Getting Ready for the Holidays!

Yes, I am.
To get ready for the holidays that come at the end of the year I am….
wait for it….
making art.
Probably not what you were expecting.
I am a bit behind the curve as I only have one Christmas / Holiday themed art piece!
I have been working to remedy that with “25 Days of Christmas.”
My goal is to create 25 winter holiday themed images.  I am going to do my best to work in a few other religions that celebrate winter holidays.  Suggestions are always welcome as I might miss things, or misunderstand something.
Poinsettia_Small
Unlike Inktober where the goal was to do line drawings that I could turn into a coloring book, I want to create 25 finished pieces.  Each of these takes about 2 days to do (drying between layers takes a while.)  Even a simple one can take 10-12 hours of work and 10-12 hours of waiting for paint to dry.
To give myself better odds of being able to reach my goal (25 is A LOT) I started around Thanksgiving.
This first one was simple (kind of) to draw and simple to paint, just 4 colors!
Please enjoy the video of me paint this.
Remember to subscribe to my Youtube Channel to get be notified of my newest videos.

 

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Cleaning out the Cobwebs

I got a bug up my butt to clean today.  I swept, mopped, dusted, lifted, moved, shifted, sorted, tossed and recycled a lot.  I actually filled my 13g recycling tub full of cardboard and paper (scratch paper – no art was harmed in this clean-up.)

I have a bit more to do.  I am getting rid of the small tv table in favor of something with drawers.  Stuff needs to get off the floors.  There is so much cat hair and pine needles floating around this year.  It would also be helpful to be able to find things without moving a bunch of stuff.

I need to figure out how I can hang all my empty frames instead of hiding them on the floor.  The walls are plaster and it is hard to put screws in the wall without a bunch of damage.  I might have to modify some hooks so they protrude a foot or so from the wall.

Anyway, there is still more to do.  I am excited to do it, but I have no more energy to do more tonight.  Things will wait until tomorrow.

It is nice to have things clean.  I can think better and SEE what is available.  I also know where things are and I will not have to panic when getting ready for events or packing art for buyers.

I also changed up the “Wall of Inspiration.”  New stuff is good to get rid of the old thoughts.

Here is a look at what I have as of tonight.  I stitched together a bunch of pictures in a panoramic type view.  it is quite different.  I might play with this later and see what other things Photoshop might play with this.

Workspace_panorama_Small.png

10 Things I am Thankful For

10676251_696228827157585_8069659737897504433_nIt is Thanksgiving Day in the USA.
What is Thanksgiving?
People in the US and Canada have been educated to believe that our ancestors that landed on the North American continent almost three centuries ago, were saved by the natives during a bad winter.  To show their thanks these settlers held a feast, when they were able to (probably a year or so later,) and invited the natives.
….
..
That is what we are taught.  I kid you not.
Thanksgiving now is just a great excuse to have a short work week and justify the extra eating and extra laziness.
Some people actually think about the things that they are thankful for.  Not something I normally do, but why not.
10 things I am thankful for:
10. Spell Check.  I constantly miss letters as I try to type as fast as I think and read.  Spell check keeps things pretty clear.  Though I did type ‘think’ several times instead of ‘thank.’
9.  YouTube.  I love to listen to music and watch videos.  This year YouTube has been a great help.  I had to give up Netflix and Hulu, so most of my Television watching has come from the lovely people that post shows on YouTube.  In addition I have been posting my time lapse videos on the service.  There is that.
(a video was realeased earlier today, make sure you go check it out *hint hint*)
8.  Fans.  You would think as an artist trying to make a living off art I would put my fans closer to the top.  Nope.  Most of my friends are fans (lots of love and thank you’s) and I do not have that many fans.  Also my fans are not helping me live off my art yet.  So far I am only covering shipping costs for the year, it is not paying for new supplies or helping with bills.
I am thankful to have the few fans I do have.  I love you all. As I acquire more fans that are able to help me reach my goal of supporting myself with my art, you will definitely move up my list.
7.  Friends.  Friends are kind of far down the list.  I have never been great with people, even as a child, so I have mixed feelings about having friends.  I love my friends and I am thankful for them.
6.  The Internet.  No internet no blog, no art marketing, and no reference photos/images.  My art would be significantly different without the internet.  I am not sure if it would be better or worse, more or less, but it would be different.
5.  Public transportation.  Not many know that I do not have a drivers licence.  If I have to go any great distance I usually take the bus.  It is a cheap and fairly reliable way to get to the places I frequent.
4.  Music.  Music goes with me almost everywhere.  I listen while I paint, read, walk, bus, cook and do chores.  You would think that it would be higher on the this than books, but it is not.  Books were my salvation before music.
3. Books.  Yep books.  I love reading and research.  Books are great, and in a pinch they make good art holders, raisers and weights.  I am also thankful to the authors, writing is an art, and they are artists.
2. Art, mostly painting.  Without art I would be lost.  I would have no good way to express myself and how I understand the world. Art is an abstract concept, so it is kind of strange to be thankful for it, but I am.
1.  My spouse.  It is corny but I have really appreciated my spouse this year.  We have had our differences and difficulties this year.  We are still together and supporting each other.  He has supported my decisions this year, even though the big one caused financial issues.  He has been supportive in my desire to pursue art.
There you have it.
The 10 things I am most thankful for.
I know that things like family, work, and health are not on the the list.
I love my family, they are awesome, and I am thankful for them, just not as much as spell check… this year any way.
Work and health?
Weeeellll, that is a mixed bag.  I am employed part time.  That really does not cover many of the house expenses, but it does get me out and moving.  As for health….
I am not on my death bed, but my allergies have been bad this year.  My back has also been an issue this year.
What are you thankful for?

