Art Licensing: Through the eyes of Joan Beiriger

Joan Beiriger
Joan Beiriger
Artist extraordinare
Website name:Joan Beiriger art for products

What do you create? I create art especially to be put onto products.  My art style varies depending on the product line and manufacturer I am creating the art for but the majority is traditional and realistic looking.

What medium do you enjoy most? I absolutely love to create my art on the computer.  I use a combination of Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and a little bit of Corel Painter thrown in.  And believe it or not I don’t use a digital pen but a mouse for most of my work.

How did you get started? I started out as a counted cross-stitch and blackwork needle artist selling my designs to kit manufacturers and magazines.  Later I sold my needlework charts and kits at retail shows, wholesale, and over the internet.  In the late 1990s I designed my last cross-stitch chart and started painting with acrylics until I eventually moved into digital painting.

Name three favorite artists/designers/creatives: There are so many that it was hard to narrow it down to just three but ultimately I decided that Mary Engelbreit, Jody Bergsma, and Marjolein Bastin are at the top of my list.  Not only do I love their art but I also admire the success in art licensing that they have achieved.

Joan Beiriger art

What kind of training, schooling or other learning experiences have you gone through that have helped you get to where you are now? I took a couple of art classes in college but I am essentially a self taught artist  with much experimenting and a lot of help from a slew of art books.

Do you feel you’re successful? I feel VERY successful, not just in art licensing but in life. I could write a book on it but suffice to say I am one satisfied person.

What do you like most about what you do? What I like most about art licensing besides creating art is networking with a bunch of wonderful people.

Joan Beiriger art

What #1 piece advice can you offer to those which might like to “follow in your footsteps”?

In my opinion you need to do four things to license your art.

  1. When you start out, learn everything you can about the industry and NEVER stop learning.  Take as many classes in art licensing that you can afford, listen to the experts, and read anything you can about art licensing.  By doing so, you are better prepared to make decisions on what information works best for you.
  2. You NEED to think product when you are creating art.  If you can’t think of what kind of product your art should be on than neither can the manufacturer.
  3. You need to build collections around each painting or set of paintings you create.  That will make your art versatile so that it can be used on many kinds of products.
  4. Create mock-up products with your art on them.  It is a great marketing tool so that manufacturers can visualize what your art will look like on their products.

What are you most proud of? Up to several months ago I would have said that being the featured needle artist in the 1985 premier issue of CrossStitch & Country Crafts magazine was my most proud moment.  Now it is my blog where I share information about art licensing with others in the industry.

art by Joan Beiriger

What do you focus on for your marketing and promotion efforts? My main focus in marketing is by hiring an agent. But I haven’t stopped there because I feel my agent’s job is to connect to manufacturers. promote my art at trade shows and manage the contracts which does not cover all aspects of marketing.  That is why I continue to advertise at my own expense, send out press releases, and market my art via social media.

Additional ways to connect with Joan Beiriger:

Twitter: joanbeiriger
Facebook:  Joan Beiriger
Linkedin: Joan Beiriger

Other: Joan’s agents site

Blessings in Art created by Sharon Fernleaf

Sharon Fernleaf - Celebrate FUrry BlessingsSharon Fernleaf * Artist
Blessing Art Animals

I have known Sharon for a few years. We met through our work at Cafepress, and the moment I saw her art I fell in love. Sharon has a fabulous sense of peace and wonder that she delightfully shares in every image she creates. We can see how lovely her heart is through her work. I am excited to share the insight and whimsy of Sharon’s art with you…

What do you create?
Two things mostly–humorous illustration and “mystical” landscapes.

What medium do you enjoy most?
I love the versatility and forgiveness of digital illustration, but I still want to make things with my hands. I love painting and drawing with pen.

What title would you give yourself?
I like “artist” because it is a big word with lots of room in it to wander around.

