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March 2012

Flickr is a Tool for Kickstarter (is dead.)

Kickstarter is just like all the other social networking sites.
...each one has formatting tricks to learn. The HELP menu on Kickstarter is kind of confusing and not comprehensive.  It took me days to figure out how to add images to my "story". The secret was.....FLICKR in 2012. This had changed.

In the "story" option for your Kickstarter project, there is a place to insert an image, Update March 2022: Kickstarter now allows you to upload images directly to their site. You can learn more about this feature HERE.

 A lot of this post was deleted because time changes. The biggest problem these days is keeping up with current trends and technology.  

Doing a Kickstarter project the first time is a real challenge.  There is so much to learn to create a successful project but it seems there are people that do repeat Kickstarter projects (one person I found had founded 72 projects)! 

This post was updated on February 27 2023 

FACEBOOK Personal Profile goes Professional on KICKSTARTER

My experience using KICKSTARTER to finance a future video continues to be a revelation on many levels. The learning curve is demanding.

At the time that I wrote this post, one KICKSTARTER requirement is that you MUST link to your Facebook personal profile, not your business page. Yes, indeed, your Facebook Personal Profile is now professional as well. Keeping up with Internet technologies is always a challenge. 


This is what KICKSTARTER says:

"If you're a creator, it's a great way to let backers know a little bit more about you. It doesn't mean you have to accept random friend requests or make your entire profile public, but it's an easy way to show backers you're a real person. You can also adjust the privacy settings of your Facebook account to better control what new visitors see."

FACEBOOKprofileYour Facebook personal profile needs to be managed
as if you were cautioning your teenage son or daughter about what to post online. Everything seems to be moving to a level of transparency in the Internet community. Control of your privacy starts with what you post. And Facebook is never particularly private despite "privacy settings."

Recently, I heard that employers are asking for Facebook profile passwords. In other words, they want to "see all" about their prospective employees. While of course, you could say "no," if you wanted a job in this tough economy, wouldn't you say "yes?"

FacebookMy decision long ago was to keep my Facebook personal profile as a professional page. Everything posted on my Facebook is what I want everyone to see because privacy on the Internet is non-existent. 

Facebook is a great tool,      I participate on many platforms as a tool, but I make decisions about who to "friend."  I no longer accept anyone as a "friend" if they don't make art or craft or participate in the arts and crafts in some way. 


This post was updated on February 27, 2023 

How to Get An Article About Your Work!

Getting an article about your work in a local newspaper, magazine or book is always a bit of luck and a good measure of preparation. From what I've seen, it takes three things, 1) a good "story," 2) great images, and 3) a personal letter to a writer or editor.
Press releases won't get it.
While press releases may be handy dandy, and you think that you are doing something, in my experience they are close to worthless, i.e. "busy work."  Sorry to bust the myth, but I've never seen the payoff.  Sure, I dutifully send them out, but press releases always seem generic and boring . . . and I don't know who picks up on them.

What got my latest article was the one and only thing I believe in... a personal letter (or email) to a person.  Sometimes you are reaching out to find a contact person.  You may not know them, yet, or haven't talked to them in years, but yes, the personal touch is the "key".   Sometimes you have to begin by just picking a name out of the newspaper, magazine, or website and start a personal communication.

To get a story, look for a writer or editor:

  1. give them one or two short paragraphs about why this is a great "story";
  2. tell them who, what, when, and where;
  3. add a few great photos, but only 2-3 small jpgs (less than 2 MB max);

Never use bulk emails.  This is the worst possible solution for trying to capture a writer or editor's attention. If you can't write to them one on one, why would they give you an extra minute?

I'd like to hear if anyone has any experience that they can offer in this regard. How do you get articles?


The above image is from the Palo Alto Weekly March 23, 2012 edition about my show at the Anita Seipp Gallery, Castilleja School. The article writer is Karla Kane, Editor  Rebecca Wallace, and the photographer is Veronica Weber. Download PaloAltoWeekly3.23.12PDF

This post was updated on March 12, 2022.

Reevaluating Life - Get $h!+ Done

Pencil Master My March 2012 experiment with Kickstarter was a real awakening, a roller coaster ride on the learning curves of two new worlds -- entering an unfamiliar social networking domain of the internet's long tail, and the world of documentary video production.

