Wow, what a crazy weekend! I didn’t realize how much con prep took a toll on my body, especially when the last week started to roll by!
11 days until Retrogamecon. The countdown continues..
I wanted to show you some buttons that I ordered from Wacky Buttons.
They were extremely fast with their shipping and proofs. Once I accepted the proofs, it only took 2 days to deliver using their slowest shipping speed. I’ll definitely be ordering from them again.
I’ll be producing a series of artist alley preparation videos on how I plan my merchandise to sell. Here is the first video where I cover thumbnailing, sketching, and plans for packaging.
Until next time!
If you haven’t met me before or saw any of my videos, there’s one thing that sets me apart from many people…
…I’m…I’m black. *GASP!*
All jokes aside, there is a lot of under representation of people like me in the black community and in the art community. Where I come from, I don’t see many, if any successful black men and women during my commutes. I don’t see them happy and thriving. I see them surviving, downtrodden doing what they can to keep their bodies afloat.
I remember riding the bus on my way home one day. It was 12:30pm, lunchtime for those that work Downtown, and with the hustle and bustle of professionals coming from their offices to grab a bite I noticed something… Not a brown person in sight.
I happened to look around in the bus, and surrounding me were people of dark hues.
That got me thinking. I started making observations during my commutes in my city.
A majority of homeless men and women in my city are black.
A majority of people that take the public transportation are black.
I remember recalling only two teachers of mine in my entire school career that were black. This includes middle-school all the way up to college.
It’s something to easily gloss over, but when something like this is prevalent in your everyday life, where you aren’t surrounded by successful, happy people of your kind: Teachers, professors, artists, role models, it can twist your psyche. Whether you realize it or not.
I went to a minority business expo last Saturday and it was… phenomenal. Words couldn’t explain my feelings as the day progressed. Excited? Enlightened? Empowered? All of the above and then some?!
To see so many black and brown faces, dressed for success, with degrees, professions, business names, and business cards, God, It was such a breath of fresh air.
To see people, like me, making something of themselves.
To see people, like me, carry themselves with poise, with articulate speech, yet never forgot where they came from.
To see people, like me, exude so much love, positivity and.. business sense! Ugh, the business sense!
That. In of it’s own was life-changing. To meet and be a part of a large, influential group of strong, black men and women. Older, and my age, doing what it takes to succeed. To change our community. So many bright ideas, untapped potential. Some people were blossoming, and others were just starting to bud. Words could not explain the high I got just from being a part of #MBEES.
I realized due to us being so underrepresented in our communities at home, in the art communities abroad, I need to be someone known to other girls and black artists like me. Because believe it or not, growing up with a role model that looks like you, speaks like you, and understands you can be the most powerful thing in the world.
I am a firm believer that using photos and other media for inspiration, posing, and referencing is highly beneficial. Ideas need to come from somewhere. As an artist, I can’t pull poses, anatomy, and environments out of my head, and I definitely can’t pull them out of my ass! I don’t know where this stigma against using references came from, but it needs to stop.
Hey all! I wanted to do something a little different today! I’m going to share 12 things you may not know about me!
1. I am the youngest of two. My sister is 10 years my senior.
2. I went to private schools throughout my entire school career. I never had to worry about an outfit.
3. My favorite color is blue, but I lean heavily on purple, orange, and sets of colors. Continue reading “12 Things You May Not Know About Me”
This is a question that many, many artists struggle with. I still struggle with this as well! The only thing I can suggest is, always have your prices be a work in progress.
When I took multiple art commissions in 2010, I started small. Really small. I had things priced extremely cheap. I remember back in the day I had a $2 sketch sale… Those were the days.
One reason was due to inexperience and lack of interest from others. What you’ll often read and what I’ll regurgitate is to check your market. Do you have any peers or people on art communities you frequent that you’re watching who works in a similar style? Research their price sheets. Research their following. Are they able to get away with a “Your Character Here” piece for $300? They probably have the followi- (I’ll rephrase that), the right following to back that up.
If you’re just starting out, it’s okay to begin your prices a little lower. But once that value, the quality of your work, and the demand for your work rises, your prices need to do the same.
Just…don’t drop your prices after charging others your current rates. Your clients will be highly peeved when they find out.
This answer will not give you a definite price, nor will any other answer. You, the artist has to decide your worth, but again that’s where that work-in-progress pricing comes in! This year, I decided to look at my prices and determine is this enough for me? Is what I’m being paid for sufficient for the amount of work I do? I’ll be honest, at the moment, no. I’m not satisfied with my prices. But once I answer these questions, I can then decide to revamp my prices depending on how the demand is progressing. And with every year or so after that, I’ll revisit, and tweak my prices as I see fit.
Next time, we’ll talk about flat vs. hourly rates, and how I charge my clients.
Until next week!
I’m sure you’ve heard of the saying “it’s who you know” in show biz. Well, that applies to the illustration biz as well. Making connections is the best thing you can do for your business and your quality of life. When you make new friends, colleagues, and acquaintances, not only can you bring value to them, but they can do the same for you.
Are you a writer? An author? A person who forms ideas into words? You might need a creative companion. Someone who forms your literary ideas into something… visual.
You need an artist. But not just any artist. You need someone who is competent, who knows their value, and knows that the possibility of teaming up with you will benefit you and them. You also need an artist who can use your hard-earned money and ensure you seeking out their talent was the best decision you ever made.
You need a hireable artist.
“I hate my art”.
“This is ugly”.
“I need to rush to get this done”.
Hold on there, tiger!
Artists on a deadline do have to churn out things in a remarkable amount of time, but when that becomes something that needs be done day in and day out, the joy of creating gets sucked out of you, and your project.
Here’s three words to get your groove back.
When it comes to sharing value, I thought it would be easy to type everything I know about illustration down and share it in a blog post format. It’s not bad, don’t get me wrong, but I never thought leveraging video would be easier.