Saturday, July 20, 2019

New on Creative Market and Etsy - Pony Portraits!

It's always amazing how long it takes me to get something to market - mostly because I still have a full time job that needs attention. In 2016, I drew these cute little ponies for Christmas cards. I scanned them before cutting them up, knowing that I would fix them up at a later date. The hand drawn look is quite charming, after all! To save time, I whipped up the line art on my computer and printed them out on a sheet of cardstock. I coloured a wide variety of horse coat colours.

Hand drawn horse heads

Recently, I had the time to sit down and clean up the pictures so I could offer them as clip art on Creative Market and Etsy. Usually clean up involves removing dust and scratch, little spots and fixing up stray lines or the eyes. As I zoomed in on the horses, I discovered yellow dots. All. Over. The. Place. Ugh!!! Suddenly having to do clean up was seriously time consuming! What had happened? Well, it turns out that some home printers have anti-counterfeiting and tracking capabilities called machine identification code. So yes, your printer could be spying on you. Sometimes failure presents an opportunity. It would be far easier to retrace the images in CorelDraw and make flat clip art than clean up all the dots. So the cute little hand drawn ponies morphed! In the end it was a better idea as I could offer more colours in the clip art package.

Horse Heads

Many people think success is a straight line, but it's not. It's more of a curvy path where you wander in circles until you get to your destination :-D The pony clip art will be perfect for anything pony related - there's 72 images in CMYK and RGB JPG along with PNGs in the package. I'm going to make stickers out of them and maybe magnets too! Of course, you can buy the package for personal use on Etsy or licence the commercial rights through Creative Market.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo Pet Sketches - Part One

Oooof, I do confess that I am behind on blogging! I took an intense art history class at the Alberta College of Art + Design (now known as Alberta University of the Arts) which kept me busy from January 4th to April 12th. Then right after that it was full speed ahead to the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo. For four days and a few days afterwards, I drew 21 pet sketches. Thanks to everyone who visited me again, said hello and ordered a drawing of their pet. I was really happy with them all. Here are three below that were done after the show and I had a little big more time to work on them. Stay tuned for another post with the rest of them. Click on the picture to see the larger version on Flickr.
Bernie the Cat

Jack Russell Terriers

Marvel Superfan Beckham

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

New Biz Website - hooray!

This is actually kind of old news, but when you get behind as I's right on time! I launched a new website last fall. Somehow I managed to break my old website and/or parts of the PHP code I used became deprecated. It became apparent that it would take more time to figure out a fix, so I went template shopping. In 2015 I bought a mobile template, but this time I wanted one that didn't need separate versions for desktop and mobile and would great on any platform. I like that the homepage shows my work off better and people can just easily go where they need to be. It's also simple to update and I am so in love with that. The one thing I still need to change is make the font a little darker and larger, but that could just be my middle-aged eyesight :-)
Purple Pony Art website

Sunday, December 2, 2018

New photos on Flickr

Back in August, my husband and I made our first ever trip to Saskatchewan. It's just three hours to the border from Calgary, but it felt like a long, long drive due to tall the wide open spaces. We had booked the trip in February and then wondered if we should still go in the midst of wildfire smoke and a horrible heat wave. But, I felt if we didn't go now, we would never make the trip to see our friends who left the big city for small town life in Shaunavon. Shaunavon is a charming little town that's actually the first big city you hit. It has all the essentials and lots of touristy spots like East End and Gull Lake are within a half hour driving distance. Due to the heat, nothing went quite as planned. I picked that weekend because there was a horse show in town, but for the life of us, we could not find the rodeo grounds. "Just a few miles out of town," we were told but we couldn't even find it on Google Maps. We enjoyed dinner at the boutique Harvest Eatery, enjoyed ice cream at the Frosty Treat and trekked out to East End to see Scotty the T-Rex. I still have more photos to share - stay tuned!

Thursday, October 25, 2018

How I Spent My Summer...

