Valentine's Day is Just Around the corner!

Apr 26, 2011

Congratulations to our new Featured Artists!

Congratulations to this month's featured artists! Their item is now featured at Their appealing designs took the top slots!

Want your item featured? Submit a link to your product to: for review. Winners are chosen each month! Deadline for submission two weeks before major holidays.

Feel free to tell your friends!


Laura Butterfly card
Laura Butterfly by trennea
Shop for a card with

Wise Stuff card
Wise Stuff by joekohl
Create a notecard template at zazzle

Apr 1, 2011

April's Featured Artists

Congratulations to this months selected featured artists at! These artists will be featured for the month of April 2011. Please feel free to drop by their sites and leave them feedback on their designs. It's not easy running and online shop, and they have gone above and beyond to make their businesses stand out. Congratulations!

Interested in having one of your designs or products featured? Please visit, 'like' the page, and post a link to your site and/or product!


Mar 4, 2011

Who Won The Cat Contest?

The Cat Contest has closed-Thank you for playing!
Holy cow--we have a winner!

Seeing your feline friends was so fun! Congratulations to Micha!
Who just won our Cat Contest at Icansketchu! Her 'Zombie' cat scared up the numbers needed to dominate and win the featured spot in a watercolor painting! And, yes, you'll get to see the finished painting! Congratulations to Micha!

Thank you to everyone who had a chance to submit their friends and vote on the winner. I'm still going to see Alicia Nicole Breeding's cat's image in my head for a long time, too.!/profile.php?id=1208517208

I will send out an earlier note of the contest open date
as requested so you don't miss out on the chance to play, too. The next contest is going to be for cainines. To play, all you have to do is:

*click 'like' on the top of the page
*upload your photo for submission in the contest
*click 'like' on your own photo or others to submit a vote

The image with the most 'likes' by contest closing wins. Easy, fun and a unique painting of your pet on top it!

Have a suggestion or request? Feel free to post it here. I will gladly take all the feedback I can get.


Mar 1, 2011

Kerra Lindsey | Artwork Portfolio |

Kerra Lindsey | Artwork Portfolio |

What a fantastic portfolio hosting site! I've been with Artwanted since 2007 and have found nothing but a quality webhosing site for my online portfolio, friends around the world with similar interests and inspiration from amazing paintings and drawings. Ever stopped by for a peak? It benefits me not to promote their website, but it can benefit you to have your work featured there. Stop by for a look and see what they offer!



Feb 15, 2011

Congratulations To Our New Winners!

Congratulations to our FIRST Art Card Winner, Maria Paray LaMalfa, who made an impressive steal for first place shortly before midnight.  Wow--congratulations!  Look for more upcoming contests to get your very own free art card!

Now that Valentine's Day is over, our newly featured artists have been posted. Feel free to send them a 'high five' (or five stars!), on their featured products. Congratulations to our new winners! They will be featured until February 28th so check them out while they're here:

Feb 7, 2011

Top 8 Common Mistakes When Entering Art Competitions.

 This is such important information, I think every one can help from this checklist of what 'not' to do.  There are lots of upcoming contests that I've just discovered here:!/LightSpaceTime?v=wall

This is an exurb from their site below.  Cheers! 


Top 8 Mistakes When Entering Art Competitions & Contests

  For more information, Please visit the source of this article:

by admin on December 1, 2010
Post image for Top 8 Mistakes When Entering Art Competitions & Contests
In the last 5 months we have processed, administered and judged more than 1,000 entries for Light Space & Time’s monthly themed art competitions. I would estimate that at least 50% of the entries are not being submitted properly or are showing the artist’s work in its best light. Make sure you are not making some of these common mistakes when entering art calls and competitions:
1. Read the Rules Thoroughly Prior to Submitting Your Work
The organization that is conducting the art call has developed their competition rules in order to administer, process and judge the art in a thorough and systematic manner. They have very good reasons why they want the submitted artwork to be labeled, sized and named in a certain way. Try to understand exactly what they want and conform to their process.
2. Be Aware of the Competition’s Deadline
The group who is managing the competition has created a deadline for a purpose. Their advertising, collateral materials and judge/juror schedules revolves around this timetable/deadline. It is absolutely unfair for an artist to expect the organization to change their schedule in order to help the artist with their scheduling issues. In addition, it is not fair to all of the other artists who got their submissions to the organization properly and on time.
3. Thoroughly Understand the Competition’s Theme & Media
Understand what the group wants from the artist. If it says 2 dimensional art, do not submit your jewelry, sculpture or crafts. If it says no photography, do not expect the organization to provide to you an exception. There are lots of other venues and organizations who are conducting calls for your type of art.
If you have any questions or concerns about the theme or what is acceptable media, contact and discuss this with the organization’s event staff. You can save yourself and the staff a lot of trouble, wasted time and effort by asking or having the theme and media questions clarified.
4. Label the Entries in Their Format, Not Yours
The group who is conducting the call for art wants the entries in a certain form for identifying, administering and for judging purposes. By not labeling your entries properly, your art may not be judged if it is lost or mishandled due to this issue.
5. Provide and Enter the Maximum Amount of Entries Allowed.
If a competition is asking for 3 images, give them the 3 images. Many times we receive only 1 or 2 images when we are asking for 5 images. A judge would like to see that the artist has a consistent style and technique. Additional images will help the juror to evaluate your art more closely.
6. Provide a Biography If They Ask For It.
Many times we do not receive a biography with the artist’s submissions. Either the artist is too busy, is lazy or embarrassed to provide a biography. This brief amount of information could possibly help the artist in getting accepted into that show. There have been times when a certain artist’s work has been accepted into the show, only to find out that they have not provided a biography. This will usually lead to the artwork being withdrawn from the exhibition. Have several sized bios ready made and available that will help in this purpose.
7. Follow the Organization’s Sizing Requirements
If the group is asking for certain size submissions in terms of pixels or inches follow it. There is no excuse to not have the art sized properly as there are many free art editing programs that can be downloaded online. Follow the size, resolution and quality settings that they are asking for. The main reason for this is that they are trying to standardize the judging process and if all of the entries are the same size (longest side of the image) and same resolution it will help the juror to make a better judgment and decision about your art.
8. Provide Good Quality Images Without Frames.
There are many times that I have had to choose someone else’s art over another where the quality of the image/entry was poorly presented. I see entries where the paintings have been reproduced (photographed or scanned) for presentation purposes and as submitted they are poorly cropped (where you see part of the mat or frame), the image is too dark or is too light and overall the colors and contrast are out of balance. The artist’s presentation to the gallery and the jurors should be as if they were trying to sell your art to them in person. You only get one chance to impress the juror and this is not the time to get sloppy with your art submission.
There is a reason why they call it a “competition” as you are competing with other artists for a limited amount of places in that organization’s exhibition. Make sure your art is being prepared and submitted according to way in which that organization wants your art presented. Do not give them a reason to reject your art by either not following the rules or by not providing them with art that is not gallery worthy.

Feb 2, 2011

Is Your Online Shop Really Ready For Marketing?

Did your last PR campaign fall flat? Are the ads you’re running today failing to snag you customers? Did the contest you just ran get almost no entries? When these disappointments come our way, it’s easy to blame mean reporters or fickle customers or the blog we just paid to advertise on. Oftentimes, the problem is a little closer to home. If your website’s not ready for prime time, all the marketing in the world won’t help. Below is a handy checklist of things you MUST do before you launch into any marketing efforts including advertising, contests, pitching the media, etc.

Product Photos:

•Are they clear, sharp, crisp, professional and attractive?

•Do the colors look murky or muddy?

•Do the colors closely match the colors of the item in real life?

•Can the customer see it from all angles they’d want to see it from (back, side, etc.)?

•Is there an action shot? (i.e. If it’s clothing, is an attractive model wearing it? If it’s home decor, is it shot in an attractive home setting? If it’s jewelry, is it being worn on an attractive model?) Action shots help your customer identify with the product and imagine owning it.