How did you get started?
I’ve always doodled and have a bunch of notebooks full of them, but I actually thought of making a living from it after a writer friend in Seattle asked me to illustrate a book of affirmations for her and we got a lot of great response. And then I started doing logos and fliers for alternative businesses in Seattle and covers for the local alternative paper. It was fun getting paid to do something I’d have done anyway!

What do you want to be when you grow up?
At peace with myself and my life

Name three favorite artists/designers/creatives:
I have a lot of favorite artists and creatives, but there are three who have had a big impact on me and how I look at imagination and life. C. S. Lewis when I was 8, taught me that there can be magic or wonder inside the most ordinary of things.  Henri Rousseau for magical paintings that came entirely from his imagination. And Kathe Kollwitz for her humanity and art as activism. Her work was, is, incredibly powerful and I have always believed in the power of art to heal and enlighten.

Sharon Fernleaf - Fernleaf Design Studios - Blessing Art

What kind of training, schooling or other learning experiences have you gone through that have helped you get to where you are now?
I’m self-taught except for 3 semesters of drawing, sculpture, and design at a community college in oregon. I had wonderful teachers there. It’s easier to find your own style or vision for that reason–you don’t know any better so you can do anything.

Sharon Fernleaf Birthday CatsDo you feel you’re successful?
Depends on the day! Some days I feel fortunate to be able to do what I do and others where I wonder why I am not Mary Englebreit or something. Although she’s doing that part pretty well already.

What do you like most about what you do?
I love to laugh and making other people smile or laugh is a great way to earn a living! Who doesn’t enjoy humor? And I like going to an internal still place when I’m working on landscapes. It’s a kind of spiritual practice.

What #1 piece advice can you offer to those which might like to “follow in your footsteps”?
I think it’s important to pay attention to where you are drawn–if it makes you happy to think of making quilts or painting or whatever…and you are not doing it, try. You never know what gifts are lined up for you along the way when you follow what you love.

What are you most proud of?
My relationship with my daughter.

Where to buy Sharon’s art:

Art Squared with Moshe Mikanovsky

Seen by an Angel 1 by Moshe MikanovskyMoshe Mikanovsky * Artist
Art by Moshe Mikanovsky

“I have a lot of new ideas for projects, but not enough time! Wish I could discuss all of them, but I know I have to focus on one project at a time…”

Moshe and I connected via Twitter and through an art licensing networking group we both belong to. His signature style is combining organic shape with measured line (squares) while incorporating a fabulous flow of color. It amazes me that he has such a talent for creating beautiful art while his main occupation is software programmer and technology manager… a rare skill set to create both art and technology.  I predict he experience grand success with his art career!

What do you create? Currently I am creating mainly watercolors. My head actually creates much faster than my hands, so I have to have patience sometime, not to jump from one idea to the other. My watercolors are influences by few things – my Jewish heritage, architecture, color and art. You can read about my inspiration in my blog, and especially the first post  “Art Blog Beginnings, or What Inspires My Art?”. One of the key characteristic of my paintings are the squares, and it goes through most of my work in different ways. . One of the latest paintings is called “Seen by and angel 1” (above).

What medium do you enjoy most? Tough question! I love trying different things, and learning new mediums. I also love finishing projects fast, so watercolor are really suitable for that. You can’t overwork with them, otherwise it will become a mess. I also prefer working with acrylics over oils mainly because of the time it takes to finish an oil painting. Other mediums I love are prints (etchings are amazing, aren’t they?) and stained glass. But right now I do concentrate on watercolors…

How did you get started? Like most artists, I always painted. I always drew, and took classes in different subjects to learn new ways to create art. I could say that professionally I started with Ketubahs. These are Jewish marriage certificates/contracts. I made the first one for my wife, and since then I made many more for family and friends. In 2007, Mika, a Software QA specialist I was working with, connected me with a Ketubah company in Toronto, KetubahKetubah, and I started designing unique modern Ketubah designs for their new signature collection. “Olive Tree” is one of the popular ones.

