Your Computer is a Great Creative Tool

If you are not currently using the computer as an art tool, you are missing out on a world of creativity! I use it every day to create digital paintings with my original artwork, doodles and photographs. I can show you how to use it too…below is a recent digital painting for the season!!

a halloween digital painting

I found this post recently on Etsy Forums and thought you might enjoy Susan’s musings on the subject.

Old Dog Learns New Tricks–My 5 Best for Success on Etsy…What are yours?

SusanFaye from Etsy Forums

How old of a dog am I? Well, when I was a young pup, my family’s one telephone had a rotary dial, it had a party line shared with neighbors, and it was attached to the wall with a cord. If you wanted to make a copy of something you used a mimeograph machine. If you wanted to change the TV channel you had to get up and walk across the room and turn a dial to select one of 8 channels.

So when the time finally came to own a personal computer and dive into the fast-paced and mysterious world of cyberspace, I was terrified to say the least.

But this old dog has learned lots of new tricks. Here are five that have contributed to my success selling y art in online venues like Etsy, Cafepress, and Ebay:

1. Dive in. Early on I was tentative and fearful. What if I lost data or made an irreversible mistake, or worse–caused my computer to crash? My son was fearless, however. He explored, he clicked on anything that was clickable, and just learned things through old-fashioned trial and error or by asking one of his friends. I now do the same.

2. Become friends with your photo editing tool. Using the “dive in” approach mentioned in No. 1, make a copy of a photo then play with these basic gizmos: Crop, Lighten/Darken, Contrast, and Saturation. They will become your best friends forever, leading to irresistable images and innumerable sales.

3. Toot your own horn. I know your mom (and mine) said that bragging isn’t nice, but I’m not talking vuvuzela horn-tooting here. That would be like saying “look at me, look at me; aren’t I wonderful?” Instead, learn to toot with finesse, ie. “I LOVE what I do, and here is why I want to share it with you…” or “this is why I’m passionate about such-and-such, I hope you like it too” or “this is my favorite color, what do you think?”

4. Boldly embrace the Blogosphere. I’ll admit it: three years ago I did not have a clue what a weblog was or how it worked or where to find one. I now have a blog with hundreds of followers from around the world and it’s one of my best networking tools for promoting my Etsy shop:

Not up to writing one of your own? At least try to visit one new one a day. When you find one you really like, look at their blogroll (list of blogs they like) and chances are you will find dozens more kindred spirits. Leave comments, participate in their giveaways, exchange ideas, and you’ll be surprised how many new friends and potential customers you will meet. And it won’t cost you a dime.

5. Make a nodding acquaintance with HTML. Just the basics–there are lots of tutorials on the web for beginners. As you explore various marketing venues such as THE HIVE, blogs, Facebook, websites, etc. you will run across situations where you will be creating a note or a page with text and pictures. You may want to rearrange things, make the text green or bold, “doll it up” a bit. Sometimes their tool or “converter” just won’t do what you want. If you know a little html code, you can add a border or a type of text that their tool doesn’t provide or even better, add a link without it showing up as a 120 character url… I know it sounds scary, but it’s a trick worth having up your sleeve. I’ve learned the basics one baby step at a time.

So those are this old dog’s best new tricks–what are yours? If you are an Etsy member, you can see many more great tips in this forum thread!!!!

PhotoShop Designer 2–Mixed Media Explorations

I am starting a new PhotoShop e-course next Tuesday…there is pleany of time to join in the fun while learning new skills. In this project-based course, we will use your artwork, your photos, clip art, custom brushes, text and more to to find more ways to add interest and depth as we create new works of art. The possibilities are endless as we explore the powerful art filters and build on our knowledge of blending modes, layers, levels, opacity and brushes. We will also learn how to create and add a copyright mark to protect your images. You will be given the techniques, resources and inspiration for a lifetime of creative play with PhotoShop Elements. You will graduate with a portfolio of your own digital paintings.

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