Harriete laughing at Reception3.22.124x6.72Combined with the unfolding exhibition of Pick Up Your Pencils, Begin, these events and revelations have caught me up in a whirlwind of thoughts and impressions.  After a 4+ year odyssey of fabrication, I am reflecting on a post from Chase Jarvis titled "Hit List: 13 Things Crucial For Your Success [In Any Field]".  I recommend reading every word.

Chase's #1 tip is "Get Shit Done".

For four years, I felt like I was limping along on the pencils. I couldn't work on it every day.  Shows came up that needed new works to be made.  Making work to sell gets in the way. Life gets in the way.  But I'd force myself to work on it every chance I could.

Interesting pencilsAnd I would torture myself as well.  Making a sculpture 28 feet wide and 15 feet tall from pencils is ridiculous! How will it look? Will it hang as planned? Will it ever get done? A combination of the simplest of art media - a pencil, a little thoughtful engineering, and tedious hours of assembly.  But the vision of a hand-crafted work to carry a message that the arts have a value and place in education AND that standardized testing has become overemphasized in education kept me going.

I naively started the Kickstarter project and already learned an enormous amount.  Each media and every social network has its own learning does Kickstarter. Reading the HELP menu doesn't adequately prepare you for what it takes to run a successful project on Kickstarter.

Harriete BEHIND installation3.22.124x6.72

Before you start a Kickstarter project be prepared with a lot of research, in advance. During the project, it requires a huge investment in developing momentum and visibility.

PS.  I hired a video editor yesterday! More information about making a documentary video in another post. 

This post was updated on March 12, 2022.

Posted Job Opening - What a Successful Response looks like!

Interviewing for a video editor position
has been an eye-opening experience. Looking at 20+ resumes in less than 24 hours from one job posting has given me a real insight into a successful reply for an opportunity.

PENCILbikeCoasterRED_72vertical.greenAfter an afternoon of interviewing editors for a "phase one" video, these are my observations for what a great reply looks like (perhaps for any opportunity).

1. Personalize the reply. Briefly make a case about why you want to work on the job, be in the show, or why this opportunity resonates with you.

2. Describe the job skills you have that fit the job.

3. Respond immediately. Don't wait. There may be so many other applicants for the opportunity that the requestor may stop looking.

4. If a phone number is included in the opportunity, call immediately.

5. If the email is included, email immediately.

6. If the phone and email are included, do both. It shows you are really interested.

7. Include links to previous projects, artwork, or other information that is relevant. An online presence including a website is essential. Include multiple links if you want, but if you don't include this information right from the beginning your introduction seems incomplete.

8. Include your resume either in the email or as an attachment (even if they didn't ask for it).

9. Include your email address and phone number in the body or signature of the email. Yes, I know the email is at the top, but if a person is overwhelmed by the responses, it is very hard to keep track of everything. By including your email and phone number, it will be easy to contact you during the decision-making process.

P.S. This is a super amazing antique pencil I found. The top has an enamel clip that says," Use the Atherton Coaster Brake for Bicycles." Pencils have a lot to say.

This post was updated on March 12, 2022.

The Amazing Search for an Editor

Camera7745In the process of producing a video, I have to hire a lot of help.  A $5,000 grant from the Applied Materials Foundation through the Arts Council of Silicon Valley AMAT_Foundation_Logo_v3s certainly helped to pay for superb talent to videotape and produce a video of the Pencil Symposium. To satisfy the grant requirements, this segment must be completed by April 30. Yikes.

Pick Up Your Pencils, Begin close up image So this morning I placed a job offering online with BAVC.   I had no idea what to expect. I wanted to find an editor who is willing to work within the budget and continue working with me later on a more in-depth video.

AlarmclockgreenWOW!  Within a couple of hours, the response was overwhelming as a dozen people responded -- with some truly amazing candidates. The upside: lots of options for selecting an editor. The downside is more than seven hours spent on interviews and watching online videos.

Professional editors want to work on this project. Each of these editors had a commercial or corporate rate, but they are interested in working with artists on a creative project.
Even experienced editors
will charge less to share in the video objectives supporting the messages in  Pick Up Your Pencils, Begin.  This is something to consider if you ever want to produce a video.

