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About Varied / Professional Official Beta Tester Angela R. SasserFemale/United States Groups :iconangelic-shades: Angelic-Shades
The art studio of Angela Sasser
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My recent works. Check out ShadowScript for my latest WIP's.

Angelic Visions


Check out my debut art instruction book today!

Inspired by the book? Share your work here!


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Angelic Visions Bundle by AngelaSasser
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EVENT LINK:
plus.google.com/events/cbeekfv…

Join me for my October Patreon Giveaway! See how my month's been going, ask me anything, and learn which lucky Patreon patron will win one of my art items!

Can't make it? Leave your questions here in comments and I'll answer them at the event, which will be recorded and automatically uploaded afterwards to my YouTube channel, where you can watch the broadcast later.

Sponsor me on Patreon to get in on this chance to win unique items direct from the artist! Only Patrons at the $10 and up level will be eligible for the giveaway, but anyone can ask questions during the chat, even non-Patrons! 

Questions are fielded via the Q&A text chat feature within Hangouts, so do not worry about 'calling in' if you are shy.
The Price of Immortality by AngelaSasser
The Price of Immortality

I'm excited to share an illustration I did for the "It was a Dark and Stormy Night" anthology! Enjoy a collection of creepy tales perfect for this season of mists and spirits while also supporting the Office of Letters and Light (aka. the awesome folks behind NaNoWriMo, Camp Nano, and the Young Writers Program).

You'll have to read the anthology to find out what this image is all about.;)

The book's online release party is going on RIGHT NOW, so go give it a look and win some cool swag (including a print of this piece)!:

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Originally posted at ShadowScript: The Art Blog of Angela R. Sasser

So, you like drawing, but also painting, writing, candle-making, and beading?  I know how you feel!  Being multipassionate seems to be a habit of most of the creative people I know.   Our minds like to wander and play and that's part of how we keep ourselves creative!

However, this characteristic usually leaves most of us with a huge problem - an unclear sense of artistic identity and, therefore, an unclear brand.

I've had this problem for years and it's only been until recently I've sat down and put a magnifying glass to my brand.  For example, just look at the mess that was my website last year.  I had masks, Art Nouveau, surreal work, miniature work, sculpture, anything and everything all thrown together on my site:

My Angelic Shades site back in 2013.

After discussing my fractured identity with fellow artists and a friendly Art Director, I realize that this Anything and Everything approach was really killing my sales and my presentation.

What an AD might think:

"She has so many styles!  She must still be a student and probably isn't very reliable.  She hasn't quite mastered anything."

What an average person might think:

"Wow, this is all really cool!  But later on, I probably won't remember what it is exactly she's selling." 

Echo this sentiment for selling at conventions, too.  After seeing all the masks, art, etc. at my table, most people aren't sure what I'm selling or if it's all by one person, since the themes differ so vastly.  This also made my sales pitches extremely complicated, as I wasn't sure how to address all of the products on the table.

Or my other favorite.

"Wow, this is cool!  I'm going to ask this person for a commission that she's not necessarily interested in doing because she's obviously interested in doing everything and is very versatile." 

In truth, I'd actually prefer it if people ask me for work that I specialize in, rather than work that I don't specialize in.  Most of the time, the work I don't specialize in doesn't go into my portfolio and is never seen again.

The Tough Questions


I had to start asking myself some important questions and coming up with answers that faced my fears as an artist.  These burning questions have been on my mind for a long time now:


What am I passionate about and what is just fun to do?


A lot of people think 'hey it'd be fun to make my hobby a job!' but what they don't realize is that once you make your hobby your job, it's not fun anymore.  If you turned to that hobby for recharging and relaxation, chances are that being forced to do it for monetary purposes is going to destroy that sense of fun and play you had with it.  You'll most likely have to get another hobby now that the last hobby has become the job.

My Answer:  I realized over the past few years that Art Nouveau and soft watercolor work is my 'fun' art.  So is mask-making.  I turn to these modes of expression to refresh my creative well.  Making them my job meant I had less time in my life for the mature fantasy work I am passionate about.  Admittedly, the money is nice and that also swayed me towards these other forms of expression.  This choice of splitting focus resulted in much burnout over the past couple of years.


My art as a body of work has so many facets.  What should stay and what should go?


Think about what target audience there is for your work.  Does your work actually target the same people?  Did you do something for random fun but it just doesn't fit in with your other work?

Sometimes it's just better to leave things off of your professional face for storage on something more casual, like tumblr.  Keeping unrelated work can make you look like a student or unreliable in your ability to finish consistent work.  Stop thinking of what is your 'best overall work' and starting thinking 'what is your best work for what specific audience'.

My Answer:  For me, I ended up dumping the ACEO and Surreal sections from my site.  These works were all older and I'm not exactly interested in being hired to work in that vein anymore.  On the other hand, I still wanted to share my artisan crafts and Art Nouveau, as I've put many years into them and still find them as viable professional faces to share.

And thus my brands Angelic Artisan and Angela Sasser were born!  Angelic Shades is my original studio name, which will now be purely for the work I created for my book, Angelic Visions, and for my Art Nouveau work.

