Graphic Chemical & Ink Company is a world leader in the fine art field of printmaking. We manufacture our own time-tested inks for etching, litho and relief printing, as well as sell screen print inks, papers, tools, chemistry, plates and supplies for all of a printmaker's needs

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Location: Villa Park, Illinois, United States

I have worked for Graphic Chemical & Ink Company since 1968 - with a brief hiatus(almost 4 years) to travel the World courtesy of my uncle. Sadly it turns out it was my Uncle Sam, and I wasn't too thrilled about the places that he chose to send me. My wife and I have run Graphic Chemical for many years, and have enjoyed the travel that comes with the position. We get to meet our customers (and the occasional vendor) from all over the World

Thursday, May 13, 2010

ARTIST BEWARE! Scammers picking on artists

In the ongoing series of blog posts stolen blatantly from friends, I have (with permission) borrowed this from Maria Arango's blog As you read this, please remember the old adage...if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. As I mentioned to Maria when asking for permission to steal her words, "I hate to see artists scammed - almost as much as I hate to see art supply companies scammed".

Artist Beware!
This page is for letting artists know of various popular scams that are out there. Once you begin to get online, whether through a website or blog, you will begin to get "solicited" either through email or phone! Scammers are clever and always sound professional, often will have websites to back up their claims.
These are the most popular and come with variations but the basic elements are usually all there.

Purchase Offer Scam

The Purchase Offer scam is the simplest of all and it ALWAYS involves that the artist receive more money than the artworks are worth and the transfer of excess money from the artist to the scammer. Rule of thumb, always double check names of galleries or agents using Google and/or phone listings.

The Plot
The artist receives an email with commonly a very short offer to purchase several works of art, usually from someone from out of your country (but not always). The artworks are indicated by name and the email requests a total "without shipping". The seemingly very professional collector or gallery or person who is newly remodeling their home offers to pay with a money order.
Often the first email ends there and you simply submit your total.

Next will come an email that will indicate that you will receive the money order as soon as you give your address and the "shipping company" will contact you to make arrangements to ship the artworks. Somewhere in the email it is hinted or said outright that the money order will be for your artworks plus shipping and your help is needed to arrange the payment to the shipping company, usually but not always by cashier's check or money gram or western union transfer. Once this transfer happens the shipping company will pick up the works.

The Scam
You receive a fake money order which will initially clear your bank. Your very sound money is transferred to a non-existent shipping company (the scammer) and you are out money. The shipping company never shows up to pick up the works, of course.

Red Flags for Spotting the Scam
-Emails are usually from a free email account (Yahoo, Hotmail, etc.).
-Scammer refuses to purchase through your website's shopping cart with a credit card like most customers; usually the works carefully chosen are not offered through the shopping cart or are older or larger works without purchase buttons.
-There is ALWAYS an excess of money that you will have to transfer back.
-The transfer is nearly always through wire-gram or Western Union.

Commission Offer Scam

This is simply a variation of the above, except the scammer offers you a lucrative commission. As a rule of thumb, ask for 50% down payment on any commission; if you suspect a scam, ask for the money drawn on a US Bank (you can then go to the issuing bank in person) or credit card payment. This usually suffices to flush them out.

The Plot
Same as above except much more involved in the beginning. The scammer will lure the artist into actually starting the commission with many details and involved conversations. A photo or model may even be involved where the scammer sends the artist a digital file to be reproduced or model for the commissioned piece or pieces.

The plot evolves into the "excess" money scam outlined above. Either a shipping company is involved again or some sort of business agent that has to be paid. In some cases the variation involves an "art dealer" who is demanding the finder's fee for having found you to do the commission.

The Scam and Red Flags
Same as above but with the added flag that emails often are answered with long delays; often the scammer claims to be traveling all over the world looking for fine art for their collection.

Partnership Scam

An email outlines the need for a partner needed in your country in order to process payments received in your country. You are to receive the payments in the form of money orders and wire money to your "partner" less your commission for processing.

