Monday, September 21, 2015

Red Hibiscus - Commissioned ACEO

I had this little beauty finished during the first week of September, but decided to wait until my client overseas confirmed me that she received it safely.  It's always a little nerve-racking to ship anything overseas.  Things get lost in the mail quite often - even for domestic mail.  I am usually the optimistic type, but when it's something like an original art, in other words, something that cannot be replaced even with insurance, yes, I feel nervous.  ^^;

I just got the word on both Facebook and on Etsy review that my client in France has received the original ACEO safe and sound.  When I checked the tracking information on this transaction, it did show that it was delivered in record time - just one week!  (Whaaat?  I have domestic mail that takes longer to reach me!  All the time!)  I have received a package from the UK in 5 days, which still holds the record for the fastest postal transit in my personal record.  (Oh, the power of Her Majesty's image on the Royal Mail postage stamps.)

I haven't done a commission ACEO in a really long time, and I needed a new prescription for contact lenses for just as long.  LOL  There's the reason I was avoiding it!  Seriously, between the high pollen count from weeds in bloom this time of the year making my eyes itchy and watery AND my lenses getting old, the tiny dimension of ACEO at just 2.5" x 3.5" is torture. (Yes, because I'm old.  There, I said it.)  I still LOVE to pack in tiny details and give my pieces tiny highlights despite my weak eyes.   It's always a little jarring to get my head wrapped around the tiny scale, but the challenge ACEO art presents makes it fun also.

You may see me doing some more of these now that my eyes are enjoying a fresh pair of contacts.  Ahhhhh.... *happy happy*

Friday, August 28, 2015

Coloring Book Giveaway!

It's time for a giveaway!  Everyone loves giveaways.  I have only won once in one of these things, but it's certainly fun to enter, but for me, it's far more fun to host these giveaways.  It's always fun to hear, "Oh, I never win anything!  This is awesome!" from the winners when I get in touch with them.

One grand prize -- one coloring book shipped anywhere in the world to the lucky winner
Five digi prizes -- a brand new Sprite digi to be given to additional lucky winners BEFORE public release

Interested???  Please read on!

Please go to the Fantasy Art of Mitzi Facebook page and see the pinned post of the original contest announcement at the top of the wall.  The entry instructions are spelled out.  The deadline is Monday, Aug. 31 at 11:59 pm EDT (3:59 am GMT, Tues. Sept. 1).  The grand winner and the five digi winners will be announced on the same FB page on Sept. 1 after the random drawing takes place.

I've got lots going on this weekend...  Here's a coupon code for anyone who's shopping for digis at my Etsy shop.  You can get 20% OFF on your digi purchase of just $5 USD or more!!!  This is a pretty good deal. :D

And here's a sneak peek...  Actually, a collage of three sneak peek snippets from earlier this week all put together.  Interested?  This lovely mermaid is an exclusive digi only available at the Coloring for Clean Water fundraiser taking place tomorrow.  Check out more info at their event page on Facebook right here.  You can get this digi with your donation to the cause, and participate in the coloring contest to win prizes.  There are prizes from different sponsors given away during the fundraiser event, too!  Be sure to check it out!

I have to get back to work (original ACEOs, more digis to ink, more files to clean, store listings...).  The life of a self-representing artist is never dull.  XD

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Preview of the New Coloring Book

Just saw this in an e-mail newsletter from Ellen Million Graphics* (the publisher of my coloring books and other coloring books for grown-ups).  Eek!  It's a preview of all the pages that are in the new half-size Sprites coloring book, vol. 1.

image courtesy of Ellen Million Graphics
The Sprites coloring books will be in a smaller format (easy to fit into your bag and carry anywhere and whip it out and color whenever you have time to kill).  And fewer pages than the full-size cousins (so that the books will be able to actually close and don't look as if exploding LOL).  Same paper stock and one-sided printing as the other books.  This book is rated "Pretty Easy" so it is suitable for children and adults who love these little flower babies.

You can order this coloring book right now at Ellen Million Graphics at this link.

I will be listing this coloring book at the AuroraWings Etsy shop once I have stock at the house and be able to process your orders right away.

The book will probably become available on Amazon here shortly as well since Ellen sells all her coloring books there as well.

