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Book Cover Reveal Coming January 12th!

There’s LOTS happening here at C.A.T. Studios! New artwork, New Year reorganization of EVERYTHING, and… a new book being written!

I’m jumping off the deep end into the fiction world with this new book, the first of a new trilogy!!!

FIXATION is a novel I’ve been contemplating writing since I was 16 years old – half my life ago! Now I’m at a point where the story is fully though-out, written, and in the editing stages!

Stay tuned for the cover reveal on January 12th, and lots more details about this exciting new project!

Follow along on Facebook for the cover reveal and more details!
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You Could Win A Free Book – Time Sensitive!

 

 

Have you heard? This Thursday, September 20th, my newest book, How To Communicate Effectively – For Artists & Creatives, is being published and will be available as an e-book! 

The reviews and feedback are rolling in from the advanced readers who were able to get a preview copy of the e-book, and I couldn’t be more excited! People are loving this book. 

“Love, love, loved this book! Great follow-up to the first one. I learned so many things about communication that I am still digesting it all and trying to use it on my social media and website. Lots of info and common sense ideas on how to communicate on every level. Corrina’s writing is comfortable to read. She has a method of writing/speaking that is pleasant and not intimidating and I admit that makes a big difference to me when I read her writing and have heard her give a speech.

I can’t wait for the other two books. I read excerpts of them in the back and was immediately focused and interested.

This book is well worth reading and very informative!”

                                         –     Claudette Eaton, Wildlife Artist

 

“When I read Corrina’s words I feel as if she is speaking directly to me. It’s like having my own personal art business coach. Thank you, Corrina. I look forward to reading more from you!

                                                           –     Jan Fagan, Jan Fagan Art & Illustration

 

“I really enjoyed this book! Corrina Thurston does a great job of covering all aspects of communication that are essential for an artist and gives clear, concise examples to illustrate her points.”

                –     Valerie Wilson, Fibre Artist

 

I can’t WAIT to release this book on Thursday! 

But before that happens, I want to give you a chance to win a PAPERBACK copy of my FIRST book, How To Build Your Art Business: With Limited Time or Energy! 

Join this Facebook event page for the online celebration of the release of my newest book and you’ll see instructions for how you could enter to win a free paperback copy of my FIRST book. 

My first book, How To Build Your Art Business: With Limited Time or Energy, has been a #1 best-seller on Amazon in the “Business of Art” category, and was listed as one of the “Best Books For Artists” according to Artsy Shark. Here’s what others are saying about it:

“I just finished reading Corrina Thurston’s book HOW TO BUILD YOUR ART BUSINESS WITH LIMITED TIME OR ENERGY for the second time and I can honestly say that my life would be very different now if I’d had this manual to build an art career in my 20’s! That being said, in the spirit of “never too late,” I will be implementing the many guidelines and pointers she has laid out so plainly in this very smart guide.

That Corrina was able to build a successful art career, essentially from zero (starting to draw from her sickbed to keep busy) to creating quality art, exhibitions, writing and getting grants, collaborations and more is inspirational.

Need a boost for your career? You will likely find the roadmap here, and enjoy the journey!” ­

                                                              –    Susan R. Donze, Artist/Creative Explorer

 

“When I finish one of Corrina’s books it is great she has so many suggestions for me to implement because waiting for her next title is agonizing enough…the wait without things to implement in my own artistic journey would be unbearable.”

                                                    –    Dawn Whitmore, The “Old Barn” Lady

So join the event page HERE, learn some behind the scenes info about the upcoming book, ask me questions, and get your name in the drawing for a free book! 

PLUS, it’s not just any free copy… it’s going to be a SIGNED, NUMBERED copy, guaranteed to be one of the FIRST 100 copies published! 

But hurry! Contest ends at midnight on September 19th, 2018 and the winner will be announced on the event page on the Launch Day of September 20th!

Join Here

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Etsy Shop Exclusive Products

 

You know I love creating products featuring my artwork, and many of them are available in the shop section here on my website, but I wanted to write this quick post to talk about two product types in particular that are only available in my Etsy Shop

Holiday season is sneaking up on us! Two products that make the BEST gifts featuring my wildlife artwork are my Photographic Prints and Art Pillows! But here’s the thing… you can ONLY buy them in my Etsy Shop, not here in my website shop. 

Browse My Etsy Shop Here

 

Photographic Prints

Photographic prints of my Black Rhino graphite and colored pencil drawing, showing the two available sizes.

Photographic Prints are crisp, gorgeous images of my artwork on high-quality photographic paper. They’re signed by me, the artist, in plastic sleeves for protection, and with backer boards for support. 

I LOVE these prints! The images pop and they’re a way to get one or more pieces of my artwork without breaking the bank. 

An 8×10-inch print is only $20! And an 11×14-inch print is only $30. 

Thanks to the size and the lower prices, these prints make great gifts. Do you know someone’s favorite animal? Get them a print of my drawing of that animal! Have someone who’s hard to buy for? Get them a print of one of my most popular drawings. 

Shop Photographic Prints Here

Photographic print of my Sea Turtle colored pencil drawing.

Art Pillows

An Art Pillow at the 18×18-inch size featuring my African Elephant graphite and colored pencil drawing. This one looks especially great with white, grey, or black on the back, or the same image on both sides.

Art pillows were available last year during the holiday season only via special order, but now they are available in my Etsy shop

These pillows have bright, crisp images of my wildlife artwork on them, and they look great! 

There’s three sizes available: 

  • 14×14 inches ($25)
  • 18×18 inches (my favorite) ($38)
  • 26×26 inches ($55) 

These make great gifts too and can give a quick and easy facelift to any room. Children, teens, and adults alike love these pillows! 

An Art Pillow at the 18×18-inch size that features my Japanese White Eyes colored pencil drawing.

The back of each pillow can be the same image as on the front, it can be a plain color, like black, white, grey, or other colors, or it can feature a different image of my artwork and be two-sided! Children especially love to have the pillows have one art image on one side and a different image on the other side. For example, for my niece who’s three, I got her a 14×14-inch pillow with the Blue-Eyed Kitten on one side and the Two Capuchin Monkeys on the other side for Christmas and she spent the rest of the day hugging the pillow and showing it to people. 

Shop Art Pillows Here

A 14×14-inch pillow featuring my Blue-Eyed Kitten drawing.
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Behind The Scenes of the Lion Cub Drawing

 

The Lion Cub, a new favorite for many of my fans, is the third in my Threatened & Endangered series of drawing, focusing on animals that are considered threatened, endangered, or vulnerable around the world.

The Beginning Of The Series

The first drawing in the series was the African Elephant, at 18×24 inches big. That drawing began as an experiment with a larger drawing using graphite and colored pencil together to create a black and white drawing, and it was so popular and I enjoyed making it so much, it sparked the idea for this whole series.

Each drawing in this series is larger than my typical drawings, being between 16×20 inches to 22×30 inches big. They’re all in black and white, which I think has the ability to enhance the emotion of the image, something I’m really striving to have be an important part of this series. And all of their backgrounds are being left stark white, both to bring more attention to the animal subjects, but also to represent the fact that their habitats are disappearing and soon they’ll be without a home.

Each drawing will have some of the proceeds from prints sold of it donated to a conservation organization that helps that particular species. The African Elephant has some of the proceeds going to the 96 Elephant campaign by the Wildlife Conservation Society. The Black Rhino, the second drawing in the series, has some of its proceeds going to the World Wildlife Fund, which began the first rhino sanctuary and continues to help Rhinos today. And the Lion Cub will have some of the proceeds from prints donated to the African Wildlife Foundation.

The second drawing in the series was Black Rhino, at 22×30 inches big.

Each of these drawings has gained their own following and despite the lack of color, they’ve become extremely popular. I’m emotionally connected to this series even more than my typical work, and feel like I’m working toward something bigger than myself. It gives me great pleasure to continue this series!

Drawing The Lion Cub – The Beginning

 

As with all my drawings, I began with a line drawing of the piece. For this piece, that involved a line drawing of the lion cub himself and just a light line to mark where the rock he’s resting on had distinct changes. 

I wasn’t sure at this point how much of the rock I was going to draw, wanting to leave the backgrounds of these pieces in my Threatened & Endangered series mostly blank. 

