Quitting Your Day Job

Published on Apr 9, 2015

I recently received an email asking for advice on how one quits their day job and starts an independent career in art. It’s a question I get from time to time, and I thought I’d take a moment today and give some advice to people who are thinking about it.

Link to my Drawing Comics class: http://svslearn.com/#/classDetail/-Jk…

Pen I’m using: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001…

Pencil I’m using: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003…

Paper I’m drawing on: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000…

Website: http://mrjakeparker.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/mrjakeparker
Instagram: http://instagram.com/jakeparker#
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jakeparkerart

EBSQ Facebook Artist of the Week: Natalia Pierandrei

Who and where are you?

My name is Natalia Pierandrei and I am a self-taught art and comic book illustrator living in Rome, Italy. For the past few years I have worked as freelance and I have had the privilege of having my illustrations featured in several publications worldwide.
My work is influenced by Japanese manga, Renaissance painting, Art Nouveau and European graphic novels. My working technique includes mainly markers, pencils and watercolours on paper with a painting style that often mix all these techniques together.

How were you introduced to Facebook?

I discovered Facebook through a friend in 2008 and started using a personal account only. In those days I preferred using different communication channels and finally I disabled this personal profile. In 2010 another friend kept suggesting me I should re-join Facebook, and though I wasn’t convinced it was a good idea, I signed on again. I have been using Facebook for personal communications more than for business for over a year but to promote my art the more I can, I finally created my page few months ago.

Any tips for other artists starting a Facebook Page?

Use previously existing communications channels like Twitter, your blog, your Etsy shop or your Facebook profile (put a link to the fan page in one of your status updates) to promote your new page. Post photos of your work in progress – your fans will appreciate it for sure – hold contests over on your page to involve all your followers in your art projects. Your Facebook page might be a great opportunity to market your business, but it’s earned media, so keep in mind that it’s a community too. Give your Fans a reason to want to come back 🙂

What’s your favorite Facebook Page feature?

I created my Facebook page just few months ago and I have not used any Facebook features for promoting my page yet. We’ll see… any suggestions?

What’s coming next from your studio?

I am working on a graphic novel and some illustrated book projects plus illustrations for magazines and collective art-books. 2012 will be a busy year! 🙂



Blogger of the Week: Kim Niles

This week’s EBSQ Blogger of the Week is most well known for her adorable Westie illustrations, but no dog or cat is safe from her imagination! Spend a few minutes with us while we explore this wonderful artist and blogger.

Who and where are you?

I’m Kim Niles, a freelance Artist, and children’s book Author & Illustrator from Whidbey Island in WA state, and I think it would be safe to say I’m addicted to making art. I’m self-taught and have been selling my art professionally since the late 1990s, and working full-time at my KiniArt business since 2005.  I’ve been married for nearly 25 years to a man I’ve known and loved for 30 years. Together, we have a son, a daughter, one daughter-in-law, and we’re expecting our first granddaughter in the Fall.

How did you get started art blogging?

I had heard that being a successful artist means you essentially work the hours of two full-time jobs because you spend at least 75% of your time marketing and promoting your work. This is very true. I typically work long hours and most days of the week just to have the time to get the new art ideas started on paper and out of my head.  I started to blog as means of promoting my work and I found it to be a fun and easy way to introduce myself to new collectors, and to keep existing fans up to date with my latest art and project news too.  I use a variety of blogging and social networking sites (Blogger, LiveJournal, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to inform, but also to keep in touch with my collectors. The majority of my blogs are listed and linked to from my blogs page at KiniArt.com

Any tips for other EBSQ art bloggers?

I do have a couple tips for art bloggers.  If you have multiple blogs, like I do, set up reminders in your schedule to post at different blogs on different days. This helps you keep them updated so they don’t get overlooked.  At the very least, tie your blogs/social sites together wherever possible. For instance, when I post on Facebook, it also shows up on Twitter and anything that shows up in my Twitter feed automatically shows up on Myspace, etc.  Tying your social media together is a huge time-saver for the multi-blogger.  My 2nd tip is for the art blog reader in you. Blogging and social networking can eat up a LOT of time. Set a maximum amount of minutes you’ll allow yourself to spend reading up on your favorite blogs so you don’t suddenly find you’ve spent your entire morning reading about everyone else’s productivity.

What’s your musical inspiration of choice when you’re working in your studio?

I love working to music when I’m drawing at my desk – slower songs I can hum to, but I don’t always get do so because I share an office with my husband who also works from home. Music is mandatory however, when I’m painting – no less important than my paintbrushes – and I even dance while working at the easel. I listen to a mix of favorites – rock, folk, oldies, pop, country, alternative, etc. While painting “Westie Up Close On Red” last weekend for instance, I listened to a mix that included Anjulie, the Black Eyed Peas, Bon Jovi,  KT Tunstall, John Mayer, Jack Johnson, Jason Mraz, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, Duffy, Schuyler Fisk, Meghan Tonjes, Michael Jackson, Otis Redding, etc.  My new favorite song though is an absolutely beautiful cover of the Lucinda Williams song “Blue” by Mike Antone. I had the opportunity to see him sing it live, and it brought tears to my eyes. You can get the free mp3 of his cover of “Blue” online. It really is SO beautiful.

