Being Brave and Selling My Art

Confidence is something I definitely do not have. I’ve never believed in myself or my work and really struggle when it comes to receiving compliments or criticism. In my mind, if someone says something is good, they just feel sorry for me and are lying to make me feel better, or alternatively, if someone says something negative, its the end of the world and I should just stop drawing altogether.

THIS is something I am working on this year. I want to be more positive, and more proactive. I’ve updated my Etsy shop to now sell prints, working with the company Twofifteen who offer drop shipping at a really reasonable price.

I mean, worst thing that happens is they sit there and I don’t sell anything and have to pay the monthly Etsy charges, or I sell something.

So in an effort to raise my confidence, I am selling original artwork prints. Some are completely original designs, and some are fan art from video games and the like.

patreon

My shop is AshaFreemantleArt, super original. A lot of thought went into it (not).

I hope if nothing else you have a look. And yes, I am looking for feedback on ways to improve, without it destroying my soul. I want to get better at my craft. I want to make my friends and family proud that I am actually accomplishing something with my shop. And all proceeds go towards my partner and I’s dream of owning and living aboard a Narrow Boat.

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog. It’s an important one for me. It’s not about creating more sales or marketing myself or whatever. This time its just about taking a step and putting myself out there. If I fail, I fail. But I’ll get back up. And I’ll try harder. And eventually I will succeed and be a bonafide Illustrator.

Asha x

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New Year, Same Me

So there’s the big cliche of making a new start in the new year.. Mines a little late.

January so far has been a right shitter. A whole bunch of bad stuff happened, and I’ve generally been a miserable cow. Now its almost out of the way I’ve decided to start trying to better myself, mentally and physically.

I’ve been working a lot more on my degree the past few weeks. Even though I’m shockingly tired all the time thanks to the M.E, I am finding that having a genuine, vested interest in the subject matter has made me actually want to do more. Its working well at the moment as I’m working part time. I finish at 2, come home, rest/nap for a couple of hours then pick it up in the evening. It’ll be interesting to see if I can cope once I have to go back to full time.

Wedding planning is coming along nicely! So we have the venue.. Which is actually at a bike rally hosted by my families bike club (fiance and dad are both members), we have the celebrant booked, and the registry office is booked. We want a big fancy bell tent for the weekend since we’ll be there from the Thursday to the Sunday/Monday, and I don’t want to attempt getting ready in a two man tent! There’ll be live bands, food, drinks and bikes. Super exciting. I was never interested in getting married so I’ve never had any plans for it. This is entirely for Chris. I’d be happy down the registry office with a couple of witnesses, but you can’t win them all.

hq poster

Another MASSIVE cliche I shall be partaking of, is losing weight! I’m joining slimming world with my Mum next week. I haven’t weighed myself since I moved out of my flat and back into my parents with Chris, and everyone tells me I haven’t put any on, but I feel massive and unhealthy. I imagine the M.E plays a big part of it, and like, the fact that I hate every single part of me, but I don’t want to be huge at my wedding. Not when there’ll be photographic evidence. Usually I can avoid ever seeing photo’s of myself, but I suppose I’ll have to see these ones eventually.

Birb Update! He’s still a twat. He’s literally obsessed with stealing any people food he can get his beak into, but I hear that’s not an uncommon trait. His feathers and beak are a lot better now. Much healthier. We’ve started sticking him in the shower with us whenever we shower, since his idea of a wash is sticking his face in his water bowl and flapping around. Its brought his green out beautifully! I doubt he’s ever had a proper shower before so it’s taking a little time to get him used to it, but it’s pretty funny. He likes to sing and wolf whistle, which is a nice little confidence boost when you’re nakey 😉

So those are my plans for Feb onwards. I just want to be healthier and generally happier. I mean, I;m not unhappy, just unhappy with myself.

Things will get better!

Christmas Crafting!

So this year Chris and I are absolutely brassic. With my drop in work hours, paying work back for over-payments, and trying to save for a boat we just got nothing to spare. With all this is mind, we decided it might be nice if we made everyone something this year. We worked it all out and had 30+ people to buy for. After doing some math’s we worked out I could get all the supplies I needed for that many gifts for around £100. This is obviously a lot cheaper that spending around £20 on everyone!

Craft of choice this year was soap making! I’ve never done it, but I figured like, how hard could it be!

start

I went with the old melt-and-pour option, a Shea Butter option. This is purely because me and Chris are scared of lye, which I think is a healthy fear to have considering it’ll melt your face off if given the chance. And we don’t have time to wait for everything to cure, which I think can take months. And I have no idea how to actually make cold process soap. So there’s that.

