The Tough Get Going!

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Every artist worth their salt gets depressed, especially when you are like me who is just starting out. I’m not big name artist, I’m not making a lot of money (or any money) right now, and it just feels all too hopeless. It feels like I’m never going succeed. I had that moment over the weekend, my aunt came over and I showed off my art, but after she was gone I realized I didn’t really have to show for all my efforts as an artist.

The thought really made me depressed, because I don’t  have contacts, I don’t a lot of jobs under my belt and it’s getting and closer to my self-imposed deadline. If you don’t know I have until my toddlers go to school to get shit together and be a WORKING artist or I’ll go out and get me a ‘real job’.

But then late last night, I realized that I have to get serious about finding commissions. I have been waiting for prospective clients to come along and not chasing them down. This is why I’m not getting work and I have only myself to blame. So I have decided to some research, to do some email marketing mojo, to promote myself and my work more.

Because to be honest, no one in this business, in any artistic industry makes it by just sitting on their laurels. You have to fight for it, or you’ll never get it. I think for me this realization was the wake-up call I really needed.  I made the mistake of thinking that success was just going to be handed to me on a silver platter and that is not how real life works.

So instead of crying about not being successful, I’m going to go out and make it happen.


3 Things To Do To Keep Yourself Motivated as an Digital Artist

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So being an artist is hard, and motivating yourself to do a new piece of art is even harder sometimes. The truth is every artist no matter what medium goes through a slump, but what separates the professionals from the amateurs are the ways we deal that slump. Especially if you are a working artist, and you don’t have the luxury to just throw in the towel and walk away from a project.  So here are three ways to keep yourself motivated!

1.Keep A Notebook

If you not new to my blog, then you guys have probably seen photos of my little red notebook. It’s where I keep notes when I’m learning a new tutorial, or put in fresh ideas that inspire me. I also use a Pinterest account to do this as well. I actually bookmark a lot of stuff that inspires me so I can come back to it later. This is especially will help you when you have artist’s block.

2.  Look At Someone Else’s’ Art


I love working in digital art. I get a thrill from turning photos into pieces of art. However, I have nothing but awe and respect for traditional artists. It’s one of the reasons I do a monthly ‘Traditional Artists Corner’ here on my blog. Traditional Art can be a fount of inspiration for you as a Digital Artist.  I would suggest taking a stroll through your local museum, or checking out some art history books, or even checking through a few online galleries. We all steal a little bit of inspiration from each other as artists and you might find something that will jump-start your creativity!

3. Go Outside

woman walking down a road

Seriously, I’m always attached to my computer. However, this can become more than a little frustrating when you are stuck on something or if you feel a lack of motivation. The best advice is the advice I got from my mother who is a traditional artist. She basically told me to step away from my computer and go outside. It’simple advice, but I can tell you from experience that it works. I usually take a walk, take in some nature, or go outside and read a book in some sunshine and that usually recharges my muses’s battery.

So what keeps you motivated?  Let me know down in the comments!

The Five Best Free Tools For Digital Artists

The Five Best Free Tools For Digital Artists

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If you are a starving digital artist like me who primarily works in photo manipulation, you are always ou the lookout for free and/or cheap tools to use to help make your workflow easier. Here are some free software to make your life a little easier.

 1. Batch Watermarker

Batch Watermarker

Protecting your artworks is very important, and part of the process of doing this is by adding a noticeable watermark on your art.  I used to do this in Adobe Photoshop. However, now I do this by Batch Watermarker. Not only is it free, but it gives you multiple easy options on how to watermark your artwork and you can easily customize the look.

2. Fast Stone Image Viewer

I found Fast Stone’s line of products a few years ago and I have been a dedicated user ever since!  If anyone has to deal with a lot of photos at once and have to wait for your computer to load all the many thumbnails knows that this can be a pain. Adobe Bridge is also good for this, but I actually prefer Fast Stone Image Viewer to Adobe Bridge. Unlike in Adobe Bridge, Fast Stone saves the thumbnails so you only have to wait for them load once.  You can also do some basic image editing right in the program and you don’t have to even open Photoshop to do it. This is especially usefully if you don’t have a lot of computer memory to spare.

