Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Person of Interest: Paul Michael Kane

Welcome to my first ever installment of Person of Interest...! I'm very excited to start this up, and what better way to start than with an extremely talented photographer who lives in the same little (and I mean little) town I do! I only recently stumbled upon Paul's work through the wonders of social networking meets zip code search technology, and I was amazed at what I found.

Now without further ado: the bold type are my questions, the italics are just me interjecting my two cents through-out... everything else is all Paul!

Name, rank & serial number? Aka who are you, what is it you do, where can we find you on the web?

My name is Paul Michael Kane and I am a graphic designer/photographer based in Ogdensburg, NJ. I am all over the net with two different web sites: (my design site) and (a site devoted to just my photography). I am also on most of the major social networking sites like myspace (, facebook (, twitter ( and even my own 'photo-a-day' blog at
(go visit those sites, especially the photo a day blog, and follow it, because you will be amazed at the beauty this man can capture, and he shares a little bit of it with us each day)

How/when did you get started in your field(s)?

I've been shooting photography ever since I was 10 years old and my aunt gave me my first film SLR camera. That ran its course through high school where I shot for the school paper and even into my first job – that of a resort photographer in the Poconos, PA. That's right! I was the kid shooting honeymooning couples in the infamous heart shaped tubs! But as film and processing costs kept rising, my interest in photography waned and I got into graphic arts. It's here where I've been lucky enough to be a part of some very interesting project, even an official Lucasfilm movie poster for the 6th and final Star Wars film, Revenge of the Sith! With the advent of digital photography, my interest had once again been piqued and it's been leading me back into the field full bore. I am most happy when behind the camera! The marriage of both my passions – photography and graphic design – have both come to serve me well!

What’s your favorite project you’ve ever worked on?

Every project I seem to be currently wrapping up becomes my next favorite project . . . In April of this year, I put out my first book, Captured: The Ruins of Eastern State Penitentiary . Prior to that, I photographed 88 images for a set of para normal cards called the Konxari Cards. Together, these two projects are my current favorite.
(if you follow the link for Captured you can preview the first 15 pages! also if you visit the konxari website there is an interview with Paul!)

What would you consider your biggest success?

The above mentioned Star Wars poster is my biggest success – not for monetary gain, but for person gratification. I grew up with Star Wars. My twin brother and I spent hours playing with our action figures in the front yard. I am 37 now and still get chills when I watch my favorite scene in A New Hope – where Luke is gazing out over the dessert at the twin suns setting over Tatooine. For me to have been involved in an official capacity in the creation of a movie poster for Lucasfilm is not only a dream come true, but a career high that I am going to be hard pressed to beat!

(it's the one on the left go here to read about the making of the poster!)

Have you ever had a project disaster turn into something beautiful?

You know, as a designer, I never want to put anything 'out there' that would look disastrous – but as you answer to a client or a customer, you need to appease them – sometimes in direct conflict with standard design ethics. So while I won't mention the project by name, yes . . . there are a few PMK disasters out there . . . the beauty is, some like them – and that brings me more clients and business. I cringe when I get those calls, cause I know I'll be in for more of the same – the battle over pleasing the client and creating good design!

When did you sell your first piece?

My first photographic print that ever sold was to a sweet lady from Lake Hopatcong. She had seen some of my fireworks shots taken during the lake's Fourth of July celebration. I had posted a gallery up somewhere – not one of my regular sites as I recall. Anyway, she emailed me and asked to purchase a print for her home! I was very excited as I just began shooting digital and made arrangements to meet her at a Michael's Arts and Crafts store with the print and I even helped pick out the custom matting and framing for the print! It's the greatest satisfaction to any artist/photographer to know that someone, somewhere has hung an image created by you . . . I get that with every print sold!

(this is one of my favorite shots from the photo a day blog, shot in IR! tell me how freakin cool is that!?)

Any current/upcoming projects that you're excited about working on?

I just wrapped up work on a book called The White Album. It's a tribute book about The Beatles. It's set to debut at the San Diego Comic Con – the biggest multi-media event of the year! Each contributor was asked to pick three songs from the Beatles immense catalog and create an images inspired by the titles or lyrics of the songs. I am the only photographer of the bunch – the rest are all traditional media artists. I've seen some of the other works and I am honored and humbled to have been asked to contribute!

Is there any tidbit of wisdom you’d like to share with us?

