Monday, December 19, 2011

Moving Forward-2012

Well, the Holiday Market was a bust, but it’s time to move on and make plans for next year.  I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want to accomplish in the next few months.  Back when I was stalking WendyBrightbill (she's an amazing person and artist, you should stalk her too), I ran across a post of hers where she had listed her 2011 I DidList.  She listed all of the goals she accomplished during the year.  Turns out, she did them all.  So, this made me think.  If I list all of my goals for 2012 on here, maybe it will keep me accountable and help me accomplish my goals as well.  Plus, it’s not a bad idea to let everyone know what I’m up to and what to look forward to in the future, right?
When I began Kelly Rae’s class, I listed my goals/dreams for my business.  I’m not sure I’ve actually gotten them all down yet, but I’m going to break it down into the ones I think are doable for the coming  year.  Actually, some things I have accomplished or started already, so that’s amazing.  I just need to keep ticking them off one by one.  It was so wonderful how Kelly Rae taught us to break down our goals and start getting them done.

These really aren’t in any sort of order.  It’s just a list of things I want to happen for me and my little business.  Some of them will also probably overlap anyway.  It would be great to see what you guys have in mind for the coming year as well.  Make yourself accountable too.

                Get a line of paper dolls together and in stores (I’m collaborating with a friend on this.  It’s going to be so much fun.  She is amazing, and I think we will work great together.)
                Get more Etsy sales. 
                Attend a few art festivals.  I plan on this being the last year I have to do shows.  I want to get enough exposure that I can rely on online sales and not traveling all the time.
                Join my local visual arts association.  This will give me some exposure in the community, and I will get to meet more local artists and network with them.
                Get published in at least three magazines this year.
                Continue my interview series-Inspiration Avenue
                Start steps toward teaching an online course.  Maybe make some tutorial videos and put them on youtube.

There are probably more than this, but I think it’s a good start.  Anything else is just icing on the cake.  My intention is to check in every quarter and see how the list is going.  I’ll try not to forget to do that.  I plan on 2012 being full of growth for my business.  

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Inspiration Avenue-Meet Flor Larios

I’ve been giving a lot of thought lately to the people who inspire me.  Being self-taught, I rely a lot on other artists that I run across on the internet.  There are so many amazing ones out there, I thought it would be great to introduce my followers to the ones that have driven me to where I am today.  I rely a lot on blogs to introduce me to new people, so I’m going to return the favor by periodically featuring interviews with the artists who inspire me the most.  There is no set schedule for these posts, just whenever I am able to get an interview with someone, so keep checking back.

One of my favorites artists is Flor Larios.  Flor is an amazing artist and such a beautiful person as well.  I’ve emailed her a couple of times to ask questions, and she has always responded and been very helpful to me.  I would like her to know how much I appreciate that.  Sometimes it’s really hard to get information or figure things out, and it’s great to have fellow artists to share along the way.  When I started thinking about what to ask her, I looked at other artist interviews.  I was getting really bogged down trying to figure out what questions to ask.  Which ones are the best?  Then, I decided, what do I want to know about Flor?  So, I closed out the other interviews and took that approach.  This is what I wanted to know most.  I hope you guys enjoy it.

1.       Can you please introduce yourself and your work.
Originally from Nicaragua.  I am a self-taught artist and like to create mixing techniques and combining old with new expressing kindness, tenderness, magic, and mysticism thru my art. 

2.     How long have you been painting?

3.       How did you get started making art?
Years ago.  I became interested after visiting museums in Boston and New York.  

4.       I’ve noticed that you have quite a large following.  Do you mind telling us what marketing strategies have worked for you so far?  Is there something you would like to try and haven’t yet?
Thank you!  Just keep going even when you have doubts or feel extremely tired.

