Category Archives: Art Business

Tools of My Trade

queenstownlake

We arrived in New Zealand just 10 days ago, so its been all go since we got here, today we our settled in our lovely new home just outside of Queenstown, and without doubt this is one of the most beautiful places I have lived, its breath taking here. Our first few days we stayed with friends in Auckland before we flew into Queenstown flying in over Lake Wakatipu.

As a traveling artist, with the fact that I fly from country to country, I really do have to think about my weight allowance, the normal allowance is  23kg’s checked and 7kgs carry on. I’m often quiet shocked at the lack of personal items I can have in my luggage due to my artistic endeavours. As we just recently left Thailand for 6 months to explore New Zealand. I know that this time the tools of my trade in my check allowance was 10kgs, leaving 13 for everything else, this is not an ideal situation but its just bearable at the moment, I bought more than I needed this time as I was unsure whether I could get everything I needed here to start with, so I came well prepared. We have a base in Thailand, so its easier to leave a few items behind, and the country is so affordable that rent is really cheap. Apart from our base we rent fully furnished places where ever we can. Heres a list of my items that I bought with so that I can carry on creating where ever I go.

My essential items

Laptop

Scanner

Wacom Tablet

Camera

Phone

Items that I can pick up everywhere.

Art paper

Drawing pencils

Colored pencils

Acrylic paints

Jewellery Supplies

My laptop is my number one item that I can’t live without, without it I could not keep in touch with family, friends, and run my online business. These days we have so many programs that we can use on the computer that its almost limitless. It can be easy to take it for advantage when you use it every day, but lets think about it for a minute. What do you use your computer/laptop for?

Sending & receiving emails

Social networking.

Online banking

Buying

Selling

Book keeping

Account Setting

Data Storing – writing, creating, singing

Music Making

Online business

telephone, face time chatting

google, bing for worldwide learning without leaving your chair.

Latest around the world news

weather

photo sharing

whats going on event planning

and so much more, our laptops are quiet remarkable and I’m sure you can add more to this list too. What else will our computers be able to in the near future? So Data protection and secure internet using is a must.

I’m still a traditional artist at heart and I do love creating on paper, and its a great way for me to spend some time unplugged from the computer screen and get some balance back into my life creating with raw materials. So for this I need a scanner so that I copy my art and put it online.

I also have wacom tablet, I use it for adding special effects, touch ups and enhancing certain areas of my art. I’m not really a digital artist, but I am inspired by some of and you what some of you can create, theres so many amazing special effects its awe inspiring and I would really love to develop that area more.

My camera and phone, are also essential items, because without them then I could not take great photos or videos of my products and share my experiences with you.

Finally all my pencils and paints and paper a blank canvas to show a story of inspiration within creation, cause we humans do love to be inspired and inspire. My travels give me so much inspiration.

Someone Is Using My Art – How To Address It & Look At The Positive.

stolen

When you first read the headline to this blog post, the first thing you think of is, how positive is it when someone takes your artwork and uses it for themselves When your the one, who put all your hard work into the painting?

This is a fair statement to make, and I have thought of this myself, but my husband made me realise this. The first thing to think of is your artwork has reached a stage when someone else considers that your art is worthy of taking, and in my mind thats a positive thing. Why? I here you ask? Advertising is my first answer, first of all someone else is promoting your art and they love it so much to take it in the first place. Now I’m not condoning the fact that they stole the right of my or your artwork, but I’m trying to tell you to look at the positive rather than the negative first.

I know your first reaction what if what there selling your art as poor quality as they stole is from the internet. As most of us use poor quality jpg’s and pngs on the internet, which normally has a watermark on it. So somehow will have to try and remove the watermark, and badly before they use the image. So what are you going to do about it, it has already happened and you cannot do anything to change the fact, except take proper control to first contact them and then contact the platform they were selling your work from, in my case Etsy. Most people who do that will normally take your art down and the Etsy  could shut the seller down.

So lets move in the Positives.

The first one is your art loved enough by someone who feels they can make money, this is great not only because they have the confidence to put your artwork onto there product they feel they can make money out of it. So try and find out what they did and how they used it and maybe you can offer a similar service in your business model.

The next one is FREE ADVERTISING… that means someone put money into there business hense marketing your art, that you never had too, this is a sign of success even though it came from a negative. You might be getting frustrated by now, because you might not be making a living from your artwork yet, just like me, but never the less its a sign of a first green shoot, a seed that you sowed and is growing. That in itself is priceless, its a confirmation that your heading in the right direction and your work is getting seen.