* Ellen Million Graphics has been publishing coloring books for grown-ups way before 'adult coloring' became the big trend it is today.  The current trend still has a major focus on mandalas and repetitive doodle-like designs mass produced by large publishing houses, but Ellen's books are created in a totally different way.  She is a fantasy artist herself, and her business has always focused on products that bring other fantasy artists together and promote their work.  She used to publish a monthly e-zine called EMG-Zine with articles, tutorials, fiction, poems, and artwork contributed by fellow fantasy artists.  Ellen also is the tireless host of Sketch Fest, a monthly event, where anyone can give prompts for participating artists to select and work on.  Ellen Million Graphics' coloring books are books of fantasy themes by fantasy artists.   You'll still find princesses and mermaids, but the lines are more complex and geared toward teen & grown-ups.  Some are single-artist titles like my books, and many others are multi-artist collaboration compilations (I contribute line art for these, too.).  Whatever books you choose, you can feel good about supporting the creative efforts of individual artists, each one of them is a micro-business of their own.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Ice Cream Sundae Sprite

With new coloring books of my Sprites on the way, I just finished my 63rd, "Ice Cream Sundae Sprite".  Originally, the Sprites were flower babies, but then some came along that were veggies and mushrooms.  Then came the cupcake and ladybug.  So now, I'm in an expansion mood.

It's so easy to get behind on the coloring of my digital stamp images.  I'd like to have them ready when the line art digis come out, but more often than not, I don't get around to doing the color version.  I like having the partially colored preview/sample image on my listings, so in a time crunch, I literally only paint parts of the image to make the preview.  I don't want to get in a habit of that as it restricts what else I can do with an image, like licensing for other products from tubes to cross stitch charts.

I'm happy to be able to show this fully colored version for a change this time.  ^_^

For a Sprite, this one is loaded with details.  When you just look at the digi version, it looks simple enough, but when you really stop and think about it, this one has a lot of different textures in it, making for a nice challenge if you want to really tackle it hard core. lol  Whipped cream (as white stuff is always tricky), syrup, shiny fruits, then glass bowl.  Glass is intimidating for a lot of people.  It's actually kind of fun to really look at something and try to reproduce it.  In my work, especially with the digis, it's so easy to relax and go on an auto-pilot mode doodling manga/anime style all the time.  It was nice to actually push for a little bit of realism with the colored version of this new Sprite.  I'm pretty happy with the way the bottom of the image came out with the swirls of chocolate syrup and melty ice cream showing through a clear glass bowl.    All in all, this was a fun one, though I was up past 1:30 on Thursday night working (But it's partly because I took a lunch break and watched an episode of Ink Master, which turned into a stretch of binge-watching of multiple episodes...  Got to get better at time management!).

I really need to get the Green Man inked.  I also have another exotic plant Sprite sketched out (Black Bat Orchid aka Bat Flower) and waiting to become Sprite #64.  All the while, cleaning up more files for the coloring books and catching up on coloring all the inked-but-not-finished stash that need to be sent to my cross stitch chart manufacturer.  Busy is good, right? :D

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Garden Sprites Coloring Book in the Works

Thanks to the wonderful response my coloring books have been receiving, I was able to get a new coloring book project rolling with my publisher.  I have received many requests for coloring books of my Sprites, so I'm thrilled to share with you that they are in the works!

I have drawn over 60 Sprites to date.  These books will be a half size (approximately 5.5 x 8 inches) and will have fewer pages than my full-size coloring books.  The Sprites were originally produced as ACEOs, which are, by definition, 2.5 x 3.5 inches.  The digis of them have been offered at 5 x 7 inches to make coloring easier and to give the digi users a little more flexibility in size for crafting with them.  The coloring books will be similar in digi size.   I've been busy redrawing some of my earlier Sprites on my digital tablet for the fist volume of the book.  I could really see the development of the style over 60+ Sprites!  :D

The books will contain 12 Sprites each.  The editor decided that this was a good number for a smaller format book (Too many pages and the book will not quite close right...).  She and I picked out the first set of Sprites to go into the upcoming release.  We've decided on categorizing them and presenting them in non-chronological and non-alphabetical order.  So you will get a nice mix of my Sprites from back when they first debuted in the summer of 2013 on original ACEOs to more recent digi releases.

Cover image courtesy of Ellen Million Graphics

I spent last week working on the digital redrawing of the line art of many of the early Sprites.  The files have now been sent to the publisher and we now wait for the proof from the printer to come in before the final green light.  The project is moving at a faster pace than what I originally anticipated (sometime in 2016), which is great!  I can't wait to give the preview of this book.  ^_^

Speaking of previews, there will be yet another Sprite joining the ever-growing family this Friday (Aug. 7, 2015) at the AuroraWings Showcase Blog.  My designers and I are working on a gallery presentation of an adorable new Sprite.  Here's a tiny sneak peek (There's so much more to this one, but I'm only going to show you a little bit here.  Hehe.)

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Fundraiser for Numbats

Recently I came across a Facebook post by Project Numbat Incorporated about their fundraiser to raise money for 25 radio-collars for the conservation study to be carried out by the Perth Zoo in Australia.  Their fundraiser page at was urging people to donate for the cause or run our own campaign to raise money to help their effort.  Well, I've been a fan of numbats for a while ever since I was introduced to their cuteness by my fellow Enchanged Visions and Sketch Fest artist, Jenny Heidewald.  So, I thought of a way to run my own little campaign, and Color for a Cause was born.  :D  (I also thought about Color for Collars, Craft for Numbats, etc.)

All funds raised by my campaign will be directed to the one by Project Numbat (Check out this link for all the details of their effort, and scroll to the bottom of the page to see my little contributing campaign.  ^_^  ).  I am giving away this never-before-released "Numbat Fairy" digi (300 dpi, 5" x 6", 12.7 x 15.2 cm, black & white JPG file) to everyone who donates through my campaign.  Any amount you can give is greatly appreciated!!  After I get a notice from the campaign site, I send out the digi as an e-mail attachment.  I am in the US, so depending on what time it is when you make a donation, there may be a time lag before you'll hear from me, but I'll be sure to get to your donation in 24 hours or less.

There's a second part to my fundraiser.  I am hosting a special event contest at the Stamps by AuroraWings Facebook group for my generous donors to show off their projects made with "Numbat Fairy" for a chance to win one of the two prizes to be awarded - the Artist's Choice Award and a random winner.  Both will receive their choice of $30 USD worth of digis OR one (1) coloring book with international postage covered.  The contest album is already set up to accept your entries right here.

I have a fundraiser page with PayPal donation button set up at the site for those of you who may not have a credit card.  Donations received through the AW site will be added to my campaign periodically and donation total will be updated.

This fundraiser will run through August 15, 2015.  The Color & Craft Contest will be open for entries through August 29, 2015.  Thank you for your support of the numbats~!!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy Fourth of July!

Source -
Found this awesome wallpaper this morning, and couldn't resist, as I'm a fan of Captain America (both the character and the actor who plays him, Chris Evans).  Anyhow, Independence Day is known to be the day with the highest number of accidents and injuries, so, wishing my peeps a SAFE and Happy Fourth of July!  :D  Hope we all get to enjoy time with family and friends for a spectacular weekend.

Wanted to talk about my Sprites' cross stitch charts that are available from Lena Lawson Needle Arts today.  I am licensed with this company for the Sprites Collection and some of the whimsical animal images - all small size.  I have been with two other cross stitch companies previously for my larger fantasy illustrations.  Suffice to say that cross stitch charts have never been a big chunk of my art business in the past.  So this time around, I went into the agreement rather tentatively to see how the Sprites will perform in this type of product line.

I have to say I'm very pleased with the way these little ones are doing as cross stitch charts.  ^_^  We have been adding steadily to the lineup, and now we are up to 22, including whimsy animals.
They are not the huge, intimidating size as projects, which may very well be the secret to their popularity.  It could also be that the marketing effort by this company is much better than previous companies I dealt with.  Also, I've had samples sent to me by mail, so I can tell you with confidence that these are really nice, high quality, full color charts.  Printing is done with standard industry resolution (no cutting corners there), and the result is clearly printed, easy-to-read, beautiful charts.  Kudos to Lena Lawson Needle Arts!  I'm very happy to be represented among the artists whose lines she carries.

If you enjoy my Sprites and cute little fluffy animals, and you also enjoy making things by hand, you might enjoy cross stitching these characters.  ^_^

Lena Lawson Needle Arts