3. Fast Stone Image Resizer

A lot of artists, especially digital artists and photographers have to constantly resize their pieces for to prepare their works to be sold as prints.  And for some reason, once my photos get bigger than 3000px, it will start to slow down my computer. So, I was ripping my hair out about how to solve the issue, when once again Fast Stone came to my rescue! I discovered Image Resizer via Google Search and I absolutely love it!  You can easily change not only the size but the DPI as well of any image you choose to resize. Also, I have found there is absolutely no pixelation in the resized images. as well.


PhotoMe Image MetaData Editor

A lot of people know about physically watermarking your artwork. However, not a lot of artists and photographers don’t seem to realize there is a way to put an invisible watermark on your artwork through editing your image’s metadata. I used to actually use a combination of windows file properties and photoshop file info option to input the metadata on all my artwork.Now, I use PhotoMe.  It’s free to download and use and has helped me so much.  Unlike my other method, I can copy and move my metadata to other images if I need to, which is super helpful when I have multiple copies of my artwork in different sizes for prints.

5. Google Drive

Google Drive

I love google’s products and I use them all the time! I especially use Google Drive a lot because everything is on a cloud and I can easily consult with my clients.  What makes Google Drive such a wonderful tools is that the price is super cheap. It’s free for 15gb of storage, but you can also get a 100gb for $1.99 a month or 1TB for $9.99 a month. drive app on your desktop and save every project in your google drive and it backups and syncs all by itself.

My favorite uses for Google drive is that I can pull up any of my artwork in jpg, png, gif, or even PSD on any device. Just install the Google Drive app on your device and you are good to go! Personally, I’m always showing off my art to my friends and my contacts which made this option super useful

In addition to all of that, it makes it really simple to backup and sync all of your work.  As a freelancer, I can tell yoou from experience that it is super important to always backup your work.  My primary desktop broke six months ago and if I didn’t backup my artwork with google drive all of my artwork would have been lost.  To sync and backup from your computer, all you have to do is download the free desktop software and install it. After that, just save your files in your Google Drive folder and it will automatically backup up the files in the cloud. It’s just that simple!

So those are my five favorite free  tools to use. What are your favorite tools?  Let me know down in the comments!


The Juggling Act

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Another week has gone by, and I’m surprised at all the pieces I have put out. And I think that is the problem here. I’m working double duty with both the blog and the art and the constant juggling between those two jobs and the most important job of help managing my family.

Seriously, if I didn’t buffer and schedule everything ahead of time I would not be getting as much done as I seem to do now. I just learned how to plan, schedule, and hope that everything turns out well. My schedule is weird too, I work long hours.  I get up, clean the house, take care of the kids, and then squeeze a few hours of blogging.

Then, I wait until everybody goes to bed and I work on the art. This is exactly why I’m writing this blog post so very late. The truth is that I am constantly juggling, but it’s the price I pay for blogging and not fully concentrating on my art. Honestly, I used to think that blogging wasn’t necessary, but these two years of blogging has taught me that blogging is as necessary to me as the art.

Blogging keeps me from burning out on the art, for the most part, it keeps me fresh and sharp. I also came dangerously close to burnout this week but I did about seven or eight pieces this week, which is insane. I usually try to keep it to three or four pieces a week, but I couldn’t stop creating.

I had to finally force myself to take a break on Sunday, and just let myself rest up for the day.

I also have been getting out of my comfort zone a bit and reaching out to other Artists, mostly on Facebook and Deviantart. I joined a few groups on Facebook, and I have been leaving more comments on Art that I like. I think I already made my first Artist friend and we exchanged ideas on doing photo manipulated portraits. It was fun, because being an artist for me is mostly a solitary thing and since I’m housebound I don’t get out much.