Olive Tree by Moshe Mikanovsky

Another Ketubah I am excited about is the 2odiac Ketubah. It’s a play word on Zodiac and Two, where the bride and groom can choose their two Zodiac signs, and it will be incorporated electronically in the final design. This image shows all 12 signs on the right, and a sample Ketubah with Leo and Pisces on the left.
Zodiac  Moshe Mikanovsky
What do you want to be when you grow up? An artist, of course!

Name three favorite artists/designers/creatives: Wow, tough question – there are so many! My number one will be Marc Chagall, no question. I adore the way he builds up his images. I have “copied” few of his paintings, and it’s amazing to see how one shape becomes another shape. And of course, I feel connected with his subject matters, being Jewish and growing up in a religious Jewish town in Israel. The other two would be Natalia Moroz an inspiring printmaker, and Heather Kocsis whose wood assemblages reconstructions I simply love!

What kind of training, schooling or other learning experiences have you gone through that have helped you get to where you are now? I learned art through many different places – drawing and watercolor painting in Avni Institute – College for Art and Design in Israel, figure drawing in Oakland Community College in Michigan, acrylic painting with artist Gary Smith in Toronto, printmaking at the ROM and also at the Central Technical School in Toronto, etc. I think that experiencing different learning settings and learning with different people gave me a lot of exposure to different creative minds.

In addition, my background in web software development helps me with my online presence. I built my own portfolio web site, and I already have plans for improving it.

Do you feel you’re successful? I feel that I only started scratching the surface. During the years I got a lot of very good feedback on my work, and I have seen that people like it and there is a market for it. Unfortunately I didn’t have enough time to pursue it. So now I am trying to emerge and unveil the diamond in the rough.

What do you like most about what you do? People reaction, as long as it is genuine of course. I love it when a painting of mine “speaks” to someone, and they understand it. Either on an emotional level or logical one, doesn’t matter. If they love it, I am thrilled.

What #1 piece advice can you offer to those which might like to “follow in your footsteps”? Believe in yourself. I am still working on it every day… It’s not easy sometime, but we all must believe in what we love, what we have passion for.

What are you most proud of? My family – my wife and my girls. I really do it all for them, and they inspire me to continue.

What do you focus on for your marketing and promotion efforts? Right now I am looking to get my art licensed, so my main goal is to obtain a Licensing Agent and/or many licensing contracts. I am focusing my creative time to build a collection for that goal. And I am networking with people throughout the different social networking networks (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn), and blogging, to increase visibility out there. I would love also to participate in art shows or art fairs, but it’s a secondary goal.

A Woman of Valor

Where to find Moshe Mikanovsky’s work for purchase:

  • My Ketubah designs can be purchase at KetubahKetubah and the direct link to my designs
  • The UJA Federation of Greater Toronto is selling Tribute Cards. They have licensed couple of my designs for Rosh Hashanah cards.  There will be some new cards in the future for other holidays.
  • I am building now a store at You can already view couple of items for sale. More stores will follow, so please stay tuned.
  • All the artwork on my site is for sale (unless otherwise indicated), and people are invited to contact me for details.
  • I am also taking commissions, for Ketubah designs, Bar and Bat Mitzva portraits etc. Here is one example of a commission portrait I did of Kayla. The wording at the bottom is the Eshet Chayil (A Woman of Valor) in Hebrew (above).

Additional contact info for Moshe Mikanovsky:
Twitter:    @mmikanovsky
Facebook: ArtistMosheMikanovsky
Linkedin: mikanovsky

Peter Doyle – Wedding Photography to Inspire

Peter Doyle - Wedding PhotographerPeter Doyle * El Guapo!
Storyboard Life

I met Peter through an online marketing convention in January of 2009. He is one of those people  that can increase the joy in a room as soon as he walks in. He emulates happiness, it just glows around him. Little did I know how talented he was to boot. His portfolio is amazing – I love his  style and his flare for capturing moments.  Check it out, you’ll want to have your wedding photos taken all over again. I’m excited to be able to share with you the insight of this fabulous man. If you get the chance to meet him, make every effort, he’ll inspire you to be a better you.

