Upcoming online showcase “Woodland” Theme

Wow – I have a lot coming up and I’m very excited to be busy and need a schedule :)

The first thing I have is a facebook showcase Woodland Showcase Extravaganza and I hope to create 5 woodland themed fashion illustrations by September 1st!

I have already finished one tentatively titled “Leaf Lady”
Joanouk Leaf Lady - Woodland Showcase

I am also entering two art shows – Linden Postcard show, in St Kilda Melbourne, where a painting has to be 8×10 inches and the Werribee Rotary Annual Art Show which I was going to enter my second “State of Being” Painting. More on these soon.

I have a week off work soon and I cannot wait to focus on drawing and painting !!

Have you been involved in any showcases or art shows? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Mid Year Review 2014 – How are my goals?

Last year I set out some goals for my business – I thought mid year would be a great time to see how everything is going !

  • 400 likers on facebook. Now likers are one thing but I want people who are genuinely interested in my work.
  • Very happy to be at 490 currently and gaining more interaction with my posts. I have tried a few ‘boost post’ advertising but I didn’t really gain more interaction or likes because of them .
  • Find target market hangouts and connect. Finding a sellers page is great to help with running my store but I need to find where the buyers are!. I need to connect to retailers, blogs or facebook pages and let them know who I am.
  • Still working hard at this; I have had a few great things happen like being featured in the first issue for Winkelen magazine, I am told I have a feature in *Bespoke* Magazine for Spring (How exciting!) I have just created a profile at Gallery 247 for Australian Artists where I can list my original art and have it registered (Very important for collectors and investors) Very handy that I can enter art shows via this website too.
  • 25 Sales on madeit/ Etsy.
  • Not going so well on this front – I had an amazing March selling 2 large prints and another 8×12 but it has been pretty non existent in sales since then.
  • Research and attend different markets to see where my products fit in.
  • After my dismal market in February I decided to take a step back from physical markets and focus on internet advertising. I have one planned for November to hopefully catch the Christmas buyers but that it not confirmed yet. (Fingers Crossed!)
  • Add other product ranges / build portfolio of work
  • This one I am definitely working on; I am pushing myself to create more work and have started on my 26 painting series “State of Being Alphabet” It’s nice to have a solid subject and plan for my work. The only downside is waiting for the oil paint to dry!!
  • Keep improving photos
  • Always !! I am really trying to take as many pictures as I can it different areas / different lights. Also trying to learn about what White balance is best for those situations. By selling prints I really need those colours to be spot on!

Did you make any goals for this year? How are you going? I hope you’re smashing them !

New Oil Painting Series: State of Being Alphabet | A is for anoesis

I am very excited to get this first painting of my new series out in the world!

I wanted to create a series of paintings based on a theme but not to look identical. I want to experiment with colours and textures.

I came up with the idea of one word represented by each letter of the alphabet to portray a feeling or state of mind. I want to find words not normally used everyday but describe how we feel.

A is for ‘anoesis’
n. Consciousness with sensation but without thought.

I would love to hear your feedback in the comments below :)

Feature in The Business Bakery Blog Post – How to Explain You’re Pricey

A lovely feature in Julia’s blog post How to Explain You’re Pricey

The post is explaining visually why handmade items are a bit more expensive that store bought counterparts. For my example it shows how much work goes into a picture and I can share the journey and receive feedback along the way from my fans :)

The Business Bakery Blog post feature - Flowers and Lace Pic

The Business Bakery Blog post feature – Flowers and Lace Pic

Do you explain your processes on your blog/ facebook page? Have you found more engagement because of it?

Cover Art Submission – Bespoke Magazine Spring Edition

Hello !

I’ve been busy creating a cover art submission for Bespoke Magazine!
The Spring Edition theme is “Adornment and Embellishment” and I immediately had a few ideas. It was really invigorating having a deadline and a theme already set for me.
After a few reference photos were saved from Google to my Evernote journal I got to work quickly.

I love peony flowers and love lace so I combined them together!   I drew on some sequins but also decided to glue on real ones in the end too.