I don’t know if I can promote my art logically with the local art scene either because I’m worried about the bias that the art community has against photo manipulators like me. I honestly think that they would laugh me out of any art group I try to participate in.

Unfortunately, I think if I don’t break out of my comfort zone I will never succeed. So I have to gather my courage and jump—and for someone who is neurotic worrier that is harder said than done. As for my real life, I got some shocking news from my sister and the possibility of taking a 6th child.

My mother, my stepdad, and I had a family meaning and decided to say no.  The five kids we have now are a handful both emotionally and physically and we just can’t collectively handle it. Also, my parents are constantly traveling these days and my art is just starting to get noticed and we both deserve to be happy and to live our lives. It might be selfish, but sometimes you have to be selfish.

I think that is enough for today. I will be back Friday with a new post and I hope to see you guys then!

Traditional Art Susan Rios

Traditional Artists Corner: Susan Rios

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A lot of people think that Digital Artists and Traditional Artists have nothing in common. There is some misconception that we hate each other.However, this misconception is false. I support all artists, from writers to illustrators to painters to musicians to sculpturist.  You guys might know this about me, but I have spent a lot of days in the past just walking around museums just gazing and appreciating all the beautiful traditional line art. My favorite museum in San Antonio is not the huge metropolitan museum but the smaller McNay Museum.

The McNay Art Museum

Due to my disability, I haven’t been there in a long time. However, I do remember packing a lunch on going on there on their free days. So, after telling you guys all this it shouldn’t be a surprise to you that I adore Traditional line art, despite myself being a Digital Artist.  So I have decided to do a post about Traditional artists that I admire.

This time, I’m talking about Susan Rios.  Her paintings are charming and quaint and have that sort idealistic country charm to it that is reminiscent of Thomas Kincaid’s paintings. And yes, a lot of people tend to scoff at Thomas Kincaid, but there is a reason why his paintings are so widely used and known. For me, his paintings always resonated with me is because they make think of quite and quaint places away from hustle and bustle of the city.

They often remind me of much gentler and kinder times, and Rios’s paintings evoke those same type of feelings inside of me.

I originally discovered Rios’s art through The Pierside Gallery and I was immediately captivated by her colorful and beautiful paintings. I honestly wish I was successful enough to afford one her paintings or even one of her custom commission. I actually wouldn’t mind a painting of my own little terrors.

After looking through her website, I later discovered that although we are from two very different mediums we both have a similar philosophy when comes to our craft:

“There are stories in most of my paintings, and often, the piece will speak of what is going on in my own inner world.  I add elements to complete the memory of the dream or the moment.  People often say that there is something that feels familiar when they see my work.  I think what they may be responding to is the emotion a painting will evoke and there is a familiarity about that.  We all share so many of the same feelings.”

— Susan Rios



I actually feel the very same way about my own pieces.  Everything that I do has put in my pieces have a meaning or a story behind it. I think that trait comes from the writer in me. I have an overwhelming urge to tell a good story no matter what medium I’m participating in at the time.

If are interested her works which I displayed here, please be sure to check out her website.  And unlike this poor starving artist if you can afford it to buy one her fantastic pieces please do by buying one her lovely artworks from webstore.






I love work

I Rather Be In The Studio

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Hi, everyone! Happy Monday! I said I would do more posts, and I’m trying to keep that promise. So first of all, I wanted to give an update. I have been saying in my last few posts that I have been trying to challenge myself into branching out of my comfort zone as an artist. It’s very easy for me to put myself in a rut, or to keep to my safe spaces as an artist. That type of thinking can cut off the opportunity to further grow into my potential as an artist.

So I have been watching a lot of photoshop tutorial youtube videos, interacting and talking with other artists, and keeping a notebook of all the things that I want to learn. And I have actually crossed off a few items on the list. I’m also taking copious notes on the all the photoshop tutorials that I’m watching and reading.

