Hi everyone! It's nice to stay connected to all you artists on the forums. I finished this today. This is my holiday card for 2020, both for friends/family and to sell to the retailers that carry my greeting cards. "Gingerbird House"
I'm an artist, writer, and naturalist who loves to draw! I mostly draw on film using colored pencils and Pan pastels.
Best posts made by Amanda Bancroft
RE: Our SVS Virtual Studio JULY💥2019
Here's a photo of my sketchbook - currently I'm studying Botanical Illustration in colored pencil, and doing one drawing every day in July. The first was an orange day lily using a reference photo I took in a field of flowers. July 2nd (today) was "Dancing Cherries" from a tutorial by Ann Swan. Generally to do a good drawing in realism, I should spend a week on it (or longer). But this is just to practice daily discipline, so the challenge is to draw these faster but not uglier, and to still learn how to create better drawings, which is working for me in this challenge. Yay!
RE: FEBRUARY CONTEST PROMPT "LOVE"
I LOVE everyone's "Love" entries! So much humor and talent. This is my first ever contest entry.
I'm a greeting card artist by trade, and I use old-fashioned things like paper. So my goal for this submission was to just learn how to submit! I didn't have access to a scanner so I took a photograph of the drawing on paper and used GIMP to sorta make the white areas not-grey. This is totally different from the kind of art I usually do, but I got sick this month and couldn't begin working on my first idea (which would've been time-consuming) - so I came up with a new idea and had fun with it. "Finished, Not Perfect," right?
RE: Our SVS Virtual Studio December 🎁 2019
This is a Christmas gift for my best friend. I just finished today, been working on it for about two weeks. It's also the piece I enjoyed doing most this year, coincidentally! This is my first drawing of a furry animal on drafting film using colored pencils, so it was new territory, I had so many skills to learn and feel like I leveled up (sometimes I'd think, no way is it possible to do the white hairs without paint, and then I watched tutorials, experimented, and did them!). 14 hours drawing the final piece, 5x7 inches in size.
RE: Our SVS Virtual Studio MARCH 🍀 2020 🐭😬
It's great to see so many mice in March! haha which reminds me I have not yet done mice for the new art "key" notebook I started last month. This month I've been working on filling it in. Since I work traditionally, this key helps me remember which medium and which color and the process I used to create results, so when I take artwork to finish, I don't have to remember, I just look things up in the key notebook. Does anyone else do this?
RE: SVS Friendsgiving - What are you thankful for?
I'm thankful for SVS and the forums because I work from home in an off-grid cabin (it's a tiny house on wheels) in Arkansas, so I'm isolated from other people and artists. Without SVS it would be more difficult for me to keep myself accountable to my art, because the challenges of keeping our home going plus the day-to-day busy-ness of business (I own a greeting card business) would drown out the little voice inside me that says "Make great art!" SVS amplifies that voice. I've gained so much knowledge and new skills since joining a few years ago.
THANK YOU SVS!
RE: 10 year challenge
@eriberart Finally, I got around to redrawing an older piece "Cupful of Bunnies" from 2016 (at left) and 2020 (at right).
Not 10 years but more of a 5 years challenge. Still I really like the idea of seeing progress and having the chance to redo something. I had to rush at the end, because of deadlines, so I'm not 100% satisfied that the redraw is my current best effort, but Finished Not Perfect right?
RE: Recipient of Gifted Artwork Thinks They Own Copyright...?
Thanks to the information you all provided to me, my friend and I were able to chat online about it very calmly and politely. @NessIllustration you were right after all! We just had a misunderstanding that was quickly cleared up, and actually it was good we discussed it because we were able to share a lot more information than just about who owns copyright. This positive experience helped counteract my past negative experiences explaining copyright. Also I recorded notes from this thread so if the issue comes up again I'll have the information quick at hand and will know to discuss copyright up front with either the gift recipient or buyer. I feel much better about gifting artwork now! Thanks!
RE: WIP The Pumpkinman greeting card design
Here's the final version I'm submitting to Leanin' Tree, unless you all have feedback about something I should change. This piece isn't my best work but it's been the most time-consuming single piece I've worked on. I started thumbnail sketches for it in 2018. Whew!