NebulaI am going to share an amazing video "Creating the Nebula". The video is on the Wired website. CLICK on the previous link and watch it. You won't believe this kinetic sculpture in the Hilton Anatole hotel lobby in Dallas, Texas.  Edited by Michael Lennon.  He edited this video (with two other editors) from 1,000 hours of footage. The video reveals the design and fabrication process. He is one of four top candidates.


This post was updated on March 11, 2022, to provide current links.

Wearing Rhinoceros Hide is the New Black

If you read the previous post on ASK Harriete, you know that I was working on making a video titled, Pencils Make a Point.

Camera man  David L. Brown and sound guy Stephen Longstreth  working  on technical difficultiesA KICKSTARTER project was launched to raise the $10,000 needed to cover the video production expenses. I already had 10 hours of raw video footage, and only need 5 hours more, to prepare for the editing, color correction, custom music, and seemingly endless other technical details.  Making a video is a gigantic amount of work and a whole new skill set.

Rhinoceros--ceratotherium-simumThis KICKSTARTER project is very scary.
  All or nothing is the structure on KICKSTARTER. If the funding goal is not reached no money changes hands and the pledges are never called.  I need some thick Rhino skin to withstand the tension.

25 days left to raise the money for the video!  In the meantime, each day (if I can) I will share professional obstacles, issues, and observations about 1) producing a video and 2) working with KICKSTARTER.

Recommendation to All Artists and Makers:
KICKSTARTER is not for the thin-skinned or faint of heart. Wearing rhinoceros hide is definitely the new black!


This post was updated on  February 27, 2023

Art, Pencils, Education from Harriete Estel Berman

Pick Up Your Pencils, Begin installed at Anita Seipp Gallery
Castilleja School, Palo Alto, CA

Four years of effort and thousands of pencils from all over the world are now threaded together in this installation highlighting the impact of standardized testing on our educational system.

The public reception was Thursday, March 22
, at the Anita Seipp Gallery in Palo Alto, CA.

IMG_7747A documentary video in progress will include commentary from students and teachers about how standardized tests are affecting our education system at the expense of the arts, creativity, problem-solving, and critical thinking. Video clips of the fabrication and installation of the sculpture offer viewers deeper insight into the creative process.

Pencil Symposium Students Waiting for the video taping of the discussionWaitingThanks to a $5,000 grant awarded by the Applied Materials Foundation through the Arts Council of Silicon Valley, a Pencil Symposium was filmed on March 15th at Castilleja School. Prompted by the sculpture, students from four local public and private high schools joined in a discussion about the impact of standardized testing on their education. See their responses here.


This post was updated on February 27, 2023


This post was updated on March 11, 2022.

What Will Happen Depends on You

My KICKSTARTER Project is LIVE and your help can make a difference!!!

Yes, your help can advocate for arts in education at any time.

This KICKSTARTER project was perhaps the most uncertain thing that I have ever done, but crowdsource funding is dependent on everyone helping a little to bring a big project to fruition. In this case, I was asking the arts community to support the making of a video.


The video Pencils Make a Point is about the impact of standardized testing on education and raises a voice for the arts in education.

Every contribution to this KICKSTARTER project will receive a reward. There were 11 different REWARDS for various levels from $10 to $2,500.

The goal was to raise $10,000 to cover the production of the 8-10 minute video. 

Envelope1920I also created more personal Rewards for larger contributions.  Descriptions of the rewards are also on KICKSTARTER.

If the $10,000 goal is not achieved on KICKSTARTER, no one is charged for their contribution. I also don't get any of the money. Poof! The project disappears. There were 26 days to bring this project to the goal.

_MG_7078improvedDuring the 30 day campaign on KICKSTARTER, I learned more through the experience of making a documentary video, working with online sites, and tips you can use yourself in professional development for your own work.

All of the donations go to funding the expenses. Producing a professional quality video such as camera operators, audio recording, video footage, editing, and music. Video is a very expensive medium usually costing $3,000 to $5,000 per minute. It is a team effort. No wonder Hollywood budgets are so huge!.