9 times out of 10 the way you found out about this is by a FAN or SOMEONE IN YOUR COMMUNITY… After a few or many years you start to realise your dream that you want to become a artist and try to make money from the things that you love to do. Because of the person you are, you naturally want to share your experience and help others to grow too, so here comes the fans of your art along with a thriving community that is there to support you and its these amazing folk who notice when something is astray and tell you about it. I can say a whole lot more than Wowsa folks. Thank you very much to all of you. Now you have found caring folk who want to help you and that is far beyond priceless its touching to the Soul. The main point here I want to make is no matter who we are and what we do in life most of us believe in the experience. The moments in time when you are present. If your like me we live for all the moments in our lives and we appreciate every second, so its great to turn as much as we can into a positive. Without my fans and my community I would not be able to do what I do, because you are the ones that enjoy what I do and add the real value in my life and that is creating. Hopefully inspiring you to follow in my footsteps. Some of you reading this will be the inspiration that inspired me and to you I carry on this message of positive thought, emotion and confirmation that your dreams are worth reaching for.

The least I can do is send a thank you gift to those who helped me find out and report the person or business. Which leads me on to “that person may be shut down and they will be known for stealing art”. They will have valuable lesson to learn here. Do not steal from others in order to be in business. You must be fair with your customers because they are huge part of your life. Most of us who buy from you want you to be honest and trust worthing more than the product itself, so have us in your heart when you do business.

As for the business concerned I received an apology email for them today which is the first I have ever received. I really appreciate  that, if it was up to me I would not want there business shut down, but unfortunately its out of my control. Etsy has its own rules on copyright so were see what happens next. At the end of the day they did something wrong and will have to take responsibility for there actions.

Lastly networking, share your story because the chances are that there are other artists like you that have had a similar problem and you may be able to offer advice to help them. We all want to live in a world where we can help each other.

Negatives

1. Someone stole your art work.

2. They are selling it and making money.

3. They are not using good quality images, therefore showing your art in bad quality.

I guess you may find other  negatives, but these are the main ones that I can think of at the moment.

Positive.

1. You art is loved enough by someone who feels they can make money.

2. Free Advertising

3. This is a sign of success.

4. 9 times out of 10 the way you found out about it, is by a FAN or SOMEONE IN YOUR COMMUNITY…

5. That person  may be shut down and they will be known for stealing art.

6. Networking.

 

Different Ways To Earn A Living Online

pac

On my last post about traveling-a-total-rethink-of-how-to-do-business I spoke a little about different ways to earn a living on line. So heres a quick refresher.

  • Commissions
  • Website design
  • Sales
  • Tattoo Flash
  • Competitions, always brings in commissions too ;)
  • Logos
  • Book Illustrations
  • Royalties from sites like Zazzle and licensing my art
  • Affiliates although I don’t earn to much from this, but every little helps.

Website, Gallery, Shop

If your an artist like me, then I’d start with your own website, this is your portfolio a showcase of your work and products. Make it professional. Over the years I have taught myself to build my own website, which allows me complete control on what I want to do and show. I’m not a programmer but there are plenty of websites that have basic websites you can use and customise. I use rapid weaver for macs and I’m happy  with them. Doing it yourself can save a lot of money to begin with especially if you don’t have alot of money. If you have the money then you can pay someone to do it for you, which will free up your time to create.

Now you are thinking of your website, you want to think about what you want from it. Your website can be your portfolio, shop, blog and connection tool. People want to connect to you and trust you, if they are parting with there cash for services and goods then they need to know you. To be honest this is the same for anywhere online or in this world.

Shopping Sites

I use Etsy as its especially for artists. Its free to open a shop all you need is a paypal account and a bank visa card. Etsy makes its money when you list an item and that costs $.20 per item and they make 3% on a sale,  I love it. Its simple to set up and use, with online community and help every step of the way. A lot of folks use this as there main website. As an Etsy store holder you get regular emails on all kinds of advice too.

Etsy I love this place and this is where I sell most of my products

Ebay – I personally don’t use, but other artists have made a success with it so its worth mentioning.

Zazzle – A free shop where you can upload your art and put it onto all kinds of goods and make money when an item sells as Royalties

Deviant Art – upload artwork to sell prints

Society6 – upload artwork to sell prints, iphone cases, pillows and more

Online Free lance jobs

When I started out I got work through people I met, but this was difficult as I was always moving on, eventually I found Elance, a site a lot like a job center where you could find work and bid for it, this was really great for me as it was free to start up. When I gained the courage I would pay $10 a month for 20 credits which would allow me bid for 20 jobs worth up to $500 a job. Through elance I found another site called createmytattoo, which is where I mainly get a lot of work today designing tattoos, my bread and butter money. Greats sites to look at to start are…

Elance

Freelancer

Freelance Switch.

There are so many sites out there now that you can almost find anything that suits your needs. More and more people are getting online and our technology is changing fast. And the internet has given us new opportunities that were never there before.

Competitions

Designs By Humans – Competions for designing t-shirts.

