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artist Archives | Gigi Kiersten

Inspiration Artist Mirella Santana

Inspiring Artists: Mirella Santana

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When comes to digital art, especially photo manipulation I can say what a lot of conviction that Brazilian Artist Mirella Santana is the best in the business.  If you walk down any bookstore, especially the urban paranormal romance, or young adult isles, many of the covers on the books there were made by Santana.  Santana has worked with both best-selling authors and well-known photographers.  I know from personal experience that every writer that has hired her just sings her praises.  And rightly so, every piece Santana makes is beautiful and unique.

“Freelance digital artist, specializing in creating cinematographic arts. Graduated in Marketing, born in Bahia – Brazil. I have worked for various independent publishers and best sellers authors. I also work for photographers from around the world, creating manipulations with all thematic (fantasy, dark, sci­fi, romance, glamorous, classic style… etc).”

Mirella Santana’s Website.

When I look at Santana’s career and her art, I know that is the type of artist I want to be one day.  I know I’m gushing right now, but Santana is diffidently the Artist who I look up to and who I admire the most right now in the digital art industry.  If I know if I’m even half as successful as she is in both craftsmanship and financial success then I know that I have made it.  You can follow Mirella Santana on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, DeviantArt and LinkedIn.

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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.

 

juggling

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!

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).

Photoshop

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!

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