The Arts Attack In Mansfield Texas

The Arts Attack In Mansfield Texas

Mansfield Commission For The Arts invited me to set up a booth at a Halloween art event they put on for the town. It was my first art booth of the year. I have been extremely leery of doing any events this year, due to the pandemic, but this event would be outside and all artists would be safely spaced out along a walking trail.

Aside from being windy, it was a beautiful night!

I packed up my little car and headed out. When I got there, they put me at the bottom of a hill/driveway. People would be able to walk by me on their way to the trail with other artists and performers. At the top of the hill and next to me was a singer dressed like Sally from Nightmare Before Christmas. She sang several songs by Imagine Dragons and my favorite Cranberries song “Zombie”. Across from us were actors dressed in Victorian costumes doing a play about murder and every now and then we’d see an actor amble around in character as a zombie. He had the walk down and everything. He was very good!

The zombie almost got us, until he realized we didn’t have any brains for him! 😉

We saw so many great costumes on patrons! We saw the Mandalorian with baby Yoda, we saw Mary Poppins and her chimney sweep, a great big purple dragon, a princess kitty, and a homemade turkey costume, to name a few!

It was nice to see so many smiling faces, especially since times have been so tough on everyone. It was good to just get out of the house too! Overall, I felt pretty safe and we had a good time! We made some sales and passed out some cards also!

Thank you to all my wonderful customers! Your support of my art means a great deal to me! Thank you and have a safe and happy Halloween!

I went with a Day Of The Dead sugarskull themed costume. I wanted to keep the makeup simple because of my vibrant mask and the flowers in my hair.

To learn more about me, future events, and to support my work, please visit my Link Tree! And be sure to subscribe to my blog for all the latest news on my art work! Thank you!

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

Ultimate Llama Guide On My New YouTube Channel

Ultimate Llama Guide On My New YouTube Channel

Hi, friends! It’s been awhile since my last post and I apologize. I’m sure you understand though, given the circumstance of the world right now.

My family and I have been going through some things, just like so many others are. Job loss, health concerns, worries of the world, etc., etc.

In between the not so good, we count our blessings and do our best to push through. It’s important to find or make the good during these terrible, strange, frightening times.

I’m creating again. It was sporadic at best at the beginning of the pandemic. Like so many, I was scared, worried sick, and unsure of what the future holds. To be honest, I still am. But I’m trying to be careful and I’m still trying to be hopeful. All I can do is take it a day at a time and try my best to spread love, kindness, and hope.

I have acrylic pins available now! Ask me how to order or visit my Instagram!

My son has been encouraging me to start a YouTube channel, so I finally agreed yesterday. We worked all day to create videos for it and posted one already too! Check out my Ultimate Llama Guide!

It may be a little rough around the edges, but it’s a learning process and we’ll grow and get better as we go! But I assure you, it’s super cute and silly! Well worth the watch!

I’ve also created two 2021 calendars! One is an Ode To 2020 and the other is Llama Llove! Ask me how to order or visit my Instagram for more details!

In our first video, I explain the different parts of one of my llama illustrations. We tried to inject some humor and of course it’s full of color and joy!

I hope you’ll like, comment, subscribe, and share! This is going to be fun!

For more info about me and my art, please visit my Link Tree! Thank you!

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

Art: Chronically Creative

Art: Chronically Creative

My life as a chronically ill person is something I’ve kept relatively quiet about. I just don’t like to talk a lot about my health. I think mostly because I am forced to think about it so much and these days it’s on my mind every waking moment and it also effects my sleep.

I don’t really have good days anymore. I’m reduced to good moments. How I physically feel changes every minute, it seems.

I’m sick of thinking about it and having to deal with it. It’s so stressful and exhausting (not to mention, expensive!) to live with. But I’m starting to think it’s important to talk about. Not just to teach awareness, but because it’s good to get things off your chest every once in awhile.

I’ve been soldiering on the best I can and suffer mostly in silence. But my illnesses are requiring me to need more support from others these days. I’m fiercely independent, so when I ask for help, it’s because I’m really struggling. Mind you, I’m only 40. But chronic illness doesn’t care what your age is. It’ll come for you at any age and make you feel old. It’ll take any pride you have and humble you right down real quick.

One of my designs on a face mask. How quickly the world has changed and this is the new normal! Click on the link at the bottom of this post to see over 100 of my designs on facemasks!

