Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Finding Art Everywhere: Yusuf Abdul Lateef


 

Whether he’s creating a 6-inch digital painting or a mural on the side of a building, Yusuf Lateef elevates everyday objects to art.
“Part of my challenge is how to find art in the mundane,” he said. “How can I find moments of clarity while painting a wall or hanging drywall?”
 
His work, displayed at YusufLateef.com, shows the fruits of that challenge. A surrealist elephant, the overlapping faces of George Washington and Frederick Douglass, and digital edits of paintings by other artists stand alongside abstract shapes and play on faces and forms. It’s a collection he’ll share at American Frame’s showroom and gallery February 5-28.
 
“I’m inspired by something every day,” Lateef, 40, said. “It could be something as simple as a conversation or a billboard I’m passing.”
 
Originally from Skokie, Illinois, Lateef has been creating art as long as he can remember. He saw it as a possible career path during middle school. After earning a BFA in painting and drawing from the Columbus College of Art and Design, he moved to Toledo, where he teaches Fundamentals of Art Studio Technology at the University of Toledo.
 
“It provides a space for students from any major to learn the importance of tools, the body in relation to tools, and being comfortable with learning new skill sets,” he said of the course. “I’m of the belief that art is the practice of mastery, no matter the material.”
 
And Lateef has put that belief in motion, creating art in a variety of mediums, including more than 16 murals throughout the Toledo area. One, at the corner of Detroit and Dorr streets, was sponsored by Junction Neighborhood, Art Corner Toledo and United Way as part of a multi-mural project by various area artists.

“Murals are a symbolic way to express the beauty that can sometimes be hidden within a neighborhood,” he said. “My hope is that murals inspire others to act and activate the spaces that they inhabit.”

And soon, his art may be somewhere else - on his fans’ backs. He’s working with artists Chris and Elliott Rogers to produce a line of jackets and other clothing items that feature his paintings.

The way to really ‘see’ art is to live with it,” Lateef said. “I want to encourage folks to buy the work and take it home so that they can be a part of it.”
Lateef said he loves working with American Frame because of our customer service and focus on DIY framing.
“They seem like a family over there,” he said. “They’re super helpful and what I especially like is their willingness to show you how to do things on your own.”

 
He’s also passionate about Radiant City, a creative collective and consulting group he co-founded with musician Ben Cohen and poet Akili Jackson. Radiant City uses visual art, music, and spoken word poetry to encourage leadership and positive communication skills in youth. The group has launched projects at Toledo School for the Arts, the Toledo Arts Commission’s Young Artists at Work program, The Toledo Museum of Art and Toledo Public Schools, as well as juvenile detention centers in Michigan.
“Life is tough,” Lateef said. “So, if we can provide symbolic and real, tangible legacies, then maybe our work can have a lasting, positive effect.”

With Radiant City, Lateef just finished a project with Fremont High School, where he helped students write and record a song over three days. The piece, “The Hope We Need,” details the students’ vision for their community. Listen to it on YouTube.
Learn more about Radiant City at RadiantCityArts.org.


Laura Jajko
Laura Jajko is President of American Frame and a longtime contributor to "A Good Frame of Mind." Here, she delights in bonding with others over her love of art and framing. With more than 40 years of practical experience, she brings a unique perspective in a straightforward style that she hopes will spark lots of interesting and relevant dialogue in our online community. Connect with Laura directly here on the blog or follow her on Twitter @LauraJajko.


Wednesday, January 24, 2018

2017 Employee Exhibition




American Frame doesn’t only frame, print, and care for your artwork every day, we also have countless artists that work here. For the last two years, American Frame has hosted an Employee Art Exhibition and the artwork has been incredible. The exhibit serves as an annual highlight of our talented and creative staff. The diverse creativity of the American Frame staff is represented by a variety of mediums including painting, sculpture, drawing, fiber arts, photography and multimedia works.

For the 2nd year in a row, Katie Stacy won “Best of Show”. This year, her piece 'Rhinoceros with Oxpeckers' took the top prize.
 
Ramon Keys took home Second Place with with 'I Am A Man'


Third Place was a tie between Jamie Kizer with 'Pestilence'
and Jeremy Walbridge’s 'Untitled'.

 
 
 
 

The 2018 Employee Exhibition will be held in October at our showroom in Maumee, Ohio.




Blog contributor Ramon Keys is the Digital & Social Media Supervisor at American Frame. When he's not designing or posting and sharing, he enjoys drawing, sports, spending time with his family and Reese's Cups. His favorite frame package is the 203235 with a cream mat.







Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Understanding Stock Status Terms


 
At American Frame, we focus on fulfilling your orders quickly. In fact, when it comes to quick turnaround times, we’re the industry leader. And we were the first custom frame provider to ship orders in two business days, even offering SameDayService™ upon request and through our showroom. 
 
If you’re on a tight deadline, it’s important to understand stock status and lead times when you place your order. That’s why we clearly identify the real-time stock status of an item before you purchase it. No other online custom frame retailer does that. We value transparency.

Here are the terms we use and what they mean.

In-Stock: Items described as “in-stock” are available in significant quantities, based on sales performance of the item. Sales of nearly any quantity can be fulfilled quickly, so order as many as you’d like.

Low Stock: That term describes items that have a reduced stock quantity, based on historical sale performance. We can immediately fulfill small orders. Not sure if we have enough? Ask our customer service team. We’ll give you an estimated date for completing your full order. If we can’t fulfill your order by your deadline, we'll be happy to suggest an alternate frame.
Out-of-Stock : If you see that phrase next to a frame on our website, it means we’re completely out of the item. When possible, we’ll provide an estimated time frame when it'll be available. If your frame is out of stock, give us a call. We’ll help you find another frame that will meet your needs.
Have more questions about stock status? Please contact us.
 

Laura Jajko
Laura Jajko is President of American Frame and a longtime contributor to "A Good Frame of Mind." Here, she delights in bonding with others over her love of art and framing. With more than 40 years of practical experience, she brings a unique perspective in a straightforward style that she hopes will spark lots of interesting and relevant dialogue in our online community. Connect with Laura directly here on the blog or follow her on Twitter @LauraJajko.




 


Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Level-Up Your Holiday Photos


If you’re a photographer, you probably take plenty of pictures at holiday events.

 
But how many of them do you frame?
Odds are, not many. According to a 2015 survey by the Professional Photographers of America, 67% of people never print their photos, opting instead to store them only on cell phones, computers, and other digital devices.

That choice, of course, leaves your work vulnerable. If your computer or phone crashes, or you lose your thumb drive, your precious images could be gone forever.
And even if you never experience a digital malfunction, you’re still missing something: the joy of reliving your favorite memories every time you see your photographs complemented by a beautiful custom frame.

Don’t settle for hiding your holiday images in a desktop folder. Select the right photo frames and accessories and give them as gifts or display them in your home or office.
Here are a few tips:

Choose Candid Shots
You may already have plenty of framed photos of your family posing at various events. But what about a shot of your mom teaching her granddaughter how to make her famous holiday pie? Or your uncle’s smile while opening a gift he’s always wanted? When framing, choose unique images that tell a story about the people featured in them.

Try a Different Angle
Changing your perspective can make the same old shots interesting again. Zoom in on your child as she sees Santa for the first time. Shoot over your nephew’s shoulder when he walks through the door after a long deployment in order to capture the surprise on everyone’s faces. Those shots will convey emotions you can’t capture as well in a wider shot.

Use the Right Paper

 
At American Frame, printing and framing your photos is easy enough for the novice photographer and precise enough for the professional. Select one of our museum-quality papers and design your own custom frame treatment to accompany it. We even offer proofing if you’d like to see your photo on the paper before it’s framed. For more information, see our printing FAQs.

Add Interesting Frames
 
The right frame can elevate your image into a heartfelt gift or a beautiful addition to your d├ęcor. And our website makes it easy to select that frame. Our easy design workflow pairs a default frame and mat with your image and then lets you customize your treatment, previewing your photo with any of our frames and accessories to design just the look you imagined.

Need more help framing your photos? Contact us.
 
Laura Jajko
Laura Jajko is President of American Frame and a longtime contributor to "A Good Frame of Mind." Here, she delights in bonding with others over her love of art and framing. With more than 40 years of practical experience, she brings a unique perspective in a straightforward style that she hopes will spark lots of interesting and relevant dialogue in our online community. Connect with Laura directly here on the blog or follow her on Twitter @LauraJajko.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Thanks for a great year


“Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing” –Theodore Roosevelt

 
In this season of gratitude, we sincerely thank you for letting our handiwork be the means by which you feature, adorn, protect and share your art. This is our passion, and truly work worth doing.

 
Happy Holidays, from our families to yours.

