F.A.Q.

Here are some questions/comments I get a lot! If none of these answer the question you have, please email me at georgiadunnstudio@gmail.com :)

Q: How do you make your illustrations?
First I make a sketch with pencil, and then I ink the details with waterproof, archival pens. After inking, I paint everything in light watercolor washes.

Q: What do you use to make your illustrations?I use a mechanical pencil, Sakura Pigma Micron pens (.005 and .01 mostly), Winsor & Newton watercolor paints, and Strathmore cold press wire bound watercolor paper. Don't get hung up on materials though, some of my best colors are from an unlabeled box of store brand paints I received as a gift in college. Just experiment a lot and use what you feel gives you the best results.

Q: How do you come up with your ideas for illustrations?
The best ones just sort of pop into my head, from nowhere, like this guy. Others come from stories I have read, fairy tales I enjoy, mythology, favorite animals, video games, comic books. An idea for a painting can come from anywhere, if I'm excited about it, I'll paint it.

Q: How long have you been drawing/painting?
I have been drawing since I could hold a crayon, but I really started focusing on it when I was 12. When I was 19 my father, also an artist, suggested I try watercolors and handed me a set to use. I was hooked by the end of the afternoon, though it took longer to figure them out.

Q: How did you learn to draw?

I copied an old tarot deck over and over again, which sounds pretentious as heck but is the truth. I spent most of the summer before 7th grade in my room tracing, retracing, and retracing cards until I felt I could free hand the designs myself on a fresh piece of (notebook--gasp) paper. Usually I was totally wrong and the eyes looked all wonky, but I kept at it. By the end of middle school I graduated to comic book pages and photographs, and the need to trace, retrace, and transfer in free hand had gone away. I spent a tremendous amount of time alone in my room practicing, and typically had a drawing going in my notebook while taking notes in school. (Teachers hated this). In high school our art teacher really took me and a few friends under her wing and gave us encouragement and time to practice during the day. Drawing is pretty much all I did until painting took over, and then that was all I did.

Q: Did you go to school for art?
I have a Bachelor's Degree from the University of Rhode Island in Fine Arts, but I honestly learned much more about making a living in art by apprenticing for my father, who is a professional photographer. College is great, but if you want to make a living through a craft, I think it's much better to find someone who is successful in that craft and learn directly from them. College can make those connections, it's good for networking, but a professional will have more relevant skills to pass on.

Q: Do you have any advice for someone learning to draw/paint?
Don't worry about the results at first, you need to tone your hand muscles and train them to work with your eyes. People often get really frustrated when they're first learning (or after a long break) because their hand muscles are not steady enough yet to make the exact, detailed marks their mind and eyes attempt. Give yourself some time and some slack. Draw for yourself at first and you'll enjoy it more, practice will come easy, and when you love to practice you can't help but get good eventually. It took me 6+ years before I was satisfied with what I was making (and even some nights still, quite a few crumpled pieces of paper make their landing in the waste basket). Learning a craft is so fulfilling because there are no shortcuts; the only way to learn it is to do it over and over again until you do it more often and more successfully than the other folks who give up while you press on. So, press on!

Q: Do you take commissions?
I'm so sorry, right now I can't take on commissions. Right now I care for my son during the day and work on my comic, prints, and illustration projects during his nap time and after he goes to bed at night. Most weeks it's a scramble as it is. Apologies, again!

Q: Where can I buy one of your prints?
Right here, in my Etsy Shop or my Society6 Shop!

Q: May I write a feature on your work or your Etsy shop on my blog?
Yes, please do! I only ask that you please credit my paintings to me, (sounds obvious, but you'd be surprised how many folks just post a picture without the artist's info!) and let me know about the feature beforehand so I can share it too!

Q: How long have you been selling on Etsy?
I have been selling on Etsy since June 2010

Q: Do you have any advice for a new Etsy seller?
I really want to write a post for this question soon, because I know many talented folks who ask me this one (and many talented folks who should be thinking about opening a shop!) So, I promise I will write an entire post for this question soon. In the meantime, my short answer is take some time to really envision your shop, research how Etsy works, and then dive in before you get cold feet! You want to think about what you will sell, how you will present it, and how you will package it for mailing (you're running a business, after all! You want your items to arrive safely, looking pretty, and making a lasting impression--not thrown in a box with some tape). You want to know how Internet search engines will find your shop, how to take good photos (or scans), and how to price your wares. And seriously, you want to act while you're still excited. You never stop improving your inventory and you never stop learning how to perfect your business, so don't overthink it. I opened my shop to sell handmade paper dolls, and made 2 sales my first six months! It was only when I began to fill my shop with my artwork (obvious, right? Live and learn) that my sales took off. I used those six months to read every Etsy blog and tutorial I could find, and figure out how to make my packages look special for the customers. Basically--I did it backwards! So don't worry, even if you open your virtual doors and it takes a little while for buyers to bite, you have all the time you need to keep getting ready. Etsy is a really friendly community, everyone (including me) will want to send advice and helpful articles your way!

1 comment:

  1. FYI, your Etsy link doesn't work anymore.

    Also, do you ever sell your originals, or just prints?

    Thanks! I dearly love Breaking Cat News. I rank it up there with Ursula Vernon and her Digger comics.

    ReplyDelete

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