Overall I am really happy with the result; the flowers took way longer than I expected and I did find it stressful trying to find time after work to complete it. In the end it took about 2 weeks or around an hour per day to complete.

It definitely kick started my creativity ! I hope it gets on the cover and I hope I can get some out to be available as prints soon :)

Painting Tip Number 1: How to cheaply clean your brushes

I thought I would add a few painting tips and tricks that I come across as I use them or discover them.

As I have started oil painting again the one thing that I was scared about was the clean up. Painting is fun but trying to get oil of your brushes is not a fun activity.

Back in art school I used to wash my brushes with turpentine. Not only was it smelly, but it didn’t really clean all the oil out. Next I found an artists soap that worked much better. After I got back into painting I ran out and needed a quick solution!

I had some left over soap bars from making my own laundry liquid and tried it. Amazing – it left my brushes even softer than the expensive stuff.

Process:

  • Run hot water (I use my laundry sink)
  • Lather the brush with the soap
  • Rinse under hot water
  • Repeat soap lather and rinse until brush is clean

Soap used below is from Woolworths Australia. Prices correct as at 14.06.2014

cheap artists soap

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Would love to hear your thoughts on brush care. Do you have any other tips that work for you?

 

Currently Reading: Funemployed by Justin Heazlewood

The other day I saw a review for a new book by an Australian Artist about the Australian art scene. Amazing! I just had to buy it.

I thought – I’m an artist… I live in Australia.. I wanna know more!

Though the book focuses on Justin’s experiences as a comedian/ musician the chapters still apply for all arts areas.

The book has chapters based on the artists career; chapters like “The Day-job”, “Funding”, “Networking”, “Self Doubt” and “Giving Up”. It makes me connect to the same feelings and wanting to read how he and the artists he interviews (like Wally De Backer (Goyte) , Clare Bowditch and Sarah Blasko) handle the same things.

He ends on this awesome note:

“Being an artist is the most fun you can ever have and the hardest thing you’ll ever do. Pick your battles. Back yourself. Prepare to fail. If youre not getting paid, then at least do it on your own terms. Be brave! Every day. Challenge yourself and become addicted to the high that comes with it.”

Definitely worth a read for any artist trying to make it a living; it has a healthy dose of the reality of a working artist in Australia.

I’m still holding onto my fierce passion for a while longer :)

 

Being an artist - Justin Heazlewood quote

 

Madeit.com.au Blog post – Oh Darling, Let’s be Adventurers

It’s always nice to be featured :)

Madeit.com.au Oh Darling, Let’s be Adventurers

Joanouk Black and White 8×12 Print Australia Country Photography Dead Tree

Madeit.com.au blog post feature - Dead tree print

Advertising spot number 2 – Winkelen Magazine June Edition

I really loved the first edition of Winkelen so I gave the advertising another shot- this time with a feature print in their “under $50″ section.
I chose my Cavalier Art Print from Etsy and I think it looks quite lovely !

Check out the latest issue of Winkelen Here – Enjoy :)

Joanouk Winkelen Magazine June 2014

Upwards and onwards? The road to my own website.

So I have been looking at getting my own ecommerce website to be able to sell my art through my own website and be able to up date it myself.
For me part of it is getting away from listing fees and transaction fees of Etsy and madeit, but part of it is being able to toot my own horn by myself and not be surrounded by millions of other shops. (Although technically I would be but someone visiting my website would hopefully be there for me and not another shop)
It may not make sense to you but I think it makes sense to me.

Anyway, I started a free trial of wordpress business account and immediately saw my flaw. WordPress doesn’t do ecommerce. You have to have a shop at one of it’s three partners that you link to the wordpress business site. Here we go back to the fees.
I understand that websites cost money too but that’s in another part of logic in my brain. A yearly fee is fine but add on top monthly fees and transaction fees from the partner websites and I feel I am back to the constraints of Etsy/Madeit.

It seems I may have to think about this for a while and work out a strategy.

How did you get your own website? Did you pay someone to make yours or did you stumble around like I have?