•Can the customer zoom in and see an enlarged version of the product photo?

Example Website Design:

•Is your web design professional and attractive? (Attractive websites engender trust and that encourages sales. Amateurish websites make customers worry you may not ship the products, or the products make be as amateurish as the web design. You don’t want customers thinking either of these things.)

•Does it use consistent fonts and branding?

•Does it have a consistent navigation bar that easily allows the customer to visit different product categories?

•Is your copy clear and readable and easy to follow? Are blocks of text broken out into headlines and bullets where appropriate? Can I skim any page of your site and within a few seconds understand what the page is trying to tell me?

•Is it easy for me to find information I need, such as return policies and shipping information?

•Are products merchandised in a variety of ways? (i.e. can I shop by product type, gift giving occasion, product color, price, etc.)

Information Presentation

Example:  Click here to email for more information.

•Is company contact information easy to find? Can a customer easily call or email if there is a problem.

•Is there a detailed sizing chart on your product pages? The more details the better. How long is it, how wide is it, how deep is it. If you’re selling clothing give us the size of the garment and the size wearer it’s best suited for. For example, this sizing chart tells you how long and wide the garment is, what bust size the garment fits best AND what clothing size the garment fits best. It describes how to find the right fit and how the garment should fit.

•Are shipping policies easy to find? Customers want to know where you ship (US, Canada, International, etc.), how you ship (Priority Mail, Fedex, etc.) and how much it costs. They also want to know how long it takes you to ship the item. Does order processing happen the same business day or do you require some lead time?

•What is your return policy? Is it easy to find? Are returns easy? How long do I have to make a return? Do you refund shipping? How do you deal with exchanges? How do you deal with defective products or shipping damage?

•Who owns this company? What are the company’s values? Is there an about page?

•What is your privacy policy? How is customer information secured?

•What payments do you accept?


A distinct look to your designs brings repeat customers.

•Do you have a professional distinctive logo?

•Do you have a domain name that customers can remember?

•Have you created a unique brand/products that give customers reason to buy YOUR clothing/accessories/bags/etc. instead of the competition’s?

Press Readiness:

Example:  How about a 'fan' page?

•Do you have a press page?

•Can we see what other media outlets have written about the company?

•Are there high resolution photos there that I can download?

•Do you have a press kit I can download?

•Are your product photos press-friendly? (This means free of watermarks and right click is not disabled. Worried about image theft? Fine, but is it worth losing out on those media placements?)


Example:  Easy checkout with Paypal!

•Does checking out take too many steps?

•Is checkout difficult or slow? Can I even find the checkout button?

•Do you ask for unnecessary information?

•If I leave a necessary field blank during checkout, are the error messages easy to see and understand?

•Do I have to create an account?

•Could your mother figure out how to successfully place an order on your website without any guidance from you?

•Do I have to leave your site to make a payment?

•Are there a variety of payment options? (i.e. credit card, Paypal, Google Checkout, etc.)

Secondary Conversions:

•Can I easily find your Facebook page? Do you have a “like” button on every page

•of your site?

•Can I easily find you on Twitter?

•Can I easily find your other social media accounts such as Youtube, Flickr, your blog, etc.?

•Can I easily sign up for your newsletter?

•Have you given me a reason to become a Facebook fan, join your newsletter, etc.

Remember that the end goal when you market is to convert customers. You either want them to buy stuff or you want them on your mailing list, Facebook, etc. If your online store is not 100% ready for visitors, you are wasting your time money and energy by trying to attract visitors you can’t accommodate. It’s exciting to see your site traffic go up, but it serves no benefit if your site isn’t optimized to convert visitors. While you might be able to slide on a few items in the checklist above, generally this list is what you need to consider before you do anything else.


Jan 31, 2011

New! Five Slots For Featured Artists on

Announcing a new feature on!

Five slots are available for featured artists! To submit your art or product to be featured, send an email containing the product link, your name and website address for review. You will be notified via email if your product is chosen. Chose your best design to showcase your work, and receive added exposure and bragging rights.

