I was ready to take the plunge and start living my dream as a full-time artist.
Long hours goes into living my dream, but trust me its worth it. I spent years daydreaming about becoming a full-time artist, but l kept making excuses and after fourteen years working a full-time office job, l decided to start living my dream. 2021 was an incredibly creative and rewarding year for me, and l am going to share with you what l have learned about being a full-time artist this past year.
If you are thinking about quitting your daytime job to fulfill your dream, don’t wait to take your leap of faith. If you have the drive and passion, you can do it!
Here are a few tips that l am going to share with you and a few words of advice as to what you can expect.
For me, it started with a vision, and anyone who knows me well, can tell you that l either go big or go home. I knew that financially it would be a huge change. l can honestly say that if you are able to save up some money to help you along the way, then you are already off to a great start.
A creative life is all l wanted, and to compensate for some slower months in my art career, l decided to work 3 days a week as a flower designer. It’s a win, win for me, as l get to experiment with amazing floral colour palettes, and work with beautiful flowers. Fortunately for me, l am also able to display my artwork at Avenue Florist.
This past year has been an adjustment for sure and l am not going to lie, you may struggle at first, but you need to keep faith and stay open to new ideas. Being an artist is hard work and a full-time job.
You will need to start thinking of your art as a business, it is no longer just an art practice.
Yep, its true, you will have to wear many hats. It is essential to make money and support yourself if you want to keep living your dream. This is the part of your art career that is extremely essential. "What do you mean l need to spend hours on a computer or cell phone?" Yep, you do! Accounting, marketing, your sales, and figuring out social media apps, the shipping aspect of the business, the client connections and follow ups, applications, learning all about website designs and the list goes on. Trust me there is a whole administrative side of it that consumes a lot of your time. It is all part of the process. All l can say, is surround yourself with people who know more than you, who are willing to share their experiences and knowledge. Get insight into areas that you might not be an expert at yet. If you find that it is just too much for you, there are people and businesses out there that you can add to your team. There are a ton of resources in our community, reach out to them, they are amazing at sharing their experiences and advice. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people. Use the internet, google your questions, find some of your answers on YouTube, and there are many podcasts that offer great information. I live and breath my art career, and l am a firm believer that if you want it bad enough, you will find your answers and learn as you go.
You will need a space/studio.
In May of 2021, l was chosen by the “Tett Centre Creativity Studio Selection Group” as the successful candidate to join Suite 214 in Studio A as a Tett Creativity Studio Resident Artist. I can’t tell you enough, how amazing this opportunity has been. I will tell you all about it in a different blog, so stay tuned for that one. It is important to have a creative space, a space that you can call your own, to make a mess, create your heart out, set up a desk area for administrative work. Store your materials, and hang your art work. I can assure you, in time you will grow as an artist and it is essential to have a studio. Having a studio space, is also beneficial in separating your art career from your personal life. I find it easier to balance my life, knowing that l can go to work, yes, it is work, and then go home.
Stay firm on your pricing.
Value your time, your talent is worth it. Although it is important to keep your artwork at a competitive market price and charge at your skill level and experience, you need to remember that your time and talent is valuable. Remember, you are the one in charge of your wage. You will be excited to make a sale, but remember that you can’t be working countless hours for nothing. Not everyone will agree with your pricing and that is ok. I work hard, and l stay true to my worth, l respect myself enough to price my artwork accordingly, so you need to keep true to yourself too, and appreciate and respect your hard work. If you are constantly selling out of your artwork, then maybe its time to up your prices, and don’t be afraid to charge more, especially if your artwork is in high demand.
You should say yes to new opportunities, especially your first year.
This is so important, saying yes to opportunities will only open doors for new ones. You will meet new connections that will pave the way in so many areas such as applying to gallery shows, juried shows, group collaborations, art groups, teaching or instructing art classes, the list is endless. It is important to put yourself out there in your community. In time you will want to say no, as you can get burnt out, but when you are starting out, SAY YES!. Just remember, you don’t want to miss out on some amazing opportunities that will gain you experience, don’t be afraid to engage and just be yourself.
You want an art dream, like the ones you see on social media.
HAHAHAHAHA, please excuse my laughing, but l am sure we have all done this. Scrolling through instagram, tiktok, facebook, idolising those artists you might be following and expecting your art dream to be the same. Well…..let me tell you that not all days are glorious studio days and wonderful gallery openings. Although many of those artsy posts are inspiring, they can also be a kick to the teeth. Try not to compare your journey to what you see on social media. So many successful artists who are traveling the world, making a great living, can get you all pumped and leave a perception that being an artist is an easy gig. Don’t be fooled by all those pretty pictures, because behind all those beautiful pictures and successful artists, there is a heck of a lot of hard work. Comparing can steal your vision and focus. Stay true to yourself. Try not to compare yourself to others.
