Remember this week’s blog on community? Well all sorts of great things are happening around me right now, thanks to my communities. I’ll be joining the Etsy NY Team blog as a contributing member very soon, so I’ll post links to my articles over there and you can check them out. I was also nominated by fellow illustrator Melissa Iwai for the Liebster award. I know Melissa through the Make Art That Sells Bootcamp and her work is just lovely. It’s been amazing to be a part of these groups of talented, friendly people.
To participate in the Leibster Award, I am required to tell 11 random facts about myself, answer Melissa’s 11 questions, nominate 11 other blogs with less than 200 followers to do the same, and ask them 11 questions. It’s a fun way to discover and share other blogs! I nominate:
- Hannah Sessions
- Rachel Ashton
- Cassia Cogger
- Jennifer Wambach
- Kendra Shedenhelm
- Inga Foltz
- Lucinda Kidney
- Gill Cameron
- Valerie Hebert
- Kelly Angelovic
- Jeanne Fury
This is the most you will probably ever hear me talk about myself, so take a deep breath.
11 Random facts about me
- I spend far too much time playing The Simpsons game Tapped Out on my iPhone.
- I gave myself two of my tattoos.
- I am forty-five years old. When did THAT happen?!
- Donuts and peanut butter are two of my food groups.
- I’ve run four marathons, but I hate running.
- I own five bicycles and cycling is one of my greatest passions.
- I named my dog Franklin so I could say, “These are my pets, Frank and Beans.”
- I am obsessed with driftwood, rocks, sea glass, crystals and old glass bottles.
- I played bass guitar in four different bands in Washington DC and Los Angeles.
- I share a brownstone garden apartment in Brooklyn along with my partner, my dog and cat, and her dog and cat. We invest heavily in lint roll brushes.
- I packed up a tent and sleeping bag and did a solo motorcycle trip along the coastline from DC to Daytona Beach, camping along the way when I was in my early twenties.
11 Questions for me to answer
1. What are your art goals for 2015?
Since art is my business, my art goals and business goals often overlap. I’d like to become self-sustaining as an artist this year, if at all possible. That means paying the bills with the paintbrush! So far, I’m still very much in the start-up phase (I only started in earnest in September 2014).
2. What medium do you use?
In the past I have focused on painting with acrylic on canvas, wood or glass and sculpting with driftwood, copper wire, and beeswax. These days I often start with pen and paper, then scan and work digitally in Illustrator and Photoshop.
3. What is your process of late for creating a piece of art from concept to finish?
I come up with ideas all the time, so I keep a running list to choose from. Also, I’m always taking cast-off work from one project and applying it to another project. For example, a logo/branding client of mine wanted a less whimsical bird than I had been mocking up, so after I created a bird that was better suited to their needs, that left me with a set of fun birds to use for a pattern and wall art project. Anyway, I take the idea, sketch on paper and refine using vellum, then transfer digitally via my scanner to my Mac. I manipulate it in Adobe Illustrator and create vectors from my original drawings. Then either I finish it up in Illustrator or I place it as an active object in Photoshop and finalize the art there. Once I export the finished product, depending on the job, I might provide it to a client, load it on my website, post in progress and final shots on Instagram, list it for sale if appropriate on Etsy and Society 6, and blog about it on Ello and WordPress (which sends it automagically to Facebook and Twitter). I send my agent a monthly bundle of my new work for licensing opportunities each month, too.
4. How did you come to be an artist? Did you do other things before this? How did you know you wanted to become one?
I’ve always been an artist. I won awards in high school for art and was the art editor of the creative magazine we published. Then, I don’t know, life happened and I followed a lot of crazy tangents. I travelled around the country, I bartended, I stuffed envelopes, I worked for the Girl Scouts, I built websites, and eventually I found myself working in technology. I spent twenty years working for a music company in the technology department and absolutely loved it. During all that time, I painted and drew and sculpted and created, too. I had a few shows, but nothing major. I dreamed of the day that I could focus on my art full-time. Last year, my job ended and I got a nice severance package, so I decided it was the perfect opportunity to make the jump in careers. It’s been equal parts terrifying and thrilling so far.
5. Have you traveled much? What is your favorite city, town, or place and why?
When I was 19, I hopped in my pickup truck and drove all over the United States, sleeping on a futon mattress in the back. It was quite an experience. My career prior to this allowed me to travel frequently. I’ve been to India (also here), Germany, UK, Italy (also here and here), Norway, Canada, Poland, France, Mexico, and the Caribbean. As an adult, I’ve lived in Washington DC, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Honolulu, and New York City. My favorite place is actually where I am right now, Brooklyn. I can see/eat/buy/explore almost anything my heart fancies and there are so many opportunities available to me, especially as an artist.
6. What do you do when you get frustrated with your work?
I’ll change gears and work on admin tasks instead of creative tasks or vice versa. That right brain/left brain swap usually reboots things and gets it all back on track.
7. How do you manage your time — that is, how do you carve out time in your life to do your art?
Since art is my livelihood now, carving out time is just like having a job. I work from home, so it’s mostly about running my business as a business. I have a scheduler that keeps me on track for my creative projects, my social media and marketing, my admin tasks, my freelance outreach, and my educational goals. I carve time out of my work schedule for doggie playtime throughout the day, exercise (outside on my bike or on a run in nice weather, indoors on the trainer in the winter), fun and social activities, and sleep/food/meditation.
8. What is something you are grateful for?
I am grateful for the love and support I have in my life. My family and friends are amazing people.
9. What is an inspiring quote that you’d like the share?
My three favorite people to quote are Homer Simpson, Pema Chodron and Rainer Maria Rilke. If I had to choose just one, I’d go with Rilke, “Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and books written in a foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. The point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”
10. What is the best art tip/advice you’ve been given?
11. What would you tell a child who says they want to become an artist when they grow up?
11 Questions for my nominees (you can answer regarding your art or life in general)
- What inspires you most?
- Describe a typical day. Do you keep a schedule?
- What is the best advice/tip you’ve ever received?
- What was the last lie you told?
- What was your first thought when you woke up this morning?
- If you could do anything at all without fear of failure, what would it be?
- What are you afraid of?
- What are you fearless about?
- If you could do anything in your life over, what would it be?
- If you could only keep five possessions, what would they be?
- What are you most proud of?