What do you create?
I photograph weddings for the benefit of the bride and groom’s children’s children.

Wedding Photography by Peter Doyle

What medium do you enjoy most?
I obviously love the art of photography but I see a great opportunity to mesh photography and video together for a stronger impact.

What title would you give yourself?
El Guapo!

Wedding Photography by Peter DoyleHow did you get started?
I’ve always been interested in photography. In fact, I remember just enjoying the sound of the shutter of any camera as a kid. Since I never had any money to buy a camera in high school or college, I never even thought about purchasing one. However, while in Best Buy one December day my mom asked me what I wanted for Christmas and not knowing what to say I just pointed to the nearest camera and said, “I’ll take that.”

It was the film based Canon Rebel and once I had that I started photographing local music artists at bars and coffee shops. Then came the opportunity to photography my first wedding. I charged 300.00 because if it turned out really bad then they couldn’t get too mad because it was so cheap. On the other hand, if the photographs turned out really good then they would have got a heck of a deal. It turned out really good!

I was hooked on weddings after that first one and last year I photographed about 20 weddings.

What do you want to be when you grow up?
A photographer that is known for his willingness to help and his network of friends.

Storyboard Life - Wedding Photography

Name three favorite artists/designers/creatives:
Joe Buissink: a celebrity wedding photographer who has a great eye for candids. One of his children is autistic so he is heavily involved in that community. In fact, you can see his photos in the new book “Autism Heroes” by Barbara Firestone. I bought a few to hand out to some of my clients.

Jerry Ghionis: His website can be a little awkward to go through but his work is flawless. He has both a passion for photography, photography community, and most importantly the business. His view on business is that if you love photographing weddings then you won’t photograph very many if you don’t stay in business.

Tom Hooper: He was the director for the series on HBO, “John Adams.” He did a great job on Point of View and also did a great job in using framing and composition to keep the audience attentive.

For extra credit:
Martin Scorsese: He understands the science and art of directing. I try to listen to all the movie commentaries from him.

Peter Doyle Wedding PhotographyWhat kind of training, schooling or other learning experiences have you gone through that have helped you get to where you are now?
Some form of formal education is always needed to understand the science behind the art. No matter what medium you use there is always a history and a science behind it. Many, many people have gone before you and worked out the kinks for you. In my case, it would be silly to figure out exposure on my own when there are more than enough photographers who are more than willing to teach me a thing or two about it.

For me I took a correspondence course from the New York Institute of Photography. This was a great help in understanding the science behind the workings of film and digital exposures. After that I would attend seminars that were taught by established photographers that I wanted to emulate. It is important to remember that art is a form of communication just as much as literature or oratory is a form of communication. Obey the rules but always strive to find your own voice.

An artist’s voice should always be his own. In order to do this you must constantly develop your voice on your own and never be give in to the fear of meaninglessness. With that in mind I photographed everything that I could. I would volunteer my talents to local events and charities. This way I could make mistakes and take risks in how I took the photographs without any worry that someone would get mad.

Do you feel you’re successful?
I certainly feel successful in what I have accomplished but I can’t use those accomplishments to excuse me from developing new ways and better ways to be creative. Like anything else, creativity will only get better if you are consistent and work hard at it.

Storyboard Life Wedding Photography by Peter Doyle

What do you like most about what you do?
I like meeting people. So many times in the wedding industry photographers will take the “one hit wonder” attitude with their customers. They get the money from the customer, photograph the wedding, give them what they paid for and hit the road for another customer. There is a difference between having a customer and developing a client.