It’s Thursday?!

Wow, this week has flown by.
I did not post anything on Monday.  I was not motivated and I really did not have much to talk about.
Today is different.
Mostly because it is Thursday and things have been going this week.
1. I have sent off a bunch of art!  I had art actually sell and I am stoked. I have a few people that are contemplating purchases and have to wait for their paychecks.  Hopefully I will have more sales shortly.
2. I signed up for a small creepy holiday sales event.  I withdrew from the RAWk Seattle event.  I just do not have the energy to attempt to sell tickets and I cannot afford to buy out all the tickets.
3. I have started creating holiday art.  I want to have some items ready in time for the December holidays.  I already have one done and started another.  I have ideas for 3 or 4 more.
4.  I have ideas!  I have so many ideas and I am thinking about how to make them work.  Acrylic paintings and the holiday ink wash paintings.
That is about all.  I hope to be motivated to do the Monday blog post next week.

 

I did a Give-Away

I have reached a landmark on my Instagram (@bycarissac) account of 200 Followers.  So I did a drawing… more of a raffle.  I used two of my Inktober paintings as prizes.
I will do another contest when I hit 300 followers.
 Tomorrow I will do a similar drawing for my Facebook account that reached 200 the day after Instagram did.  The prize will be two other Inktober paintings.
 One Day I imagine being able to hold give-away contests on YouTube and even this blog.
Today I started working on an octopus painting I started a few months ago, but set aside to work on commissions and Inktober.  I am also in the planning stages for another set of drawings that will be made into a coloring book.
Today another time-lapse video was uploaded to my YouTube Channel today.  It was the Flash inkwash drawing.
That should be all the news I have.
Have a great week!

 