5.       What are your favorite materials to work with?
Oil pastels and metallic paints.

6.       What inspires your paintings?
Antique religious icons and Frida Kahlo's art.

7.       What one piece of art has inspired you the most?
'The Birth of Venus' by Botticelli.

8.       Who are some of your favorite artists?
Frida, Gauguin, and Paul Klee.

9.       Do you currently teach any workshops?  If not, do you have any plans to do so in the future?
Not at this moment, maybe in the future.

10.   What are your dreams for your creative business in the future?  What is the one big thing you aspire to?
I would like for my art to be everywhere...who wouldn't?  To have a collection of children's books written by my husband and illustrated by me.

11.   What techniques or styles would you like to try that you don’t currently use?
I never use water colors... I might want to try that next...

12.   Besides making art, what other things to you like to do?
I like to worry about small things and big things...

13.  Is there anything else you would like us to know about you?  People really like to get to know artists and what makes them tick.  Sometimes it makes them more drawn to your work.
I am insanely shy.

I want to thank Flor for participating in my interview.  You can find her and her work on her blog or in her etsy shop.

Monday, December 5, 2011


What on earth happened to November?  Where did the time go?  Even though I didn’t post very much, I did make art every day in November.  Sorry that I wasn’t able to keep up with the posting.  Maybe next year I will be more organized.  I’ve got lots of things in the works for the Holiday Market.  Take a look at the website for all the info on the Market.

I’m going to be putting some new prints in the shop in the next couple of days.  Make sure you take a look and see what’s new.  I’m trying to get some new originals for the Market.  I’m making a few 8x10’s in case people want smaller sizes. 

This is a painting I did for my Etsy Mom’s group.  I volunteered to give away a prize for October for the treasury winners.  Mine was chosen as first prize.  So exciting. 

Little Trees

The Holiday Market starts this Friday.  I’ll be back with all the details and pictures for you guys.  If you’re in Chattanooga, make sure to come by.  I’m going to have lots of ornaments and 4x4 plaques.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Art Every Day Month-Days Two – Seven

I haven’t really been doing anything specific on a particular day.  I’m getting ready for the show this weekend, and I’ve been working on some Christmas items.  Here’s a picture of some of them.  I’m planning on making some ornaments with some of my prints as well.  I think I will work on that today.  I’m hoping to get a few more of these 4x4 plaques done before the show as well as a couple of new girls.  Wish me luck.  I’ve got a lot to do and very little time.  I better get to it.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Art Every Day Month-Day One

Here are my first pictures of Art Every Day Month. Since I work at night, I’m probably  going to be a day behind in my postings.  I will probably even lump a couple of days together here and there. 

I have been working on some 4x4 and 5x7 plaques for my upcoming show on the 12th.  I’ve gotten a few sketches done and some backgrounds.  I’m hoping to do several holiday inspired ones.  I know how people love holiday stuff, so this will be my first attempt.  I will be working on these paintings for day two.  See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Spreading Our Wings-Blog Hop

They say everything happens for a reason.  Last summer, I lost my job.  In this economy, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do.  It’s been so hard to find a replacement, especially since I don’t have an accounting degree.  I have read art magazines for a few years.  There was always something inside me telling me that I needed to create something.  What?  That was the issue.  I have always loved the work of Kelly Rae Roberts.  I used to see her in almost every magazine I bought, or maybe I bought every magazine I saw her in.  It’s the whole chicken and egg issue!  A few weeks after I lost my job, I was in the art store and saw Kelly Rae’s book.  Of course, I had to get it.  It actually changed my life.  I found out that when she was writing her book, she had only been painting for two years.  “Wow, I can do that.”, I thought.  And so my journey began. 