I write notes and letters to my clients throughout the year. Not only am I building a relationship with them so that they will refer me but I am building a network of friends.

What #1 piece advice can you offer to those which might like to “follow in your footsteps”?
Here is my #1 Answer with 5 parts:

  1. Take an introductory class to understand the basics of taking a good photograph
  2. Search Flickr and the net for wedding photographs and look for styles that you would like to take yourself
  3. Go to the local book story and find fashion magazines or any other magazines that have the style of photographs you would like to take.
  4. Visit and
  5. Go out and photograph, photograph, and photograph some more

What are you most proud of?
I am most proud that I stopped talking about photographing weddings and making money from it and did something about it.


Other comments and ideas you’d like to share:
Obey the rules and trust your instinct. Do not use the excuse that you are tired because you can sleep anytime but your opportunity to shine and develop may only come once.

Also, if you have any questions about wedding photography or photography in general then give me a call. (770) 846 – 9274

Editor note: Peter also offers a fabulous free ebook Finding Your Perfect Wedding Photographer

Loving the art possibilities – An interview with Annie Lang

anniescdAnnie Lang: designer – artist – author
Annie Things Possible

I have never had the pleasure of sitting and chatting with Annie one on one, however I have had the opportunity to exchange ideas via email and I was pleasantly surprised at how quick she was to reply to me. About 2 years ago I was searching for insight – trying to grasp “how they do it” as far as artist making a name for themselves. I found Annie’s site and immediately fell in love with her style. I figured I’d give it a shot – see if she would response to a stranger’s comments. Not only did she reply happily, but she was so friendly and eager to encourage – her words truly showed her passion for what she does and it helped me push forward at a time I was struggling to find which path I was on. I am excited to be able to share Annie’s art insight with you today…

Annie Lang art

What do you create?
I specialize in whimsical art design

What medium do you enjoy most?
I most enjoy digital art medium because of the versatility and flexibility it offers

a1profilefotowebHow did you get started?
My career is actually an evolution…self taught art and handcraft skills through books, taught oil painting classes, sold handcrafted items and art at local craft shows and fairs, helped start a handcrafted gift co-op store, sold through retail stores, worked as a designer for a silkscreening business, sold linework patterns through mail order, sold projects to national magazine publishers, published 29 book titles, moved into licensing designs to commercial manufacturers and finally to marketing digital art products direct to consumers through my own website.

Name three favorite artists/designers/creatives:
As per favorite artist/designer/creatives…there’s just too many to list!

Do you feel you’re successful?
Feel successful? Absolutely!  I’ve achieved every creative goal I set for myself and then some!

Annie Lang and her art

What do you like most about what you do?
What I like best about what I do is the freedom of creative expression, the fun of  discovery and the feelings of reward that come each time a consumer lets me know how much they enjoy my work.

What #1 piece advice can you offer to those which might like to “follow in your footsteps”?
Advice?  Freelance design is not for everyone…the income is not reliable (feast or famine most of the time!)…one needs to be disciplined and self-motivitated…you need to be flexible enough to work within a constantly changing market environment to stay in business and you need to love what you do to keep you moving forward.

What are you most proud of?
Most proud of?  I’ve been able to stay in the creative arts business for 24 years and I still enjoy turning the computer on every day!

Annie Lang newsletter logo

Meet Leslie Nazarian, Design Maverick Extraordinaire

lesrubadesignsLeslie NazarianDesign Maverick
Lesruba Designs

Leslie and I met about 3 years ago at the one and only conference Cafepress hosted. We immediately hit it off and have been friend ever since. She has an amazing ability to create in a variety of mediums on a variety of subjects… AND she’s always upbeat – definitely keeps me motivated.

Besides her fantastic cut paper collage, she draws and has a beautiful photography collection. She also has a great selection of kid’s art as well as bridal and wedding items. Leslie is one of the few people that can actually follow my crazy bouncing off the wall trains of thought while managing to add new ideas and brainstorming to the mix. I am sure I haven’t thanked her enough for all her help, inspiration and happy vibes.