Holding things in isn’t good for your mental health and it can even hurt your physical health, especially when you’re immune compromised. So I’ve got to release it because it’s not helping me keeping it to myself.

To summarize my lengthy health woes: I’ve been ill most of my life. It got worse in my teens and even worse as an adult. I have hypothyroidism because my thyroid had to be removed years ago. I was just diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis, a heart issue, fibromyalgia (again), and macular degeneration. These things have embarrassed me. I was bullied as a teen for having psoriasis. It’s a devastating illness. But I have no control over these things happening to me. It’s not my fault and it doesn’t make me less valuable as a human being. I’m still a very hard worker and am capable of offering so much to the world. Besides, Cyndi Lauper has psoriasis and she’s an amazing person! She’s been my hero, since I was a little girl. I dressed like her and everything!

My symptoms change from minute to minute and there’s no cure for psoriatic arthritis or macular degeneration. Hope has gotten me this far. I just hope for a cure or better treatments in my lifetime.

I love to garden! It gives me great peace and joy. Here’s a hibiscus I’ve grown. The blooms are huge!

The treatments for psoriatic arthritis are as bad or worse than the illness itself. And it’s an illness that will savagely ravage your body, so that’s really saying something.

I’m suffering and I feel like I’m trapped in a defective body. Please, don’t see this as whining or think that I’m playing a victim for attention. I don’t want pity and I certainly don’t want to be put under a microscope. I’d just like others to come away with some sort of understanding of the anxiety, pain, and fear associated with these illnesses. The amount of sheer will power it takes to deal with them is also something people should know about. And maybe if someone can relate, that would be good too!

This banner was a boring beige, before I painted it and made it a pin display. What a great way to store and show off my pin collection!

Art has been a positive outlet for me my whole life, but even more so these past couple of years. It helps me redirect my focus to something other than my health. Sometimes a distraction is just the ticket to feel better mentally and emotionally, which can have positive effects physically.

Here I am! Enjoying myself and embarrassing my family!

I’m trying to enjoy positive things. Like these sunflowers and time with my family. God bless the farmer that planted them! Sunflowers have got to be the cheeriest out of all the flowers. They’re like drops of sunshine! I love them so much, I actually hung the picture below in my dining room!

Couldn’t resist sharing my sunglasses with this beauty!

I don’t have power or control over a lot of things in my life, but I’m doing my best to enjoy the good things in my life and count my blessings, even in the midst of a pandemic and health woes. Stay safe friends and may you and yours be blessed!

Shop My Facemask Designs Here!

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

How To Stay Optimistic In The Face Of Difficult Times: An Artist’s Perspective

How To Stay Optimistic In The Face Of Difficult Times: An Artist’s Perspective

Trying to stay positive or find positives to focus on can be extremely difficult in the face of a crisis and adversity, but it is also important for our mental and physical health.

I’m no expert, but I can offer my thoughts and experiences thus far. I’ve been in quarantine at home for two months now. Two months may sound like no time at all, but in quarantine time, it feels like a year has gone by. We haven’t been visiting relatives or friends. We haven’t gone out to grocery shop. I’ve only left to go to the doctor and to pick groceries or prescriptions through the drive-through. My son and I also just go drive around in the country to get out of the house for a bit.

Being a stay at home mom with chronic illness, I’ve gotten used to a certain level of isolation. But before I could at least get out and see familiar faces at the grocery store when I shopped and would also visit relatives. My family and I would also visit museums and go out to eat. All things I miss! Not to mention all the (art) festivals I was starting to participate in! And I had a schedule I had to keep to because my son had school to attend. And who knew how great a schedule could really be?!

The things that have helped me get through this crazy experience so far are inexpensive and easily accessible. At least, I hope so.

Aside from having my son with me, which gives me great peace of mind, I’d say that sunshine, creating art, gardening, and finding a purpose are the things that have helped me the most.

I covered my patio in colorful chalk hearts! It was fun and cheery!

On sunny days, we go out in the backyard. We’ve been tossing a football around and kicking a soccer ball to each other. I also ordered a cornhole set online, so we’ve all been playing that too. We’ve also been playing with our dogs more. They love all the free time we have at home now! I’ll even go out in the yard by myself. I putter around my little garden. I set out birdseed on a little table and watch all the birds that come by to eat. My favorite are the cardinals. I found some bubbles I bought several years ago and have been blowing bubbles outside too. Simple joys!

