Pop Art Artists: Corporate Sell-Outs Or Smart Cookies

Everyone has an opinion in the art world. In fact, most people have many, many different opinions. This is one of the many beautiful things about the art community. There is a common term, “starving artist,” that is often applied to painters, writers, musicians and other artists because art is not supposed to be about making money, it is about the work an artist produced, their connection to it and the passion behind it. Money is actually even looked down upon in the art world as it is almost a mark of honor to “slum it” all in the name of one’s art. Is this really logical though? If a typical starving artist was offered $5 million dollars for one painting, would they turn it down on principle? Maybe. But they certainly could do a lot of good in the art community with that money, so it’s hard to really call them a sellout until they actually do something negative with that cash.So where should the line be drawn? When does a starving artist morph into a corporate sellout? The moment they sell their artwork to support themselves and their family? Or when their artwork ends up on a T-shirt? (Just for the record, The Mona Lisa has been known to show her face on more than a few tangible commodities.) Let’s explore some of the different angles.Modest Selling, Just to Get BySome artists will attend art walks, set up shop on street corners, and even show off their work in parks to give the public a chance to purchase it. Their pricing is modest for the most part, just desiring to find someone who will truly appreciate it, and keep their head above financial waters in the process. Although these artists are still selling their work, this way of profiting from art is typically not frowned upon by the art community as much as other forms of selling. After all, everyone needs to make a living.The Michelangelo ArgumentFamed Renaissance artist Michelangelo is one of the most highly regarded artists of all time. However, he was also one of the first artist sellouts. The reasoning behind this is because his main claim to fame was the ceiling at the Sistine Chapel, but he actually hated painting. Michelangelo’s real passion was in sculpture. He not only hated painting, but was also said to have felt that it was an inferior art form. However, during that time, there were very few jobs for sculptors or painters and needing to be realistic, he took the job and painted what is regarded as one of the most beautiful pieces of art in existence. Now, taking into account how loved and well-regarded Michelangelo is even to this day, how could being a sellout really make sense in his case? And for that matter, any artist who does that could be the next Michelangelo, so why be so quick to judge and brand an artist a sellout?Placing Artwork on CommoditiesThis is the most heated argument. Is an artist a sellout for selling their artwork on t-shirts, coffee cups or mouse pads? There are good points on both sides. Some feel that by creating these types of novelties with a carbon copy of their artwork they are cheapening the original piece. There is also the argument that by mass-producing the piece through the use of machines, the new versions do not have the artist’s touch and are not true pieces of art. However, on the other side of the coin, sometimes selling art in this fashion is a statement as part of an art movement. Such is the case with Pop art. Pop art takes found objects, advertisements, candy wrappers, comic strips and other items to create new pieces of art. It is a form of art meant to shed light on mass consumerism. By printing Pop art on novelties like cups, pens, magnets, notebooks and key chains it creates an interesting debate about art and its place in mass consumerism as an educational tool.So in the sense of Pop art, part of the art form may very well be argued to be about the mass production and consumerism of the art form.Judgment Never Helps Further ArtWhen it comes to the art world, there is little merit in judging the way an artist chooses to profit from their work. Pigeonholing someone into the category of a sellout based on how they choose to market themselves or what jobs they will take outside of their craft to support themselves is just counterproductive. Nothing good can come of it. Even those that are doing the judging lose out because they waste time arguing that someone is a sellout when they could have been working on a new piece of artwork themselves. While constructive criticism is always going to be helpful, there is a huge difference between that and passing judgment on the methods by which an artist tries to survive. It simply serves no purpose.

Health Coverage For Children 25 And Under And The Health Care Reform Act

If you have kids who are 25 years and under and you are wondering how they are going to take care of their health coverage, you are in the right place. Quite possibly your child, or young adult is just starting out in life, is college bound or getting out of college, and bouncing between jobs, better and worse jobs, especially in this economy. He has no idea how and where to get proper health coverage to protect himself financially. Many jobs do not offer insurance, colleges demand it, and health coverage prices keep going up.But there is good news when it comes to baby and health coverage for children under 25. Included in the new health care law of 2010 there is a provision that will give many young adults a reprieve from needing to seek their own insurance in the individual health insurance market, but allow them to stay signed on with their parents on the family health insurance plan until the ripe age of 26. And there are a few other helpful provisions and new health and medical insurance options too.In this article we will go over all the possible choices for a young adult, ages 19 to 26 to get health insurance for protection at this formative, critical, and risky age. We’ll consider getting health insurance benefits from their own employer at work, from their parent’s employer, in the private health insurance marketplace, from Medicaid, from the state based on income, and through the new federally instituted PCIP, pre existing condition insurance plan program.Let’s look into the possibilities.Getting health and medical insurance plan through a job. Even with employer’s costs rising this year for health insurance, getting an employer sponsored health insurance is still the best possible alternative for a young person. Likely, the employer will contribute part of the cost of the insurance, and offer choices between PPO, HMO and possibly other types of coverage. Despite the possible relatively high monthly premium, this is clearly choice number one for a young adult. The insurance can kick in within weeks of person’s employment.Getting health insurance through parents work. The new health care law has extended the eligibility for children to sign on to the parents job-based health insurance till the age of 26. Also, the conditions for a parent to claim the child are very mild, so this is a viable option for young adults whose parents are working in a job with benefits. A child will be able to sign on any time during the year. An interesting benefit of any insurance obtained through work is that it can not be declined due to the pre-existing condition of the child.Getting individual insurance policy. A young adult without pre-existing conditions can likely get a quite inexpensive insurance policy on an individual health insurance market place. However, chances are that a health questionnaire will have to be answered, and perhaps even a medical exam will be required as a condition for application. Despite the new health care law, persons ages 19-26 can be denied individual insurance if they have what an insurance company deems a pre-existing condition.State or federal government sponsored insurances, including PCIP. Medicaid and other income-based state insurances have been available for a while and the eligibility is mostly based on income of the applicant. A good time to apply is therefore at the time between the jobs. If, due to income, or otherwise, a young adult does not qualify for Medicare in their state, and they have been declined individual coverage due to pre-existing condition, there is a way out: the new state, or federally run PCIP, or Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan. Implemented following the new health care law of 2010, this plan provides an option whereby, at least until 2014, a person will be accepted into a reasonably-priced, high deductible, low copays health insurance plan which will not reject an applicant due to a pre-existing condition.While long term costs and effects of these new plans are uncertain, young adults should take advantage of all of the above options that are available right now.