I began with the upper left part of the drawing and moved down and to the right. Part of the reason for this is because I like working on the head of an animal first. The other part is because graphite smudges easily and I’m notorious for resting my arm and hand on the paper and smudging with my drawing hand, so that is less likely to happen if I move from the top left down. 

Making Progress

I continued with the drawing using a mixture of graphite and black colored pencil. I use the black colored pencil on these pieces because I love black and white images with lots of contrast, and I’m never satisfied with the levels of black I can achieve with graphite alone. So I use the black colored pencil to get that deeper, crisper black where it’s needed. 

I layer the drawing similarly to how I draw with colored pencil, with the lighter layers first, mapping out the drawing and the shapes and patterns in the fur. Then I build up with the darker layers to bring more contrast and details to create a more realistic and intense image. 

Disaster Strikes! 

Things were going well. 

Enter… my studio assistant Juno. 

 

I went to a wedding out in California in the middle of this drawing, leaving Juno in charge of my studio while I was gone. As many of you read about on my Facebook page (because you follow me on Facebook, right?) and in my past newsletter (because you’re signed up for that too, right?), there was a bit on an incident in my absence. 

Apparently Juno walked into my studio one day while I was gone and mistook the partially finished Lion Cub drawing for a real lion. 

Without fear or hesitation, Juno jumped into action and leapt up onto the lion, attacking it and defending her home and studio like the fierce guard she is. I mean, just look at that ferocious face. 

After successfully clawing the Lion Cub (mostly warning shots around the sides), she felt like he was sufficiently subdued and moved on, waiting until I got home to discover the evidence of her brave act. 

 

 

What To Do? 

So then the question was, what should I do? Should I redo the entire image, from scratch, so to speak? Or should I keep going with this one and have the original have some damage to it? 

At first my decision was I would redo it. This came right after having another drawing get damaged and having to set it aside to redo it eventually, so it was a hard hit. 

But then I thought about it more and looked more closely at the damage. I changed my mind. I was going to keep going with this piece just the way it was, scratches and all. If nothing else, it’ll have a good story! And it is now the first drawing on which Juno and I have collaborated! 

The scratches are mostly on the background and barely noticeable now unless you get close to the drawing. 

 

A Finished Piece

After plugging along with the drawing, I came to the background. The decision there was, how much of the rock detail should I add if I want to keep the backgrounds in this series of drawings mostly blank? So I compromised and added a little detail, but let it fade to the edges. 

 

Prints & Products

Don’t forget this drawing, as with others, is available in many different forms and that some of the proceeds of prints sold will be donated to the African Wildlife Foundation to help lions maintain their numbers in the wild. Here’s just a few of the options! 

Photographic Prints

Photographic prints of this piece are gorgeous and they start at only $20, so they make great gifts! They come in a protective sleeve, signed, and with a backer board for support. You can buy them in my Etsy shop here.

Greeting Cards

Greeting cards of the Lion Cub are an adorable way to send a message. Blank on the inside, there’s plenty of room for your note to friends, whether it’s a congrats, and thank you, or just sending to someone to say hi. Buy them here. 

Prints On Metal

I LOVE my artwork printed on metal. They’re available in a variety of sizes and there’s no need for a frame, so the artwork is all you see! They come ready to hang, signed, and the image really pops! Purchase yours here.

 

Questions? Comments? Let me know!

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Seasonal Products – Only Now Until The End Of The Year!

It’s that time of year where we start thinking about holidays and gift shopping! Christmas carols are going to be on the radio soon, you’ll start looking at everything in the stores as potential stocking stuffers or gifts, fretting over what to get certain people…

It’s also the time of year when I have seasonal products available! These are products I may not have at other times of the year, or they’re very limited in supply, so get them while you can!

Decorative Pillows:

One of my all-time favorite seasonal items are the decorative pillows! You can get almost any of my artwork on one of these square pillows. They can be double-sided, or have a single color (usually black or white) on the back side. I’ve even had people order pillows that have one piece of artwork on one side, and another on the back!

Contact me to make your order.

 

The smaller size is 14 inches square for $25. (Featured here is my Snow Leopard drawing.)

 

The larger size is 18 inches square for $37. (Featured here is my African Elephant drawing.)

There are two sizes available:

Small = 14 inches square for $25

Large = 18 inches square for $37

(These prices do not include shipping, which is typically $6.) 

