Inspired by emotion is the title for the art journal video interview I had with artist Mel Bunny Sparkles. It was so much fun and she is full of inspiration and suggestions for new artists and veterans alike.
You will want to check out this video!
Bunny is the guest artist for June in my free 2017 Art Journaling Journey. If you haven’t signed up for the free prompts, you can do so HERE. You will receive all the prompts for this year via email. You can also join my Facebook group that is brimming with inspiration. CLICK HERE.
If you sign up for my regular art newsletter (top right corner of this page,) you will receive an art journal primer and a project to make. Great for beginners! You have to start somewhere.
I also have many helpful art journal videos on YouTube under my own name. YOUTUBE CHANNEL. There are videos for beginners and for those who are looking for tips and tricks to jazz up their art journals.
You want to sell art? Well, why not. We need more art in the world and yours makes a difference. Everyone’s art perspective counts.
People usually advise against becoming an artist since they always equate such a creature with a “starving artist.” Side note: I feed a feral cat and many people do, so why would we not feed starving artists??
There are many ways around the starvation syndrome, one is to become a creative thinker and produce many streams of income. (You can always get a sugar daddy or mama… joking.)
I painted the rose above in ’06 and I sold 7 versions of the same painting. I still own this one but I might put it in my etsy shop.
I paint, make mixed media art, art journaling, and several crafts. I enjoy them all. I started selling paintings on eBay back in 2003 (how time flies!) What did I learn from that?
Always add hanging mechanisms on the back of the art. All I did was varnish the paintings and send them off. 🙂 Small paintings work well with sawtooth hangers. Large paintings require picture wire and eye hooks. Apply the eye hook to the INSIDE edge of the stretcher bars so that the picture will hang flat against the walls once you attach the wire.
Paint on gallery wrapped canvas or some other professional surface. If you paint on cheap stretched canvas and the staples show on the sides, you give the impression of “starving artist.” (Gallery wrapped canvas is the kind that is stapled to the back of the stretcher frame.)
If you can afford it, always buy stretched canvases with the deep 1″ edge. They look so much better, and definitely don’t need a frame, which is a selling point. If you’re handy, stretch your own canvas. You can get rolled canvas for great deals on eBay. Other surfaces that are usable are Masonite and luon-covered plywood. Places like the Home Depot can cut them to size right there. You need to gesso the surfaces and they need to be framed (by the buyer.)
Write eye-catching descriptions if you sell online. That is a make or break point besides awesome art. Use TAGS, as many as you can think of, so that peeps can find your art during a search.
Sisterhood was a painting I ended up making eight versions of and they all sold. This was back in 2008. People have wanted to use the art for their business cards. I think women loved these paintings because of the sisterhood idea.
When something works, make several versions that show the same theme, different shapes and colors. I get tired of repeating myself, but I make as many as I can stand.
If you use mixed media, make sure the papers and ephemera are glued down securely. Nothing is more annoying than flimsy edges and corners that stick up.
Use a quality acrylic varnish to finish off the artwork.
Try lots of different styles until something clicks and you come home to yourself.
Master some kind of fun craft and sell the things you make.
Crafts are like a meditation for me.
If you can only focus on one kind of artistic expression, do what you love the most and hold a part time job to pay the bills until your art takes off.
In this day and age, you can find our art spread all over the internet. I sell art and crafts all over the world through my two etsy shops. I find that my crafts sell better, but painting is my first love.
Arts and crafts shows were never something I wanted to do, but I know artists who do well with those. Whatever floats your boat.
Today I focus online and I have been creating art e-courses for the last couple years. Talk about a giant learning curve… lots of fun!
The bottom line: MAKE ART EVERY DAY, and you will sell some, guaranteed!
P.S. I have lots of lovely and affordable gifts in my etsy shop EARTH AND FAERY. Support a successful living artist today! 🙂
Who is looking through my eyes? Kind of a deep question, and something that could be discussed at length, but to make it simple:
Life itself, filtered through many of my beliefs and preferences, (perhaps unfortunately,) 🙂
Life itself does not judge. When I’m aligned with that and in flow, working, I don’t think much about the art and where it’s going. I just DO.
I add one color or one item that pleases me. It’s an automatic act, pretty much. I lay down one color and then I choose the next and so on. I choose what pleases my eye in the moment.
