#238 Valisa Higman: Paper Artist inspired by Alaska

Artist Valisa Higman lives in Seldovia, Alaska, where she has a separate art studio. She makes cut paper illustrations, carving away at the background using an exacto knife. The images are revealed in an intricate lacework of lines. Using the black as the foreground, she fills the negative space by piecing together layers of paper in vibrant colors and textures. As a finishing touch, she adds the last details and shading with watercolor or gouache. Her artwork reflects her love of community, nature and Alaskan life, featuring animals like bears or sea otters, in the forests and bays.

Listen here or download from Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, CastBox, Overcast, iHeartRadio, Amazon podcasts, or Stitcher.

Valisa Higman Alaska

Valisa Higman

Valisa Higman art
Little Red Rowing Hood
Valisa Higman art
Great Blue Heron
Valisa Higman art
Giant Pacific Octopus
Valisa Higman art studio
Valisa's art studio that she gets to by rowboat.
Valisa Higman art
Lupine 10"x21"
Valisa Higman artist
Valisa Higman art
Bear ate my Bicycle

Valisa’s art can be found on Instagram: @valisahigman and Facebook: Valisa May Higman, Artist

You can purchase prints or her art through her Etsy shop: Valisa Higman

Today’s episode is sponsored by artist Betty Franks. You can find Betty here:
Her website: bettyfranksart.com
Instagram: @betty.franks.art
YouTube: Betty Franks Art
Her Online Class Paint with Betty Recorded Workshop

Here are some great takeaways from our conversation:

  1. When making art, you can try out how colors will go together by first placing them next to each other and seeing how they look. For painters, you can do this on scrap paper before putting the colors on your canvas.
  2. An important part of time management is balancing how many art pieces you do for you and how many you do for commissions. You don’t have to do commissions, of course, but make sure you’re really enjoying creating someone else’s vision before you say yes.
  3. If a lot of your business comes from prints, you also need to decide if you’re spending too much time on commissions and not enough on original work that can be made into prints. Sometimes commissions are too personal to reproduce as prints for your market.
  4. For business commissions, they may want you to sign over your copyright to them. Make sure you know up front if that’s what they will require.
  5. When getting prints made, think about how many you can adequately store. For Valisa, she lives in a damp environment, so she doesn’t like to store too many at a time. When searching for a printer, whether they are local or can ship to you, consider your storage abilities when deciding how much inventory to have on hand.
  6. If you’re getting a lot of orders for your art, try to batch them so you’re only going to the post office a couple days a week. Realize that tasks like that can take a lot of time away from your art making, so you want to be efficient with your time.
  7. To make it easier for people to search for you on Instagram, tag your own name on your posts.
Valisa Higman artist

#237 Yulia Brodskaya: Making Elegant Paper Illustrations

Artist Yulia Brodskaya creates elegant handmade and very detailed paper illustrations. She cuts strips of paper, and folds, cuts, and spirals the strips, adhering them by gluing the edge. Originally from Moscow, she now lives with her family outside of London. She mentioned that her family only speaks Russian in their home, but I think she did very well going out of her comfort zone and talking English with me. Yulia has done over 200 paper art commissions, including a logo for Wimbledon and the packaging for Issey Miyake cologne. Lately she’s been making paper portraits, using many colors and paper shapes to get the skin tone just right. She’s also published a book called Painting with Paper: Paper on the Edge.

Listen here or download from Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, CastBox, Overcast, iHeartRadio, Amazon podcasts, or Stitcher.

Yulia Brodskaya

Yulia Brodskaya

Yulia Brodskaya art
Spirits (detail)
Yulia Brodskaya art
Samurai Dreams
Yulia Brodskaya art
Samurai Dreams (detail)
Yulia Brodskaya art
Peacock Blast
Yulia Brodskaya
Yulia Brodskaya art
Sunny Butterfly
Yulia Brodskaya
Issey Miyake Summer promo
Yulia Brodskaya art
Caroline
Yulia Brodskaya art
Rabari
Yulia Brodskaya art
Duke
Yulia Brodskaya art
Yulia Brodskaya art
Seeshall
Yulia Brodskaya art
Seeshall (detail)
Yulia Brodskaya art
Jaguar
Yulia Brodskaya book
Yulia's book: Painting with Paper

Yulia’s website is artyulia.co.uk or artyulia.com

On Instagram, she is @yulia_brodskaya_artyulia

And on Facebook, just search for Yulia Brodskaya.

