Remember, if you're shy about answering? I would not ask if I did not want to know. There is no wrong answer, in fact I don't know the answer t othese questions myself! There is no offending me or anything like that. I'm just curious about your thoughts.
So the first question is an easy one.
What is my artistic style? How would you describe it?
They made the announcement so I feel okay making it too. I'm the artist guest of honor at Conduit 25. I'm so excited. I would be incredibly honored if any of you could make it. Please if you're planning on attending, let me know so that we can make a really great event!
I'm thinking of fun group art jams, maybe some fun movie watching as a group thing... art gallery stroll... I just want to have a blast and spend time with all of you.
Can we set something up? It's in May! Can we make this a thing?
1. Every piece I do has a working title, but never actually receives it's real title until literally the MINUTE I post it online. For example, the title of my last sculpture was "FIT DAMN YOU". The title of Light and Shadow was 'please please let sely like it'. The Kohaku dragon was titled 'doot doot doot' (on hindsight doot doot doot was a more enjoyable title). And speaking of kohaku, The Kohaku was originally titled "please let these boobs look realistic."
2. I have been unable to walk more than about ten feet for the past two weeks, so everything is being done iwthin a ten foot radius of myself. I'm on medications that require me to be away from anyone who might possibly be sick (they shut down my immune system), so it's been interesting! But all in all I'm doing pretty good.
3. I have a rabbit who is more dominant than my dogs. No really. The dogs are scared of the bunny.
4. I have terrible luck with glue, and I keep getting myself glued to everything when I work on new projects. not sure what's up with that.
5. I don't actually have a favorite color. I fluxuate between deeply loathing pretty much every color, and rather liking every color. It changes constantly so I've stopped trying to have a favorite color.
6. I don't have a favorite food either. I just have lots of good things I enjoy eating.
7. I bake an awesome pumpkin pie thanks to my amazing Dad, and today is his birthday. So I will bake a pumpkin pie in his honor.
8. Hope is an amazing thing.
THANK YOU SO MUCH EVERYONE! I AM SO EXCITED! THE GEM FAIR IS TOMORROW! EEE!
Also all art has been shipped, I should have emailed you each separately, but in case you did'nt get your message, purchases within the states take about 3 days to get to you, and out of the country take about 2-3 weeks (depending a lot on what the postal service is like where you are!).
Thank you so much! omg! I will do a big update later with what all I got and what all I'm making with it! EEE!
Also I will have major holiday announcements soon!
And major convention announcements!
EEEEEEEEEEEE! OMG I LOVE YOU GUYS!
*flings love at everyone*
What if I fail. What if I am not good enough.
I think one of the hardest things for me as an artist, is handling failure. We all handle it in different ways, and what constitutes as 'fail' depends on who you're talking to. But one of the big things I notice a lot of us seem to do, is see a part of our art that we want to improve on, and instantly label it a failure. That one error becomes big as life sometimes, to the point that I used to say 'it's not very good ... please I know the hand is terrible, I'm so sorry'. Yes that's right, I would apologize for failing at rendering a hand in a pleasing way.
It took a while for me to realize that not being able to draw a hand right.. was okay. It wasn't me hitting a devastating end of 'well they like her art but she's the artist who can't draw hands', and thus rang the end of my career. I had to learn that as an artist, we are always growing. And sure, my hands may be super gimpy NOW, but hiding them isn't going to help. This is the point where you raise your hand if you're one of those artists who picked poses to hide hands so that you didn't have to draw them, and thus didn't have to face failure again.
The thing is? Every single failure really IS an opportunity to learn something new. It's a lesson, and while that is a horrible cliche, it's a cliche precisely because it is very true. What you have before you when you draw that twisted, blocky, clumsy appendage is a working blueprint to begin seeing exactly where your errors are. You have a rare chance to study anatomy and to compare it and see where the corrections can be made to improve. It's only through trying that you get this chance, though. So you have to stop, take a deep breath, and not be afraid that you won't get it right the first time. There's always the second, or third, or fifteenth. It doesn't matter because there is literally always another chance to improve
I would like to issue a challenge
If you are feeling like a failure, I would like you to stop and look at your latest piece. This time write down your thoughts on it, but I want you to focus on the things you did RIGHT. What you've improved on since the last time you painted, where you feel that you really shone with it. Even if it's just that you pressed the pencil to get just the right width of line in this area, whatever. And from now on when you post your art, every time you want to say 'it's not very good...' instead I want you to post about that thing you did right. No 'I know ti's not good' or 'my anatomy sucks'. I want to see 'man I really like the shade of purple here' or 'I am really proud of how I got her hair to tumble just right'.
