, determined by voting. You have to register to vote and rate (and it will be a few more weeks before voting begins), but I do appreciate any votes and ratings that you throw my way.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Aches and Pains...A sign of summer

Too much yard work this weekend :) I'm used to sitting in a chair all day. Got some shipping to catch up on this morning due to the long weekend.

So...I have had so many folks that want to know where I get my ring shanks and pewter pendant trays that I am considering becoming a retailer. I have to be careful what I add to my work flow, because it is really set up for just shipping art. I would almost have to sell the rings as supplies from, just so I could keep orders in the same pipeline so to speak. I don't know how folks that have orders coming from lots of different sources keep up with it all.

Saw my first firefly of the season about a week ago. Gonna consider switching to a summer schedule that allows taking the kids to the beach a few times a week. We finally realized last year that we live right next door to something that a lot of folks wait all year and pay a lot of money to visit, and that we were wasting that benefit.

It's always really calm in the morning, but not so warm. Great time for taking a kayak out in the surf though, which I vow to do more regularly this summer as well.

Monday, May 26, 2008

The Aftermath of Sharing...

The response to my resin jewelry tutorial has been overwhelmingly positive. One kind viewer tipped me off to a site called MindBites, which is running a contest called Spread the Craft. The video can be viewed as one 23-minute opus there.

The idea behind making such an in-depth video that shares every bit of my resin/jewelry making process is too see what it's like to directly spark creativity in other people. I have made contact with lots of friendly, creative folks and certainly caught the sharing bug.

I am currently in the voice-over stage of a new video called Pixels to Perches – The Digital Fish Art of John W. Golden. It's not so much a tutorial, but a demonstration/documentary video about how I make some of my digital art. The process is a bit too lengthy and complex to be parsed in to a how to, but I hope it will give a little insight into how I create my art.

I want to encourage everyone out there to "spread the craft", so to speak. I realize that we all have techniques that we have learned over years of hard work, and techniques that we have developed on our own that we might be reluctant to just give away. And that is understandable to feel that way. I have techniques that I may never share because I feel they are an integral part of what makes my art my art. But I think it is important to consider while we work our way to success that being successful is much more rewarding when you can encourage success in others.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Resin Jewelry Tutorial Part 1, Rings are Up

At long last, the resin jewelry tutorial that I promised is completed parts 1 and 2 are up. Part 3 is on the way. Also got most of the rings up last night. Pendants should go up for sale today.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Finally done!

I've got bunches of new rings and pendants going up on the Etsy shop tonight! Some of these are already gone, so they are not all available.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Here's a glimpse of some of the new jewelry I have coming out featuring my artwork and designs. This is part of an in depth tutorial that is in development.

Lots more Jewelry...

Worked on more pendants and rings this afternoon after I got the day's orders out. I am videotaping this go-round, so that folks can see how the things are made. Should have about 11 round rings, 12 Square Rings, 17 square pendants and 14 round pendants.

Here's a tiny taste of the round pendants...

Working on a snippet of the video for another post later.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Modofly is live!

It's been in the works for a while, and I am really excited to be able to add my voice to the chorus that today is screaming, "MODOFLY IS LIVE!".

Now, you are probably asking yourself, "What the heck is a Modofly?" Good question. Well...on one level, Modofly is the brainchild of Jordan Pollard and Kevin Scott. These two took an idea of an artists' collaborative and turned it into, of all things, and artists' collaborative. And on that level, Modofly is a group of 25+ artists whose work is currently gracing the covers of the most flippin' sweet Moleskine® sketchbooks I have ever seen. Kevin and Jordan do the heavy lifting of getting the artwork on the Moleskines, and offer them for sale on (the part that is now live), and on the Modofly Etsy store. The other member artists, besides creating the artwork, do their part to spread the Modofly word by acting as a street team of sorts. Blogging, sending press releases, approaching local retailers, all the things that can contribute to the success of the collaborative.

I am really excited to be a part of this wonderful group of artists, who have proven that they are as exceptional as people as they are as artists. It is a globe-spanning group that is combining their individual levels of success to create a greater level of success for all. And I really feel that their hard work is about to pay off. So check them out today!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Another year older, another year wiser?

