I find it hard to keep up with my blog AND create art. I kind of think that the blog is a passive activity and creating art is the active activity. I talk about art and doing art in the blog but when I am not typing about art I can create it. So talking about it takes away from the doing.
This is not entirely true though. The only reason I even started actually creating art is due, in large part, to this blog. It got me in the frame of mind to actually work on my dream.
It is still hard to keep up with the blog.
Things are going well, overall. I am creating art, about two creations a month. Quite prolific for someone who is only doing it when I am not at work or tired from work. I would like to do more, but I just do not have the energy or focus at the moment.
I have a double sided whiteboard on wheels that I have filled with “to create” items. I am slowly working on it. I have three things in active progress, at the moment. I am keeping busy and on track. I do get sidetracked, like this posts creation.
This drawing/painting is really cool. No matter orientation it is viewed, it still works! I am super excited. I never expected it to work out so well. ^_^ It was done with Higgins Black Magic Ink and lots of water. I draw the lines out and then fill in the shading or colors with a tiny brush. I really like the effect.
I will be posting some color ones in a few months, when I get the series done.
Time for PAX again. This means that my art will be on the back burner for a while.
I have been working pretty consistently on several different projects.
My focus has been loose and I have 4 things going on right now… maybe 5… Either way, they will get done eventually.
The weather has not been helping much. Living in an old house without AC is troublesome to say the least. The heat saps my energy and motivation.
This is something I did for an acquaintance. She is a pretty awesome person. Sometimes art just happens because you find that someone inspired you to make art. A muse of sorts. It does not have to be a close friend or anything. Sometimes it might even be someone you dislike. If it motivates you to create, who or why does not really matter.
I am making PROGRESS!
Once I set my sights on where I want to go, I started taking steps to make it happen. Well, I planned out some steps, mini goals, and I am finally seeing results.
Last year I spent most of my time creating. Mostly drawing, some painting, and learning. Reading about being an Artist as a business, watching other artists and making friends (well trying to.)
This year I am proud to say that I have been able to get things out to the world.
It is not as easy as people would think. You do not just make stuff and mass produce it.
You have to plan things, ask and answer questions.
Do I want to do limited runs? How many? How much space do I have, how many can I store?
What kind of paper? Sizes? Postcards, stickers?
What should I charge? Etsy, Shopify, WordPress store, something else? Art fairs?
So many questions!
But I will not be derailed. I will stay on my path and get to where I am going.
I am still undecided on several things, well almost everything. But I will figure it out.
Right now I am going to celebrate getting my first print done and off to its new home.
Know Your Medium
I want to stress the importance of knowing your medium.
While working on a portrait I needed to fix some errors. The paper was off white, so I would have to make my own correction fluid to color match the paper.
The plan is to mix a brown with white until the color is as close as possible. I have two colors of brown, Burnt Umber and Sepia. One is warm and the other is cool.
When mixing them with the white I discovered that the Sepia turned grey! Not what I was expecting. I quickly abandon the idea of using the Sepia. Now I know that if I need a toned grey I can use it.
The Burnt Umber mixed well and gave me the correct tone I needed for the paper.
Below is the swatch tests I did.
You can see the differences in color.
Not all browns are the same.
I like to do research into things. Sometimes the research is for a project. Sometimes the research is prep for something I plan on doing. Research and planning are ways I deal with the fear of doing something.
In my research I have read several “self-help” books. “Feel the Fear and do it Anyway” by Susan Jeffers, is one of them. I have also just finished “Guerrilla Marketing for Artists” by Barney Davey. I have read quite a few more, but these two are stuck with me right now.
Both these books, and most of the other self help books, have at least one piece of advice in common. You have to do things you do not like. You have to go out and meet people. You have to go new places. You have to do things outside of your comfort zone. However you want to put it, it is the same. Do stuff you do not want to do.
I started my “do stuff I do not want to do” last year. I went some place new by myself every month. This may not seem like much to some, but I am a serious “home body.” I do not like to leave my comfortable and familiar home.
