Kickstarter: Help me Build my Portfolio

EBSQ artist Tabatha Rhodes is running a Kickstarter!

What is an artist without a portfolio to back them up? I am shifting my artistic path and I need your help to rebuild my portfolio.

Tabatha Rhodes Kickstarter

Tabatha Rhodes is taking the plunge! She wants to build a career in art with pet portraits. Will you help her? The campaign is already 96% funded, but there are still 22 days left to take advantage of the great rewards she’s offering.

I’ve chosen the $10 Pledge for a Digital “PetHedz” Portrait of my cat Drusilla:

A digital drawing of your pet or animal of your choice done in my “PetHedz” style delivered to you via e-mail. This will be formatted for printing (think mugs, phone cases, pillows!) or to use on the internet or whatever you want!

I can’t wait! Check out Tabatha’s Kickstarter today!

EBSQ Facebook Artist of the Week: Tracey Allyn Greene

Who and where are you?

I am Tracey Allyn Greene full-time primarily self-taught artist at Tag’s Cats.  I have a studio in Huntsville Alabama.  I specialize in pet portrait oil paintings but also do many other subjects and mediums.

 How were you introduced to Facebook?

I joined Facebook a few years back.  I had actually started my art career online through Ebay at first then discovered the EBSQ online artist community through Ebay at that time back in 2003.  Most of my art career until recent years has been spent promoting myself online and enjoying the fellowship and support of the online art communities.  Facebook started to take off and at first I joined just to see what all the hype was about then discovered many of my online artist friends were already a part of it and it is a great way to network. It is amazing to be able to talk with artists all over the world and help to promote each other.

Any tips for other artists starting a Facebook Page?

I was on Facebook for a while before even starting my own artwork page.  Tips?  Keep it updated whenever you can.  Upload your art and share it with your personal page as well.  Invite fans to events and openings. Post works in progress people are interested!  It’s great to sell your art direct online then if you have sales you can invite people to participate even if they are far away.  I also…as an animal lover and rescuer…enjoy helping out a rescue once a year with a drawing for someone to win a custom pet portrait all proceeds benefiting a favorite cat rescue of mine.  I invite all my FB page fans and personal FB page friends to the event, and it gets attention both to the cat rescue and to my artwork.  Anything I donate a painting to I promote on my page.

What’s your favorite Facebook Page feature?

As far as a FB page feature I like the best….it would have to be being able to create an event and the share feature.

What’s coming next from your studio?

Right now I am working on several things….I still do local and regional art festivals so gearing up for new art to take to those.  Always doing pet portrait commissions and have several I am working on at the moment.  And I have a huge series of paintings in the works for a solo exhibit in June at Lowe Mill Arts and Entertainment in Huntsville where I have a studio space.  The crazy cat lady artist always keeps busy!

EBSQ Blogger of the Week: Melinda Dalke

Artist Melinda Dalke

Who and where are you?

My name is Melinda Dalke and I have lived in the Pacific Northwest for over 12 years. I live in Lebanon, Oregon with my wonderful husband, two fantastic dogs, four beautiful cats and two pretty parakeets.

One of my favorite things to do is drive around on the back roads and take photos of scenery and farm animals-it is always a treat to see local wildlife too! I also enjoy packing up the dogs and going to the Oregon coast.

Melinda Self Portrait

I grew up in the busy city of Las Vegas, Nevada. I received an Associates Degree in Graphic Arts from the Community College of Southern Nevada. In college I found myself being drawn in my Art History and fascinated by arts ever changing ways.

I do most of my creating in the Shop/Studio – My favorite part of my art area is a large old drafting table that was my fathers and is over 40 years old. I love art books and have
a large diverse collection. I love trying new techniques, mediums and styles. On hot days I like to sit on the patio and paint.

Red Chair Beagle by Melinda Dalke

How did you get started art blogging?

I used to follow several art blogs and wanted to share my art that I donate a portion of the proceeds to charities with others. I have been blogging for a long time and have tried several styles, but found the charities were the most important part of what I do and felt they needed to be shared also. I plan on adding another more personal blog at the beginning of 2012.

An American Dog 2 by Melinda Dalke

Any tips for other EBSQ art bloggers?

I think posting at least once a week, if not more, is important. I have my blog linked to my Facebook art page and Twitter page, so when I post on my blog – it posts on FB and Twitter too!

