This blog post is a part of the following blog hops:
I came to this blog post without knowing what direction it would take me. Often times when creating a piece of art, or writing a story, we stare at a blank page and wonder how we should ever fill up that space, creating something worthwhile. Yet we take a deep breath, place our fingers upon the keyboard, or pick up our creative tools and go to work. Out of nothing we create something, straight from our imagination, to be shared, enjoyed, consumed.
That moment of sitting down in front of that abyss, the blankness of the not-begun confronting us, work takes courage, and that courage makes you an artist. Not, how many people have seen your art, or how many people have read your books. The simple willingness to put yourself, your heart and soul out there to be seen, even if only by you, manifesting something of substance, of value, is what gives you the permission to be and call yourself an artist or a writer.
It is a light realized.
Have a wonderful day!
P.S. If you have time, stop by my Facebook page which showcases some of the stuff I create. Looking forward to seeing you there!
P.S.S. This blog post is a part of the blog hops “Together On Tuesday” and “What Are You Doing” . Please check out all of the other great blogs, participating in these link ups, and leave them some love!
Hey, nice to see you again, glad you could stop by! I got a hot pot of coffee waiting for us both, and a fresh apple pie, that I made after I bought way too many apples this week. Of course, it is vegan, but you would not be able to tell if I would not point it out. Trust me, I tried it out on a few people. No one could tell the difference.
I would ask you how your Halloween was. Mine was fine and quiet. While the kids did their own thing with their friends, I snuggled up with kindle and read. And of course, I could not stop, and had to force myself to go to bed a little past midnight. It was one of those books that I found on KindleUnlimited and hoped I would enjoy, but at the end not only did I enjoy it, I could not stop reading it. If you love romance novels – the hot and steamy kind, check out “Pretend You’re Mine – A Small Town Love Story” by Lucy Score
Today, I am thankfully only working on my business, and not on the business of a friend, my husband and I are helping to build. So the plan for today is to write on a few blog posts, connect with people and put out a few designs. I have created a few more floral designs this week – as you can see – but I want to play with a few different themes this evening. My problem is sometimes that I have to choose between commercially profitable designs and more experimental and freely expressive designs. When time permits I do both. Lately, time has not been permitting me to just go for it. Hopefully with a little adjustment in my schedule, I will be able to give myself a little space in creating freely this week.
I would tell you that I am considering in committing myself to posting every day of the month of November. NaBloPoMo is upon us, and I feel guilty enough for not participating in NaNoWriMo this month, that I might end up at least doing that challenge. I already had to tell my son, who is a budding writer and often times my soundboard, that I am not working on my books right now, because of all of the other things that need to be done. He understands because he knew our temporary stay here in Las Vegas was for work reasons, and would keep my husband and myself very occupied, yet he loves it when he can help me figure out story lines and makes sure I don’t go too crazy with some of my fantasy elements. I miss that back and forth as well, but hey, one has to make a living – especially if I have three people to get through college in the next few years and our dream home we are going for by 2019 is way up there in price. If we want to pull this off, I have to prioritize. That includes what I can write when.
Speaking of books, I would tell you that I am currently debating on putting “Mixing Spices”, out in print form as well. That will not happen until next year because I need to add more visual elements in order for me to be happy with it, but it is something I am considering. I like eBooks, but I prefer holding a book in my hand, over reading it on a device.
So what are you up to this week? I am looking forward to hearing all about what you did how your Halloween went, and what your plans are for the future. And I do encourage you to share your plans and thoughts with the group. Simply follow this link and add your post. I will try my best to stop by as many blogs as I can throughout this day. Blessings!
Do you like quirky, yet pretty art? Then Dawdling Doodles has exactly what you need. Artist Lisa Marie has created a charming series of adorable and sometimes funny pieces of art, that are softly colored and simply beautiful. I had a chance to ask her a few questions a few days ago and wanted to share this interview here with you.
Me: How long have you been drawing and creating art?
Lisa: Pretty sure I was born with a crayon in my hand. But I’ve been making art professionally for about 5 years now (opened my studio after I completed my MA in Art History). The doodles started about 1 year ago. Mostly in my studio I create fine art portraits and I needed a way to decompress artistically, so I began doodling on scrap pieces of paper. After a while, I had a pile of cartoon images and I figured I would put them to work – that’s how my doodle blog was born.
Me: Your Dawdling Doodles are charming, and showcase a quirky sense of humor. How did you come about putting them on Zazzle?
