Category: announcements

Tentatively Re-Opening 2D Commissions

It’s a bit of an intimidating prospect, but I am tentatively re-opening personal commissions of 2D work.  It’s been rough these days trying to support an artistic business, studying for a new industry, and basically trying to get my head on straight to reach my career goals.  I thought I could accomplish this by snagging a part-time/day job somewhere, but to be quite frank, nobody here is hiring.

I’ve tried retail, art supply stores, and even the academic arena, but there is just nothing for me here to do to close the gap between what I need to make my bills and keeping my own art business going, in addition to getting the continuing education I need to really break into the fields I’m aiming for.  Finding work even semi-related to my passion and educational background has proved even more challenging.

 In the past, I had closed private personal 2D commissions because I did not want to be known as that ‘cheap artist’ who does the ‘low quality cheap work’ and I intend to stick to my guns in this respect.  Time is money, especially when you’re the sole proprietor of a business, and my prices reflect this fact, as well as being what I feel is fair to both artist and client.  You’re getting high quality professional level work for a more than fair price for your personal use.

 I prefer to look at things from the perspective of the great Masters who came before, many of whom worked for the church, the affluent, or in advertising, among other things, to keep food in their bellies.  As idyllic as being an independent artist is, we sometimes have to do the same.  Especially now while I am trying to build a portfolio, I am bringing in less money on my own while I am focusing on my fundamental skills, and therefore need the additional backing, be it through commissions or a day job.  It’s tough, but it’s the way of things, especially during these difficult economic times.

 Opening personal private commissions again also gives me the chance to test my skills in ways I could never have guessed!  I miss being able to work with characters from all walks of life and creating something entirely new from them.  However, if I find myself called to a day job or swamped with orders and events, I will be closing or severely limiting the number of personal private commissions I’ll be taking.  As of right now, there is no limit!

So with all this in mind, I’m trying a new commission process!  Instead of handling commissions via amorphous messaging back and forth, I have posted commission listings in my Etsy shop.  It’s all laid out very simply in the descriptions of each listing.  You pay a flat fee plus shipping.

Custom 8.5×11 in. Ink Drawing – Minimal Background with A Single Detailed Character $35:


 Custom Black and White Artist Trading Card – $20

 Custom Full Color Artist Trading Card – $30

 More commission listings to come once I have more examples.
Stay creative, everyone, and thanks for all of your support!

Commissions, Portfolio Reviews, and Study Sources

So a lot of big changes have been stewing in the pot for me.  With the decision to switch focus to more concept oriented work, I’ve been gathering resources to study not just design and the game industry, but also sources to help me in this challenging transition from traditional to digital media.  I’ve also realized I need to step up my fundamentals, especially anatomy, perspective, and my old enemy – the background environment!

I feel like I’m going back to school again, which is kind of exciting!  I miss studying and learning new things and even considered picking up some classes here at SCAD-Atlanta again with my alumni discount, but I figure I would try the self-study route first and see what happens before getting myself into more student debt than I already have. I learned about student discount squirrel, its an amazing site that has discounts for everything! It definitely helps me since I am on a tight budget.  No doubt this is going to be a willpower-driven endeavor, but I CAN do this!

I feel like I’m shooting myself in the foot here, but due to the amount of time I should be studying instead of toiling into the night on commissions, I am shutting down private commissions UNLESS they have no deadlines whatsoever.  I’m still going to finish the ones in my queue, but from now on, you will only be able to purchase custom work from me based on what is available in the Custom Items section of my Etsy shop (masks, keychains, pendants, earrings, etc. Mainly my crafts).  I am still available for commercial and corporate work, however!  I do need money, but I need my sanity more!

Rather than feel like I’m taking something away from you guys, I figured I’d offer something new – Portfolio Reviews!  If you would like me to look at your work and provide constructive criticism of your strengths and weaknesses, send me an email with a link to 8-10 pieces, your name, a bit about what industry you’re aiming for, and your website link with the SUBJECT: Portfolio Review.  If you don’t know what industry you’re aiming for, let me know and I can always suggest what comes to mind in my humble opinion based on the work you present to me.  It’s a great way to get your work featured here, which I’ll be doing once a week once I have somebody to feature!

Finally, I figured I’d share my list of study sources just in case anyone else is curious or going through this same transition.  I’m on the lookout for more sources also, if anyone has any suggestions!:

Anatomy Books:
ImagineFX Presents: Anatomy – A nice collection of common problem anatomy areas complete with many charts, photos, and contour drawings by top notch artists. I snagged this one digitally for a low cost.

Atlas of Human Anatomy for the Artist – This is a somewhat dated book, but the section on different body types, expressions, and the effect of aging are exceedingly useful! Also, you can’t beat $6 for a used copy.

Figure Drawing: Design and Invention – Breaking down the body into simplified shapes and contours. I love the approach of the gesture method used to establish the energy of a pose first before trying to construct the heavier lines, muscles, and forms. Energy is important and I feel this book is going to help me with my stiff figure problems.