Angel Corgi by Melinda Dalke

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

I love listening to Country Music and Rock – I find both to be uplifting and inspiring. I love singing while I paint, so do my parakeets-sometimes my dogs join in too!

Dog Portraits by Melinda Dalke

What’s coming next from your easel?

I am working on an acrylic dog portrait of Halle, a rescued pit bull terrier. Also, I am currently experimenting with Derwent Inktense pencils on Yupo paper and Watercolor paper.

Thank you Melinda 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’re not an EBSQ Artist, what are you waiting for?

EBSQ Friday Five

Orchids and Monarch Butterfly by Christine Striemer

1. Orchids and Monarch Butterfly – I love this November painting from artist Christine Striemer. You can also see it in the EBSQ Flower of the Month Show!

2. The Friends an Artist Needs – Melia Newman has a thoughtful post on the life of an artist and the friends we need to keep us creative and sane.

3. Custom Jewelry Tags – Have you ever wondered how jewelry tags are made? Stop by Vickie Miller’s blog for the details on how she makes her tags.

4. Pet Portrait Presents – Pet portraits do make great gifts. Miriam Schulman is taking orders now and shares a wonderful example of a cat portrait.

5. The Camling House – Sara Burrier’s latest post is a two-parter, and while I love the birdhouse she painted, the first half the post caught my eye. It’s all about creating your own handmade brush holder!

Have a great weekend!

EBSQ Blogger of the Week: Lori Levin

This week’s EBSQ Blogger of the Week is simply an amazing woman and artist. She’s taken her passion and turned it into a thriving business. I’m so thrilled she could take the time to share some of her magic with our readers.

Who and where are you?

Now that’s a loaded question.  Just kidding.  My name is Lori Levin and I’m a full-time artist living and working in Salem County, New Jersey.  I’m blessed with a beautiful, supportive family, I have a gorgeous studio in which to work and I love what I do.  Painting since I was nine, art has always been a big part of my life.  Little did I know that when I was making car money in high school by painting pet portraits on sweatshirts that I would be doing something similar as my main means of income as an adult.  As a graduate of Moore College of Art and Design, I always thought children’s books would be my calling because illustration was my major.  However, throughout my career in art, I’ve done everything from designing for retail spaces, print design for textiles and flooring, as well as fine art and commission work.  Though I’ve been painting for 30 year, I feel I’m just getting started in the world of art.  I don’t think the really good stuff will be created for at least another 10 years.  Only now at age 40 am I beginning to trust myself and my work shows this.  Perhaps it might take me 40 years of painting to become an overnight success.

How did you get started art blogging?

Blogging for me started as a business move in December of 2005.  I left my corporate design job to do pet portraits and small paintings full-time.  During that time I was an active member on another artists’ message board and saw that everyone there was a member of EBSQ and most of them blogged.  Joining the crowd seemed to be the right thing to do as I wanted to promote my business.  Back then selling my work via the auction sites was part of my business plan and to keep public interest, blogging was a great help.  As the years went on, my life and plans changed, blogging became more of a public journal, though I have less time for it now.  Still, I like sharing my motivations and thoughts as it makes me feel connected to others.  This is important when you spend most of your time alone in a studio.  Actually, I’m never truly alone because “Brady” the studio dog is always by my side.  He gives good critics too.

Any tips for other EBSQ art bloggers?

Write from the heart and the rest will follow.  When you have something interesting floating in your head jot it down, later you can tweak and post it.  Don’t feel it is something you must do: blogging is not about pressure but rather sharing.  People love to feel like they’ve been let in on your personal secrets.  Just don’t give it all away, always maintain some element of mystery.  From a business standpoint, always make sure you mention your main website if you have one and include the link in each post.  Do the same for other artist friends and EBSQ as well.  EBSQ really helps with search engine recognition.  Spread the word about good things.  It all comes back to you in the end.

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

Music and rituals are what I’m all about.  Much like everything else I enjoy, my music tastes are a mixed bag.  You could come in and hear classical, especially Tchaikovsky, or The Cranberries, Red Hot Chili Peppers, India Arie, Dio and a varied list of other artists.  Usually for my pet portraits I play something upbeat to help me keep them cheerful but for my landscapes I push the lonely feeling with sadder melodies.  Some days I cannot tolerate any sound so I will sit in silence and just listen to the variety of birds singing outside my studio.  Part of my creative ritual is to feed the birds, then sit down to a cup of green tea and stare at the images to be worked on for the day.  During that time I do deep breathing exercise to try and help my mind open to the creative energy.  Seriously…I do.

