Category: Art Tips, Art Life, Art Business

Art Tips, Art Life

5 of my favorite music albums


I mostly listen to heavy metal music, sub-genre is not important as long as I like it and it sounds good. I like brutal heavy defined aggressive guitars. I also do listen to lots of AC/DC, some old-school blues, Joy Division and goth bands like She Past Away and Lebanon Hanover. I am not very strict on music genres, if I like it and it gives me pleasure I listen to it. If people say you are a metalhead you can’t listen to other music or you are not a metalhead if you do. I would say that’s complete nonsense kids game. I don’t care if I am considered a metalhead or not, I like what I like and labels do not concern me.


So these are 5 of my favorite music albums, not in a particular order:


Shvininiai Sharvai – Atshiaurusis. Local band from Lithuania. Super cool vocals and heavy badass guitars in my non-educated listener’s opinion :).


SODOM – In the Sign of Evil. Very fast and great if I need an energy boost. Better than energy drink or coffee :). Also a bit animalistic I would say, which I like, especially the song Blasphemer, where the singer kinda growls like a feral animal sometimes.


AC/DC – Back in Black. Contains some of my most liked AC/DC songs like “You shook me all night long”. Honestly, I like most of the AC/DC albums and songs.


Acid Witch – Midnight Movies. Gives me that classic horror vibe, which I like. The guitars are heavy and brutal, solos are great, the vocals are fuckin’ badass too.



Archgoat – Eternal Damnation Of Christ. Incredibly heavy and defined guitars, I mean you can hear them clearly. Riffs are badass. Makes me feel badass.


Feel free to share your own music that you like or post me a suggestion of a band or a song to listen to. I am always open for ideas and suggestions!

Don’t try to find your art style, instead do this


As probably most of the younger artists I’ve also tried to “develop” my own artistic style and in order to do that I’ve watched some YouTube videos and searched for information online. I wanted to be unique artist, to have my own style, to stand out from the crowd, because I’ve read that only then you can be successful. I’ve tried copying another artist’s elements and adding something of my own to make it my own “unique” style, but that didn’t worked.


Finally, after several years of practising art I’ve learned that art style comes naturally with a lot of hard work and dedication making art. It might take 1, 2, 5 or even 10 years for it to come out, but eventually it will happen. We really should not focus on trying to develop it in the beginning, because it is not important and instead we should focus on learning to draw fundamentals, improving our art and keep making art consistently and trying to find what we like to draw.


The style and skill will come eventually.

How to make your own textures for your artworks


In this blog post I will share how I made my own textures to use in my artworks.


The techniques, which I’ve used, to make some of my own textures are:

  1. Taking photos of gravel, dirt, ground, trees, sky;
  2. Using a scanner. You could draw some rough lines, ink splatters or crumple the paper and then scan it for some interesting effects. You could also scan something as it is, for example, scanning a cardboard paper from the back of my drawing paper (See my example below).

These are some of my texture examples and how they were made:


Black and white scan of cardboard taken from the back cover of my drawing paper.


Made various marking on a sheet of paper, then crumpled it, scanned it and made halftone dots. You can create halftones in GIMP. See my previous blog post on how to do that.


Obviously a photo of dirt. You could use that with a different blending modes in your drawing software for interesting effects. On the right – same photo with manipulated contrast/brightness and removed colors.



Made various markings on the paper and scanned it.


Let me know what you think in the comments down below and if you found some value in this short blog post!


How to prepare black and white artwork with halftone for 1 color screen printing using free GIMP software?


In this blog post I will show you how to prepare your black and white artwork which has halftone elements in it for 1 color screen printing. Technically the artwork has 2 colors (white and gray, because of halftone), but we can make it 1 color, but still look like it has 2 when printed. That’s where halftones come in.


I want to show how to do it with GIMP (that’s the software I am using), free Photoshop alternative, because as we all know Photoshop is expensive and now with it’s subscription payment model you have to pay for it every month, forever! I don’t want to do that for sure and I advise you to not do that too unless you are making big money from your art already ;). Also, please forget cracked Photoshop software, okay, it’s 2020 :). First having cracked software is illegal, second it might come with malicious software which will be installed on your computer, and you won’t even know it. Finally, if you are running a business of any kind I would not risk it with cracked software.


So let’s begin.


  1. Open your artwork in GIMP(Download it here for free).
  2. Select Image->Mode->Indexed… and choose black and white (1-bit) palette. Then again Image->Mode->Grayscale. That way we get rid of all the colors just leave black and white. Later we convert the image to grayscale to allow us to draw gray tones.

3. Then color your text gray in the new layer with blend mode multiply. Now we can transform gray elements to halftone, to make it white, but look like a gray.

