Got a very nice set of questions from an artist, who suggested (probably correctly) that people on the blog might like some of these questions answered as well.  Seemed like a good idea to me, and since I’m waiting for the glue to dry so I can apply gold leaf to my latest oddity, and the Doctor Who season finale has just finished up…

What type of paper do you use for your prints?

Depends on the print, but generally I’m a fan of the Epson Ultra-Premium Matte Presentation Paper. (Also, as a side note, Mr. Printy is an Epson r1800 Photo, which does very nice pretty-darn-archival prints.

What have you found to be the best way to pack your prints?

I take ’em down to my local Mom ‘n Pop postal place and hand ’em off to a very nice woman who proceeds, for a minimal fee, to pack ’em like Fort Knox. (Not much help, I know.) Cardboard sandwich is definitely the way to go, I’ll add–I love the little mailers that are an envelope with two sheets of cardboard inside.

Do you mount/matt your prints before you send them?

Oy, no. That’d add a lot to the work, not to mention the price. Also, I don’t ship glass any more.

For very big, VERY expensive art–i.e. anything where I’d cry like a little girl if I had to replace it–I get the mailing guys to build me a wooden crate. This has to be taken apart with a screwdriver, but the art gets there, by god. (You only have to damage a thousand dollar painting ONCE and have the insurance give you $100 and no more (because it wasn’t completely destroyed ) to go a little batshit on that front.)

Why did you choose not to have the paypal link on your website?  Is it more secure to simply deal
directly with the client?

*cough* “Choose” is so diplomatic. Actually, my website was put together by my ex-husband, who didn’t know very much about php and couldn’t put a shopping cart system together. Really gonna fix that…one of these days…

Do you have a sample of contracts you have written/signed in the past in regards to illustration commissions?

Um. Possibly…in a box somewhere…maybe…

On that note, what do you watch out for in those situations?

Pay on delivery is infinitely better than pay on publication. Pay on publication is not a deal breaker, but it’s no fun. Don’t bother working for royalties from most small press RPG companies, as “art royalties” = “work for free” ninety-nine times out of a hundred. Get your money up front if you can, and don’t count anything into the piggybank unless you actually have the check in hand.

Sometimes you’ll get screwed. It’s not malice, and it’s not people trying to screw you. Generally these are well-meaning enthusiastic frazzled people who just run out of money or time or sanity or lost the paperwork or something. Stay polite, and don’t assume the worst, but keep in mind that stuff happens, and it’s very rarely worth the time and misery to sic lawyers on somebody for a lousy $100 fee.

Is there anything you would change about your website?

Yes. Lots. It’s ugly, it’s hard to update a lot of things, and it could really use a shopping cart majigger. On the other hand, I can update art very very easily, and that’s VERY important, since I’m stupidly prolific at times. Really, I’ll get on that fix shortly…

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.

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.

How do you scan in your work to make a print of it?  Is there a scanner you prefer?

I have a very large and ancient HP scanner, back from the days when scanners were bigger and cheaper than they are now (and by ancient I mean that it’s…uh…twelve years old.) I will cry when it dies, because they got a lot spendier after the companies realized that only artists were using the big scanners and there wasn’t a viable market.

Do you have a separate bank account for work stuff vs. personal stuff?

Nah. I’d never be able to keep track.

What is your opinion on mailers? Effective or not so much?

Err…do you mean the cardboard mailers you send stuff out in? ‘Cos those are great. If you mean advertising things you send out going “Look at my art!” I’ve generally found them to be about as useful as tits on a boar, as they say ’round these parts. Never gotten any return on them at all, stopped trying long ago. Internet, baby!

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.

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