Frequently Asked Questions

Inspiration

Where do you get your ideas?

I wish I knew. Sometimes it's as easy as trying to combine two thing that haven't been combined before--lemons and antelope, say, or pangolins and stars. Sometimes it just comes to me out of the blue, and an idea drops fully formed into my brain, and I have to go paint it Right This Minute, or else.

Purchasing Art

Do you sell your originals?

As often as possible! Originals for sale can be found on my other website, at Red Wombat Studio (Red Wombat Studio can be considered PG-13, FYI)

Where can I buy prints of your work?

If you drop me a note in the handy contact form, I'm happy to sell prints of any and all of my artwork. Small prints generally cost $10 plus shipping, while the jumbo prints (13 x 19) are $20 or more, depending on whether they're a limited edition or not. Drop me a line, say "I want a print!" and I'll be delighted to talk about it.

Commissions and Permissions

Are you currently taking commissions?

Well, yes and no. I am not taking character portrait commissions or most non-commercial commissions. However, I am still doing a few illustrations for games, book covers, and so forth, so if you're a publisher or an art director looking for an artist, drop me a line, and at the very least, we can chat about it!

What do your commissions cost?

Generally $300-400 for full color cover-painting style art, industry standard for interior illos and so forth.

Can I use your art on my webpage?

If you include a link/copyright notice thingy, then yes.

Can I use your art to make tubes, tags, signatures, stationary, etc? I'm with an MSN graphics group...

No. I am no longer giving permission for my art to be tubed at this time. (Too much spam! Too many e-mails! Can't handle the load! Trying to come up with a licensing solution...)

Technique

What programs do you use for the digital art?

I like Painter7, a Wacom Intuos 2 4 x 5 tablet, and occasionally Photoshop for layout and printing.

I'm interested in getting into digital art. What do you suggest?

Buy a wacom graphire tablet packaged with Painter Classic. For a hundred bucks, you get a sturdy tablet, and a program that'll at least get your feet wet. Later, you'll probably want to upgrade to a version of Painter with layers, but that's my advice to start.

Do you have any advice or tips for an artist starting out?

You'll have to be more specific. Seriously, I'm delighted to give the benefit of my dubious experience, but too often I get "Do you have any advice?" which is sorta unanswerable. Clean your brush a lot? Palette knives are really handy? Wacom tablets are the best? People's ears are bigger and lower than you think? Ask me a specific question, and I'll go on forever, but please be specific.

What media do you work in?

Anything I feel like! I never met a medium I didn't want to at least try. The majority of my artwork these days is either mixed media or done digitally. I like to work on clayboard, gessoboard, and plain old illustration board.

It says on some of these "mixed media." Whazzat mean?

Ah, glorious mixed media. Mostly what that means is that I used watercolor, gouache, colored pencil, acrylic ink, and fluid acrylics in a glorious mishmash. I highly recommend PITT pens from Faber & Castell and FW Daler inks, as well as Prismacolor pencils.

What is this clayboard of which you speak?

It's neat. It's a hard board like masonite, coated with a thin white layer of a gesso-like clay. It makes a really neat surface to paint on. It's sold by Ampersand. These days I use their clayboard and gessoboard a great deal.

Education & Promotion

Did you go to art school?

Nope! I took several art classes in college, but it's really not necessary to go to art school--anything you can learn in the classroom, you can learn on your own. The nice thing about art classes is that you run through all the techniques and whatnot much faster than you would on your own, and get exposed to a great many new media, so they're very useful--but at the end of the day, practicing on your own is still the way you get better.

Should I go to art school?

Well, it can't hurt.

Any sites that I NEED to be aware of to post art on/most beneficial to you?

DeviantArt is the current top. These things go in cycles, though--a site gets huge, everybody jumps on it, then it gets TOO huge, lumbers to oblivion, and everybody jumps ship to something more easily navigated.

I have an art gallery at DeviantArt, which can be viewed here WARNING: May contain some content not suitable for children under 13.

How do you find out about where/when cons are?

Word of mouth, usually--I'm really bad about keeping track of cons, so I generally don't hear about it until another artist I know goes "Are you doing ____con?" and I go "Where's that?" People also occasionally ask me to come as a guest, which makes it easier.

Best advice you ever received?

"You can't be afraid to make bad art," as I think a painting prof of mine once said...or possibly my friend Harpold...cripes, it's been too long.

Worst advice you ever received?

Anything involving doing free art for "the exposure." Do free art because you like the idea, because you want to help the cause, because you have nothing better to do, but don't delude yourself.

Produces and Suppliers

You used to have the best teas, through Ellen Million. Now that she's stopped, where can I get more?

The teas were supplied by Empire Teas. They make all kinds of great teas. They won't have the fancy labels, though.