What do you create?
That’s a loaded question! Everything – sites, art, apparel, paper goods, posters, gifts, childrens books.Burano, Italy photo by Leslie Nazarian

What medium do you enjoy most?
Cut paper collage. I love creating life from scraps of paper.

What title would you give yourself?
The funny thing about titles is that they seem so important and a way of defining you in the corporate world. But outside of that, a title is kind of irrelevant. I don’t know what my title would be, because what I do changes daily and weekly. I’ll plead “Maverick” on this one.

Keds by Leslie NazarianHow did you get started?
I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember. My elementary school book reports were all about re-creating the book cover and less about writing what the book was about.  Grade school was where I began my verse-writing skills, crafting cheeky poems about my teachers to pass the time in class.

What do you want to be when you grow up?
Not that I’m near being grown up but I think I am finally what I wanted to be.

Name three favorite artists/designers/creatives:
I couldn’t possibly name three. I love so many artists I come across online (present company included ?), fellow shopkeepers, musicians, photographers, writers and other amazing creative types that I am constantly inspired by and in awe of. There is so much talent everywhere you look.ballerinas by Leslie Nazarian

What kind of training, schooling or other learning experiences have you gone through that have helped you get to where you are now?
Playing the  game Operation when I was a kid and removing tonsils and spleens from the mechanical patient was great training ground for learning how to work with tweezers and tiny objects – a skill I now utilize when cutting and pasting tiny eyes, noses and mouths on my collage people (although I’m fairly certain my parents would have been happy to have seen those skills applied towards becoming a surgeon. Chuckle.)  Oh, and being part of the dotcom lay-offs way back when gave me the “space” to build my own business. Unemployment will do that. LOL.

dog clock design by Leslie Nazarian

Do you feel you’re successful?
Yes and no. I feel success after each project is completed. But there is always so much more to do.  The minute you finish one thing there is a list of more things to do and so you’re on to the next thing and the next and the next. Success is in the baby steps. I think if you felt completely successful you’d feel done. And I’m nowhere near done.

What do you like most about what you do?
My work on my terms. I spent years submitting books to editors. It’s amazing how much time can go by waiting for others to validate your work. Now I validate my own work. I publish my books online and am happy just to have them out there. It’s not about the money it’s about getting your work in the world.

flower bouquet by Leslie Nazarian

What #1 piece advice can you offer to those who might like to “follow in your footsteps”?
Ha! Don’t follow my or anyone else’s footsteps… create your own footprint and do what drives you.

What are you most proud of?
Creating something from nothing. Years ago when I first started working online I would joke that I was building an online empire.  To quote Chris Daughtry, “Careful what you wish for, cause you just might get it all.”

Other comments and ideas you’d like to share:
Just because you build it, doesn’t mean they’ll come – SEO baby, SEO!

The Delightful Imagery of Corrie Kuipers

Voodoodle - Neville the Devil by Corrie KuipersCorrie Kuipers
CorriewebThe wonderful world of Corrie Kuipers & Nene Adams

I first saw Corrie’s work on Greeting Card universe where she has an enormous collection of fabulous cards for just about every occasion. I immediately fell in love with her style which is whimsical and lighthearted yet also displays something very ornate and thought provoking. There is a raw beauty in her line work, I can’t help but gaze dreamily at every image she creates. She also has a way of adding a touch of girlie humor to many of her images… There are female giggles in those brush strokes.

I am so grateful to be able to share with you today a little insight how Corrie Kuipers creates.

Windje Van Zee by Corrie Kuipers (Sea Breeze)

What do you create?
I’m a painter and Illustrator.
When I paint my medium is acrylics and ink on paper, MDF (pressed wood fiber), wood and canvas.
When I illustrate I use my Wacom Intuos drawing tablet together with Photoshop CS2.