Don’t be a perfectionist, seriously don’t.
This is one of the most important pieces of advice l will give you. Being a perfectionist has caused me fear. Fear of rejection and fear of failure. This fear can cripple you and any dream you might have, especially in a creative career. As an artist you are constantly putting your whole self on the line and out there for everyone to see, leaving you vulnerable and raw. This can stop you from moving forward and continuing to grow.
Instead, accept where you are in your practice and just know that if you have a vision continue to work hard in achieving where you want to be, fill the gap by practicing your skills and just have fun. Just realize that you don’t need to create a masterpiece every time you are in your studio, l don’t, and that’s ok. Just enjoy your journey, enjoy the process, and live your creative life to the fullest.
Welcome constructive criticism.
It will happen and there is no way around it. Your work will get critiqued, we sometimes don’t ask for it but you’re going to hear it.
I can’t tell you how many times my work is critiqued, and l have learned that it is ok, let it happen. I made the choice to make a living from my art, so l am going to have to put it out there for everyone to see, and that means having it judged too.
If you have made the choice to put your artwork out there for the world to see, that means that you will run into feedback and sometimes its harsh and sometimes its awesome. It will hurt, especially when you have put all your emotions out there, your whole self into your work. It is beneficial to listen and grow from it. Absorb it the best way possible and move forward, you can’t grow if its always positive, let it fuel your motivation for improvement.
If you ever need a boost, a motivational chat, feel free to come visit me in my studio 214A located at the Tett Centre on the 2nd level. Don’t be afraid to follow your dreams, after all we only have one life to live, so don’t wait for the perfect time. You don’t want to look back and say “Why did l wait so long? l would love to hear your thoughts on this topic, please feel free to leave me a comment. So, until next time my friends wishing you all a beautiful day.
Hello friends, and welcome back. I am sorry that it has been a while since l have posted a new blog. I have been crazy busy in my new studio 214 at the Tett Centre, getting ready for exciting upcoming art exhibitions this fall and I have been painting any chance l get. Feel free to come visit me as l love seeing your smiling faces!
In this blog l want to talk to you about why you should start teaching your own art classes, and the benefits. I have taught many painting classes in varies locations in the Kingston area and l now presently teach painting workshops at the Tett Centre for Creativity and Learning, located 370 King St W, Kingston, ON . I also offer private art lessons, so do not forget to check out my “Private Art Lessons” link. It is affordable and you might feel less intimidated and comfortable in a one-on-one setting.
Teaching art and creative workshops can positively impact you artistically in a variety of ways. Not only is it a way to earn extra income, but also to increase your creative productivity and publicize your art. Although location and overhead could be an issue, l do believe there are many options, such as a home studio if you have the space, the “Tett Centre” also has a creative art studio you can rent, and there is also a fantastic location called “Tie One On Creativity Bar”. I will link the sites below, so click them for more information. There are many perfect settings and spaces for teaching classes and workshops in many communities at very affordable prices.
Although an obvious benefit of hosting workshops or classes is extra income, money isn’t the only reason for holding them. However, for some artists not even the primary one, like me. For example, it keeps me stimulated creatively, helps with my artist block, it can result in new ideas and inspirations for future work, and it’s the benefit of being around new people. You are made to paint regardless whether you feel like it or not, and this means you are practicing along with your students.
Increasing your overall exposure and profile in the arts community will likely also result from conducting workshops and classes. You will be able to add participant’s names to your email list for other workshops, shows, and new artwork you have created. Those who enjoy your workshop experiences, tend to return to learn more and can often bring friends or family who might be interested in your art or in attending your classes.
Another advantage of workshops or classes as opposed to a formal course of study is that you can make them less structured and more fun and social. Although my classes can be a bit more structured than others, l still try to encourage students to add their own ideas and creative spin into their work. Attendees will still learn lots, l know they do in my classes, but they will be able to do so in a relaxed and casual setting. Especially in an inspiring space like The Tett Centre for Creativity & Learning. If you are thinking about conducting a workshop for the first time, make it fun, it’s a great advantage to attracting participants. A huge advantage to hosting these workshops and classes is that participants can receive plenty of individual attention and support, especially if you keep them small. Beginners and amateurs appreciate positive hands-on approach, this helps with self-esteem and personal growth, and other artists appreciate it for professional and technical reasons, especially when it comes to understanding the important points.
I believe it is an advantage when each student completes and leaves with a finished work of art. It gives them a feeling of knowledge and accomplishment. Although everyone works at a different pace and not everyone will finish their painting, if the student understands and masters the techniques, they can finish it on their own time. Students not only have learned something new, but they also have something to show for it. I think it is important to teach techniques and knowledge that can be applied when practicing at home. Offering workshops that aren’t going to cost your students a fortune, and financially be able to purchase similar supplies, is appealing, and attendees are more apt to try the same medium, and classes again.