Go to her website to find where you can purchase her book — Painting with Paper: Paper on the Edge.

Today’s episode is sponsored by artist Betty Franks. You can find Betty here:
Her website: bettyfranksart.com
YouTube: Betty Franks Art
Her Online Class Paint with Betty Recorded Workshop

Here are some great takeaways from our conversation:

  1. Experiment with different methods with your art. You don’t have to make art in any traditional way, and you don’t have to follow any rules. The more art you make, the more experimenting you can do so that you’ll develop new methods for your unique style.
  2. There are many art styles where you can’t blend colors together, like you would with painting or pastels. Jewelry is one, and Yulia’s paper art is another. You can still get a blended color result by placing colors side by side and letting them work off one another.
  3. Yulia has discovered that if she pours out some glue so that it air dries a little bit, when she uses it for her paper, it will dry quicker. I’ve seen painters do that as well: They pour out paint and let it dry a little so it gets thicker and will go on more like a 3D paint.
  4. A lot of artists get noticed when they post photos of their art on Instagram or Pinterest. If you think your art needs to be seen in person in order to be appreciated, you may want to do what Yulia did. She sent samples of her work to different companies, and that’s how she got her first commissions.
  5. If you have considered writing a book about your art, don’t think it has to be a how-to book. Yulia’s book tells how she discovered this art method, how it’s evolved, and how you can find your own creative voice.
  6. There are many ways you can show process videos on Instagram or your website. You could combine photos that show your artwork at different stages, or videos where you’re working on a key point in the art. Mix it up to keep your feed interesting.
  7. Inspiration simply means that you saw something and you took an idea from it. Add your own magic to a technique, a color, or a design that you see. The result will be something new that is truly your creation.

#236 Tami Macala: Building a Platform for Mosaic Arts and Other Online Art Courses

Artist Tami Macala teaches mosaic classes and now offers classes from other instructors on her platform Mosaic Arts Online. In fact, she now offers two platforms for classes. The other is called Create Arts Online. She and her husband produce the classes so they have the highest production value and the best customer service experience. With over 100 classes between the two sites, they cover many topics, all offered by artists who are experts in their subject.

Listen here or download from Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, CastBox, Overcast, iHeartRadio, Amazon podcasts, or Stitcher.

Tami Macala artist

Tami Macala

Tami Macala mosaics
Mermaid Triptych
Tami Macala mosaics
Tami Macala mosaics
Tami Macala mosaics
Tami Macala mosaics
Tami Macala

To see Tami’s mosaics and installations, her website is allcrackedupmosaics.com

Mosaic arts classes are found on Mosaic Arts Online, and on Facebook and Instagram and Pinterest.

Other art classes are on Create Arts Online, and on Facebook and Instagram and Pinterest.

Mosaic Arts Online also has a YouTube channel.

To listen to The Left Brain Artist podcast episodes with two of Tami’s instructors, visit Episode #220 with Rachel Davies and Episode #231 with Laurie Mika.

Here are some great takeaways from our conversation:

  1. When offering online classes, make sure that the techniques that are taught are unique to you. Don’t offer a class that is taken from someone else’s class or style.
  2. It is important to include detailed supply lists with your course materials. Students want to know if they already have supplies and if they need to purchase a lot of new items.
  3. Don’t make your class videos too long. Break them down to multiple lessons so that it’s not overwhelming for the students.
  4. The benefit of putting your class on someone else’s platform, like Tami’s Create Arts Online, is that it won’t just be offered to the people on your mailing list. It will also be offered to all the people on that platform’s list, including people who have already purchased a course from them and are likely to purchase another.
  5. Tami made a great point about how you can get your classes out to people: The email list is as important as the content of your class. You need to constantly work to add to your email list so that whatever you’re promoting can go out to the most people possible.
  6. When creating an online class, you should have title cards at the beginning and ending of each lesson, so that each lesson looks uniform. You should also make an introductory video so that students can get an idea about you and the class.

