Author: designsbymistyblue

Why Artists Should Get Paid

Why Artists Should Get Paid

Paying artists for their time and work is the right thing to do and as of late, I feel it’s an extremely important message to put out. It pains me that I even have to talk about this. Drawing from a recent experience, I’d like to share my thoughts.

I was recently asked to speak or teach an art class. It would be my choice! My heart leapt at the thought of someone being so inspired by my work that they felt compelled to ask me! It meant so much to me!

Just a glimpse at some of the behind the scenes work that goes into my art. I was working on a project into the wee hours of the night and that’s why this image is so dark.

My glee was shortlived, though. No talk of how much I would be getting paid was conveyed to me, so I started to question what was being asked of me.

When scheduling a time to speak, they missed the agreed upon time to discuss details. I believe that speaking on the phone cuts through any assumptions or misunderstandings and that’s why I had preferred to communicate that way. Don’t get me wrong, messaging has it merits, but in this particular case, I felt a phone conversation would’ve been best.

Through messaging, which was their preferred method to communicate, I was finally able to question them about pay. They immediately messaged me back and said they no longer required my services, they found someone to volunteer.

The thing is this… They had found value in what I do. They found value in me. After all, they approached me. So, that is what I’m choosing to take away from this. Though, they never clearly stated what they wanted from me. They moved on to another artist who was willing to work for free. And that’s great for them, if they can get someone who can afford to do that. I understand having a budget and wanting a bargain.

With that said, I’m trying to create something for my family and myself. I put in countless hours with my work. I pay for supplies from my own pocket. I pay for gas in my car to get from Point A to Point B, just like everyone else. I not only want, but need to get paid for the work I do, just like any person with a job/career would. I have bills to pay and my family needs to eat. Taking care of my family is the most important thing to me.

Interests should be made clear about what is sought from the artist. Pay should be front and foremost the information that is given to an artist whom you are interested in employing at the time of contact.

It took a lot of work just to get here and it took a lot of courage to put myself and my work out on display, especially since I’m an introvert

I’m partly to blame as well, though. I got caught up in the excitement of it and didn’t immediately state my fee. So, as an artist, that’s an important take away from this situation. There was a breakdown in communication and it was a good learning experience. It didn’t work out the way I’d hoped, but in the future I will be better prepared for such requests and I do hope to continue to recieve requests.

I donate my time and work to causes that are near and dear to my heart, but I cannot give away my time and work often or to everyone who asks.

Sadly, artists are often expected to work for free, give their work away, be paid in “exposure”, or paid very little for the work they do and statistically female artists are exposed to this the most.

The majority of artists have another job to help sustain them and their families. This makes their artwork seem like a hobby, when in fact they put in as much work as a full time job with overtime. Getting an art business off the ground is extremely difficult. Getting an art career off the ground as a female is even harder. There are plenty of statistics and articles online detailing this fact.

Art improves quality of life. Not just for the ones creating it, but for those who appreciate it. When you see an art piece, just know it most likely took many hours to create, a whole lifetime of experience has gone into it, it costs the artist to make it, it costs them to display their work in galleries, websites, and art festivals, it takes quite a bit of time to blog, add work to ecommerce sites, and to social media, they are charged fees to sale online, it costs them to ship their work, and the artist has spent a lot of time and energy in honing their craft.

Does the artist get joy from creating? Yes, absolutely! But if you truly love what they’ve done and do, pay for it. Appreciate them and all they’ve done to create their artwork. Appreciate all they’ve done to get it in front of you to enjoy. You are helping them support their families and helping them to continue creating their art. You are making a positive difference in their lives and their loved ones lives. You are showing them you see their value. They want to make the world a better place. Help them continue to do that by paying them for their work.

This particular project took me three weeks to complete properly and I even caught a cold during that time

You wouldn’t go to a concert venue and demand free tickets. You wouldn’t go to a hairstylist and expect to be given free services. Please, consider this the next time you see an artist and their artwork. It takes courage to put ourselves and our work out into the world. Please, be respectful of that. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this! It is greatly appreciated!

Here’s An Article About How One Artist Handles Being Asked To Do Free Work (It’s Hilarious)

Learn More About Me And My Artwork Here

#fairpayforartists #payartists #art #artist #illustration #illustrator #painting #painter #paintedrocks #llama #family #mistylemons #designsbymistyblue

Copyrights: Misty R. Lemons/Designs By Misty Blue Do Not Copy

Why Llamas?