Lastly workshops are a great way to gain teaching experience and improve your overall ability to talk about your art in public. Teaching workshops and making art in public brings you closer to people and brings people closer to art. This is a great way to advertise your art as well as for future workshops, classes and shows. Intimidation and reluctance that many people have around trying something new, like painting usually diminishes once they see how it’s created and able to try it firsthand. It’s a win, win for the students and myself, we all benefit, the gratifying feeling of helping someone accomplish something that makes them feel great is priceless. It is truly rewarding to be able to help people feel good about themselves, and it is fun to meet new, amazing and talented people.
If you or anyone you know are interested in teaching and you may have questions, please feel free to contact me and l can try my best to help and point you in the right direction.
Until next time my friends. Have a Beautiful day.
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Hello friends and welcome back to my first blog of 2020. l love this one and l hope you will too.
On this blog l will be reviewing the Art-n-Fly 72 Ultimate Watercolour half pan set. I would like to mention that I am not being sponsored and these are my personal opinions.
Although l use and review a lot of different art supplies, l was super excited to try these watercolours. I first saw them with great reviews on Amazon.ca and purchased the 72 colour set at a super affordable price. l have to admit that l was a bit reluctant to purchase and try them, as some great valued watercolours and products that l have experimented with seem to rate low on my list, but keep reading and you will see that this was not the case with this brand. Upon reading about Art-n-Fly, they sell directly to the consumer and thus not having a huge store front or overhead, are able to offer high end art supplies and tools at a great budget. I am totally on board with this concept as l love using great products for a great value.
When l opened my package, l was so excited to see that all 72 half pan watercolours were neatly stored in a beautiful metal case, offering 2 sponges and 2 watercolour brushes. I was pleasantly surprised to see a copy of all the colours and codes. I found this palette chart useful as the colours were pretty true to the actual colours when using them. Colours that included metallics, earth tones, skins tones, and many vibrant colours. WOW! Total eye candy, and the dry pans were glossy and smooth to the touch. What was l going to create with such a variety of colours? Still skeptical, l decided to paint a subject that l could try the medium in different ways, and use many of the colours offered in this pallet. The “Mad Hatter” seemed like a perfect choice.
Let’s talk about how l used these watercolours and what l was most impressed with. I also want to note that l used my own synthetic squirrel brushes when working with these watercolours. I wanted to create a vintage look to the Mad Hatters jacket, and used a variety of browns and a few other colours and l noticed right away that they mixed beautifully together on the paper. I was impressed how they bloomed wet on wet to the hot pressed smooth 140 lb watercolour paper. I added salt to the background to create texture and granulation and they worked extremely well using this technique. Now how do they lift? Fantastic!, on his tie and shirt l laid down black watercolour then lightly sprinkled water and the colour bloomed amazingly. I was also surprised to see how well they lifted using a clean wet brush. I found no issues and was surprised at how opaque and yet how transparent these colours could get, there were no issues with controlling colour saturation. On the tie and shirt, look how dark the black is, yet how light it could get. The application of paint was really smooth, they mixed well together wet on wet and when dry they didn’t feel chalky to the touch. What l loved most about these watercolours, was their vibrancy, look at the orange and red in the hair, they do pack a punch. I have tried some less expensive watercolours that have such a strong odor to them that l get an instant headache, but these did not smell at all and this meant that l could use them for hours and get super creative.
I will try to contact the company at some point and see if these watercolours are light-fast. I am not sure how they are rated, professional or student grade? If you are worried about selling your artwork, l would suggest creating your art and sell high quality prints which is a win, win in my opinion.
How do the colours mix together to create other colours? I honestly don’t know, as this set offered such a variety of colours that l didn’t have to mix any, which was such a treat.
Art-n-Fly offer a variety of art supplies and tools that cater to artists of all levels and they specialize in illustration products such as markers. I am so impressed with these watercolours that I have since purchased the 24 watercolour paint brush pens and the 48 oil based coloured pencils, l am excited to try them out. So make sure to pop back for more future reviews on Art-n-Fly products.
If you love using watercolours, are a beginner or professional artist like myself, are on a budget but don’t want to sacrifice quality then l do recommend giving these a try. Overall l am giving the
Art-n-Fly Ultimate half pan watercolour set a TWO THUMBS UP! I am thrilled that l purchased the whole 72 colour set, as who would not want all these rich colours? For more information on this product and other Art-n-Fly products visit their website, l have included the link below.
Feel free to follow my work on Instagram and Facebook, links are below.
Make sure to follow Art-n-Fly on Instagram and tag them so they can see your Art-n-Fly creations.
Until next time my friends, Happy Creating!
Have a beautiful day.