The American Frame Team

 
 
 
 
 
Laura JajkoLaura Jajko is President of American Frame and a longtime contributor to "A Good Frame of Mind." Here, she delights in bonding with others over her love of art and framing. With more than 40 years of practical experience, she brings a unique perspective in a straightforward style that she hopes will spark lots of interesting and relevant dialogue in our online community. Connect with Laura directly here on the blog or follow her on Twitter @LauraJajko.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Crowd Funded Art



You’ve fallen in love - with a piece of art.
The painting is perfect in every way. You find yourself dreaming about it. It’s one-of-a-kind, and you’re confident you’ll never see anything like it again. 
The artwork is in a gallery, so you visit it whenever you can, hoping that no one else desires it as much as you do. You can picture it in your home. In fact, you’ve already chosen a spot for it. You know this painting would bring you joy every day, for the rest of your life.
The only problem is the price. Oh, it’s definitely worth every penny the gallery is asking. You just don’t have quite enough of those pennies right now.
But, where there’s a will, there’s a way. 
It’s the holiday season, so be bold! Tell your spouse, your siblings, your parents and your kids that you would LOVE that painting.
And if you and your friends normally exchange gifts, ask them to contribute to your painting fund instead.
Split several ways, the price per person might be much more palatable for everyone.
When giving a gift, the giver wants to know that it makes the recipient happy. So, with the singular goal of making that painting your own, let those who love you know that this piece has captured your heart, and that, if they join together to buy it for you, you’ll be filled with gratitude for their generosity.
Years from now, their normal gift of a Christmas sweater will be deep within a landfill, but that painting will still be feeding your soul.
So, do what it takes to make your dream come true.
At American Frame, we have a lovely gallery space. The exhibits change every month, so we give you the opportunity to see a lot of artwork throughout the year. Our most recent exhibit featured the art of Tim Gagnon, a Maine native whose paintings are stunning.


A particular piece caught the eye of one of our customers. Everything about it was perfect, except the price. So, she did what anyone in love would do: she found a way to make it work. She talked with her husband and mother and her son and convinced them that the painting would bring her joy for years to come. Her family understood, and they’re gifting her with the painting this Christmas.
It’ll be a very special day for her. One of many to come.



 
 
 
Blog contributor Christine Steven works in the Showroom at American Frame. When she's not framing art, she enjoys traveling, shopping, and playing board games. Her favorite frame package is the L989 with a nice 6 ply mat.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

These are a few of our favorite frames.


Browse Our Staff’s Favorite Frames
 

We love art and the people who create it. And we're proud that many artists work at American Frame. Each has a favorite frame and a specific way they use it to complement their work. 

Name: Rebecca Johnson
Position: Cutting Room Production
Your favorite frame: #8411
Why you love it: It’s nice to look at, simple to work with, and matches my artwork easily.
How you’ve used it: Wedding invitations and family photos.

Name: Heather McAllister
Position: Cutting Room Supervisor
Your favorite frame: #AF104
Why you love it: Its shape and
clean lines go with everything. I've framed awards, family photos and wedding invitations with it. It’s like a nice pair of jeans; you can dress it down or dress it up.
 

Name: Jamie Carlin
Position: Customer Service
Your favorite frame: #206 natural
Why you love it: It’s subtle and made from a solid American hardwood.
How you’ve used it: For all of my own artwork. It has a great gallery look that isn’t distracting to the work, but holds itself up well.
 

Name: Nancy Frey
Position: Production Manager
Your favorite frame: #80033
Why you love it: It goes with so many pieces of art. The size doesn’t overpower the art, but enhances it. The design is gentle and pleasing. I love the very slight hint of purple/red accent on some of the texture.
How you’ve used it: To frame wedding pictures and invitations.
 
Name: Janine Renard
Position: Commercial Framing Department (Dry-Mounter)
Your favorite
frame: #51407
Why you love it: Sometimes you just need some depth to make your art pop. I also like the texture.
How you’ve used it: With nature photos.
 
 
 
Name: Christine Steven
Position: Showroom Attendant
Your favorite frame: #206
Why you love it: It makes
artwork look modern. I like the clean lines and neutral finish.
How you’ve used it: To update an antique map.
 
Name: Chris Brown
Position: Commercial Department Assistant Manager
Your favorite frame: #79613
Why you love it: It’s silvery and elegant, with just the right amount of distressed detailing. I also like its versatility.

How you’ve used it: With dark mats and black and white photographs.
 
Name: Ramon Keys
Position: Showroom Attendant, Social Media, Marketing Assistant
Your favorite frame: Tarnished Pewter Wood Frame #332902
Why you love it: It’s a surprisingly versatile frame. It has an industrial texture that works well with a lot of art.
How you’ve used it: On floated Degas drawings.
 
 
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