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⭐️ Common Questions from Commissioners 🙋
- What's your work history as an artist?– Since 2006, I’ve been paid to create. Even longer if you want to count beautifying my classmates’ notebooks for tips. Buuuut most people (including myself) don’t count that.
My resume includes private commissions, freelance projects, and full-time studio work; all in various industries ranging from film, animation, graphic/web design, children’s illustration, music, and even edible artwork for a niche market in confectionery industry.
It’s all been great fun and I’ve enjoyed aspects from each industry. However, one pursuit has been present throughout my career. And that’s the creation of art for the anthropomorphic (aka furry) fandom. 😺
I just love the clever, cool, and beautiful art that emerges from the sci-fi fantasy genre. And animals have been my primary interest ever since I was a child. So it’s not hard to image why I gravitate so strongly to this this merging of interests.
Today my full-time business is sustained mainly by private commissioners who share my enthusiasm for imaginative anthro and animal artwork.
- What's your philosophy as an artist?– Beauty and wonder fuel my artwork at it’s core. I create art to inspire, provoke thought, energize, and generally pull at heartstrings; to take people away to an alternative head-space.
✨ Also prepare for your character to look their best. I believe in quality!✨
- What's your philosophy as a business?
– Make it easy, make it fun, and treat your commissioners like the rare gems they are.
Seriously, you guys rock my socks off. 💯 My passion and career are fueled by you. My best projects and ideas stem from your requests. And on top of that, you continuously treat me with unrivaled kindness and respect. I feel like the luckiest person alive!
It is my sincerest endeavor to provide a unique experience and work of art that rival, if not exceed, what you’ve given me. 😘
That’s how I run my business. I’ve learned that if you give people your best, you’ll receive it in return.
It’s a beautiful thing for everyone involved.
- I want to commission you in person. What conventions can I find you at?– It varies each year. So far, I’ve only traveled to events in the USA. Eventually I’ll visit other conventions outside the states. 🌎 But for now I’m exploring the home turf.
Here’s a list of conventions I’ve attended:
🔸 Megaplex (Vendor, Staff, Panelist, Volunteer)
🔸 Furry Weekend Atlanta (Vendor, Panelist)
🔸 AnthroCon (Vendor)
🔸 Texas Furry Fiesta (Vendor, Panelist)
🔸 Midwest Fur Fest (Vendor)
🔸 Fur the’ More (Vendor, Volunteer)
🔸 Orlando Maker Faire (Vendor, Panelist)
🔸 Furlandia (Vendor, Volunteer)
🔸 FurSquared (Vendor, Panelist, Volunteer) GOH 2018
🔸 Anthro Northwest (Vendor, Panelist, Volunteer)
… And plenty of other small events.
- Can I contact you about a commission via Twitter/Telegram/Facebook/DeviantArt/Carrier Pigeon? 🕊– As much as I love pigeons, they are messy and hard to keep track of. Same with messages sent to my social media accounts.
To keep every conversation cataloged and in one place, I ask that you contact me via email: GoldenDruidArt@gmail.com
- Do you except payment plans?– Sure! If your commission is larger than $500+ we can certainly do payments in phases. Your commission will be started when full payment is received.
- How long does it take to finish a commission?– This depends. Sketches can take mere hours. Large paintings can take several months. I typically give myself 3 months tops to complete most jobs. If it’s a small job, expect delivery of your commission much sooner.
- Will I receive my finished commission via mail?– That depends. I deliver all my digital art via email. While all traditionally drawn sketches are delivered via regular mail. You can also request your badge be mailed out too. 💌
It’s worth mentioning that if you and I will be at the same convention, you can request free at-con pick-up for your badge or sketch. Just find me at my table and I’ll deliver your art that way.
- Who owns the copyright of the art after it's finished?– The creator of the art (me). When you commission an artist, you are paying for their time and the materials it takes to create the art, not the ownership of the art. Copyright ownership remains with the artist unless you both negotiate additional terms to transfer the rights.
Here’s a handy little guide for more info.
- Can I repost/share my commission?– Absolutely! All I ask is that you credit me as the artist wherever possible. 💞
- Will you stream my commission?– It’s rare that I livestream, so likely, no.
However, on the off chance that I do, I’ll let you know about it.
- I see you paint mostly on the computer. Can I get a traditional painting from you?– Nope. I only paint traditionally for my own pleasure. 🖼 I can’t guarantee the same speed & quality in traditional media because it’s not my strongest skill set.
- I have a question or concern about a commission. How do I reach you?– If you didn’t find the answer here or in my ToS, please feel free to contact me personally.
📬 My email: GoldenDruidArt@gmail.com
🎨 Common Questions from Artists ✏️
- What equipment/software do you use?🔸 Photoshop CS6
🔸 Wacom Intuos 3 tablet
🔸 Mac computers (desktop & laptop)
- What brushes do you use?– These brushes here are all pretty awesome. Try them out for yourself. See what you like.
- Did you go to art school?– Yes. I have a Bachelors in Illustration from the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale FL.
