On a whim, I asked fellow instagrammers to "Ask Me Anything", and these are the great questions that were submitted. Due to the large number submitted, this is going to be split into two parts. So here's part 1:
How do we target the right audience for sales? How to recognize? @vinitha.art
Oof, a business question right off the bat! Honestly, this is a really hard question to answer without knowing more details, but a piece of advice I'd like to offer to other artists is: just be true to yourself, and do what YOU want. I never really tailored my work to a specific audience, but observed the current audience I had and thought of creative ways to reach them. A younger audience might be less likely to buy a very expensive original artwork, since they might not be home owners or settled, but they could be interested in tutorials or smaller items such as books or stickers. There are lots of great books out there with better advice, I highly recommend "Art, Money, Success" by Maria Brophy.
What kinds of fears or self doubt do you experience with your art, if any? @sophiegraine
One of my biggest personal fears is getting comfortable, and not growing, and/or losing the curiosity that sparked this passion. As far as self doubt goes, it's a regular battle, but it can be a great motivator to keep trying harder. Looking back at my work, I remember feeling somewhat confident about it and now realizing it's SO flawed. I just imagine that everything I do will probably seem terrible in a few years, so it's best to just keep looking forward and stay humble.
Why do you have chickens in your house? Are you going to eat them? @bobiuwg
Lol, our chickens have their own little palace in our yard! We love having them. They provide fertilizer, eat our leftovers, are incredibly entertaining, eat bugs, and gift us delicious eggs. We definitely don't eat our birds, and consider them to be a part of our family.
I love your paintings. Why did you start painting every day? Do you still paint daily? @egge.kelly
Thank you! I started painting every day with friends when working in the games industry. Sometimes even twice a day. Increasing the brush mileage is the fastest way to grow and learn. To keep those muscles sharp, it's good to exercise them daily. I do still paint on a NEAR daily basis, but every now and then I'll miss a day...and you know what? That's ok! I am aware that it's probably a phase in my career and that with time and experience, I may slow down. Who knows!
Any advice for adoptive parents? (No pressure if that’s too personal) @nataliebrooksstudio
Hmmmm...that's a hard one since I know nothing about parenting 😆, but as an adoptee I just say to be as open and transparent as possible from the very beginning. If it's a child from another culture, work to incorporate the culture into your life and explore those things together. There are so many great resources out there now at your fingertips, so I really encourage reading other adoptees and adopters' stories to get different perspectives.
How about an introduction to all your various Ducks, Dogs, Chickens, etc? @11bonster11
This is an entire blog post in itself haha! But here we go:
Coconut - Our 2 year old 80lb brown dog blend, hufflepuff. She's such a giant sweetheart, and is goofy and sensitive. She loves playing ball, sleeping in the dirt, and eating carrots.
Pancake - Our 1 year old 65lb husky mix, slytherin. He's a complete weirdo! Either going 100mph or 0, not much in between. He loves chasing his sister (Coconut), anything edible, and soft pillows.
Carrot - 4 year old ginger cat, ravenclaw. She's the smallest of the household, but is the queen and rules the roost. Don't mess with her!
Cuda - 4 year old ginger cat, hufflepuff. We think he's deaf. He loves screaming into our bathroom at the top of his lungs, eating cream cheese on bagels, and being pet aggressively.
Road Runner - Barnevelder. She's our most flighty chicken, and we can never get near her, hence her name. She lays beautiful dark brown eggs.
Baby Bird -Dark Brahma. She was raised with two other chickens that turned out to be roosters! Since she was then on her own in her age group, she quickly became our little shadow.
Pebble - Australorp. One of the originals, she is our little beauty queen, and boasts beautiful black iridescent feathers. She is the inspiration for the Sparkle Butt Pin.
Butternut - Buff Orpington. Another original, she's the sweetest girl. Her comb is missing a nub because one of her sisters bit it off. She's the inspiration for the Golden Chicken Butt design.
Oreo - Cayuga Duck. She loves swimming, and is always first in the pool.
Ducky - Cayuga Duck. A regular resident in the Martin Animal Hospital (our bathroom) due to respiratory issues. Her feathers are still mostly black.
Oatmeal - Welsh Harlequin Duck. The leader of the duck flock.
Hi fellow INFJ!! I would love to hear more about being an introvert in the art world. @ljpaints
Yesss! 🙌 Being an introvert in the art world can be a blessing and a curse. The artists' life is relatively solitary, so it's great to be able to happily work alone. But! there are a lot of times that one needs to come out of their shells and socialize. Plein-air events tend to have shows on the last day, and you should ideally be able to stand and talk to customers walking by. This took years to get used to, and is still a major struggle for me. Even just plein-air painting on its own can be tough since people are constantly stopping to chat. Lastly, teaching workshops and doing demonstrations in front of large crowds can also be a real obstacle to overcome. Sure, some artists can get away with being total recluses, but being able to comfortably socialize can be a huge advantage.
Do you have a set day and time you do your “YouTube”? Also, are they live? @debidoubleyou
Not yet...I haven't quite figured out a good routine, but would eventually like to do a regular livestream. In the near future I plan on starting up a Patreon to at least have a regular monthly streaming session. I'll let you know! Some of them are live, and some are edited and done in private. You can subscribe to my YouTube account to get updates on when I go live.
How are you doing in this time? @caitlinappleyard_
❤️ You are so thoughtful to ask, thank you Caitlin! I'm doing okay, as good as one can be during this crazy (a complete understatement) time. I constantly remind myself of the many things to be grateful for, and it helps. Trying to listen to my body and slow down when needed, and also just moving forward one step at a time. Hope you are doing okay too.
And that's a wrap! Stay tuned, I'll be sharing Part 2 soon. Thanks to all that submitted such thoughtful questions!