Artwork · Bookmarks · Life · My Shop · personal acceptance

An Artists Point Of View

Literally my point of view from my studio window.

A non-stylized shot from my desk. Even my computer is open as I am writing this post. For the first time in my life I believe I am truly doing what I love. It has taken me years to get to this point. Not that I wasn’t doing what I liked prior but I think it becomes about being fulfilled as well. I have always been a creative type of person. After being redirected as a high school student because of advice from a math teacher telling me to pursue something other than architecture due to the lack in math skills I had no idea what to do. I found myself going to a local community school for Fashion Merchandising, after completing that I now had a diploma in which I could work at a Dept. store dressing windows. Next…

I then enrolled into hair dressing school. This felt like a perfect fit and it was for a very long time. From 1989-2007. I thought it the best of all worlds. Interacting with people, being creative and the multiple avenues that it offered. Everything from working behind the chair, educating, instructing, platform artist, colorist, product sales to owning your own shop. (I never did) I spent my first four years in Kansas, where I obtained my license and then moved to Vegas in 1993. My license transferred to Nevada and it was easy to get a job.

My artwork was always in the foreground, it was never a large part of what I did. Not until after I was laid off from my “Salon Manger” position that I enrolled into a leadership class and pulled out my artwork and started showing it off. I got some great comments and feedback and then I would create gifts for people, such as cards, and small drawings. At this point I looked into showing my artwork around Vegas, Anything free or a minimal charge, like $25 for a submission. I was doing this to get exposure and feedback, not to win but to face my fears of rejection and maybe not being a good artist. I was and still consider myself a self taught artist with no formal training, just a few classes here and there. As I was becoming more comfortable showing off my art, I still pursued other avenues to generate and income.

My first attempt at doing my own thing was a key chain a friend and I created and started a website and tried to sell to some friends I knew that had small retail shops. Here is a photo of the key chains.

Getdusted was the name of the company. Little vials of dust and glitter based on the name of the key chain.

This lasted about 6 months until I gave up. I keep them around as to remind not to give up again.

So for the next several years I attempted different careers such as; obtaining a mortgage license, Real Estate License, random retail and even the Las Vegas Strip positions. Even a couple of attempts to have my own studio/gallery and an online drop-ship store. (also tree themed but all imported) It seemed like no matter what I was doing I couldn’t stop thinking of how and what could I be doing on my own.

Let me fast forward to 2020 as not to bore you to death about my misadventures. It’s February and I watch a YouTube video of how this girl is closing her shop on Etsy. She talked about how it -Etsy- was changing and that it wasn’t fair and so on. At that moment I thought to myself, this is one view point, I bet there is another. And there was. Stephanie Cole-Lewis had just the opposite view point. She talked about not paying any attention to the negative comments as Etsy and any other platform is going to change. The second point was “It can still be done” meaning you can still make great money and follow your passion as a hobbyist or artist or any handmade business you choose. I subscribed to her channel and have never looked back.

So here I am in the beginning of September of 2020 with just over 50 sales from Etsy since opening my shop in early April. Side note; I actually started a shop in October of 2018 and never followed through with it. When you look at my shop and it states open since 2018 and see that there are only 52 sales, I thought this might hinder my starting out but not at all. I could have opened another shop and started from scratch but analytical me thought it would look good being open at least two years longer.

It really all started to come together when I followed my heart. I know for a fact that everything I have done up until now has been about avoiding my “Tree Art” When I created the name “The Healing Tree Studio” it was about the healing process in every aspect of the word. Not just mentally and physically but emotionally, spiritually and self acceptance and awareness. It’s about healing as a human species, a planet. Healing from the scars of regret, remorse, anger, resentment and not following your passion. Now that I have open this flood gate and exposed myself I think we can start talking about some real shit from now on.

Cheers!

Artwork · Bookmarks · My Shop · New Items · note cards

New Bookmarks And Redesigned Note Cards

Hi! I hope everyone is doing well and staying busy and safe. I am going on four months of being furloughed from my job. Quite frankly it has been a great welcoming to slow down and focus on what I love. I know not everyone is in the same situation but I think I have taken advantage of an opportunity. I live in Las Vegas, so I know it has been hit hard. I used to work on the strip and recently changed to a travel industry, specifically the cruise ship industry. I believe I am supposed to go back the end of September. It has already been postponed from the end of this month. I really don’t see us going back -us being the last two groups hired from last Sept./Oct. 2019 groups- I watch, rather I read some of the news and watch what is going on in the cruise world and have my doubts about going back in September. Personally I would not go on a cruise anytime soon. Like not until next year!