- Do I need an art degree to succeed as an artist?– There is no general yes/no “one size fits all” answer to this question.
The most honest answer, is it depends.
It depends on a lot of factors actually.
🔸 First of all, whichever avenue you choose, you must be self disciplined and exceedingly motivated. Nether college nor self education will work if you are lackluster about it.
🔸 Art School: What are your finances like? Will going to art school require you to take out a student loan? Think long and hard about this. Statistically art majors make far less money than other graduates. They also rack up more debt.
Do your research! Look at the cost and course material for various institutions and degrees.
But formal education is great for a lot of people who need that structure. Also the connections you make in college with your teachers, fellow alumni, and other professionals will serve you long into your career.
🔸 Self Education: It’s obviously cheaper to teach yourself. Online classes are far less expensive, or in a lot of cases free. There is a wealth of information out there and even if you go to college, you’ll most likely continue your education in this way afterwards.
The hardest part is combing the internet for suitable/relevant study material. After that, it’s the challenge of implementing your own academic routine. You most likely won’t have anyone in person to help guide you. So this approach can take longer than a 4 year degree to see the results you want.
🔸 This is obviously a very brief answer to this question. If you’re serious about art as a career, whether you go to college or study on your own, it’s good to research first. In fact, treat your research like a homework assignment. Now go forth and educate yourself!
- I just started drawing/painting. Do you have any tips for me?– Make scheduled time for art. I only paint when inspiration strikes me. Lucky for me it strikes at 9am sharp every day. The hardest part is sitting down and starting, but after that you really get a groove going. Regularly scheduling chunks of time helps generate inspiration and focus.
Use this time to study and practice the basics of art and design. Look at lots and lots of tutorials.
This will also train your hand coordination. Hand dexterity is a huge part of translating what’s in your brain to paper.
Understanding that every piece of art goes through the “crap phase” and you just have to work through it.
Keep a positive attitude. When you start to hate on your work, pause and think about this: If your feeling this way, an artistic break through is right around the corner! It’s very exciting that you are noticing the flaws in your own work. This means that you are actively reaching for the next level in your art. Keep going!
- I want to start selling my art and doing commissions. Do you have any tips for me?– So at this point you’ve been painting and sharing your art frequently for a while now. You’ve built up a decent following online. You get regular requests from your fans for commissions. Great! All these things are going to make it easier to sell your work.
Start by researching. I’ll give you a few of the questions you should be asking:
🔸 What’s a fair hourly wage for commissions?
🔸 How long does it take me to complete certain artworks?
🔸 What materials do I use and how much do they cost?
🔸 What kind of commissions do I want to sell?
🔸 Do I want to do prints/merchandise as well as commissions?
🔸 What’s that going to cost and how long do I have to wait for a return on my investment in the materials?
🔸 What should I put in my ToS?
🔸 What’s the best way to advertise my commissions?
🔸 What kind of taxes will I need to pay?
Answer these questions systematically as you research. Once you have your answers, you’re ready to rock n’ roll.
One thing to remember above all, is don’t sell yourself short. Ask for much higher than minimum wage to start with. If you are already getting requests for commissions, you are in demand. By charging too little you take on the label of “bargain bin artist”. It’s really hard to climb out of that stereotype when you finally decide you are ready to be taken seriously as an artist. Start taking yourself seriously now!
And if you need help with a specific problem that can’t be googled, ask your fellow artists! Most of us are more than happy to help!
- I want to move up from doing art part-time and make it a career. Do you have any tips for me?– You’re at a point where you’re getting more commissions than you can handle. Perhaps you work a full or part time job doing something else, and when combined with your commissions, you are working 50-60+ hours a week. It’s getting to be too much. Somethings got to give. You want to ditch the day job and do freelance art full time.
As with every stage in your career, it all starts with research. Take a hiatus from commissions and make time to educate yourself on what it takes to run a full time business.
🔸 I personally spoke with an CPA (Certified Public Accountant) and a Business Lawyer to help structure and launch my business.
🔸 There’s a good chance that your area has a local Small Business Association that offers free classes on many aspects of running a business for the first time.
🔸 Some people say to save at least 6 months of your current income before quitting your day job. I say go for a year’s worth of savings or more.
🔸 Have a plan for dry spells where the money isn’t flowing in. Always have something in the works to generate income.
🔸 Diversify your income: Commissions, tangible products, digital products, teaching, licensing, etc.
🔸 Prepare to test your willpower and focus everyday. You no longer have a boss looking over your shoulder. You are the boss and the employee now.
🔸 What are your options for health insurance?
🔸 Most people are scared to make the leap into business ownership. Look at it this way. If you make the leap off the business cliff with little to no preparation, you’ll likely plummet. If you do your homework and come back to the business cliff with the fancy hang glider of preparation, you can have a marvelous (if not slightly terrifying) leap into business ownership.
🔸 In other good news, if you fail at your first attempt at being a freelance artist, that’s ok! Do what you need to do to get back on your feet in a stable financial position, figure out what went wrong, improve it, and try again when you’re ready. 💪
- Can you teach/mentor me?– Maybe someday in the future I’ll be able to offer personalized one-on-one mentoring and online classes. For now I have a few options.