Immediately I snapped a knife in half trying to cut it up, so switched to a bigger knife. That helped.

Basically everyone gets their own smelly. I was going to felt them, so they’d be all pretty and self-flanneling, but I tried it with a couple and it just takes too long. I had been standing for about 3 hours by this point as well, and for those of you that don’t know, I’ve been diagnosed with ME/CFS by my GP (though that could change again in March as I have a Rheumatology specialist appt :/ ) but I’ve been struggling a lot with leg pain, and nothing I take seems to help. So that idea got scrapped. It does mean now I have a kilo of wool roving and nothing to do with it. Typical.

soap

I made these cute little labels a month or so ago in inDesign. I think they’re cute. I wear glasses and he has a big ol’ beard, together we make 1 whole hipster, hence the images on there.

I’m relatively happy with the turn out. There’s 3 I need to re-do but the rest are ok. I feel bad since they’re so small, but I’m hoping people will understand our plight and appreciate that they were hand made.

How’s everyone else’s Christmas planning coming?

The Legend of Zelda Trinket Box

Back in August (I think) I was approached after finishing my Marauders Map box with the idea of a Zelda box for a friends daughter. Luckily Zelda is something I love so I actually had some idea’s already on the back burner.

We had a chat about what aspects of the games her daughter liked, and we selected the image for the front. The cover image is the cover illustration from the Ocarina of Time, Part 1 manga. I chose this particular image as Ocarina of Time holds a special place in my heart, and I wanted to be able to transfer those feelings to wood for this gift. The images on the sides of the box were drawn by myself. Just a few images to include various aspects from different games.

 

 

Cara had this to say about her commission:

Commisioned this for my daughter and i honestly couldnt be happier
Asha was great talking through the design and working out what i actually wanted, she is utterly commited to providing what her customers want
My daughter loves her Zelda box too
Thank you Asha i’m certain i will be back for more 🙂

5stars

I’m so pleased that Cara and her daughter loved the box, and I’m looking forward to making more in the future.

If you’d like to commission your own gift, you can contact me here, or head on over to my Etsy Page.

-AFA

Re-learning Photoshop

It’s been a long time since I’ve gone out of my way to do anything illustrat-y and decided I would make a start before my course transfer is completed and I receive my new course materials.

First things first – Tablet

I’ve always preferred digital illustration to more ‘traditional’ mediums. With this in mind, way back in May I bought myself a new Tablet Monitor. The dream would be to own a Wacom, but that’s way to expensive while I’m studying so I settled for a Ugee 1910B. It took a little fiddling, and some help from my IT guy friend, but its up and running now. I just need a DVI lead as its running through a VGA at the moment so the resolution isn’t as good as it should be.

Photoshop

I used to be pretty good at Photoshop, but again its been years. I used to be able to create things like this:

36707633_205088183665755_7463968001495138304_n

But I’ve since lost all my skills and shortcuts, so it’s basically back to square one. I essentially watched loads of video’s on YouTube and made loads of notes.

Here are a couple that I found really helpful:

I’m probably going to add to this list as I find more useful videos and tutorials so I have a useful list of references.

So using this new info I set out with a quick doodle:

41678569_247088249283664_6874236762319749120_nhalloween practise puff

I really wasn’t happy with the finished doodle. The perspective is off somehow? I think it’s just where I need to get used to drawing directly on to a tablet screen. I used to use an old Wacom Bamboo tablet, which had no display, so it just translated on to your monitor as you drew. This is a learning curve for me though so I’m not going to beat myself up over it. Just need more practice.

-AFA

I’ve got boxes for days!

After the popularity of the Marauders Map box I did for my sister, I decided it might be worth grabbing a few more boxes and doing some other designs for my Etsy store. The last box I got was from The Works. We have a pretty store in town so I wandered down and grabbed…. a few.

All Boxes

I got 9 in total I think? And it only set me back 20 beans. Admittedly the quality isn’t great, and sometime in the future when I can afford it I would like some really nice solid boxes, but these will do for now. They burn nice enough, and are fine for the nerdy/geeky stuff I plan on putting on them so that’s good.

I then spend the next hour or so measuring them all up and creating simple graphics for individual boxes, so that can be included on Etsy with any I put up. And if people want to know in general.

This is a bit of a rubbish blog and doesn’t really serve much purpose other than to prove that I have been doing stuff. I also work almost full time, and have a few health issues I work around as well. Not excuses, just reasons why I might not be as active as I would like.

I’ve also been working on a commission for the last week or so that has tied me up. Was a good one!

Anyways, where do you get your stock from? Are there any good online sellers of box blanks for burning?

Let me know!

-AFA