Well, another birthday has come and gone, and now that I am a year past the new 30, I have learned the secrets to life and the universe.

Not really of course, but it seems that I have become aware of possibly more in this past year of life than in all the years before it.

I received some wonderful gifts, and can't wait to see what becomes of them in the coming year.

On the art front, I've got 24 more rings on the way, as well as pendants. I have been working extra hard to try to create a few extra days this week where I will be able to get through special requests from the Etsy shop. Thanks to all who are being so patient. Also got a May newsletter to get out.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Among the 50 blue-million other things I have going right now, I managed to get the rings and pendants done. Everything came out much better than I could have hoped, this being my first attempt at pouring resin. The rings look awesome, so they are going up on Etsy.

The first round of pendants, I think, will go to more happy homes if folks can actually see and handle them. I am very happy with how they look to the naked eye, but when they are magnified (as happens in the product photography), I am less happy with that. So the pendants won't be available on Etsy until the next round. I will have some group photos of the pendants here though.

See the rings I have listed here. More to come.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Wakka Wakka Wakka...

Friday was a big and busy day! After an early start to get some packages together, I was interviewed for a project that the UNC-W Randall Library is doing on the history of local art. As part of the project, the University is purchasing a collection of art, with a piece or two from each of the artists interviewed. big orange Robot Worker Pfk-1 (around 3'x4') has a new home now on the university library walls. And a 12" x 12" "Dry Dock" from my Rovinato Series went with it as well.

The interview was fun, sort of my first interview of the sort, and covers my development as an artist from the beginning up to current day, in about an hour. It was videotaped, and I will post it once I get a copy. All you ever wanted to know.

My pewter pendant trays and Silver-plated rings came last night, so I am looking forward to getting started on those really soon. They will be available on Etsy as soon as I can get the hang of pouring resin. May have gone a bit large with some of my choices, so I am gonna order some smaller pendants shortly.

I came into possession of an early '80s Pac Man Cocktail Arcade Machine this weekend. That's the table version. It does not work, but it turns out you can get just about any part you need online. So that's gonna be a project later on. Or maybe it's just gonna be a table.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

I'm being followed by a beach ball...

So the other day, I was driving home from the studio down a street that I take everyday. It cuts through a part of town that has seen better days. It's a 23-block drive. You have to be really careful, because there are lots of residents, young and old, at play, on street corners, etc.

So..., at about 10th street, I noticed ahead of me that two cars were stopped in the road, and I can see some kids off to the left, in a yard. Then I saw why the cars had stopped.

There was a beach ball bouncing across the street. Not your average beach ball. This one is transparent with deep, jewel-tone colors. Not like any one I have seen before.

One of the kids walks out, gets the ball, and we all go on our merry way.

So the next morning, I'm on my way in to the studio. My route to the studio is on a different street, about 2 blocks over from the street I take to go home. At the time of the morning I head in, that part of the surrounding neighborhood is empty.

As I crossed 15th street, off to the left, I saw something bouncing slowly toward me. I slowed down and watched as the jewel-toned transparent beachball rolled/bounced up 15th street, in front of me, and off to my right to disappear in to the woods.

It was like the shopping bag scene in American Beauty. The ball had drifted up 5 blocks and over 2, in a period of 16 hours to cross in front of me at the exact moment that I was doing the same thing, though in the opposite direction, that I had been doing when I first saw it.

Just weird.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Thank you Parents Magazine!

Parents Magazine gave me a double shot of love recently. First, they featured the By Order of the Management series on their Goody Blog (, and then they did a feature in the magazine on a nursery that happened to have some of my Lunastrella Series on its wall. Big thanks to Elizabeth and Peter for buying the prints and making them part of their gorgeous nursery. And big thanks as well to Jennifer, an Etsian found me on Etsy and let me know that the prints were in the April 2008 Issue. Featured prints were the Lunastrella Robot, Saucer and Space Station.

Thursday, April 03, 2008


There just aren't enough opportunities in life to add "-errific" or "-iffic" to the ends of words. :)

I love old Vespas, so it is a subject I return to from time to time. This one is available on Etsy.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Something for Spring...

