Friday, August 22, 2014

Artist Spotlight - Monica Martin

Be sure to visit Monica's website (link below), then click on her blog to see her new studio!

Tell us a bit about yourself: Did you go to school for art? Are you self taught?
I'm a licensed mixed media artist. I started my business in 2011. I am a native Southern Californian. I did not go to college for art, but took art class all four years of high school. I went to college for merchandising/design in the fashion industry. I learned so much about color and textiles there, and feel like it often applies to my artwork now.

What inspires you / where do you get inspiration from?
My inspiration can come from most anything. A combination of colors, a quote, a feeling about something, or often, a simple flower. I paint flowers a lot.

Do you work in just one medium? Several?

I work in acrylics, pastels, and watercolors. My favorite is acrylic because of its vibrancy. It adds so much color to anything I work on. I've recently learned to apply acrylics and watercolors layered on top, and I am enjoying experimenting with that combination.

What are you working on now?
I am always working on new artwork. Whether it be for an upcoming show/event or just to add to my portfolio for licensing contracts. I have all of my licensed contracts listed on my website under Where to buy. Some are retail, while others are wholesale only.

Anything else you want to tell everyone?
I truly feel that "if you believe it, you can achieve it." I put my heart and soul into my business every day and am blessed to know that my artwork goes into my customers homes. It is an honor.

Are you an early riser? or night owl?
The sad part is, I am both! Especially since opening my studio in August. There is always something to do or work on. I would say I am a great night owl and very productive, but can also be spunky and ready to plan things out for my day.

What is your favorite food?
I would have to say my favorite food is shrimp. Sauteed, grilled, fried, any way is good.
For dessert, I'd say cheesecake.
As far as drink, I am a Diet Coke girl. Not Diet Pepsi. No coffee.

You can find Monica Martin/The Artsy Girl Studio

Do you want to be spotlighted? Send me an email:
THANKS for stopping by - make my day and follow this blog :-D

Friday, August 15, 2014

How I Pay the Rent

Click image to view larger.

Happy Friday Doodlebugerz!
This topic was sent in through the blog giveaway I had recently—Thank you! Short answer - my husband pays the mortgage! I pay for groceries, car payment, cable bill/utilities , business expenses.... we divided up the bills ages ago.

The majority of my income comes from my graphic design business. Right now on my graphic design plate are t-shirt designs for the orthoditists above, Billboards for Celebrity Homes (above middle brochure pages),  two 28-page magazines (top right is one of them) and a 12 page newsletter for the City of La Vista. I'm pretty sure another new home builder is going to have me do a watercolor of an aerial photo. I am excited about a possible new client with a postcard campaign they want designed. There are a few other clients - but that is a long enough laundry list.

I have been a graphic designer for 26+ years. Owned my own business for 16 of those years. I always new I wanted to have a creative career. WAY BACK then, becoming an illustrator was just too scary for me! I didn't have much interest in galleries back then either. For me, sharing my art is a much more vulnerable thing to do. I know many of you can relate :-D

Until very recently, I had a small part time job at a 'paint your own pottery place'. I liked the "mad money" and the families that came in to paint. I miss the kids! If money got tight, it helped to stabilize my monthly income.

Forever I have been walking around stores, looking at stuff with art on it and saying "I could do that!" My adult children can't remember a time when I didn't say that :-)

I am on the new end of art licensing and THRILLED to be here! It is the absolute perfect combination of art and graphic design for me. I love the challenge! I feel so very blessed to be able to do what I love and get paid too :-)

Thanks so much for stopping by - please comment below and tell me a bit about you. If you don't mind sharing how you pay the rent - please share! It might spur an idea in someone else.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Art Licensing Academy is Open - Register by 9/20/14 Get 3 FREE Books!

Quick post to let you know

Hey Doodlebugerz,
For those of you who are interested in Art Licensing Academy there is a GREAT FREE bonus if you register by September 20, 2014. Yup, it is the 3 books in the photo above! I am reading The Big Leap right now and The War of Art is on my to do list. I think I better ad the 3rd book to my to do list too :-)

This link is an affiliate link - if you click on it and purchase, I get a small fee as an affiliate that helps support my blog. THANK YOU! Art Licensing Academy

If you don't want me to get the fee - here is a non-affiliate link. No worries. I would rather you get the info! Art Licensing Academy

Staycation Update:

On a whim I tossed out into the internet if anyone would be interested in a group text chat to talk about Tara's free Staycation Audios. 15 of you signed up and I am thrilled how well the first group chat went! My fingers were sore from trying to type fast ;-) I really enjoyed chatting with other creative souls.

Be sure to stay connected with me :-D

Friday, August 8, 2014

Artist Spotlight - Jo Lynch

I started following Jo on Twitter in 2009 :-) Her images and technique are stunning!

