Hire An Artist

2018 Pet Portrait special on Home Page – Please contact me for more information.

Have you ever thought of hiring an artist before?
Is that a novel idea?

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Wouldn’t it be fun to have a rubber stamp of your dog, cat, rabbit, horse, hamster, bird, dragon, etc.

How about those antique photographs of your ancestors, or the old homestead in the hills of Kentucky.

Maybe you’ve captured the cutest baby picture ever, and would absolutely LOVE to be able to stamp that darling face on everything (or at least all the announcement cards).

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That rubber stamp doesn’t exist – – – or can it?

All those wonderful people, places, pets, and things (your old teddy bear or vintage doll?) that you would thoroughly enjoy having a stamp of; but, of course, doesn’t exist.

 

AHA!
It occurred to me that the one thing missing from the rubber stamp world is someone who knows how to turn a photograph into a rubber stamp design – that is personally just yours, no one else’s.

I do that – – – and well.

Computers are great BUT they don’t have discernment

The problem with trying to use a computer program to adjust a photo into black & white artwork, suitable for making into a rubber stamp, is that NO computer program exists that can discern what’s important in a photo and what is not. I’ve tried using programs, and none of them do the job. A computer program will see that old tear in the photo, or the distracting background as just as important, if not more important, than the subject you really want. For discernment you need eyes, a brain, and know-how.

And that’s when you need to hire an artist.

(Computers don’t always scale pictures properly either. This image is squished and the web design program won’t let me change it.)

computer rendering of photo - the photo - my rendering of the photo

computer rendering of photo – the photo – my rendering of the photo

Why would you want a custom art stamp?

Yes, a custom stamp costs considerably more than a mass-produced design. I have to earn a reasonable hourly wage, too, after all.
But think of the advantages:
•    You have a rubber stamp that means something personal to you.
•    This is your exclusive design, no one else has it.
•    Stamps can last for decades, and make thousands of impressions. What other kind of fine art can claim that?
•    This is one stamp that won’t languish forgotten in a drawer – it will get used a lot!
•    This is the perfect unique gift for that special stamper you know
I am classically trained in the fine arts, AND love crafting, AND have been designing and making rubber stamps for over 22 years. I know how to do this.

The initial response to my offer of
Pet Portrait Rubber Stamps has been great:

‘Kim was such a pleasure to work with, and I love my stamp!! She completely captured my dog’s personality for a stamp my fiance and I will be using for some of the decorations at our wedding (and surely for more projects in the future). The stamp is very high quality, and it was clear that Kim took the time to understand exactly what I wanted and to get a real sense of Jane so that her spirit would come through the artwork. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience.’

J.H.

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‘You have done an absolutely amazing job! Your attention to detail is impeccable! I showed my mom and she was absolutely in love with it as well! I just appreciate all of your hard work and effort!’

A.S.

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BTW – I also do fine art oil paintings from photographs.

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Talk to me (I don’t bite – honest)

Soooooooooo,
If this sounds interesting to you – here are some links to know more:

•    start a conversation with your idea, no obligation, or
•    visit my Etsy shop to view one of the Custom Stamp listings, or
•    read more about custom stamps above in this blog, or
•    go to my artist web site

This is a new kind of service, one-of-a-kind image-art you can use again and again.
I don’t make a lot of money doing this, but it is gratifying and fun to help people enjoy their creativity more.

 

I love doing this kind of personal work. I believe art should be meaningful for the person living with it or using it, and this is another way I can provide that meaning.

I look forward to hearing from you.
Happy stamping!
Kim

Scottish Clan Badges

Scottish Clan Crest Badges

A Brief History and Meaning Behind the Images and Rubber Stamps

By Kim Victoria

Going to a Games Event with your stamp?

Get Your FREE PDF GUIDE to Caring for a Rubber Stamp

“Clan” means Family, it’s that simple. All societies have clan groups, which may also be called tribe, family, house, kinship group, band, etc. In Scotland the clans were groups of families, bound together by geographical area and survival necessity for centuries.