Gigi's Notebook of Doom

This weekend, though, instead of doing all the things I had planned, I spent it in my room doing art. I did two pieces this weekend, one I posted yesterday and I’m going to post the other piece tomorrow. I have also decided to start studying some basic principals of photography since photo manipulation is basically the bastard cousin of photography. I can’t begin to tell you how many photographers are photo manipulators (or as they like to call themselves ‘retouchers’).

I might actually one day branch off and learn photography for real. And maybe do all of my own stocks images, I think that would be a lucrative and challenging thing to do in the future and I’m always up to learning a new skill.  I know for a fact that alot people would be like: “Gigi why don’t you learn digital painting?” And the answer to that is that  I have zero interest in drawing of any kind.  Seriously, the thrill and the thing that I love most about photo manipulating is that I get take plain pictures and make them into art.  It’s no different in my opinion, to those avant-garde artists who use recycled items to do art, sculptures who use clay to make beautiful pieces, or people who make awesome collages out of photos.  As that old saying goes, “Everything Is Art.”  Art like everything else visual is subjective.

Art Steel Heart Sculpture

Everything Is Art

Every time I come across a stock image, I’m always silently thinking to myself: “How can I use this?” I know rambling now, but I just feel that this is what I was really meant to do with my life. And I kind of kick myself for not figuring this back in high school. So here I am, 33 and starting a career as Artist from scratch.  *rolls eyes*

Anyway, I think I have rambled on long enough and I’m going to go back to doing some more art. Stay tuned for more posts this week, because I plan on talking about artists that inspire me (because both Traditional and Digital Art continues to feed my muse).

Inspiring Artists Melanienemo -- Digital Artists That Inspire Me

Inspiring Artists: Melanienemo

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Note: I’m using gender neutral pronouns ze/zir/zir’s in reference to Melanienemo. I don’t know zir preferred pronouns or gender. So I will not assume it.

The perception of artists of any type of medium is the picture of someone alone working in the place they prefer to create their art in. However,  a lot of people seem to overlook the fact that Artists don’t exist in a vacuum. Where you find one artist, you are sure to find an artist community supporting that artist. And that is so important more than ever right now that artists not just think about our pocket books, part of our duty as artists, I feel is to uplift and inspire other artists.

This is especially important to me because a lot of traditional artists seem to snub their nose at photo manipulation and often discount us as artists.  So, to do all of those things that I have just mentioned, I have decided to do an Inspiration post at least once a month. I hope to eventually do one every week, but I’m pretty busy and my schedule is crazy right now.

The artist that most inspires me this time is Melanienemo. I found Mel through the FotoManipulationz group on DeviantArt and immediately fell in love with zir’s art. WhenI first contacted Mel about doing the post about ze, Mel was super nice about it and gave me permission to use samples of zir’s works on my site.  So please watch zir on DeviantArt and follow zir on Instagram and Flickr.

Artwork List


Hello Landscapes!

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Note: Artwork was done by thommas68

So it’s been a year since I started on this path to being a professional artist. And I think my biggest issues is that I didn’t challenge myself enough. So recently, I have decided to branch out of my comfort zone of doing art that includes beautiful women. I wanted to do landscapes, I tried landscaped eight months ago, because I was inspired by this speedart by CreativeStation

And I failed miserably. I can’t even show the result because I rage quit in pure frustration. Thinking back on that now, I realized that I started out way too big. I was like an amateur who never ran marathon trying to run a marathon for the first time.  So I have decided to start really small and I have a few ideas.  Since I ‘m a ‘Teen Wolf’ fan, I have been thinking about doing a landscape of the Hale House and the surrounding properties.  I will be doing a speed art, so you guys can see how it will turn out.

I’m going to try to do at least two posts a week so stay tuned!

