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Dear <<First Name>>,

I hope you have been able to enjoy the summer as much as I do. The weather has been great so far, perfect for swimming, which I absolutely love to do! I'm lucky to live near a lake with a beach as well as not too far from the sea.

As schools have their summer break, I'm not giving any workshops until September. That leaves more time for personal work!

 

On the drawing table

I have tried opening up private commissions online in the past, but I never really knew how to attrach clients for them. Posting announcements on socials every now and then felt spammy and I don't have a large following that could help. A few weeks back I discovered, however, that there is quite some search volume for keywords as ‘dnd character art’ and ‘character commission’ on Etsy.

So what about opening up for on-demand character portraits on Etsy? I made a couple examples, written descriptions and put them up. It will take a few weeks before new listings find their place in the search results, but I’m hopeful!

The hardest thing is pricing ‘products’ like these. Other artists on Etsy value their portrait commissions from €15 to €120 - quite a broad range! I think I’m on the higher end with €79 per portrait, but I know I can’t do pieces like these justice if I feel like I’m giving them away.

If you’re interested in commissioning me, please click the button below instead of Etsy: they're only €70 if Etsy doesn't take a cut!
 

Private Commissions

Power In Numbers Gallery Show


Last year I made a painting for Gallery Nucleus’ Power In Numbers show, and got in totally unexpected! It didn't sell on the evening of the show, but it is still available via Gallery Nucleus' website. This year I’m having another go, this is what the sketch of this new piece looks like:
 
I've been putting in a lot more time in this piece than I wanted, building a lot of layers of watercolour to get the tints and textures I want. I can't help it: working in real media is just so much fun!

I'm not sure if I can share the piece before the show, so you'll have to do with sneak peaks like these until September 3rd. Or earlier when it doesn't get accepted!
 

Back to conventions: Tomofair

Now life has returned to normal after covid (at least here in the Netherlands), I and my sister (@empohart) have been planning to table together at a convention. She has just like me never stopped drawing and might want to attend conventions too - by sharing a table she won’t have a lot of upfront costs to try this once.

I’ve chosen Tomofair as it’s very near to where I live, and a small one-day convention seems perfect if you just want to try it out. I expect the audience to be looking for more japanese-oriented media comparing to our fantasy art, so I’m not sure how well we’ll fit in. The only way to find out is by attending!

Before covid, I had done conventions semi-regularly. I enjoyed it, but I’ve always felt torn between feeling forced to create fan art, especially from popular franchises, to sell, and creating work I want to make, but doesn't sell that well.
 

I did not expect to sell all 10 of these zines I had made, but they did eventually on Etsy!
 
Still, I have decided not to reprint any fan art merchandise that sells out, nor create new merchandise with fan art. If I don’t try to go this route I also don’t know if it could work, right? I might make an exception someday (I have been thinking of putting that portrait of Anthony Kiedis up on Etsy as a print on demand print), but I believe focus on original content is better in the long run!

Tomofair is Saturday 20th August in the Lijsterhal in Capelle a/d IJssel, near Rotterdam. Tickets are €9,99. Come say hi if you're around!

Small Links

I've never seen a cuter baby Tyrannosaur.
  • If you love dinosaurs as much as I do, you have to check out Prehistoric Planet . It's Planet Earth with dinosaurs, narrated by David Attenborough! It looks astonishingly beautiful, I only wish there were more than 5 episodes.
 
  • Figure drawing has gone on a summer break, you can check out the drawings I did this month here .
 
  • Last but not least: I found this great animated short by Joseph Bennet! It’s already 6 years old but it’s an amazing little window into a bizarre alien world.
Thank you for reading!

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