Hello friends and welcome back. In this blog l want to talk about how important l think it is to make time for self-reflection and some of my own reflections of 2019. It is hard to believe that a New Year is approaching, and 2019 has been such a rewarding year for me, both in my creative and personal life. I am so grateful for my family, friends, my creative journey, my fur baby, and most of all LIFE.
I believe that self-reflection has helped me to better understand the way l deal with situations, not to be completely unaware of my faults, and to find ways that l can deal with situations positively instead of letting them swallow me up. I believe that self-reflection helps in creating a positive mindset and discover a greater appreciation of yourself. It helps me collect my thoughts and better process what l need to do next. In saying this, 2019 has brought me so many new treasured friendships and it also brought me so many exciting opportunities, such as being part of the MeraQi collective, one of the featured artists at Cornerstone in Kingston, l taught fun classes at Open Studios, opened my own home teaching studio, l was part of the Small Works Show at the Tett Gallery and l am so excited to be now teaching acrylic classes at the Tett Centre Kingston. These friendships and opportunities have had such an immense and positive impact in my life. I am so fortunate to be surrounded by such a supportive community. Friends and family that lift me up, make me smile and keep me hopeful in living my dream.
Self-reflection helps you recognize change and how to tackle it, helps you see your progress, and how you can make a difference to better increase your self-awareness and self-improvement. I think it is important to know where you are in the present and where you are heading. Although l know it can take a while to get to where you want to be, setting your goals in baby steps can be so rewarding and enables you to challenge yourself. I have tried to follow this process the last few years, and so far the baby steps seem to make my life more practical, accomplished and l don’t feel so lost in my journey. I find that reflecting at the end of my day, helps keep the days from folding into one another and adds encouragement for the next day.
I don’t necessarily write in a journal every day, although this would be a great idea, sometimes it consists of just sketching something out that reflects how l am feeling that day or creating art that makes me happy. I do make a habit of daily reflection even if it is just a thought process before l go to sleep. Blogging has been a great way to journal on what l have been up too in the past year, and l have to say it is a treat to head down memory lane when reading my past blogs. I think this has been an important way for me to reflect and allows me to learn from my experiences and process my overall achievements.
Self-reflection is powerful, l know it has helped me in my own personal growth but it has required me to be honest and objective and l think that sometimes we can be too hard on ourselves, as life definitely has its ups and downs. Although l know it can be difficult taking life day by day and not letting it overwhelm us, it is important to remember that we are all human and at the end of the day remember that you are worth it.
Being that this will be my last blog of 2019, l would like to thank all of you who have helped me pursue my dreams, for all the support, for returning to read my blogs, and for following my progress. Wishing you all a Safe Holiday Season, a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Stay tuned for my 2020 blogs.
Until next year my friends, stay safe, live out your dreams and keep creating!
Hello friends, and welcome back to my new blog review. Today l am going to talk about the Lyra Aqua-color Water-Soluble Wax Crayons. I would like to mention that I am not being sponsored and these are my personal opinions.
I have been excited to try out this medium as l have been wanting to experiment with water-soluble wax crayons for a while. l finally found a 24 box set, as amazon recently had them on sale. They came in a nice tin making them easy for art on the go and l liked that each crayon indicated the colour name. Amazon sells the 12, 24, and 48 sets at a reasonable and affordable price.
Although l don’t have anything else to compare these too, as this was my first adventure with this medium, l was impressed at the different effects that l could create with them. You can use them as a wax crayon that is super creamy, add water over a coloured area for a watercolour effect, or grab the colour directly off the crayon onto a wet brush and then onto your paper for a softer look.
You can also take your time layering different colours and then blend them with water later, thus giving you lots of time to experiment. They blended beautifully so they are excellent to create fun and quick backgrounds. If your paper has a lot of tooth to it, like my cold press paper did, you may need to layer the colour a few times. I will have to experiment using them on hot press watercolour paper which will provide a smoother surface and compare the differences in application. These are not like watercolour pencils, where you get that softer look. I found that they left a thicker texture, leaving a bold colour. If you like working in detail then you could always scribble the crayon onto a palette and use a smaller wet detailed brush enabling you to use them for a finer approach. My favourite quality about this product is how super pigmented and brilliant the colours are, so if you are looking for a medium that packs a punch in vibrancy then l suggest giving these a try. I have also read that you can use them in conjunction with a bit of thinned gesso for a water stable finish. I can’t wait to give this method a try. Personally l think you may have to try these with different papers and techniques to achieve the results you are looking for.
Here are some cons l found. I couldn’t find these sold as open stock, so if there is a colour that you require more than others, replacing it with the same brand would mean having to purchase a set again. Although the packaging states that they are light resistant, I could not find any information on the light-fastness of this product as l searched Lyra’s website with no luck, so if you are looking to sell your artwork this maybe a problem. l have read that these are comparable to the Neocolor II brand which is light-fast so you may opt for that option instead, plus Neocolor ll also sells open stock colours.