I want it to feel like we're out in the graveyard with a flashlight and come upon a scene humans aren't supposed to see. As though this magical, Nightmare Before Christmas Halloween version of Frosty the Snowman put out Trick-or-Treat candy for animals who befriend it; we're not sure its alive, could be just fireflies in its head and a bag of candy left for kids. Yet that squirrel in the pointy hat...and the fact that the right twig is unnaturally higher, holding up the crow instead of sagging down. Hopefully a bit mysterious! Or at least cute enough to buy off a card rack.
THANK YOU everyone for giving great feedback! I'm learning a lot at SVS.
Latest posts made by Amanda Bancroft
RE: Art on Products - greeting cards
This happens to be one of the few things on the forums in which I have lots of experience LOL so happy to share! Greeted cards, as a rule in the industry, sell more than non-greeted or blank, something to keep in mind. However, I produce my own cards and local customers say they prefer blank, so it's no guarantee that the customer wants a greeting, especially if you go with a fine art card market.
Most companies only expect artists to submit artwork and they have their own in-house writers for greetings. Leanin' Tree's vice president Susan January says if you think your greeting is good enough feel free to submit it. Be careful to use a font that's available for commercial use, or draw the text yourself. There are no points against you if you don't include words. Like @jimsz said, depends on company. I've found it difficult to know what most greeting-card-specific companies want you to submit, though. Would love to hear if anyone has insight about companies other than Leanin' Tree (LT posts submission guidelines on their website).
RE: How my commission business exploded.
That's a unique commission, house portraits! I've only ever seen one other house commission. And I like the style you used for this. I know what you mean about dog portraits all year LOL I stopped taking commissions but they did help pay the bills, it's so true.
RE: Finding a Mentor
Once again an excellent podcast! I enjoy learning from these while I draw.
Crazy concept on mentorship that I just enacted this season: has anyone ever approached their customers as mentors? I select 10 past customers and ask them to critique my newest work. Customers are rarely artists themselves, and this limits their visual literacy, but, ultimately I am producing art for a particular market and it's surprising how willing that market is to tell me what they don't like or what they really want. For example I drew a friendly bird and one reviewer said it looked "sinister" - that's some important feedback right there! And it's good to see when everyone loves a piece, or laughs or whatever reaction I was hoping to get! I think some of them appreciate being asked their opinion and are happy when I edit the piece with their suggestions incorporated. Plus then they actually want to buy the piece, sometimes.
Another thing I do, instead of directly emailing THE person I wish were my mentor, or the company I wish I could work for, is to find interviews with them online. My mentor creates tutorials, has been on art podcasts, in magazines, and wrote their own books so I buy those and learn from them. I'm surprised but typically she always has a response online somewhere to all those nagging questions in my head.
Also, twice I have Facebook messaged questions to a couple of would-be mentors, and they both got back to me with short but helpful responses, so if you're looking for something real quick and it's not on their FAQ or books, you never know, that famous artist may reply after all!
RE: My style is not trending
Well I feel a bit the same way. It is as though here at SVS I am "in the wrong room" because of my medium, style, subject and primary industry. My heros are never mentioned: Karen Hull, Patricia Reeder Eubank, Susan Wheeler, Mary Engelbreit, Jill Barklem etc. I have illustrated a picture book, though, and got paid very well, so that helped. However what I wanted to share is that I also am here biding my time and soaking up all the awesome knowledge at SVS, it is wonderful! And yes I agree, by the time we are ready maybe things will change. I focus on being ready not just for picture books but as an artist in general, creating the content I want skills to create. Plus it may help for you to find a community of artists outside SVS that are in your style or medium, it did really help me to have both SVS and "medium mates" friends colleagues...
RE: Do any of you have experience in selling your own prints on your site or etsy ?
Hi! Yes I have a couple of years experience selling greeting cards from my Wordpress website (Paypal or credit card, or, alternatively, customers contact me through Facebook or email and place their order and mail me a check). It's tricky sometimes, I have to remember about shipping variations, sales tax nexus, packaging, and various app updates. It's worth it for me, because only a few people order each month and it's a nice side income. I also enjoy the process of packaging and mailing my art.
RE: Advice for starting a website
Hi! That's great you're thinking about getting a website! Websites can be so tricky but worthwhile. I'm about to go update my art Wordpress website actually. Mine is basic. Here is the link: http://amandabancroftart.com/
Have you thought about what you need the website to do? Because if you need it to get commissions (contact form to vet clients) or an online store (apps to help process Paypal and other payments) or just a portfolio to find work, your goals are important in selecting the kind of website and what features it offers. Good luck and best wishes!