Being an amateur artist

After I decided I wanted to start creating my own festive decorations with a view to potentially selling them I began to share pictures of my work with my colleagues.

Amy, your talents are so wasted here!

Emma said.

It was a nice compliment really. I’d told them that I loved to paint and draw etc etc.. but they’d never seen my work so probably didn’t believe how into it I was.

Handmade

Painting, drawing and making are my thing. Ive never tried to sell my work, there’s something about it that doesn’t make me feel entirely comfortable. Even though I’m proud of what I produce (mostly) I’m just not confident at putting myself or my work out there ! Its so easy as any kind of artists to be a perfectionist, incredibly self depreciating and jus lacking in self confidence.

Before Christmas I went to an Etsy handmade market with friends, and I could totally see myself there selling with my own stall .. but not quite yet. I’ve been challenged by the girls to go ahead with having my own stall to sell at Christmas in 2019. I agree it’s probably a good idea to start with something Christmas themed because that’s what I’ve been doing recently and I feel like it’s something I know well right now. It will probably be at an Etsy handmade event and probably close to home. This would be something really fun, but it’s something I’m very scared to do on my own!

Selling my work

In the month of November I managed to sell my first artwork on RedBubble, my first painting, my first Christmas decorations and get into talks with someone on Etsy requesting a custom digital art. This is actually a huge step for me. I’ve never been that confident in selling my own work, especially when it comes to pricing. I end up feeling too awkward and don’t want to ask too much, especially when it comes to my family and friends. But I never really consider the cost of my time and skill that is put into something I create. It’s too easy to be self deprecating when you’re an artist, especially an amateur one!

By 10th December I had sold my first ‘Custom Me Timeline’, a digital artwork that I had drawn and sold on Etsy and now I’m currently working on another one for somebody else. The way it works is that the buyer can send me information for the timeline after they have purchased it on Etsy and I’ll include big milestones in their life. I’ll include relevant images that i’ve hand drawn and make sure I do

Here’s the work that I’ve sold below:

Dobby: one night I really wanted to paint something and took a canvas board and started to paint Dobby! I showed a friend in work a photo of my finished painting and she offered to buy it straight away. All I had to do was name the price.

I was so chuffed because this is the first painting I’ve actually ever sold, I normally do them for friends as favours or gifts!

A colleague in work asked if she could be my first paying customer and requested some handmade letter decorations for her nephew and grandson. I didn’t take a photo of them at the time, but here is a very similar one that I made around the same time.

When I managed to get spice girl tickets I thought it would be cool to try and draw something along the lines of their promo poster and upload the drawing to Etsy. I’ve managed to sell this design on 13 mugs and 3 greeting cards.. I get orders every few days for cards, it’s so cool!

Custom Me Timeline: I’ve included an image below with the personal details scribbled out. This is very similar to the image featured on my ‘about me’ page. This digital artwork was created for a lady in Canada who wanted to present it to her Mum for her 60th birthday.

And here is a design that was commissioned by a friend of mine as a wedding gift for her friends. This is my design idea which she loved and I will later paint on canvas.

Painting more seriously

I mentioned in my November favourites about Landscape artist of the year and how much I’ve been enjoying it, and Portrait artist too. It’s really inspired me to enter the competition. I know you have to submit one final works for your entry, but I feel like it might be worth exploring what’s on my doorstep, painting some local landscapes and entering them for next year’s Sky arts competition.

A few months ago I decided I really wanted to paint some of the buildings in Cardiff that were iconic to me and that I considered to be memorable of my Cardiff! I ended up taking my time drawing my composition on canvas and gradually painting it over a number of days. This was my finished work and it now hangs on my bedroom wall.

I’m actually really proud to say that I painting this, I designed it, I drew it from scratch and I mixed every colour on the canvas. It’s such an accomplishment to finish something you’ve spent hours on and then also be proud of it too. It doesn’t always happen when you’re an artist. And most of the time being a perfectionist follows!

My dad really wanted to hang the painting somewhere on show in the house, but I don’t have any of my own painting in my bedroom so I wanted to keep it. In hindsight there are a few things I’ve missed out and I’m planning on creating a longer, bigger version of this painting soon. It’s going to be a much bigger project but that one can be hung in the house somewhere instead! I’ve got some more planned artworks in mind so I’ll be focusing on them next.

I’ve also been art related planning trips away recently and I visited the new Da Vinci exhibition in Cardiff too. It was so fascinating to see his work and I’d highly recommend you attend if you’re interested! I was thinking of writing a short blog about it so stay tuned.

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