I have been working on some new critters for a while now, and finally was able to get one finshed. I've got several flitter critters underway, but the Bustling Honeybees won out for first release.

This is available over on Etsy.

In the works...Pendants

Here are some test mock-ups I have done recently as I await the arrival of findings and such so that I can begin creating new ways that folks can own my artwork.

Several types of pendants as well as rings are in the works. Jewelry is a crowded category on Etsy for sure, but I also think there are lots of folks that tend to stick to browsing one category on Etsy, so some cross-pollination may help me reach more people.

Not all of these will make it past the test stage. Not like I need more to do on a daily basis, so these will probably be produced once a month, if necessary.


Hello all, I have been super busy with creating some new work. Inspiration comes from the strangest places, and though I have heard the nickname "Sin City" probably a thousand times, hearing it last week sparked something.

Since I was already in sign mode from creating series 4 of the By Order of the Management Series, I figured I should strike while the iron was hot. There are 13 signs, with many more at various stages of completion. There is also a little subset in which I plan to create signs based on the 5 boroughs of NYC, and maybe even some interesting neighborhoods.

These are available on Etsy.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

New Work! More Signs!

Just in time for Mother's Day! Series 4 of the By Order of the Management Series is complete. Now the entire series is 32 signs covering all kinds of parental mandates.

As seen on Etsy.

Friday, March 21, 2008

New Work! Girls Vs. Boys!

I thought to myself, "Why should grown-ups get to make all the rules?" These 2 signs should say "By Order of the Junior Management."

Available on Etsy.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Mark Jenkins

I think the less I say about this the better, except that it is genius! Go find out for yourself what it is.

Mark Jenkins

A little fun via Jackson Pollock and the folks at

Jackson Pollock was my very favorite artist when I was younger. Last week, during Jury duty, I was chatting with another juror about the Museum of Modern Art in New York. And she told me about the first time she stood in front of a painting by her favorite artist. She got chills.

The funny thing is, I had the exact same experience the first time a stood in front of a Jackson Pollock, in the very same museum.

The folks at have a really neat little application on their site that lets you let your inner Jackson Pollock out. See it here.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Back from a week of too much bad stuff, but just enough good...

Sorry for the dearth of communication this past week. I received a Jury Duty summons and I guess, despite my soul patch and need of a haircut, I exude fairness and impartiality. I was immediately chosen for the first jury pool, was one of the first 12 chosen for questioning, and got picked on the first go-round.

That trial ended in a plea without the jury being empaneled, so the Judge asked us to come back the next day, in case we were needed for another trial.

Once again, first pitch, out of the park. Chosen, picked, seated, and this time, empaneled. So for the rest of the week and half of this past Monday, my fellow jurors and I listened to evidence meant to prove or disprove that a man in his 60's had committed sexual battery against one of his daughter's 16-year old friends.

It's hard stuff to listen to, and a hard decision to make as to which party is telling the truth. In the end, we all agreed that the state's evidence proved that the guy did it.

I dreaded going to Jury Duty, but I met some really interesting people. Since we couldn't talk about the case, and we spent several hours a day outside of the courtroom talking about each other while matters were discussed outside of our presence.

One man's son just made captain in Iraq, and also just received the Bronze Star. His pride in his son and his service shone on his face, but what was just as evident is how worry for his son's safety was constant.

This week in Atlanta, near my old neighborhood, in fact (I lived in Grant Park for 2 years in the late '90s) a tornado did a lot of damage. It passed just 4 blocks from my last place of employment, broadcast design firm Primal Screen. I saw pictures of damage to buildings I used to drive by every day to and from work, so I was worried for my friends still living there.

I had not had an opportunity to talk to any of them much over the last year, so it gave me a little bit of a chance to catch up with some of them, and a chance to thank my old boss for surrounding me with tin toy robots for a couple of years. That and his example that it's never too late to do something you love have helped me out a bit. And I found out one of my friends is about to have a baby.