Lisa: Thank you! I already had a Zazzle store showcasing my fine art drawings (http://www.zazzle.com/nosesnposesfromalm), hence opening a second store showing silly doodles (http://www.zazzle.com/dawdlingdoodles) was a fun side project at first. But then they became very popular and it just started to grow and grow! Now it’s just part of my regular studio routine.
Me: What is your favorite aspect of creating art for Zazzle?
Lisa: I love seeing where all my customers come from! The idea that someone in Ireland or Switzerland is wearing one of my doodles on a t-shirt makes me smile! And around the holidays, when the store gets really busy, it’s really fantastic to think that people all over the world are giving my doodles as presents! Sometimes I think there’s no greater gift than the gift of humor.
Me: Take us through your process of creating a piece. Do you sit down with a specific idea in mind, or do you let your creativity flow without boundaries when you sit down to create a piece?
Lisa: Heh, ummm……it’s pretty sporadic. Doodles happen when I need a break from some realistic portrait that I’m drawing for a customer. Usually, I just grab a piece of paper and start to play. Eventually, one particular doodle catches my eye and that’s the one I commit to finishing. If I really want to make something pop, I’ll even put it in Photoshop and enhance some details. But I have a strict rule to never take my doodles too seriously. If I overwork a cartoon, it loses that impulsive playful feel.
Me: How can the audience connect with you outside of Zazzle? Do you have any social media accounts or blogs you want to mention?
Lisa: Oh, I’m all over the place! They can find me on Instagram (ArtistryByLisaMarie), they may see my fine art portraits at ArtistrybyLisamarie.wordpress.com, and they can see a new doodle every Monday on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/DawdlingDoodles
Me: What would you like to tell an independent artist out there, who is trying to get the nerve up to put themselves out there?
Lisa: There will never be a “perfect time” to start, so just go for it! Really, sharing your art can be one of the greatest hurdles for a new artist. You just have to look the computer square in the keyboard and put your stuff out there!
Thanks for taking the time to answers these questions.
As always, please support independent artists with your purchase. And stop by again next week, when I will feature another exciting independent artist.
Have a blessed day!
Pixels Hu by Octavi Navarro features fun designs that drew me in because of the artist’s unique ability to draw from video games, and bring that inspiration to life in digital applicable art. I had a chance to connect with him over the last few days and allowed me share some insights into his work and life as an artist.
What is the main inspiration behind your art?
I don’t think I can point out just one source of inspiration. The ideas behind my works always come in a very natural way, sometimes while watching a movie, playing a video game or reading a book. It’s really important for me to tell an interesting story in my illustrations, something that feels touching to me in some way, so these kind of sources are always useful.
What are the techniques you use and why?
I try to get as close as possible to the classic pixel art feeling of the early 90’s video games, but mixed with my own painting techniques. I’m pretty obsessed with lighting and shadows so I use the techniques that allow me to achieve the effects I want, even if it moves away from the “purist” idea of pixel art.
This charming technique is actually one of the aspects that drew me to your art in the first place, so I think you succeeded with your mission. So, how did you get started as an Artist?
As far as I remember I’ve been drawing and painting all my life. I was a very shy kid so I always used my drawings as a way to express myself. While working as a graphic designer in a technology company, I started looking for illustration clients and that’s how I started my career as a freelance children’s books illustrator. I had lots of fun those years but at one point I wanted to make something more personal. Something that really talked about my personality and my feelings. Pixel art was the best medium I could think of to make that possible.
How can people get in contact with you?
I can be contacted from wy website: www.pixelshuh.com
Also, I try to be pretty active on the social networks too, so people can find me on Twitter (@pixelshuh), Facebook (www.facebook.com/pixelshuh), Behance (www.behance.net/onavarro), Dribbble (dribbble.com/pixelshuh), DeviantArt (octavinavarro.deviantart.com), Pinterest (www.pinterest.com/octavinavarro), and of course Redbubble (www.redbubble.com/people/pixelshuh).
Those who like my work can also support it on Patreon: www.patreon.com/pixelshuh
Thank you for taking the time to sit down with me today!
As always, please remember to support independent artists. Independent artists create a unique variety of creative art pieces, that are always worth a second look. You can find something for every taste and in every style. Thank you!
Independent artists range in the choice of their medium and subject matter greatly. I find it intriguing whenever I find an artists who can capture my attention in an unexpected way, just as Thomas Wuthrich has done with his humorous way to create relateable pieces of art. Thankfully I had a chance to ask him a few questions about his work in general and what he thinks about working on the Print On Demand Platform, Zazzle.
Here is the short interview I conducted with Thomas recently:
Me: Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us today, it is a great pleasure toy connect with you.
Tell us a little about your journey to the art you create (amongst other places) on Zazzle today?