Anyway, here I am in my new studio space and loving it!. We are still working on the rest of the house but I have time to do some art. Speaking of art, I have made some Christmas/Holiday cards. I am just teasing you because I am not ready to show them off. But I do have some new bookmark art and redesigned note cards to show you.

These are my first note cards that I added to my shop. And they did not do so well. I had words of endearment without the borders. I had a few views but no sales. So I redesigned them. As of this posting I have sold 3 sets already. So I think that was a good idea.

I have also started on a smaller bookmarks, these are 7 by 2 inches. The original bookmarks are 11 inches. I think they will do well once I have some more options available. They are the same design concept, 100% cotton canvas, acrylic and or watercolors and custom wood or glass bead tassels.

Almost half the size but still adorable.

Then there’s these beautiful full size pieces. The photos came out stunning!

This has been my week of creating. I will have my Holiday and Christmas cards available soon. I will keep them as a set of 6 with white envelopes. I have found new packaging for them, it’s a Kraft brown box with a acrylic window. I like them better and easily recycled. Gotta save the plastic trees.

Until next time.

Artwork · Bookmarks · My Shop · New Items · note cards

In between done and not even close

Where do I begin besides telling you I am not done. Waiting for the flooring to come in. July 23/24. Although the flooring isn’t here, I still need to do some minor touch ups. This reminds of being in Mexico. When I was in Puerto Vallarta, I had seen a lot of unfinished houses on the water and someone said to me that “they’re on Mexico time, it gets done when it’s done”. We took a shore excursion to a small unfinished building that was eventually going to be a bed and breakfast type of place. There was about 12 of us on this little boat and as we pulled up to the place it clearly was not habitable and still under construction, I asked the guide how long have they been working on it and he replied, “four years”.

Meanwhile back in my bedroom/studio, I am getting cramped. I am doing my best not to purchase items until I move. I am keeping up on supplies and the basics of running my shop but it’s sometimes difficult to pass up a sale on shelving and tables and all the cool stuff that I envision for my studio. Speaking of being cramped, prepare! I am sharing some photos of my current environment.

Yes, I do clean up before going to bed, but this is what it looks like when I am working. Gulp! So you can see I have limited space to add anything. You would think I would be in a hurry to move working under these conditions.

So here are the updates on the two rooms and other projects that keep me busy.

A few weeks ago a friend of mine asked me to do some custom bookmarks and a set of note cards. She wanted them for her parents birthday’s that are a month a part. They live in Colorado on a property surrounded by trees! This was a great project for me and perfect timing.

Another project that came to me was a commission piece for hanging art. I’ve done a couple for this friend a while back but she was ready for something for herself. I finished and delivered that this week. It’s been a minute since I have done anything on canvas, since my shop opening in April. I have been so focused on bookmarks and note cards, it was strange at first but of course it’s like riding a bike. The photos below show the progress of how it started to the last photo is the finished art.

Along with all of these projects I have managed to come up with some new note card designs. I think I may have two sets of cards. This first set is of three different designs and will be a card set of 6 with two of each card. The second set is still in progress but I am sharing what I have so far.

Titled “Sharing The Pond” Set of three note cards
Titled “Other Worlds” Set of six note cards

These are my projects keeping me busy these days. I will have the new cards listed on Etsy and my website, TheHealingTreeStudio.com by next week (July 27th). I just received notice the flooring is in. We are headed to the store here shortly. So, stand by for funny pics coming soon.

Until next time, Cheers

Artwork · My Shop · note cards

New Studio Updates

Super excited to share some updates on my new studio space. It has been a couple of weeks since my last post but here are some pics. Turns out we are doing the floors after all. Surprise!. We were going back and forth about keeping the carpet or not.

Off to the floor store. I don’t have a photo of the flooring but it is a laminate material and we are doing it our selves. Something I didn’t want to do but some how got tricked into being excited about it. The flooring has been ordered as it was not in stock. This has given us time to finish and painting details and of course remove the carpet and prep the floor properly.

That is where I am at with my new rooms. The flooring will take about 14 days to come in. The 23rd of July is when it is scheduled to arrive. Because of this change in flooring, it has caused a domino effect. These two upstairs bedrooms are attached to a small hall landing area which is attached to a master bedroom, which is attached to stairs, which is attached to another landing. In short, it doesn’t stop. When completed we will have new flooring in four bedrooms, two landings and a flight of stairs. Along with new paint in the whole house, new fixtures and lighting in the kitchen.

I’am thinking this might have started when I asked to move upstairs into those two rooms. What lesson have I learned here??

As far as my art and Etsy shop, things are going well. I posted on social media my new cards and they have been well received. I have also picked up a couple of commission pieces to do. One wall hanging and one order for customized bookmarks and a set of note cards for a couple that live in Colorado.

