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Why Artists Should Live Stream on Twitch

What if there was a way to push yourself to draw or paint uninterrupted for hours everyday and at the same time create a wealth of content to utilize. But wait, there’s more, you’re also building meaningful relationships with fans that last much longer than the 15 seconds someone sees your post for on other social media. This magical place exists right now and it’s just waiting for you to join in.

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Gavin Gray ValentineComment
Top Tips to Level Up your Newsletter Game

When getting serious about becoming an artist in this digital age one of the many things that you’ll probably here is that “you should have a newsletter.” In a nutshell, a newsletter is a way to connect directly with your audience in their inbox. Since the beginning, I’ve kept a relatively simple bi-monthly newsletter for this very reason, and I'm happy to add that it works.

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One Review at a Time: Studio Plants!

Several years ago Dan Dos Santos did an article on Muddy Colors about studio plants. In the article he talked about the benefits of having green living things in your studio. While there are many benefits, the one that stood out the most to me as an oil painter was that some plants actually detoxify the chemicals that oil painting mediums release into your studio!

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Where do you make your art?

It’s a simple question with a plethora of answers. Is it a corner in your apartment? The dining room table? Outside with nature?  A spare room of your house? Or as in my case...a walk-in closet.

Wherever this magical spot is, it is in fact magic cause we’re all Wizards, its main purpose has always been the same: it’s your secret place (studio) for making amazing art.

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Convention Strategy - Pros and Cons

Balancing our time as independent artists can be a tough thing. In a perfect world we would all be in a position to hire an assistant to work conventions for us. The reality is only a small percentage of artists can do this. Until we reach that point we have to navigate the convention scene and find time to create artwork. I’ve seen some things work for one artist and totally different things work for another - so let’s talk about the pros and cons of a few different convention strategies.

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Gavin Gray ValentineComment
One Review at a Time: Work Bench Organizer

I’m always looking for ways to improve my studio. I find it’s easy to build up lots of clutter on my cutting table, and then I end up having to clear a bunch of stuff off so I can use it. I finally realized that most of the clutter was tools that I used regularly so I started looking for a way to organize everything. With a lot of Amazon searching I discovered this guy…

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Floating for Creatives

I was recently a guest on One Fantastic Week and briefly spoke about Floating. We later decided that it deserved its own article for those of you who want to try it for yourself. Although increased creativity is touted as a benefit of Floating, I see few artists writing about how or why that is. After giving my lecture about Floating for Light Grey Art Lab’s Iceland Residency, I discovered there’s a lot of interest among artists in this community and I wanted to help other creatives get the most out of their experiments in the tank, and to continue my own explorations.

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How to Make Original Work That Sells

I often hear from artists that they want to make personal work, but people don’t buy it. Fan art has an advantage built in that original work does not, an emotional connection. When a customer sees their favorite character it makes it very easy for them to feel connected to the art and that connection gives them a reason to purchase. The good news is there are many other ways we can make an emotional connection in our art.

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Oracle Decks as Myth-Making

An oracle deck is often confused with the tarot but the difference lies in its structure. An oracle deck is free-flowing and can be of any content, unlike the tarot which is defined by its traditional structure and  common meanings. The oracle deck can be anywhere from 12 to 100 cards but a tarot deck is usually 78 cards. It's also common to use an oracle deck side by side with the tarot for an intuitive reading. An example would be to pull an oracle card to set the 'theme', energy or feeling of a situation, and then a tarot spread for more detailed interpretations or advice.

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Artist Alley or Exhibitor Booth?

For the past 5 years I have been exhibiting as an artist at shows big and small, and I have found that one of the most common questions I get asked from fellow artists is “How do I know when I’m ready for an exhibitor booth?”

While each artist’s situation and every show is different, there are some things I consider when deciding what to book. Here are some of my thoughts and what I take into consideration when thinking of upgrading on a show-to-show basis.

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Being an Artist Assistant for Dragon Con 2018

Still wiping the sleep from my eyes after a long greyhound bus ride, I stumbled into the city of Atlanta early Thursday night. It was Dragon Con and the city had sprung to life with heroes, villains, celebrities, and artists of all kinds. Everywhere I looked there were bodies rushing from place to place, eager to celebrate in the overflow of geek culture and festivities. I was excited to finally be a part of it all, in my own small way.

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One Review at a Time: Label Maker

We've recommended switching to a thermal printer for order fulfillment numerous time on 1FW. Main reason is to ditch the ink. Without ink the majority of the expense and hassle ink jet printers create when trying to ship lots of product. Earlier this year I finally took our own advice, and got one. Through the process I chatted with the amazing artists that participate in our Facebook Group, and got feedback on what thermal printers people had purchased, if they liked them, and why.

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Take It or Leave It - Advice For Your Artistic Journey

This road we’ve chosen is a tough one. It’s filled with lots of struggle and only moments of success. We share this road with countless other artists who are aspiring to something, pushing themselves to their absolute limits. How can we find our way on a path that takes a lifetime? By learning and sharing with others who have also chosen this journey. Here are a few things I have decided to take with me and a few I’ve decided to leave behind.

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