Tell us a bit about yourself: Did you go to school for art? Are you self taught?
I have always loved drawing, but I did not work with it consistently until the early 90's.
It began then as so many things do, with a simple watercolor class one morning a week at an old school building. It grew quickly from there to a real love for the medium of watercolor.  Since that first watercolor class, I have worked with watercolor, and taken numerous workshops internationally in France, Holland, and Bermuda, as well as up and down the East Coast of the U.S. I have taken drawing & painting classes at Anne Arundel Community College, in The Maryland Hall School of Arts, The Casements in Florida, & various other institutions.  The classes I have taken have always been just a day or so, or week long workshops, and a few drawing classes that were a few months long, so I’m a mix of self-taught and everything I’ve learned from the various workshops and classes I took along the way.  I never went to “Art School”. 

What inspires you / where do you get inspiration from?
My inspiration comes from various places.  Some of my inspiration comes from my own wide collection of photos. Sometimes a trip to Blue Springs where the Manatees live in winter, or a trip to the zoo, or beach will fill me with inspiration.  Occasionally I’ll see a face that draws me in, a face with strong lines. Mainly I paint animals because I love them, and they make me happy. I can paint almost any subject matter in my “Whimzicals” style though, such as buildings, people, faces etc.  I like to find things that have a shape that appeals to me.  Inspiration comes in many shapes. :)

Do you work in just one medium? Several?
I work mainly in watercolor as it is by far and away my favorite medium.  I love it’s translucency, the beauty of the colors and they way they blend and mix together during a painting.  They are almost jewel-like when they are still wet.  The other mediums that I enjoy are pencil, colored pencil, and pen & ink. 

What are you working on now?
Currently I am working with a copper company overseas, and together we have created a line of “Whimzicals” copper jewelry.  It took us about 6 months of working together to get the designs sized so that they would fit on the small space of an earring, necklace or bracelet, and still remain recognizable.  They can be found at the link at the bottom of this interview.  Also at this time of year, my mind turns toward the holiday season, and I will paint a few holiday animals....and lastly I am always painting something, so the paint and paper call to me everyday, simply because I love watching the colors emerge on the paper. 

Anything else you want to tell everyone?

I consider my technique loose, which to me, means I prefer not to paint everything I see, but to give a loose interpretation.  I also love design and shapes.  I think I have a feel for design, rhythm and balance.  I love making shapes, thus the “Whimzicals”(tm) were born.  Prior to 2006, when I began thinking in design and shapes, I was a traditional plein air painter, painting on location wherever I was.  A sample of my art prior to the Whimzicals style can be seen on my website, under the Galleries page.   I also enjoy working digitally with my work, and I’ve learned how to separate each design from any background it may have, thus I am able to create a variety of uses for a single design.

Are you an early riser? or night owl?
Early .... I work best from early morning until mid to late afternoon.  After that, it’s all downhill other than working on the computer. 

What is your favorite food?
Without a doubt, Ice cream  anytime and always. 

Main website: 

THANK YOU for stopping by my blog!
Do you want to be spotlighted? Send me an email:
Make my day and follow this blog :-D

Friday, August 1, 2014

Win a $50 Amazon Gift Card

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Editors note: Aug. 13, 2014 - HIGH FIVE!! Just sent the $50 Amazon Gift Card via email to Kristen. Thank you everyone, this was fun! :-D Check the newsletter and follow me on social media for the next giveaway.

Editors note: you don't have to sign up for the newsletter - probably the easiest way to enter is to like my facebook page through the giveaway box above. I am using Rafflecopter's free service because it make it easy for me to notify the winner. I won't be keeping your email addresses unless you do sign up for the newsletter :-) You can also read the Terms & Conditions above.

I need your help to get my newsletter off the ground and blog post ideas!


Thank you all in advance! You can come back tomorrow and enter again by giving me another blog post idea. You can sign up for the newsletter and like my Facebook Fan Page only once. Each task gives you another chance to win.

Giveaway ends 12:00 a.m. Wednesday August 13th. I will email and post the winner same day (on the blog). Only US citizens can win.

I would be really grateful if you are interested in getting my monthly newsletter. Sample of what it looks like is below. Get tips, freebies and artist spotlights that I have on this blog delivered right to your email in-box! It will change as I get feed back from all of you. BIG THANKS-A-LATTE for getting it off the ground :-)

The blog stats give me a good idea of what post are popular - but I want to know your ideas for blog posts. The whole point of this is what works for you guys!

If you have already signed up for my newsletter prior to this giveaway, you are already entered to win! You can enter again by liking my fan page and/or leaving a blog post idea.

Thanks again for your time and input - I hope you win! Make my day and follow this blog :-D

Friday, July 25, 2014

Artist Spotlight - Madeline Faiella

I met up with Madeline at Surtex this year (2014). I love her energy! you will too :-)

Tell us a bit about yourself: Did you go to school for art? Are you self taught?I studied art at The School of Visual Arts in New York City but started drawing when I was about 3-4. Just before graduating with a BA I went off to sing for the next 23 years. I was in college at 16 so I guess I felt I wanted to head out there. The first of all the cousins in an Italian/Sicilian family, it was very odd for me to be heading out into the world, a woman on her own. Even though I was in one form of art, I continued with my art, often selling along the way. 

