One of the best things in the internet, to me, are the infinite sources of inspiration and knowledge we can find in all areas of work. In this article, I will share with you three blogs that I discovered recently, created by artists of the highest level who also share lots of knowledge in their online spaces.
A major difficulty we face as artists, illustrators and creative professionals in general, is in the business part of things. I speak for myself but also for numerous cases I have closely kept up with. A very creative person is not always a good person in sales, self promotion or business management. But to be a professional artist means that we need all of that combined with our creative work.
Thinking about that, I selected these three blogs to suggest here. In them, we find accounts of the experiences these artists have lived and we can learn a lot about project management, creative process and the market for artists in general.
#1 Wylie Beckert
Wylie Beckert is an American visual artist who works with mixed traditional techniques, but also uses digital tools to get the amazing images that are her illustrations.
The first video I have seen from Wylie Beckert was last year, and was a video of 2014 — Painting Process: Tam Lin. Amazed with that painting, method and all the details involved, I accessed her blog to learn more. On the blog, she detailed the whole process of painting that image, talking about traditional techniques that I had never seen anyone combine. Navigating the blog I found a post named: The Art of Self-directed Project which really impressed me. I found it very inspiring and enlightening..
After that, I learned about all her projects. She created a product with her authorial art, and moreover, managed and launched her own project! An illustrated deck with characters from a world imagined by her, in her delicate and detailed technique of traditional painting. In that project, she monetizes everything through Patreon (platform for artists to manage subscriptions to their content, offering different rewards according to the monthly amount paid by “Patrons”) and there she offers the opportunity for all people — both who can spend many dollars or those who can spend only $ 5 per month — to have access to her art somehow.
At the end of the project, she will have produced numerous tutorials and step-by-step of her painting techniques, she will be able to sell all the original illustrations, prints, and also the illustrated deck for a very affordable price. I’ll leave the link here for those interested in buying the first one, Wicked Kingdom card deck.
Wylie Beckert currently works on her second illustrated deck, which will be a double one. The project name is Reign of Sin and Rule of Virtue — with her illustrations inspired by the deadly sins and heavenly virtues. She publishes much of the project’s progress on social media and blog, which already has very consistent articles available for free. To access the full content, simply subscribe to her Patreon with values from $ 5 per month.
#2 Happy D. Artist
This is not exactly a blog but a vlog! And it’s one of my favorites on YouTube. I already knew her artwork, but it took me a while to find her channel. And when I did, I watched almost every video in a few days. First of all, she speaks a very nice and easy to understand English for us who are not native speakers. Then, many of her videos bring important content about the artist profession, and she conveys this in a positive and inspiring way.
Happy D. is an American visual artist. She works mainly with oil painting in the fantasy, pop and surreal themes. She sells her prints and originals on her online shop and also makes regular exhibitions in the United States. She also works with Patreon, and we can access her content from $ 1 per month, which includes a “color challenge” she runs every month and then shares her favorites.
My favorite video might be the one she talks about how she decided to leave her job to be a full time artist. But all professional content videos are important for anyone who works as an artist and still has questions (Like me?), or thinks seriously about starting to work with visual arts and illustration.
I also love her vlogs showing a little more of her private life, her daily routine and her pets. She is very charismatic and that makes me wish to meet her in person (one day I’ll visit one of her exhibitions in the US) and I’m sure that many — if not all — of her fans think like that.
#3 Kiri Leonard
Kiri Østergaard Leonard is a Danish illustrator who lives in Austin, Texas. She also works in the fantasy theme, and takes a lot of inspiration from nature, childhood and fairy tales. Her blog is one of the most interesting I have ever read. I found it while researching about artistic career, and I got to an interesting post on the subject (Frustrations of an art buyer). Then I began to read other related posts with tips on drawing, blogging, content monetization, and soon enough I saved her blog in my favorites.
One of her projects is the illustrated tale Montague Mouse, which is the story of a mouse called Montague and his friend, the giant frog Arthur.
The project is in progress, however, on the official website (montaguemouse.com) we’re already able to know the protagonists and read some teasers, besides being a space periodically updated with illustrations finished or in progress.
This, among other projects by Kiri Leonard, are supported by Patreon subscribers. Subscriptions are available from $ 1 — and with that, patrons receive privileged access to a lot of content. Also prints and even originals are available to the highest tier subscriptions. She also has a YouTube channel, for those who like watching more than reading. But nothing makes up for the detailed content of that engagingly written blog. She also has an online shop called The Curiosity Art Shop.
Now I follow Kiri Leonard in all her social media. But what I really think is a mysterious coincidence was that I called my shop The Fantastic Art Shop and just before finishing it, I found a shop of another artist with a similar name. As I do not believe that anything happens by chance, today I have Kiri Leonard as a model for me, even without her knowing it; when I have questions about the do’s and don’ts of the artistic life, blogging or social media, she is one of the first references I check. I hope one day soon I can structure my professional life as well as she could.
As I rolled the blog of Kiri Leonard I found this wonderful series of interviews: Women in Fantasy Illustration. With some well known names (including Wyilie Beckert I cited above), and some artists who are new to me. Here inspiration is not lacking: Women in Fantasy Illustration, complete list of interviews.
So what do you think of my suggestions? Did you already know any of theses artists and their blogs / vlogs? Also, if you know other blogs with artistic content, as I intend to write regular posts of inspiration and references from now on, please comment below. Cheers ^_^,