Digital Coloring Books:

Imagine FX Presents: Fantasy Workshop – I’m a big fan of ImagineFX magazine for its inspiring tutorials and wonderful art from the game industry. This collection gathers many of the artists from their first run of magazines for specific techniques and tricks with screenshots for how the effects were achieved digitally.  Unlike the 2nd book, which just gathers pre-existing workshops.
Digital Painting in Photoshop – Just a basic book on Photoshop tools. I know most of it, but there are some holes in my knowledge as far as file processing and setting up workspace and workflow. Sometimes it’s good to get back to essentials, especially when you’re self-taught and might have some glaring knowledge holes that could come to light in a digital job.
Digital Masters Collection: Volume 1 – Digital Painting Techniques – A straight up digital fantasy and scifi art book with instructions on how each image was made from pros in the industry.
Concept Art Books:
Avatar: The Last Airbender (The Art of the Animated Series) – Admittedly motivated by wanting this for my personal collection, but what better way to learn than to study this series that has inspired me so greatly?  I intend to learn much from the designs which are so similar to the subject matter I’d love to be hired for, with particular attention paid to how they had to simplify the designs to work for television animation.

Game Art: Creation, Direction, and Careers – Also somewhat dated (as they’re still talking about looking forward to nextgen systems like ps3), but the info on what sort of staff makes up a video game development company and what one should expect in their job is golden!

Instructional Videos:
CGMWORKSHOPS – A wonderful channel on YouTube showcasing the videos of various master artists and designers.

FZDSCHOOL – A channel on YouTube featuring videos from an amazing school of design with easy to follow videos on basic design concepts and digital painting techniques. – An offshoot of for their instructional workshops. Amazingly, I just noticed in checking the site this morning that their videos are STILL on sale for $7.99!  Personally, I’ve grabbed their workshops on color, composition, and perspective with a few of Jason Chan’s character videos.
And that’s all for now!  Let the learning begin.  My sponge brain is ready!  Or perhaps it’s just spongy from all those marker fumes…hrmmm…

DragonCon Workbench & Reminders

Pulse check since I have been too busy working to post here!  I am alive, for the most part.  Neck deep in DragonCon prep!  Just wanted to remind folks of a few things:

  • I will NOT have a table this year.  I will, however, have a large gallery bay where you can see and purchase paintings, matted embellished prints, masks, and other handmade specialty items.
  • In lieu of a table, I’ll also have a space in the art show’s Print Shop, where I’ll be debuting lots of new pieces never before available in prints (such as Keeper of Secrets, Angel of January, and Dragon Whisperer).
  • I will be hosting a panel on the basics of E-marketing for artists in the Art Track (based on a blog post of mine). Check your D*CON schedules for exact listings!

And now for some image spam of my current workbench, which is full of masks and leather things!

A closer look at that dragon mask. Cuz I just love it!

Tentatively titled “Seraphim” and jokingly titled
“Flouncy Hawkgirl”
 Now, just got to survive till the con! With the power of Greyskull, chocolate, Advil, and coffee!

Happy Happy Insanity Time!

Also known as the “Pre-DragonCon Rush”

So the insanity is in full swing now with T-minus 30 days till DragonCon and still many paintings and leather crafts ahead of me!  Not to mention I have recently received some life-changing news, but I’m loathe to reveal it now until we know for more of a certainty! (Don’t worry, it is nothing bad!)

I’ve been meaning to post here about how my career is changing (which partially ties into the good news I can’t talk about yet), but that’s something for a later entry as well I think.  For now, just announcing I’m busy as HFIL, my Etsy and Artfire shops are both in vacation mode till after September 5th, and that I’ll be at DragonCon this year with bells on.  I’ll be debuting new prints of such glorious arts as these in my Print Shop and Gallery panel at the con!:

“Angel of January” 11×14 in., Pencil colored in Photoshop.
“Keeper of Secrets”, 11×14 in., Ink colored in Photoshop

You really must go see my gallery panel this year.  It will be like no display I have ever done before with paintings and leather crafts, galore!  I don’t have a table this year, but I’ll most likely be wandering the floor of the Art Show or helping Windfalcon at her table.  We’ll be at the Masked Ball on Friday as well. (Oh but I still need to figure out what to wear!)  We may very well see the return of Captain Evelyn (my pirate alter ego), if I can fit my art-fattened patooty back in that costume!  ALSO, I’ll be hosting a panel called E-Marketing for Artists 101, so check the Art Track for schedule times!

Hope to see you folks there!  If the grumpkins don’t get me first….

DragonCon, Important Announcements, & a LOLcat

Well…it’s T-minus 2 months till DragonCon and in that time I have 4 paintings and 18 leather pieces to finish in time to display!  Luckily, this year I don’t have to prep for stocking an entire table, just the gallery panel. 