Jet City Comic Show, a Vendor Review

This weekend I was a vendor at Jet City Cmic Show in Tacoma, Wa.  My space was sponsored by Terra Crux Games, a local game shop.  At Terra Crux you can try-before-you-buy a lot of the products (board games and RPG style games,) hang out with your friends and have a brew, and get all your Magic the Gathering, Warhammer (and 40K) needs met, along with pretty much any other kind of game around. The shop is very welcoming to all genders, creeds and skill levels.
But this is not about how awesome Terra Crux is.  This is about Jet City Comic Show and my experience there.
FYI, these are my opinions and are should not be reflected on Terra Crux.
What is Jet City Comic Show?
Jet City is a comic show (comic con) that runs for two days, usually at the end of October / early November.  It is the last comic oriented conventions of note in the Puget Sound area. You will find a lot of local comic artists showing their comics and other art.  You will also find several game stores and (gasp) comic shops selling their wares.  This year also had quite a bit of cosplay accessories and services.  The LeMay Car Museum also donates a few cars to fit the theme of the show.  One year it was the Flintstone Mobile, KIT has been a few times, and this year they also had the car from Supernatural TV show.
What am I basing my review on?
I have been a vendor at a few other shows, (Oddmall, Art on the Ave, and Music and Art in Wright Park) so I still have not figured out all the ins and outs of being a vendor and making decent sales.  It has only been six months since I have been trying to make a living off art.  I have friends that do these events on a regular basis, so I am taking their wise words into account.  The majority of it is based off my interaction with the attendees of the show and my own bottom line.
The Review, Day 1:
Day 1 was pretty good.  I made quite a few sales.  Strangely none of my “nerd” art sold.  All that work and, while appreciated, no one purchased. I did sell a lot of post cards.  I feel that those were a great investment, and I will be getting more. I also talked to quite a few people and gave out quite a few business cards.
Business wise Day 1 was not great, but there is still Day 2.
Over all Day 1 was busy and fun.  There were lots of attendees in cosplay and they had a lot of energy.
The Review, Day 2:
Day 2 was pretty bad.  I made 3 sales, postcards and and some greeting cards, all early in the day.  After the first few hours it was evident that there were going to be few sales that day.
There were significantly fewer attendees on Day 2. They did not have the level of energy the Day 1 group had.  I did hand out a few cards and was able to talk to a few people, but the interest was not there.  People seemed to just want to run in, do a lap, and leave.  Hit and run kind of attitudes.
The other vendors were quite upset with the Day 2 turn out.  A few packed up quite early, others started working on other projects, and many took the opportunity to leave their booths for extended periods of time to wander around.  My booth partners chose to wander the show and explore.  I stayed behind, hoping for a random additional sale or fun conversation.
At the end of the event (both days,) my income was about half of what my portion of the booth fee would have been.  Even at the other events I have done I at least made the booth fee.
Feelings regarding the Event:
The show is too late in the year.  People are conserving money for Christmas and they just spent a lot on Halloween, so there is not much to go around.  From what I saw most people spent less than $100 on average, and only $20 to $30 of that was on art.  Most were from the hated “print wall” vendor.
I will only do this again if I am sponsored or someone gives me a table.
If I do participate in another comic related event I will create some zines or more comic related art.
What I did Wrong:
There are things I know that I did wrong or not quite right.
1. I need sturdier baskets to hold the postcards and greeting cards.  It would be nice to get a matching set to hold my three main products, prints, postcards, and greeting cards.  Maybe two more, one for whatever zine I am able to create for the event and one for any small random thing I have at the time.
2. I could not figure out a way to get my sign to hang. So I did not hang it.  I had some examples of Warhammer 40K war banners in the back of the booth, where I could have hung the sign.  I decided the banners were enough of a draw.  I am not sure if it was a good choice or not.
3.  Something that I could not control.  I have been having bad allergies and I was not able to do my usually fun statement makeup.  I am not sure if it makes a difference, but I feel like it does.
I am sure there were a few other things, but those stand out to me as being obvious.
Things I did Right:
Yes, I did some things right!
1. Packed light.  I made sure I did not bring a huge amount of stuff.  I had a box duffel, a tote bag, the roll of Warhammer banners, and the giant four Skull Experiment poster.
I could have gone smaller, I could have left the tote out and half the banners.  But this is supposed to be a larger show, so I wanted to have a few extra things “in case.”
2. I talked to people.  I did not hide behind my table and just doodle.  I stood up and greeted almost everyone that walked past my space.
3. I listened to people and had meaningful conversations.  I talked about so much stuff that I am interested in.  Not just art, but games, goals, and so much other stuff, but only because I listened and let people talk.
4. Marketing. I made sure I did a few Facebook Live videos and even an Instagram Live video.  I did the very best I could to advertise where I was going to be and share the experience with others.
5.  I helped when I could and only “put my foot in it” a few times. Even those few times were not so bad that I am obsessing over what I said or did.  A huge improvement over how things have gone in my personal past.
I learn from every event and all the people that I interact with and work with.  I will take these lessons and improve for the next event.
Visit my Facebook page to see the videos I took!
2017-11-04 15.17.44My booth set up for Day 1.  I had a young artist buddy hanging out with me for a while.

 

Inktober 2017, The END!

I had a lot of fun with Inktober this year.  I drew something worth while every day.  I even made a little coloring book!
I look forward to next year and doing even better drawings, and even another coloring book.
Here are the last few of the Inktober drawings.
Also, I have a Youtube channel where you can watch me draw all my Inktober drawings, and many other things.