This small change in my routine, created tons of new art ideas for me. I filled three sketchbooks and created many illustrations that I would never have thought to create before. I used mediums that I had not use. I used old mediums in new (to me) ways. It is exciting, how just going to a new park alone changed my mind.
I was afraid of doing it, but I did it anyway. Thank you Susan Jeffers, for that lovely phrase.
This year I am going to try to do a few more things that I do not want to do. Most of them involve talking to people. Talking to people about my art. Something I have down played most of my life.
HOWEVER if I want my art to become self sufficient I need to get people to buy it. The only way to do that is talk to people, about my art. So says Barney Davey.
Ms. Jeffers and Mr. Davey are both right. If you want to reach your goals, see your plans succeed and do that thing you want to do, you have to put yourself out there. Feel your fear, figure it out, get over it, and succeed! No matter how much you do not want to do that thing that stops you.
May 2016 be the year you take those steps to make your dreams reality!
A while ago I read about Yupo “Paper.” Since then I have wanted to try it out. This weekend I got a 10 sheet pad. I sacrificed one page to do some tests on. I want to know what it would be best for, and what not to use it on.
Yupo makes a “paper” out of polypropylene, basically a plastic. It is plastic so that makes it water proof, tear resistant and durable. It is advertised for use in packaging and outdoor marketing. For artist use it is recommend for use with watercolors and inks.
As an exterior marketing media, it must be brilliant. The stuff is really durable. I can imagine how nice it must be as a packaging material or even just as labels for items that spend a lot of time near water or moisture.
This “paper” is smooth. “Like a baby’s bottom” does not do this stuff justice. It is also very white. Brilliant white does not even cover it. Think about staring into a florescent light-bulb white. I like both of these aspects of it. Black marks just leap off the page and the colors are about as true as you can get, no paper color getting in the way.
I tried this with three different mediums, artist pens (Microns,) crow quill pen (Higgins, Black Magic ink) and Gouache.
I will tell you right out of the gate DO NOT use artists pens with this. The stuff is plastic and does not absorb the inks and additives used in the artist pens. The ink never dries. I waited 3 hours and I can still smudge the doodles (the eye and feather.) It works great with crow quill and ink, both Indian and acrylic based. They take a while to dry. You do not get the ink absorbing into the paper, you have to wait for any moisture to evaporate. It might not be a big deal in dry warm areas, but in the Northwest US, it takes a while, about 30 min for the thick lines.
I also notice there there was no bleeding or feathering on my lines. This stuff is that smooth. The only time I snagged the “paper” is when I was doing the spirals and had the pen stabbing into the “paper.” Still fewer occurrences and less splatter than with traditional paper.
Like the ink the Gouache went on the paper well. I did experience some beading, but I was able to do a few additional strokes to get a smooth color. I discovered that you can “pickup” colors 100% if you get them off before they can stain the “paper.” Really handy to know if you are experimenting. Like the ink, it took a while for the Gouache to dry, about 30 min.
This stuff is crazy durable. No more worrying about messing up the paper with repeated passes over a spot, with pen or brush. If you have a REALLY heavy hand, you can make a dent in the “paper” when drawing lines. You have to push pretty darn hard. I would worry more about breaking your nib before hurting the “paper.”
Once you get your medium on the paper the next worry is usually about transporting and storage. I rolled it, made weird wavy shapes and even dropped it a few times. Still looked good, no noticeable damage to the paper and the inks and paints did not flake or crack. If you use waterproof ink, you can even run it under a faucet and it will not do anything… Water colors and Gouache would wash away leaving a stain of color behind.
This is a really neat paper substitute. If you are into temporary art or like to test out colors and strokes this might be a great product for you. You can wash away most of your art or tests.
Quick Pros and Cons:
Over all I like the stuff and will use my nine remaining sheets.
I am interested in hearing about anyone else’s experience with this stuff. I am interested in finding out how it works with acrylic paints. Being a similar base substance, it could be amazing or really bad.
~This is an honest review of this product. I am no where near famous enough to be asked to do a sponsored post. – Carissa~