My mature fantasy work is going to be housed on a new site that I'm currently working on (sneak peek here!).  Angelic Artisan has also been moved off to its own cozy website dedicated solely to my artisan crafts (a move which happened last year, actually).

I chose my real name as a studio identity because I feel like this brand is finally me.  I have found MY voice and what I feel is going to be the artistic identity I want to become known for.  Another perk to deciding what my 'main' identity/studio is going to be is that I now realize where the majority of my time needs to be spent.

Angelic Artisan and Angelic Shades will both now be downgraded to side projects that I only do for fun.  This is a huge weight off me and one that I feel will allow me to focus my time on my passions instead of being torn between too many tasks.  It's going to be hard saying no to the commissions that come in for artisan and Art Nouveau work, but decreasing my stress levels and focusing on my long-term goals is what needs to happen for me right now to stop feeling so overwhelmed by the tasks ahead of me.

Bonus perk - my sites just look sooo much more beautiful and professional now that they have 'themes'!


Since I am re-branding mid-career, how do I mitigate changing my identity in the face of collectors and AD's?


This one is my toughest question right now.  How do I change what I'm doing so that people won't be upset by my switch of direction?  Most of the other multifaceted artists I've talked to worked to become known for one thing and earned the respect of AD's and their market before they branched out.  They were stabilized by the fact their fans would follow them and that they still have the respect of AD's whom they have proven their reliability to in the past.

My problem is I got good at one thing I realized later on is not the thing I want to be known for.  I'm not sure if I'll be burning bridges doing this.  It's quite intimidating!

My Answer:  Right now, my plan is to completely break my art styles up into Angelic Shades and Angela Sasser with their own corresponding sites and outlets so that when I hand a business card out to an AD or anybody else, the linked site on each unique card will present a consistent body of work with a clear theme.

As for AD trust, I will probably only be showing AD's my Angela Sasser brand, unless their projects specifically call for soft watercolors and/or Art Nouveau stylings.  They shall never know my secret identity as a soft flowy watercolorist and mask-maker!

I have no idea what this means for my social media faces, however!  I'm so entrenched in the Angelic Shades username that I'm not sure if people will actually follow me to a new name, if I start one.  Brand consistency for 'Angela Sasser' demands a new Twitter, Facebook page, blog, etc.  I'm not sure I'm going to do this yet, but you will be the first to know!


STOP!  Do you really want to do this?  Are you just messing up a good thing?


If you're doing well as you are and enjoy what you're doing, maybe you should just leave well enough alone?

My Answer:  It's taken me many years of struggling and burnout to realize I've invested my time in the wrong places because I was more focused on making money than taking the risky path and following my passions in illustration and concept art.  I was afraid and didn't trust myself.  I let bad advice and pressure from loved ones dissuade me from focusing on what I really wanted to do.  I also didn't really have an idea of where I wanted to go back then, so I did what was fun and acceptable.

Just because you might be capable of creating something that someone enjoys and will pay money for doesn't necessarily mean that's what you're meant to do, especially if your heart lies elsewhere.

Knowing all this, I feel my mistakes have helped me to refine a laser focus I'm looking forward to implementing now that I've identified where my heart truly lies.  It's only through experiencing these early struggles that I know myself better and can look forward to the future with more confidence!


Reader Questions:


Do you have multiple creative businesses?  How do you  handle running them all at once? Share your tips in comments!

Next Up: Part 2 - Brand Design

Originally posted at ShadowScript: The Art Blog of Angela R. Sasser


The convention chaos has died down, a crisp Autumn wind of change is in the air, and I've been more than a little introspective of late while I've been in the process of re-branding my business.  I admit to thinking lately 'why did it take me so long to discover what kind of artist I want to be?'

While I know that way lies the path to madness and pity parties, I recalled an experience I had years ago when I was fresh onto the notion of being a fantasy book cover illustrator.  It was a DragonCon of many years ago and I was eager to attend a panel on book cover illustration hosted by previously entrenched artists in the field, all of who were traditional painters.

What I got from that panel was an amazing unanimous barrage of bad advice.

The artists, who I will not name, basically said "kids" with their digital art were cheapening the business and that one could no longer make a living thanks to them and the publishers.  Being that eager "kid" wanting to get into the business as either a traditional or digital artist, I took that advice to heart and decided that perhaps book cover illustration was a dying industry I shouldn't bother being in.

To be fair, it is a changing industry.  Books in general are becoming a thing of the past as we know them.  Bookstores are disappearing one by one across the country.  Digital proliferation is growing and the nature of art for books as we have previously experienced it is changing.  

In retrospect, I imagine these artists, all of whom were older traditional painters, were very fearful of these changes and embittered by a market where so many artists don't know their own worth and accept lower pay.  Even still, the damage of their negativity had been done to every aspiring artist attending that panel, including myself.  I took their word as law that book covers were a doomed field.

Now, I can't blame them for all of my bad decision making and not trying to go after my goals sooner.  I let early rejections from multiple companies whittle down my will till I just avoided turning in anything to publishers and artist's reps.  What I didn't know then is that my portfolio was full of student work instead of work targeted to fit the company.

