Friday, October 29, 2010

"New Black Friday" Sale

It's sale time! Since the big retailers are giving deals today, I thought I would also.

3 days only! 30% off everything in the johnwgolden Etsy shop!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Moving the Blog!

After another lengthy period of inactivity here, I am once again hoping to get on the stick post-wise. As time to blog, twit and post on facebook gets shorter, I have been trying out HootSuite in an effort to get information to all my online friends without too much duplication of effort.

I hope you will follow me over to and continue to be a reader. Wordpress works with HootSuite, which I hope will allow me to provide more content on a consistent basis.

Friday, July 16, 2010

ReadyMade Blog Giveaway!

I am a tad slow getting this news out, but ReadyMade Magazine is giving away some of my mini-triptychs. See details here.

Etsyversary BOGO Sale!

 Etsyversary BOGO Sale! I am about to celebrate 4 years on Etsy on July 23rd! That means a good deal for you. Buy One item, Get One item of equal or lesser value free. Limit 2 free items per purchase. I can't extend the BOGO to my block-based items, but if you buy one of those, you can still get a print of equal or lesser value free. Sale ends July 23, 2010 at Midnight EST.

 To take advantage of the sale, just put the item you want to pay for in your cart, and then tell me the free item in the message to seller during checkout.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

New standard sizes!

I have recently been revisiting the sizes available on some of my work, and now have available many series in standard sizes. The critters are now available as 5"x7" (and as blocks, for a completely finished solution).

Check them out here.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Monsters of Block - Mini Monster Art Blocks

Got these new little blocks in the shop. They are based on my Monsters collage series, which combines cute little monsters with concepts like conflict, heartache and intellect. These little blocks can sit on a shelf or some similar flat surface.
They are not toys and are not intended for play or handling by children.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Something to do...

Found a fun site: that has tons of user generated online jigsaw puzzles. Since I have lots of images, I thought I could probably add a puzzle a day for about a year and a half. Not that we all need something to do, but it's a nice little break from the hub bub. Check back here daily for a new puzzle.

This discovery comes at an odd time. I remember going to my paternal grandmother's house in South Florida, up into my teenage years. Every visit, the card table would come out, and a jigsaw puzzle was spread out, to be completed over the course of the visit. At any given time, there would be 1 to 4 people working on the puzzle.

While I was in college, my paternal grandfather passed away, and my grandmother moved away to live near my aunt and her family. That was over 20 years ago.

Jigsaw puzzles bring back many other memories of the Florida house. Chasing and catching lizards with my cousin, unsupervised cane-pole fishing trips to the lake at the end of the street. Hooking myself in the seat of my pants on one of those trips as I ran from an approaching thunderstorm. I could see the rain move across the lake. Long walks to the 7-11. Getting tar on your feet at the beach in Lantana, and then a Yoo-Hoo on the way home as we sat on the burning hot turquoise vinyl seats of my parents Rambler. Jolly Time popcorn made in one of those plastic dome popcorn poppers. You squeezed this slab of butter-flavored lard into a well at the bottom of the popper and then poured the kernels in. It was salty, especially if you had spent the day at the beach. It burned your lips. The pantry of the kitchen that was dark and woody smelling that contained 6-packs of glass-bottled Coca-Cola that I would drink so I could collect the 50 states that were imprinted on the liners of the bottle caps. And these awesome plastic mugs she had with characters from Walt Kelly's Pogo comic strip on them.

As a teenager, I spent a extra week in Florida, after my family had returned to NC, and then took Amtrak back. On that trip, my grandmother took me around to what must have been every surf shop in the area so that I could get a few t-shirts. I tried to weasel a Quiksilver jacket out of her, one that was aqua blue on the outside, with a black lining with aqua blue stars. She was too smart for me, and I ended up with only t-shirts. But she went everywhere I asked so I could get those.

I don't remember much about the Florida house after that. My grandmother has a painting of it that my mother did hanging in her room.

My grandmother still remembers the trips to the surf shops. She told me so the other day. I think she remembers everything that ever happened to her, in astonishing detail. She has been talking to the family this week, saying her goodbyes. She is 94, and having yet another bout with Pneumonia. She has decided that she is ready to go. The bouts with Pneumonia always lead to a trip to the hospital, where it seems she often ends up with MRSA, and she can't go back to her room at her assisted living facility until the MRSA has been cleared up, which is a difficult and lengthy recovery.

I have lost count of the number of times she has gone through this cycle of Pneumonia, MRSA, recovery, back home. But I am certain she could tell me. There have been a number of times that we have thought she was too far gone to recover, only to have her bounce back. But I don't think that will happen this time. She is under the care of hospice, and they are keeping her comfortable, but letting the Pneumonia take it's course.

