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