 

As interest in genealogy and heritage has increased, so too has interest in knowing about family names and DNA. Many Scottish societies are accumulating DNA and historical family information related to clan groups. Knowing about your family bloodlines is interesting, gives you connection to more of the world, and can help you know how to maintain optimal health for you and your family.

 

A part of that connection is the Scottish Clan Crest Badge, which you may use to show your family ties to that clan.

 

When Scotland was a wild place with few roads and isolated valleys and islands, each district was its own clan society ruled by a clan chief. All the families living there were part of that clan, even when they had different bloodlines. Those with different bloodlines and surnames were known as “septs” of the ruling chief’s name.

 

Heraldry and heraldic art developed as chiefs created emblems for flags, banners, and insignia on apparel; so that when there was a dispute, or war between clans, the colors and emblems would help the combatants know who they were fighting for – and against. These emblems developed into a sophisticated art form. Eventually a registrar was developed for what became known as “Coat of Arms.”

 

Tartan also developed this way; and also because only certain plant dyes existed in specific areas. In-other-words, clans originally only had “district tartans;” clan tartans developed later.

Coat of Arms and the Badge

Only an individual has a coat of arms; which is a display awarded by the Lord Lyon, King of Arms, the official herald-in-chief for Scotland.  No one may use another person’s coat of arms for themselves. Therefore, to show kinship with the same family as the Clan Chief they may use a crest badge emblem.

 

The crest badge is that part of the clan chief’s coat of arms above the helmet. The crest is placed inside a strap and buckle to make the pictorial statement “I support my chief.”

 

Over time, many clans lost having a chief due to death without heir. The Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs resolved that crest badges should also include the words “An Cirean Ceann Cinnidh” to designate that there is a living, recognized chief for that clan. It means “Crest of the Chief of the Clan” in Gaelic. Please visit your clan’s or society’s web site for more information. († for pronunciation guide)

About the Rubber Stamps

Kim Victoria worked with Chiefs, presidents and other officials in the Scottish clan societies to ensure that all the crest badges follow the current recognized heraldic conventions. As new chiefs are recognized, their crest or mottoe of their coat of arms may be different than the previous chief and thus the crest badge must change also.

 

Some of the rubber stamp designs have, and some don’t have, the words “an cirean ceann cinnidh,” either because there is not a recognized chief, or because many stamps went into production before the resolution was made. You may request that the words be cut off of the stamp you purchase, or have a custom stamp made with the words if they are not currently available for your clan.

 

Kim Victoria has designed these crest badge images with rubber stamping in mind. The designs have been modified to display well in the smaller size and to reproduce beautifully with inks. Mounted on Eastern hard maple, and vulcanized from the best red rubber in the industry, by Circustamps of California. Custom stamps are polymer only, which is also an excellent stamping material.

 

If you do not see your clan name and want to have a stamp of that badge please see Custom Stamps Services for more information. Or got to my Etsy shop and start a conversation there. View page 4 of the Clan Badge listings to see the existing custom clans.

 

All are original hand-drawn art by Kim Victoria © Copyright 1998 through 2018
The name of the clan is usually not part of the stamp design, unless requested custom.
Only one spelling is available with the red rubber.

Red rubber badges are 1 1/4” X 1 3/4” size. Custom polymer stamps can be different sizes.

Useful Information and Links

†     The words “An Cirean Ceann Cinnidh” means “Crest of the Chief of the Clan” in Gaelic.
Pronunciation and literal translation is roughly:
The – Crest – Head – a Clan
un – kirin – keyow’n – keeñee

The Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs requests the use of these words with the badge when there is a living chief for that clan.

The Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs official web pages

 

Lord Lyon King of Arms of Scotland (wikipedia link)

FREE PDF GUIDE to Caring for a Rubber Stamp

Heat Versus Rubber Stamps

Hot Weather & Your Rubber Stamps

During a long California heat wave, with 100º temperatures for over a week, I thought about what stampers might want and need to know about how the heat and sun affects these special craft tools.

While we can stand the heat, our wonderful rubber stamps might have a little trouble if not protected. With that in mind, I offer these suggestions.