She has lived what she calls a wonderful, perfect life, and a long one at that. And she has kept her memories of it, right up to the end. She has decided that it is time for her to go. She has done what she came here to do. And now it's time to go back home.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Mini Robot Art Block Set of 8

It took me a while since first announcing this series, but a long stretch sitting at the computer, babysitting the printing process gave me an opportunity to finally get 8 of these little guys together. Each block is wrapped (except the bottom) in a fine archival print. I then burnish the seams, paint the seams in a matching color and seal the print.

Got a few more ideas for this technique, maybe some friendly monsters and some urban buildings.

I fortunately have been very busy as of late, which has curtailed my generation of new works, but I have managed to grab a moment or two to create some new stuff. The art blocks themselves quickly went from "Yay, I get to do some blocks!" to "I have to do blocks now". :) I'm not complaining though. I should be so lucky. I'm very pleased with the reception my mini-triptychs have received, and I can't wait to see what folks think of the mini Robot Art Blocks.

Blocks are available as a set of 8 for $48 USD, and individually for $7.50 ea. in my Etsy shop.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Nice to be noticed

Many thanks to TimeOut New York for featuring my Five Boroughs Art Blocks in their Best NYC Home Decor feature!

The blocks are available here.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

New Year BOGO sale is ending tonight at Midnight!

The Holiday/New Year BOGO sale is winding down! Ends at 12 Midnight Eastern tonight. Hurry if you want to get twice the art!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Let's BOGO a little longer...

I have extended my BOGO Sale a bit longer to allow folks that are just now finding out about it to participate. Sale will end without notice.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Found: Elevator Advertising

From the leave no space unsponsored file: Some interesting uses of elevators as advertising space. I suppose it makes sense to market anywhere you have a semi-captive audience.

Monday, January 11, 2010

RYBLK - The Mini Robot Art Block

A new piece and series! Mini Robot Art Blocks. The first is called RYBLK, pronounced rib-lik.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

I'm all lost in the Supermarket...

'Cept I'm not. I have been accepted to sell on Supermarket, a very cool, design-y online marketplace from Brooklyn-based Supercorp. I am excited to have my work included with such a great line of art, craft and design.

My Supermarket store will carry my non-wall art endeavors, while good ol' Etsy will still have everything I do.  I am still in the process of stocking the store at, so check back frequently for updates.

Look for more new venues for the art blocks and jewelry soon.

Friday, January 08, 2010

New! My Heart Series on Mini - Triptych Blocks

And a film can collage about love for good measure! One of the things I like about these little pieces is they are small enough to fit in many places, and you don't need a wall to display them.

They are love-themed, so they are great for Valentine's Day, but diminutive enough to have out year round. These are available in my Etsy shop, and also some new online shops that I am opening on some new handmade markets. But more on those later.

Beats for You - Mini-Triptych

Belongs to You - Mini-Triptych

Skips a Beat - Mini-Triptych

Carrying a Torch - Mini-Triptych

Found: A parable. A very simplified, perhaps cheesy parable, but a parable.

Something to keep in mind. And after that?

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Can't seem to get anything done! Is this why?

Interesting article about how we might keep ourselves from getting things done.

I definitely agree that often times we need to just find what we enjoy about doing a task and concentrate on that. And if we can't do that we just have to accept that we need to do a task, and find joy in getting it done.


Some good ideas for this morning.


Tuesday, January 05, 2010

It's Tuesday, what's new in music?

Every Tuesday, I hope I am gonna find some new music to excite me. Haven't seen a lot new stuff here at the end/beginning of the year, so I am holding it together for the upcoming release of a few albums.

Looks like next Tuesday, Jan. 12th will bring the release of Contra, by Vampire Weekend. VW is a band that sneaked up on me, as many bands seem to be doing these days. I would listen to a track here and there, without really getting hooked, then one day I find myself listening to them non-stop.

Here's a look at the first video/single, Cousins.

Also looking forward to the new Spoon album on Jan. 19th.

Whilst sitting in a heat-less darkened movie theater

Over the holidays my wife says, "Let's take the kids to a movie." Turns out we missed the Fantastic Mr. Fox run. And the Christmas Carol run. So Alvin and Chipmunks: the Squeakquel was chosen.

The heat wasn't working in many of the theaters that day, so we got in on the senior citizen discount. It wasn't so much that it was cold, as it was that the heater continued to blow cold air.

My younger kids loved the movie, and I kept telling myself I was doing it for the kids. I was struggling not to post some snarky facebook status when my wife gasped and grabbed my arm.

"What?!" I said, turning to her.

"Your picture," she said. I looked back at the screen but it was gone. Turns out my Lunar Lander poster that Land of Nod carries was on the wall of the chipmunks bedroom. And I missed it. Guess I know one person who will be buying that DVD. Hopefully moviegoers will be paying better attention than I did.

The lesson? You are always where you are supposed to be. Even if it seems you would be happier elsewhere.

See a gallery of additional images from the film at

Treasury Thanks!

Thanks to EWMcCall for including me in a fiery love treasury!