Besides her artwork, Kelly Rae has many things to admire.  One of them is her business sense.  She has created an amazing business for herself, and she taught an online workshop called Flying Lessons.  She shared many of her secrets.  Along with this knowledge, a vast community of likeminded souls was created.  I have met such an amazing group of women who are on the same path as myself.  It’s amazing how connecting with people who share your goals, fears and enthusiasm can help you in your venture.  I’m so glad to have connected with these women.  As part of our journey, we have set up a blog hop to help introduce each other to the world through our blogs.  Below is a list of the women who have joined in the hop along with links to their blogs.  Please take a look at them.  You will be inspired by the all just as I am.  You will also find some great art along the way.  One thing I love about blog hops is discovering new artists.  Take your time and enjoy!  Make sure if you like what you see that you subscribe or follow their site so you don’t lose track of them.  That’s happened to me too many times, and I’ve tried finding their site again and found that they were lost forever.

Amaranthine Violet:
Beatriz Peñas B.:
Beth Cougler Blom:
Cindy Jones Lantier:
Hillary Courson:
Jennifer DeVille:
Julie Hamilton:
Kari DeSaulnier:
Kris Lanae Binsfeld:
Liza Zeni Baker:
Rain Hannah:
Stacey Chadwick
Teresa Cash-Czech:

Friday, October 28, 2011

Daily Art Challenge

I ran across a challenge today.  Leah at Creative Every Day is having a challenge to create art every day for the month of November.  So, I have decided to put myself to the test as well.  I’ve been meaning to create something every day, but before I know it, the day is over.  I will have a booth at Normalpalooza this year, so I need to produce some new work, so this is the perfect opportunity for me to do this. 

Several of my fellow fliers are participating in this challenge as well, so I hope you will check it out and see what they are up to as well.  I plan on posting my creations as I do them.  I may have to post a couple of days at once, but that will be ok.  I’ll make sure to mark which day it is for.  If you are up for a challenge, I hope you will join me.  It’s a great opportunity to get some work in your art journals or just get some new work going.  You can take a look and see what it's about in her post Art Every Day Month.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Finding Inspiration

Where do you find inspiration?  Better yet, what inspires you?  I used to have one source of inspiration. Let me rephrase that.  As far as what I want to accomplish with my life, I had one source.  Kelly Rae Roberts.  I love her.  I love her artwork.  I love what she’s managed to accomplish all on her own.  I am starting to step out of that box and realize that there are other artists out there who have accomplished similar things.  I have been doing a lot of research, and I managed to convince myself that I can do it too.  As far as art is concerned, I look at blogs of other artists all the time.  I love seeing what other artists doing, learning new techniques and getting ideas for my work.  However, I’m starting to think I’m spending way too much time doing that and not doing art.  There’s inspiration, and then there’s time being sucked away from my life.  I don’t want to fall victim to all this technology we have.  It’s incredible what you can accomplish on a computer, but there’s a fine line there.  Once you cross over, it’s hard to not just stay there.  I don’t want to give up looking at blogs and taking online workshops and all those awesome things, but I don’t want to lose myself in the process.

This cute little guy was inspired by the lovely Wendy Brightbill.  

On another note, I’m trying to find inspiration in other ways.  Maybe the fact that I didn’t go to art school, makes it more difficult for me to know where to look and what to look for.  I hear people say their work is inspired my nature, and sometimes I just don’t see it in their work.  I’m a pretty literal person, and that may be my problem.  If I see a picture of a tree, and someone says they were inspired by it, I expect to see a painting of a tree.  I guess that’s why I’m not an abstract artist!  I guess that’s also why I rely so much on other artists’ work to inspire me.  I have been very inspired by my daughter lately.  She is such an amazing little person.  She loved to draw and paint.  I love the fact that she will just sit and draw or paint.  She doesn’t give it any thought.  She just does.  I envy the freedom she feels.  She is going to be a great little artist.

This is one of my daughter's amazing drawings.  I don't know a lot about kid's abilities, but it amazes me that she can do this at the age of 3.  This is a pony and rainbow.