Show people the good things in your art. Art is expressing passion and what you love, feel, dream, think.. so show people that. Don't worry so much about making sure that you're humble enough about your skill level.
Unanswered Messages My messages are full right now. I've got around.. 40+ messages sitting in my inbox and 500+ comments sitting in my inbox that haven't been answered, and sadly won't be for at least two weeks. I'm so sorry but I'm a little backed up at the moment so I hope nothing is life or death! When I'm back from Comic Con I'll sit down and clear everything out, but at the moment I just don't have time to.
Livestream A few people have asked when I will do stable hours for livestreaming. The answer is.. not right now? Readying for comic con means that I'm super unpredictable in my hours at the moment. If you've signed up to follow my feed, it will email you when I randomly pop on. I'll settle into hours as soon as I can!
The stream is: www.picarto.tv/live/channel.ph…
Patreon The free prints are up for my Patrons over on Patreon (for those that don't know, once a month I give a free highres file of various artwork for you to be able to print up your own piece at home. It's one of the ways I say thank you to those who are supporting me).
My Patreon is: www.patreon.com/Jessi
Etsy The shop is closed down while the convention is going on. I'll be reopening it once I'm back, with all new listings!
Etsy is: www.etsy.com/shop/Vestaka
Personal Website I need to upgrade my personal website. I don't have any clue how to do this, so I will be looking into pricing having an expert set it up for me. Expect some random sales once I know how much I'm looking at spending, in order to raise the funds. And I do mean really random sales.
Terrible personal site is: jessicamdouglas.com/
Also LIVESTREAMING IS NOW. I'll be streaming the beaded dragon this time, so it'll be slow going. But please please swing by here: www.picarto.tv/live/channel.ph…;
Sign up, talk to me! I love chatting while I art! Ask questions! I love questions!
Also if you become a follower of the page it emails you every time I start streaming, which is awesome for those random 'I feel like streaming now' moments.
Today won't be much streaming of art, the art is there but I'm setting up the channel so I'll only be drawing off and on for a bit so it might be boring at first, but bookmark, feel free to ask questions, etc!
Okay so... the conventions were awesome and a great deal of fun. If you're going to be attending a con (or have a local con you alawys attend) and would like to see my work there, please let me know! I'm back to mailing out to conventions regularly now!
I have a webcam! Thank you to all my Patrons over at PATREON! It's very highquality and beautiful, however my internet is a bit poopy so I will not be able to start livestreaming until monday. BUT I will begin regular livestream sessons, so if there is a particular question/technique/etc that you REALLY want some live/visual demonstrations of start letting me know now so I can plan on having the right materials available!
What is coming up artwise:
Butterfly Tree in a Jar commission, this one won't be for sale guys, she's already sold. But I'm excited to share it!
Plague of Darkness: I've returned to my deification of the 10 plagues of egypt series! I'm starting with darkness and i'm super, super, super excited to show you all! In theory this will be painted live, I'm hoping!
Gemstone Dragon: You all liked Vance's Dragon and Bronzed so much tha tI am working on a series of dragons with *actual gemstones*, pearls, opals, rubies, etc. etc. etc. I'm so excited I cannot wait to show you all!
ANYWAY EXCITING TIMES SO GIVE ME SUGGESTIONS!
Friday: I can be found at SLC steamfest in the morning, in the art show. I'll be there probably until about 1 or 2.
Then I can be found all the way across the city at ToshoCon, doing a panel on anatomy and wings at 6 pm.
Saturday I will be back over at SLC steamfest, once again found over in the art show.
It will be about a week to get here, then I need to set it all up, fumble about a bit and learn how to use it all, but within the next few weeks I should be able to do livestream sessions, and video tutorials for you guys!
Because of the generosity of my Patrons over on my Patreon site www.patreon.com/Jessi I will be putting the video tutorials online for *free*. No charge. As I progress I'm hoping to be able to address specific techniques that have been hanging people up, and really do what I can to help everyone with their artistic endeavors.
I'm so excited!!
So, I've dug through my remaining unsold art, as well as some pieces that have ended up back in my hands for various reasons (one person traded a painting of mine for me to do a commission, another defaulted on their layaway, etc.) and I've just not put back up for sale since they came back to me. I'm ranging everything from the really expensive/popular pieces, to lesser known, lower priced paintings so that everyone gets a shot at something random. ONWARD TO THE ART.
Shipping must be added on to the price, shipping depends on if you are international or not, so I will quote you shipping once I know where it is going. Generally it is $7 to $12
Starting this off with a blast from the past!
That's right. I still have this drawing! It's an oldy but one I've always been fond of because his wings came out JUST the way I wanted. He is 8.5 by 11 pencil on cardstock and I am asking $30 for him.
Next meet King!
This painting is watercolor, and is 4.5 by 9.5 inches big. He was a fun take on a lionfish based dragon, that I really enjoyed doing! I'm asking $30 for him!
Who likes Gryphons?
How about a different type of creature?
Some older mermaid art:
The original does not have the black border, and there is some small damage to her, which you can see in the second picture. I'm asking $40 for her, in light of the damage. She is roughly 6 x 17
Now for a little more recent work:
I really love how her eyes came out, but feel frustrated with the rest. I'm asking $65 for her, because I honestly feel that she's not a very strong representation of my work. My frustration is your gain! She is 10 x 20
Oh look what I found!
I learned so much working on this piece, and yet.. was SO FRUSTRATED iwth it! My frustration, your gain! I'm asking $75 for her! She is also 10 x 20
Speaking of learning frustrations:
I still have the original version of this, that you may remember I went back and repainted! She's a HUGE learning experience and I"m offering the original take of her for $45! She's 10 x 20!
Also this was another learning piece that i never really did much with beyond the first color studies
And now.. the big three.
Death. Famine and Strife.
The original set went for $800 each, but long story short I ended up with two of the four back in my possession. I'm lowering the price to $400 each. Death and Famine are on 12 x 16 board, and are watercolor and colored pencil. Strife is 16 x 20 and has the addition of gold enamel added to her. Shipping is free with all three of these.
I WILL ACCEPT LAYAWAY FOR THESE because I know it's not often people have $400 just laying around. Please contact me about it to work out the terms <3
Edit: Strife is now sold.
I've been a little busy prepping for four conventions at once right now, so my apologies for any missed messages! This month/beginning of next month my work will be at
And I'm still finalizing details for the panels I'll be doing at the last con.
IF YOU GO TO ANTHROCON REGULARLY; I am looking for a possible agent to take my work there next year. This is all hinged on my being accepted to show there, but I would be willing to compensate the person hanging my work either monetarily or in trade. It would require receiving my art in the mail, arriving to the show early and checking my work in, hanging it. Then at the end of the con, checking my unsold work out and shipping it back to me (I pay for shipping of course). Please message me if you're interested.
If you attend other cons and wish to see my work there, please let me know! I'm back in the game!
If you are an art show director and have last minute conventions happening, I do need *at least* two weeks notice (to account for shipping), but I am in a really feisty GET WORK DONE mode so don't mind last minute requests to show.
"They're HOW much?"
It threw her for a loop and frightened her from working with quality materials, because of how much they cost. Her work currently is not priced at a level that allows her to purchase new supplies, because she's always selling at just barely enough to get by. Maintain the standard. And there's the first really rough part, is slowly putting your prices in a place where you can afford to upgrade your materials.
I know it can be scary, looking at all the materials professional artists have and quelling at the expense. I've seen some artists just LEAP into it, dumping their life savings into the best quality materials right off the bat. While it'd be lovely to do that all the time, most of us don't have that luxury. But.. you know what? You really don't need to just leap into the fray like that. Not if you're living paycheck to paycheck. It will take patience, but I believe that you can slowly work your way up to those high end tools you adore, without breaking the bank.
One thing I suggest is making a list of all your supplies that you have on hand. Now make a list of the ones that you *need* (high or low quality) to continue working. From there, prioritize what you wish to replace first. When I started to seriously watercolor, I actually didn't replace my paint first. I started with my brushes, because an artist is really only as good as their tools, and mine were frayed and just horrible. I didn't start swapping my actual paints until I had started consistently using nicer boards, and nicer brushes. Then I began to slowly replace my tubes with better ones.
Always keep your eyes open for a sale and don't be afraid to buy things out of order of your prioritized list, if a great deal comes along.
The great thing about this, is that the higher end goods USUALLY last longer than the cheaper. So you'll find yourself replacing things less often, and have more money for upgrades. That said, do your research! Don't let price fool you, it doesn't always mean quality. Talk to other artists, see what they can't live without.
Pace yourself. Set goals, set small amounts aside for those goals, and then BE PATIENT. Don't expect immediate results when upgrading your materials piece by piece. But also don't forget to slowly adjust your pricing to take into account the finer grade supplies.
You can do it!
I'm starting slow because I'm pretty broken. The slightest bit of negativity can send me spiraling down out of control in a heartbeat. So first.. I am doing the forgiveness challenge regularly, even for little things (because it's the little things that bog me down). I'm slowly training my brain to... let go.
I've joined a tumblr blog called 'unfuckyourhabitat', that is all about just.. blunt reminders every day that you can do it, when it comes to self care. It gives you little daily steps to help cut down clutter, get through the mess and get yourself together. Plus the writer casually cusses the way I do, so I feel comfortable reading it. I've been doing at least ONE thing towards self care every single day. Sometimes it's making my bed. Sometimes it's just.. brushing my hair. But either way I do something to say 'I deserve care'. it's easier to get motivated to make big changes, when the small ones start building up.
I'm taking time to appreciate the recognition I receive each day. You know, so many of us glance over the positivity we receive in our art, but then focus almost obsessively on the bad. Have you ever noticed a large portion of artists will not respond at all to the flood of positive comments, but then... that one negative one gets a response? Or if they do respond to all their comments, inevitably the negative ones get addressed first? And get the bulk of their attention? While positive comments generally get a 'thank you' and are forgotten? I know that's how I've been in the past, and part of it was just the overwhelming amount of comments I had to get through made it all become a haze. But I've been approaching it differently now. I set aside the negative to reply to later, and then bulk myself up in basking in the positive. I try to devote a bit of time with each comment, even something as simple as 'nice!' gets a moment for me to stop and go... hey. This person liked my work enough to stop and post something, rather than just clicking by after looking. I affected them. I achieved something here. The negative stuff? I can look at it after I've taken some good quality time with the positive.
What happened at Westercon was a HUGE wake up call for me. A wall of ribbons. And then a wall of empty panels when I went to collect my unsold art and I had practically sold out (only two prints didn't sell, the rest that didn't sell was nfs). Guys... how can you possibly say louder to me that I am on the right path with my art? That I should continue? That I NEED to continue to grow and evolve and create and share? When I moved out here I had put all my awards into storage and hid them away. Now I feel like that was a mistake, because seeing those ribbons, seeing *people's choice* and *judges choice* and.. best in show... I just... you guys chose me. you said 'that is what I like'. And you've said it in the past as well. It's time I put those up where I can see them every day and when I'm having crippling self doubt I look up and go.. hey, it's okay.
I've also started to slowly take the things I wished that others would do for me in my times of need.. and applied it to those around me. Lots of pay it forwards happening around here. When a friend is showing signs that I recognize in myself from being in distress, I am taking time to stop what I am doing and do what I can to offer support and help. I cannot offer much, but I found that when my friends are in a happier, secure place? I am too. Call it selfish motivation but their emotional state affects mine, and so it's in my best interest to see that they are happy.
I still need serious medical care, 'think happy thoughts' isn't enough to combat the hallucinations, seizures, mild strokes, etc. But they are enough to keep me from feeling hopeless and like I should just give up. Happiness is really important.
So that's my update on my emotional state and why I seem so up lately.