Thus are the trials of an art student who attended a school who had no idea how to teach real-world portfolio submission etiquette for illustrators.  Thankfully, Jon Schindehette's ArtOrder Portfolio Building Class helped to fill in that hole in my education in a way that makes me confident when I am finally done prepping my new targeted portfolio that I am going to find work in my chosen field.

It wasn't until I met Dan Dos Santos, Justin Gerard, and others at DragonCon and IlluXcon many years later that I realized book covers (and related work) could be a viable profession.  Talking to Dan and others about their work schedules, I know they work their butts off, but they're making a living doing what they love while still sharing that energy and enthusiasm with other artists through Muddy Colors, IMC, SmartSchool etc.  Most of the artists I talked to are also traditional painters who have utilized digital in their workflow instead of cursing it as putting traditional painters out of work.

My whole point is this - your words have power.  Be mindful of the bitterness you pass on to other artists.  Talking the realities of being an artist is one thing while damning the whole future of the profession because you refuse to evolve or are having a bad day is another.  We must also keep in mind that not all artists are good teachers.

So what's the answer to 'why did it take me so long to discover what kind of artist I want to be?'  Lack of focus, money, fear, the list goes on (I plan to write about this in a later post specifically about my current re-branding plans).  The upside is that my meandering journey through different media, educational programs, and discovering things through trial and error has ultimately enriched my art.  I'm at a place now where I finally feel like I know where I want to go with my art and career.

I also know now, years later, that I should not listen to everything I hear at panels or on Facebook.  Sometimes people can be toxic.  The trick is knowing when to identify and ignore those individuals.


EVENT LINK:
plus.google.com/events/cbeekfv…

Join me for my October Patreon Giveaway! See how my month's been going, ask me anything, and learn which lucky Patreon patron will win one of my art items!

Can't make it? Leave your questions here in comments and I'll answer them at the event, which will be recorded and automatically uploaded afterwards to my YouTube channel, where you can watch the broadcast later.

Sponsor me on Patreon to get in on this chance to win unique items direct from the artist! Only Patrons at the $10 and up level will be eligible for the giveaway, but anyone can ask questions during the chat, even non-Patrons! 

Questions are fielded via the Q&A text chat feature within Hangouts, so do not worry about 'calling in' if you are shy.

deviantID

AngelaSasser
Angela R. Sasser
Artist | Professional | Varied
United States
Currently based out of Atlanta, I grew up in a multicultural family and spent much of my life traveling as a military brat. It was overseas in Germany at a young age that I fell in love with my first taste of fantasy in the collected stories of the Grimms Brothers and Hans Christian Andersen.

I grew up with the dream that one day I might be able to follow in their footsteps and tell stories to awe and terrify future generations, to capture that sense of danger, triumph, and hidden magic.

I’ve earned three degrees, a BA in English, a BA in Studio Art, and an MA in Arts Administration. I could never choose between my love of writing, of illustration, and for helping other artists.

Nowadays, my art instruction book, Angelic Visions, is out on the shelves of a bookstore near you!
Interests

Commissions

Red Line and Critique
Red-line-example by AngelaSasser
View the full example image plus its detailed critique here.

I will use an image provided by the client to create a detailed critique in the form of a red lined image meant to aid in improving the work with the concerns of the client in mind. A detailed image and descriptive text critique will be provided.

You will receive:

- A .psd file featuring a layer with your original image plus a redline with suggested corrections using corrective line drawing.

- A full write-up detailing each element which was critiqued and suggestions for improvement.

* Note: If you intend to include a red line I have done in your paintings as a direct base, I request that you credit me in the description of your work. This is optional, but appreciated!
Detailed Paint Over and Critique
Paint-over by AngelaSasser
View the full image with its detailed critique here.

I will use an image provided by the client to create a detailed critique in the form of a paint over meant to aid in improving the image with the concerns of the client in mind. A detailed image and descriptive text critique will be provided.

You will receive:

- A .psd file featuring a layer with your paint over plus any layer masks, adjustment layers, etc. which were used in your critique.

- A full write-up detailing each element which was critiqued and suggestions for improvement plus links to resources which I believe might aid your future work.

* Note: If you intend to include a paint over I have done in your paintings as a direct base, I request that you credit me in the description of your work. This is optional, but appreciated!

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Comments


Add a Comment:
 
:icononnirica:
onnirica Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2014   Digital Artist
Hey fellow Painting Drama artist! LOL Just kidding. Your gallery is truly lovely Angela! I've been following you in the painting drama group, and now I finally found you here :) 
Reply
:iconangelasasser:
AngelaSasser Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2014  Professional General Artist
Hey there! Always nice to find another OA student around these parts.  Good to see you here and lovely work on your end, as well!
Reply
:icont-razz:
T-razz Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2014  Professional General Artist
nice gallery!
Reply
:iconmorkadion:
Morkadion Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
I simply love your gallery :)
Reply
:iconangelasasser:
AngelaSasser Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2014  Professional General Artist
Thank you!
Reply
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