This isn't one of my tidbits, but it's one I try to live every day of my life . . . here it is . . . if you do something you love, you never work a day in your life! My passion for photography and visual communication allows me to enjoy each and every project – even the disastrous ones! If you can find something to do that you love, don't let anyone tell you that you can't make a living from it . . . the biggest waste is life – if you aren't enjoying every second of it, something is wrong . . . make a change . . . challenge yourself to finding that one thing that will make you happy!

I’m interested to see how others may respond to the random profile question I got from blogger…. Your bow is not broken but you've run out of arrows. How can you fake being a bard?
Hmmm . . . I'd pick up the nearest large rock . . . begin speaking to it in a very Hamlet-ist way. . . confusing the enemy into thinking me a harmless, rambling bard . . . then stone anyone who got close enough! Not sure what that says about me, but it's the first thing that came to mind!

Ha! I like it, that's some good thinkin right there! I definitely approve!

Semi-Wordless Wednesday

This is my first Wordless Wednesday post, and not entirely wordless (that may be impossible for me)

I took a bunch of pictures at my mother's house on Mother's day. This one is probably one of my favorites, it's my little sister being chased by one of the dogs. Good Times.. good times... I love my little brat!

Keep your eyes peeled for my first Person of Interest feature, will be posted soon!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

And the winner is....

First off I want to say WOWZERS!!! 57 entries! Thank you all for following/tweeting etc. about this giveaway. It definitely will not be the last.
And the winner this time is......

Insanity Kim!!!!

I'm very excited to say that I have received many responses to my call for "person's of interest" to feature here. I have already gotten the ball rolling on the first interview, that will be posted soon, so keep your eyes peeled.

Hope you all had a great long weekend (for those of us lucky to have one). Ours was not too shabby, well, aside from the agony of trying to quit smoking, that's been pretty hard on me. (80+ hours smoke free..) I managed to keep myself pretty distracted. We went for a drive to High Point, the highest point in NJ, and I was surprised to find out they charge you to enter the park now-a-days. I don't remember ever paying when I was growing up, but it may just be that I don't remember.
We went for a walk and I got some pretty nice pictures..

ahhh... so pretty, looking at the photo I can almost feel the cool breeze again, it was really nice. I will not however, be going back to have a lil walk all that often. I'm used to my state parks/hiking trails to be no charge to enter. I'll be checking out Sparta Mountain this afternoon I think.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A feature and a giveaway!

Well well well, it seems I've gone from blogging on Thursdays to blogging on Tuesdays. How about we try for more than one post a week? It's a good idea, one I'll try to stick with, but I feel if I don't have anything good to post about I shouldn't post. Although sometimes I must admit my posts are more ramble than substance, but that's just the kinda gal I am!
Ok let us get down to the business at hand, I've been kicking a few things around about the blog recently, one is it could probably use a face lift, but I just don't have the patience to fiddle with html anymore, so unless someone wants to trade me a blog makeover for well, anything I could make for them, than this is what you get for now (sorry folks).

Next, I'd like to start doing a feature & interview at least once a week. This will give me something fun to do as well as get you guys some substantial posts of a mostly non-rambling nature! What am I going to feature? Well I hope to try something new, a lot of the blogs I follow who do features only feature etsy artists, and I'm not saying this is a bad thing at all, I love it; but I'd like to not have such a narrow parameter. Narrow Parameters?!?! are you cracked? some of you may be thinking. And that's a good question, well,yes I'm cracked, and I do realize the Vast vast vast amount of talent to be found on etsy, from around the globe and with many different styles and mediums. But my interests lie beyond just art, photography and crafting and that's evident in my blog. I'd like to keep the trend going.

Consider this the first call for interview subjects: Do you have a shop on etsy/artfire/1000 markets or where ever? Or maybe you write an interesting blog? Do you draw a print/webcomic? Write gadget or game reviews, short stories? Are you a photographer/artist/crafter who doesn't sell in the aforementioned markets? Are you an independent movie maker? Have I failed to mention something that you do that's pretty darn cool and you'd like to be featured? Shoot an email to majikalfae (at) tell me what you do, why you should be featured, include a few links so I can see how awesome you are. I'm the type of gal who'd love to feature everyone who inquires but I know that may not be realistic. But I will get back to anyone who is interested, don't worry I won't leave you hanging!

Speaking of features, I'm being featured on a blog right now! Debbie over at Polymer Clay Ponderings (I've mentioned her before) sent an interview that I took way too long to respond to, I sent it back yesterday and Wham! There it is today. Please go check it out, and the rest of Debbie's site(s). She's a pretty awesome lady, follow her blog, make her day!

Alrighty, the feature talk is all out of the way didn't I say something about a give away? I totally did! What am I giving away and how can you enter? Well I asked the Twitterverse to peruse my shop for suggestions on what to offer as the prize and votive holders won by a landslide!

