Monday, March 30, 2009

Illustration Friday: Poise

Calm. Confident. Quiet strength. Poise.

For Illustration Friday I created this original aceo painting. It represents the type of person who moves through life with ease and grace no matter what is going on around them. This person handles any difficult situation, making it look easy.

To add this aceo to your collection, click here.
To view other aceo's as well as original paintings, click here.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Mailing List Coming Soon

Hi everyone! I will be starting a mailing list within the week. My plans are to send one out once or twice a month with updates on my shop and special promotions to members. I will be getting all the details together this week and deciding completely on the format so stay tuned!

In the meantime, click here to view my shop and have a great day!

Sunday, March 22, 2009


This weekend, Etsy featured my original painting in their Weekend Deals Storque article. Seeing my painting show up in an e-mail definitely excited me!

I wish I could say I sold everything but I didn't. I didn't sell a damn thing! Is that Etsy's fault? No. The economy? No. Blaming those things won't get me anywhere.

What have I learned? If you want the big opportunities, you have to be prepared for them. I have 30 original paintings in my shop, which is pretty decent but I have no prints, nothing that gives a different price point. I am not leveraging my art. That is the truth and it really doesn't hurt at all. If I can be in one article, I can be featured in another.

The more I work at this, the more I realize there will never be one thing that gets me there. It will always be a consistent continued effort and growth. I have been featured in a Storque article twice and on the front page several times. If you read the forums, you would get the impression that your business takes off when those things happen. Maybe some do.

There are really so many factors in a business and I am learning them firsthand. School can teach you certain things but experience teaches you something totally different.

Of course I am not giving up. I don't see any reason to. There are people that really enjoy my work and I am going to continue working. Now, the question is, how can I add value? In other words, what do my potential customers see as value?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Illustration Friday: Legendary

The theme for this week's Illustration Friday, my first one, is Legendary. I started this painting a little while back and forgot about it. After a relocation effort, I finished this work and used it for my entry. My thoughts centered around Hollywood and the Walk of Fame as I worked. I decided to add the dark silvery gray because it reminds me of old brick buildings with places that have crumbled away. Right now I am thinking of the old style movie theaters I've seen while driving on Main Street in almost any town. I always wonder what it was like when the theater was still shiny and new and people came out for a show.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Dallas Inspires Me

I took this pic driving around Dallas in Ben's convertible. I love looking at the tall buildings with the top down. It's a really cool feeling that I never knew before. Thank you Ben!

I've always been inspired when I am in Dallas or any downtown area. I love looking at all the time periods kind of thrown together in a small area. I love the way a new skyscraper looks next to an old brick building. I like to wonder what some of the areas were originally intended for and what life was like before the city was the city.

I've never come right out and painted a cityscape but the influence is definitely there. I think the color choices I make come from driving around the city. I like the energy and the mood there.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

St Patrick's Day Festivities

St. Patricks Day

Every year I intend to attend the parade on Greenville Ave and every year I miss it. I did, however, make it out in time to grab a few beers, nearly freeze to death and spend hours in line for the restroom. The sun came out for a couple of minutes, everyone cheered and then it went back to cold and gray. We made the best of it and had fun regardless.

Today I'll be in Dallas again at another block party but this time I want to check out the booths. (I think I am done with beer for a while. ) I saw an ad advertising the booths for pretty cheap. I want to see how the crowd is before I start doing anything in the West End. It's been a while since I've been to that side of town anyway.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Starting Small

Starting Small

Lately, I have been focusing on changing one small thing at a time. When it came time to start the new year, I decided to continue what I was doing. At the time I had made it my goal to work out 5 times a week. I am still doing that because I decided to start small and add momentum. My goal was ridiculous at first...30 minutes of walking 5 times a week. That is the kind of goal they give to people who have high cholesterol and heart problems. I am still young-ish..I should be working out for two hours a day and running a marathon every single day! Not so much. I didn't even want to go the gym, even though I was paying for my membership every month.

So, I started with my 30 minutes of walking 5 times a week. After a little while I realized I could do more than that. I was starting to feel more comfortable there and feeling better overall. In time, I have built up my workouts. Now I like to jog or do the elliptical. And lift weights. I have a workout partner now and that helps so much.

I used to feel embarrassed to even go near the weights because I didn't know how much I could lift and all kinds of weird reasons I made up in my head. Looking back, it makes me laugh. It's so easy. All you have to do is set it on a weight, try it and adjust. No one cares or even knows how much you are lifting. They are all looking at themselves. (Okay, that's not totally true. I am completely fascinated by the guy wearing those little biker shorts and the tank top that has a scoop neck all the way to his waist. I'm fascinated because he looks like he just stepped out of a bad 80's movie, not because I care about his workout. But that's neither here nor there)

Why am I sharing this with you? Is it to get you to work out? No. I'm not going to be a personal trainer any time soon. I am sharing this because it is my method for building a good habit. Start with something small and let it grow. I knew I could walk for 30 minutes a day and it actually seemed really easy. I let myself succeed right away and then built it up from there. Now working out is something I do every day no matter what. I don't go at the same time every day but I go every day. If I don't go, I feel weird, like something is out of place. That is a good habit.

The funny thing is that I am more apt to challenge myself now. I push it to the limit more often. I increase the weights and increase the resistance on the elliptical or run for longer periods of time. Totally different attitude than when I started.

What habits are you wanting to start? How can you break it down to start small and build up? What are your successful methods for building new habits? Let me know in the comments!

Take care,


Original Abstract Paintings @ LizardoArt

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Today has been a great day for me. Actually this whole week has been pretty good. It's nice to see some of my "hard" work paying off.