If you are interested in more information about the four-year project in creating the installation Pick Up Your Pencils, Begin, the documentation is available on my website.
We're getting great support!!!!!!!!!.......

AMAT_Foundation_Logo_v3sSo far the project has had great success with a two-page article in American Craft and a grant for $5,000 from Applied Materials Foundation for the Arts Council of Silicon Valley. (More information about this in another post.)

Please become part of the success with your donation.

For twelve years I have shared my "lessons learned through experience" in the Professional Guidelines, the Professional Development Seminar, and ASK Harriete. My goal is to help others succeed in their professional careers bringing their work to a larger audience.

Can I ask for your help to give a voice to arts in education?



This post was update February 27, 2023 

Art Documentaries Beyond Average, Be Inspired

I'm documenting a major new work using video . . . and hope to complete the making of a short video documentary during the coming year.  More on this later.

I am also taking a class on making Documentary Videos.  My mid-term exam is tomorrow. 

With full submersion into documentary video, I have watched quite a variety recently, and have gained new insight into the difficulty and demands of this medium.

Here are two suggestions for inspiring and insightful videos about the arts.

This film may still be at your local art-house film theater as it was nominated for an Academy Award. See it on the big screen in 3D. Go to be inspired by one person's vision of artistic expression captured in an extraordinary dance documentary directed by Wim Wenders. If you love modern dance, you'll like it even more. Be prepared for seeing something you have never seen before far beyond average or predictable.   I could watch this film again years later. It is one of the most memorable documentaries I have every watched.   

HERBdOROTHYHerb and Dorothy
This unassuming film proves you don't have to have big bucks to support the arts. A postal clerk and a librarian, devoted to the arts and to one another, acquire art from emerging artists before they become famous.  Piece by piece, year after year, they assemble a world-class contemporary art collection that overflows their small rent-controlled apartment.  Eventually, the collection outgrows their modest home, and they share their collection across America. They gave their collection away even though it was worth millions because the value of their art collection was not about money. They did not want to sell their soul.

Much to my surprise, the film was funded through KICKSTARTER. Kickstarter-logo-light

Both of these films show that art can be about inspiration, insight, sincerity, and soul.


This post was updated on February 27,2023 to provide current links.

Are you steering without a compass? Failure is an inevitable cul-de-sac on the road to success.

Compass I used to watch Charlie Rose every day (or at least every day if I could). Charlie Rose offered no-nonsense interviews with the world's leaders in every walk of life or occupation from science, politics, actors, writers, politicians, directors, producers, and entrepreneurs.  (It was devastating to me that his imprudent, and inappropriate behavior brought down a man with so much potential.) 

I often find listening to interviews inspiring. These are the smartest, hardest working, and usually, most articulate people in the world who are able to bring ideas and introspection to the plain wooden table of Charlie Rose (or other articulate interviews.) 

In this post, I want to share a couple of thoughts that may be helpful to artists and makers. Of course, these quotes weren't really about art or art careers. I have taken their words completely out of context, but their words of wisdom warrant being heard. In fact, I think they should be our mantra.

CharlesSchulzThe first quote is from an interview with  George Shultz, Former US Secretary of State from Monday, January 24, 2011. I have been savoring this for years now. He said, "If you don't have ideas, you don't have a compass." This opinion works for both our artwork and for our careers. If we don't have a compass we don't know what direction we are going. It is very easy to get lost. We need a plan. We need a one-year goal and a five-year goal.

CharlieRosePeterGuberContinuing with inspiring thoughts from Peter Gruber on Charlie Rose - March 14, 2011
  "Failure is an inevitable cul-de-sac on the road to success." 

"So the idea is you learn from it.  You don’t want to make the same mistake twice.  You want to be able to grow.  You want to be able to recognize that most of the stuff, the fear that you express is really false evidence appearing real.  It’s not, you know, it’s not always going to happen." 

COMPASSdrawing "So if you become, not immune to the failure, but you recognize that failure is a part of the process, when you take really good creative chances, when you really take good business chances, you will have failures.  And the idea is you learn from them and move on.  If they own you, if you surrender to them, then the pain is unbearable.  If you haven’t failed, you haven’t lived life to the fullest."  

If you aren't making mistakes, you aren't pushing yourself into new territory.