The Plot
A variation of this email:

"Hello There,

My name is xxxxxxx, I am an artist, I live in xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, with my two kids, I have been doing artwork since I was a small child That gives me about 23 years of experience I majored in art in high school and took a few college art courses Most of my work is done in either pencil or art brush mixed with color pencils.

I have recently added designing and creating artwork on the computer, I have been selling my art for the last 3 years and have had my work featured on trading cards, prints and in magazines, I have sold in galleries and to private collectors from all around the world. I am always facing serious difficulties when it comes to selling my art works to Americans, they are always offering to pay with MONEY ORDER , which is difficult for me to cash here in xxxxxxxxx

I am looking for a representative in the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA who will be working for me as a par time worker and i will be willing to pay 10% for every transaction, which wouldnt affect your present state of work, someone who would help me receive payments from my customers in the states, I mean someone that is responsible and reliable, because the cost of coming to the state and getting payments is very expensive, I am working on setting up a branch in the state, so for now i need a representative in the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA who will be handling the payment aspect for our company.These payments are in MONEY ORDERS and they would come to you in your name if you are willing to assist as a representative, so all you need do is cash the money order deduct your percentage and WESTERN UNION Charges then wire the rest back.

But the problem i have is trust, i have made arrangement with the FBI in Washington and they will get any body who tries to get away with my money, you are to receive the MONEY ORDERS which will be sent to you by the FEDEX or UPS from my business partners, which would come in form of a MONEY ORDER then you are to take it to your bank account to enable you cash it and send the money cashed for the MONEY ORDERS to me via WESTERN UNION OR MONEY GRAM.

N.b: All charges of the WESTERN UNION MONEY TRANSFER will be deducted from the money, so you are rest assured that you wouldnt spend a dime out of your personal money.

if you are interested in helping me out i will like you to get back to me with the required informations in the format:

#Your full name..............................

#Your full home address................................

#Your age.................................


#marital status.....................

,#direct contact telephone number...............................

....and also your email address.

Thanks for your assistant and God bless,

As for my artworks,i am still creating my website as i have some new works yet to be updated,,i will get you updated once the
website is ready.

Pls endeavour to send your reply to xxxxxxxxxxx@yahooxxxxx

Thanks for your assistant and God bless,

The Scam
Again, you receive fake money and dish out real money.

Red Flags for Spotting the Scam
-Email address free (Yahoo, Hotmail)
-Exchange of money your way is by Money Orders (easy to fake); exchange of money the other way always money-grams or wire-grams or Western Union
-Friendly tone and mention of FBI
-Website under construction (no way to double check on this artist, although some may have a rudimentary website set up for the purpose of the scam)

In re-reading Maria's post - I noticed something that has occurred to me in some of the e-mail scams that I've received over the years. Simply put, if there is frequent, excessive or bizarre capitalization, IT"S PROBABLY A SCAM!


Tuesday, May 11, 2010


As a public service - and a great way to add a blog post, I have added here the listing of art fairs held in the Midwest during the month of June. This list is courtesy of Visit their website to get more information on shows outside of the Midwest, or shows later (or earlier) in the year.

June 4-6*
Prairie Village, KS

Prairie Village Art Fair
100 Exhibitors
For more info:

June 4-6*
Edina, MN
Edina Art Fair
50th & France
Presented by 50th & France Assn.
400 Exhibitors
For more info:

June 5*
Liberty, MO
Liberty Arts Squared - new event!
Historic Liberty Downtown Square
100 Exhibitors
Expect visual fine arts and crafts, literary, performing, children’s interactive arts) as well as two stages

June 5 & 6*
Omaha, NE
Countryside Village Art Fair
SaturdaySalina_2, 10 am to 6 pm; Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm
140 Exhibitors

June 5 & 6*
Junction City, IL

Junction City Art Fair
Junction City Shopping Center
10 am to 4 pm
65 Exhibitors

June 5 & 6*
Columbia, MO

Art in the Park
Stephens Lake Park
105 Artists
Sponsored by the Columbia Art League
For more info:

June 10-13* Salina, KS
Smoky Hill River Festival
A nationally award winning Arts Festival sponsored by the Salina Arts & Humanities Commission.