What’s coming next from your easel?

This could better be answered by telling you what won’t be on my easel.  My art business has two parts, pet portraits as seen on and landscape paintings for galleries.  Generally I work on 3 to 4 pieces at once.  I always have one or two pet portraits on my large antique drawing table and a couple of landscape paintings in the works on the easels as well.  This keeps me from getting too bogged down in any one piece.  Even though I love detail, too much can kill.  At the moment I’m working on a huge portrait in oil of 3 dogs, an acrylic painting of birds in the marsh and a drawing for a commission of an eagle painting.  Currently, I’m booked with pet portraits for 2 years and am constantly adding to the waiting list, so there is never a moment where the easel is empty.  Again, I’m very blessed.  Thank you for the honor of an interview.

Thank you Lori 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: Rebecca Salcedo

This week’s EBSQ Blogger of the Week never fails to bring a smile with her whimsical and lighthearted paintings. If you love dogs and a little humor you won’t want to miss this incredible artist.

Who and where are you?

My name is Rebecca Salcedo, I am an artist and do-gooder, who longs to hold hands with someone funny when I am old and wear depends.  My motto: Never EVER give up!

I am a painter, illustrator, and trompe l’oeil muralist, with slightly quirky sensibilities that seem to surface in my work (and personality).  I also paint a lot of animals, including very unique custom pet portraits.  I am mostly from Seattle.  I majored in French and Fine Art and studied in France as well.  I live in Atlanta now with my incredible BF and 2 spoiled dogs.

Hang On! Flying Ace in Training

How did you get started art blogging?

I wanted to write more often and figured a blog would force accountability and give me a consistent venue for practicing and showing my artwork while I’m telling a story.  2 years ago I was just beginning to discover social networking and promotion for my art business, so I figured a blog was a step in a positive direction. (Still discovering by the way; this stuff doesn’t happen overnight!)

Poppy's Adventures

Any tips for other EBSQ art bloggers?

I teach a blogging class to artists in my community and these are the top 3 tips I give them for blogging:

1) Be yourself. (or some made up persona. your choice.)  I used to be afraid to admit to the world (the 3 who are actually reading) that I have faults, ticks, issues!  Worried to say anything too personal, or admit how vulnerable I am.  I’ve thrown that out the window.  People want to relate to you, and if you show them that you are a genuine person who has those feelings and habits, too, that common ground may get you some readership!  Besides, it’s not like we would believe you’re perfect anyway!

2)   I tell them, “If you don’t know what to write, just post a picture of your most recent painting and then write a short description of how you came to paint it.”

Completely made up just now example:

I was recently in Morocco with my husband and there were these goats in the trees. Vinny said, “the boys at the shop are never gonna believe this one!”  I almost peed my pants!  After I wiped my eyes, and the fog from my glasses, I saw past the climbing goats to the most beautiful sunset over the desert landscape, and snapped a picture to paint later (and I might put the goats in it.)

You don’t have to have a funny quirky style, just write about what you did, and you’ll see the words will start to flow and you’ll get better!

3)  Try to post a 2-3 times per week. The most important part of blogging is just showing up! If you want people to read your blog, you actually have to write!

I enjoy sharing tips, techniques and art history!  Look back and visit my 31 days of rhinos, a journey into the history of art! I’ve got 16 different rhinos posted so far with more to come! (showing more vulnerability — haven’t finished that project yet!)

Otis at the Gelateria

What’s your musical inspiration of choice when you’re working in your studio? And do you have any rituals associated with your creative time?

Rituals, oh yes! The first thing I do in the morning is write in my journal. I write about 2500 words a day, which is about 3 very large pages, plus I write ridiculously small (unless I just really want to get those pages done, then it’s large double spaced with lots of punctuation and smiley faces!)  I love Dave Mathews Band first thing in the morning!  Don’t ask me why it works, but when I come in and sit down with my coffee, I can put on DMB and gush with writing inspiration.  Then I start painting, and I’m all over musically!  Queen is one of my all time favorite bands to paint to, as well as Cockteau Twins, Pink Floyd and lots of jazz.  After years of thinking my “younger metal head friend” was nuts, I tried painting to heavy metal, and I really got my groove on!  Jimmy Buffet=happy painting.

Red Hat Dog

What’s coming next from your easel?

Finishing a mixed media painting with horses. THEN, a gigantic self-portrait!  I am doing a 3 woman show at the Defoors Center in Atlanta opening November 11th! Lots of room for large scale, which will be a challenge since most of my work is very small.

Thank you Rebecca 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: Laura Barbosa

This week’s EBSQ Blogger of the Week art is a bold, rich and diverse reflection of the creative mind. She is an artist without limits, one who lets her muse take the driver’s seat.

Who and Where Are You?

Hello, my name is Laura Barbosa and I am a full time fine artist & business owner. I live off the sales of my original paintings and fine art prints. My art is collected on an International Level and my artwork has been featured on HGTV, Published in Hair’s How Magazine, NY ARTS Magazine, Forbes & more.

I am also a mom to 2 wonderful dogs including a therapy dog named Henna. My free time is spent visiting nursing homes and spreading the Joy that only a dog can bring. We live in South New Jersey near the Seaside Boardwalk where they filmed the reality show “Jersey Shore”.

Eagle Feathers 30 x 40 Acrylic

How did you get started art blogging?

When I first started selling my paintings over the internet, I read many articles and found out that Art Blogging was an essential key element to getting noticed by the public. I also wanted a place where I could post my artwork and explain my techniques so I had articles for future reference. My first blog post was not very good because I thought about what I would say and put the words down very mechanically. But through the years, I have learned that any article or blog worth reading must come from the heart. This revelation also helped me name my wordpress blog: “The Heart Of Art Blog – A Virtual Meeting Ground For Art lovers” Since then my art blog has become a diary of my artwork, events, commissions, tips on techniques, a place to share my inner thoughts about selling art, and the best place for me to write down my true feelings and interact with the public. The Heart Of Art Blog has gained popularity through facebook and also has introduced me to many other artists who are now great friends and influential clients and galleries.

Steam 24 x 36 Acrylic & Ink

Any Tips for other EBSQ art bloggers?

My tips would be to keep your blog posts short and interesting and write your true feelings down like you are talking to a best friend. Post at least 3 times a week, something about you as an artist, your new work, your techniques and anything that you think is interesting. Also make sure that your photos are very clear and that you post photos in the majority of your blog posts because people love looking at pictures as a reference to what you are talking about. If you have a face book page, get the app for your blog so you can share your posts automatically with your friends and fans.

Day of the Dead 30 X 40 Acrylic

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

Well, my secret is: I love the Vampire Diaries! I download songs from the soundtrack so I can listen to them while I work. If I am in a more serious mood and creating art with great detail, I might change over to classical music or Andrea Bocelli. The only other ritual I have is clearing my mind before I start working either by taking the dogs for a walk or sitting in the yard for awhile to relax. One thing is for sure: Painting original art on canvas must be done when you have the best desire to do it. I can never force creativity, it just has to flow subconsciously or it won’t turn out very good. I think it is a lot like writing a good blog post from the heart. A good painting must come from the soul.

Uncanny Valley 24 x 36 Acrylic & Inks

What’s coming next for your easel?

I could go on forever answering this question! I have so many ideas, that I literally carry a sketch book with me wherever I go to jot down my future paintings. My next piece is going to involve texture and will include a tropical theme. Maybe some pelicans or ocean art. After that I must paint some fish for the summer. Fish paintings sell out very quickly for me. What I really want to do is a giant abstract for modern interiors, something that includes half faces and industrial mechanisms. There are so many ideas, I usually just decide what I am going to do when I am staring at the canvas, then it happens quickly and finishing it could take any length of time depending on the detail and subject matter. So stay tuned for a lot more art. There is no telling what I will come up with next!

Thank you Laura 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 Friday Five

The EBSQ Friday Five offers a brief look at noteworthy news from around the EBSQ Artist Blogosphere.

1. A Group of New Pieces – Polymer clay extraordinaire, Lauren Abrams Cole, shares her new, stunning creations with the world. Aren’t they beautiful!?

2. Pencil Sharpeners for Pastel Pencils – Artist Kari Tirrell offers an informative post on the pro’s and con’s of different, name brand sharpeners.

3. Mother’s Day Giveaway -EBSQ artist, Kimberly Anne Bailey, is having a giveaway for a custom pet portrait. You have till April 22nd to sign up!

4. Spring Sale – Sara Burrier is offering a wonderful deal on her prints if you sign up for her mailing list. Lovers of fantasy and whimsy shouldn’t miss this great deal!

5. Studio Tour – Vicki Miller is having a studio tour on April 14. Check her blog for details.

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!