1. How tall are you?
6 ft 3 in, yes, I know this has nothing to do with art, but it is–by far the most frequently asked question I have received throughout my life.
2. I love your work, will you design a tattoo for me?
This is one of the most commonly asked questions from people who know me in real life. To be honest, it is very, very flattering. The idea that some people appreciate my work enough that they would want it to be permanently inked onto their skin, is quite amazing. However, I generally have to decline. Most of my work is mixed media, which means it loses a lot of its aesthetic appeal when I attempt to work within the restrictions of tattooing. I have also found that, often, if people go to a reputable tattoo artist with their ideas, the artist will be far more successful at meeting their needs than me. Tattoo art tricky because a lot of factors need to be considered in the development of a design, including how ink will bleed over time, skin tone, tentative location on the body, etc.
3. Do you sell your work?
Heck yes, I do! Feel free to check out my little shop in the land of etsy with new items are added regularly.
1. What type of glue or adhesives do you use?
Matte Medium— (Liquitex or Golden) I use this for my generally adhesive
Gel Matte Medium–(Liquitex or Golden) This is ideal for gluing on heavier papers and objects (postcards, photos, shells, etc.)
Gloss Varnish–(Liquitex) I use this as my final topcoat to give my mixed media works a striking glossy finish.
UV Protective coating–(Golden) This helps protect imagery from sun damage.
2. What sort of ink and markers do you use?
I love Faber-Castell India ink pens. Over the years I have tried all sorts of pens and markers attempting to find the one that would work best for me. I have been using these for years now, and i love them–the tips are available in various sizes, the ink is water-resistant (so they don’t bleed), and they are fairly long-lasting compared to other fine art markers I have tried. For calligraphy/drawing inks, I like Windsor Newton or Higgins.
3. Where do you get your copyright-free imagery?
I love Dover clip art books. They have been fantastic. Dover has a large variety of copyright-free books, full of imagery, with each book containing a particular theme. (Such as Butterflies, Vintage travel posters, Women, Hands and Children’s illustration, to list only a tiny sample.) Copyright-free imagery help artists to avoid messy copyright issues and legal complications. Many often also provide a disc of the images in the books, allowing the artist to reprint, resize, or otherwise alter the images. These files are also ideal for artist working in digital printmaking, or digital visual journaling.
4. Can you recommend some less expensive art supplies that I can just try out and play with?
Absolutely! Everyone can make art, and anyone will benefit from the joy of a creative outlet. However, if you aren’t intending to sell your work, and you aren’t concerned about the archival quality of your work, you have many less expensive options available to you. If you are just getting started playing artistically here are some of your basics that you may find worthwhile.
Affordable supplies for mixed media art–
Mod Podge: This works well as a glue alternative to standard school glue or glue stick. Use thin layers to prevent papers from warping. Also, the matte (in my experience) seems to be more prone to peeling than the gloss.
Acrylic Paint: When buying paint, it is generally a good idea to stick with fairly reputable name brands. However, if you are just starting out and want to play, look for the term Student Grade (as opposed to Artist or Professional Grade) on art supplies. These should meet your needs and be far less expensive.
Paintbrushes: You will want a combination of sizes and widths (maybe a thin brush, fan brush and a wider bristle brush like .5″ or 1″), variety helps you to find which style of brush works best for you. I prefer synthetic bristles, but that is only my personal preference. Nice brushes can get very expensive. If you are just starting out, I recommend purchasing mid-range brushes, not too cheap, but also not too expensive. Paintbrushes (as well as the paper you are working on) do have a surprising effect on the quality of your finished work.
Canvas (pre- stretched) or Canvas Board: I like to buy pre-streched, primed canvases (because I have no desire to spend my time building wooden frames, stretching, mounting, and priming canvas on my own). I also prefer canvas to canvas boards or panels because they are easier to hang.
Water-soluble Art Pencils: These are not a necessity, but they are very fun for drawing, mixed media works, and art journaling.
Oil Pastels: These are basically crayons for adults. The aren’t great for fine line work, but they are great for coloring large areas, creating texture, color blending or working in a more expressionist artistic style.
Drawing Pencils: If mixed media or painting is your ideal art form, then these are not a necessity. However, if you like drawing or sketching in the slightest, these are well worth taking the time to work with.
I also like to shop clearance or sale sections of art supply stores, craft stores and scrapbooking stores. You may find little odds and ends that can be interesting to try in mixed media works, collages or art journaling.
1. Are there any books or resources you would recommend to help me as I am working on developing my artistic career?
Yes! I am still struggling through the world, attempting to gain notice as an emerging artist. I am by no means the end all of insightful artistic information. However, I firmly belief in sharing the love, positivity and passion of art. Therefore, despite my limited scope of art resource knowledge, I am very happy to share several books and magazine publications I have found useful in my career development. This world is vast and there is room for all of us lovely creative humans.
Taking the Leap by Cay Lang (2006): I love this book. It was required reading for one of my college art classes, and I still refer back to it. Some of the information is a little out-dated (like photographing for and labeling slides), but most of the information is still very relevant and easily understandable.
The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron: I recommend this book to almost everyone. It is a book consisting of twelve chapters, and the reader does one chapter a week. If you are curious you can read more about my personal experiences with The Artist’s Way here. I did it on a whim, and I am so very grateful I did. I can’t even explain this process, really–but it basically helped to evolve me into a more positive mindset, which has had fantastic results in my developing career as an artist. Also, I highly recommend purchasing the book in paperback or hardcover. I found there were many sections I wanted to underline, or make notes in the margins, etc.
Professional Artist magazine (Formally called Art Calendar): I preferred their old name, because it felt less pretentious and daunting. However, regardless of this magazine’s title, I highly recommend reading it, or at least taking some time to wander about the website. They have many practical articles about a plethora of issues relevant to any artist. The site also features exhibition opportunity listings.
2. I used to be creative, but I am not anymore (or) I used to draw and I miss it (or) I wish I were creative it looks fun (or) I want to make art, but I don’t really consider myself a real artist or anything…
I know this is not a question. However, it is something that is said to me very frequently. It always breaks my heart a little. Humans are creative, and I believe it is important for everyone to have a creative outlet, something in their lives that they do simply for the joy it brings them–because they enjoy losing themselves in the process. You can enjoy playing guitar, but you don’t have to be a professional musician. This is the same thing, if you like making art–make art, you don’t have to be amazing, you don’t have to consider yourself an artist. Just make art because it makes your soul happy. You have nothing to prove to anyone else.