Low humidity & Rubber Stamps

Where ever the humidity drops below 20% it is a good idea to keep stamps in closed containers. I keep mine inside drawers or plastic boxes, and they are lasting for years. I’ve been told by those living in the southwest deserts that rubber dries out quickly, cracking and becoming useless. This is a big issue with cars: tires, hoses, gaskets, all dry out and need replacing more frequently than more humid climates. Your rubber and polymer stamps are susceptible to drying out in the open air.

Age-related drying can also be an issue.

UV Rays & rubber Stamps

The other destructive force is UV rays. Never leave your stamps near a window where they might get any sun light hitting them. This is true any time of the year. UV rays dry out the rubber or polymer causing cracking.

Heat & Mounted Rubber Stamps
Heat is also a problem for mounted stamps even if hidden from the sun. The glue of the cushion material can get so hot that it loses its grip on the wood. You could go to get that stamp and find it has slipped out of place or completely fallen off.

BUT, there are things you can do –

Solutions to care for rubber stamps

PROTECT
your stamps by keeping them in dark folders, plastic boxes, or drawers (locations with higher humidity can leave mounted stamps on shelves as long as no direct sun can get to them).

CONDITION
your stamps with plain glycerin to rehydrate and protect. Glycerin keeps the rubber moist and preserves its life, especially in dry climates. Rub a little on with your finger or a soft brush, and wipe the excess off with a soft cloth. Glycerin comes off with water.

Glycerin can also be used as a release agent when stamping into polymer clay, although embossing ink is great for that use, too. I’ve seen glycerin bring 70-year-old stamps back to life.

Glycerin is available at drug stores or pharmacies.

Instead of glycerin you can use clear embossing or watermark ink as a protective coating. That, too, will wash off with a little water on a cloth or stamp scrubber.

AVOID
Never put oils, vegetable, butter, or mineral, on rubber or polymer stamps, as that would ruin stamps from ever holding ink again. Over time oils will turn rubber to mush. Use oils ONLY if you are using a stamp exclusively for cookie making or other culinary application.

Alcohol and other solvents should be avoided when cleaning rubber, as they will cause the rubber to dry out and crack, and that’s what we are trying to avoid.

A little caution goes a long way

Take good care of your stamps and they’ll provide years, decades, maybe even 70+ years, of fun and creativity.

Happy Stamping
Kim

Custom Rubber Stamps

  1. Can I get a stamp image in a different size?
  2. Do you make custom design stamps?
  3. Can you make my art into a stamp?
  4. How much do custom stamps cost?
  5. Do you make cling stamps?

All these questions are related, so I will answer them all in this article.

•    I am an artist.
•    I designed most of the stamps for my company, Highlander Celtic Stamps.
•    Some traditional designs I re-drew so that they would reproduce better as rubber stamps.
•    Therefore, I am willing and able to do custom artwork for you.
•    Artwork designed by the other artists who have provided art for Highlander Celtic Stamps may or may not be willing to allow custom sized stamps. Please ask.

1) Can I get a stamp image in a different size?

•    You can get the stamp art designs made into different sizes, with some limitations.
•    Custom size stamps can only be made with polymer (not red rubber).
•    I out-source one-off stamps at my local business rubber stamp manufacturer, who makes polymer stamps for me.
•    Polymer stamps are cling-type and transparent, so if you want an unmounted cling stamp of any of my designs this is the way to get that.
•    Polymer stamps are custom ordered and cost more than the regular price red rubber unmounted stamps, but not by a lot. Start a conversation with me for a quote on specific images that interest you, as the price varies according to size.

2) Do you make custom design stamps?

•    I do create custom artwork for customers who want something uniquely theirs, and have done so many times.
•    My artist shop rate is $45 per hour, or you may negotiate a job. I have 23 years practice designing Celtic theme art, so I am able to work quickly, providing quality and value for my customers.
•    I have designed logos for companies, some Celtic, some not.
•    I have 30 years experience in graphic design, layout, advertising, business materials, banners, brochures, heraldic devices, menus, store signage, and much more.
•    Black & white custom art can be made into polymer rubber stamps.
•    You can order a custom stamp mounted on wood, or unmounted (polymer only).

