Author Archives: michelebanks1

Introducing Banks’ Second Theorem

A neighbor recently opened an etsy shop to sell her paintings. She asked me a bunch of questions about the process, which I was happy to answer. Then she asked me the essential question: “How do you get people to find you on the internet?”

Getting people to find me on the internet (ohai!) is the central struggle of my career. It’s a constant battle that I’ve been fighting every single day, with some success, for the past five years. But of course I didn’t tell my neighbor this, because I didn’t want to scare her off. So I suggested she start by posting her new shop on her Facebook page. “Well, that’s the thing, I don’t do Facebook.” Twitter? Nope. Instagram? What? We didn’t even get to the idea of submitting work to blogs.

I had a sudden flashback to a conversation with another artist a few years earlier, who complained that twitter wasn’t working well for promoting her work. “I tweet a lot,” she explained, “But I don’t actually READ tweets.” Dear fellow artist,


This is not to say that twitter is the only way to go, or that artists have to spend as many hours a day on the internet as I do. They probably shouldn’t!


But really, selling online has a lot in common with selling offline. You need to put in some time. You have to get out there and forge relationships. You need to know who the players are. I’m going to call this Banks’ second theorem:*

If you want to sell on the internet, you have to be on the internet.

If you had a brick-and-mortar shop, you would know the other shopkeepers in your neighborhood, wouldn’t you? Well, if you have an online shop, the internet is your neighborhood. Get out there, take a walk every day, and say hello. Read some blogs. Read some tweets. Make some intelligent comments. Show other people the cool things you find on your walks. Then say, “here, have a look at what I’m working on.” Repeat.

*I’ll get to the first theorem later. My blog, my rules.

(originally posted on Artoblogica)

Science Caturday: Supreme Cat Decisions




I promise I’ll get back to science soon, but the Supreme Cat of the United States (SCOTUS) handed down a few decisions this week that benefit many hoomins. Cheers!

The Art of Science: Comet-Chasing Shoes

Meterorite Shoes by Studio SWINE, 2014 Photo: Petr Krejci

Meterorite Shoes by Studio SWINE, 2014 Photo: Petr Krejci

New York based design team Studio SWINE (led by architect Azusa Murakami and artist Alexander Groves) were so inspired by the landing of the Philae probe on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko that they wanted to celebrate it by making shoes. Shoes that look like meteorites fallen from space, of course.

They decided to use aluminum foam, which they note is generally “hidden inside high-end cars and buildings as sound insulation,” not made into footwear. Aluminum foam is just what it sounds like – aluminum that’s been melted down and then injected with a gas to produce a matrix of bubbles or cells.

Murakami and Groves visited the American Museum of Natural History to study the meteorite collection and gather images to make 3D scans of space rocks. They adapted the scans to make a shape that would fit on a foot and then used more traditional milling and shoemaking techniques to create a pair of strong, lightweight high-heeled pumps.

The finished Meteorite Shoes might not be quite the thing for everyday wear, but they are undoubtedly out of this world.

Science Caturday: Mysteries of the Sofa

For once, you should listen to the dog.


The Art of Science: Please Eat the Art

Molded chocolate castings by Jimmy Tang and Yuanjin Zhao

Molded chocolate castings by Jimmy Tang and Yuanjin Zhao

Here at the Finch & Pea, we are big fans of food, art and the scientific method. So when I saw this story about a couple of Media Lab interns at the Metropolitan Museum in New York and their quest to produce edible replicas of museum treasures, I knew I had to share it here. It’s worth reading the whole thing, so please click on over to the Met’s Digital Underground blog for more.

Tip of the hat to Hilary-Morgan Watt