So somewhere, a guy just received a sentence (don't know yet what is was) for doing something stupid and inappropriate. Most likely, he will have to register as a sex offender, which means all his neighbors will get a letter telling them of his status. The parents of his daughter's friends will have to consider whether they should let their daughter go over to his house, or even associate with his daughter. And that's all bad for his family. But it's less likely that he'll ever do what he did again.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Carson Ellis - Artist/ Illustrator

Very cool interview with Carson Ellis an artist/Illustrator who has done work for the Decemberists, one of my very favorite Bands.

And, just for good measure, a cool Decemberists video:

60 Second Sketches

Part of my new world-wide campaign to get the word out about my work and spread John W. Golden goodness all over the place...Try to guess what the subject is before the end.

If you like these videos, feel free to share them with all your friends. All of them. Yeah, even that guy. Seriously.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Rob Kalin quoted on NPR...

NPR had an article with some interesting info about Etsy and making things for a living. You hafta scroll down a bit. Good to know.

Read the article here.

New Lunastrella: Headphones

I love putting on a pair of headphones and hearing little audio Easter eggs I never knew were there. And while this new little earbuds are great, there is nothing liking slipping a big padded pair of cans and being separated from your surroundings.

Available on Etsy.

New Lunastrella : Instant Camera

Got this new piece together this morning for my Lunastrella Series. Who hasn't put a piece of instant film under their armpit to speed themselves toward a moment captured in time. Okay, well now you know that secret. I think it also helps to make the film develop more evenly.

The text in this one, like all the Lunastrella pieces, has meaning beyond the obvious.

This one's over on Etsy. Sorry, does not come with that satisfying whirr as the film spits out.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

What to do on a Saturday Night?

I'm gonna try to watch a movie that my wife and I have had for 5 days. We got it out of Redbox, which only costs a dollar a day. Which is only a great deal if you actually watch it quickly. We also sometimes use UnBox, which lets us download movies to our Tivo. That's better suited for our habits.

Prospects are good for actually watching the movie tonight though. Two younger kids are already in bed, and the oldest will entertain himself. I'll wait to see how good it is before I reveal what movie it is, 'cause it looks good, but I have seen some stinker reviews.

Right now, I am trying to watch a so far beautiful film called Heima by the Icelandic Band Sigur Rós. It's kind of a tour doc, with lots and lots of amazing shots of Iceland. I have only seen 20 minutes so far, but already I want to recommend it.

You can watch it all on You Tube.

Transferring videos

I finally got around to converting 11 years worth of home videos to digital files. This was the funniest one. This is my son being perplexed by a video camera's LCD screen.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Must Be Something in the Water... Candy L. Pegram

Something in the Water is a series meant to showcase Etsy artists living nearby me. We've got a lot of talented people round here, and if I can help shine a light on those folks, great!

Original Monkey Face Painting on Wood

© Candy L. Pegram, 12"x12"

I first came across Candy's work at a local show held here from time to time called "Art for the Masses". Her work really stood out among the huge crowd there. She had these great superhero paintings that I just loved, and more importantly, I knew my wife would love. She (my wife) does, and she is a far better judge of art than I am.

Sadly, I did not snatch one up, and I'm not sure that she still does them. Candy combines her personal way of seeing things with a warm folkish technique that is very appealing.

Her Artist Statement:

I begin each painting with a naive idea of what the final outcome will be. Consequently, a piece will evolve through layers of color, often sanded off several times to achieve a desired depth of feel. I favor images with hefty strokes and bold outlines, new yet familiar, evocative of a powerful collective pop culture memory of childhood toys, cartoons and characters. Currently I use wood as a canvas for its unique texture and inviting irregularity which tends to forgive my doubt and reward my instincts. My paintings tend to strike a random yet unidentifiably familiar chord that hopefully reminds us of our youths; when life was saturated with color and endless wonder.

Get them while you can at her Etsy store.

What's behind the bird collage series....

A deep-seated fear of all things avian. Just kidding. Really I am drawn to the design of birds, in general.

This series really began about 18 years ago, when I found a book, which will remained unnamed, that had lots of cool old illustrations in it. The book, at the time, was not yet part of the public domain, so I waited a long time for that to come to pass.

Prior to the birds, I wasn't really doing a lot of collage, and I didn't do any that used public domain images. If I collaged it, I had created the image from scratch.

