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  • What is your process?
    The process starts with the inspiration of course! For me, this often includes history, culture, or music. Symbology often plays a strong part as well, and sometimes a single phrase or just a feeling can be inspiring. Once I've formed the idea in my mind, and visualize some of the parts, I sketch it out (to make sure I don't lose the idea), and look for reference photos, or take my own. From there I define the sketch further. Sometimes, when I am unable to get a reference for exactly what I want, the next best thing ends up being better. A "happy accident" if you will. I like to use the computer to help scale and place the elements of my composition. Before computers, I'd just do this by hand, but the digital age has made this process much faster. It's also helpful when trying to decide what colors I want to use. Composing the piece takes the most amount of time, an I think it's the part of the whole process that's overlooked by consumers. After the composition is planned out, I transfer the drawing to my ground (paper, canvas, board, etc.), and begin to paint. It's best to start with the background, then move forward in the painting, but it's not a set rule and the artist has to decide the best approach for each particular work. For drawings, I tend to establish three levels of grey for the image, then focus on specific areas, finishing an area (such as an eye) before moving on to another section. Finally, I look over the work and decide what needs to be tweaked: if I missed a spot or if I need to darken or lighten an area, for example. Then I walk away for awhile, maybe days, and come back at it with fresh eyes. After it's finished, I seal it with clear spray to help protect it.
  • Do you use references / models?
    Yes, as often as possible. I use royalty-free stock photos, or my own photos. I cannot afford live models, so I have to use myself or a friend for specific compostions that I cannot find stock photos for. If I do this, I try to change the face or body enough to be less specific or identifiable, or to fit the "look" I'm trying to achieve. I highly recommend using references. If you're worried about the stigma of using references, don't be. There is no shame in it, it's good practice, and your art will be better.
  • How long does it take to complete a painting or drawing?
    While drawings can be finished more quickly than paintings, both take hours and hours of work. What many people do not realize is that there is a lot more that goes into creating art than the final product people see. With any work, be it visual, audio, performance, etc., time is spent planning, researching, experimenting, correcting, preserving, producing, and promoting the work. That's not to mention the years of practice that came before. "Pencil time" and "paint time" varies on composition, technique used, drying time, etcetera ad nauseam.
  • What is your favorite medium?
    I think I'm most proficient at pencils/graphite, but I crave color, so I'm trying to improve my painting skills. Painting is also a little gentler on my hands.
  • What is your education / experience?
    Most of my art skills I learned along the way, just going about life. When I was ten years old, Bob Ross was on TV and that was the first time I started using oil paint. My dad was the one who encouraged me there. He had done some oil painting in his younger years, and gave me his paints and brushes. In high school, I had the typical art classes most people do. I went to an art academy for one semester after high school. There, I learned a bit more about shading, coloring, and composition. After that it was just self-exploration. YouTube wasn't really a big thing for me at the time, so I mostly just tried to mimic the styles (not the exact compositions!) of the artists I admired and thought I could reasonably achieve. When I enrolled in unversity again later in life as a history major, I declared a second major in art. Most of what I learned in university wasn't "how to" as much as it was prompting me to try new things. In other words, no one ever taught me how to draw an eye, or a tree, water, etc. It was more foundational information, like finding my drawing habits, how to fix mistakes, how to let go, and exposing me to other mediums and genres. I was as greatly inspired by my art history classes as my studio art classes.
  • I want to be an artist. Do I need to get a formal education?
    No. It's not required if you just want to draw/paint and sell your own work or try to get into a gallery. But it does help fast-track learning. You can learn everything you would from a formal education on your own, but it will most likely take longer, or at the very least take serious dedication and practice. You do not need to go to college to learn the skills either. Online courses, videos, and tutorials are fantastic resources, and can be just as good and sometimes better depending on what you're looking to accomplish. If you want a formal job, you might need an education just to be able to compete with other artists for the position. For now, art is still a field where you can be self-made, but it may be very difficult to get the positions you want without the desired credentials. Bottom line: it depends on your goals.
  • I want to be an artist. How do I start?
    Just start. Practice, practice, practice. Be observant, try new things, and don't give up. It will take time, but you will improve. You probably already know the type of art you want to do: which materials, the subject matter, etc. Start by giving it a try. Figure out what your strengths are, and what skills need some more work. Seek out resources, such as instructional videos, skillshare, books, or classes, and keep practicing.
  • Do you offer lessons or critiques?
    Sorry, not at this time.
  • Can I use your artwork or images?
    Use of another artist's work without permission purposes would violate copyright laws. If you want to use another's creation, you need to obtain written permission from the artist. Regardless of use and even with permission, proper credit must always be given. If you would like to use my work, please feel free to make a request.
  • Can I use your artwork for a tattoo?
    If you would like to use artwork for a tattoo, please purchase a print of the work you want and contact me for a special release form for the tattoo artist. Legally, a tattoo artist is not supposed to tattoo an image without the original artist's permission. The release form will give the tattoo artist permission to use the image once, for you only. Tattoo artists typically do not ask for a permission form, but that does not mean it's legal.
  • Will you draw/paint me for free?
    I am glad you appreciate my work! Unfortunately, I have bills to pay just like everyone else and it takes hours (at least) to create works of art. If you're a dentist, mechanic, or farmer, then we could perhaps barter services.
  • Where can I purchase prints or products?
    Prints and other items can be purchased through Art Pal, Spring (TeeSpring), or Redbubble. Currently, my Etsy shop is "on vacation" as I am living in a country with very expensive shipping costs, and I cannot justify that expense for my customers. However, I am exploring alternatives or compromises, so this may change in the future.
  • Do you sell your originals?
    Some originals I do sell, such as the metallic on black paintings. Illustrations I tend to keep.
  • Do you take commissions?
    I am open to doing custom work that is within my art styles and genres. Please contact me if you have a serious inquiry.
  • What are your shipping and return policies?
    Since I currently sell my work through print-on-demand companies, any issues should be addressed through the respective company. If you have any other concerns or questions, feel free to contact me.
  • How do I stay up to date on news and events?
    Instagram is the best way to get updates. I use Blogger for my ramblings. And Instagram and Facebook are the fastest way to contact me.
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