Sunday, December 17, 2017

Change is in the Air

As we creep closer to the end of one year and contemplate the start of a brand new one, I find myself in a place of review and contemplation. 2017 seemed to be a year unlike any other and I still find myself dizzy with all the events that took place - both in real life and as reflected online.

Change for me is never easy. I find comfort in the familiar and the routine. But change is necessary for growth as an artist and a person. So changes are in the air. And since you have all been a part of my creative journey since it began, I wanted to share a small preview of what is to come and what is to go. It is truly a "one door closes another door opens" situation.

In no particular order...

My blog recently turned 10. I have posted over 1,850 posts. That averages out to about 1 post every 2 days. I know fewer people will be reading this post than posts past. The popularity of long form blogs has ebbed for many reasons, not the least of which is the rise of quick and easy social media platforms. This shift has had me contemplating and my blog may be will be morphing - both in terms of content and form. But it will not be going away. Stay tuned...

The longer I have been in the business of art, the less time I have had to actually make art. Ironic, right? Many of my colleagues who have spent years focused on teaching have now come to the conclusion that they want to cut back so they can return to their roots as a maker - rather than a teacher - of art. For me, I am still head-over-heels in love with teaching and travel and that part of my journey will continue. But, as a way to keep art-making a priority, I am planning on creating an annual art residency. In 2018, I will be spending 2 weeks as an artist-in-residence at The Mabel Dodge Luhan House in New Mexico. And I want you to "join me." Stay tuned...

These past few years I have spent more and more time on the design-side of my business. I now work with multiple creative companies, designing and producing art products. Truly a dream come true for me. Change is in the air in this regard as well. At the end of December, I will no longer be designing for Spellbinders. I started with the company as a blogger in 2012 and five years later it is time to move on. But I am excited to announce that I have connected with another company and will soon be releasing a completely-new-to-me product. Did I mention that I am excited? Stay tuned...

Some other changes are also in the works and will be shared as they occur. But one thing that will not be changing is my appreciation for all of you. Despite all the negativity that seems to have been a prominent part of the Internet in 2017, your support of my adventures in art has been unwavering.

Thank you!

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Make it Your Own: 20

For the last several years, I have begun to collaborate with a number of companies to develop a collection of products to be used by artists and crafters. It has been a fascinating process and one that has brought me much creative satisfaction. My lines now include stencils, stamps, dies, paints and more.

It has been important to me to create products that work together. So when you add to your collection with one of my new releases, you can actually use these new items seamlessly with your old. For example, my stamps and wood chips with PaperArtsy and many of my stamps from Impression Obsession are designed to be used with my stencils from StencilGirl Products which are sized to fit with my dies from Spellbinders. It is a recipe for creative success.

I just came across a post from Claudia Neubacher,  part of a blog hop for StencilGirl Products and Emerald Creek Craft Supplies, that I thought shared the perfect example of my theory in action. For that reason -- and simply because I loved it -- I wanted to share her creation, which perfectly combines my stencils, dies and stamps. Please show Claudia some love and visit her post to see a step-out tutorial on the making of this piece and even more pictures. And if you get there before 12/19, you can also join a giveaway!

Friday, December 15, 2017

#ARTifacts: November 2017

Artifacts (plural noun): objects made by a human being, typically an item of cultural or historical interest.

ARTifacts (plural noun): a collaborative project for 2017 documenting adventures in art.

Every year I have so many "art memories" from my travels, my teaching, my adventures in NYC, and my studio work. I have decided that 2017 will be the year of ARTifacts where I document my adventures in art for the entire year in a physical book. 

Always wanting to be inclusive, I turned my project into a no-rules collaboration. Participants were asked to find or make some sort of artist book, planner, scrapbook, 3-ring-binder, folder, or other container to document their creative experiences, whether they be in art, craft, or anything else.  As you can see below, each and every participant put their own creative twist on this project. 