Thomas: Many, many years ago, I stumbled across a book at the library about making money writing gags for greeting companies (just the gags). I got pretty good at coming up with, literally hundreds of ways to say “Happy Birthday”, “Get Well Soon”, etc. It was great training. A few years later, I began freelancing gags to cartoonists, including Bill “Lockhorns” Hoest. I would include a little sketch on the 3 X5 cards I’s submit. With encouragement from several cartoonist clients, I began drawing up my own gags and submitting them to magazines. After winning a 5000 US$ grand prize in a cartoon contest by a cigarette company, I was hooked on Cartooning. Even though I have sold lots of toons over the years, I still consider myself to be basically a gagwriter who can draw a little.
Me: What made you choose the name for your pen-name “Swiss”.
Thomas: I choose the pen-name “Swiss”, because my parents had emigrated from Switzerland about 15 years before I was born.
Me: Tell us a little about your style of work.
Thomas: You’ll notice that my toons are simple and uncluttered. Even though I have sold lots of toons over the years, I still consider myself to be basically a gag writer who can draw a little
Me: Judging by the quality of work you provide, I say you are a lot more than that. Thank you for this interview.
Check out Thomas Wuthrich’s cartoons out on Zazzle at “Swiss Toons” right now!
Leonid Afremov struck my interest due to his unique technique, utilizing solely a palette knife to create his warm oil paintings. Vividly stunning images of people and settings, this artist was born, raised and trained in Vitebsk, Belarus. .
He now lives in Israel. Watch a video at the end of this blog post, featuring the Mr. Afremov in action!
The following images are examples of his work, with a link to where you can purchase them.
“Spirit Of The Lake” is available here.
The artist is very active on youtube, often sharing a video of himself painting, a perfect time to appreciate his unique style and technique
Getting started on Print on Demand sites, like RedBubble or Zazzle, can be overwhelming. To ensure a smooth start, I have compiled five quick tips that can assist you on your journey of selling your art online via these platforms.
1. Use strategic listing titles
A Day in the sun might sound poetic, but does not describe your art very well – instead go for something like “A Watercolor rendition of a family relaxing in a park”. Does not sound that good, but it gets the point across.
2. Use the hashtags.
Make them relevant, but make them thorough – the more, the better. In Zazzle use your most descriptive to the point tags first – the first ten are considered your power tags.
3. Make sure your designs fit properly.
Zazzle has a great little tool, that allows you to see if your design is big enough to fit properly – this is especially important with items such as pillows. In RedBubble, you can adjust the design in the individual product category. Use it. What might look good on a pillow, might not look that good at the same size a cell phone cover.
4. Write clear, and informative products descriptions that include keywords.
Be precise, to the point, but try to convey the product in a way that someone who can not see a picture of it, would understand the basic idea of what it is about. Include the customizable options, and size options (if applicable) in your description as well. For example “Customizable to fit a variety of cell phone covers for you newest phone, to include the iPhone 6, Samsung Galaxy S6, and more”
5. Tell your story!
Make sure you have a compelling profile, that includes a little personal information and how you came to be an artist. Talk about your passions. The more you care about your art, and voice that, the more your customers will care about it too. Make it personal.
Wishing you the best success on your journey as a print on demand artist!
Another week has passed and it is again time for Celebrate the Small Things, with Lexa Cain, our wonderful blog hop host, who kindly takes her time to keep us all in check.
As every week (or at least that is the goal), I post what I am grateful for. And as usual, considering how busy we all are as a family, there is plenty to be grateful for.
I am grateful that I have had the chance to connect with some more RedBubble creators and co-created a few collaborative boards to highlight all of our creative endeavors. It is fun to work together with independent artists, and this is just another way, I am grateful that I can contribute to their success. And learn from them in the process.
I am grateful that the weather has found its usual rhythm of morning sunshine and afternoon rain. At least this way I can count on the weather somewhat, and adjust both dog walks and outings accordingly. I will miss the rain once we moved to Las Vegas, but I will not miss the mosquitos.
I am grateful that one of our neighbors has found her cat again, who had gotten out by accident. A skittish cat, and an indoor one to boot, this cat would not have done well on her own. I am glad she is home safe with her family.
I am grateful that I have had a chance to work on my own creative projects, even if it was only for a little while. I need creativity like breathing, so a day without making, or writing something is just not a day that goes well for me. Most of the days though, despite the busyness of all of the other things going on around us, I find the time. I have to make time.
What are you grateful for this week? Make sure you stop by Lexa Cain’s blog and check out all of the other wonderful people who participate in this blog hop.