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It’s not a filter, it’s a painting. Let's fill our social media with more original art, become a part of the Social Portraits series.
It’s not a filter, it’s a painting. Let's fill our social media with more original art, become a part of the Social Portraits series.
It’s not a filter, it’s a painting. Let's fill our social media with more original art, become a part of the Social Portraits series.
52 backers pledged CA$ 10,005 to help bring this project to life.

About

Social Portraits – a social art project project video thumbnail
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Social Portraits – a social art project

CA$ 10,005

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Social Portraits is a series of oil paintings painted from online social media profile photos then shared online for everyone to see, like, share, and comment on. I’m out to capture that epic selfie, perfect angle, big moment, the morning after or whatever it is that you have used to represent your carefully crafted online persona.

Anyone can be a part of the series, just select a perk that guarantees your immortality with a social portrait. Think of it, an original piece of art as your profile pic. The original paintings are being kept as a collection for exhibitions but there is an opportunity to get a canvas wrapped print or one can be painted specifically for you.

As the portraits are completed I’ll be posting images on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Ello etc. and on the Social Portraits website while using the hashtag #socialportraits.

Painted on custom square panels

The portraits are painted in oil paint on custom 11in x 11in panels that I make. The panels are laser cut or CNC milled from 1/4 inch hardboard with subtle rounded corners. Why the square format you ask? well it’s the ubiquitous format for on-line profile photos and avatars.

My setup includes an easel, an iPad and a vertical palate called the Parallel Palate which I backed on Kickstarter no less. I don't have to look away to mix my paint or glance at the reference profile pic.

100 Paintings or More

I’m striving for an initial goal of 100 Social Portrait for the first show in late 2016 or early 2017. It is my intent to seek opportunities to show the series in several galleries across Canada and in the rest of the world. With each show I’ll look to add additional portraits from that local area.

It will be quite something to see the portraits wrapping the walls of the gallery space, each with it’s own story and conversation. The show will signal a shift in the conversation, no longer comments, shares and links but more personal and private conversations around each piece. And lots of selfies with the paintings of course.

The Perks

I need your help, it takes a lot of effort to make these paintings and I’ve done my best to keep costs low so as many people as possible can be involved. Even then I know it’s an investment. Please know that your contributions go beyond getting a perk, they help fund a passionate professional artist as he works on an amazing project.

Live painting a Social Portrait at Chinatown Remixed 2015
Live painting a Social Portrait at Chinatown Remixed 2015

About Me

Here I am painting Social Portrait 014 Justy at the Art Studio Fair
Here I am painting Social Portrait 014 Justy at the Art Studio Fair

 I’m a visual and electronic artist based in Ottawa Canada. My artworks include figurative drawings and paintings as well as social installation projects that incorporate audience participation and a wider variety of media. Sometimes it's a combination of both.

“I want people to spend time with the works, see them from a distance and up close, finding the same fascination, passion and love that I slip into as I created them.”

Portraiture is a common theme for me, the journey to capture a likeness, a feeling, an emotion and present that in a new way are passions of mine. Working from life as much as possible affords me more insights and a deeper connection. My pursuit has me continuously pushing, experimenting with new materials and approaches, simplifying, layering and abstracting.

I am a member of the Ottawa Arts Council, Ottawa Arts East and CARFAC.

"Mark Stephenson is one of Ottawa’s best life drawing artists. His outstanding pen and ink work always captures a striking likeness of both the features and personality of the life model, and demonstrates his superb handling of this difficult medium. Over the past 5 years both his paintings and drawings have been consistently accepted for the annual Figureworks Award Shows, which are rigourously juried by various established art professionals." Hilde Lambrechts, Ceramic Artist and President of Figureworks

I’ve included a few examples of my work below, for more please check out my social media and my web site.

Budget

I know some of you are interested in knowing where the money goes. In short it’s going to go to the following items:

  • Paint, panels and related consumable materials 
  • Studio rental fees 
  • Cost of living

Additionally some funds within perks are already budgeted for the production of postcards and prints. I intend to fulfill these on an as required basis so no additional overhead is incurred.

As I want to make this project as accessible as possible I’ve lowered the costs to entry as much as I can. This means project is running on a very tight budget and it’s my hopes that a sponsor or two along with patrons will help offset this. I will also continue seeking traditional grant funding to augment this campaign.

Credits

Stephane Beauchamp-Kiss at Anti-Studios recorded my narration for the video and composed some awesome background music. I never sounded so good!

