As an artist, entrepreneur, and educator, I am well aware of the wide spectrum of options available in the world of art education. College courses, ateliers, workshops, books, magazines, tutorial videos, local artist gatherings, conventions, discussion panels, online forums – there are so many different resources for finding your individual path to growth as an artist and creator that it can often be overwhelming to decide where to focus your energy. But I would argue that there is one important factor that can mean the difference between a positive and a negative outcome in any one of those categories: the experience.Read More
We all know that trying new things gets us out of our comfort zone, but why is it important to do this? The bottom line is this: it's a way of digging deeper. I've come up with a list of ten good reasons to experiment and try new things. (And there are definitely more than ten, but I think you'll find that these reasons are plenty to contemplate for now). You'll probably find that all of these points can be applied to life as well as art. I believe that the more open we are to the dialog we can have with our art, the greater the visual vocabulary we build by practicing and remembering, and the more connected we see all aspects of what we do and experience – that life is art and art is life – the closer we'll come to finding the truth and making the connection we're truly meant to be making.Read More
My wife Vanessa and I, have been fortunate enough to have been around for some of the very first art gatherings, or workshops, brought together by the internet and the forums where we all go to escape to our art “culture” or “family”. Over the years the workshops have changed focus as technologies have changed the modern artist, but the core element still remains: family.Read More
For the past few years, I have been sharing what it is like to be an independent artist in the form of video on my YouTube channel. I’ve found that it is an incredibly powerful platform to be on. Today I’m going to share with you some tips and strategies for artists that you can apply to your YouTube channel.Read More
As I mentioned in my previous video on the One Fantastic Week YouTube channel, I managed to sustain a (thankfully mild) injury because I was drawing in a way that was unhealthy for my body. I don’t want you to end up in my place or worse, so I’m about to introduce you to an amazing and relatively inexpensive product that I feel is a real game changer for me.Read More
It's really hard to get people to make a cold transition from instagram to your website.
But fear not, the story doesn’t need to end there!
Instagram has some “Hidden” features that seem pretty trivial until you recognise how you might be able to use them as marketing tools - tools to deepen your relationship with your audience, tools to facilitate greater communication, and tools turn a cold contact into a warm and ready-to-buy contact.Read More
Full Time Job + Art + Family/Kids…
The fundamentals of this topic are so varied that talking about it is hard. Everyone’s life is just so different. Is your job 40 hours, 20, or 80? Do you have a new born, 3 kids, and what are their ages? How much time does your spouse need, or are you a single parent? The only way I know how to do it, is to talk about my own story, and in doing so hope that some of you relate. As we go I will try to pull out a few kernels of wisdom I picked up a long the way.Read More
One of the pervasive myths about art is that the artist knows what a drawing will look like before they sit down to draw it.
If you’re lucky, you’ve had the occasional piece of art come out exactly how you expected it to, but that’s not how this works. Yet still, we’re often unsatisfied by our lack of control over the process.Read More
Here's some marketing advice, from a friend in marketing who I recently set up to do a call with some freelance artist friends: Figure out what you do best, and focus 80% of your effort on that. Whether it's doing that, or doing things that support it (studies, business/sales, marketing, etc), and the other 20% for trying out other things to see if they may be part of your strength but you don't know it yet.Read More
1. Your portfolio should only consist of your best pieces, remember one weak piece will weaken the whole portfolio. Don’t put too many images in either. 10-12 images are usually optimal. The content of the portfolio depends on what kind of illustration you want to do, make sure to do your research on the field you’re interested in first.
2. A good, strong …Read More
In this post, I'll talk about what I know regarding content and what makes decent content.
How to generate maximum content: Take lots of photos during the process of creating the piece. From sketch to finish, photograph it in decent light (I can talk about image editing apps at a later time but taking a decent photograph is the first step). It can be taken with a phone, considering it's not going to be viewed larger than, say, an iPad screen. But you still want to at least try for a relatively decent image. Set up your phone to be able to take a few videos, or if you have the capability, film the entire process. These videos will be chopped and shredded and used up until it's compost! But videos are the best content on Instagram. IG loves videos and will push it to the top of your followers timelines.Read More
"I'll be back again next week for "Twitching Tuesday" at 7pm EST! Let's go raid my buddy Blake's channel, have a good night everybody!" I'd sing into the microphone as I bid goodnight to my modest yet loyal and enthusiastic audience. I'd click "end stream" and the spell I had been under for the past 4-8 hours would suddenly be broken, and I'd awaken once more to my eerily quiet studio alone with my art. For the first time that night I could finally gaze upon what I had made with an undistracted eye, and many - many times my reaction has been "What have I done???" Then I would sigh, pick up my paint brush and get back to work.. fixing everything I'd gotten wrong. The evening chatting and making jokes with friends and fans had been so much fun... but at what cost? After a solid year and a half of consistent live-streaming I'm looking back at the results and wondering... is it all worth it?Read More
You probably know that video is important for content creators. As an artist video fits naturally into what you do. People want to know how we make the magic! This year I decided to make video a priority and in order to help with that I got an articulated arm that will hold my Canon camera.Read More
I believe the path of artistic inspiration runs parallel to the path of enlightenment. Let’s explore this idea with an ancient Zen riddle.
Once a monk made a request of Joshu.
“I have just entered the monastery,” he said. “Please give me instructions, Master.”
Joshu said, “Have you had your breakfast?”
“Yes, I have,” replied the monk.
“Then,” said Joshu, “wash your bowls.”
The monk had an insight.
Most of us are familiar with the typical envy and self loathing that comes from social media, but what if I told you social media can have an even more detrimental impact - it could be sabotaging your art. How is this possible? Let’s look at what is happening and how we can avoid it.Read More
Instagram provides a free marketing platform for visual content creators. The days of advertising executives making all the decisions is over.
This is GREAT news for creators. It means that we have a free stage and a free bullhorn with which to bring an audience to our art.
"Ok great. So how do I fight the algorithm?" -you, maybe.Read More
This year, one of my goals is to regain a lot of lost time spent on social media while growing my online presence. When I refer to lost time, I don’t mean the lost hours of endless scrolling looking at friends posts, what I’m referring to is the tedious task of maintaining a business presence online.Read More
Brush care is important, and while it can be time consuming, it’s relatively easy. Here are a couple products that I use that will help make your brush care more effective.Read More
Of all the social media platforms, Instagram is the easiest for us artists to gather a following. Getting thousands of people keeping up with you is nice but if you’re trying to sell stuff, it can be tough. Instagram makes it very hard to get users to take action or buy anything.
You’re going to want to set up your account to tag products. Once you do that, you can embed a purchase link directly into your images on IG. Getting it set up is a little bit of a pain, but once you’ve got it, it’s powerful. People can make purchases from your personal site without leaving IG.Read More
As an artist it is becoming more and more clear that Patreon is the place to be. The format and fan interaction possible over on Patreon is amazing! We’ve written several articles at 1FW about how to start your Patreon (seriously go start one already). Today let’s talk about making an amazing cover image.Read More