Why Llamas?

During a recent interview with Mansfield Commission For The Arts, I was asked why I’ve chosen llamas as a central theme in my art. I said it was because of their long necks and that they’re fluffy and silly. I want to create art that makes myself and others happy.

Recent flyer I mocked up with my signature llamas

Once I started drawing and painting llamas people really identified with my work more. They fell in love with the cuteness and playfulness of it. I had thought about not painting llamas anymore and moving on to something else, but when people found out they encouraged me to keep adding them into my work. I thought people would get bored with them, but thankfully that hasn’t been the case!

Llamas in space!

I started winning contests with them and have gained more recognition with them. It’s so nice to see how much joy they bring to people. They’ve done well for me, so I can’t give up llamas now and besides, I really don’t want to!

My Artist Of The Month interview with Mansfield Commission For The Arts

Find Out More About My Work Here

Copyrights: Misty R. Lemons/Designs By Misty Blue Do Not Copy

#lemonsllamas #mistylemons #designsbymistyblue #llamas #painting #artist #art #maker #artistofthemonth #artaward #mansfieldcommissionforthearts #mansfieldtexas #texas #texasartist

Thank You, Mrs. Groves!

The interview I did for being Artist Of The Month for Mansfield Commission For The Arts is now live on their Facebook page!

My Video Interview

The interviewer, Tim, was so nice and professional. I appreciate him and his expertise. Being my first video interview, I was pretty nervous, but also excited and humbled. He helped put my nerves at ease, though.

To all those who have encouraged me, thank you!

Before the interview, I got to talk with him a little bit. I asked him if he’d heard of Bob Phillips from Texas Country Reporter on tv. He said he had, but through the festival that they hold in Waxahachie. Well, I always wanted to be interviewed by Bob Phillips when I was a kid. I love(d) his show! I jokingly told Tim he was Bob Phillips for the day. We had a good chuckle over it.

Here I am with one of my favorite paintings, “Intertwined With The Blues”. It was behind me during the interview.

For those who have never heard of the show, Bob Phillips would drive around all over Texas and interview interesting people. People who were artists or did other amazing things. I have always loved that show and thought Bob was so warm and did an amazing job interviewing people. He captures your imagination and draws you into their stories.

Here I am discussing why I’ve chosen llamas as a central theme in my artwork.

In my interview, I spoke about my first grade teacher, Mrs. Groves. She encouraged me and showed me how my art can make a difference. Without her, who knows how different my life would be. She was an amazing teacher. Thank you for believing in me, Mrs. Groves!

I played my interview for my husband and our son and they both said they’re proud of me and thought I did a great job. I was worried about how I’d come across and how I looked, but I think my heart showed and that’s what matters most.

Painting during my interview.

I hope you’ll take a gander and maybe even like and share it! I want my art to brighten up people’s lives and make the world a sweeter, more colorful place.

Learn More About My Artwork Here

Copyrights: Misty R. Lemons/Designs By Misty Blue Do Not Copy

#texascountryreporter #bobphillips #teacher #interview #llama #thenutcracker #waxahachie #texas #texasartist #texan #mistylemons #artist #art #designsbymistyblue

Welcome To My World!

Every now and then you’ll see artists posting to challenges on Instagram. It’s a fun way to connect and to try something new.

I recently saw the #toonme challenge. It’s where you take a photo of yourself, most likely a selfie, and divide it in two by illustrating one half of the image and leaving the other half mostly untouched.

There are some really cool designs from thousands of artists and it’s like you get a sneak peek into each individual world they’ve imagined! I saw one where this woman had drawn a dragon where the other half of her face should be. It was totally awesome!

For mine, I started off with a selfie I had recently taken. I drew the line dividing the image and then got to work on my design. I tried for a more realistic feel first, but it didn’t feel right to me. What did feel right was more cartoony!

Welcome to my world!

I took inspiration from the drawing I did of myself as a Muppet recently. (You can read more about that in one of my previous blog posts.) I added a few of my favorite things. A glamorous llama, a dainty butterfly, a silly ladybug, a rainbow, and hearts!

I left out my glasses in my cartoon world because I don’t need glasses there!