I can convert photographs into rubber stamps! Ask me if yours is suitable by emailing it to me.
•    A favorite pet picture
•    A happy couple
•    A gift for your stamping friend
•    Travel memories

3) Can you make my art into a stamp?
Yes, but you don’t need me for that.

•    You are an artist and want to make stamps from your small designs or sketches. Or, you like to carve your own stamps, but now you’d like to share your original art carvings with friends.
•    Perhaps you own a business, or are on the board of an organization, and want a rubber stamp of your logo, emblem or motto.
•    The fastest, easiest and least expensive way to get a stamp made of your art is to get it made yourself. I would be an unnecessary middleman in this case.
•    Business rubber stamp makers can make any type of polymer rubber stamp including art, not just text stamps.
•    Look in the Yellow Pages or YELP under Rubber Stamps to find a shop near you, or,
•    Online is:
•         https://www.rubberstamps.net/
⁃    Easily upload your own artwork.
⁃    Get mounted, unmounted, self-inking, ink, stamping supplies, monogram stamps, labels, office stamps, lots more
⁃    I receive no compensation for recommending this site; I provide it as a courtesy.
•    You need a crisp black & white image (no grays or colors) of the exact size you want the stamp to be; or the shop can resize the image for you for a fee, if necessary.

Making your art into a stamp is a great way to add to your mark-making creative tools, and I encourage you to enjoy your art this way.

4) How much do custom stamps cost and how long does it take to get them?

•    Custom size stamps of images already available cost more than standard stock, but only for the manufacturing.  Call or converse with your request to get a specific quote for the image(s) that interest you.
•    Extra time is needed to get a custom sized stamp made. I sometimes have to “wait in line” as it were, yet most of the time the shop I work with is very fast. You can expect your order of custom stamps to take a week to 10 days. I would let you know of any delays.
•    My artist shop rate is $45 per hour for custom artwork, or you may negotiate a job. I have 23 years practice designing Celtic theme art, so I am able to work quickly, providing quality and value for my customers.
•    How long it takes to get custom art created and made into a stamp is variable. We need to talk about that.

5) Do you make cling stamps?

•    Please see the answers to question #1: Can I get a stamp image in a different size?
•    All my designs could be custom ordered as polymer/cling stamps. I won’t be mass-producing them as the demand is too small, yet am open to fulfilling your preference for the cling-type stamp. Let’s talk.
•   Keep in mind that you can still use unmounted red rubber with your stamp positioners by using double-stick repositionable tape or glues.

6) Copyright, royalties and public domain

Copyrights apply to custom artwork and custom stamps, except in certain exceptions (see below).

I, Kim Victoria, own the copyright for all my original art designs that I make into rubber stamps and use in other ways. As the creator/artist of these artworks/designs, I own the right to copy or sell them and no one else without my express written consent. Copyright laws are very strict and costly to those who knowingly or unknowingly steal a piece of art for their own purposes.

The designs of Highlander Celtic Stamps products are primarily created by Kim Victoria, but also include designs by other artists which are indicated with the design images. Artists make their livelihood from their art – be considerate.

Royalties are contractual fees paid to designers, artists or writers for their original work. Royalties are paid for commercial uses of a creation.
A few of the designs are Public Domain which means that they were created such a long time ago that no one owns the copyrights thus making them free to the public. Please email me with any questions you have about a specific image.

The important thing to remember and ask yourself is: “Who owns the art?” you want to make a stamp of. Just because you see it on the internet doesn’t mean it’s free to take and use as your wish. Artist’s need to eat, too.
For more information regarding these legal definitions please browse the internet or your local library.

Exceptions to the above:
When a person or company hires me to design their logo, or create art that will be exclusive to them, I don’t own the copyright. Essentially, when I am hired to do a job under contract I am selling my services as an artist.
For example: If you were to hire me to design something original for you, I would provide to you the digital files which would then be your property. I could also have, what is now your design, made into a rubber stamp for you. My shop rate is $45 an hour for this type of work.

Get what you need for your project

Custom design and custom sized stamps are a great way to get exactly what you need to enhance your unique creative output.

I hope this information answers your questions. Please let me know if there is anything else on this subject that would be helpful to know.

Happy stamping
Kim Victoria,
Artist/Owner/Wearer of all hats