Darcy White helped me CNC mill the social portrait panels at Maker Space North. Darcy is part of the series, his is SP 005 Darcy.

International Shipping

International shipping costs for original paintings is based on Small Packet International Surface Mail. Should you wish to have faster shipping that is tracked please message me and I can advise you on the project extra costs.

Risks and challenges

Personal Injury - This would be the largest risk and might I say the worst. As all the Social Portraits are painted by me an injury could delay the project.

Gallery Space - Securing gallery space takes time and I want to find the right space and relationship. That said I am quite resourceful and fully prepared to launch a pop up gallery if I can't find the right space to show this collection. Should you be a gallery owner and curious about hosting the show please send me a message.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 10 or more About $7

    GET 'ER DONE

    You have been talking about this project for years, just get er done already!

    You’ll get exclusive updates to project progress and an invitation to the vernissage.

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    4 backers
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 25 or more About $18

    JUNIOR PATRON

    You are helping me achieve my dreams!

    You'll receive a pack of 5 Social Portraits Postcards and a handwritten thank you.

    You’ll get exclusive updates to project progress and an invitation to the vernissage.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    9 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 85 or more About $62

    PAINT MY SOCIAL PORTRAIT

    Your profile pic will be the foundation for an original piece of art that will become part of the Social Portraits series.

    You'll receive 5 postcards of your Social Portrait, a handwritten thank you and a high quality digital image.

    All the updates and an invitation to the vernissage, the portrait of you will be part of the show!

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  4. Reward no longer available

    Pledge CA$ 160 or more About $116

    PAINT MY SOCIAL PORTRAIT X2

    Don't forget about that special loved one, get both of you in the series. Your profile pics will be the foundation for an original pieces of art that will become part of the Social Portraits series.

    You'll receive 5 postcards of each Social Portrait and a high quality digital image.

    All the updates and an invitation to the vernissage, the portrait of you will be part of the show!

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 5 backers
    CA$
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 170 or more About $123

    PAINT MY SOCIAL PORTRAIT X2

    Don't forget about that special loved one, get both of you in the series. Your profile pics will be the foundation for an original pieces of art that will become part of the Social Portraits series.

    You'll receive 5 postcards of each Social Portrait and a high quality digital image.

    All the updates and an invitation to the vernissage, the portrait of you will be part of the show!

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 1 backer
    CA$
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 200 or more About $145

    PAINT MY SOCIAL PORTRAIT + CANVAS PRINT

    Your profile pic will be the foundation for an original piece of art that will become part of the Social Portraits series.

    You'll receive a gallery wrapped canvas print to hang on your wall and a high quality digital image.

    All the updates and an invitation to the vernissage, the portrait of you will be part of the show!

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    Ships to Only certain countries
    Limited 6 backers
    CA$
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 380 or more About $275

    PAINT MY SOCIAL PORTRAIT + CANVAS PRINT X2

    Don't forget about that special someone, just think both of you in the series. Your profile pics will be the foundation for original pieces of art that will become part of the Social Portraits series.

    You'll receive a gallery wrapped canvas print of each portrait to hang on your wall along with a high quality digital image.

    All the updates and an invitation to the vernissage, the portrait of you will be part of the show!

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    Ships to Only certain countries
    Limited 1 backer
    CA$
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 400 or more About $290

    I WANT AN ORIGINAL PAINTING

    Sure, I'll paint 2 different ones, one for you and one for the show. I'll let you choose the one you want.

    You'll receive 5 postcards of your Social Portrait and a high quality digital image.

    All the updates and an invitation to the vernissage, the portrait of you will be part of the show!

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    Ships to Only certain countries
    Limited 7 backers
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 1,000 or more About $724

    PATRON

    You like my art and want to help support me as embark on this new art project. It's deeply appreciated and you have a special place in my heart, please come by the studio for a visit.

    I will add you to the show and make and extra painting just for you.

    You'll be acknowledged on the website and social media as a Patron.

    All the updates and an invitation to the vernissage, the portrait of you will be part of the show!

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    Limited 2 backers
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 2,000 or more About $1,448

    SPONSOR

    Your endorsement and assistance will go a long way to helping this project reach it's potential. Your logo or name will have a place on invitations, posters, postcards, booklets and website. You'll also receive plenty of mentions on social media.

    I'll also paint 3 Social Portraits for your staff as part of this package. Need more? we can talk.

    All the updates and invitations to the vernissage, the portraits of you staff will be part of the show!

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Funding period

- (34 days)