I really love this challenge! It was fun to do and it’s fun to see all the different designs by all the artists who’ve participated in it!

See My Original Instagram Post Here

Copyrights: Misty R. Lemons/Designs By Misty Blue Do Not Copy

#instagramchallenge #instagram #challenge #muppets #themuppets #jimhenson #muppet #glasses #artist #art #mistylemons #designsbymistyblue

Hi Ho! It’s Back To Work I Go!

Hi Ho! It’s Back To Work I Go!

After resting from all the hustle and bustle of the holidays, I’m back at it! I started a painting a couple of weeks ago, have done a few digital illustrations, done a video interview about my artwork (my first ever!), and just entered an art contest.

Work in progress!

Today I entered three pieces into San Antonio Art League And Museum’s 90th Juried Artists Exhibition. This is my first time entering this particular competition. I usually steer clear of contests you pay to enter, but this competition came to me from a reliable source, so I thought I’d take a chance. With $10,000 in prizes and a chance to be recognized and exhibited, I figured it was definitely worth a shot! They will announce accepted submissions in early March, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed!

The pieces I entered into SAALM’s 90th Juried Artists Exhibition

I’ve also reserved a booth for Arts Week in Mansfield Texas starting March 6th. The fee is $45. Which, isn’t bad at all. I looked into having a booth in a local Christmas event this past holiday season and that was around $200! For an artist starting out, that’s a lot of money. I didn’t do that event. So, you can see how $45 is more doable!

During Arts Week, I’ll be surrounded by other artists. This will be a little intimidating. They’ve probably been doing events like this for awhile and may even have a following. Here’s hoping my neighbors will be nice and that I make some sales!

Find Out More About Me Here

#artcompetition #artcontest #artexhibit #texasartist #texan #artist #art #saalm #mistylemons #designsbymistyblue

Awkward But Nice

Awkward But Nice

As I sit here I’m struggling to find words. I know the things I’d like to discuss, but how to arrange the words in a pleasing manner? In a way that will gain interested followers? More sales? Interest agents? Blah blah blah!

Here I am with a piece I created this past Christmas

I just want to be me and create art! I don’t want to have to think constantly about gaining followers, everchanging algorithms, or how I’m going to sell my work to better support my family. It’s so stressful!

I’m not a salesperson, but I am most definitely an introvert. I’m just kind of awkward. I don’t always know the right things to say and my face usually shows my feelings. So if I feel awkward, I can’t seem to hide that fact. And I’ve been told people think I’m too nice sometimes. But that’s me! I’m real! Both nice and awkward! Awkward but nice!

When I’m not painting, I also like to do photography

At any rate, I wanted to talk about a couple of things I have in the works in the coming months. But I’ve been kind of just taking it easy since Christmas. I worked my bahookie off last year and pushed super hard at the end of the year. I just needed to catch my breath and reset. Literally!

All dressed up for my Artist Of The Month video interview (I didn’t faint! Thank goodness!)

I’m still creating and am making plans for the coming months. But I’m also just trying to be more relaxed. After catching a cold recently, I’m still struggling to breathe. My asthma has been flaring up and it’s kicking my tail. I’m ready for cold and flu season to be over, that’s for sure!

In the next week or two I’ll have the video from my interview with Mansfield Commission For The Arts regarding my being chosen as February’s Artist Of The Month. So stay tuned for that, friends! Until then, take care. I hope you’re doing well and finding joy and peace in this oftentimes chaotic world.

#artist #art #maker #arts #mansfieldtexas #anxiety #work #dream #peace #artistofthemonth #awkwardbutnice #mistylemons #designsbymistyblue

Artist Of The Month

Yesterday I was notified that I will be Artist Of The Month for Mansfield (Texas) Commission For The Arts in February!

Here I am with my painted rock and first ever blue ribbon at the State Fair Of Texas (2019)

I will be doing a video interview this Thursday, discussing my work and myself a little bit. They will be posting it to their Facebook on February 1st.

When I told my husband he just smiled and laughed! With good reason, of coarse! He knows me well. These type of things make me nervous/excited.

Case in point: when I was in middle school, I was called to the stage for a choir award. No big deal, right? Well, I was called first! All eyes on me! I took the stage and fainted!