What medium do you enjoy most?
At the moment it has to be Illustrating. I absolutely love my tablet. I bought it last summer as a treat (and to help me work more efficient). Before the tablet I would draw everything by hand in b/w, scan it into the computer, clean it up and add color to it in Photoshop.

What title would you give yourself?
Ehm…lucky girl?

Animal World by Corrie Kuipers

How did you get started?
It started all by being the singer in a band. We rehearsed at the guitarist’s place who’s husband was a professional artist. We were of similar age and it got me thinking. If I had made the right choices from the beginning I could have been where he was now. Was it too late to try and have a go at it? I decided it was all or nothing. I was reaching my 30ies, was laid off from my job I was very unhappy with anyway (I was doing a nine to five at a bank) and if I wanted to do a career switch now was the perfect time.

So I started painting in acrylics and ink, I don’t know why I picked that but it suited me and it stayed with me until this day. I went to a local gallery to show some of my work and the gallery owner saw potential. My style was very much unique (I had no art training and therefore wasn’t influenced by teachers). He encouraged me to keep on painting and he would check in on me from time to time to pick a collection for my debut solo exhibition. 6 Months later I did have my first show and I haven’t looked back since.

What do you want to be when you grow up?
Exactly that what I am doing now

Name three favorite artists/designers/creative:
It is hard to pick only three because there are a lot of really talented people out there!

The Cart Before the Horse
Fun and Folky Art.

Kelly Murphy
Illustrator extraordinaire. I wish I had her talent.

Alex Ross
In my eyes the absolute God of comic book artists. He has a unique style in that every comic frame he makes is actually a painting. I have never seen anyone draw the human form as well as he does.

Tree Huggers by Corrie Kuipers

What kind of training, schooling or other learning experiences have you gone through that have helped you get to where you are now?
No training or schooling, I’m self taught. My inspiration comes from everything around me, my loving partner, our animals, music, film, the Internet, nature, myths and legends, old cultures….

Do you feel you’re successful?
My art pays the bills and has done so since 1994. Maybe not as royally as I sometimes would wish, but it gives a great sense of accomplishment to be my own person.

What do you like most about what you do?
The freedom to creatively do whatever I want to do

Mermaid by Corrie Kuipers

What #1 piece advice can you offer to those which might like to “follow in your footsteps”?
Believe in yourself, find your own style, do tons of marketing and work very, very hard. I don’t want to scare you off, but the artist life is not an easy one and you can’t step into this half-hearted.
If you want a regular pay-check, a nine to five lifestyle, are bad at marketing yourself, can’t take criticism, this is probably not the job for you. Also it takes careful planning, self-discipline and a lot of determination. There is often no instant success so you have to think years rather than weeks or months.

What are you most proud of?

It feels really good when I add a new design to one of our online stores and the public picks it up. Every sale still makes me smile.

knitting penguin by Corrie KuipersMore places you can find Corrie’s work for purchase:

Corrie Kuipers at Zazzle
Corrie Kuipers at Cafepress
Corrie Kuipers at Red Bubble
Corrie Kuipers at Greeting Card universe

Bringing Amazing Color to Life: Dave Danchuk

Dave DanchukDave DanchukScrollsaw artist
Amazed Creations

I recently discovered Dave through Facebook. He is active with his Cafepress shop and promotion which is the common thread that connected us through a user group. The first moment I saw Dave’s work I was  in awe of both his talent and the work itself. I had never heard of Scrollsaw art.  It’s one thing to paint in detail… it’s an entirely different skill to be able to see the image, cut it out of wood, piece it back together like a puzzle and then add color to create a final work of art. Dave is, as his website title suggests, an amazing artist. In the short time we’ve exchanged emails, I’ve also found him to be a great guy… very friendly and willing to share his views. I have no doubt he will find himself reaching his dream of becoming a fulltime artist. The scroll saw medium fascinates me and I’m so grateful to be able to share Dave’s work with you.