Calla Lillies, Gerbera Daisies, Geraniums, Echinacea, Ferns, Tomatoes, Green Onions, Lettuce, Swiss Chard, Irises, Passionflowers, Zinnias, English Ivy, Foxtail Fern, Strawberries, and California Poppies are just some of the things in my garden.

As for finding a purpose… I created a project that incorporated art and messages of love and hope together. I enlisted the help of six other artists to be a part of it with me. I met them at the art reception/last event I did before the quarantine. Just a great group of ladies! And so talented! I love when ladies support each other! It’s a great feeling of community!

All of our work combined in a digital collage for the Artists Give Love Project I put together. (Top left by Sang Ratu Adil, Bottom left by Heidi Tournoux-Hanshaw, Top middle by Heather Schroeder Harbaugh, Middle by me, Misty Lemons/Designs By Misty Blue, Bottom middle by Keerthana Naresh/Kiki.artful, Top right by Dallas Williams Art & Bottom right by Wendy-Wayne Caldwell/Artsundefined By Wendy Moniqué)

I was inspired by a Pass The Brush Challenge another artist friend participated in. I wanted to figure out a way to do it that made sense for artists and I wanted to have a positive message behind it. I wanted people to be inspired by it and to feel hope and love when those things may be difficult to come by right now. People need to see that those things are still in the world.

We called our project video the Pass The Paintbrush Challenge

It was a lot of hard work, but well worth the effort. It kept our minds busy and focused us all on something positive. It gave us much needed purpose and we all had fun! And we’ve now been featured on the Mansfield Commission for the Arts Facebook page, featured by Michael’s on their website, and featured by ArtNewsDFW on their Facebook, website, and newsletter!

“Give Love” by Misty Lemons/Designs By Misty Blue

Other artists and celebrities have shared videos of themselves reading children’s books or sonnets. Some have even done tutorials, sung, and shown themselves creating. So I decided to join in! I read “Ordinary Amos and the Amazing Fish” and have also done a couple of tutorials, which you can see on my Facebook.

I hope you can find beauty, love, hope, peace, and purpose during this extremely trying time and I hope that this little blog of mine has helped you in some way. Take care, be safe, and please remember to give love!

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

Keeping Hope Alive As An Artist

Keeping Hope Alive As An Artist

Adding a little levity during this difficult time to help others stay hopeful

As so many Americans are being confronted with coronavirus, there is a feeling of panic. I myself am not immune to this feeling. I suffer from chronic illness, as do several members of my family. We weren’t blessed with good health. And that’s just what good health is. A blessing! Whether you choose to believe in a god or not, good health is a gift to cherish. Some people are genetically predisposed for good health, while others aren’t so fortunate. I’m not fortunate in that department, sadly. So, I can’t help but feel frightened and anxious over this illness. I’m at risk. My family is at risk. But sitting around waiting for something bad to happen is also not healthy. In fact, just this past Friday, I had read so much terrible news that day, I literally felt sick that night and couldn’t sleep. So, I prayed and decided to do what I can do to feel more in control. Worrying will make me sick and not help matters. So, I will keep my house clean, eat as healthy as I can, not hoard when I shop, keep my hands clean, only leave my home when it’s necessary, spend quality time with my son, and create art to give others hope and peace. I’m already seeing so many artists doing just that on their social media, as well. We’re all going to do our part to keep up hope, to entertain, and be good humans. So, please if you’re feeling anxious and like the world is spinning out of control, find positive things you can control. Focus on the good. And whether you are an artist or not, you can post positive things on social media to help others. May you and your loved ones stay safe and well. We can get through this together. We can help save lives.

Please, follow me on Instagram and Facebook. And if you choose to follow my blog, I appreciate that too! Thank you so much! Please, subscribe!

To Learn More About Me And My Artwork, Please Visit: http://www.designsbymistyblue.com

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

Women Artists Uplifting Eachother

Women Artists Uplifting Eachother

“You have a choice to either compete with the woman sitting next to you or to support her and do something together and root for each other.” – Kate Hudson

On Sunday, Mansfield Commission For The Arts had a reception for several local artists, myself included, preceding the upcoming Pickle Parade And Palooza. It would be my first reception ever.

I was one of the last artists to set up, so I had to set my tables up in the middle of the room, while everyone else had set up all around the edges. Which, worked out great for me! I was the first artist you’d see and would walk by when entering the room!

