Coming Soon: Walls by GalleryDirect

Tweet If you haven’t noticed on Pinterest yet, wall murals are the latest trendy way to decorate a space. So stop repinning those ideas and make them a reality! Oh you didn’t know that we offer wall mural art at … Read More

If you haven't noticed on Pinterest yet, wall murals are the latest trendy way to decorate a space. So stop repinning those ideas and make them a reality! Oh you didn't know that we offer wall mural art at an affordable price?...Yup, we sure do. Have a baby on the way and a nursery to decorate, consider a wall mural. Have a large playroom you want to make more colorful for your kids, consider a wall mural. Have a master bedroom that needs an inviting and peaceful image, consider a wall mural. Have a boring office that needs to be livened up, consider a wall mural. We've brightened our work areas up here at Gallery Direct. We like to have a fun atmosphere to work at here... Select from thousands of our fine art images, photos from our photo vault, or use your own image on our website Gallery Direct. It's easy to do! So stop repinning dream room ideas on your Pinterest - and make one yourself!

Screencast: Color Correcting

Tweet My main job duties have me focusing on color correcting all of our digital image files from scans of original artwork. I thought I’d give you a short screencast showing you what is involved when color correcting in the … Read More

My main job duties have me focusing on color correcting all of our digital image files from scans of original artwork. I thought I'd give you a short screencast showing you what is involved when color correcting in the Imaging Department. Using Adobe Photoshop I am able to "fix" overall or select areas of the image that the scan did not capture perfectly. It's important to us here at Gallery Direct that we offer our art-loving customers limited edition prints that pretty much look exactly like the original artwork. In the above photo you will see the original series of artwork (larger paintings) with my paper printed proofs next to them.

In this screencast you will see we work in adjustment layers. When I first start on an image I will make some basic overall adjustments by sharpening, bringing in the black & white levels, adjusting overall color casts in selective colors, adjusting the hue and saturation and finally adjusting the brightness and contrast. Since our monitors are specially color calibrated, what I see on my screen should be exactly what prints out. So I want the colors on my screen to match the colors from the original artwork up on the wall in front of me. Right away I saw that there were some specific areas on the image which needed some tweaking. The green/yellowish background behind the flowers needed to be adjusted. Also several of the stripes needed to be color tweaked or toned down.

Once I made those layer changes, I print out some paper proofs to see how they look in comparison to the originals.

Do anymore areas need a little more tweaking? Take a look closer...

It's not perfect yet, back to working on the adjustment layers until it's just right!

At New Era Portfolio we know why we do what we do... day in and day out.  Yes, we love coming to work everyday and walking the art gallery halls and working with beautiful paintings with amazing team members, but work is still work.  The "why" behind everything we do shines through when we see people's lives enhanced by our hard work. For this we thank all of you! Last week we found out that we made the Inc. Magazine's 500|5000 list for fastest growing private companies. Inc. Magazine ranked New Era Portfolio , the largest limited-edition fine art publisher, number 3,651 on its fifth annual Inc. 500|5000. The exclusive ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies represents the most comprehensive look at the most important segment of the economy – America’s independent entrepreneurs. “We’re excited to be a part of an exclusive club of companies nationally that are truly driving our economy,” explains Joseph Garcia, CEO and President, New Era Portfolio. “We’re leveling the field for designers to enjoy the same quality, selection, service and pricing, regardless of project size. And, as you can tell, we’ve been successful.” To celebrate, we will be giving away free art tonight during our monthly Twitter Party tonight at 9pm CST. RSVP Now! http://bit.ly/oVVStV  We are also offering 50% most of our pieces on our website: http://www.gallerydirect.com Thanks again for helping us make the list!!!        

The Prepress Department at Gallery Direct

Tweet How do we reproduce artwork? It’s a marriage of sorts: a multimillion dollar investment in the latest printing and imaging technologies and a team of dedicated professionals. Our artists, graphic designers, fine art printmakers and artisan framers, work together … Read More

How do we reproduce artwork? It’s a marriage of sorts: a multimillion dollar investment in the latest printing and imaging technologies and a team of dedicated professionals. Our artists, graphic designers, fine art printmakers and artisan framers, work together in a modern rendition of an assembly line. Humans and technology aligned to create the images that will ultimately hang on your wall. We look at our Prepress Department as the epicenter of this endeavor.  They handle the original artwork, preparing it to be released as a limited edition. Prepress also digitally curates our royalty-free and acquired image banks and optimizes each photo uploaded to be turned into artwork.  It’s a tall order, but they make it look effortless!

If Gallery Direct was a television series. . .