What do you create?

I’m mainly a scrollsaw artist, creating large pieces of artwork out of hundreds of cut up pieces of wood which are brightly colored and reassembled. I also paint with acrylics, and design various designs and phrases that I think would sell as shirts. Scrollsawing is definitely my passion.

Dimebag by Dave Danchuck

From wood cut pieces to painting…

progress of art by Dan Danchuk

How did you get started?
My mother’s a poet and was doing a group art show with various artists, and I saw the work of one guy whom I thought was a great painter, but upon looking closer, I saw that he was a great woodworker. He showed me a few things, and then I did my research, and ended up as a scroller.

What do you want to be when you grow up? Young

ashley and denitra by Dave DanchukName three favorite artists/designers/creatives:
Some of my favorite artists I’ve found through the Myspace Art groups. Gabe Leonard, Bort and Frankie B. I’d highly recommend checking out all 3.

What kind of training, schooling or other learning experiences have you gone through that has helped you get to where you are now?
I learn by doing. I was a self taught musician who played across Canada, played the Warped Tour with Sublime, the Deftones, No Doubt, Quicksand and many others. After that I became a self taught artist. It helps to keep the creativity flowing…

Do you feel you’re successful?
Yes, I’m pleased with what I’ve accomplished. I’m not where I’d like to be, as I’d like to be doing it full time, but with a wife and two young children to feed, a regular paycheck is extremely helpful, but, one day…

What do you like most about what you do?
The creativity is the best, I like going to bed thinking that I accomplished something that day.

What #1 piece advice can you offer to those which might like to “follow in your footsteps”?
Find what keeps you happy, and enjoy the process.

What are you most proud of?
My daughter Maya, and my son Zack, my very cool wife Annabel, and a couple of my big art projects which have been very well received.treefrog by Dave Danchuk

Dave has taken his art and applied it to print on demand via Cafepress in addition to selling his paintings and scrollsaw work through various outlets. I asked him to share some of his thoughts and insights regarding this aspect of his business…

borts fly by Dave DanchukWhat can you share about transitioning from your painting and scrollsaw pieces to sell through Print on Demand?
Cafepress started for me through the Art Groups of Myspace. Some of the artists there had their artwork as shirts, and I thought I’d give it a shot. I sold a few in the beginning to other artists, but it didn’t really take off. My daughter was young and was a big Bob Marley fan (every kid should be), so I quickly designed an M is for Marley (now no longer available) shirt and an R is For Reggae shirt. It took me about 5 minutes to design them, and they started selling like crazy. It actually ticked me off that all this art that I had made that takes about a month each to produce was being far outsold by a simple 3 colored word design that took fractions of the time to make. So, I thought, screw this, I’ll keep my artwork on there, but in the cold winter months when it’s pretty cold to be out playing with wood in my carport, I’ll design simple, often cheesy designs. I think I now have over 44,000 items in my Cafepress store. Some sell pretty well, others surprise me, but in the end, I now make a good chunk of change every month off of the designs.

What inspired you to approach print on demand?
I could make prints myself, but I’d rather spend time making more art or hanging with my family rather than trying to collect money, getting packaging, getting shipping info, going to the post office etc…it’s nice just letting them do the work (,,, & also offer my work) and then just cashing a cheque they send me monthly.

What obstacles have you encountered in doing so?
I thought I’d need a website to sell my artwork, which I created and I’m happy with, but Myspace and Facebook have probably gotten me more orders, which is pretty dang cool. I joined Facebook late, but 3 days after I joined I got a $1500 commission from an old friend. Facebook is now okay by me.

cheers by Dave Danchuk

Other comments and ideas you’d like to share about anything relating to your work, art, or life in general:
I think I’m good, but if anyone wants any more information, tips or advice, feel free to contact me either through my website, Facebook or my MySpace page.