Something to consider, if you tend to layer your mediums and are planning on using these for your background, due that they are a wax based product you may want to examine what medium you will be layering over top as they could show resistance.
Overall, would l buy these again? Absolutely, they are excellent in value, vibrant in colour, they offer a variety of applications, and they are fun and quick to use.
Until next time my friends. Please feel free to let me know what you think of this product? Kind comments are welcomed.
Have a beautiful day!
Hello friends, and thank you for popping back to read my blog review on the Mijello Mission Gold watercolours. I am sorry that l have been MIA lately, but summer always seems to be a busy time of the year. I have had a fun and productive summer this year and l was fortunate to be part of MeraQi Art Annex artist collective at the Fort Trade Square for the last 3 months. While there l was able to create some watercolour paintings with my favourite watercolours. I feel that l have experimented enough with the Mijello Mission Gold brand that originate from Korea, to give you some great feedback. I am not being sponsored and my review is solely based on my own opinions.
I first saw these watercolours sold on amazon and found that the pricing was a bit steep, so l found them offered on ebay, in a set of 36 (7mL) colours with a Mijello Watercolour Palette for $99.60 Canadian, that included shipping. These 7mL tubes will last you a long time as these colours are pure pigment and the “Gold Class” is a top of the line, artist grade series. The set comes with a colour chart pamphlet which is useful for picking out your individual colours when you want to buy more, and it also gives you all the information you need on the light-fastness and pigments. There are a total of 105 colours offered in the Mission Gold watercolour line. A high quality palette comes with this set offering an excellent mixing area, and 36 wells big enough for larger brushes. Overall l was impressed with this set for the value.
Right from the start, l noticed these fabulous, rich watercolours offer incredible vibrancy. The colours are strong and consistent that stay moist when you leave them to dry and they re-wet so quickly and beautifully. They mix well with wet on wet, and they are perfect for texture and granulation techniques. I found no issues when lifting the colours wet or dry. Some staining did result when dried and l was trying to lift but not with all colours. I am impressed that natural binders such as honey is used in this brand. Mixing colours was a dream as they did not become muddy. All 105 colours are AP certified from ACMI, proving that they are harmless to humans. I have to admit that it may take some practice when controlling the level of saturation due to the amount of pigments they offer. If you want light colours you will have to dilute them quite a bit, but this will help with a bit of colour going a long way, and you won’t need to use much to create light transparent colours.
One thing l did notice is that they do use different names for their colours compared to other manufacturers, l do advise creating your own colour swatch indicating the names to better familiarize yourself with the colours.
This brand also offers 15mL tubes so if you paint a lot you may want to check out some of the sets they offer in the larger tubes.
Overall these are by far my most favourite watercolours that l have tried to date, and believe me, l have tried many artist grade brands. The Mijello Misson Gold watercolours have never disappointed me yet, and l find myself only wanting to expand my collection with more of the wide variety of colours offered.
If you are an artist that loves vibrancy and colours that pack a punch, these are for sure a must try.
Click the link to get more information on Mijello watercolours.
Have a beautiful day my friends.
Staying positive is different for everyone, so what might work for me may not for you, but l thought l would share some ways that l try to stay up beat and optimistic.
Life always has its ups and downs, but there was a point in my life that l was more down then up. I was noticing that there were certain people and situations l was placed in that were bringing me down and l was also finding myself unable to say “no”, even when l was tired, or unhappy. About a year ago l started to focus on my own personal development and improving my outlook on life. Although there are times l stumble backwards, l knew that building an optimistic outlook was key to reaching my goals and maintaining a healthy, happy and realistic lifestyle.
I have always tried to keep a positive attitude, but l knew that l had to concentrate on certain habits that were effective and smart so that l could stay positive and constructive even during rough times and keep working towards something better and rewarding.
Adding value and positivity to someone’s life enriches my own. I think that what you send out there matters a whole lot, what you give and how you treat people is what you will get back. How you treat people and how you think of them also has a big effect on how you think about yourself. It is important to give value and spread positivity. Boosting the mood, just by smiling or giving someone a hug can be encouraging and can, not only uplift your day but someone else’s. Anyone who knows me, knows how much l love hugs, giving them and receiving them. There is something about the embrace of someone that can make your whole day better.
Listening, sometimes people just don’t want direct help, but they just want someone to talk to, to vent out there frustrations, and just be heard. Foster happiness by playing uplifting music, now more than ever, l crank my favourite tunes, in my studio, my car, while l am cooking. Music stimulates your soul, and music is a huge part of my positive energy.
