Monthly Archives: December 2008

2008 Year-in-Review


The year is coming to a close and the holidays are in full swing. I will be running around gathering gifts, spending time with family, and getting last-minute projects done, so I’m going to take a moment to wrap things up here on the blog.

Join Me on Twitter!

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I discovered Twitter several months ago, and I have to say I am loving it! I originally intended to use it to just share links and tidbits too small to dedicate to full blog posts. Now, I am also using it to chat directly with readers, ask questions, and keep up with fellow artists. This is the best way to keep in touch with me in between posts. You can follow me here:

Notable Posts of 2008

A list of some of the highlights from the past year.

Reflections on 2008

I have been blessed to work as a freelancer for a little over three years now. I don’t have the most experience in the world, but with what little I know I have tried to be open and giving. As a result, I’ve gained an audience here who is willing to listen and read and learn. This year has been especially hard on the industry and world in general. And so, as the year ends, I am going to contribute the little advice and words of hope that I can.

The hardest part of building an art career is not the drawing, the learning, or the business hurdles. It’s staying motivated and courageous enough to keep doing it – learning to support yourself in a fickle economy, getting past the stigma of a not-so-typical career path, dealing with rejection and criticism, all the while trying to get better and stay creative.

Whether you are a student just starting out, or a working illustrator who has already built a career, the down-times and the struggles will be prevalent. There are times when you will lose confidence and gain doubts. This year has been a great test for me and many artists, and may not get better any time soon.

And all I’d like to say is, don’t lose hope. Work hard while others sit idle, draw constantly even if you don’t feel like it, experiment with new markets and strategies, and stay positive even if the world around you feels like it’s crumbling. If you create great work, people will want it, and you can’t create great work sitting still, waiting for the bad times to pass. The worst thing you can possibly do in a time like this is to do nothing. So keep moving.

I wish you all Happy Holidays and a very joyous New Year! This will be my last post until 2009. Enjoy this time with your friends and family and be happy you are involved in this wonderful creative community.

All the best,



I am truly blessed to run this blog. It has been a great outlet for sharing my experiences and serving my fellow artists out there in the world. It has been over two years now since my first post. THANK YOU all for giving me the motivation and support to keep the site running.

It’s time again for me to put a call out for donations. These help me pay for the fees to run the site, plus compensates me a little for the time and effort I put into it. Please, if you enjoy the blog and it has helped you learn something new, feel free to leave a tip via PayPal. Address it to or use this button here:

You are not required or obligated to contribute, but I appreciate every little bit that comes in.

Of course, there are a lot of other ways you can support me and All efforts in these areas are also greatly appreciated:

  • Spread the word – Tell your artist friends about the site or post a link to an article.
  • Submit comments, questions, or ideas to help fuel future posts.
  • Buy my artwork in prints, original sketches, commissions, or other merchandise via my personal store.
  • Purchase recommended books through my bookstore.

Thanks for your support!

Tips for Printing Digital Paintings at Home


You work hours and hours on a digital painting. You render in tons of details, play with the values, and fuss with color until it is just right. You finally get it about perfect. And then you go to print it…

If, for you, this story ends in disaster this article is for you.

Let me start by saying that I am not an expert on this subject. Printing can get complicated and messy, and terms like ICC profiles, color spaces, and monitor calibration can really make your head spin. For the most part, I leave these things for the professional printing arena. In my own work and in this article, I try to keep things simple – creating good quality prints to display, promote, or sell without them looking stupid.

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Daily Doodles – Weeks 9 & 10

I’m a little behind with posting my Daily Doodles, so this selection is from the past few weeks. I actually skipped one week because of the Thanksgiving holiday + a major cold. But you won’t notice, right?

You can view the rest of the weeks’ doodles in my store, where all the originals are for sale. As a sidenote, if you would like to commission a custom doodle for a holiday gift or something, you’re welcome to contact me. Enjoy!

Artist Portfolios


Here is a question I received from reader Kyle:

What does a professional portfolio for possible employers look like? How many pieces of work should I use? How large is the physical portfolio? Do I take the physical portfolio into interviews or do I take in a resume and a disc with all of my work? Also, how did you go about shopping this portfolio around?

Truthfully, I don’t use a physical portfolio very often. My website does most of the grunt work, which is true for many freelance artists nowadays. The most an art director will usually see from me in terms of printed pieces are postcards and tearsheets. So if you haven’t already, BUILD A WEBSITE. They are extremely useful.

However… there are many occasions where you would need a physical portfolio, such as job interviews and reviews. Here is my take:

Art directors want to see ART. So do NOT make this more difficult for them than it needs to be! Keep the images neat, organized, and easy to see, and the presentation simple to browse through.

There is a tendency to over-think the physical presentation of a portfolio, as if the right amount of trickery or decoration will magically transform the the artwork. Just make it look nice and let the work speak for itself.

General Portfolio Tips

  • Follow any guidelines set by the employer to which you are applying.
  • Never use original art. Use good color copies/scans. Original art might get lost or damaged. Plus with the copies, you can make all the images a uniform size.
  • Include samples such as postcards, business cards, or tearsheets that you can leave behind for the employer to keep in their files.

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Christmas Season!

Well, Thanksgiving is over and I had a great weekend with my family. I’m sooo excited for Christmas! I painted this image weeks ago and have been waiting and waiting to post it. My sister made the patterns for me. They were fun to experiment with. Happy Christmas season!