Create My Tattoo – Design tattoos

This sums up some of the sites I use to do business and help my business grow, and this is just the beginning. There are many other websites out there that do similar things that I have not come across  as yet, one thing I can be sure of is change and how you buy your goods today can change tomorrow, but one things remains to be the most important in this world and that is trust within business, so always go above and beyond when you deal with your future customer. When the put there trust in you and you give it back they will come back for life.

Past Posts On Traveling Artist:

Part 1    Introduction To Becoming A Traveling Artist

Part 2    Why did I leave the Uk? Sun, Sand and Beaches

Part 3  Traveling A Total Rethink Of How To Do Business

 

Traveling A Total Rethink Of How To Do Business.

Even though you will get to live in some awesome places it definitely is not all fun and games. You have to work for a living, also you need to feed your creative soul. We all want some purpose in life you may find you might not need to work a five day a week job. But instead you want more time to enjoy the finer things in life and live in the moment. I’m a firm believer that work should not consume more than half our life in order to have that balance between work and play, especially if you don’t enjoy your work. I’m lucky I enjoy what I do, or at least most of the time. If you have the ideal job then you may want to work more. It all depends on what you want from life.

Not many of us have the chance to dream and really know what we want from life, and its something that lies beneath the surface of our mind. My advice is get to know the real you, taking more time to really think about what you want from life, not just in work but in play. The next step is to figure out a way to get there.

One thing traveling has taught me is I need less in this life, I don’t own a car or a house, so this allows me more freedom to move if I want, because none of these things hold me down. This enables me the chance to live in countries that cost less to live, which allows me to save more and prepare for the important things in life, like my health and my loved ones, I cherish the experience more.

Don’t get me wrong if I was a millionaire I would have a Harley Davidson Rocker with all the whistles, then I’d go for the Dodge Charger, perhaps I’d have the villa on the beach. Maybe one day I will, but I may rent or hire it instead from the interest my money makes else where.

The best things about traveling especially in Asia is we can afford a nicer lifestyle.

If you want to travel and work at the same time my first bit of advice, is to get started before you leave, this will give you the chance to see if you can make things work for you before you go. Once you have a new routine and you are confident you can make a living online, this will make the experiences of traveling more enjoyable and you won’t be stressed out about making money. I speak from experience here, I did not figure out  a way to work online, and I hit a few emotional blocks inside my head. I run out of money early on in my traveling.  I like earning my own money so having to rely on my partner was tough, but I was fortunate enough to have a partner who was not worried about me earning money, while I went through the transition.

When I started traveling I had no idea on how to earn a living on line, or what I wanted to do, plus I really was not that computer savvy.  I didn’t have the confidence to talk to people online. But with one step at a time and a partner who knew the ropes, and help guide me along my path I got there. My writing was a problem too, I didn’t know how to write my feelings down and I made spelling mistake after mistake and I still do. I’m not a writer, but I know my experience and if I can help anyone to be inspired to do something for themselves? then thats all that maters right? After all I’m only human and we all make mistakes, its what we learn from them that counts.

Today 7 years on and I have overcome those fears and many others, but I’m still learning and adapting to my life moment by moment.

Think about what you want to do and research to see if you can do it. Starting an online business before you travel will be like walking before you can run, you will need confidence that your idea can work. If there are any ideas or questions that springs to your mind, Google knows just ask! Information now is there at a push of a button, and people with experiences are behind those buttons. It may be a cyber world but its very much organic behind the scenes.

Here is small list of jobs that can be done online:

  • Artist
  • Graphic Designer/Illustrator
  • Programmer
  • Marketing
  • Legal
  • Engineering
  • Admin
  • Writting
  • Consulting

Online jobs elance this link will break down this list and show you more of what can be done online as well as give you examples of jobs you can do.

Today it is getting easier to work on line, the most important thing to have online is an Paypal account (or something similar) an online bank account which most high street banks have now, a friendly bank that you can use overseas, most do, but some have better rates than others. So now you have those two in place you can access your money and get paid for work, all you need is a job. If you have an online internet job already then great, you can get packing.

If you don’t then you need to think about where you can work. Online freelance jobs can be a great way to start earn a living. Heres a list of the different ways I earn a living online at the moment.

  • Commissions
  • Website design
  • Sales
  • Tattoo Flash
  • Competitions, always brings in commissions too 😉
  • Logos
  • Book Illustrations
  • Royalties from sites like Zazzle and licensing my art
  • Affiliates although I don’t earn to much from this, but every little helps.