Learn to take criticism in a healthy way. I know that l have touched base on this topic before on a previous blog, but l do think that a common fear for people is criticism. It can hold people back from doing what they love or want to try in life. Listening to negative feedback about you, can be hurtful and rejection can sting. It is going to happen, no matter what. What is most important, is handling it in a healthy way. I personally listen to the criticism and try to remain open and level headed about it. Is there something about the criticism that could help me? Can l learn from this? It isn’t easy and l usually take a few deep breaths and a little time before l respond level headily or sometimes l just let it go, because no matter what, the content can be hurtful and you need to realize that it may not be about you.
I start my day in a positive way, as this will set the tone for the rest of my day. I make my bed every morning, because at the end of my day, when l am super tired, l am grateful that l can crawl into a nicely made bed. This is a ritual that took some getting use too, as l was not known to be a morning person, l am more of a night hawk. Making my bed is a way for me to kick start my positive thinking in the morning and help ramp up the power of happiness, it is now a routine, that l enjoy. I will admit, I am usually rushed most mornings, as l like to hit the snooze button a few times, but once at work l am mindful to move through my day in the present moment. It is much easier to stay practical and happy about what you can actually do in that moment. Moving at a slower pace makes me more aware of what is going on around me. I am the kind of person who tends to move through life at a million miles a minute, so this has been a real transition for me. l am trying to smell the air, feel the sun, and enjoy the people and laughter around me. Slowing down helps me refocus and not lose perspective on what needs to be done.
Refocusing on what really matters and not making a mountain out of a molehill has been a challenge, but l now ask myself “will this really matter in a few days, weeks or even years?” Sometimes you just need to chill out and ground your perspective on the situation. Being someone who suffers from anxiety a molehill can become a big and terrifying mountain in your mind, so l find it helpful to just breath, re-group, and focus. Take a time out.
In recent months, nurturing and surrounding myself in positivity has been my most improved development. Although l have been blessed with an amazing spouse the last ten years, who truly is my best friend, l noticed that l wasn’t always appreciating him. I have since realized that appreciation is key to successful relationships, not just with my spouse but with family and friends. Who you choose to spend time with and the input you get from social media and other devices can have a huge effect on your outlook. I now tend to surround myself and appreciate essential people who influence my life with support and lift me up instead of dragging me down, and also people who appreciate the same. I think it is important to carefully consider who you or what you are letting into your mind.
I was finding that l was spending time with people who weren’t optimistic. People who were so opinionated that it was emotionally exhausting and in turn was making me doubt my capabilities, strengths and in some ways hindered my confidence.
Ask yourself who the most negative people you spend time with are? And if there is a way to spend less time with those people and start spending more time with the most positive people and sources in your life, then I can assure you that you will find clarity and happiness.
For some, this will be a major change, but l am happy that l found the strength to cleanse my life of all those negative and stressful influencers. This brings me to my next topic and that is not to let fear hold you back from doing what you want. Sometimes you just need to take a chance in life.
It can be hard, l know that common trap all too well.
I have learned to ask myself “what is the worst that could happen?” My mind can be fueled by fear and it creates the worst scenarios and lots of self-doubt, but thank goodness for the people that lift me up. I have over the years discovered that the worst thing that could realistically happen is usually not as scary as the nightmare l created.
The basic habits of eating well, getting a good night sleep and exercising regularly maybe the obvious but l struggle to find time to do all 3, well maybe not the eating, as l tend to splurge and indulge way too much. But l do find it difficult to find the time to exercise regularly with my crazy schedule, which l need to diligently work on. I do know that l think clearly when l am not tense and tired so making a positive change to getting more sleep is still a goal l struggle with. So l have to be more careful about these basic habits as they do have a huge effect on your happiness depending on how you manage them.
Some great opportunities have come my way in the last few months and although l have worked hard to achieve them, staying optimistic has been influential. I believe that being positive, helpful and hopeful, can make a world of difference in the lives of others and in yours.
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Hello Friends, and thank you for popping back in. I thought this would be a great topic for my first blog of 2019. One of my students who took one of my acrylic classes for the first time, asked me a great question “What would be required for a novice painter to supply themselves with on a budget?” This is a great question and to be honest l often get asked, so it made sense that l would write a blog about it.
Now keep in mind that my suggestions are not written in stone and there is a vast variety of supplies that you can get. If you are on a budget and not sure if this is going to be a long term adventure, here is a list of my honest recommendations of acrylic painting supplies that you can start with.
Remember that you don’t have to purchase all your supplies at once, as l tend to be frugal and enjoy a sale or a deal on the items l require, or want. Waiting for coupons or sales will help you get the most for your money. Here is a list of what l would start off with and where to find them.