Compass3draw PETER GUBER continues: "And you know, I think the idea is that failure and success are this close together, Charlie.  Inside every failure are the seeds to great success, and in every great success are the opportunities for failure."

Harriete Estel Berman working on the pencils Whenever I am working on a new project, I think "failure and success" are very close together. Only hard work, skill, perseverance, intuition, and insight help you find your compass. Experience has taught me not to give up.

Working on the pencil project Pick Up Your Pencils, Begin was discouragingly slow. I worked on it for four years. Talk about scary! It's finally done and the work is being exhibited for the first time. The next phase to make a video is going forward.  

So keep working...every day with a plan. And work on your compass.


This post was updated on February 27, 2023 to provide current links.



Pick Up Your Pencils, Begin
15' height x 28' wide, as thick as one pencil

The Scarlet Letter P for Pinterest


The scarlet letter of the 21st century is the "P" for Pinterest.

Pinterest and everyone who uses Pinterest should read the posts below and consider the consequences of their actions. Yes, Pinterest, I changed your copyrighted image.

Post this image on your Pinterest Boards.
Demonstrate that you honor other artists and makers by:
1. Asking permission before posting copyrighted work.
2. Include a complete description of their work including the artist's name, and photo credit, (if appropriate.)
3. Pin and link from a reliable source such as the artist's website or blog rather than Google search results.
4. Become part of the solution to the problems of Pinterest.


This post was updated on March 11, 2022.

An Opinion about Pinterest - "What’s Yours Is Mine"?

Much discussion is going on about Pinterest in 2012. I think the issues still exist on Pinterest and all social media sites. The opinions are widely mixed. While Pinterest is a delightfully engaging website, I am very concerned about a number of surrounding issues. These include but are not limited to:

  • The fine print on indemnity under Terms of Use regarding copyright and permission to post images;
  • The apparent disregard by pinners in failing to include the artist's name, complete description, photo credit, and most importantly, a link to the original source.
  • Persistently closed eyes for "ownership" of the images, and more.

My practical advice is highlighted in beige (below). IF you want more background about the Pinterest controversy, keep reading.

I think everyone should consider an account with our without pinning. Do not delete your account.
Advice from Tom McCarthy on Crafthaus is well reasoned. He says: "I made a mistake when I deleted my Pinterest account.  I will be rejoining.  Not to re-establish my boards, I still don't want to pin.  But having an account will allow me to correct any misinformation on pins of my work to a limited extent.  Without an account, I can view the activity but not comment on it.  I'm not advocating hiding from the issue in my studio.  I just don't want to invest my time in their game.  Member complaints will probably also mean more to Pinterest than "outside agitators."

Here is a brief summary of the issues with Pinterest.
With Pinterest,
anyone can copy, pin, repin, anyone’s images without skill, without the title of the work nor artist's name, no description, and sometimes without a link back to the original source. It is soooo easy.

While posting images was possible before on other social networking sites, it was not the primary activity. The difference is that the "pinners" now have a highly visible place to put the "pinned" images on their PinBoard.

Pinners feel that their pinboards are an act of creativity, organization, or identity for the pinner. The images are a reflection of their tastes. The pinner is now a “collector.” A collector of images, but a collector all the same. They can create an identity for themselves online through other people’s creativity, design, or artistic expression.

While most of the pinned images in the past were consumer items and recipes, the dynamic of posting images of photography, art, and craft is growing quickly as artists and makers seek visibility and links to their website or Etsy shop.

There is a discussion on Facebook Critical Craft Forum with over 59 comments. Read it and see what you think! It started with a link to a post by 2Roses on Crafthaus titled, Standing at the crossroads of 'What’s yours is mine'.

John Roses says:
Data – your data – is the currency of the 21st century. Billions of dollars are spent collecting it, and multi-billions are made selling it.  Who controls information about you, and who can profit from it is the new Wild West. This also has far-reaching ramifications for artists and makers, specifically on the issue of control and right to compensation for the use of images of your work.

There has been a lot of talk about Pinterest of late. It is the newest shiny bauble on the social networking scene. Artists (some, anyway) love Pinterest because it seems to shower free attention on a lucky maker. We love free and we love attention. But nothing is really free and some of the more astute makers are already saying “Wait a minute… what’s that tucked down there in all that legal terms and conditions."