One thing I wish for is to find a balance between looking for inspiration, being inspired and putting that inspiration to work.  I hope everyone is able to find that balance.  It’s not an easy thing, at least for me.  I am very easily distracted though.  Maybe that’s my biggest problem.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Norcross Art Fest

Well we went to Atlanta Saturday to go to the Norcross Art Fest.  First, we went to pick up my friend Aongelic.  It was pretty organized.  They had some parking options where you could take a shuttle bus to the festival.  This was awesome.  Since I’m not familiar with that area, it was great to just sit back and let someone else drop us off.  They drop you off right at the kids area.  Victoria couldn’t wait to get to the activities.  They had so many things for kids to do.  I’ve never seen that much kid’s stuff at an art festival before.  However, she must wait until we’re finished. 

This festival was huge.  It was all outside.  I have to say, I haven’t been to that many art festivals, so I don’t have much to compare it to.  However, this one was great.  It was extremely crowded, and from the perspective of an artist, that was amazing.  They weren’t all there to look either.  I saw a lot of people buying things.  

This is a shot of the crowd.  This is only one part of it.  There were about three other areas this size.

Victoria got her face painted for the first time.  She loved it.  She had an awesome time.  We went to visit our friend Erica who just had a baby, so she got to play with their dog while we were there.  She had one fun filled day.

I'm hoping to make it to this show as a vendor next year.  I'm really glad I took the time to go check it out.  I  think it will help me in the long run to see how big a show can be, what people are selling, etc.  I feel like I would be so much more prepared now than if I hadn't gone.  I've been to our local art fest many times.  This one was so different.  I should probably check out a couple more before I start signing up for them.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Another Chance to Win a Space in Life Book

The amazing Tam over at Willowing, is offering a great course with 14 guest teachers.  Some amazing women are contributing to this course along with Tam.  I have taken a couple of Tam’s courses already, and she is just wonderful.  She is so informative.  You would never guess you are taking an online class.  One of the guest teachers is Adriana Almanza.   I have also taken a couple of her classes as well.  Ady has a very unique and beautiful style that is so fun to work with.  She is a great teacher and enjoys doing it as well.  To celebrate this amazing class, Ady is giving away a free spot in Life Book.  You can check out Ady's site here.  If you would like more information on Life Book, please click here.  Good luck everyone.  I hope if you don’t win, that you will consider signing up for this amazing opportunity to learn from these incredible women.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Life Book-and a give away

The beautiful Tam over at Willowing is teaching a year long course called Life Book. It’s a year long journaling experience.  It is also an awesome opportunity to learn new techniques as she is having several guest teachers participating in this course.  Even if you don’t know how to draw, you will learn so much.  You don’t have to know how to draw to be an artist or express yourself.  There are many ways to express yourself with art journaling without even drawing anything.  Tam is an incredible teacher, and she can even teach you how to draw if you so desire.  You can find out more about the course here.  

If you would like a chance to win a place in the course, visit Gritty Jane's giveaway.  You can win a place in the class or one of Jane's amazing originals.  I hope you will check the class out.  It's a great opportunity to learn some new skills from some amazing women.

Best of luck.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Growing Pains

We’ve been trying to teach our beautiful daughter some things.  She knows her ABC’s, recognized all the letters (not all the lower case, but most of them) and she can mostly count to twenty.  What else should she be learning?  How am I supposed to know?  I haven’t been three years old since…………  So, I decided to check into a Pre-K Home School program.  It looks like they charge a hefty price to go to Pre-K for some reason, so home schooling might be the way for me to go.  I haven’t found anything yet, but I just started my research.  I’m thinking this might be the perfect way to prepare her for school.  She really loves learning new things and helping around the house.  She has so much energy, and I think she gets bored here during the day.  She loves to draw and play music.  I’m hoping to get her into a creative arts magnet school once she starts kindergarten, so I’m hoping to find a curriculum that includes art and music.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I find the right thing for her.  She is a very special little girl and deserves only the very best.

Hopefully, this time next week, she will be on her way to learning everything there is for a pre-schooler to know.