I haven’t blogged in a very, very long time and there are a couple good reasons for that! I barely had time to sit down at the computer and write something out or come up with a few ideas. My summer was completely occupied by one thing - home renos. Anyone who has undertaken them knows what an all-consuming affair they can be. Even more so when they are unplanned!

To make a looooong story short, we had to clean up our basement in a big way due to a pesky water leak. Although nothing was damaged, it was a huge, huge, huge motivator to get the basement in shape. Not only did some drywall have to be replaced, but it would have to be repainted.

It was good. It was exhausting. It was necessary to pitch combined decades of stuff between my husband and I. Like most basements, our was a dumping ground for stuff that we would deal with later. Well, one day "later" turned into "right now" :-D

Let this be a lesson to all small business owners and creators - make sure you have home insurance, some kind of business insurance or coverage for your work and have a contingency plan in place. Also, don’t buy more art supplies than you can use otherwise you’ll find yourself hanging out at Starbucks waiting for people to show up to claim their Kijiji. We made ten trips to the recycle depot and five trips to a thrift store.

Honestly, if your basement or house is a wreck, just full on attack it. I’ll probably write a future post in more detail, but try not to assign value to things. Draw diagrams. Make lists. Be realistic about everything and then enjoy your new found space :-D

Monday, May 21, 2018

GDPR...what's that?

Lately you may have noticed that every site that you have an account on has been busy sending out emails about updated privacy notices. This has been spurred in part by new European Union legislation called General Data Protection Regulation. I'll keep updating this post with information on how I collect and use data on my different websites, starting with Blogger.

Artfire - ArtFire's Privacy Policy. I used to have an ArtFire shop, which was discontinued in 2015. ArtFire provided me with information to complete the transaction. All transaction records received at my Gmail account before 2015 have been deleted from my Gmail account but may remain stored on Google's servers.

Blogger - Blogger's Privacy Policy. By commenting on this blog, you may be disclosing your name or username to others. I don't back up this blog (it's pretty ephemeral!), so your information remains on Google's servers and is not stored locally. I do use Google Analytics to track visits to this site, however, and that information is collected and used by Google.

Etsy - Etsy's Policies. Use of Etsy requires accepting their terms and conditions and now individual shops are required to have a privacy policy. In a nutshell, I will only collect information required to complete the transaction, but it is outlined in more detail on my shop page. All transaction emails older than 2015 have been deleted from my Gmail account.

LiveJournal - LJ's Terms of Service. By commenting on LJ, you may be disclosing your name or username to others. I don't back up this blog either, so your information remains on Livejournal's servers and is not stored locally nor tracked by Google Analytics. It may be of interest to you to know that in 2017, Livejournal's servers were moved to Russia and that it has long been a Russian company.

Pinterest - Pinterest's Privacy Policy. Pinterest will notify me when another user has liked or saved my pins, but I do not collect this information for long-term use.

Zazzle - Zazzle's Privacy Policy. The only information about the purchaser that I receive from Zazzle is first name, location and item purchased. This information remains on Zazzle's server. I have no way of contacting purchasers and do not download sales information from the site.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Going to the dogs...and cats

It's hard to believe it's been a couple of weeks since I had a blast tabling at the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo. I have blogged about the show before - there's something for everyone there, even Grandma! Each year the show gets bigger and bigger and this year there were a lot of changes. The one that impacted me the most was that the entire Artist Alley would be housed in the Big Four Building, far away from the main action at the BMO Centre. This turned out to be a great move, as the foot traffic was amazing. I'll write more about the show because I'm still kind of sore and tired from standing, sitting and lugging the show suitcase around, but here's a sample of some of the on-demand pet sketches that I did. They were so popular that I have to snail mail out the ones I couldn't finish. If you want to see more, check out my Instagram (calzephyr77).

It's funny - I have been tsk tsking myself over not making any ACEOs or ATCs lately...but this more than makes up for it!