Easy Access to a Google AdWords Account

Google Inc. has been established since the late 1990s. It has served many Internet uses and services – search engines, electronic mail, online mapping, social networking and advertising. It has developed many open source web browser and programs that cater to making business profits easier to acquire. Google AdWords is Google’s main source of revenue as this program provides various advertising opportunities for online businesses and actual stores.Through Google AdWords, marketing strategies could be fully realized through trouble-free methods like pay-per-click advertising, promotions through links targeted and redirected to vendor sites, banner ads, ad distribution in Google partner search networks like AOL search, Ask.com and Netscape. Having these multiple venues, one could be guaranteed of maximum exposure, which is an entirely positive factor in making a business flourish and succeed.Setting up an account with Google AdWords is an easy process. It would be just like setting up an e-mail account. The first you have to do is to go to the Google site. You would see at the bottom of the page, “advertising programs.” You would then be redirected to the Google Advertising Programs site. From there, you could choose between Google AdWords or Google AdSense. The former focuses on advertisers, which includes both the product vendor and the affiliate marketers; while the latter caters to site owners’ needs.When you already have an e-mail account with Google, you could also use this for your Google AdWords account. Once you have completed your Google AdWords account sign up, you would be redirected to a page wherein you have to click on “advertising programs” again. You have to enter you credit card number for future billing.Now in handling your AdWords account, you are allowed to design your own ads. You have the discretion which product details would be put in and preferably a tag line. Through these details, your product could easily establish a recall factor for prospective clients. However, there are some limitations Google AdWords has established in keyword publishing. These include gambling, firearms, ammunition, balisongs, butterfly knives, brass knuckles, beer, alcohol, tobacco or tobacco-related products, and prescription drugs. Other topics you should avoid are enlisted through Google’s site; type in “allowed keywords in AdWords”.Your ads would definitely have great exposure as Google would post your ads in the said partner search networks, and they would pop up whenever related topics are searched by Google site users.

Martial Arts Training – 3 Stretching Routines to Increase Flexibility For Martial Arts Enthusiasts

Flexibility enhances the range of motion of the muscles. Martial artists perform many techniques that require them to bend into unusual positions. Stretching the muscles creates the flexibility needed so to not sprain or tear muscles. Flexibility also aids in balance, speed, strength and power.Flexibility and stretching exercises should be performed before and after each workout. Warming up the muscles before using them aids in not tearing a muscle. Hold the stretch for a minimum of thirty seconds. As your flexibility increases push the stretch for a greater range of motion. Never bounce the stretch. This could cause a sprain or a tear.The Hamstring (or Hurdler’s) Stretch
Sit on the floor with the leg to be stretched extended straight out in front of you.
Place the bottom of the opposite foot against the inside thigh of the extended leg.
Take a deep breath.
As you exhale, lower your chest toward the extended leg.
Stretch your arms and try to reach your extended foot.
In the beginning, you may not be able to get your chest all the way to your leg.
Lower your chest only far enough to where you feel the stretch in the hamstring muscle (in the back of your leg).
Do not allow the knee of the extended leg to bend during the stretch.
Do not bounce.
Hold the stretch for a minimum of 30 seconds.
Repeat the stretch with the opposite leg.
The Pectorals (or Chest) Stretch
Extend your arms to the rear and interlock your fingers.
Gradually and slowly, raise your arms until you feel the stretch in the pectoral (or chest) muscles.
Hold the stretch for a minimum of 30 seconds.
This exercise stretches the muscles of the chest (pectorals) and front shoulder (delts or deltoid).
Flexibility in these muscle groups will enhance all hand and arm techniques.
The Shoulder-Girdle Stretch
Extend your arms to the front. Interlock your fingers and turn your palms outward.
Push forward with your hands and at the same time push your shoulder blades to the rear.
This exercise stretches the muscles surrounding the shoulder blades (the Teres, the Latissimus Dorsi, or lats and to some extent the delts) and enhances all hand and arm techniques.
Even if you do not participate in martial arts self defense training, these stretches will add flexibility to your muscles. Any physical activity you perform will be enhanced when your add flexibility. Try these stretching routines for the next few weeks and notice if your range of motion increases. Make it a routine before beginning your favorite activity to warm up the muscles to prevent injury.