Tweet Remember the television miniseries? These were national/cultural events affecting every local community back in the day.  If the content wasn’t too risqué, maybe the parental units would let you stay up late to watch?  Ah, then the talk about the … Read More

Remember the television miniseries? These were national/cultural events affecting every local community back in the day.  If the content wasn’t too risqué, maybe the parental units would let you stay up late to watch?  Ah, then the talk about the miniseries at school the next day! Cute girls fawning over The Thorn Birds.  “Oh man, pretend to know what they’re talking about,” I would think to myself.  The bigger budgets, the pre-premiere hype. Shogun, Thorn Birds, V, Roots, North and South, The Winds of War, Rich Man, Poor Man.  These were a huge deal, like the Super Bowl except for the arts. The “eventiness” of the miniseries is over.  Unlike the Super Bowl, these are out of fashion, like a dedicated home landline, hooked to an answering machine.  In fact, the Super Bowl is a relic, which adapted to dominate the collective consciousness unlike any other spectacle.  Even the World Series, sports precursor to the television miniseries, isn’t as part of the national consciousness as it was in the past. The miniseries became unnecessary as every worthwhile television series is available online or delivered by Netflix.  Eavesdropping on your co-workers conversation about an unfamiliar T.V. show?  Hull yourself up in the house over the weekend and catch up by Monday morning.  Our household heard Mad Men was amazing.  We were caught up in a week or so.  Just like that.  We don’t think about entertainment the way we did in the 1970s or 1980s. Things change. When you’re the only game in town, you make the rules, the way the three networks did back before the cable television explosion and the internet. Entertainment then, a handful of channels, a handful of sports.  Entertainment today, millions of channels, countless new sports.  Is this a good thing?  Go back and rent an old miniseries such as North and South. You tell me. At gallerydirect.com, we look at the way artwork WAS brought to you like a miniseries.  It had its place, but its time has come and gone.  Fine art on par with our quality used to be super-expensive.  A trip to the custom frame shop was painful and the stuff everyday households could afford was made cheaply. The selection of finer “brick & mortar” stores were limited by whims of their buyer’s aesthetic. We were examining high level marketing strategies this week, particularly “branding.”  What would Gallery Direct be, if we were a television entity, series, genre, channel or whatnot?  PBS? The Thorn Birds? The Super Bowl?  We would probably be YouTube.  We’re pretty much just a facilitator—albeit a sophisticated facilitator—to the user, who creates world class artwork by harnessing millions of images or uploading their own, then customizing it to their specific needs, sent to us instantly and created on the fly. Will cute girls talk about us before the bell rings for class? Probably not.  That’s okay, their moms love us.

The fine line between high tech and fine art

Tweet This week our team examined a month’s worth of customer comments. Although there was feedback regarding our recent site improvements, the vast majority of customer comments were rave reviews about the artwork itself, i.e. the images hanging in their … Read More

This week our team examined a month’s worth of customer comments. Although there was feedback regarding our recent site improvements, the vast majority of customer comments were rave reviews about the artwork itself, i.e. the images hanging in their homes. We were touched by the positive connections our customers have with their new artwork. Over ten years in the art business has taught Gallery Direct many things. A decade ago, we participated in national art shows (called trade shows). These are exhibits where art companies show their stuff, are forced to socialize with their competitors, and pretend to like them. We quickly learned everything we needed to know. First, the mien of the industry players was something we found off-putting. A lot of snobbery and tony fronts abound in the art world. Second, not one of the players is what we would call business-minded. These were two traits we didn’t feel like emulating, so we bounced from the trade show commitment. Any business person knows: you have to work for your supper. It wasn’t hard to figure out the other established fine art publishers were not doing so. Instead, they were in the business of selling a positive illusion to the end consumer, and the price of the illusion was steep. Traditionally speaking, an art publisher signs artists, releases and markets the artists’ work. But who’s printing it? Who’s framing it? Not the publisher. Outside vendors are handling the manufacturing. With every layer, channel or hand in the pot the cost of the artwork goes up and up. So, having fine art limited editions on the wall was cost prohibitive to most Americans. This didn’t sit well with us. We quickly moved to be a vertically integrated solution for art lovers, handling artist and art acquisition, scanning, printing, framing, and marketing. Since this became our business model, we took it one step further. Why not offer customization of each image and on the fly? Moreover, vertical integration means we were also able to react to the changes in home fashion faster than any fine art publisher in the world. - Reacting to the market on a macro-level, finding artwork and directing artists to meet the needs of the ever-changing trends in color and home fashion. - Interacting with the end user, the customer, on a micro-level, via our website with all its customization features. There is no one offering what we offer, anywhere in the world. We are thankful our customers love their new artwork, but the price is the reason it hangs on their walls. Before Gallery Direct moved to vertical integration, our artwork was selling for 6 to 9 times more than it is today. Sad, but true story. The artwork of Gallery Direct is 100% created by artists and photographers and 100% recreated by our staff using technology that is off the hook. To this very day, when I walk through the facility, I say to myself, “DAYUM! That’s a lot of high-tech equipment.” The folks running the technology, recreating the art, framing each image, and sending it out our back door work in a series of independent cells. It looks reminiscent of the Paper Street House in the movie Fight Club. We invested millions in this technology to produce world class fine art, not junk, not posters. We make real art at an affordable price, eons away from the ersatz snobbery of the past. While we’re all used to the “Designed in California” “Assembled in China” messaging of Apple, which is an attempt to make you feel better about a foreign made product. Nice try. Understand this: our artwork is designed all over the globe, customized by you and assembled in Austin, Texas. You can feel awesome about that. We do. Thanks again to everyone loving their new artwork and passing the positive feedback our way. We are nothing without our customers.