I am a graphic and fine artist, working with all sorts of mediums, at my home in San Jose, California.
I’ve lived in San Jose all my life, except for one year, in the South San Francisco Bay Area. I have always been an artist. I love bright happy colorful images. I like making people happy with what I make. The best compliments I have ever gotten on my work are when people tell me they felt happy just looking at something I made.
By painting those little joys, I can make them last forever and be there for people to see for a long time.
I taught myself a lot of what I do, by the time I got to the grade in school where formal art classes were a thing I’d already learned a lot of it on my own. I’m still learning. I recently went back to college to get a BFA in Animation and Illustration. The things that inspire me visually are the interplay of light on objects, and the little moments of candid happiness we all see in our lives. By painting those little joys, I can make them last forever and be there for people to see for a long time.
I always knew I wanted to make a living at art, and a few years ago I decided to put all my energy into making it a business. Schoolwork requires a lot of my concentration, but on my spare time I pour my energy into this. Recently, my hard work has really been paying off. A lot of people contacting me through my ArtFire shop to ask how to license things or requesting themed work, and the site really drives a lot of traffic to my Print on Demand site.
I think life is hard enough and when you come home or go to your office, there should be something to look at that makes you happy and satisfied.
I offer a wide range of styles, products and price ranges, plus I genuinely want people to buy something happy for their walls, even if it’s not from me. I think life is hard enough and when you come home or go to your office, there should be something to look at that makes you happy and satisfied. Such a small thing to think of, but it can improve your whole day, to see it.
So far, I’ve never had a lost idea or had any sort of artist’s block, and I credit this solely to the idea book.
I make all my art by hand, from scratch. I start with a browse through my Idea Book. This is a book where I jot down ideas as they come across my brain. Sometimes I can’t stop what I’m doing and start on a piece, so I keep this by my desk and a digital version on my phone, so no matter where I am I can jot down ideas. Then when I am starting a project, I flip through and look for something that grabs me and get to work on it. So far, I’ve never had a lost idea or had any sort of artist’s block, and I credit this solely to the idea book. If you haven’t started your own idea book already, I really recommend it.
What I have learned over the years doing this is you have to overcome a lot of stereotyping. People tend to think artists are flakes, irresponsible or that “artist” is just a fancy way of saying “bum.” Also there’s the perception that we’re all trying to sell a patch of air or some bizarre installation piece. I think art should be accessible, affordable and enjoyable by EVERYONE.
My plans for the future include writing and illustrating more books, and I’m looking forward to graduating from college. Going back to school in your 40’s is very scary at first but so far, it has totally been worth it.
When I’m not working I’m going to school or doing homework or sleeping. I don’t really have time for much else. But my hobbies include reading, playing video games, and not having time to read or play video games. I live with my boyfriend and three cats, so they are picking up the slack on the reading and video game playing for me. I also make hand tatted lace and enjoy sewing and costuming. I am also learning how to make bobbin lace.
When I promote my work, I use Google+, Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr and I would tell people who are just starting out that 60% percent of this endeavor is doing just that. Promoting your work is a HUGE part of succeeding here, or on any online venue. Tell everyone all about it! Hand out business cards; get your work and your name out there. No one is going to do it for you, when you are just starting out.
Promoting your work is a HUGE part of succeeding here, or on any online venue.
Remember that when you are new to this you are your entire staff! You have to dedicate time to it and work every day, make things, promote things, sell things, and keep your customers happy! It’s exhausting, but very satisfying.
I like ArtFire because no other site gets closer to what I need, without me having to deal with maintaining my own web site. It’s really a great deal compared to fussing with writing and hosting and maintaining my own. I don’t really have time for that right now. ArtFire takes care of all of that for me, so I don’t have to worry about the web-hosting, shopping carts and payment processing. I just have to make and promote my art.
Follow Amy-Elyse Neer on her blog and social media:Seller Spotlights are hand selected by the ArtFire Staff and contacted personally. We ask sellers to tell us a bit more about themselves and their business through their own eyes.