What’s coming next from your easel?

I always have way more projects on my wish list than I have time to finish. Commissions take top priority, as do my works for my monthly auctions at KiniArt.com. I usually have 1-2 Petcature Portraits in various stages of progress in the studio. But I have a long list of paintings I want to do but don’t yet have time. I’m forever getting new ideas in the strangest places (I saw a Collie in the marbleized pattern in the tile on my floor just last night). Sometimes these ideas are forgotten by the end of the day. But if I’m anywhere near a pencil and paper, they’re roughly sketched out and filed away in my “someday” project file.

I’ve been itching to try my hand at some landscapes too, inspired by some gorgeous photos of China, and I plan to do both whimsical and non-whimsical versions.  I’ve also been creating digital backgrounds for my hand-drawn dog art combined into designs for laptop and iPhone skins for Society6 and fabric for Spoonflower, and I’m finding those to be highly inspiring. I plan to do canvas paintings of some of those designs, as well.


Thank you Kim for being an EBSQ Blogger of the Week!

If you are an EBSQ Artist and would like to be considered for Blogger of the Week just add us to your blogroll. I’m searching EBSQ profiles weekly for links to artist’s blogs. If you aren’t an EBSQ Artist, what are you waiting for?

Join Today!

EBSQ Blogger of the Week: Sara Burrier

This week’s EBSQ Blogger of the Week is an illustrator who’s artwork is both magical and inspiring. I’ve been following her blog for at least a month now, and it always fills me with joy when she shares a new drawing or painting.

Who and where are you?

I am a 28 year old woman who teaches art to children from the ages of 6 thru 18 at the local Art Center.  I also freelance my artwork for licensing, private commissions, and children’s books, or anything else I can find to do.  I live in Des Moines Iowa with my husband Brian and our two kitties Madeline and Tálor.

The Great Mice Detectives

How did you get started art blogging?

I started blogging for the network.  I wanted to gain a following and connect with other illustrators in the children’s book publishing field.  I have found that to be a great asset to my work!!  Without a network of fellow illustrators I don’t believe my work would be as strong as it is today.  All of the feedback and encouragement was and is priceless.

A Visitor Subterrane

Any tips for other EBSQ art bloggers?

Don’t give up!  I have, and still do.  I work on it every week…motivating and encouraging myself to blog.  Sometimes I get to it, sometimes I don’t.  But I wish I did.  This keeps you fresh.  Even if it isn’t paragraphs at a time like I tend to do, just a picture with a title or two sentences about it two or three times a week will keep your blog visible.  Also you must give it back.  Find bloggers that you like and post comments.  This doesn’t mean you have to spend hours going to blogs and saying something, but make an effort to do it a couple times a week.  This not only could help others find you, but it motivates others to comment on your blog.  I’m sure most of you have heard these tips before.  But I also want to say, make your blog look good!  If you’re not sure or a bit weary about going the distance I have, keep it simple and clean!  Personally I like how some blogs “match” the artist’s website.  Which is why mine does.  It should be a continuation of your work, just like a physical gallery show.

Rest on the Horizon

What’s your musical inspiration of choice when you’re working in your studio?

I listen to a lot of different kinds of music, depending on what I’m working on.  If I’m illustrating a book about a little boy who goes on adventures all of the time I might put in some Our Lady Peace, Snow Patrol, or Carolina Liar.  If I’m working on a mermaid I might be listening to Enigma, Sleeptheif, or Sarah Brightman.  I listen to quite the range.  But there are times when I prefer silence.  I have a lot of trees and birds around my studio windows, cars too, but I can totally hear the birds over everything.

Day of Joy

What’s coming next from your easel?

I would love to finish making more of my garden mice.  I am truly enjoying these and the life they give off.  But I am also currently working on a self published children’s book (that I’m illustrating not writing).  You’ll probably see more of the mice than the book’s illustrations until it’s complete.  I would also like to finish “Poppy”.  Sadly she isn’t finished yet, this month is going to be different.  My sister is getting married at the end of May and I’m helping the MoH with preparations.  We’ll see.  🙂


Thank you Sara for being an EBSQ Blogger of the Week!

If you are an EBSQ Artist and would like to be considered for Blogger of the Week just add us to your blogroll. I’m searching EBSQ profiles weekly for links to artist’s blogs. If you aren’t an EBSQ Artist, what are you waiting for?

Join Today!

An interview with EBSQ artist Kevin King

How long have you been creating?

In Dog Years it would be about 193 years now of creating. And, were I a cat, I would be 7 years old and would have been creating the entire time, except during the napping parts. But age, or years, is not what is really important. What are important is a healthy diet, exercise and not too many treats.   

What’s your media of choice?

Being particularly lazy and fond of naps, I am indebted to pen and ink; simple, quick, and easy. Uncapping the pen I am off to the Land of Imagination, which is a lot like a Bark Park, but far less a chance of picking up ringworm.


What, besides your art, brings you creative fulfillment?

I think I’ve mentioned the naps.

What are your motivations for creating?

The desire to create, the motivation to create is all instinct. It is like the call of the wild, a base primal desire, the kind of drive that propels you to chase and “get” the vacuum cleaner.

[read more at Kevin’s portfolio]

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