I Have Come So Far

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So I’m going to try to do more art posts. I’m an artist, and I have been screaming about politics lately on my blog. But can you blame me? Seriously, Donald Trump and his cabinet of deporables are horrible. And see what I mean? I can’t stop talking about it. However, I’m actually coming up on first year anniversary or I might have already passed it. And I’m back to being super serious about Art. For a while, I had a lot of detours. I was all about the book covers because I dream of making booking covers.  Seriously, one day I hope that my book cover is on a library shelf one day.

However, I have been reading this awesome book by Austin Kleon called ‘Show Your Work’ and it has made me realized that I have made a lot of mistakes, but they are learnable mistakes. First off, I was so desperate to make it as a book cover designer that I forgot about the art. I love photo compositions and photo manipulations. I used to call myself a Graphic Designer, but to be honest my first love is photo manipulations. I have no interest in making brochures or fliers, I want to sell art. That’s where I shine the most. So I’m concencentrating on that.

I’m going to show my work more, promote my art more, get more involved with the artist’s community. I put my art on the back burner to my blogging to my own detriment. So I’m going to give it equal time. I am also going to take part of slowly building my audience.

I also decided to be inspired by traditional and digital art alike. To go back to basics, and to study art in all of it’s forms as inspiration. Art has brought me out of my rut and made challenge myself.  I also have a notebook listing all the things I want to learn about, and all the stuff I don’t know. I used to do that in the beginning, but I stopped doing it and I have to bring it back.

I also stopped learning. I was stupid enough to think that I knew everything up to a point. That I didn’t need to know anything else and that stifled me. So I’m going to learn something new every day. Honestly, I’m going to be a better artist.  I’m just going to stop taking my art for granted, learn to use the stuff around me as an advantage and not a deterrent, and just be better about the art all around. I have come a long way, those early works make me cringe right now, but I have come to realized that I have a long way to go and that is perfectly fine.


Spoke Too Soon

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So another week of me laying in bed due to the fucking flu has passed. I’m sick, this time with added swollen lymph nodes. So I basically sound awful and like I’m talking with my nose closed. Although, that is not all that far from the truth because my nose stuffed up.  Again, my month has been HELL. And I hate more than anything is to be idle and stuck in bed  I’m always busy, I always got some project going on and basically, this sickness has cut me off from doing all of my projects.

And don’t me get started on my lack of activism this week. I haven’t been able to look my laptop until now. Seriously, you know shit has hit the fan in my house when I haven’t touched my laptop for more than the necessary hours to sleep. Some may say that I’m addicted to the internet, and you wouldn’t be wrong.  For more proof, just check out my reaction to having no wifi. It was not a pretty sight, that’s all I’m saying dudes.

As for my art, I decided that as much as I have improved over the last yea, I have sort forgot about the basics. Like everybody and their mama is like ‘Gigi digital painting is where it’s at.’ And I can draw a little bit, but to be honest I have almost no interest into traditional line art. Well, I love look traditional line art ( I do love a museum) but for me where I shine is in photo manipulation. Eventually, I might go ahead and learn photography since that is an adjacent field for me to get to. But digital painting and drawing period I have no interest in.  I do realize that I need to start paying attention to the rules and the sort of physics of traditional painting because as a photo manipulator I tend use the same rules in my own branch art.

So I am going back to basics on that. I have also had a lack of inspiration when it came the original photo manipulations and I actually have gotten lot of inspiration from famous traditional line artists. Those pairings especially has made realize that there is no limit on what I can do. For me, my personal style is drawing or panting like photo manipulations and I’m also very minimalist when comes to textures and brushes. Which is kind of strange since when I first started out, I leaned heavily on those things. And I also like to tell story with every piece that I made. It’s the writer in me, I think that sort bleeds into art.

Everything in every piece must have meaning and everything overall should tell story. Which as much as that mind-set has helped as an artist, it has also contributed to my recent slump. I’m going to have to learn how to not let my personal style inhibit or stifle me as an artist.

Anyway, I think that’s enough art talk for a little while and I will be back with new post next week. I hope you guys have a wonderful weekend (better than mind anyway) and I will see you guys later.

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