Jay Neale III, who is great at promoting artists from Etsy, included me in a blog that he wrote for the Design Style Guide. Awesome team, by the way. Be sure to check out Jay's shop on Etsy.

Distressed Pine Candle Holder, Honey Brown

In other news, the treasury I curated made the front page of Etsy. That excited me a lot because it is bright yellow and has all kinds of interesting things, including a floral arrangement. Very spring-y.

The spring season always gives me a feeling of optimism. I feel excited about so many things this year. I am on the home stretch of my super extended college career. My blog is starting to take off a little bit. I am learning the ins and outs of selling art online. Life is good!

Monday, March 9, 2009



This word gets thrown around a lot. Exposure. When I used to dabble in acting, I would often run across listings that promised exposure rather than pay. To whom? I'm not sure. Now, on Etsy, I hear that word quite a bit. Exposure. Mainly when someone says that word, it has to do with the front page.

I love being on the front page of Etsy. It's cool to see something you made pop up on the home page of the site. That being said, it's a really short thrill. Once the front page comes down, the exposure screeches to a grinding halt and you're left feeling empty and alone. Okay. I'm being a drama queen.

I have been asking myself how I can get regular exposure whether I am on the front page or not. In other words, how can I market myself and bring traffic to my website?

I do some things that a lot of people might not be willing to do. For one, I use LinkReferral to bring traffic to my blog. Yes, you have to click on 30 websites and do the reviews and it takes a little bit of time. But I have regular traffic to my blog and I can gauge how interesting the content is better than not having any traffic at all. I have also found some really cool sites (and some truly horrible ones.) Yes, I get some bogus reviews that make absolutely no sense. Every once in a while some one will review my site and give me the suggestion that I need to hear. That is a great thing!

I have also started using paid advertising. I know, I know. No one has the money for that and they don't want to advertise if they don't know it is going to work. I get that. I also get that quite a few of the most successful artists I have seen have pay for advertising. Businesses have advertising budgets, whether they be small or large.

Here are some options that I have been experimenting with.

With both of these sites you can set a spending limit. A lot of sellers use $1 a day budget to renew items on Etsy. I have decided to use that $1 a day to advertise my blog and my Etsy shop.

Since I started doing this, the traffic to my blog has increased and I have gained followers and feed subscribers. So I know it is working. I am not looking for extreme growth but I do want to let it build.


One thing I have learned about business is that you have to seek out problems and then give people the solutions to them. Sometimes, you will give a solution for a problem that no one knew they had.

Other times it will be glaring them in the face. And if you are looking for something to glare at you, I would suggest the ideas forum on Etsy. Why? Because there is no possible way that Etsy can address every single suggestion that shows up on that board.

There are always discussions about who gets to be on the front page and which categories are "exposed" the most. I have seen a few people really take the bull by the horns and create websites and blog features to get some exposure to artists. There are several people doing this, actually.

Some good ones:

There is no possible way for every single seller on Etsy to reach the front page. The numbers are too big. Why not seek exposure elsewhere?

Another example...someone created a site where you can check to see if you are featured in an Etsy treasury. Now, if we are really being honest, we can admit that it is not that hard to check for the gold stars from time to time. However, it is nice to type in your shop name and have someone else check the gold stars for you. I am guessing whoever started this site probably read the forums a little bit. Maybe not. The good news is that they can sell advertising, bring in revenue to their business and provide a service to use at the same time.

I'll be letting you know how everything works out for me. If anyone has ideas, feel free to leave a comment below!

Take Care!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Quick Tip for Blogs

Last night I decided to add the StumbleUpon button to my blog and came across this site that lets you add the Bookmark and Share option to your posts. It's really easy to do and you can add it to all of your posts if you want.

When you add the code to the layout, the easiest way to find that line is to click control F and copy "div class='post-footer'>" into the box on the bottom of the screen. It takes you directly where you need to go without trying to scan all of the code to find it.

Hope you find this tip useful in some way!


Original Paintings Available

Monday, March 2, 2009

Updates and Opinions

Hi everyone! I have been such a bad blogger...LOL...very busy with school right now. The good news is that I am almost through the long stretch and on to other things. So, not as much painting as before but still managing to get to it.

Original ACEO by Lizardo Off The TrailOff The Trail
Original ACEO by Lizardo

My latest ACEO, pictured above, is titled Off The Trail. It could mean different things. To me, it just means that sometimes you have to start looking around off the trail to find what you want. I have to be honest this is inspired by reading the Etsy forums. I think that there is a certain point in every shop where you realize you have to look outside of Etsy for support and promotion. Since there are so many of us, it is easy to get lost in the crowd. It is business and that is okay.

I really like to study small business and entrepreneurship. If you start reading the statistics for new businesses, you will see that Etsy is really on par with all of that. The majority of shops that open will never do anything. There are a few people that will do really well. Others might piddle around for a while and eventually give up. This is not Etsy's fault. This is the business world.

I know I don't sound compassionate at all. But I am being realistic. I am seeing demands to see the marketing plan of Etsy and I think it is ridiculous. For starters, I don't think it is practical to have that info in the hands of hundreds of thousands of people that may or may not be with Etsy while this is being implemented.

The good thing about these forums is that I am able to see some needs that I can fill. That is how you start a business. Find a need and fill it. The forums are full of needs. And I have some ideas on how to fill them. More on that later...

My next big project is actually for myself and my boyfriend. I have been wanting to do a huge painting similar to the sizes you would see in an art museum. The only thing stopping me was the lack of skills making frames. So I did find the stretcher bars that I wanted online and everything will be started soon. I'm thinking spring break will be a good time to start this project. Of course I will keep everyone posted because it will take quite a while. I should apologize in advance to Ben because I will be taking over the front part of the living room.

All right, ya'll, time for school work. I'll talk to you soon!