Kara Valentino Ffield is a mixed media artist from Pensacola, Florida. She lives near woods and also the beach, and she’s inspired by the nature that is all around her. In her art, she uses watercolors, gouache, and pencils to create a scene and story about the animals, trees, and flowers that she sees. Recently she’s been adding embroidery right on the watercolor paper art. She also tells us how she works in collections and releases them out to her followers.
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Kara Valentino Ffield
Here are some great takeaways from our conversation:
- Try different materials on different substrates to make your art more interesting. Kara adds embroidery onto her paper illustrations to add to the story of the artwork.
- Keep your tools sharp! That was the advice when I was in cooking school, and it’s true for art as well. With the detailed drawings that Kara does, it’s very important that her pencils are sharp so she can get the tiniest accurate lines.
- Look for contrast in colors and light and dark in your art. Kara is able to give a misty overcast look to the scenes by using pencils, and then she brightens them up with the colored embroidery floss.
- Working in a collection will help you to tell a unified story in your art. It’s like doing a body of work where one builds on the next. This will build up interest as you are unveiling each piece in your collection.
- When you create your next collection, it doesn’t have to be the same materials or the same subject matter. The link is that it is made by the same maker and will have a similar style.
- To build more interest in her work, Kara has a release date for her collection once it is completed. It’s good to give yourself a deadline of when you are putting out your next collection.
- It’s very important to think about how you are going to display your art. Plan with the displaying in mind. Will it be framed? Will it have a mat? What shape should the artwork be? Think beyond the rectangle to ovals and other shapes for more interest.
- Once Kara has finished a collection, she will do a launch of that collection. It first becomes available to her Collector’s Club, which is her email list. That way she is rewarding her followers by letting them have access to purchasing her collection before everyone else. Your email list is something you should constantly be developing and you should give them extra content and preference for purchasing.