4. Merge your layers and press Filters->Distort->Newsprint. Leave everything default, just choose Pattern and turn off Anti-aliasing to avoid creating various different shades of grey. You can choose any Pattern that you want. I like PSSquare the best and it seems to be the most similar to Photoshop’s halftones. Then press ok.

5. Then convert your artwork to Indexed colors just like in the step 2 just to be sure that there is only black and white and no different shades of grey in between.

6. Finally, we can delete the white background (because the black t-shirt itself will act as a black background). Choose Select->By color and click on the black background, wait for the GIMP to select it and press delete.

7. As you can see the text still looks grey, but it is white actually and if you zoom in you will see. After that you can export your print ready .PNG file for 1 color screen printing.


Let me know if this is helpful and if you have any questions in the comments down below!

5 ways to get art commissions


How to get art commissions? In this blog post I will share 5 practical ways that I’ve used to get art commissions and that worked for me.


1., 99,, – all these websites provide listings of freelance art projects where you can apply to work on them. There is one caveat though, the projects are listed as a contests, because only 1 winner is chosen and gets paid from whatever number of the designers that worked. Even if you don’t win you get the practise to work on a real project, real client work and you might get to use the art on your portfolio, but make sure to read the terms to be sure that it’s okay with the project’s creator. Fiverr is a little different though, because you can also post your own so called gigs (commission services) and then people can find them in the Fiverr marketplace and order it and you get a commission that way. Fiverr also lets you to apply to a buyer requests, similarly as with contests, but instead of everyone working and one getting paid, here, only one designer is chosen, from whatever number applied and only one gets paid.


2. Contacting directly on Facebook and Instagram – direct messages on Facebook and Instagram. On Facebook you can find people to contact by using a search function and typing the customer that you would want to work with, for example “metal band” or “clothing brand” etc… Once you have some potential customer pages liked you can use Facebook’s feature to recommend you similar pages and like them too. On Instagram use relevant hashtags search, you can even search by location. Like all the bands, brands that you would want to work with. Also, if you are short on new bands, brands use similar pages recommendations. When you are ready to write contact the potential customers focus on how you could provide them value first and be sure to not spam them and create unique and personalized messages all the time, because people won’t read it otherwise and eventually you get banned, suspended by Facebook or Instagram.


3. Facebook groups – there are specific Facebook groups, which allow you to post your work samples, art services for sale and the potential customers can contact you if they like what they see and have a project to do. Use Facebook search field, write “metalheads group”, “goths group”, “artists group”, “clothing brand” and similar keywords and join these groups.


4. Having a portfolio website – that way people will come to you and can contact you for a custom work. You need to have some already done work samples for that though, but in the beginning you could work for your friends and family or use the work from those mentioned freelancing websites, that was not picked as a winner. You also could enter various art contests, just to gain experience working on real projects and have a portfolio sample, or maybe even win.


5. Posting on social networks like DeviantArt and Instagram – potential customers can contact you directly for work sometimes when they see you consistently posting your art and they like it and would like to buy it or have a project requiring similar work. DeviantArt’s forum also has some commission requests from people where you can apply.


At the beginning you might need to charge pretty low amounts, or sometimes even working for free (or exposure) just to gain some experience and get those first customer work samples. But after working for some time you will gain experience, portfolio samples and if you do a great job you will get recurrent work from them from time to time and also you might get some referral customers as well (these are when happy customers of yours tell other people about you and that way word spreads and you get more customers).


Personally I’ve got my first commission on back in a 2014 even thought I was paid a $5, it was fuckin’ amazing feeling and I’ve learned that you could actually get paid to draw things :). I’ve immediately started working and finished the work same day.  The customer was amazing and he loved the work. Always good to remember your first commission :). Since then I’ve completed 130 commissions and earned a little over 4k euros on Fiverr platform.



It is not that much in 4 years (I’ve worked on Fiverr from 2014 to 2018), of course, but it sure is a good start and I’ve gained lots and lots of experience and made some money in the process as well :).


Let me know if you have any questions or have your own story to share or to add something in the comments down below. Would be happy to talk with you!

How to provide value with your art 2


So I am constantly watching successful people videos, listening to podcasts, trying to learn what they are doing good and I came upon this video:

At the time I am very interested in the art business, how to monetize your art, how to provide value and similar questions. In this blog post I wanted to summarize this video and add something from my own experiences as a way to restructure my thoughts and help myself to learn while at the same time sharing this to some fellow artists which are interested in the same topics. So let’s begin.


Joshua is talking about the 6 reasons / ways to provide value with your art (we need that because we are in the art business) if we want to make any sustainable income. That’s what businesses do – it provides value and makes money in return. So these are the ways you can do that:


1. Fame – if you have fame. It is automatically seen as valuable for people and they want to buy stuff from you, because everyone is doing it. Can’t rely on that though, because fame comes with hard work, being unique, after a very long time and most of us even if we are very good at what we do won’t have that anyway. That’s how the world works, only a small percentage of people wins.