I don't like to use found public domain images as I find them, so for the birds, which start out really small, I alter the image as much as I feel I can without changing the antique feel. Then I create the background using several layers of images of urban textures that I have taken.

Once the bird and the background are in place, I paint some color onto the background using my custom photoshop brushes. And that is pretty much it.

I have been a little surprised at people's love for birds and for this series. Of course, actual birds can be beautiful, but I sense that there is something deeper to people's affinity for birds. Someone suggested to me that maybe it is a friendly envy of birds ability to fly. I don't know. No answers here.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Blog comments are my new message from a stranger?

So I finished my little novella about finally getting around to making art for a living.

I think if I boiled down all the words in my "Getting what you wanted posts" to a single point, it would be that you don't get what you want until you are ready to do what you have to do to have it. And by that I mean fully commit to it. That means agreeing with yourself to complete tasks that you aren't aware of yet. To do the less exciting aspects of being an art-based business. To leave the certainty of a regular paycheck and trust that your decisions will move you forward on your path, and when they don't, trust that you will be able to recognize your mistakes and minimize their impact.

In writing about some of the parts of my progression to becoming a working artist, I covered some of the less tangible things that occurred along the way, like the message I received from a stranger, etc. that I felt were less common experiences in such a process. I think everyone has those moments, or at least I hope they do, that allows them to grow either personally or professionally. It's whether or not you are fortunate enough to recognize those moments and take something positive away from them that is different for each of us.

The most common experience, in getting what you want is, in my opinion, working hard for it. There are some people who get what appears to be what they want with what looks like little or no work, but I think those folks pay a price that we don't see, in terms of happiness, privacy, etc. I also don't think they get to have and enjoy what they want for as long as the people who take a longer, harder path to it.

Someone commented on this blog that I was fortunate to have this success fall into my lap, and while I have been very fortunate, it has never really felt like success was falling into my lap, so to speak. If you read a good amount of artists bios, you will find many artists who did not know that they wanted to be an artist until some gift of art supplies or a life-changing event opened their eyes to the possibility. I have always seen myself as wanting to be a full-time artist, as knowing that being an artist was what I wanted to do. And until something like Etsy came along, that just wasn't a possibility for me. So I tend to think that I worked toward this moment for a major part of my life.

But maybe I didn't. Maybe I stumbled upon success. I know I still have a lot left to do, and I think I am not sitting around admiring my "empire".

I have never thought myself to be an accidental artist. Not because I don't like accidental artists, but because I have been trying to be an artist for so long that it certainly is not an accident. So when someone tells me that it kinda looks like I am, I take notice. I thought about this for several weeks, and toward the end of that time, I began to wonder what purpose that comment and my subsequent thought about it is supposed to have for me.

And it finally occurred to me, maybe I am (figuratively) sitting around admiring my hard work. The daily grind of running an art business could be fooling me into thinking that I am progressing and doing all I can to get my work out. Perhaps even though I know I have more work to do as an artist, I'm not really necessarily doing it.

My works hours are quite a bit less than they used to be, and where there once used to be no separation between work and home life (because it was almost all work life), there is separation now. Most of work stays at the studio, and time at home is spent being at home, instead of toiling away to all hours of the night.

So, here again, someone I don't know has said something to me that has snapped me out of my stupor. Thanks stranger.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Newsletter Re-Launch – $100 Shopping Spree Contest

I am preparing to relaunch my e-mail newsletter, which features more info about my work and the work of other Etsy artists. There will also be some serious Etsy Seller Tips, new work announcements and shop updates.

As part of the relaunch, I am holding a contest: Everyone who joins before March 31 has a chance to win a $100 shopping spree from my Etsy store, johnwgolden. After March, there will be a monthly drawing from the subscriber pool for a Free Print up to $30 in value.

Fine Print: I hate to have to say this, but due to the varying laws regarding contests in various countries, the shopping spree contest and monthly drawings are only open to U. S. residents. No purchase is necessary and this contest is void where prohibited.

Visit my Website to subscribe.

Thursday, February 28, 2008


Got some new pieces in a series of Robots and Rockets that I did last year. Now Rayguns are part of the mix. These 3 little guys are available on Etsy.