Tag Archives: art prints

Looking Back at 25 Years as an Artist!

This year marks my 25th year as an artist! It’s so hard to believe it’s been that long! I have been an artist since childhood, but at the young age of 21 I decided it was what I wanted to be when I grew up. It was actually a Tony Robbins infomercial in the middle of the night that inspired me.

pencil drawing covered bridge Tennessee

Covered Bridge drawing, the first image I printed/sold on postcards

I was working graveyard shift at a Comfort Inn in Clarksville, Tennessee after finishing my time in the Army. I was disgusted and frustrated because I was back at basically the same job I had left for the Army. New town, different state, but that same graveyard shift, minimum wage paying, sleep depriving job. I worked graveyard because my husband worked mornings and it was the only way we could have a second income without paying for child care. My two eldest sons were 5 years and 9 months old at the time. The third son hadn’t joined the family just yet.

I was at work, killing time watching cable TV in the lobby, when the Tony Robbins infomercial came on. I decided to watch it all the way through and by the end I thought, I can’t afford his book right now, but surely I can think of some way to make a living doing something I love to do. (I eventually bought that book at a yard sale many years later and I highly recommend Tony Robbins to anyone looking for motivation!)

After watching the infomercial, I thought of how much I used to love drawing and painting in high school. The next night, I brought paper and pencils with me and spent the graveyard shift drawing a local covered bridge that I found a photo of in a local magazine.

That drawing changed my life forever. (Little did I know at the time!) I showed it to my husband, grudgingly as he always told me my art from high school wasn’t that good, and he was blown away. It wasn’t long before we found a printer to make postcards of the covered bridge drawing and my husband took them to his job at a local convenience store where he sold them to people who came in for gas and cigarettes.

Before long, I had drawn several other local historical buildings and had quite an array of postcards of local drawings. I was invited to show my drawings at the local Chamber of Commerce, a local bank and eventually the local tour of historic homes commissioned me to draw several other local buildings and I sold art prints and postcards at the tour event.

That event helped me to really get my art business going. I ended up getting several commissions for other historical homes as well as portraits. After the buildings I started my portrait series and the rest is history! Of course, there is so much more to this story, but this is the story of how it all began.

A word to any young artists who are reading this post. Don’t ever let anyone tell you you can’t make a living as an artist. Sure, it’s not an easy life, sure, it takes time to build a name for yourself and a portfolio of art that you are proud to share, but it is one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done. The first most rewarding thing I’ve done was having 3 beautiful sons!

Artists starting out today have it much easier than I had it starting out. You have the internet and so many avenues to get your art work out there (Twitter, Instagram, weblogs like this one, and an infinity of other sites with a plethora of information). When I first started, the internet was out there, but not for the masses. I didn’t even have a computer until 6 years after I started!

One of the things I always wished I had starting out, was other artists to ask advice of. I was very isolated in a small town in Tennessee with no art scene to speak of. There were no smart phones or digital cameras. Thank goodness for the internet! There is so much information available in a simple Google search!

If you have any questions about starting out as an artist, please ask away in the comments and I promise to write another blog post in answer to any and all questions I receive.

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Print Clearance Sale

original oil painting Balance

I’ve been mulling over a big decision for over a year now and have decided it’s time! I’m discontinuing my art prints. They take up too much time and space, plus it seems everyone is leaving me behind in the 20th century with digital prints. It makes so much sense in this age of print on demand and everyone having high quality printers hooked up to their home computers.

Unfortunately, I have quite the stock of art prints, all matted and ready to go. To clear out more space in my studio, I’m currently having a Clearance Sale! 40% off on ALL of the art prints in my Etsy shop! All you need to do, is use the coupon code, PRINTCLEARANCE40, at checkout and you will receive 40% off! This sale ends on January 25th.