The process intrigues me and the result usually amazes me because what appears is beyond what I would have painted had I decided to paint a still life motif or some other fixed view.
The process is so intriguing that it becomes the most desired way to express for me. I’d go as far as saying it’s addictive.
It takes trust to work this way. Trust grows by DOING.
What the art process reveals is always interesting even if I don’t like the finished art work. That happens quite often, but I respect the process.
Then I move on to the next page or canvas… and the next. After all, art is constant change. Life is constant change. What we liked yesterday does not work today.
Art reveals life and life reveals art.
We learned to live in 3D by experimentation. Toddlers live in trial and error mode all day long. 🙂 Once we get past that stage, what then? Maybe boredom sets in.
I think it’s incredibly important to keep experimenting with life. No need to go to extremes, but what is your creative power?
It doesn’t have to be art, but for artists there are endless possibilities for experimentation. We are so lucky! We can be catalysts for life itself, our hands and tools extensions of something greater.
All we need to do is get in the flow every day, by DOING. Do art, make stuff, trust your instincts, have faith that all is well, embody the greatness.
Allow life to see through you and use your unique gifts. That’s when life becomes magical.
Have a creative weekend!
P.S. The art journaling pages above are part of a new e-course I have set up, titled Life’s Song Art Journaling e-course. You will learn how to make your own papers and ephemera and incorporate them into your art journal pages. It’s a four segment course, and the first segment is available NOW. The rest will be published once a month for the next three months. Each segment is ONLY $12!!! Enroll now and get creative. CLICK HERE.
My inner critic was on a rampage all week, and it was a wild ride I tell you! I recognize and own my inner critic as the freeloader that overstays his welcome and is proud about it..
Sneaky and charming, with an opinion about everything, he lounges in my new recliner or stands over my shoulder when I paint or art journal.
I’m used to the bastard and usually kick him to the curb, but this week he stirred up such confusion in my mind I just about had it with art.
First of all, he criticized my every art process with an infusion of “you have no clue what you’re doing” to “what do you know about art, and where’s YOUR focus?” Insidious indeed. He’s emaciated, extremely pale. He wears tight black pants and black turtleneck sweater, and a beret. Kind of a 1960s French hipster, and he smokes evil-smelling cigarettes, blowing smoke up my ass and into my mind.
Why do I ever listen? He’s too clever by far, and sometimes I fall for the bullsh*t because art is an ever-expanding journey that is unsure at best. For the most part I fly by the seat of my pants, which is always frowned upon by all critics, mine and others. Then again, if I did hyper realistic art where every dot counts, the critic would call that unimaginative. So, you can never win, right?
I’m partially to blame for the confusion, but the inner critic stirs the pot relentlessly.
My favorite social media is Instagram and I upload pictures constantly and also scroll the huge variety of art there. It’s such a wonderful place of inspiration.
I have been more and more interested in abstract art, and it’s fun to explore on the canvas, but I can never make up my mind if what I paint feels good / right / complete or not.
I came across some really questionable art (in my opinion, the critic probably liked it because he was silent.)
To me, art needs to either be a colorful feast to the eye or something that tugs at me, something that gives a meaning or emotional connection. Some artists were posting just scratches with colored pencils like the art of a three-year old.
Three-year olds express themselves shamelessly, and I’m all for it. Actually, children’s art always touches my heart because it’s direct and without excuses.
When grown-ups post that kind of stuff and call it fine art, I can’t feel the connection. The question is: is the art conceit or something that touches people’s heart in some way?
Then the inner critic steps in and says “Your art is no better.” I agree that I’m scribbling at times but I would never call it art per se. I might call it “uncertain expression in color” if it needs to be labeled.
When I kick the inner critic out, I don’t need to wonder what is art and what isn’t. All in the eye of the beholder, but my personal preference is art that takes my breath away or inspires me in some way.
Scribbles or rubbings with colored pencils might get an inner eye roll, but hey, to each their own!
Anyway, my inner critic hated all the art above except the last one, but if I have to live with the input from him, I still forge onward since there is no other way but forward on the art exploration journey of my life.
Below are my latest paintings. The critic didn’t chime in much, so I guess they are okay. <eye roll>
Have a great creative weekend, friends!
P.S. The free art journaling 2017 adventure is going strong. You can still catch all the prompts from the previous months. Laura Probert will be our guest artist / writer in April. SIGN UP HERE.