Below are the images of the new note card collection. I have updated the amount of cards. A set of 6 notes cards with white envelopes and packaged in a clear acrylic box then wrapped in tissue paper. I will post images of the commission work when it’s done and sent off. I don’t want to spoil the surprise.

I wanted to write something since I missed last week. so this is what I have been up to. I hope to have my commission pieces done and sent off so I can post those pics. I think I am looking to move into my spaces the first two weeks of August. Or third! How ever it works out I am beyond excited. Working from my bedroom is getting real tight. I am sleeping with my artwork.

Until next week, cheers!

Artwork · Bookmarks

Why did I start an Etsy Shop?

Good question. I am glad you asked. I started my Etsy shop in February of 2020 with a launch date of April 2nd. As I was creating my shop, I realized I had started to do this in October of 2018 but never followed through. Until this year I had a stigma against Etsy. I honestly never gave it a chance. I thought it was for mom’s and grandma’s that made Popsicle sticks with google eyes. Basically crafty stuff that was not for me.

Here’s a little back story of why I didn’t think I was a good fit for Etsy. First, I still don’t know what category my artwork falls into. But here’s an example of what I do, although I have many types, this is typical.

Acrylic and Ink. Starting with an abstract background, sometimes opposites, sometimes complimentary colors. Then I draw a tree or trees, depending on what’s going on with the finished background. I use a mixed size of ink pens, in black and colors. So, as you can see, it is difficult to put into a category. I suppose it would fit into one or many. I just have figured it out yet. Honestly I didn’t think “real” artists put their art on Etsy. I thought it was a cop out. So I hung my art in galleries. Nothing large or well known, just the small ones I could afford around Vegas. My first time hanging was in 2008. I hung a single piece at an art exhibit with The Gay and Lesbian Center. The show was called ARTrageous. Then my first wall rental was in 2013 at the Arts Factory here in Las Vegas. It is a yoga studio by day with wall space available to rent. I left my art up for an entire month.

Anyway, over the years I have hung my art at various places, I attempted to do an online store that focused on tree themed merchandise. I even tried my hand at a brick and mortar gallery/studio.

I ran across a YouTube video about why this person was leaving Etsy, I watched it and thought I bet there is another perspective about Etsy. So I found it and it was inspiring and very honest about the current changes on Etsy. I had no idea how this was really effecting the shops since I wasn’t officially on there as an open store. After watching and having a different view point I started search)found a lot of them. Now I just needed to figure out what I want to put into my shop. I did not want to deal with shipping artwork. It’s a nightmare. I wanted something different but still within my scope of what I do. It’s like opening a shop in a mall, (although not a good example nowadays) there’s built in traffic, advertising can be a minimal cost, I have freedom to create the store front, it’s easy to share to social media, plenty of support. The best thing is I can still create an online website. It is a great starting point for my work.

Along with some inspiration from artwork I have seen in galleries and my determination, I created what I now call bookmark art. I decided to go with Etsy as opposed to doing an independent online store because now I believe it is a perfect fit!. I got over my ego, I have changed my artwork and shipping is a breeze.

However this may work out, I am excited and looking forward to what may transpire. And that is why I am on Etsy You can check it out here Thehealingtreestudio

Artwork · Bookmarks · My Shop · New Items

What is bookmark art?

Bookmark Art is a name I came up with after creating handmade bookmarks because I was looking for something I could create and sell without the hassle of mailing large pieces of artwork. I had a massive fear of shipping artwork. I had been experimenting with canvas in the raw for the past year. I was at an art exhibit in 2019 and come across a beautiful assemblage piece that appeared to have leather or raw canvas, whichever it was I came out of that gallery very inspired.

Starting off with raw canvas, which is an unprimed artist canvas, I tear it into strips of 11 x 2 inches. I pin the strips to a board to keep them stretched and not warp during the prime and paint process. The primer keeps the paint from absorbing into the canvas and preserves the colors for years. The painting of the strips are done individually, at times keeping a color theme, others, whatever colors I think might work. After drying time of about 24 hours they are ready for grommets and tassels. My choice of beads is growing and changing. I was using block letters but thought they looked too bulky. Now I use a mixture of wood and glass beads that work with the colors of the bookmark. The finished bookmark to the left is wooden beads strung with cord. I stamped the back with my logo and then take a series of photos. The background I use for photos is also hand-painted, the hand is real.

And that is my process on how I make my bookmark art. It can be a challenge at times, trying to create little paintings but I am very happy with the results. You can find my bookmark art in my Etsy shop The Healing Tree Studio