Monday, December 1, 2008

Artist Feature :: Hillary Luetkemeyer

How long have you been working as an artist? Have you been schooled in art at all?

Little children are always making artwork, before they are taught to be ashamed of their creativity. I was fortunate in that my mother and a good adult friend of mine encouraged me, and so I just continued to make artwork where other people leave off. I took art classes in high school, and got my BFA in, of all things, metalsmithing.

I can see from your gallery that you work with a number of different media/mediums with your art, what is your favorite to work with and why?

My favorite to work in? Currently it's watercolor. I'd like to tell you that I vibe with the medium and that it speaks to me and so on, but that would be a lie. The real reason I use it is because I'm cheap, and you can use every little speck of watercolor because when it dries, all you need to do is apply more water to it. Acrylic and oil, once it dries, that's it; it's useless. And good paint is really expensive!

Can you remember the first image you displayed publicly online or in real life? What was the general reaction?

I really don't recall. I believe it was a painting I did for a contest back in high school. We had to paint this bridge house. It was hosted by a local guy who owned the subdivision or something. I really don't recall what kind of attention it received. I was just thrilled to win the scholarship money.

Your piece titled "Corrosion" really drew me in to your gallery, can you give us a little insight into the reasons you created it and what it means to you?

Ah, that's one of my favorites as well. To start with, I ought to talk a little bit about the media I used. As a metalsmithing major, I was encouraged, in my drawing 400 class, to incorporate my chosen major in my drawings. I began to use the patinas and corrosion's produced by metal as a drawing tool. In the piece, Corrosion, I was drawing directly from that experience, and used real rust as a drawing tool.

Thematically, it's meant as a comment or discussion on our use of animals as tools. The horse, once no longer useful, has been left in the field to rot, like an old tractor. It's seen not as a feeling being, but as a piece of equipment.

What does art and the creating of it mean to you? Is it a hobby, a calling, a way to pay bills or something even deeper?

I'd call it all of those things. I have chosen it as my profession, yes. And so it is a way to pay bills. It's also a hobby. It's also my life. I rarely go a day without working, both because I need to work to eat, but also because I feel a compulsion to create.

How would you describe your art? How have you developed your style over time? What influences helped get you to this point?

At present, I'd define my artwork as animal illustration art. I've always liked children's books and illustration, and that seems to be the way I'm leaning right now. However, I have so many interests, I can't say that's my chosen theme, particularly. It just happens to be what I'm into now. I just continue to work, and see where it takes me.

My influences are far too numerous to list. I could say life, or nature, but those are obvious answers. Everyone is influenced by life and nature.

Do you have a website or etsy account where we can find you online? Are you open for commissions?

My main website is my DeviantArt page:
My commissions lists are usually pretty full, but I circulate fast.

What are your goals as an artist, short term and long term? Where do you want to be with your art 5 or even 10 years from now?

I wish I could tell you. I'd be very interested in knowing, myself. I'd like to get back into metalsmithing, eventually, but this illustration thing seems to be working well for me right now.

The cheap answer is that I'd like to get better. I want to more accurately convey my ideas with more flawless images. Most importantly, I want to be able to say more with it, and be able to talk about something that I believe to be meaningful.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Christmas is on the Way

Thanks be to Etsy and other online markets! Never again will you have to buy a boring gift.

I have always
been a firm believer that buying from self-representing artisans is best. Etsy has given us a great gift by providing an online market for all self-representing artists and artisans to sell their goods. It is a wonderful thing!! I like giving gifts that I bought from a self-representing artist or artisan.. it feels like I'm doing two good things instead of just one. My humble little bit of money is going straight to the person who I want it to, instead of getting lost in a huge corporate chain. I'm not just buying a gift for my friend/family, I'm supporting an artist / artisan.

I think that's just awesome!

Anyway, with Christmas not far off, you don't have too many more days to delay purchasing online. In only weeks, if not already, the post offices are going to be filling with packages of fruitcake and tins of lemon cookies - or whatever it is that people send
in the mail. So, if you want to purchase your gifts online, now is the time.

Here are some things that I've seen on Etsy that I think are neat

Edith and Lulu
welery made from buttons!?

