Author: Angela S.

Aug 2021 Digest – New (Temporary) Studio + Patreon Resuming!

It feels like it’s been an age, but I’m happy to say that we’re finally in our new temporary rental home!   It’s a lovely little place in a quiet neighborhood nestled in a patch of the forest next to a creek.  I’m excited by all the trees, flowers, and birds around!  I’ve spotted a cherry blossom tree, a hibiscus so large it might as well be a tree, along with a beautiful crate myrtle.  We also have rosemary in a pod, yum!

Here’s a view from the back, which has a path leading down to a creek:

Now, I get to turn this spread of boxes into the office/digital drawing/writing area:

I get to turn this lovely little sunroom into a traditional painting space.  There are windows on two sides for plenty of natural light as well as an easier way to set up good ventilation when needed.  I adore the book shelves built right into the wall!

I’ve got quite a task before me to get everything set up, but I’m looking forward to being in this new space while we use the time here to recuperate from a rough few years as well as to start hunting for a permanent place of our own.  We both love the space in here so much, though, that I’m really hoping we can find a similar house.  Fingers crossed!  We have a year lease here to get sorted.  Till then, I think I’m going to enjoy our stay surrounded by our little forest.

Patreon Return!

I’m going to let pledges resume as usual for September!  This means I’ll have a new coloring page to share this month at the very least, plus some new character art I created for stress relief while we were undergoing this flurry of rental-hunting, moving, etc.

For September, I hope to get myself back on track to finish my final lessons of Emily Jeffords’ Making Art Work course so I can share my thoughts on the experience here, as well as get myself back to continuing the final phase of the Birthstone Goddesses.  Having our living space in flux made it hard to plan things, but now that we have a clearer view of the future, I can get back to making the calendar and art book happen!

Thanks to everyone who has hung in there to support me during this period of change and the folks in my Patreon’s Discord who provided encouragement along the way during this stressy chaotic time. You all are awesome!

More soon as I get settled!

❤ Ang

May 2021 Digest – Upcoming Changes to this Patreon + Coming in June

It’s been a busy month behind the scenes!  I’ve continued my journey with Making Art Work, despite our official graduation happening this past Friday.  There was so much great material that I needed time to absorb and I got a little behind!  

I’ve kept a whole list of changes I’d like to make to my art business based on all the revelations I had during this course and I’m STILL adding to it as I wrap up the last 4 of 12 modules I’ve yet to complete.  

I’ve also been caught up in a massive redesign of the Birthstone/Gemstone Goddesses website utilizing all the wonderful info I learned in MAW.  It’s probably the most ambitious I’ve gotten with a website to date and I can’t wait to (hopefully) roll it out with a launch celebration this month!

I can also finally share the GREAT news we were waiting on before.  I’m so hyped to report my husband, Kevin, will be starting a new job soon!  It’s the kind of IT job he’s always wanted where he gets to advise others on networking and cloud services.  We expect a lot of doors to open thanks to this amazing opportunity!

This means things are about to get crazy for us now that we can resume our plans to buy our first home!  We’ve endured mold, gas leaks, and more at our current rental and can’t wait to get into a safe place that we can really call home.  I expect this will mean more comfort that will be conducive to happiness and making art!

Coming in June

Here’s what I have planned to share this month:

  • A new digital coloring page for $5+ Patrons
  • New addition of Metallic Stickers to the Secret Shop for All Patrons
  • Website Launch Celebration! (Hoping I get it all done by end of the month!)
  • New Birthstone Goddess fashion sketches for my Fine Art shop.  All Patrons will get first dibs on them in a post here before they go up in the shop!

Upcoming Changes to this Patreon

As we enter into a new phase of the Birthstone Goddesses where I have less art to share and more invisible work like designing page layouts, writing, etc. for the art book, calendar, etc, I’m considering changing the way this Patreon works.  Patreon has been stressful to maintain of late with everything going on and I always feel bad when I don’t have new art to share.

To keep my stress levels down, I’m considering changing this Patreon to a Tip Jar format temporarily (possibly permanently).  The tiers will still be similar to what I have now, with a base tier and a couple more premium tiers for those who enjoy some of my higher priced perks, like Premium Tutorials, etc.  

The main difference will be that I only add material when I feel I have something interesting to share, which may not be each month.  You’d basically be tipping me to help support my art and for the following perks, (which should all look familiar as it is exactly what you’re getting now, I would only be changing the frequency at which I add to some of them):

  • Access to archives of coloring pages, digital wallpapers, & Premium Tutorials added as and when I’m able to produce them
  • Access to Patron-only posts (Behind the Scenes peeks, Secret Sketchbook posts, etc.) added as and when I’m able to produce them
  • Secret Shop access for all Patrons
  • Ability to vote in polls  
  • Private Patreon Discord server access
  • Eternal discount codes that don’t expire
  • Art launch announcements, including first dibs on collecting new originals

I also hope to add a fancy Merch tier that will be replacing the Art Collector tiers down the line.  These will be tiers where the longer you stay pledged to them, the more cool swag you will accrue as you reach your loyalty milestones!

