digital art 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 Top Five Stock Image Providers On Deviantart

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If you are a digital artist like me, who specializes in photo manipulation your bread and butter are stock images. A stock image can make or break your art piece.  I learned early on that DevianArt has the best unique stock providers on the net, and if you are a starving artist the price to use these stock are usually free. When I choose stock from DeviantArt, I not only look for quality but for diversity in the pose, body shape, and race. So here is my pick of the top five stock image providers on Deviantart.

Warning:  Please check each stock providers term of use before using their stock images. Please don’t download any of these pictures I used from this post. Please download the full quality pictures from the stock providers DeviantArt profile.

1. mjranum-stock

2. faestock

3.  CathleenTarawhiti

4. XxSaraiyu-StockxX

5. liam-stock

So that’s my pick for my top five stock image providers on DeviantArt. What stock providers are you favorite? And what stock providers do you use that are not on the list? Let me know down in the comments!

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!

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