Once this sale is over, I am going to list print images in digital format. The coolest thing about this format is once you purchase your image, the download is immediate once your payment is made. No more waiting for the mail to come! There are a few pluses to this format, you can print any size you want (up to a certain size, depending on image size), you can use my art files for invitations, crafts like scrap booking or any other place you can think of. You can also take them to your local print shop and have your own wall prints made, on any paper you choose or on canvas!

The only limit is these images are available for personal use only. If you want to resell these images, you must first get my written permission and pay licensing fees. The copyright still belongs to me, you are purchasing the image only.

I’m also planning to bring back some older images that haven’t been available for some time. My Peace Series for one. Stay tuned….

The Difference Between Goals and Resolutions

All about love poster image

“All About Love Series” giclee poster/print, 13 x 14″, available for $50. Separate individual image mini prints(4×4″) available for $10

Happy New Year everyone! It’s THAT time of year, the time when most people are making resolutions, promises to themselves they will never keep. Odds are against them. According to Statisticbrain.com, only 8% of people are successful in achieving their New Year’s resolutions.

What does the word resolution actually mean? One definition of resolution is, a firm decision to do something. Basically, a resolution is a decision, you DECIDE you want to do something. However, if you stop there, with a resolution, you won’t get far. What is the difference between a resolution and a goal? The definition of a goal is, something that somebody wants to achieve. Personally, I see a big difference here. A resolution is a decision, and a goal is something to achieve. If you make a decision without a goal in mind, you won’t get far. Anybody can make a decision, but without a goal or an idea in mind for what you want to achieve, you will end up giving up before you get started.

In the past, I have made New Year’s resolutions, and I have set goals. Guess which have been more successful for me? That’s what this blog post is all about. Setting GOALS for 2013 rather than just resolutions. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with making resolutions. What I’m saying is, if you want to keep those resolutions you need to pair them with goals. I know I’m not the first or the last person to say this, but if you want to keep your resolutions, you need to have an end goal in mind. SPECIFIC, measurable goals! This is only part of the story though. In addition to setting specific, measurable goals, you need to break each goal into steps to take in order to achieve said goals.

As an example, here is how I do it;

First, I make a DECISION, ie, “I will sell more of my art prints in 2013”.

Second, I set a goal, ie, “I will place my art prints into several shops/galleries/gift stores during 2013, therefore increasing the chances that more of my art prints will sell”.

Third, I break my goal down into steps I can take and take it ONE DAY AT A TIME! My steps break down something like this:

1. Create a portfolio/catalog of my print images so I have something to show shop/gallery owners. I will create both an online and physical version.

2. Make a list of different shops/galleries I think my art would do well in. This requires research, going out in person in my area or looking online at different shop/gallery websites. I gather the contact information from each place and make a database.

3. Contact shops/galleries on my list by email with links to my online catalog/portfolio and mention that I have been to their shop/gallery and feel my art would be a good fit.

4. Within a week or so of sending emails (if I haven’t already heard from them), I call the shop/gallery and ask about making an appointment to speak with them about placing my prints for sale in their shop/gallery.

5. Once I have the appointment, I show up ON TIME with my physical portfolio and a few print samples in hand. I am dressed professionally and I act in a polite, friendly manner. I will have a business card/postcard and a sample mini print to leave with them for their files.

6. The shop/gallery owner is so impressed with my art prints, they place an order on the spot and either buy the prints at my wholesale price or place the prints on consignment in their store. Sometimes, steps 4 and 5 will be skipped because the shop will contact me directly from the email and place an order.

This is how I do it. You may have another process, and that is fine, the most important thing is setting GOALS and breaking each goal into STEPS. Now you know what my biggest goal is for this year! What goals have YOU set for yourself this year? I would love to hear your feedback and suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment.

Happy New Year, may 2013 be all you hope for and MORE!

Going, Going, GONE!

Just inventoried and listed a bunch of my earlier prints in my Etsy shop. Follow the link below to see/get them while you still can. All the prints in this section of my shop are down to 3 or less and no more will be made. I will be adding more listings during the next week or so. Please check it out, don’t miss your last chance to have some of my most popular art prints!

Going, going, GONE Prints!