These plans are all in the works, however, and I will definitely warn you all before things get massively shuffled!  For now, my Patreon will remain the same as it is currently with at least one post per week.  I just wanted to give you all a head’s up for my plans for the near-future!

Digest of May’s Posts

Rewards Added In May

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For now, I’m celebrating learning so much via MAW and can’t wait to share the fruits of my labors with you soon!  Thanks, as ever, for your generosity and encouragement.

♥ Ang

Mermay 2021

MerMay 2021

I have a confession to make.  As a young budding artist, I had a unicorn phase.  But what most people don’t know is that coinciding with and shortly after the unicorn phase, I also had a mermaid phase!  Okay, I won’t say they were phases because I still love these staples of high fantasy.  I couldn’t let May’s MerMay art event go by without drawing at least one mermaid!

For those who haven’t heard of it, MerMay challenges you to draw mermaids inspired by various prompts.  I didn’t have the time to participate this year, so I chose to do one really cool mermaid instead.  For this mermaid, I had everyone play the Let’s Make A Mermaid game over on Twitter!

Commenters on my Twitter suggested a purple and teal-haired frilly tailed mermaid with koi & tan skin with a goth aesthetic. Poor thing is also afraid of the dark & a bit absent-minded!

Our bioluminescent gal, Lucy, here is the result!  I painted Lucy in Procreate on the iPad with a looser style than I’m used to.  I’ve been trying to break my reliance on tedious line art for my own health.  The results were quite fun!

I really need to try this event properly some month!  What fun I could have with mermaids, octomaids, and more.

What’s your favorite kind of Mermaid?  Did you do MerMay this year or enjoy drawing seafolk?  I’d love to peek at your creations!

♥ Ang

Behind the Scenes: Gemstone Goddesses Website Redesign

Behind the Scenes: Redesigning the Gemstone Goddesses Site

I’d normally save this kind of article to be exclusive for my Patrons, but I wanted to share this particular article with everyone to offer a little peek behind the curtains of building a website for a creative project.  

I’ve already written a Patrons-only series of articles where I go deeper into the website re-design process for my Angelic Shades site, should you want a more in-depth glimpse of why I made certain design choices, designing with my audience in mind, etc. with many visual aides that guide you through the process.  

You can check out that series here as long as you’re pledged at any tier here:

The Old Site

Lately, I’ve been re-centering my art business and making sure I have a strong core presence online with my websites and social media before I move into expanding any further.  The pandemic taught me that I’ve let my online presentation go lax and without the promise of consistent income from in-person events anymore, it’s been far past time to step up my online biz game!

While I have Angelic Shades as my main Art Nouveau/Fine Art site, my Gemstone Goddesses project has far outgrown the single page space it had on that site!  I’ve created so much work for this project that it doesn’t fit in a single collection anymore.

I also had a problem.  I started out this adventure creating with the intention of a single Birthstone Goddesses set.  Somewhere along the way, my ambitions evolved and I realized it would be amazing to do more Goddesses dedicated to other gemstones, as well!  Why not a Goddess for sunflowers and Sunstone and the like?  And thus, my project evolved to be more inclusive with the name Gemstone Goddesses.

This meant that my old website that featured the Birthstone Goddesses in a calendar-inspired splash page became outdated:

The New Site

Now, my website needs to be more inclusive of other Goddesses and future-proofed for additional entries into the series.  I took what I liked about the layout from my Angelic Shades redesign and applied it to my old Gemstone Goddesses site.  Here’s the redesigned Angelic Shades site for reference:

Here’s a mockup created in Photoshop of how I want the new Gemstone Goddesses site to look.  The dotted line shows where the viewer will have to scroll, with everything above that line being the most important info I want my viewers to see first.

I’ve included a lot more info for viewers to explore on the new site.  I’m not sure if I need to include the bar which lets folks explore by gemstone color, but I like the idea that if someone doesn’t know the name of the stone, they can search by color to find what they need.  What do you all think?  Would searching by gem color be useful to you?

A side by side comparison of the old vs new Gemstone Goddesses site:

Before I even made this mockup, I did a very rough version on paper first to sort out my thoughts.  This helped me figure out how to minimize the navigation menu and what sub-menus I’d like to include.

Next comes building the new layout in WordPress!  I also want to re-photograph all of the Birthstone Goddesses’ framed pieces, but that may not be doable until after our house move.

I want to do something a little special when I re-launch the site.  Perhaps a give away or a hidden Easter egg?  We’ll see what strikes me when the site becomes closer to being a reality!  For now, it’s nose to the grindstone to create all the interconnected gallery pages that will form the vast majority of this website. 

I hope you enjoyed this peek behind the scenes!  Working on this site may mean less art being shared for a little while since I do everything myself, but thus is the cost of wearing multiple hats for your creative business.

More soon!

❤ Ang

Apr 2021 Digest – Temperance Launch, Lady of Eternity Pins & more

It’s been a little tumultuous behind the scenes as our house moving plans have been delayed by some other exciting developments!  I can’t quite talk about them yet till they’re a sure thing, but I’m hoping to have some good news to share soon.  For now, we’re still in a bit of limbo as we pack up the house and wait on things to come the good word to come.