Good luck!

This month's lucky winners:

Jan 27, 2011

Illustration Friday

This is my children's art entered for 'Dusty'.
Created by Kerra Lindsey

Jan 25, 2011

How to Paint Portraits Effectively: Put The Pencil Down!

How To Paint Portraits Effectively:

Put the Pencil Down!

You don't want me to say it but I'm going to anyway: draw, draw, draw!  I feel you, you're sick of 'just drawing'.  But hey, you want to be an impressive painter? Learn to draw first--then practice until, well, your hands stop working. Portrait painting can be unlike painting anything else--you may be going for a 'figurative' look and be satisfied with that--but if you want the piece to be recognizable, you're going to have move past the 'blocking' stage and get to the details. Here's a great way to get geared up to do just that!

Sick of your pencil? Not to worry--there is a way to draw with your paintbrush, too! Not as easy to carry, and yes, you've got to have some water and a few other tools nearby, but the experience can help you move forward and avoid the 'boring' factor of repetitive lines.

Here's an exercise I've used with some of my students as a warm up in our 'drawing class'. It brought about smiles and enthusiasm for the piece we were working on and forewent the 'sigh' of pulling out the pencils.

We used watercolor to sketch and draw with. The results were more than impressive!

A.  Initial Sketch




We start with a blank piece of paper--no pencil guidelines to follow. Then begins our blocking phase and instead of small, graphite lines, we use a round watercolor brush (sz. 6 for our 11" x14" area, almost dry), to create large shape areas. There is no need to worry about hue at this point so I'm not going to cover that. This exercise is for your brain to accurately interpret what it's seeing and portray that 3-D shape onto a 2-D object.--with a different medium than you've been using.



I have found that negative drawing works wonders for getting your brain in the correct 'art mode', and I encourage such with my students to find the negative spaces and concentrate on them. I try to follow a path of continuously smaller shapes and values paying close attention to how they interact with each other. We draw all over he paper 'blocking in' the shapes that are found. Remember, this is an exercise for getting your brain ready to paint accurately and you shouldn't give up if your 'exercise' doesn't give you immediate results. It takes time and practice.

Here's a tip: If you find you are getting 'stuck' on a certain area stop yourself. Focus your brain on the activity at hand--the negative shapes, and the feel of the brush in your hand as you trace your shapes onto the paper.

Final Sketch In Watercolor

Jan 18, 2011

Professional Artist Call to Artists

15 New Calls to Artists Posted at

We've just posted 15 new calls to artists at, listings that didn't make it into the last issue of the magazine before our press deadline. You'll find grants, public art calls, juried shows, galleries reviewing portfolios, festivals and more. Be sure to check the site weekly for new opportunities. Good luck!

Opportunities with Entry Fees

DEADLINE: Fri, January 21, 2011

46th Annual Central South Art Exhibition National

Location: TN

The Tennessee Art League invites all artists, 18 years or older and living in the continental U.S., to enter its prestigious annual, juried art competition. Cash awards: $10,000 with a $2,00. . . »More

DEADLINE: Sat, January 22, 2011

the NOW WOW project

Location: OH

Hudson Gallery invites all artists, students, teachers, amateurs and professionals to participate in the Now Wow project. National juried competition with Cash Awards + Solo Exhibition. This. . . »More

DEADLINE: Mon, January 24, 2011

Small Works, 34th Harper College National Art Exhibition of Small Works

Location: IL

National juried show of artwork no more than 22” in largest dimension (including frame for 2-D work). All media except jewelry, film, video/digital video. Submit digital images only. Purchas. . . »More

DEADLINE: Fri, January 28, 2011

14th National Juried & Invited Contemporary Exhibit

Location: CO

Exhibition held at The Art Center in Grand Junction, Colorado. Juror, Michael Chavez May 13 - June 25, 2011 Focusing on two dimensional contemporary work. Deadline to submit is Postmarke. . . »More