What you will find:

  • Four Rivers Craft Market Show, June 11-13 (50 Artists)
  • The Fine Art/Fine Craft Show, June 12 & 13 (90 Artists)
  • Commissioned large-scale art installations throughout the Festival grounds
  • Entertainment from the finest in the region, nation, and beyond
  • Four stages including a Children’s Stage and Storytellers Stage

For more info:

June 11-13*
St. Louis, MO

Central West End Art & Taste Fest
For more info:

June 11-13*
Peculiar, MO

Clara Brierly Festival of the Arts
Sponsored by the Downtown Peculiar Arts & Culture District
35 artists
A Chautauqua-type event that focuses on all art forms as well as art workshops and demonstrations.

June 11-13*
St. Louis, MO

Festival of Arts at Westport Plaza
100 Exhibitors


June 12 & 13*
Racine, WI

Monument Square Art Fair on the Lake
Racine Civic Centre Festival Park
Sat 10am - 5pm, Sun 10am - 4pm
120 Exhibitors

June 12 & 13*
Indianapolis, IN

Talbot Street Art Fair
on Talbot Street, downtown
250 Exhibitors

June 18-20*
Leawood, KS

Town Art Show
Town Center Plaza, 119th and Roe

Fri. 1-8 pm; Sat. 10-8; Sun. 11-5
For more info:

June 18-20*
Milwaukee, WI

Lakefront Festival of the Arts
Milwaukee Art Museum grounds

170 Exhibitors

June 19 & 20*

Stone Arch Festival
Minneapolis Riverfront
250 Exhibitors
For more info:

June 19 & 20*
South Bend, IN

Leeper Park Art Festival
200 Exhibitors

June 20*
Burlington, IA

Snake Alley Art Fair
Presented by the Art Guild of Burlington
100 exhibitors

June 25-27*
Des Moines, IA

Des Moines Arts Festival
Western Gateway Park, downtown
Saturday, 10 am to 10 pm; Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm
185 Exhibitors

For more info:

June 25-27*
Omaha, NE
Omaha Summer Arts Festival
Gene Leahy Mall, Downtown
10th to 15th on Farnam Street
135 Exhibitors

Artists' Market: Friday & Saturday 11 a.m.–8 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Visitors will have the opportunity to browse and buy the beautiful artwork of 135 juried artists from across the country. Selected from among hundreds of applicants the artists represent over twenty states in the U.S.

World Music Pavilion Stage
: Friday & Saturday 11 a.m.–11 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m.–5 p.m.The musical presentations will entertain visitors of all ages in a fun, comfortable and convenient atmosphere on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Renowned artists and a wide range of musical genres including blues, jazz, Latin, folk, acoustic and many more concerts with broad appeal.

Children's Fair & Family Stage: Saturday 11 a.m.–6 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Families and children will discover a world of art at the Children's Fair. Presented at the heart of the Festival, the Children's Fair will offer dozens of hands-on activities and art projects for children ages three to 10. Don't miss the TasteFest and Festival Cafes where visitors can sit and relax in the shade and enjoy some of the Festival's healthier food options or try the traditional Festival fare.

For more info:


June 25-27*
Quincy, IL

Midsummer Arts Faire
Washington Park in historic Quincy Business District
Friday 5 pm to 9 pm; Saturday 10 am to 5 pm; Sunday 11 am to 4 pm
50 Exhibitors
For more info:

June 26 & 27*
Des Moines, IA

ArtFest Midwest 'The Other Art Show'
Iowa State Fairgrounds (primarily indoors), Varied Industries Building
presented by Stookey Companies
235 artists
For more info:

June 26 & 27*
Duluth, MN

40th annual Park Point Art Fair
Park Point Recreation Area
10 am to 5 pm
120 Exhibitors

June 26 & 27*
Ft. Wayne, IN

Covington Art Fair
at the Covington Shopping Plaza
75 Exhibitors

June 26 & 27*
Bartlett, IL
Bartlett Festival of the Art
Bartlett Park
10 am to 5 pm daily