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Emerald Creek + StencilGirl Hop and Giveaway

Every so often the stars collide and fireworks ensue. Today is one of those days. Two of my absolute favorite companies - StencilGirl Products and Emerald Creek Craft Supplies are combining forces to bring you a stellar blog hop and giveaway.  Twelve artists are participating and the event starts today (12/13) and runs through 12/15. Be sure to scroll down to the bottom of this post to see how you can enter the two giveaways and to find the links to all the participating artists.


Two of my favorite products to use are stencils and embossing powder. And I absolutely love using them together. My method...easy. 

Simply position the stencil on your surface, press a craft sponge into the surface of an embossing pad, and pounce the sponge through the opening in your stencil. Remove the stencil, tap off any excess powder and heat with a heat gun. Final the magic happen.

For this piece, I started with an 8x8 inch cradled wood panel and added layer after layer after layer of gesso, paint, collage and ink.

And of course, stencils and embossing powders. For the background, I used an embossing pad, a background stamp (Splattered from Impression Obsession), and two of my favorite flavors of embossing powder from Emerald Creek:

The main focal feature of this piece is a series of words.

To add the text detail, I once again used Emerald Creek Charred Gold Embossing Powder through a series of words (Discovery, Explore, Destiny) from two of my StencilGirl stencils: 

The piece was finished off using collage material, hand made marks, and some of my stamp sets from Impression Obsession (RPMs, Planetarium, Pathways).

If you are completely new to using embossing powders, check out my video tutorial from an episode of Make it Artsy. You may discover a new technique even if you are an embossing pro.



Be sure to visit all the participating artists 

December 13
Seth Apter (you are here)

December 14

December 15


Giveaway #1

I will be giving Discovery, the artwork in this post, to one lucky person. Simply leave a comment on this post by Tuesday, 12/19 at 11:59PM Central Time to be eligible. Make sure I have a way to reach you if the random number table picks your name. And yes...of course Internationals are eligible too.

Giveaway #2

One lucky winner will receive a $25 Gift Certificate to StencilGirl Products 
AND a $25 Gift Certificate to Emerald Creek! 
Enter to win by leaving a comment below.
Then be sure to visit the other blogs in the hop and comment to win.
The more blogs you comment on, the more chances you have to WIN!
One winner will be chosen at random from all blog comments!
(One comment per blog please.)
You have until Tuesday, December 19th at 11:59PM Central Time to leave your comments.
Winner will be announced on
StencilGirl's Facebook page on Wednesday, December 20th.

Have fun and good luck!

Saturday, December 9, 2017

It's Back...

Last month I partnered with both North Light Media and PaperArtsy to create a limited-edition Mixed-Media Technique Kit available exclusively at Artists Network.

The kit sold out but a limited number of new sets are again available for purchase. You can see how the kit inspired Jeannine Stein, Editor of Cloth Paper Scissors, here on the Cloth Paper Scissors blog.

The Mixed-Media Techniques Kit with Seth Apter includes my two newest DVDs, with over 4 hours of instruction: 10 Techniques for Mixed-Media Artists and 10 Techniques for Painting Layers in Mixed Media.

This kit also includes a mix -- exclusive to this collection - of 5 of my own paint colors from PaperArtsy that when used together create a surface of rust and patina. These paints are smooth chalk acrylics that quickly dry to a matt finish.

You also get a bonus downloadable video that where I demonstrate my techniques for making rust.

Also included in the kit is a set of 4 PaperArtsy stamps from my newest release. These cling stamps are made from deeply etched, red rubber, are highly detailed, and were designed by me based on elements found within my artwork.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Mail Call - new stamp set

Thrilled to have just released 2 new stamp sets with Impression Obsession

One of the sets is called Post Office. I designed this set of 5 mail art stamps after completing a year-long art collaboration with 3 other artists in 2017. In addition to our art, we decorated and embellished our envelopes as well. Finding a need for some grungy, mixed-media-style postal stamps, I designed this set.

One of the exiting things about designing your own products is the chance to create artwork using them when they first arrive from production. And what better thing to create with these stamps then some mail art.

All IO stamps are deeply-etched, cling-backed red rubber. Both of my new sets will be available soon at many online outlets and art/craft shops but can be ordered now the Impression Obsession website, or directly from my online shop