DEADLINE: Fri, January 28, 2011


Location: NY

US artists are encouraged to submit work completed in 2005 to 2010 to New Rochelle Council on the Arts’ annual juried exhibition. Work will be exhibited at Lumen Winter Gallery. Final select. . . »More

DEADLINE: Mon, January 31, 2011

Lubeznik Center for the Arts Lakefront Art Festival

Location: IN

Call for Artists Now in its 30th year, this juried art and fine craft exhibition on the shores of Lake Michigan draws thousands of visitors from Indiana, Chicago and nearby "Harbor Country". . . »More

DEADLINE: Tue, February 01, 2011

Inaugural Naples, FL International Contemporary Crafts Exhibition

Location: FL

March 4- June 15, 2011. Juror: Mark Richard Leach, Executive Director, Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and former Cheif Curator and Founding Director. . . »More

DEADLINE: Fri, February 04, 2011

ADSO's 19th Southeast Regional Juried Fine Arts Exhibition

Location: FL

Open to artists 18 and older, living in the SE regional of USA. All media accepted, work must have been created after Jan 1, 2009. Juror/Judge is P. Hope Brannon. Show dates: May 1 to June 2. . . »More

DEADLINE: Sat, February 05, 2011

Fine Art Photography Competition

Location: VA

Photographers from DC, MD, VA, & WV are invited to participate in the 2011 ArtSpace Herndon Fine Art Photography Competition. The competition is open to fine art photographers aged 18 or old. . . »More

DEADLINE: Fri, February 11, 2011

2nd Annual, Of Memory, Bone & Myth Photography Exhibition

Location: ND

A national juried photography exhibition open to national artists of all levels (18 years and over). All artwork MUST be for sale! All photographic medium, including but not limited to histo. . . »More

DEADLINE: Tue, February 15, 2011


Location: KS

Midwest Center for Photography announces a $500 Fellowship Award. Juror: Laura Valenti, Newspace Center for Photography. Fellowship recipient receives one year gallery representation. Compet. . . »More

DEADLINE: Fri, February 18, 2011

Pastels USA 2011-Pastel Society of the West Coast

Location: CA

25th Annual International Open Exhibition at the Haggin Museum in Stockton, CA. April 24-June 19, 2011. Jury of Selection: Bill James, Lorenzo Chavez, and Sally Strand. Awards Judge: Bob Ger. . . »More

DEADLINE: Mon, February 28, 2011

2011 Kellicutt International

Location: CA

Call for Entries, Open to all photographers 2011 Kellicutt International Juried Photo Show Through a Lens: Inspiration or Desperation. Over $3,500 in Cash Prizes Jurors: Scott Atkinson - Lan. . . »More

DEADLINE: Tue, March 01, 2011

13th Annual International Juried Portrait Competition/Show

Location: GA

The Portrait Society of America is hosting the 13th Annual International Competition & Exhibition showcasing today's finest portraiture and figurative works. The top 15 finalists exhibit the. . . »More

DEADLINE: Tue, March 01, 2011

American Artisan Festival 2011

Location: TN

Dates: Friday - Sunday, June 17, 18 & 19, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee. Continuing its tradition of the best in contemporary handcrafts, the show is expanding to include fine art mediums suc. . . »More

DEADLINE: Tue, March 01, 2011

Mountain Maryland Plein Air--CALL FOR ENTRIES

Location: MD

3rd Annual MOUNTAIN MARYLAND PLEIN AIR: May 31-June 4. $5,000 in awards, including $1,500 Best of Show. Juried by Stewart White, member of Mid-Atlantic Plein Air Painters Association Deadli. . . »More

DEADLINE: Fri, March 04, 2011

7th Annual Plein Air-Easton! Competition & Arts Festival

Location: MD

Enter the country's premier plein air festival, with more than $12,000 in prizes. Event takes place July 18-24, 2011 in Easton/Talbot County, Maryland. Capture unique landscapes and scenes a. . . »More