Meanwhile, I’ve been learning so much during my Making Art Work class!  I’m halfway through the material and it has been an intense and informative experience.  I’ve been experimenting with what I’ve been learning in class on my new Instagram account and taking my presentation to the next level with the launch for Temperance that happened in April.  I’m really excited to present my art with as much care as the passion put in!

If you want to keep up with the revelations I’ve been having as I go through the class, I’ve started a Twitter thread to collect my thoughts here.

Coming in May

Thanks to MAW, I also have some great ideas for redesigning the online gallery for my Birthstone Goddesses.  The class has given me a lot to think about as I move forward and re-center myself and my art biz.  I’ve been pondering how I can make the experience better for myself and for my fans.

My overall plan is to get my core presentation running like a well-oiled machine so that I can move forward with all the big plans for the releases I have in store for the Birthstone Goddesses.  I feel like if I can get that central rhythm for myself figured out that it’ll mean a smoother flow for everything else.

I’ll be adding another angel-themed digital coloring page inspired by one of the keyword sketches I created, plus I’m planning Behind the Scenes articles about the Birthstone Goddesses site, how I photograph my work, and an inspiration list of my favorite movies for visual inspiration.

Digest of April’s Posts

Rewards Added in April

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In other news, I received my 2nd dose of the vaccine this week!  This means being one step closer to being able to hang out with our friends again, which will be such a relief.  It’s been a long journey for my husband and myself dealing with COVID this year, but I’m so grateful that we’ve been able to pull through these difficulties safely with Kev’s full recovery!

I hope everyone is happy, healthy, and hanging in there!

♥ Ang

Patreon Pre-Sale! Coloring Book Bundles + New Secret Shop Items

I’m trying something new here on Patreon by holding a special event just in time for Mother’s Day!  I’m offering a Patrons-only first dibs at the new coloring book bundles I’ve put together for mums (or anyone else who loves coloring).  

I’ve offered a new design inspired by my coloring book’s cover on lovely little pouches to store color pencils, pens, etc. for a coloring session with the Birthstone Goddesses!

Normally, these pencil cases would only be offered within this book bundle and will not be available separately, but as an exclusive perk for this Pre-Sale, I’m offering the pencil cases separately just for Patrons in the Secret Shop!

The Patreon Pre-Sale event ends at 11:59 pm on April 23rd.  I have a very limited number of stock reserved for this event, so snag your items while you can!

New Secret Shop Items!  Prototype Scarves

Also just in time for mum!  I’ve made a limited amount of these elegant Satin Charmeuse scarves available in my Secret Shop as a permanent item until they are sold out.  They will not be re-stocked, as they are prototypes that were lovely in their own right, but are not quite meeting my final vision for their designs.  

Rather than let these still gorgeous prototypes languish in my closet, however, I want them to be worn and appreciated, so I’ve offered them at a discount!

Each scarf will be packed in a kraft paper box with a care tag ready for easy gifting!  

Where is the Secret Shop?

When you first joined my Patreon, you should have received an email that showed you the path into my Secret Shop from Backerkit.  If you’ve lost this email, however, you can recover your survey here.

Questions or comments? Please feel free to comment here or PM me and I’ll get back to you shortly.  I hope you find something beautiful for mum or to treat yourself.  You deserve it!

Thanks, as ever, for being my Patrons!

♥ Ang

MAR 2021 Digest – Upcoming Tarot Art, House Hunting, & MAW

March flew by as I returned to work after taking some time to recover with Kev, who also went back to work in March this month after his recovery from a severe case of COVID.  We’re both doing so much better knowing that he’s safe and healthy!  I’m slowly, but surely, getting back in the game and managed to finish my Temperance card painting for the Woven Path Tarot (which I’ll be revealing publicly next week!).

We’re also back on the house hunt, as our current home is a rental and we’re finally ready to invest.  We’re both looking forward to having a new space all our own!  We just have to survive all the paperwork and touring first.  I’m already dreaming of ways I could set up a new studio space. Here’s hoping for a room with lots of sunshine!

I’ve also started MAW (Making Art Work) with Emily Jeffords this month and wow has it been a knowledge bomb to my brain!  I’ve been learning about branding, marketing schedules, SEO, and so much more. I’m already buzzing with plans to redo my Gemstone Goddesses site with all I’ve learned and might be a little slow in April as I focus on absorbing all this knowledge to implement into my art biz.

Coming in April

Now that the Tarot piece is finished, I’ll be offering a Temperance coloring page and a wallpaper to my Patreon Patrons at the appropriate tiers!  I was thinking about sharing my progress with redesigning the Gemstone Goddesses site, but would that be boring stuff?  

It probably wouldn’t be as in-depth as my last article about website redesign, but more showing you progress shots as I map out the new site and make it a lovely space just for my Goddesses!

The Lady of Eternity pins also arrived in the mail today, so it’s time to pack them up and get them out to you guys! (More on that in a future post, soon).

Digest of March’s Posts

Rewards Added in March

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I’m looking forward to seeing how everything I’ve been learning lately will help make my art really shine and how I can make the experience of it better for you all!

More soon!

♥ Ang