Found: Secret Fun Spot

Of course I love this. Why wouldn't I? Chock full of old graphic design, kitschy stuff and such.

Monday, January 04, 2010

I'm bringing waving back...

Close Hand in to Fist, © 2009 John W. Golden
I have always had a love/hate relationship with the handshake. I often get beat to the grasp. I get my fingers out there, just enough to have the other person clamp down on them and leave most of my palm free. I almost feel as if I should curtsy.

On the other hand, I am quick to extend my hand to strangers and introduce myself with a handshake. I can't bear the awkwardness when meeting someone new in a group setting, and your friend, who knows this new person, doesn't introduce you. So, I usually pre-empt that with an introduction. Then I read to beware of people like that. Can't remember why, but you are supposed to be wary of a person who extends his hand first. So, no more handshakes, I guess. Since neither of us can extend a hand first. Whether or not to extend your hand is the new 4-way stop. You go, no you go. Did you see that guy? It wasn't his turn. He just went.

By the same token, I'm not cool enough to Fist Bump. I just cannot pull it off. And I have bony knuckles. And I don't run with a fist-bumping crowd, whoever that is.

So, when I was adding some new pieces to my film can collage series, I pulled up my original film can illustration I did for The 3 Aspects of a Good Handshake (done years ago). I was reminded of how much I felt like that particular image and title was the most education film-like. When I start the can illustration, I know a film title, but I don't have any idea what the text over it will say, much less what it will refer to. That part comes to me as I create the textured version. Sometimes I have to think about it a while before an idea comes to mind.

When I created this particular film can illo, the fist bump did not exist. But now it seems tailor-made to contrast with modern day the era in which films were made to educate and refine us. This is, in it's own way, the essence of the film can series. Contrasting now with then.

I'm neither celebrating the handshake (See aforementioned personal issues with handshakes), nor dismissing the fist bump. I think I may be asking for a third option.

Treasury Shout Out - Jan. 4, 2010

Thanks to the following folks who have included me in their treasuries:

Itsalljustmenagerie included my No Monsters Allowed Print in a Bright New Start treasury.

Nauli included my Vespa No. 1 in a Warm Reds treasury.

Happy New Year! Now let's make with the Valentine's stuff...

Time for another year of this making a living from my art! I know I am very fortunate to be deriving any income from my art right now, much less all of it. It has been a new experience doing this during a down economy. Fortunately for me, people have continued to support my efforts, and I am extremely thankful for that.

I researched quite a bit this year. Mostly about the business of being a business by reading books that on the surface seemed to be very pop-culture, but actually contained a lot of business theory. One book was about holidays, and how the retail calendar is driven by holidays. To some extent, all retail businesses adhere to this calendar.

For some of us, it is merely a big push during the Christmas / Hanukkah / Kwanzaa season. I do a couple holiday pushes a year, mostly Valentine's and the December holidays, and it helps to even out the ups and downs of the retail calendar. Others take every opportunity to use holidays to drive sales. Once you are a business, you don't always have the luxury of not making the most of every opportunity to sustain your business. In some cases, if you don't promote to a holiday, it's like closing up shop for a while, as other businesses that do follow the holiday marketing calendar attract consumers, and your business just catches the occasional passer-by. Keeping this in mind makes it easier for me to not be so offended by the rapid transition to the next holiday retail displays.

The sales of the last quarter of the year can generate a lot of momentum for a merchant, and I often hear of proprietors who make most of their income on the days leading up to Christmas. Then the tumbleweeds start to blow by in January. As a business owner, it seems a shame to let any steam you have gathered just dissipate.

Now, I'm not talking about the big retailers like Target and Wal-mart. They always seem to have something that people need. But they also have to compete for holiday dollars. In this economy especially, they have to get those Christmas decorations down quickly and get the hearts and cupids up right away. It's about maximizing the opportunity for sales during a given period of time. It may look like greed, but they are businesses that have to stay afloat just like the rest of us. Not promoting when your competitors are promoting is not going to help one stay afloat.

People say it starts around Thanksgiving, but really it happens all year long. "It's disgusting!", we say. "Every year they start earlier and earlier." Christmas Creep, it's called, but it could just as easily be Cupid Creep, St. Patrick's Sneak, or Mother's Day... well, I can't think of one for Mother's Day. Maybe just being Mother's Day, a holiday created to generate commerce is enough. (Mom's do deserve their own day).

Point is, many businesses base their promotions on our buying patterns, and we tend to spend a lot of money during holidays. I think most people's complaints about Christmas Creep is directed more toward big retailers, the largest adherents to the holiday retail calendar. Who can blame the little guys for using whatever accepted reasons are available to encourage people to help keep their businesses alive? Especially these days? Who can blame the big guys? It would be nice to have a break from be sold to all the time. It would be nice not to have to sell all the time. Boon or bust, the competitive market is gonna creep all over you.