Category Archives: Business

The Lull

I have returned intact from the workshop, and now I’m so stuffed with knowledge I can barely move. Thanks to Kate for putting up with us and sharing her top secret techniques. I look forward to using her painting method on some upcoming still life practice.

meglyman_cervid1_varnish

Cervid I by Meg Lyman

8×10″ oil on board

Etsy link

In honor of still life, here is a skull I painted. Before the workshop. Not only did I not use Kate’s technique, I painted it over an 8-year-old gouache painting on gessobord that was one of my very first paintings and was consequently horrible. Turns out you can use oil over gouache quite easily, although I know nothing about its longevity. All that aside, I believe it is a mule deer, advertised on Etsy as a found elk skull. People are really bad with taxonomy. I love identifying found skulls, but I admit I might be in the minority there.

Also, the first plug: come to see me at Emerald City Comic Con this weekend in Seattle! I’ll be at table LL-13. I may try painting between now and then, but these past two weeks have been all about learning and business.

Last few sale hours!

Just a reminder that there are a few hours left in the Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale in my Etsy shop! Use coupon code IAMAWESOME to save 15% on originals and calendars.

Etsy shop link

Also, I recently received some squee-worthy sculptures from Kara, who makes them herself with love and clay. Here is a gift she sent – an octopus hugging a beer bottle! Now it is my most favorite mascot and it helps me clean my tablet and reminds me to drink when I paint. I tend to forget.

drinky1

drinky2

If you’d like to purchase one of her excellent creations yourself, she has some available. Pepper her with ooohs and ahhs at princessridiculous at gmail if you’re so inclined. Thanks, Kara!

2013: The Art Plan

meglyman_daruma

Daruma by Meg Lyman

5×7″ gouache on matboard

SOLD

‘Tis the season to plan art activities for the upcoming year. Late last year, I made grand plans for 2012. I went half time at work at the end of January, and created a plan for the year that may have been a bit too ambitious. But I did make a lot of art, learned a thing or two, and ended up moving across the country for a different full-time job in September. In all, it was a fantastic experience and I was extremely fortunate to be able to do it. However, I didn’t have nearly as much time as I thought I’d have, and as a result neglected a few of my 2012 goals. Now I’m setting out to make more realistic ones for 2013.

The paint-a-squishy-cephalopod-doing-something-cute meme has worked fabulously for me. It is what people expect of me, and the ideas keep spewing forth, both from my brain and from creative fans. The execution has become easy for me to do. Too easy. I never do backgrounds or really challenge myself. I want to challenge myself next year. To me, that means:

  1. Paint enough cephalopods to fill a 2014 calendar, and try to throw in some backgrounds once in a while, jeez
  2. Practice painting still lifes (lives?) and landscapes, and take a class
  3. Explore my artistic passions, which wander into decidedly non-cephalopodish genres

To help all three goals, I made my own daruma doll. Darumas are traditional Japanese toys that bring good luck and help accomplish goals. They come with blank eyes. When the goal is set, the first eye is painted. The second eye isn’t painted until the goal is met, and looking at the lopsided, unfinished doll always reminds you of your goal. Here’s to 2013 and painting that other eye!

 

Commissions

I am open for commissions! These are all paintings, made with gouache and ink. Here’s what I’m offering:

1. “Cephalopod” your character
—ACEO: $20 (example)
—5×7″: $45 (example, example)
—8×10″: $65 (example)
—11×14″: $85 (example)

2. Angry Derp badges
—standard badge size with plastic holder and clip
—$15 (examples above, featuring Painted Dog and Likeshine)

3. Non-cephalopod critters
—ACEO: $15 (example, example)
—5×7″: $35 (need examples!)
—8×10″: $55 (need examples!)

E-mail me if you’re interested!

Prices include one character, no background, any hair/ears/accessories/markings you want. Additional characters and backgrounds are extra. I sketch until you’re happy. Once you approve the sketch for painting, changes are extra, unless they’re easily fixed (keep in mind this is actual paint). I require payment up front, or for commissions over $50, half up front and half upon completion. Prices do not include shipping the original – I can deliver it at a con or ship in the US for $4 for 8×10″ or smaller – ask about larger sizes or outside the US.

