Total Art Soul - for artists

" If I knew what I was doing, I'd have quit by now "
Tags >> mask

Model behaviour

Posted by: gringrimaceandsqueak


We've been having a lot of fun as per usual here with another photo shoot. We've made a whole pile of nice new shiny things and decided it was time to show them off.

This time Rich took the photos while I made a spectacle of myself :) It was actually a huge help having someone else shoot as it enables us to get some full costume shots as well as new angles. Of course, it's important to keep your strength up whilst working- we can highly recommend the handmade chocolates from Cocoa in Scarborough for that....

Between chocolates we did actually get some good images including a few more black and white ones- something we'll be working on in our next shoot. We are hoping to set up a film noir style shoot and play with lighting.


It's still a bit wierd seeing yourself plastered all over the internet but the response has been fantastic and we now make a point of getting at least one modelled shot for each new product.



Propping up

Posted by: gringrimaceandsqueak

Tagged in: tiara , props , product photography , mask


We've been having a bit of a sort out here at Grin Hq, working through stock and deciding where to list which pieces. We try and avoid having all the same things on all our selling platforms and tailor what we are selling to the customers it brings in. This does however means we take a lot of different photos.

For our own UK website, it's the big stuff mostly and we can be a bit more creative with pictures, especially those on the front page. Some time ago, we did some shots of our carnivale masks to show them as luxury items using coloured backgrounds and some basic props -feathers etc, to add a touch of glamour. It's amazing what can be done just with a few bits and pieces you have lying around.

If you're stuck for extras, putting in packaging can make an image more interesting and shows the customer how much care you take with their purchase. We use gorgeous magnetic closure boxes from Midpac, in black of course, with some tissue to protect the mask.

For those initial thumbnails on sites like Etsy, we use a light background and are relaunching our tiaras using our mannequin head with a wig and, for extra height, one of Ms Grins' hair falls. Much easier and quicker than getting all dolled up for a model shoot- just plonk the wig on, clip on the extension and there you have it :) Not only does is give a sense of scale, important for selling online, but it show the item as it could be worn and looks a whole lot more exciting than one lonely piece by itself. 

If you're a seller like us, have some fun with your photos - it really does make all the difference :)

It's that time again :)

Posted by: gringrimaceandsqueak

Tagged in: wire , mens , masquerade , mask , handmade , Cat , beaded , Autumn


Much to our deep joy and happiness, Autumn is coming to Cornwall. The leaves are turning, the air is cooling and best of all, hallowe'en is just over the horizon! This means our attention has turned from summery blues and greens to deeper, more dramatic winter tones. Coppery colours are definitely in at the minute, often teamed with classic black or more subtle browns but as we get further into the season, that's going to change again in favour of bolder combinations.

It's also party season and we're gearing up for our busiest time of year- stocking up on the basics with lots of traditional eye masks in the classic goth colours - red, black and purple being the big ones of course :) Hallowe'en is also the time men are most likely to let their hair down for  a change and dress up to go out so we've made sure we have an assortment of more masculine pieces to keep the boys happy.

While we're waiting for our best excuse to don full gothic battle dress and surprise the heck out of our neighbours, we are having a lot of fun building on our existing collection with a new range of more sculpted masks. The first to go on sale is this cat mask- we'd done animal and bird pieces before but always shaped around the human face, which only allows you to go so far.

To make something really different, we've been changing our patterns and pushing ourselves by looking first at the form we want to create, then working backwards to create a supporting structure that fits comfortably. The cat was fairly simple, once we had the proportions right (thanks to Louie from next door who has become a regular visitor) it was mostly about bridging the nose and cheeks to create a more catlike expression. We added some hair thin whiskers to give a cheeky pre-pounce look - et voila!
Next up are a raven mask with a foot long beak (don't ask how many beads that's taking) and a mask with woven wire horns - wish us luck :)
Karen and Rich





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