Now since every one's home decor is different I'm not going to just choose a set (That's right I said a set of two candle holders) to send out. I'm going to let the winner choose the colors, and if those colors don't happen to be in stock, I will make them specially for you!
How do you enter to win? Well I had an idea for a contest but since this is my first give away I'll save the idea for next time and do a "traditional" give away first. So here's what you do, go to my shop and look around, come back here and post a comment with a link to your favorite item (no link no entry sorry) and that's it! Make sure you leave me a way to contact you should you win, your blog, email, etsy shop whatever. But that's not all! Want more entries, well you got 'em, 1 extra entry for each of the following:
1)follow my blog (already do, just let me know)
2)blog about my give away (please leave a link here after you post)
3)follow me on Twitter @claymuse (already do, just let me know)
4)Tweet about my give away (make sure to mention @claymuse so I'm sure to see!)
Make sure you mention in the comments any of the above so I don't miss your extra entries!
You have from now until next week Tuesday May 26th 2009 at 9am EST to enter. This is when I will enter every one's entries into a spread sheet and use a random number generator ( to choose a winner. I will mention the winner here on my blog as well as contact you directly for your shipping info (which will ONLY be used for shipping your prize)

Whew that was a long post wasn't it! and you only got product photos! how about a pretty picture of the tree in our front yard in full bloom just as the sun started to set?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Sickness came for a visit last week and wouldn't go home!

Those of you who are still stopping by to read my blather, thank you! And I can't believe you stick with me through my very sporadic once a week updates, thank you x3! As soon as I resolved myself to be a more constant blogger sickness descended on my house.
The man woke up the Sunday before last sick as a dog and spent all week miserable, in and out of work and going to the doctor twice. By the time Thursday (and the GWAR concert woot woot) rolled around I thought I had made it safely through his illness without catching it myself. Nope! Sniffles and a scratchy throat. I'm still stuffy but I didn't get it nearly as badly as the poor guy did so I'm really not complaining.

Since I haven't been around much I thought I'd post two recipes I copied from my Grams this weekend.
5 star Vodka Sauce
(for about 8-12 oz of pasta)

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup onion finely chopped
1 garlic clove finely chopped
a 28oz can plum tomatoes with liquid
1/2 cup Vodka
a generous pinch of crushed red pepper (the recipe states 1/2 tablespoon, that is so very spicy, way way way too spicey, trust me!)
1/2 heavy cream
salt to taste

In skillet heat oil over medium heat, add onion and saute until tender, about 5 mins, stir in garlic and saute one minute. Add tomatoes and liquid, vodka and pepper. Simmer, stirring to break up tomatoes, until sauce is reduced and thickens, about 15 mins. Stir in cream and simmer until sauce thickens, about five minutes. Season with salt to taste.

Easy and oh so very yummy, it's even marked with VERY GOOD in her cookbook!

Second recipe, Greek Pizza
1 pound turkey, cut into thin strips or ground (we use ground)
2 cups thinly sliced onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon each lemon pepper, minced garlic, oregano
1 thin crust pizza shell (Boboli)
1 cup chopped tomatoes
12 kalamata olives pitted and slivered
1 package (6oz) crumbled feta

Combine turkey, onion, parsley, lemon pepper, garlic, oregano in a large bowl and toss. In a large skillet over med/high heat saute the turkey mixture in oil about 5-7 minutes or until turkey is no longer pink in center. Place pizza shell on baking sheet top with turkey mixture, tomatoes, olives and cheese. Bake at 450 for 10-12 minutes.
**when using fresh tomatoes add at end as recipe states, if using a can of diced tomatoes toss them in at the beginning and saute them with the turkey mixture**

I have a package of spinach in the freezer dying to be used. I may just sub in spinach for parsley and nix the olives (i love em, the man, not so much)

Gosh, it's been so freakin long since Kim gave me this award, I don't think I'll be doing the whole pass along dealy right this very moment. But I have to post it here now and say a huge thank you to Kim!

This is to be given to the bloggers whom you visit everyday or every post, and who leave evidence that they visit you often as well. As Kim mentions this can be kinda hard to measure as people are sometimes shy to comment. (I read almost every blog I follow almost every post, but mostly feel like I don't have anything useful to say and don't comment, so I'm a big culprit here.)
Do me and yourself a favor and stop on over Kim's blog beacuse she's awesome, and funny, and well worth the read! Thanks again Kim, and know that even if I'm not piping up everyday, I'm so there laughing with you!