Happy 2012!

Party Crustaceans by Meg Lyman

The big news for 2012 is that I am planning to go part time at work to focus on art. The idea is exciting and terrifying at the same time. I have so many ideas, so many paintings I want to do, but not enough time. I plan to use my part time schedule to implement these ideas and do a lot of painting practice. I blame this entirely on my dear art friends Tony Steele (Our Hero) and Jeff Carlisle. Let the fun begin!

Larry’s Painting Class, Take 2

Larry’s Warrior painted by Meg Lyman

12×18 ish oil on masonite

I attended another of Larry Elmore’s painting classes in September. We all used the same drawing and he showed us how to paint it. Mine isn’t great – there are a few things I’d like to change – but I learned a LOT. It was so fun to be with other artists, painting 10-12 hours a day, learning, and having a great time. It was great to see how much I’d improved from the first class, and how much easier I find oils now than I did then. Much less frustrating. Fun, even! I itch to do larger, grander paintings, and gouache doesn’t do well with large, expansive areas.

This class also got me thinking about my career and life. More on that later.

Thanks, Larry! Also, critiques welcome.

The Plan: 2010

meglyman_wonders_sm

Wonders by Meg Lyman

Metallic ink on ACEO

$20 – e-mail to purchase or visit Etsy

I feel like this toucan today. There is inspiration in the air. It’s probably because it was a beautiful, full-blown spring weekend, the sun was out, the daffodils were peeking up through the pine needles, and I spent yesterday afternoon out in that beauty, arms deep in my car’s engine compartment. Ahh, spring. Too bad it’s going to get cold and nasty again this week.

I haven’t done much art the last few months, and let’s face it, the end of February is a bit late to be planning the year. The weather is partially to blame. But I also think I needed a break to decide the direction I want to go with my art, which is why it has taken so long to figure out what I want to do with this year.

I doubt now that art is ever going to be my main source of income, and I’m OK with that. A lot of my inspiration isn’t terribly marketable, and I just don’t want to paint things for other people for the rest of my life. Luckily, all my commission work has involved cephalopods so far, which makes it enjoyable, but 1) it doesn’t pay very well and 2) it’s hard to knuckle down and do it when you have a dozen more inspiring ideas clamoring for space in your head. Because of this realization, I decided to do fewer conventions this year. After two years on the circuit, I know which ones are money makers and which are the most fun with friends. I’ll stick to those, and probably mail in art to the rest. Note that most of those I’m attending are in Atlanta, or nearby, which cuts down on expenses.

2010 Convention Schedule

  • FWA (Atlanta) – Artist’s Alley, volunteer at the art show
  • OutlantaCon (Atlanta) – Dealer’s Table
  • Mobicon (Mobile) – Mail in art
  • Imagicon (Birmingham) – Mail in art
  • RCFM (Huntsville) – Maybe attend with a Dealer’s Table; depends if friends go
  • Anthrocon (Pittsburgh) – all in (Dealer’s Table, Art Show)
  • Dragon*Con (Atlanta) – all in
  • AWA (Atlanta) – all in
  • Con on the Cob (Akron) – all in

Other than conventions, I of course want to keep improving my art. I also want to focus my inspiration more in order to refine my style and start giving my art more meaning. Just because I have a vision of a tractor tire nautilus shell doesn’t mean that anyone will buy it. It needs to tell a story or make a point… otherwise, it’s just my subconscious barfing on the canvas. As fun as that is for me, very few other people dig it enough to pay for it.

I’m using mind-mapping to help me focus. Specifically, I’m using the tool “VYM” for Linux. If you are having problems with art block or with inspiration, check out mind mapping. It can be done with a pen and paper, and can really help you filter through your ideas and pick the ones that will take you somewhere. Without it, I probably wouldn’t have posted this plan until July.