Have a sneak peek of my layout!
See all those text squares and scribblely thumbnails?
Yeah that’s stuff I need to finish still…

I’m actually looking forward to having the freedom to wander about and schmooze with folks and maybe attend a panel or two this year!  I’ll be hosting a panel on E-Marketing for Artists 101 in the art track, so be sure to keep an eye out for an official schedule so you can come talk shameless plugging with me!

With current workload, I’m pausing commissions till September.  So if you’re currently waiting on work from me, I ask that you please be patient with my slow pace.  If you’re interested in work, never fear, for I will be keeping a waiting list in the meantime!

Now, off to work with me!  You have been warned.  When next we meet, I may look like….this:

You local peeps in the vicinity of Georgia, come on out to my art opening this Friday!  There’ll be books, bookmarks, and an entire meditation room dedicated to showing my original art. Plus the backdrop of a really cool bookstore with jewelry, gemstones, and KITTEHS! Also, free food!

C’moooon…you know you want to come!

New Product Blog & Twitter Name!

As you may have guessed from my recent poll, I’ve been pondering on ways to better reach people interested in my items for sale. I used to have a forum where I posted store listings, but it ate itself! With my items being spread across my Amazon Shop, Etsy, Zazzle, and Artfire, there seemed no efficient way to get the word out on what’s available where.

Now, I’m pleased to present the solution, the Angelic Shades Product Blog! This is the place to subscribe if you’d like to see instant listings as soon as products and special offers become available. Many of my items are Made to Order, but there are still others (like my jewelry and original art) that are one-of-a-kind, meaning once they’re gone, they’re gone! Watching the blog is the best way to get first dibs on specialty items before they’re gone and to keep up with what specials are going on where across my online outlets.

I’ve also created a Twitter username dedicated solely to product updates, for you Tweeties out there. This will help keep my main Angelic Shades Twitter from being too spammy so it can stay focused on art and fun!

If you hate leaving the safe confines of DeviantART, never fear! I’ll be posting a monthly collection of new items in one tidy Deviation once each month that you can favorite and revisit whenever you like. They’ll look a little something like this:

This should keep people from being spammed (unless they want) and help get the word out for me in a much easier to manage way!
Aah organization! I feel better now.

Upcoming Appearance: Author Meet & Greet

If you’ll be in the area of Peachtree City, GA this weekend, I’ll be making an appearance at the Books-A-Million in The Avenue shopping center!  They’ve invited me back for a mass book signing event with other local authors.  Come say hello, chat about art, and get a free bookmark while supplies last!

I’m looking forward to seeing what other authors are in my area too.  Should be interesting to see what different sorts of genres we all do.

I’ve created a public event on Facebook for easy access to maps, dates, and location details here.  Or you can check the event calendar on my website to see what else I’ll be up to in the coming months!

Memorial Day Sale + Studio Roast Continues!

Just a quickie post to tell you all about my weekend sale!  Get 25% off at my Angelic Shades gift shop on everything, regular AND sale price!  Slowly getting into this sale groove, as I always forget to run promotions.  So get in on this before I forget to run them again!

I’m also doing free shipping on all my items on my Etsy and Artfire shops!  Just enter the code FREESHIP when you check out.

In other news, the Studio Roast is still going strong!  The current auctions on eBay are over and everything that was on sale for round 1 is now only available via this list:

Feel free to make an offer on any of these images, if you fancy a haggle!  The next round of images will be up soon! There’re tons more where these came from to throw on the proverbial fire.

Hope you all have a good weekend!  I have a few announcements to make next time that I’m super excited about.  But next time! 😉

Let the STUDIO ROAST Begin!

There comes a time in an artist’s career when they can no longer keep all of the old artwork they hoard over the years. Now is that time for me! The space has ran out in my basement, closet, and under the bed. Rather than throw away or burn this art, I figured I’d give you guys a chance to snag original art and prints for super cheap!

ALL of this original art will have starting bids of 99 cents!
(See my Ebay for a complete list of originals for sale!)

But that’s NOT ALL! I’m clearing out discontinued prints for only $1 over at my online gift shop. Get Mousepads for just $5! Everything must GO!

A sampling of the discontinued prints available for JUST A BUCK:

(See my shop for more offerings!)

BEST OF ALL! Buy any item from the Studio Roast section of my gift shop and you’ll get a FREE gift of a mini print! The choice of print will be a surprise.

I’ll be uploading more auctions on eBay as I unearth things from the depths of my room, so keep an eye out for further announcements and offerings!

Angelic Shades Studio – Now Livestreaming!

After much hair pulling and teeth gnashing, I’ve finally got a channel up on Livestream! Catch live broadcasts while I paint, poke at leather, or maybe hold random live giveaways! I’ll try to remember to make a post here when I’m going live, but more often than not, I’ll be posting the announcement via my Twitter.

I did my very first broadcast today while I worked on a venetian mask! Recorded live here:

Watch live streaming video from angelicshades at

I’ve also got all of my other tutorials, trailers, and things up at my channel so have a good poke around!

My Livestream Channel –

Woo having a webcam has been fun so a far! Yay for learning new technology.:)