🎬 My youtube channel has lots of speedpaint time lapse videos where you can watch my painting process. Also, I host a variety of panels about art and business at various conventions.
- I want to start doing my own 'Dailies'. Do you have any tips for me?– A ‘Daily’ is something you do everyday.
In 2016 I started journaling daily. Part of that writing process has been to write 3 things I am grateful for each morning.
I’ve been sharing these three things along with a speedpaint every Mon-Fri.
This practice has benefited me artistically as well as emotionally. My hope is that by sharing these grateful speed paintings, others can benefit from the good vibes too.
Here are my tips for starting your own Dailies:
🔸 If you can, start by anchoring speedpaints to an existing habit.
I chose speed painting because I’d been wanting to improve my speed for a long time and I needed something that wouldn’t take too long each day. The daily gratefulness was something I’d already been doing and the two habits just sort of merged into one. I anchored the two together. If you can find something you are already doing daily, try tying your speedpaints to that established habit. The established habit helps remind you to do the new habit.
🔸 Set aside a specific chunk of time everyday to do it.
I set aside at least an hour Mon-Fri between 8:30am-9:30am. I almost always have that time available and it’s the first thing I do in the morning when I sit down to work at my desk. Setting aside this time in advance ensures you always have time to do your speedpaints. Then you just show up! Consistency is key to establishing long term habits in your life.
🔸 Keep a daily journal/schedule.
Life gets busy. Writing in a planner and/or calendar helps keep you on track with your goals. It also serves as a log so you can look back and review your progress. I check my journal several times a day to keep me on track with my tasks. I find it’s easier to empty my brain onto a piece of paper and refer back to it rather than trying to keep all my thoughts, plans, tasks, and goals in my head.
Really the hardest part can be just remembering to do it. Having a schedule is my big secret. Show up everyday and do what you love. Don’t allow other distractions to hold your attention during your scheduled painting time.
- Do you livestream or visually record your painting process in some way?– I don’t do much streaming these days, but I record a good number of my paintings. You can watch them here on my youtube.
- Will you do an art trade or collaboration with me?– Probably no. Unless you are an artist I’ve admired for many years or a very close friend, the likelihood of this happening is slim. And even if I do want to collaborate with you, I also have to factor in my commission workload. If I’m too busy, it would be a bad call to take on a trade.
- Is it cool if I constantly pepper you with questions either in person at conventions or online?– No thank you. I consider your time valuable, please extend me the same courtesy.
- Is it cool if, after much research on my own, I contact you with a question?– Absolutely! If you’ve put effort into your search (more than a few hours worth) and still can’t find an answer, I’d be happy to help.
- Is it cool if I trace or reference your art?– Go for it! I don’t mind if others learn from my work. In fact I’m honored. All I ask is that you don’t post it online or claim the tracing or derivative work it as your own. Use it as a learning tool.
If you are looking for images you can modify and reference without fear of copyright infringement, search the public domain. It’s a great source to work and study from.
😗 Common Questions from the Curious 😆
- What's your personality type?
– I’m an ENFJ. 😃 This means I not only have the passion to reach my goals and dreams, but also the desire to encouraging others to reach for theirs. I guess a good summation of ENFJs are analytical optimists who believe in self-improvement, strengthening their community, and applying creative problem solving.
- I heard you like ice cream. What's your favorite flavor? – ALL ICE CREAM 🍨
… but if I had to pick, mint chocolate chip.
- I also heard you're happily married?– Yes indeed! My husband and I said our vows in 2011.
He’s my absolute best friend. 💛
- Do you have any pets?– One silly kitty 🐱 and one machinating chinchilla 🐭
- What are your hobbies?– Besides the obvious art related ones:
🔸 Family and friend time
- What's your favorite quote?– “Abandon anything about your life and habits that might be holding you back.
Learn to create your own opportunities.”
– Sophia Amoruso
- Do you have a fursuit?– A silly green deer named Avocadoe! 🌱 Planning on more suits in the future.
- What do you consider your greatest achievements in life so far?🔸 Graduating college
🔸 Paying off all my student loans
🔸 Living a (nearly) debt free lifestyle
🔸 The relationships I have with my husband, family, and friends
🔸 My business
🔸 Cultivating a fulfilling life despite hardships
🔸 Owning a patent
- Wait, you own a patent!?– Yup! It’s for my invention, the Ultimate Badge Lanyard.
I built it for those of us addicted to collecting and showing off our badges at conventions. It’s an effortless way to display all your favorites at once. No more clipping badges to the side of your lanyard hoping they won’t fall off and get lost. This lanyard has multiple built-in clips down it’s entire length. Your badges always stay put. 🏅
- How did you come up with the name 'Golden Druid'?– A long long LONG time ago I was known online as YellowCat. 😺 At some point I decided to give that name an ‘upgrade’. Yellow turned into Golden and Cat turned into Druid. Ta Da!
Why “Druid”? Because GoldenShapeshifter was just too much of a mouthful.