The self-taught part of my journey continues and always will. I read a lot of books on artists, techniques, and artistic energy. What fun to bring it all together in Photoshop and Illustrator!

What inspires you / where do you get inspiration from?
I am inspired by fashion, architecture, color, shape, balance and energy. I might even be inspired by a crushed can I see on the street.

People inspire me and I am in a love relationship with eyes and faces. Whimsical images with a touch of mystery inspire me much like people at the Venetian Ball with their ornate costumes and masks. I love all that. 

I am also very much inspired by pattern and fabric. I learned to sew from my Mom who was a professional seamstress. She wanted to be a designer but had us instead. I can cut a pattern from newspaper because of her. It’s natural that beautiful patterns turn me on.

Do you work in just one medium? Several?
I think it’s easier to ask which medium I do not work in. I paint with everything except oils. I use Copic Markers, colored pencils, chalks, graphite, Sharpies and any other drawing tool one can imagine. I might just sit down and use an old school pencil to draw if it’s handy. As a mixed media artisan I use wood, I do wood burning, I sew, refurbish things and use tools like crazy. My studio has everything I need to make anything. 

Oh, and of course, as I mentioned, now digital work as well.

What are you working on now?

I have a license with KekaCases and they are expanding into more home d├ęcor. I’m happy about that.  I have pillows in two sizes, coasters in leather, electronic device covers and more.

SinCityStamps partnered with me to do rubber stamp designs, stencils, chipboard designs in 3D and more. That’s a fun license so far.

I have two other submissions that I am waiting on but due to confidentiality I’m quiet about it yet. I feel good about them and as soon as it’s a signed deal, you will be the first to know.

I also have a line of paint called ART JACKET ARTISTS’ ACRYLIC PAINT.  I am licensed with Earth Safe Finishes for this. It’s a completely non-toxic product and as I will be doing some kits with one of my licenses, it will be easy to add the paints; no problem for kids or people with allergies.

Anything else you want to tell everyone?
I love the idea of doing something that will make someone happy. I have never had a smug attitude about art or my music for that matter.  I feel it’s something to be grateful about. Practical art that makes someone smile or think is fun. The challenge of art licensing has been one of my dreams and when I officially started Madeline Faiella Designs, LLC a year ago, I was able to work with a focus on my art. No more day job. In this last year, everything we talked about here that is not in the far past came to fruition in the last year.

I am easy to work with, hit deadlines on time and I’m open to constructive criticism. I’m not afraid to try new things like when I skied from the mountaintop arriving there by helicopter from Switzerland to Italy or when I did white water rafting in Wisconsin. Or helicoptering behind glaciers and up to the Matterhorn. As much as I enjoy my independent creativity, I apply it to what the client wants and I also find joy in that.

Are you an early riser? Or night owl?
When I was born my Mom asked who was the baby that kept her up all night. ‘Nuff said.

What is your favorite food?
Difficult to answer. Having traveled for so many years and having lived overseas for 10 of those years I am fortunate to have enjoyed many cultural delights. Not many I didn’t like. Some of the more extreme were not for me but I did eat a quail egg that was buried for 100 years. 

I love Mediterranean food and Japanese food. I enjoy a fabu pizza from the Bronx or Brooklyn and the best Tiramisu truly was in Italy. I love the Swiss fondues and German pancakes. Of course, I am a good girl and I love my veggies.

Now that I am home I eat sushi on occasion but I LOVE LOVE LOVE ice cream. I can’t even keep it in the house!!!!  Lol!

You can find Madeline:

THANK YOU for stopping by my blog!
Do you want to be spotlighted? Send me an email:
Make my day and follow this blog :-D

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

FREE Audio Series! Starts August 4, 2014


I just signed up! Did you?! If you want, we can group email chat about what we get out of it each week. 


This is kind of like Tara's Ask Calls - delivered to your inbox every Monday in August!

I really enjoy Tara's Ask Calls for two reasons. 1. I am listening to people who get artists! 2. I ALWAYS pick up wonderful nuggets of information :-)

Even if you have been in the business for quite awhile - hearing another person perspective can give you just the insight or idea that you needed. SO, I would appreciate it if you click the image above to sign up - It is FREE, I won't make any $$ from it. It does let Tara know you heard it from me which I really do appreciate!

Here is the gist of the audios that arrive in your inbox every Monday in August - more info on Tara's site CLICK HERE.

WEEK 1. The basics of art licensing

WEEK 2. How to "package" your art to appeal to licensees (the manufacturers and retailers who license art)

WEEK 3. How your beliefs and mindsets can support or sabotage your success

WEEK 4. Tips to let the right people know that you have art for licensing

I am interested in weeks 2 - 4. If you want to group email chat with me, leave your email in the comments below. OR if you are worried about spammers picking up your email, send it to me directly at

Looking forward to connecting with you!

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