Recognition is nice, don’t get me wrong and I am not complaining in the least. I’m extremely grateful. It’s just not every day I’m in the spotlight.

That said, if in the future I need to conduct more of these types of interviews, this will be excellent practice.

Maybe, I could do the interview like this! That’s not too weird, right?

I’m sure I’ll be fine! I clean up nicely and I do love talking about creating art, so it should be all good! Wish me luck, just in case, though! I’ll keep you updated!

Copyrights: Misty R. Lemons/Designs By Misty Blue Do Not Copy

#artist #art #maker #artistofthemonth #artaward #texas #texan #llama #interview #mistylemons #designsbymistyblue

Hope Smiles

“Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering ‘It will be happier’. – Lord Tennyson

So thankful for all the wonderful things that happened this past year!

As the year comes to a close, I find myself looking back. What have I accomplished? What were my failures? What have I learned and how have I grown from it?

Going in to 2019, I knew I’d be turning forty at the end of the year. So, I wanted to make the year as memorable as possible. I wanted to feel like I had accomplished something. I kept my eyes open for opportunity, took a chance on myself, worked hard, and I was not disappointed.

But first, let me rewind a little bit here! In 2011, I had my thyroid removed. I had two large painful nodules on it that were making me miserable. I suffered for years up to that point with pain and strange symptoms. Once my thyroid was removed, they found I had the beginnings of thyroid cancer. In the time leading up to that, I adopted the word ‘Hope’ as my mantra and the anchor was my symbol of strength (as in “I’m still here, hanging on”). Hope saw me through some extremely trying times.

To this day I hold onto hope tightly. But with hope, I know that you also have to work hard for it. Meaning it takes work to keep the faith that things will get better, all the while actually working to make it so.

My llama painted rock with the blue ribbon I won at the State Fair Of Texas for it

Though, I’ve had some wins throughout this past year, I also had a couple of losses. I’ve learned that it’s good to try new things, to put myself out there more, and that even the losses can be wins when you learn from them.

I look forward to what 2020 holds for me and my artwork and I hope you’ll come along for the ride! I expect good things!

My future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades!

Please, make sure to subscribe to my blog, so that you can follow me on my journey throughout this new year and beyond! Oh and Happy New Year! I hope you have a year full of joy and accomplishment!

You Can Learn More About Me And My Work Here

#statefairoftexas #statefair #2020 #newyear #hope #hopesmiles #makeitso #thyroidcancer #hypothyroidism #awardwinning #artist #art #mistylemons #designsbymistyblue

By Farr The Best

By Farr The Best

My first exclusive art exhibit at the Farr Best Theater ends tomorrow. It has had a good run of over a month and a half! If you didn’t get to come out and see it, I made a little video, so you don’t have to feel left out!

Virtual Tour Of My Exhibit

I want to take a moment to thank Rosalie Gilbert from Mansfield’s Commission For The Arts. She invited me to show my work at the theater and set up booths as well. I appreciate the opportunities and am truly grateful for the experience.

Learn More About Me And My Work

#mansfieldtexas #farrbesttheater #texas #texan #artbooth #artexhibit #artist #art #mistylemons #designsbymistyblue

Copyrights: Misty R. Lemons/Designs By Misty Blue Do Not Copy

Christmas Market In Godley Texas

Christmas Market In Godley Texas

Godley’s first ever Christmas Market is a fun event that will showcase handmade holiday gift items and more from local vendors!

On December 21st from 5:30-8 the Christmas Market will open and yours truly will be there with a booth set up!

Hot cocoa, cookies, and a mule driven wagon ride will also be there to add to the family fun!

The address is 300 E. Railroad St. in Godley TX. I hope to see you there!

*Update: I’m adding pictures from the market, so you can see how we were set up and to see my sweet llama sweater!

Here I am setting up and I look llamazing!

Initially we were given one table to set up on, but when a vendor didn’t show, I was given the whole room! Which was nice because space was limited and I was able to spread out.

The organizer of the event supplied the tables and table covers. She also gave us cocoa and cupcakes! So thoughtful!
The main table
Loving the little chalkboard signs! So handy and cute!
The red contrasted nicely with my work!

I’m grateful for the opportunity and for the time I got to spend with my son!

#christmas #christmasmarket #artbooth #craftbooth #farmersmarket #artist #art #mistylemons #designsbymistyblue