#235 Miriam Schulman: Artist, Teacher, Business Coach, and Podcast Host

Artist Miriam Schulman lives in the New York area. After 9/11, she re-evaluated her life and decided she wanted to leave the world of finance. Not knowing what she wanted to do, she happened to make a watercolor portrait of her son in his Batman costume. As friends saw that painting hanging in her home, they started asking her to make portraits for their own family. Eventually, she realized she had a business as a painter. Miriam has expanded her business to include online art classes, an Artist Incubator Coaching Program, and a podcast called The Inspiration Place.  

Listen here or download from Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, CastBox, Amazon Podcasts, iHeartRadio, or Stitcher.

Miriam Schulman artist

Miriam Schulman

Miriam Schulman art
Autumn Warmth
Miriam Schulman art
I Hear a Symphony
Miriam Schulman art
Batman
Miriam Schulman art
Click here to join her Artist Incubator Coaching Program
The Inspiration Place podcast
The Inspiration Place Podcast, hosted by Miriam Schulman, available on most podcast apps.

Miriam’s website is schulmanart.com

She is on Instagram @schulmanart

and Youtube

If you’d like to join her FREE class called Sell More Art, click here.

Miriam Schulman artist
Click here to get your free guide: The Artist Profit Plan

Here are some great takeaways from our conversation:

  1. Miriam pointed out that with the shutdown of our economy last year and the uncertainty in our jobs, now is a perfect time to work for yourself and start your own business. Many artists have had their best year because they are making their own decisions on their jobs and their destiny.
  2. Surround yourself with a community from whichever site you are using to sell your art. If you sell on Etsy, read their tips and talk with other Etsy sellers. The same is true if you use Instagram or Facebook to sell, and if you use a certain commerce site, like Woocommerce or Shopify. Join the groups where other sellers are meeting and learning from one another.
  3. Miriam had a great suggestion: She figures out who some top sellers are, and then she purchases items from them. That will show her how they package their things, and how they communicate to the buyers.
  4. If you’d like to develop online classes, it’s a good idea to start with in person classes. That’s a great way to find out what students want in a class.
  5. There are many ways you can offer online classes. Some can be live, like a Zoom class or Facebook Live class. Miriam offers classes that are prerecorded videos. This is good to offer if you think you will get students from all over the world.
  6. You can also offer classes where all the students take the class together, or where each student can take it on their own time. Evaluate the advantages of each to determine which type of class you’d like to offer.
  7. When deciding what kind of products you’d like to sell, evaluate how long they take to make vs. the profit you would receive on each one. It may not be worth your time to offer very low cost items like stickers, for example. You also need to remember that the low cost items will require the same amount of customer service as your higher priced items.
  8. It you are looking to teach online classes, it’s a good idea to create free videos of you making art so people can see what you do. It can be as simple as a short Instagram reel. Those videos will give potential students an idea of your personality and teaching style.
Miriam Schulman artist

#234 Sema Martin: Pet Portraits and Helping You to Make Art Your Career

Artist Sema Martin has a degree in aerospace engineering, and worked in the space program. Art was always calling her, and after just a couple of years, she left to become a full-time artist. She creates realistic pet portraits using colored pencils, and her business is based on commissions. Over the years, she’s learned how to price and market her art. She has since written a book called Art is My Career, and a marketing book called The Storytelling Workbook for Artists. From her home in Antibes, France, she also provides one on one mentoring for artists, and she offers many free resources on her website.

Listen here or download from iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, CastBox, or Stitcher.

Sema Martin artist

Sema Martin

Sema Martin art
Sema Martin art
Sema Martin pet portrait
Sema Martin artist
Sema Martin pet portraits

Sema’s art website is semamartin.com

Her business website is artismycareer.com

She is on Instagram @artistsemamartin and @artismycareer

and Facebook Sema Martin

Here are some great takeaways from our conversation:

Sema Martin artist
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