DEADLINE: Fri, March 04, 2011

Art League of Hilton Head 2011 National Juried Exhibition

Location: SC

Exhibition dates: May 6 - 29, 2011 Juror: Linda Baker, AWS, NWS All media - 7 categories - Cash awards Entry by digital image/CD Deadline: March 4, 2011 Prospectus: Download @ www.artle. . . »More

DEADLINE: Mon, March 07, 2011

Sequim Arts 35th Annual Juried Art Show

Location: WA

Location: Museum & Arts Center in Sequim, WA Exhibition Dates: May 3rd through May 28th Work in both 2D and 3D in all media created in the past 2 years will be accepted. Must be 18yrs or. . . »More

DEADLINE: Mon, March 07, 2011

Works on PAPER and of CLAY - 21st Annual Mid-Atlantic Art Exhibition

Location: VA

Call to Artists - The d'ART Center, Visual Art Center in Norfolk, VA, is holding the 21st Annual Mid-Atlantic Art Exhibition: Works on PAPER and of CLAY. This national art exhibition awards . . . »More

DEADLINE: Mon, March 07, 2011

2011 Gateway to Imagination: A National Juried Art Competition

Location: NM

Call for entries: Gateway to Imagination: A National Juried Art Competition. All media accepted, open to artists 18 or older, artwork must have been completed after Jan 1, 2010. Up to 2750.0. . . »More

DEADLINE: Thu, March 24, 2011

Call to Artists

Location: VA

VMRC's Eighth Annual Juried Multimedia Art Exhibition, May 29 - June 30, 2011, at the Park Gables Gallery, Harrisonburg, VA. Jurors: John Hancock, Janly Jaggard, Cole Welter. $4,000 in award. . . »More

DEADLINE: Thu, March 31, 2011

First Street Gallery 2011 National Juried Competition, NYC

Location: NY

June 22 - July 16, 2011. Award: Solo Show-Value $3000. Online entry submission only. Begin Accepting: Dec 1, 2010. Deadline: Midnight, March 31, 2011. Juror: Paul Resika - a highly respected. . . »More

DEADLINE: Sat, April 02, 2011

Lancaster County Art Association National Juried Exhibition 2011

Location: PA

Juror: Anita Shapolsky Postmark deadline: April 2. Eligible Works: All original work in all media created in the past 3 years by artists 18+. Work previously shown at LCAA not accepted. C. . . »More

DEADLINE: Mon, April 11, 2011

Newport Arts Festival

Location: RI

The 5th annual Newport Arts Festival is a juried show in the heart of scenic Newport, RI. Categories: Pottery, Fiber, Glasswork, Jewelry, Metal, Photography, Sculpture, Painting, Wood, Works. . . »More

DEADLINE: Sun, May 15, 2011

Rising Sun Festival of Fine Arts and Crafts

Location: IN

September 17 and 18 2011 Award winning artists and artisan’s from all over the United States gather in Rising Sun to display their fine art, fine crafts, jewelry, furniture, and handcrafted. . . »More

DEADLINE: Sat, June 18, 2011

2011 Aqueous Open

Location: PA

Pittsburgh Watercolor Society's (PWS) 65th Annual International Exhibition, 2011 Aqueous Open, will be held at the Gallery Sim in Pittsburgh, PA from September 25 - October 30, 2011. Work mu. . . »More

DEADLINE: Thu, June 30, 2011

Call for Entries for Sugarloaf Craft Festivals

Location: NL

Sugarloaf Craft Festivals, one of the most popular and recognized juried shows of contemporary crafts and fine art, now accepting Fall 2011 applications Apply to one or all shows: Tim. . . »More

Opportunities with No Fees

DEADLINE: Fri, January 21, 2011

Art Blizzard

Location: NY

Art Blizzard is a non-juried show inviting participants nationally and internationally to donate five 5 x 5 inch works on paper in support of the Galleries. The title of the exhibit envision. . . »More

DEADLINE: Mon, February 28, 2011

Call for Proposals, I-Park Environmental Art Program

Location: CT

I-Park (East Haddam, CT/USA) is pleased to announce its third international, multi-disciplinary Environmental Art Biennale: September 10, 2011. Pre-event residency will begin on August 23, 2. . . »More

Ongoing Opportunities with Entry Fees

Ongoing Opportunities with No Entry Fees

Open Call to Artists Missouri Southern State Gallery

Location: MO

Artists can send a packet of information by U.S. mail or electronically. Applications sent by mail should provide the Advisory Board with a proposal for exhibition, including: (1)A cover. . . »More

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Jan 15, 2011

Artist Magazine Call to Artists!