These make great gifts! Contact me directly to order yours today! 

 

Puzzles:

48-piece puzzle featuring my Blue-Eyed Kitten colored pencil drawing.

You can also get my artwork as a 48-piece puzzle! Most of my artwork is available as these puzzles, only available until the end of 2017!

Each puzzle is $32. Contact me directly to order yours! 

48-piece puzzle featuring my Beagle/Dachshund Puppy drawing.

 

Coasters:

Coaster, featuring my Kingfisher colored pencil drawing.

 

You can also get coasters of my artwork, from now until the end of 2017. They come in a set of 4 for $32. Again, most of my artwork is available in this form! Contact me directly to order yours.  

Coaster, featuring my Two Capuchin Monkeys colored pencil drawing.

 

Kid’s T-Shirts:

Kid’s T-Shirt featuring my Black Rhino drawing.

For a limited time you can also get kid’s t-shirts with my artwork on the front. The drawings of my Black Rhino and African Elephant, with their white backgrounds, look particularly good on t-shirts! (Adult shirts available too!)

Each shirt is $18. Contact me to order yours. 

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Behind The Scenes Of The Luna Moth Stool Drawing

One of my most popular drawings of this year is my Luna Moth colored pencil drawing. Part of its allure is that it looks 3D, like the moth just landed where I drew it. The other part is the fact that it was drawn on a wooden stool! 

 

How The Idea Developed

This year was full of experimental artwork for me, which was therapeutic in a number of ways, especially because with my health and life, this has been a rough year. 

In January, you may remember I participated in a charity fundraiser using artwork, done by Rustic Roots in Shelburne, VT. The fundraiser was called the Heart Show, where each artist received a laser-cut piece of wood in the shape of a heart as our canvas. Over 75 artists participated and the proceeds from those pieces, which were auctioned off, went to one of my favorite organizations: Spectrum Youth & Family Services. 

Kitten Heart
In colored pencil on wood
Sold in auction

When I first received my wooden heart, I didn’t think I’d be able to draw on it with colored pencil. I thought I’d have to cut out a piece of paper to adhere to the wood and draw on that, but I was shocked at how well the wood held the pencil. Above you can see the final product, Kitten Heart, and how well the color showed up on the wood surface. 

After that piece, I went and bought more wood with which to experiment. It was so much fun! Below are just a couple of the pieces I did after that, experimenting with the color on different types of wood. 

Mandarin Duck
In colored pencil on wood
Tiger Eyes
In colored pencil on wood
Tree Swallow
In colored pencil on wood

 

The Next Step: Furniture

There’s a great place in Burlington, VT that makes unfinished (and finished) furniture called Sam’s Wood Furniture. I walked in there one day with the idea that I might want to try drawing on a piece of furniture, and found a room full of gorgeously crafted potential wood furniture for me to draw on! 

Knowing that sometimes I can be too ambitious, I held myself to only getting two pieces of furniture, one a stool, and one a small coffee table. 

When I told the owner of Sam’s what I was going to be doing with them, he was surprised and fully supportive, excited about what the finished products might look like. That kind of enthusiasm really helps drive the creation of pieces like these! 

The Drawing

On the next nice day we had, I found myself dragging the stool out to my deck and starting a drawing of a Luna Moth. I was so focused, I didn’t take very many photos as I created the drawing. 

Luna Moth
Work in progress

I started with a line drawing, like I always do, in graphite, which I learned quickly does not erase from this type of wood! Thankfully, that worked out okay, but if this drawing had been any lighter, that graphite line would have shown through more and been a problem. 

Luna Moth
Work in progress

After the line drawing, I started layering in the color. This wood is very smooth, meaning it doesn’t allow for too many layers of color, something else I learned the hard way. I’m used to adding 10-40 layers of color, and this drawing has about 4-5 at its maximum because of the smoothness of the wood. 

Luna Moth
In colored pencil on a wood stool

I knew I wanted this piece to look 3D, so adding the shadow was going to make or break the drawing. Thankfully, it turned out well and helped the drawing look like the Luna Moth had just landed on the stool. I’ve never done a drawing quite like this, with such a distinct shadow, so it was an experiment all its own!

The Finishing Touches

Luna Moth
In colored pencil on a wood stool
Varnished and urethaned

After the drawing was finished, I had to varnish it with a clear acrylic varnish, with multiple layers, and then I urethaned the entire stool a number of times. 

The varnish deepened the colors of the drawing, making it look more vibrant, and then the urethane did the same for the rest of the wood. I very carefully finished the entire stool with polyurethane, adding many layers so that it is well protected and shines. Then I signed it and urethaned it one last time, to seal the signature in. 

Product Details

This piece is for sale! This stool, with an original drawing on its surface, is only $350, not including shipping. The stool is approximately 14 inches in diameter, flat, and can be used as a stool, a little table, or just a decorative piece of artwork! It’s functional and beautiful. 

If you’re interested in buying this piece, contact me. 

 

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Behind The Scenes Of The Black Rhino Drawing

 

Many of you know about my African Elephant drawing I completed last year, shown below. That was the first drawing in a series I’m dedicating to Endangered Species. (Don’t forget to scroll to the bottom to let me know which animal I should do next in the series!)

My African Elephant graphite and colored pencil drawing, 18×24 inches big. 20% of proceeds from prints sold will go to the Wildlife Conservation Society.

This specific series is bigger than my other drawings, with each piece being at LEAST 18×24 inches big, most of which will be even larger. They’re all in black in white with a stark white background, not only to bring attention to the animal, but to indicate their habitats are disappearing and eventually, these animals will be extinct if we don’t do something.

The Second Drawing Of The Series

My Black Rhino graphite and colored pencil drawing, 24×30 inches big. 10% of proceeds from prints will be donated to the World Wildlife Fund.

I have now finished the second drawing in this series, my Black Rhino graphite and colored pencil drawing, which was finished just in time for World Rhino Day (September 22nd).

Rhinos are critically endangered, likely with 5,000 or less left in the world. 10% of the proceeds from this drawing and prints sold of it will be donated to the World Wildlife Fund. The WWF created the first Rhino sanctuary in Kenya and the plight of the Rhinos is one of the reasons the WWF was created!

 

Starting The Drawing

This drawing is quite large, at 24×30 inches big, and larger than my drawing table! In order to work on this drawing, I had to move my drawing table away from my wall and bring over a large piece of cardboard as a backer. Of course then I realized that as I was drawing, the lines from the cardboard were showing through in my drawing, so I also had to put a large piece of smooth mat board behind it to help keep it sturdy and provide a smooth backing for me to work on.

It took a while to just grid this paper and draw the outline drawing of the Rhino. Then, like with most of my graphite pieces, I started from the top left and moved down and to the right. I do this because graphite smudges easily and I’m right handed. I also have the habit of resting my hand and arm on the piece I’m working on, so I smudge my work easily! Working from top left and down to the right, it helps avoid this problem and lets me work the way I like without too many worries.

Line drawing and the beginning of drawing the Black Rhino.

 

Making More Progress

I started this drawing in the beginning of the summer, but I had a commission and some other projects that needed to take priority, so I had to set it aside for a while. It sat on my drawing table looking like it does above for a couple months until I finally had a week where I had no commissions and I had some time to draw my own work again.

That’s when this piece started to take shape, and quick progress was made.

I started with the left side, the top, and the left ear. I layered in three different shades of graphite (2H, HB, and 3B), and then used a black colored pencil for most of the textures and the darkest areas.

Next was the face and the horns, which are one of the main reasons Rhinos are killed today. In the past many were killed because they were considered pests. Now many are killed because their horns are valuable to those who believe they help with longevity or as cures for other ailments.

 

Finishing The Piece

I knew World Rhino Day was Friday, September 22nd, and it was that week that I was finally able to work on this drawing. Therefore, my goal was to finish the drawing by that day, if I could!

I worked for hours each day that week and kept posting the progress shots on social media.

Thursday, the day before World Rhino Day, came and went and I was almost finished, but not quite, so when I woke up Friday morning, I went to work straight away on the drawing and finished it by about 11am!

What’s Next? I want your opinion!

Now you can buy prints of the Black Rhino here, and prints of the first drawing in the series, the African Elephant, here.

You can also buy photographic (not archival, but cheaper) prints of them and others in my Etsy shop here.

Now I am in the process of deciding what my next drawing will be in this series! Here’s the options and tell me which one you think I should do next in the comments!

 

Which should be the next in my Endangered Species series? Tell me in the comments!

  • Sea Turtle

  • Snow Leopard

  • Gorilla

  • Orangutan

  • Lemur

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Now Back Open To Commissions!

 

Happy October, everyone! As many of you know, I was closed to commissions for the last couple months in order to focus on all the events I was planning and some artwork of my own. I’m happy to announce that as of today, I am back OPEN to commissions! 

How Commissions Work

You may be thinking, that’s great, but how do I go about getting one? 

If you’re interested in having a commissioned drawing made for you, all you have to do is send me an email at corrinathurston@gmail.com, and include the photo you’re hoping to have drawn. If you include the photo I can give you a definite yes or no as to whether I CAN draw it for you, and give you a more precise price quote because I’ll be able to know how difficult it can be. 

If you know you want the commission in graphite (black and white), or if you want it in colored pencil, say that in your email too. If you have a specific size in mind, let me know. If you’re not sure about sizing, I can give you price quotes for multiple sizes to choose from. 

The Difference Between Graphite & Colored Pencil

The biggest difference between graphite and colored pencil is that graphite is in black and white and colored pencil is in color. 

Jada, in colored pencil. 

Graphite is somewhat cheaper than colored pencil because it takes less time and less materials to complete each drawing. 

Many times, with graphite the background is left blank to bring attention to the subject in the drawing, whereas with colored pencil there’s usually at least a color for the background. 

“Max” in graphite. 

Graphite takes less time and can be finished for you a little more quickly. 

Both graphite and colored pencil can be shiny, but it’s more noticeable with certain graphite drawings that have dark areas that might have a sheen to them. 

Both are varnished the same, signed, and you choose if you want to pay a little extra to have me mat and frame the piece for you or not. 

Both are drawn on white mixed media board. 

 

Types Of Drawings I’ve Done For Commissions

When I say commissions, I’m definitely open to more than just pet portraits. Here’s a look at some of the commissions I’ve done in the past, ranging from small ones in graphite for $150, to ones that are quite large in colored pencil for $15o0. 

Below you can see a variety of commissions I’ve done in the past, from dogs and cats, to guinea pigs, birds, people, babies, children, all the way to ultrasounds, trucks, and drawings on wood!

Above are a few commissions I’ve done in the past, including a truck, a guinea pig, a wild tufted titmouse bird, and an ultrasound! 
Tyler, in graphite.

 

 

 

 

Sarah & Ian, in graphite

 

 

 

 

Jellyfish, in colored pencil, shown here matted and framed. 

 

 

This was a special commission done on a wooden coat rack, in colored pencil. (Yes, I can do your commission on wood!)
This is my biggest commission to date, at 24×32 inches big, of three children in 3 different scenes. 

If you have a photo you’re interested in having drawn, but you’re not sure if it’s something I’ll draw, send it to me to find out! Send your photos here: corrinathurston@gmail.com

 

What Makes Me Say No To A Commission

Sometimes I have to say no to a commission simply because the photo is not of good enough quality. I can only draw what I can see, so if a photo is blurry or the subject in the photo is far away and tiny, then I can’t accept those commissions. I need good quality, clear, well-lit, and up-close photos from which to work for best results. 

I can’t work from blurry photos, they have to be crisp and clear for me to see what I’m drawing!

You also need to have an original photo for copyright issues. If you want me to draw an image from a magazine that you like, I can’t do that. That photo is copyrighted by the photographer or the magazine, and I don’t have permission to draw it and make money from that image. However, if you bring me one of your own photos or a photo from a free reference photo site, that’s something I can work from without a legal issue. 

I also say no to a commission if I think your expectations are beyond what I’m capable of doing, if you’re not willing to pay the cost of the drawing, if you don’t sign the contract, if you’re at all mean/degrading/belittling/etc., or if you’re not considerate of my time and effort. 

 

What’s In My Client Contract

 

There are three main things I ask for in my client contract for commissions. 

1.) You can’t put me on a deadline. I know you may want your commission done in time for the holidays, and I’ll do my best to get it to you in time, but I don’t guarantee it to be done by any deadline. This is because I may have other commissions already lined up ahead of yours, or I may need to take time off from drawing to give workshops, speeches, write my books, plan events, etc., or simply because I have a chronic illness and I’m never sure what to expect from my health from one day to another. This means one week I could draw for a few hours most days, or I may need to go weeks or even months without drawing. It’s something I can’t control, so I put it in the contract to make sure my client is aware of this and doesn’t have expectations that I can’t meet. I’ll still get it done as quickly as I can, but that may mean in a couple weeks, or in a few months. 

2.) I don’t start a commission until I have half of the payment in my hand. This down-payment is nonrefundable and is used to buy the materials I’ll need to do the drawing, and cover a little bit of my time. The second half of the payment is due when the piece is finished, before sending it to you (although you’ll certainly see photos of the drawing as it progresses and then of the finished product before you’re expected to pay). 

3.) I try to keep my commission prices low, despite the amount of time and energy that goes into them. In order to do this I ask each of my clients to let me keep a high-resolution scan of their final drawing to use in my portfolio, but also to use in the creation of products (if the piece would make sense as a product), like mousepads, notecards, keychains, necklaces, and more. Not all commissions are going to be used this way, especially those of people, but some will be used and those products sold, so I put it in my contract to make sure I have your permission to do this. 

 

What Should You Do Now? 

Send me a photo! If you’re interested in having me make a custom drawing for you, send me your photo and I’ll give you the info you need to decide if it’s right for you, including if the photo is of good enough quality, sizing options, price ranges for different sizes, and the contract. 

Also, if you have questions, feel free to contact me! Again, my email for commissions is: corrinathurston@gmail.com

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My Book Is Now Available!

Hey everyone!

This week’s blog post is to let you know that my new e-book, How To Build Your Art Business With Limited Time Or Energy, is now available!!

You can now buy my book as an e-book through the Amazon store here!

What The Book Is About:

As most of you know, I began drawing in 2010 after becoming chronically ill in 2008. I had to medically withdraw from college and was mostly bedridden, in extreme pain, and unable to do much of anything.

In 2010, I began drawings as a therapeutic outlet from my bed, teaching myself as I went, a little at a time as I had the energy.

It turns out I really enjoyed drawing and began to do it more and more, with my first exhibit of artwork at a cafe in 2011.

From then on, I kept drawing and increasing my skills. Then, after I was finally diagnosed in 2014 with chronic Lyme disease, Bartonella, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, malfunctioning adrenal glands, IBS, endometriosis, and more, I am now on proper treatment. Slowly, I’m starting to feel better, although my energy is still limited and inconsistent.

Over the last couple years, I’ve been building my art business from scratch in my “good” time.

Because of my illnesses and limited energy, I’ve had to learn a number of tricks and techniques to be extra productive, efficient, and correctly prioritize what’s important to focus on in my business.

This book takes everything I’ve learned about building my art business despite my energy/time limitations, and makes it accessible to other artists trying to do the same thing.

 

Who The Book Is For:

This book is for anyone building their art business who wants some practical, down-to-earth guidance. If you’re struggling, this book can help you.

This book is especially useful if you want to get more done in less time, and push your business forward more quickly.

If you have another full or part-time job, if you take care of your kids, if you are sick or injured, this book can help you build your art business in whatever time you have available.

 

What Others Think Of The Book:

I had a group of beta readers (some people I knew and some people I’d never met before) read my book before it was published in order to get their honest feedback and make this book as useful and as good as it could be for you.

Honestly, I was completely overwhelmed (and at one point brought to tears) by the positive feedback I received from my beta readers. People I didn’t even know were so excited to be a part of this project and read this book, and to know how useful they found it was amazing. Below are just a few of the things they’ve said, plus you can read more of the positive reviews on the Amazon page.

 

“Corrina Thurston shares her hard won knowledge and guidance in a friendly, conversational style.  She doesn’t hold anything back, and every page contains useful information and ideas.”
– 
Kelly Paquet

“This is a wonderful book! It is full of great advice about how to start an art business, as well as many helpful tips on how to manage this with a difficult illness. Corrina has presented this important information with an enjoyable conversation style and in a very easy to follow format. I look forward to her follow-up book!”
Holly George

“I just finished reading Corrina Thurston’s book HOW TO BUILD YOUR ART BUSINESS WITH LIMITED TIME OR ENERGY for the second time and I can honestly say that my life would be very different now if I’d had this manual to build an art career in my 20’s! That being said, in the spirit of “never too late,” I will be implementing the many guidelines and pointers she has laid out so plainly in this very smart guide.

That Corrina was able to build a successful art career, essentially from zero (starting to draw from her sickbed to keep busy) to creating quality art, exhibitions, writing and getting grants, collaborations and more is inspirational.

Need a boost for your career? You will likely find the roadmap here, and enjoy the journey!”
– Susan Donze

 

Where You Can Buy The Book:

Interested in my book, How To Build Your Art Business With Limited Time Or Energy? CLICK HERE!

What’s Next:

Keep your eyes open because I’m currently in the process of writing the next book in this art business series called: How To Communicate Effectively – For Artists & Creatives. 

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Learn How To Draw In 2017 – How I Plan To Help You

 

Everyone here knows that I’m a professional artist. This also means that, whether it be via social media, email, or in person, I get asked questions almost daily. Some of these questions are about what I charge for a commission, or if a certain original drawing is for sale. Some of them, however, are questions about drawing:

  • How do I make colored pencil so vibrant?
  • How do I get so many small details?
  • How on earth did I create the skin and wrinkles for the African Elephant drawing?
  • How do I draw water?

I get these questions a lot, and I’m more than happy to give advice and try to answer them.

With all these questions filtering in, I realized that there’s a huge audience out there of people who want to know these things. So if you’re one of those people who wants to know HOW I create my drawings, you’re in luck!

 

First Step: Tutorials

One of my big goals for 2017 is to help people learn how to draw using colored pencil and graphite. Not only do I feel that these mediums are underappreciated in the art world, they can be difficult! There’s a lot of people out there wondering how to best utilize these mediums.

So how am I planning to help?

First, I’m creating Step-By-Step Tutorials! These are inexpensive products you can buy directly from my website and download as a PDF to use whenever you want. These are tutorials for specific drawings, and I have two already available for you, with more coming soon! Check them out here.

Learn more about this tutorial here.
Learn more about this African Elephant Tutorial here.

These Tutorials average 20 pages and explain in detail, with photos to help you, exactly how I drew each piece. The Tutorial above, of the African Elephant drawing, is 22 pages long. You don’t need many materials to complete this drawing, and the Tutorial is only $12. Once you pay for it you can download it at any time, and you have lifetime access! You can come back to it over and over again, and what you learn from this drawing, you can apply to any other drawing you do.

If you have any questions along the way, contact me! I’m more than happy to answer questions or clarify anything you need. I’m here to help!

 

Second Step: Online Courses

After I create a few Tutorials to get you going, my next step is going to be to create some online courses. These will be mostly focused on colored pencil drawing.

The first course is going to be about the basics of colored pencil. You’ll learn how to layer, blend, create different types of textures and details, create shine, make the color vibrant and opaque, make it realistic, and have fun while doing it! You won’t need any experience to take this course, it’s for beginners and intermediates alike.

Then I’ll create courses that will be more specific, like how to create life-like cat portraits in colored pencil, or how to draw a human portrait in colored pencil, how to draw water in colored pencil, etc.

 

Have an idea for the subject of a course you think I should create? Let me know here, or write a comment below!

 

Photo by Stefan Hard, of the Times Argus, of me working at my drawing table.
Photo by Stefan Hard, of the Times Argus, of me working at my drawing table.

 

Third Step: In-Person Workshops

My third way to help you learn to draw better is to teach in-person workshops! This will start out locally, and I’m in the process of finding venues to do so in the Burlington, VT area, and central VT.

So if you’re local, keep an eye out for an announcement about an upcoming workshop, possibly in the Burlington or central Vermont areas!

These workshops, similar to the online courses, will start out focusing on the basics of colored pencil. Then they’ll progress to more specific subjects or techniques and more intermediate levels of experience.

If you know of a place or organization who might be interested in hosting a workshop of mine, let me know in the comments below or by contacting me here!

Learn To Draw In Colored pencil

I’m excited to get going on these exciting new projects and looking forward to seeing what you create!