Original Art by Arlene Faye

Notecards, Originals, Prints, ACEOs....

Naiad Soap Arts
Gorgeous and Green Soaps!

Morgan Nichole Gifts

Adorable Baby Accessories

Fine Art Prints from
Amy Giacomelli and Natalia Skye

Studio Melange

Art etc. by Victoria Rees

Constant Dreamer
Whimsical Art by Shaylind Standing


"saving the planet through decoupage"

HomeStudio Pendants

Cool Affordable Gifts - Scrabble Pendants!?!

(I bought a bunch of gifts on etsy all in the same sitting one day. These guys were the first to ship. I received my pendant today and it is faaaabulous.)

Coquelicot Salon
crocheted fashion

Monday, November 17, 2008

Artist Feature :: fIDOArt

Real Name: Danny
Online Alias:
Location: Georgia, USA

Where are you from? How does that influence who you are and what kind of art you create, or do you think it does?

I was born and raised in a small town just south of Atlanta, Georgia and am glad that I grew up when and where I did. And I'm still here. It's all I know. I don't know if it really influences my art or not. My first response would be that I don't think it does. I've never really thought about that much before.

When did you first start drawing/painting?

I've been drawing for as long as I can remember. I can remember drawing lots and lots of aliens and spaceships and things like that when I was in the primary grades and then lots of Batman, Superman, and other comic book heroes as I got older. I remember taking some private art lessons when I was about 13 or so and I really enjoyed that as well. It's just something I've always done and enjoyed.

How would you describe your current style?

Good question. I wish I knew. It seems to be all over the place. I always look at the style and work of other artists and think to myself, "Why can't I be like that?" I hope to one day be able to answer this question. So...can I get back to you on this one? LOL

Where do you get the majority of your inspiration for your pieces?

I really enjoy creating things that deal with a thought or an emotion of some kind. I am constantly looking and listening for a word or a phrase that makes an impact on me. Even though I consider myself very poor at expressing myself through words, I enjoy playing around with words and ideas connected to them.

Many of your pieces of art have text and phrases incorporated into them, can you give us some insight into where these thoughts come from and why you decide to include text in your work?

I think the answer above kind of answers this question as well. I just really like the look of text incorporated into art. There's just something "magical" about it to me, especially when it connects to an image. For me, it seems to put the finishing touch on a work of art and brings it all together.

What is your favorite medium/media to work in and why?

I guess the media I'm most comfortable with would be colored pencil. For some reason I just feel more "in control" when I'm working with them. While I own a very nice set of Prismacolor pencils, I really use my trusty 'ol Crayolas most of the time. I use watercolors a lot as well, but they seem to have a mind of their own and control me more than I'm able to control them. LOL Lately I've been experimenting with putting several mediums together like watercolors, colored pencils, and water soluble crayons.

I discovered your art through IllustratedATCs and was an instant fan. But because of only seeing your art on an Art Card forum, I am wondering if you do larger scale art or just work in miniature?

Basically, all of my creations are never bigger than the standard 4" x 6" postcard size. I began majoring in art in college and did create quite a few larger works back then which I have since given all away. I ended up getting my degree in elementary education instead of art because I was concerned about making a living from my art. During all my years of teaching, my art was used mainly for things that I needed in my classroom...posters, bulletin boards, etc. I never really took it very seriously until I discovered the world of atc's about 4 years ago and I've been hooked ever since.

When I found out that I could create these tiny little works of art and trade them with people all over the world I knew that I had finally found my creative outlet. The small size is a big plus for me because it doesn't take days or weeks to complete a piece. It's been the longest that I've ever stuck with anything creative. Over the last 30 years or so I've dabbled in lots of things...drawing, painting, woodcarving, photography...and never really stayed with any of them very long. Since I've been creating and trading art on the internet I've met a whole lot of talented and wonderful artists and have developed friendships with many of them. They have been a constant source of encouragement and inspiration to me and I feel that I have truly grown as an artist myself because of them.

Aside from trading ATCs, painting and creating, what do you do?