The Artist's Magazine's

28th Annual Art competition

5 First Place Awards: $2,500 each

5 Second Place Awards: $1,250 each

5 Third Place Awards: $750 each

15 Honorable Mentions: $100 each

Nine finalists will be featured in “Competition Spotlight” in The Artist’s Magazine; twelve finalists will be featured in “Artist of the Month” on our website; the works of twelve finalists will be offered on our website as desktop wallpaper. All winners and finalists will receive a certificate suitable for framing.

Winners will be featured and finalists’ names published in the December 2011 issue of The Artist’s Magazine.

For more information about


please visit

PLUS—all award winners and honorable mentions receive a 1-year membership to NorthLight VIP Program.

Compete and Win in 5 Categories!

All entries must be postmarked no later than April 15, 2011.

Visit for complete guidelines and to enter online.
4700 East Galbraith Road, Cincinnati, OH, 45236 U.S.A.

Jan 14, 2011

100 Things to Do For Artists and Illustrators

Don’t know what to do with your extra time? There are plenty of odd jobs and tasks that an illustrator can do in between assignments. If you’re looking for some inspiration, here’s a long list of projects, ideas, and necessary chores to help make your free time more productive.

Tell a Story

Many images are used to help a narrative, and as an illustrator it is important to keep developing this skill in your off-time.

1.Make a book cover for your favorite classic novel.

2.Create a series of illustrations that show the passage of time.

3.Illustrate a song.

4.Make a narrative advertisement for a soft drink.

5.Illustrate your favorite childhood memory.

6.Make a children’s book spread for a fairy tale.

7.Illustrate the four seasons.

8.Why did the chicken cross the road?

9.Make a series of black and white “chapter” drawings for a novel.

10.Retell a short story in graphic form.

11.Create a theater poster for a Shakespearean play.

12.Create a series of illustrations that shows a person aging.

13.Make an instructional poster for a favorite recipe.

14.Illustrate a day in the life of a cat, dog, fish, or monkey.

15.Make a picture book dummy.

16.Illustrate the seven days of the Creation.

17.Interesting stories to consider: The Odyssey, the Bible, Aesop’s Fables, Edgar Allan Poe, Shakespeare, nursery rhymes

18.Make a magazine cover for a current news story.

19.Illustrate a famous historical event from: 20 years ago, 100 years ago, 1000 years ago, Prehistoric times

20.Illustrate family life in the future, at least 100 years from now.

Academic Exercises

Time to get back into the classroom! Refresh your skills every now and then so you don’t lose sight of the basics.

21.Make an illustration influenced by your favorite illustrator.

22.Paint a landscape with only three colors.

23.Create a painting in a medium you’ve never used before.

24.Study and draw figures from each source: Bridgman, Vanderpoel, Hogarth, and the masters

25.Make an abstract painting.

26.Paint a self-portrait.

27.Create a full painting in 30 minutes.

28.Draw a figure in: 1 hour, half hour, 10 minutes, 5 minutes, 1 minute, 30 seconds.

29.Fill a page of your sketchbook.

30.Create two versions of the same painting — one with warm colors, one with cool colors.

31.Sketch in a public place.

32.Paint a traditional still life.

33.Paint the same still life in your illustrative style.

34.Read a book.

35.Watch a movie.

36.Read other artists’ thoughts.

37.Watch how other artists work.

38.Take a class, if there are any available in your area.

39.Research a particular era, artist, or style and create a few paintings influenced by it.