I like to use acrylic taklon brushes and ones that are made from synthetic fibres. Taklon brushes have very smooth bristles allowing for smooth acrylic paint application and l find them perfect for detail work. You do not need to grab top of the line brushes. Michaels sells some excellent value packs, in different sizes that are perfect to start with. Dollar stores sometimes also sell taklon brushes, l have purchased them myself and use them on a regular basis. Although there are so many different sizes and shapes used for all types of techniques, you don’t need a handful of brushes to start off with, you only need a few. In time you will develop preferences for sizes and shapes. Mop brushes are a must for my style of acrylic painting and they are used for blending your colours and to soften your brush strokes. You can find mop brushes at most art stores, l tend to look for a mop brush with the softest bristles. Make-up blush brushes work great as a mop brush for blending, so if you have one that you aren’t using, make sure it is clean and dry and you can start using it.
The following brushes are ones that l recommend you start with:
#1 liner brush/rigger, for detailing.
#4 and #8 filbert are versatile brushes, great for different brush strokes.
Medium size mop brush/blush brush, which assists in blending your colours and softening your brush strokes.
#12 Flat brush for applying paint to your backgrounds and larger areas.
You will require a palette on which to mix your paints. This can be made of plastic, non-porous surfaces are highly preferred. Disposable foam plates work great and make clean up easy. Most art stores sell a variety of wonderful pallets even ones with lids to store unused paint. Don't forget to visit your local Dollar store, they may sell some inexpensive palettes.
You will need plenty of water, and l always recommend having two containers, one available to clean your brushes and one for diluting paint and just rinsing. Large plastic cups will work, but what l prefer are brush tubs because, they usually have separate areas with ridges to asset in cleaning your brushes.
Canvas, Wood Boards and Canvas boards
Canvas, canvas boards, wood boards are all great surfaces for acrylic painting. Value packs of canvas are available to purchase at Michaels and are perfect to use for a great value. Prices all depend on the size you are looking for. Dollar stores also sell inexpensive painting surfaces such are canvas boards, wood boards and canvas in all sizes, that you can practice with. You can also find at your local art store canvas paper that has texture and makes an ideal surface to practice your brush strokes.
Your paints can help greatly in your progress as a painter, what usually happens is a hesitancy on investing in the ‘good quality’ paints until you yourself become a better painter. Although there is so much to learn with paints, l will have to write a more in-depth blog about the differences between student and artist grade paints, which brands and colours l prefer and why?, so stay tuned as this might be my next blog topic. I recommend two brands that l absolutely love, for the value and quality, “Liquitex Basics” and “Grumbacher Academy” acrylics. Both brands offer different starter colour sets as well as individual tubes in different sizes. You can find these brands at Michaels, Amazon and most art stores, prices vary, depending on the size of tube and set you desire.
Other Useful Supplies
Here are some other useful supplies that you may already have. Q-tips are helpful for cleaning a tiny mistake on your painting, blow dryer to help your paint dry quickly if needed, masking tape for covering a surface, and a pencil to draw your design on your painting surface if desired. Lastly paper towels, for easy cleaning of your brushes, absorbing extra water and cleanup.
I hope that you have enjoyed this blog and for those of you who want to try acrylic painting, don't wait. It is so much fun and rewarding. Click my "Classes" page and join one of my painting classes. See what appeals to you. You will learn so many useful painting tips and tricks. Click the links below to follow me on my social media platforms. Until next time my friends, wishing you all a beautiful and creative day.
Hello Friends, and welcome back. l am hoping that you are enjoying my recent blogs? I could have added so many art supplies that l love using on this blog, but l picked ones that l use all the time. I hope you will enjoy them too.
Royal Langnickel Oval Mop Brushes
I use and love all sorts of art brushes from synthetic to all natural, but there is one particular kind of brush l really can’t live without. It’s the Royal Langnickel Moderna series oval mop brushes in all sizes. These brushes work really well for my style of painting as l require soft blending. They are synthetic, super soft and suitable for acrylics, oils and watercolours.
Grumbacher Gloss Spray Varnish for Oils and Acrylics
I have tried many varnishes in twenty one years of creating artwork, both for acrylics and oils, but when l tried the Grumbacher spray varnish l knew this was the one l would use consistently. It is an acrylic resin based non-yellowing varnish that protects crystal clear and glossy when used correctly, and it is super easy to protect your work.
In my early art years l didn’t realize the importance of gesso. It is now a staple in my studio. l use thin multiple layers on my canvas, then l sand the layers when dry between coats so that l can achieve a perfect smooth surface. This allows me to paint fine detail work. I sometimes use it to prime the pages of my moleskin sketch books, firming up my pages before l start to paint on them. As far as brands go, l use all kinds and l generally purchase it in large size buckets which lasts a while.
Daler-Rowney Acrylic Artist Inks
Who knew how much l would love working with these? It goes to show you that you have to experiment and try different art supplies and mediums. These dry waterproof as they are acrylic based, but OMG the colours are so vibrant and l love how transparent l can get them. Airbrushing with these are so dreamy and they are fantastic for tinting.
Fold-able Watercolor Paint Set with Water Brush
l know that this is not a professional grade product, but, l love how easy this palette collapses for easy storage so it is perfect to carry. It’s super affordable, which is great when you are practicing. It offers 42 vibrant, strongly pigmented easy to blend colours. I keep this one in my purse so l am always prepared for an opportunity to paint.
Tombo Mono Eraser
I could not imagine creating any of my detailed drawings without this eraser. It is by far one of my most used art supplies. It is available in two shape sizes, but my favourite is the round 2.3mm diameter tip. It is a perfect precision eraser, and because it has a pen style body with a clip l can keep it on my sketch book.
Moleskin Pocket Size Watercolour Sketchbook
I love, love, love this sketchbook. It comes with 135 Lb paper and l love how sturdy this moleskin book is. The elastic closure is one of the reasons this sketchbook is my favourite, so it keeps all my pages tightly together. It is small enough that l can keep it in my purse and l can pull it out and jot down a sketch or watercolour creation on the go.
I hope you will share with me some of your favourite art supplies. Remember to click on my social media links and follow me on Instagram and Facebook. Thanks again for visiting my site. Wishing you all a beautiful day,
The path of an artist has not always been an easy one for me and along the way l asked many people especially other artists for advice. However, l have learned a lot by trial and error and I wanted to share with you what l have learned so far and give you some of my best advice to help you become a successful artist, especially if you are just starting out. I have had some young aspiring artists ask me for advice so why not share it with all of you.
I usually save the best for last, but in this case l am going to start with the most important advice l can give you. Do not listen to people telling you how impractical your passions are, and don’t let anyone crush your dreams. You need to stay positive and you need to stay focused on your goals.
If you love what you do then it should not be a competition, it is important to recognize that there is an abundance of talented people out there and why not be added to that same caliber of talent? Why compete with others? Everyone is different, so don’t be afraid to be yourself.
It’s important to be encouraging, artists need to inspire and be inspired. You need to network yourself with other creative people, positive individuals who are of the same mind set. We should be helpful and aim to respond with motivating words.
Don’t give up, you have no idea how many times l would get caught up in everyday life and l would put my art aside. If you want to succeed you need to make your creativity a priority, you can’t let your art suffer. Practice makes perfect, you need to continue developing your skills, and put all the countless hours you have already dedicated to good use. You must progress and move onward. You can’t put in all that time and let it go to waste. I believe that if you have the drive to succeed you will.
I have met some really pretentious artists and all l can say is there’s a fine line to being proud of your artwork and recognizing that you are good and then being narcissistic or egotistical. No one likes a bragger so just keep that in mind.
I am a genuine believer that you don’t have to go to school to be a great artist. You just need to learn the fundamentals and you need to keep learning and practicing, and l think it is important to experiment creatively with different mediums so that you are not fearful of trying new things. Keep flourishing your artistry and talent. It’s important to realize that you will never stop developing.
I have often said that you can be an incredible artist but you need to be a good business person too. You need to learn networking and marketing. You can’t expect to sit behind your easel and let your artwork sell itself or get any exposure. Networking builds viable relationships and this delivers future results. You need to put yourself out there, not just your artwork, you as an artist need to be social. Potential customers are likely to view and check out your artwork if they know who you are, it becomes a personal experience if your patrons know who you are as a person. Your current customers can also introduce you to other people who may like your work. Build relationships with suppliers, galleries, and organizations, they can potentially help you network with people that can become clients or help you develop skills. Join social media sites, this is an important one. Online shopping and social media sites are growing rapidly. You need to keep people in the loop with what you are doing or up too and social media is a compelling way to stay in touch with society. A website is a good way to sell your artwork and blogging will help your clients get to know you. It is even as important to network in person. Get out there and talk to people. Join or attend local events. You will benefit from getting to understand your community. Have fun with it, and be personal and professional. Smiling leaves a lasting impression.
Don’t talk negatively about your art. There will always be self-doubt, but you need to believe in your abilities and what you are offering. How can others believe in you if you don’t believe in yourself? Use your art to express yourself and who you are. It’s important to stay true to yourself and so this ties into my next, but last piece of advice. Your art should not be free. “Your art will get lots of exposure, but l can’t pay for it” You need to value yourself. I have donated my artwork for some great causes, so let’s not get confused about what l am trying to express. You can’t keep giving away your art and give into offensive offers. Put value on your art. This art business is a lot of work. Trust me l know, so don’t cheapen or devalue your work.
Have fun and do what you love and remember that you need to make yourself happy, be true to yourself and remember to work hard and never give up. Feel free to share some of your great tips and advice, l would love to hear from you.
Have a beautiful Day,
I am hoping that l can be inspirational and informative. I always feel that paying it forward is a great way to live life. As a self taught artist l will try and share with you what l have learned.