I am a teacher of gifted children in grades K-5. This is my 32nd year of teaching and no matter how much I promise myself that I won't allow it to overtake my life each year, it always does. Although it can be very difficult at times and very demanding, I really love what I do. My wife is also a teacher. We have one son, Adam, who is almost 17. We enjoy spending time together and all of us are very active in our church. In my spare time I enjoy reading, getting together with friends and eating, and as much as I hate to admit it, watching TV. LOL

What does art and the creating of it mean to you? Is it a hobby or pastime, or is it something bigger and more meaningful?

Mainly, it is a hobby but it is also a way for me to express myself. People are constantly telling me that I should sell it and make money from it but I've found that when I HAVE to create art I lose all the joy in creating it. Maybe when I retire from teaching I might pursue some ways to make a little extra income from it but for now, I'm content with the way it is.

What is one of the pieces that you've created that you especially love and why?

This is another question that I find difficult to answer. When I trade them away I more or less forget about them. What matters to me is that someone else was able to find something to like about a particular piece of mine enough to want to trade for it. I really like one of my most recent postcards entitled "Un Coeur Simple" (A Simple Heart) because it was one of those rare times when it all just seemed to come together from somewhere deep within without much effort. It has been traded to a very good friend of mine whose artwork I really treasure and get great pleasure from. I'm glad it is now hers.

What are your goals as an artist, short term and long term?

To just keep on creating and enjoying it like I do at this moment

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Artist Feature || Medhi

Welcome to our third Artist Feature. Today we have the honor of hearing from a beautiful artist from the Czech Republic who creates imaginative dream scenes with his tablet. Enjoy.
Name: Jiří Zralý
Online Alias: Medhi

To start off, please tell us a little bit about yourself and
where you are from.

So, I am 25 years old and I am from Prague, Czech Republic. Last
year, I finished University and now I attend to my work, which is
programming and webhosting work. Painting is only my hobby

When did you first start drawing/painting?

In school, during boring lessons, I was drawing all the time. But these
pics I started to paint, when I was bought a tablet. It was about two
years ago.

How would you describe your current style?

Uf. I am not a professional painter, and I can't paint anatomy and other
stuff so good. So, I paint what I can and putting my fantasy into the
canvas. My style is a little bit fairy-tale-ish and I like to play with
light and mood.

What is your favorite medium/media to work in and why?

Best for me is tablet and Photoshop, because it is very simple. I tried oil
too, it is very interesting, but much harder to manage. Here is one of my
oil-on-canvas pictures:

Aside from painting and creating, what do you do?

As I told above, I am programming and carrying my own business
with my colleague. We do webhosting in Czech and driving a
widget-system called

Can you remember the first image you displayed
publicly online or in real life?

Before I had a tablet, I was painting by mouse, only. My first published
image was this Christmass compliment of the season:

What does art and the creating of it mean to you?

It is like putting fantasy into real. Worlds in my mind goes to canvas
and I can see them clearly. Painting tasks my other hemisphere of brain,
so it is a good opposite of my other hobbies.

What influences helped get you to this point in your art?

I am trying to study other images from masters of digital panting and
the community on CG webs has helped me a lot, by advice, too.

What are your goals as an artist, short term and long term?

Mmm, I think I have no goals in painting, maybe wishes :) It is only
a hobby, it makes me happy, but it is not race. I would like to
improve in anatomy drawing and my little dream is to publish my images
in some kind of children / fairytale book. It would be nice.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Art For Sale!

Art For Sale

Self-Representing Artists who've been
capitalizing off of the splendid internet...
and who seem to be doing well

Some purists don't like the idea of making art to sell...
But when you find something you love doing, isn't the smartest and most natural next step to figure out how to support yourself doing it? You can paint for yourself on the side and paint to bring income as well. Finding a niche where you enjoy what you do and can make money doing it - isn't that THE Dream!?

In any case, I'd like to take a moment to introduce you to a few artists that I know of that are doing just that. Hopefully they inspire you, or at least give you some Christmas shopping ideas *wink wink*

Dog Art Studio - Selling on Etsy

I've spent many an hour looking through Etsy and Ebay to see what kind of art is most popular with buyers. I know, it kind of sounds a bit capitalistic and scummy, but if you are an artist working toward being able to support yourself through art sales, you need to know what sells. And from what I've seen, if painting pets is your niche, you've pretty much got it made!

I really like Ron Krajewski's style when it comes to pet portraits. His portraits are realistic but don't have the look of "all skill and no creativity" like some portrait artists have. I love the loose feel of his watercolours. It is hard to imagine that he was able to get that good with no schooling in art. You can check him out on Etsy; his username is "DogArtStudio" - there's a link to his shop above, as well.

Osnat Fine Art - Selling on Ebay and personal Website

I discovered Osnat Tzadock on Ebay a few years ago and have been a fan ever since! She does amazing large scale art and is another self-taught artist. Her art is Contemporary Abstract for the most part and while looking like something made to hang in your living room, it also has an art gallery feel. Vibrant colours, high contrast, lots of movement - go see it for yourself!! Check out her Website and her Ebay store!

2 Rivers Western Gallery - Selling on Ebay

There could never be too many Horse Artists... enough said! ;)

Mistique Studio - Selling on Ebay

When you have a style that is uniquely yours but that seems to be derived from some absolutely cute and unforgettable critters from the 80s-90s, you've got to open a shop! Misti Hope Wudtke seems to do quite well with her shop on Ebay. I can't help but squeal at her cutesy Unicorns, Dragons and Kitties. But ontop of that, she is quite skilled in more realistic styles and at jewelery making. I hope you enjoy her work as much as I do. I believe you can also find her on DeviantArt and on her own website.

The Peach Pit - Selling on Etsy

Frightfully, delightfully Retro! This artist draws out her funky graphic pictures by hand, scans them, and then colours them in digitally. Her prints are nothing short of fantastic, if you ask me. Check her out on Etsy, if you like retro and graphic art, you will not be disappointed.

Hide n Seek - Selling on Etsy

Best Colour Palette Ever! Wonderful, whimsical, beautiful art by 'Hidden Eloise' of England. She sells prints, magnets, buttons, stickers and more with her beautiful art printed on them. I just think her art is so much fun.

Well, now that I've gotten you started thinking about all the fun artists who sell their art on the web. I hope I've inspired you to start a shop if you haven't already, as well as go out and spend all your earnings on other artists! I know that tends to be my fault with selling stuff online - I spend the money I earn right away on other artists who sell online, lol! But Christmas is on the way, and the best kind of gift is a win-win gift! Support and artist as well as give a wonderful gift, buy from self-representing artists aaaand artisans!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Artist Feature :: EraserQueen

Feature Artist Profile

Andrea Melione
Online Alias: EraserQueen
Email: Andrea2000(at)gmail(dot)com

Where are you from? How does that influence
who you are and what kind of art you create, or do you think it does?

I’ve lived and traveled up and down the east coast most of my life (including bits of Canada) and to people who’ve been all over the world, that may not seem like much, but there are a lot of subtle differences in the local culture, weather and landscapes. I do not work in the landscape genre very much, but I am highly influenced by the natural world and the artists who interpret it.

I think the fact that I lived in Williamsburg VA gave me my obsession with historical clothing and the decorative arts because we would spend so much time at the museums there. The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Center and their Tasha Tudor exhibit during the 1990s (A New England Illustrator, noted for her adherence to an early 19th century lifestyle) also made a huge impact during my formative years.

When did you first start drawing? And what is your favorite medium/media to work in and why?

I stared drawing as soon as I could make marks on the wall with anything. I think I even used dirt at some point (my poor mom!) Nowadays, I’m just as experimental (within reason of course!) I use a lot of different media, it just depends on the look I’m after and how impatient I happen to be at the time. I stay away from oils mainly because I’m really into instant gratification, but I’ll try anything once. Right now I’m a big fan of soft body acrylics, because I can just use the bottle top to dip my brush into, and there’s really no clean up involved.

Can you remember the first image you displayed publicly online or in real life? What was the general reaction?

Aw gee, it was probably just really bad Harry Potter Fanart! I can’t knock fanart though because it was just that which broke me out of my teen obsession of drawing paperdolls and clothing 24/7. Because of fanart, I started drawing men (who are harder to draw than women!) and backgrounds and weird creatures and playing around with perspective. Since then I have shown work in a few academic exhibits, but I’m not sure that really counts as bragging material.

What does art and the creating of it mean to you? Is it a hobby or pastime, or is it something bigger and more meaningful?

I suppose it’s a hobby or pastime, simply because at this point I’m not making it a source of income, but it feels meaningful to me because I don’t know what I’d do if I wasn’t creating; it’s a meditation in a way, and half the time I don’t know how a piece of art is going to turn out, as I don’t do very many planning sketches or thumbnails unless I’m working on an assignment. Oddly, I sketch out on paper what I design graphically on the computer, but never plan out a traditional media piece that I am making to please myself or trading out.

What do YOU personally think of your own art? We are our own worst critic, and it's interesting to see how you rate yourself..

Hah, I enjoy it! Sometimes I go though periods where I like nothing I’ve made, or where I feel like I can’t come up with anything I like. I think that’s natural for an artist to feel. Also, it’s why I like trading ATC’s so much, because I like being inspired by the swap themes, or creating a card commission at a buddy’s request. ATC’s have kept my creative juices flowing when I’m going through those personal creative dry spells.

I discovered your art through IllustratedATCs and loved it right away. It is bright, bold and often quirky. I've mainly seen your ATCs (Artist Trading Cards), so, I am wondering if you do larger scale art or just work in miniature?

Aw, thanks! I do some larger work, but not by much! I will sometimes go up to 4x6 or 5x7, and rarely a 9x12. Anything larger was mainly academic work, but I like adding lots of detail, and I can’t get that in larger pieces unless I spend a lot of time on it, and by then I’m bored and usually want to go on to a new theme. I have started doing a few larger pieces, but they incorporate collage papers with ink drawings, so maybe I’m trying to inch out of my comfort zone!

I find your figures especially interesting, their elongated necks and armless torsos often make them look rather alien or even zombie like, but still absolutely beautiful. How did you discover their stylized form and what about them speaks to you that you continue to create them?

Thank you again! I think I started elongating the necks because it allowed me to do more with the background of the ATC, which are rectangular in shape, so the figures fit into the space better that way; same with the lack of arms; less room, so I stopped drawing them! I know that doesn’t sound like a very aesthetically profound answer, but it’s true! Plus, I’ve always been fond of the zany and unusual, and love it when artists distort the figure in an interesting way.

How have you developed this style over time? What influences helped get you to this point? And, How would you describe your current style?

I suppose I’m still developing, style-wise. Like I said before; I get bored visually, and like to try new things all the time, and this includes how I render the world around me. My current style is probably best described as funky-whimsy. I am fascinated by counter culture (more as an observer rather than participant), and lean more towards the far-out, rather than the sweet and naive.

Are there any other artists you draw inspiration from, living or dead?

Good lord yes. *takes deep breath* Kinuko Y. Craft, Jody Lee, Hirschfield, Waterhouse, Turner, Gainsborough, Sarah Bishop, Hilary Knight, Trina Shart Hyman and Diane Goode just to name a few. I also like a lot of artists that aren’t really well known, especially a number on DeviantArt and folks who are part of the illustrator/webcomic scene, like Dylan Meconis and Vera Brogsol.

What is one of the pieces that you've created that you especially love and why?

Hmmm…Well, probably the “PEZ Art Queen” is a top favorite of mine, I made it for a buddy, Sarah Zamora, in a Pick-a-Theme swap because she collects both of those themes, and I felt like everything worked out in that one, color, composition, I even feel like I chose the right media for it (acrylics for the most part, which can give a great flat gouache/designer feel). Regardless, they all feel like my babies, but normally I like best whatever I recently finished.

Do you have a website or etsy account where we can find you online? Are you open for commissions?

I will have an ETSY account up soon, but for now I can be reached at Andrea2000 at gmail dot com. I am open for commissions (and have worked on them in the past). In addition I am a graphic designer and article contributor at, feel free to come check us out! We’re always looking for reader submitted artwork.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Artist Feature :: Teagan White

Welcome to our first Artist Feature!
I'm hoping to weekly (or even more often) post interviews with special up and coming as well as seasoned artists. Our first artist is Teagan White of Chicago / Minneapolis who is currently an art student at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. You can just tell by the quality and professionalism of her work that she is destined for great things with her art. Below is an interview I was fortunate enough to have with her via DeviantArt notes.

Our Interview...
How long have you been working as an artist? Have you been schooled in art at all?

I have enjoyed drawing for as long as I can remember, but it wasn't until high school that I started to consider art -- specifically graphic design -- as a career option. I took graphic design classes in high school and started at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design this fall.

I can see from your gallery that you work with a number of different media/mediums with your art, what is your favorite to work with and why?

I love experimenting with different media and having as many options as possible in creating my art. I think at this point I'm most familiar and comfortable with digital media, especially PhotoShop. As someone working primarily with print and web-based material, an understanding of Adobe programs is very important for me. However, I definitely don't neglect traditional media. I really enjoy acrylics and oils, though I don't have many finished paintings due to the time and money required to make a piece. I also used charcoal for the first time just last week, and fell in love with it; I definitely plan to do more charcoal work in the future.

Can you remember the first image you displayed publicly online or in real life? What was the general reaction?

I was only fourteen when I first started posting my art online, and the work was pretty terrible. The amount of attention it got was accordingly slim, but just having a few people pay attention definitely encouraged me to work harder. The main appeal for me with public art websites like deviantART is having much more advanced artists to look up to, and I truly believe my artistic growth was directly correlated with that influence.

What does art and the creation of it mean to you? Do you work fully as an artist, or do you do something else to pay the bills?

I think that art offers people the opportunity to more fully appreciate beauty in life. This works in two slightly different ways, depending on whether you're referring to fine art or design... I think that fine art calls attention to the beautiful things in the world, whereas design enhances it by bringing beauty into the sterile, man-made objects we fill our lives with. Keep in mind this is only the most shallow analysis of art; there are also emotional and conceptual issues involved.

I'm still in school, so that's my priority right now. But the majority of my income right now is from design and illustration based commission work. After college I hope to work in a design firm and not have to worry about piecing together a living from freelance work.

Your album art is especially eye catching. How did you get into illustrating and designing CD/Album art?

None of the album art on my deviantART page is published work, it was all just for my own enjoyment. However, it has resulted in multiple commissioned CD designs, some of which I'll be posting online fairly soon. For the most part I've been lucky enough to have very open-minded clients, who usually give me some direction as to what they want but leave the details largely up to me.

How would you describe your art? How have you developed your style over time? What influences helped get you to this point?

Since I like to try as many different mediums and styles as possible, I don't feel that I have a set stylistic identity at this point. However, I continually draw upon nature imagery such as trees and animals, and all of my work tends to have a soft and feminine color palette. My style has changed drastically over the past two years, as I spent the majority of my high school years focusing on an anime style of drawing. Though I no longer draw anime, I feel that the time I spent developing that style taught me a great deal about proportion, line quality, color, and many other elements which remain important in my work.

Are there any other artists you draw inspiration from, living or dead?

My favorite artist is realist painter Andrew Wyeth. However, I think that my inspiration comes more from artistic and cultural trends than the work of individuals. Art nouveau is a good example, and other than that I tend to be most inspired by contemporary art and design. The sort of stuff you find in magazines like Juxtapoz or CYMK.

Tell us about one of your favorite accomplishments as an artist and why it is so important to you.

I'm most proud of the typography I've done recently; I have two freeware fonts, Peach Sundress and Clementine Sketch, which are available on most major font sites. I never expected them to become as popular as they have, but they somehow have tens of thousands of downloads apiece, and I get tons of emails from people asking to use them for everything from school assignments to corporate logos. It's a good feeling to know I've made something that so many people enjoy and can actually use.

Do you have a website or etsy account where we can find you online? Are you open for commissions?

My official website is but I update my deviantART account most often. I am currently open for commissions; the best way to contact me for commission work is by emailing

What are your goals as an artist, short term and long term?
Where do you want to be with your art 5 or even 10 years from now?

I want to continue to explore as many types of art as possible, and also polish my design and illustration style. My long-term plans are to use my graphic design work in a design firm, and hopefully still have time to do traditional and personal artwork on the side. No matter where my future leads, I'm sure that art will be a very large part of it.

Contact Information...

Artist: Teagan White
DevArt: lostsoulx44

Attending: Minneapolis College of Art & Design