Here I am with my booth set up at the reception

Admittedly, I was nervous about the reception. I was fearful the other artists would not be accepting of me or my work. I was relieved to find that just wasn’t the case, though. Every artist I met was warm and kind. Each with amazing stories and all extremely talented. They all had only meaningful and positive things to say about my work.

As we were able to spend more time together, it was clear these women were supportive of each other and wanted to include me! They took pictures and video for social media. They asked the other artists and myself to talk about ourselves and our art, which they shared on their social media pages. They didn’t have to do this, but they wanted to. They were so positive and caring. It has meant so much to me and I will never forget it. We all connected on social media, so we can continue to support eachother and to stay in touch.

Tata (ratuadil.art), myself (designsbymistyblue), Kiki (kiki.artful), Tracy (ritaandnathan)

The whole experience was made all the better by these amazing, thoughtful women. This has not always been the case when dealing with other females in my life and the other artists agreed with me. I honestly don’t know why some ladies can be so harsh to other women. We should all be supporting one another, uplifting each other. It would make life so much better and more enriching.

Another view of my booth

I am grateful that I was able to participate in this wonderful event and to have met such interesting, strong, uplifting women. I had so much fun! I look forward to working with them again in the future and hope they all find great success in all they do.

Wendy (bottom left, artsundefined)
First reception and first time with my new sign!

You can connect with these amazing, talented artists on Instagram: ratuadil.art ritaandnathan kiki.artful artsundefined

If you like my blog, please follow me! I will continue to post about events I attend and share behind the scenes of what it takes to create my artwork! Thank you for your support! It is greatly appreciated!

To Learn More About Me And My Artwork, Please Visit: http://www.designsbymistyblue.com

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

Art Reception

Art Reception

A friend told me about an opportunity for a big art project in Fort Worth. It would be a paying gig. They are wanting to commission eight artists (I believe I saw that said somewhere) to paint public art installations along a walking trail. They required a portfolio and an artist CV (fancy, in depth resume), so I’ve been working hard on building mine.

On top of that, the City of Mansfield is holding their annual painted rainbarrel competition. I decided I wanted to enter again. I just had so much fun with it last year! I decided to go with a watermelon design this time around. Last year, I painted a llama. The barrel would look like a giant watermelon. I really want to paint this, so I hope they choose me!

My Watermelon Rainbarrel Design, “Juicy”

Then, this Thursday, I’ll be loading in my artwork for an artist reception on Sunday. And then the following weekend I’ll have my booth set up for Mansfield’s St. Patrick’s Day Pickle Parade (March 14th from 10 to 5, same location as the reception)! I’ve never been, but heard they expect thirty to forty thousands people to attend! I will definitely have my work cut out for me. I hope to meet loads of interesting folks who want my art!

Be My Guest!

I also hope to have plenty of people show up to the reception. Stop on by and say “howdy”, if you get a chance!

Here’s Last Year’s Barrel That I Did

Find Out More About My Work Here

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

New Artist Logo: An Inside Look

New Artist Logo: An Inside Look

Hello, lovely reader! I’m glad you’re here and I hope you’re having a good day!

As I write this, it’s sunny and cold outside (Winter). An oxymoron! And it’s Friday! Yippee! Which in itself is reason to celebrate, but I also have exciting news! I’ve created a new logo!

First, I want to discuss my old logo! I created my unicorn logo almost two years ago. I chose the unicorn for my design because it’s a unique, strong, and legendary creature. I designed it with playfulness and simplicity in mind, though. I also love color, so incorporated several.

The first logo I designed for myself

Since I’ve been painting and drawing llamas for a few years now and have become more recognized for it, it makes more sense to have a llama as my new logo.

My new logo!

Again, I incorporated loads of color. But, I also have a duplicate outline in black, for simplicity’s sake.

I wanted the llama to have glasses because I wear glasses. Adding a bow onto the apron lends a touch of femininity, along with the heartshaped glasses and pearls she’s wearing.

The design is more intricately detailed. Holding a paintbrush and palette, you immediately know it’s an artist. Whereas the unicorn is unique, you can’t really gather what it represents.

I’m pleased with how she turned out. I’m calling it “Llamonet” as a nod to Monet, the artist. Monet is a world renowned artist who was visually impaired. I myself have been diagnosed with macular degeneration, so I can certainly empathize with having problems with sight.

It is my hope that this logo shows a strong female character that inspires others.

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

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

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 artwork. 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