Case Studies/Ali J Art and Illustration
Creative Commons gives me the added assurance that I will be credited for my images, and it allows them to be displayed and used instead of just sitting in a file. — Ali J
Ali J (aka Alicia Rosam) is an Australian artist and illustrator based Perth, Western Australia. Her stunning portraits of modern females are featured in public and private collections worldwide, and are increasingly included in prominent publications and exhibitions. Ali J frequently works with mixed media on canvas, incorporating patterned paper, pages of text and date stamps from vintage books, as well as items such as translucent buttons. She also creates Matryoshka dolls, designs earrings, sews brooches, makes magnets and selects stationery such as greeting cards to feature her designs. Celebrities, fashion and shopping often inspire her work.
Ali J graduated from college in 2002 with a Diploma of Fine Art and a Certificate in Interior Decoration where she specialised in realistic charcoal drawings with a strong conceptual outlook. She works in a space surrounded by the artworks of Catherine Campbell, LaMaga, Erin Paisley Stueber, Bec Winnel, and Alexandra Lening amongst others, also taking inspiration from images from The Black Apple and postcards from Frankie magazine.
- ‘I like to surround myself with characters and creatures that continually open up more paths to [my imagination].’ (http://aussiepatches.typepad.com/aussiepatches/2008/03/inspirations-ev.html)
Rather creatively, she believes that her Matryoshka dolls share stories with each other as they come to life at the end of her brush.
Her works are sold in the Etsy online store, where they have been recognised as ‘A Thing of Beauty’, being voted in the top 100 artists on the site. Ali J’s earrings have also been listed with Leeloo at the Shop Til You Drop E-boutique.
Ali J’s exhibition schedule is now tightly packed, with the most recent event being the Perth College Art Exhibition on 4th – 6th April 2008 where she has explored a maritime theme. Her exhibitions in the last two years show the continued success of her work:
- August, Etsy Labs Wall, Brooklyn, New York
- September - October, Artopia - Festival of WA Artists, Perth, Australia
- November, Wayside, Wayside Chapel, Sydney, Australia
- November, Dreams and Storytales, Solo Exhibition, Behind The Monkey, Perth, Australia
- November, V-Raw, China Heights Gallery, Sydney, Australia
- December, Clothespeg Exhibition, Behind The Monkey, Perth, Australia
- March, All Girls Exhibition, Gallery 696, Melbourne
- April, Perth College Art Exhibition, Perth, Australia
- April, 696 1st Birthday, Gallery 696, Melbourne
Ali J’s artwork and illustrations reside in private collections spanning 23 countries including Ireland, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Mexico, Spain, Brazil and Wales, as well as the United Kingdom and the United States. The public collections housing Ali J’s work are the City of Joondalup Art Collection, and the Town of Vincent Library.
Ali provides advice on the marketing of products, noting that anyone can sell a product; however, generating a repeat sale takes nous, emphasising that it is best to under promise and over deliver.
Ali J licenses her collections on Flickr under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 2.0 generic licence. These include illustrations, art, exhibition work, and content featured in print publications. Her collections hosted on deviantArt, which currently number 79 ‘deviations,’ are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0. Both platforms allow downloads. Ali J adds a subtle watermark ‘aussiepatches’ to her deviantART stock.
Ali J explains that she first heard about Creative Commons through the photo-sharing site Flickr.com. Initially, she says in an email interview in December 2007 with Rachel Cobcroft from Creative Commons Australia, she didn’t really understand it too much; however,
- ‘It looked like a good way to help protect my images and get credit for when people display my images on their site. I found out about CC in more detail on deviantART when I was a little more concerned about plagiarism because it is quite high on that site. I read up a little more about CC and decided to display the disclaimer on my blog as a preventative measure and a way to protect my creations. Creative Commons gives me the added assurance that I will be credited for my images, and it allows them to be displayed and used instead of just sitting in a file.’
The following are statistics Ali J gathered at the Unwrapped Designer Market on Mends St in South Perth on 16th March 2008:
- My average sale was $25-$30
- The average sale was 3 items
- Lowest sale was $2.50
- Highest sale was $107.50
- 20% of the traffic were repeat customers
- I have about 6 products that would be classed as my most popular items, although it really depends on the location where I sell my goods to which one would be ranked number one.
- The front of my stall was more popular then the side.
- The displays that gained the most attention were my framed badge/magnet stands and my bright red vintage suitcase.
- I had an average of 30 different products with most having a variety of 6-15 designs available. My cards had the most designs available with a total of 52 images to choose from.
- My lowest priced product was $2.50, my highest was $550 (original painting).
- It took about 3 hours before all my new business cards were gone. In another 2 hours I was close to being out of all my old business cards too. Most people took 2 or more cards.
- More business cards were taken then products purchased (close to 5 times more).
- The average customer was female aged between 8 - 45. Most shoppers were in units of 2-4 people
- Total sleep time taken in the week leading up to the market - 22 hours (6 hours of that was on the night before) which averages out to 2-3 hours a night.
- Total time my partner spent packaging up products in front of the cricket - 3 days
- Experience gained & enjoyment had = priceless
On 4 March 2008, Ali J employed the free web tracking software called StatCounter for her blog, which revealed that visitors came from 18 countries, as well as 105 from unspecified countries which she conjectures may be the moon!