Julia Ostara is our guest artist for March in the free year-long art journaling journey 2017. It’s going strong and March has sneaked up faster than I could imagine. It’s not too late to join in the fun. You can sign up HERE for the email prompts. All the months’ prompts will be available all year.
I’ve followed Julia’s progress as an artist over the years and it has been interesting to see her art expression deepening over time. I think she has lived many lifetimes in this one life. 🙂
This from her website: Artist, Author, Brave Heart, Explorer, Farm Girl, Grateful Guide, Mystic, Mountain Momma, Playful Painter, Reverent, Sweet Sunshine, Thrivivalist, Wild Wonder-full Weaver… Exploring and falling in love with life through art and wonder in memory of my mom to carry on her legacy of love for self, others, nature, and life. Opening my hands, head, and heart… my being, to the wonder of creation, the art of living and loving. Offering creative courses, unique gifts, and art from my heart to yours.
I love her colorful art and also her view on life and how everything hangs together.
She hopes to inspire and encourage others to beat to their own drums, live their dreams, choose joy, respect others and nature, love more than fear, put our brave boots on, celebrate the variety and sweet in life, dance with the wild mystery, and thrive in harmony.
I share her views on life and being an artist. As an artist I’m visible, and with that I can hope to inspire others to step into their creativity whatever it is and become “more” of who they are. It can feel scary and uncertain for sure, but when you keep exploring the depths of who you are, it gets easier to face the unknown and to embrace the mystery. Revelations can be so inspiring and exhilarating!
More from her website: Art has been such a graceful and wonderful, healing, playful, spiritual joy for me. I consider myself a ‘born again artist’ because I lost touch with the artist within for too long. Now, I’m delighted to be guiding others to experience the magic possible when playfully creating by hosting online creative gatherings, courses, art playdates, and retreats to explore the wonder and nurture a playful creative community. Many of them are available as Pay What You Can/Pay What It’s Worth options! So, YES, you can afford to participate!
Approaching creativity from a place of play has really helped me open up, enjoy the process and get in the flow.
Julia has all sorts of offerings on her website, so check them out.
The artist is in the ether–waiting, just like we were a twinkle in our mother’s eye once. It takes inspiration and action to be born. If you want to be an artist, you feel it in the ether.
I looked up the word “ether,” and the literary meaning is: the clear sky; the upper regions of air beyond the clouds.
I really liked that description. As souls we dwell there and then feelings, thoughts, actions take place and we appear in this 3D world wondering what the hell we’re doing here.
How many people go through life wondering that? I bet it’s around 100%.
At one point, I’m not sure exactly when, something tugged at me. It wasn’t a hard tug, or a determined push, or a revelation. It was more of a longing to explore SOMETHING, maybe myself.
I started reading fiction as soon as I could read and became immersed in the world of books, the great imagination of the authors’ made up scenarios. My mom used to say I had a wild imagination, and she would look at me strangely as if I was not like “others.” But that was not true. I always made sure I fit in with the crowd, for the most part.
I always liked to draw and color and that has grown into an immense “calling” if you will. It’s how I record the energy of my life. I say energy because it’s more than depiction of 3D events and things.
I write about my life, but not with great trepidation. Writing flows easily without fanfare. When I paint, I’m always (every single time) faced with the immensity of starting.
It’s hard to explain, but after years of facing that feelings, I always boldly step forward with some paint and slap it on the canvas, and go from there. To start becomes easier with experience.
After that, it’s anyone’s guess if the painting is going to be something that speaks to me, or not… It happens more often than not that I paint over old paintings.
That is how an artist comes into being. Each day is new. I reach into the ether to create myself every day on canvas or other art methods. When it flows it flows, and when it doesn’t I curse the universe for being such a stingy muse.
An artist is not born per se, an artist is born and born again through manipulating the ether. That is how I feel when I stand in front of a canvas. Each day something will be born, either a glorious rendition of energy, or something that is beyond ugly.
But it’s all glorious!
This above painting had so many layers and started out with a super ugly face underneath it all, and when all was said and done it turned out to an imagined Jane Austen. Go figure!
That is art. Pulling the rabbit out of a hat, or a piece of art from the ether is magic. A grand adventure indeed. What is the ether calling you to do?
P.S. I have a free 2017 art journaling journey going with monthly prompts from various artists. If you want to be involved you can sign up for the prompts HERE.