I recommend that you read the entire article.

Harriete continues with her concerns...

The Terms of Use on Pinterest are very confusing. 

I am looking for practical solutions for artists and makers. Here are two issues that need to be addressed by Pinterest.

Above is an image of Pin Etiquette #2 and #3

Pin Etiquette #2 says:
"Credit Your Sources
Pins are the most useful when they have links back to the original source. If you notice that a pin is not sourced correctly, leave a comment so the original pinner can update the source. Finding the original source is always preferable to a secondary source such as Google Image Search or a blog entry."

Right now the Pinterest Pinboards are sloppy at best. It is objectionable that many images are not linked back to the original source, but go to an empty Google search page.

Pin Etiquette #3 says:
"Avoid Self Promotion

Pinterest is designed to curate and share things you love. If there is a photo or project you’re proud of, pin away! However, try not to use Pinterest purely as a tool for self-promotion."

The reality is that the makers of art or craft or photos own the images.  So either I break the law through copyright infringement when I post other people's art or craft (read the Pinterest Copyright & Terms of Use), or I need to ask permission for every image posted (recommended), or I break the Pinterest code of etiquette and only post my own work. 

Etiquette only amounts to standards or protocols established by your community. Manners and etiquette are established and generally followed, or the person is ostracized by the community.

Pinterest should find a way to enforce compliance through their website or rewrite their Copyright Terms of Use (in plain English) so every user understands the implication of their actions.

Have you pinned other artists or makers without complete information?
Did you ask if you could pin their work?
Did you take the image from the original source or a Google search?

Are you part of the problem or the solution to better practices on Pinterest?


How about this for a pin?

This post was updated on March 11, 2022.

Pinterest Hot Topics & Copyright Infringement

One of the problems with Pinterest is that people look around the Internet to find images for posting on their pinboards. These "pick up and post" images are not unique to Pinterest.  There are plenty of blogs that look for images to post with content. Beware!  Here is a Legal Lesson Learned: Copywriter Pays $4,000 for $10 Photo.

Think about the ramifications .... lots to discuss and consider though the unique aspect of this article was that the photo was officially copyrighted. Not everyone is applying for copyright on every image. (While everyone has copyright for their work, you can't take your case to court without registered copyright.)

I find the concern about posting images that you don't own a serious issue.

Here is another article from the Business Insider: A Lawyer Who Is Also A Photographer Just Deleted All Her Pinterest Boards Out Of Fear.

On the one hand, asking permission for posting images is a good idea, but, on the other hand, it is a real pain. Imagine the time needed to find the email of each artist, compose an email to ask permission before posting, and wait for a response.

What should I do? At fist, Pinterest seemed like fun. That was a week ago when I experimented for the day. Since last Friday, I am seriously reconsidering the whole premise.

You acknowledge and agree that you are solely responsible for all Member Content that you make available through the Site, Application, and Services. Accordingly, you represent and warrant that: (i) you either are the sole and exclusive owner of all Member Content that you make available through the Site, Application, and Services or you have all rights, licenses, consents, and releases that are necessary to grant to Cold Brew Labs the rights in such Member Content, as contemplated under these Terms; and (ii) neither the Member Content nor your posting, uploading, publication, submission or transmittal of the Member Content or Cold Brew Labs’ use of the Member Content (or any portion thereof) on, through or by means of the Site, Application, and the Services will infringe, misappropriate or violate a third party’s patent, copyright, trademark, trade secret, moral rights or other proprietary or intellectual property rights, or rights of publicity or privacy, or result in the violation of any applicable law or regulation.

The relevant issue here is that I AM NOT the sole and exclusive owner of images I "pick up and post". I can not guarantee that the images I post will not "infringe, misappropriate or violate a third party’s patent, copyright,..".

The other day, I removed images that I had posted on Pinterest. Why? I realized that I didn't own the images and hadn't asked permission from the photographer. With some effort, I found the photographer and his response was that I needed permission from Getty Images. My next step was removing the images. 

I don't have any answers right now, but I do think this is the moment to "pause, and reconsider" all future actions regarding Pinterest.


This post was updated on March 11, 2022.