40.Take a trip to a zoo or aquarium to sketch animals from life.

Practical Projects

Don’t let the promotion and organization of your business get pushed aside.

41.Create a series of spots to use on your website.

42.Make an illustration for a postcard.

43.Design a new logo for yourself.

44.If it’s near the holidays, create a Christmas card to send out.

45.Create a Thank You card to send to clients.

46.Draw a self-portrait in your illustrative style to use on your promotional materials.

47.Create a business card.

48.Make a small sampler, such as a booklet, that contains your artwork that you can use to give to prospective clients.

49.Create a piece of artwork to enter into a competition.

50.Take a moment to archive your traditional paintings through scanning, digital photography, or slides.

51.Backup your digital files to a disk, hard drive, or server.

52.Create sample sheets of your artwork that art directors can file easily.

53.Update your website with new artwork.

54.Work on creating samples for styles, markets, and subject matter that you are lacking in.

55.Create stationery for your business.

56.Make computer desktops or e-cards to distribute on your website.

57.If you are a children’s illustrator, create some coloring pages for your younger fans.

58.Create a fresh, new illustration to be used in a sourcebook or other advertisement.

59.Clean your work area.

60.Catch up with your paperwork.

Creative Exercises

One of the hardest tasks that illustrators have is to stay fresh and original. Use your free time to keep the creative juices flowing.

61.Design a character for a book/movie/tv show.

62.Draw a caricature of your favorite movie star.

63.Illustrate a fortune from a fortune cookie.

64.Create an illustration that integrates your name.

65.Make an album cover for your favorite band.

66.Create a modern movie poster for your favorite classic movie.

67.Create a classic movie poster for your favorite modern movie.

68.Design a creature that is a combination of at least two different animals.

69.Design a car from 100 years in the future.

70.Paint a landscape painting of an imagined land.

71.Draw a treehouse. Include as much detail as you can.

72.Draw 50 thumbnail sketches of the same object.

73.Make an illustration for each month of the year.

74.Design a deck of cards.

75.Make up your own fairy tale land and characters.

76.Research and draw characters/objects/settings from: the Mob, the Middle Ages, the Samurai, a Pirate ship.

77.Draw a monster a day for a month.

78.Illustrate a song from the Sixties.

79.Create illustrations of current events and topics such as global warming, airport security, new technology, or education.

80.Illustrate a stereotype.

Online Communities

These are resources I have found across the internet that will help you grow as an illustrator.

81.Participate in Illustration Friday.

82.Create a Moji.

83.Start a blog.

84.Help other artists who ask for critiques of their work.

85.Join an artists’ forum and participate in discussions.

86.Find and study online tutorials.

87.Look at other artists’ work through portfolio sites and blogs.

88.Subscribe to Drawn!

89.Subscribe to Lines and Colors.

90.Listen to what other artists have to say through podcasts.

91.See what other artists’ like on and StumbleUpon.

92.Contribute to the ThreeThumbsUp Gallery.


94.Check out

95.Join a community like the Little Chimp Society or Illustration Mundo.

96.See the point of view of an art director.

97.Stay up to date with your industry: SI, SCBWI, GAG, IPA

98.Find illustration competitions.

99.Online portfolio sites:, iSpot,,,

100.Read book reviews: the Sandbox, Fuse #8

And Last But Not Least…

Share with your friends online your adventures in art and inspire others! 

Have any ideas for illustration projects? What tasks do you get done first when you have spare time? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment!  :)


Jan 6, 2011

Cape Fear Wildlife Expo--Call to Artists

New Call to Artists

Cape Fear Wildlife Expo, Wilmington
The Cape Fear Wildlife Expo, in conjunction with the North Carolina Wildlife Artist Society, is seeking designs for the Expo’s 2011 commemorative poster. The Cape Fear Wildlife Expo’s goal is to heighten public awareness of natural resources and to encourage conservation of these valuable resources. This call to artists is open to professional and amateur artists ages 18 and older.
Deadline: January 31
For more information: