Small Successes

As a career move, I do not recommend becoming an artist.

Let's be honest.

Unless Oprah Winfrey stands next to one of your images and at the very least says how pretty the colors are, so now everyone wants that one picture on everything from curtains to a refrigerator magnet, it's really hard to get discovered. 

Small Successes.jpg

So, it's important to relish in those small, and what I prefer, organic discoveries (and by organic I mean not from someone related to you).

Recently, I opened a shop on Etsy, selling my nature inspired art on yoga mats, bags and beach towels.  I followed all the advice about tiles and tags, SEO and algorithms.  Posted great pictures, and then....crickets.

Nothing.

Nada.

Zilch.

Until that one evening...

Congratulations!  You made your first sale!

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And it wasn't by anyone related to me

or Oprah!

The small stuff may not be worth the sweat, but it sure is worth a happy dance or two.

Browse my Etsy shop, Off561Boutique here

Where The Magic Happens

I'm still trying to see if this blogging thing is going to stick.

Always thinking and researching for an interesting topic, I thought I would continue on this path of sharing a little sneak peak of my world (note, I tried this last year as well).  

I try to go out with my camera at least once a week.  I like to shoot outside.  I have a thing for natural light, a) it's free, b) it's really hard to duplicate inside and c) it's free.  This of course limits my creativity to when the weather is nice.  

I shoot a lot.

I figure it's the law of averages.

Something will certainly be worthy.  

I dump all my photos into Lightroom and start processing from there.

Lightroom

Lightroom

I go through the photos I like, decide what I want to work on, and save the rest for later.  My next step is to open up Adobe Photoshop and start working on the images I like.

Unedited shot

Unedited shot

I usually start at the image for awhile and decide where I want to go from here.  What is the feeling I want to convey?  What was it about this shot that I liked?  Where do I see the finish?  Actually that is way deeper than I ever get.  I loved the contrast of the yellow on the red.  I liked the point of view I chose and I thought I could really do some cool techniques to enhance this.  

The first thing I did was remove the background and crop it in.  I just want to focus on the flower.

Background removed

Background removed

I like to work in layers.  I usually create multiple layers and import each layer in to different Topaz programs to create textures.

In Topaz Glow2

In Topaz Glow2

I have a "favorites" panel of all the techniques I like the most and try different ones until I get the look I want.

After putting everything back together in Photoshop, I play with the transparency levels of each layer.  I make a few more adjustments, and...

decide where I'm going with it.

Clock

Clock

I think it's kind of fun on a clock.  What about you?

Do you love it?  Clocks are available in my online boutique at Society6.  https://society6.com/jessicamanelis