Other References

Location independent Lea and Jonathan Woodward on independent lifestyle coaches

4 hour work week Tim Ferriss on setting up a business and outsourcing work

Next: Different ways to earn a living online

Past Posts On Traveling Artist:

Part 1    Introduction To Becoming A Traveling Artist

Part 2    Why did I leave the Uk? Sun, Sand and Beaches

Why Did I Leave The Uk? Sun, Sand and Beaches :)

My Fiance in St Petersburg FL, US. We just parked up, for our Friday morning training on the beach. April 2008

The fairytale was I meet this wonderful man and not long into our dating he said to me he wanted to travel and live abroad for a while. “Darn it, I tought to myself” I couldn’t believe my luck that i’d met this amazing guy and now he was going to go off traveling and that would be the end of something great. So i told him to go for it and do what felt right for him, the next thing i got a text back to ask if i would go with him? So I said yes.A year later we left the Uk for a tour of the US on route 66 on Harley’s. Six years on and were still happy and in love and planing a wedding for later this year.

To begin with our traveling was just going to be for a year or two, but as time went on it became clearer that we might never come back, what with the state of the west and the 2008 disaster it really didn’t make sense to come home to troubled times. We will never say never but who knows what the future holds as long as we are happy and we can afford to carry on, it really doesn’t matter where we live. When we were living in the UK we were both fed up with doing a 9-5 job, living life on a budget, and forever working just to keep up with the bills, living paycheck to paycheck. It was time for a career change. When we began our traveling we had both saved up and my partner was already working online via the internet.

Why I do what I do?

There are two main reasons I do what I do, the first one is I want to enjoy my life as I live it. What got me into this way thinking to begin with was the traveling and the realization that we needed much less to live on when you live in a suit case. One book that inspired me to follow this way of thinking was the “4 hour work week” by Timothy Ferris. Now I don’t work 4 hours a week, but it did make me think of different ways to create several ways to earn a living along with time saving ideas. Another Great book that inspired me was “Rich Dad, Poor Dad  and CashFlow Quadrant by Robert Kiyosaki taught me new ways about understanding money and seriously changed the way I spend money for ever. life changing books…

Other Great sites to look at are Location Independent by Lea and Jonathan Woodward’s, they started traveling a year after us and we watched them closely and took inspiration from there great articles.

Another artist who travels and has a great blog to follow is Elizabeth Briel She’s a traveling artist interested in old ways of producing paper and photography a real hands on artist.

From experience I have known many people who follow the money and forget themselves in a job, and are always working to keep up with the mortgage Payments, the Jones next door, the must have items, etc… These things always keep us in debt and we never have enough money to enjoy ourselves, and if we do it’s on borrowed money. Stuff and can also clutter up your life and bog you down.

•How many of us have bought that dress, only that we have never worn it?

•How many of us have made excuses not to travel?

•How many of us have so much stuff in our house, and are always losing things, or are always busy tidying that stuff up.

•How many hours are lost in tidying up our stuff?

•How many of us really take the time out to be you and find yourself?

Just sitting here typing these How’s out is soul destroying, and I here you say I’ve herd this all before. I know there is so much more I could add to the list, but I think you catch my drift here. It all comes down to you and your life and how you live it. And maybe full filling your dreams no matter how big or small they are.

For me I realized after time I needed and wanted less in order to have some quality time. Still I find many things that I do that clutter up my day and that will always be the case, but I never forget where I am and try to find ways to make my living life more simpler. Today I’m so inspired by the time I have and the ideas that are in my head, I struggle with the time to put them into practice LOL. This can be hard too because you can spend to much time to think about what to do next! That awful word “Procrastination” springs to mind.

Let’s face it when it comes to doing something different we are always unsure what the outcome will be? And it can be scary doing something outside your comfort zone. Believe me I know, because I felt like that in the beginning, and will do again when I move onto somewhere different, but its so worth it, it has become part of my life and I have learnt to move on adapt and what to expect, and with it has come tolerance and acceptance because we are all different and there are so many ways in which we can live our lives. Freedom is a wonderful thing that lives in a suitcase.

Can you Live in a suitcase?  We don’t know whether we would love it until we have tried it. Hence the saying “don’t knock it, until you try it” Learning to live Life differently brought many challenges and taught me to think outside the box… and with it came new possibilities to do something different, so this is why I travel.

Me trying Alligator jambalaya in Daytonna FL, US  bike week 2008 “tastes like tough chicken

The second reason is I love art and being creative, it’s in my soul, I am my art and without it I’d be lost. And living in the UK and doing something love and the stress of earning a living from it, took way all the fun, as well as make it more difficult to survive. I needed more time. At the moment one side of my job is to design tattoos for individuals and I love it, you guys really inspire me no end and no job is never the same and it’s incredibly satisfying makings your visions come to life. I have also learnt to be more adaptable as an artist besides living an adaptable life. Along with that I paint fantasy art and make my visions come to life.

I want to share with you more about working and traveling and hopefully inspire you, and show you more ways, to do more of what you love. whether you want to work for yourself from home or travel.

My next post will be: Traveling and work? A total rethink of how do business while traveling.

In this post I will talk about working online and How to make a start.

Past Posts On Traveling Artist:

Part 1    Introduction To Becoming A Traveling Artist