2. Skill/Style – these are built up over a very long time and hard work as well. If you worked harder than everyone else and, because of that you have developed very unique style and amazing quality work, people will line up to get to work with you and the price will most likely be no issue. But that’s very hard to do and to be honest, most people won’t achieve it or are not gifted enough, so we can’t rely on that alone too.


3. Emotional connection – if your art resonates with the people emotionally. For example, you have had depression in your teenage years and now you create beautiful artwork that conveys that, everyone who can relate to that will see themselves in that artwork and this way you will bring value to them and then you can ask for a sale in return when the time comes. Or for example, if you create really motivational art, people will find inspiration and motivation in your art, they will feel empowered.


4. Fanart and trends – for example, you draw a cool Batman illustration and everyone who loves Batman will automatically love your art and you will build the audience, because Batman already has a really big fan base and you are just tapping into that. I personally would be very cautious with that, because most of the stuff is copyrighted/trademarked and/or intellectual properly and you can get into really big trouble legally. Also, you are not original and just copying other people stuff while doing that. Joshua talks that it should be a balance between your own art and fan art that you do, for example, 50%/50% and I agree with that, If you want to do a fan art don’t do only that and be very careful if you want to sell that fan art, because most of the time it is illegal. There is ways to be able to sell fan art legally and one of the ways would be to obtain the permission from the author, but that’s probably unobtainable for most of us, because it would usually cost a lot of money. Another one would be to partner with sites like Redbubble or Design by Humans or TeePublic, which have big brand partner programs, where you can legally make art for your favorite brands and sell T-shirts if your art gets approved by the copyright owner. Corona virus pandemic, which we all relate to can be a trend to connect with people somehow too. Maybe to create positive or dark humor art that makes them feel better during this time, that could potentially result in very big audience growth.


5. Sexy drawings, nudes – “porn” sells we all know that :). Draw it good enough and you will have a following over time. For example, drawing pretty girls and posting them on Instagram and DeviantArt. Just be careful and read all the rules on whatever platform you are posting and don’t overdo it.


6. Commissions – providing a service to a client. You do a specific project that the customer wants and you get paid for it. You provide them value by fulfilling their idea and they pay you in return. Personally, what I discovered after doing it for a while (more than 6 years), that it is not scalable and I am not really a big fan of working only on other people projects. Also, you only get paid for the amount of work you do. For example, if you are capable of doing 4 commissions per month you will only get paid a fixed amount for these 4 commissions. Of course over time you get paid more for the work that you do, but for me, that’s very similar to a 9-5 job, that I just hate, and you just have your own clients (which in a way are your boss).


I could add a few of my own ideas on how you can provide people value with your art:

1. Teaching art – if you have a good art skills, maybe a degree, know all the theory, you could be teaching other people to draw and create art. For example, through sites like YouTube or SkillShare or even private lessons or workshops.


2. Entertainment – events like a certain type of workshops, where people meet to draw something and have fun. It’s more like a social event than a teaching class.

Joshua also says that we should not rely on only one method of providing people value, because that’s usually not stable enough. I agree with that 100% from my own personal experiences starting only with commissions I quickly learned that it is not stable and not consistent. Of course, there are people who make a living from commissions alone, but I’d rather focus on having several ways to make money from my art as I am starting to realise that in the end the biggest value for me is the freedom to do what I want, when I want and how I want!


Let me know your thoughts and if you have any questions or have something to add from your own experiences!

How to vectorize your pen and ink drawing?


Sometimes customers insist on having vector file for printing. Even though I am not a fan of vectorizing your hand drawn pen and ink drawing, because it distorts the image a bit and removes quite a lot of the details as well. Vectorizing your drawing digitizes it in a way that’s not very pleasing to me, but it can work in some cases for a client. In this blog post I will show you the method that I use to vectorize my pen and ink traditionally drawn art.


To do this vectorization process, you need to have Inkscape (Click to download) vector software, which is free, installed on your computer. Then do these steps:

1. Resize your scanned artwork to low resolution, at something like ~1500×1500 px 300 DPI (don’t need to be exact, but close). You can do that with Paint software for fast results, it does not matter. The goal is to degrade the quality of the image. This needs to be done so our computer won’t crash when we try to vectorize the art with Inkscape.

2. Then open your art with Inkscape. Select it and press Path->Trace Bitmap and press OK. You can fiddle with the settings or modes, but default Brightness cutoff works the best most of the time.

3. Now just wait for Inkscape to finish, don’t press anything on the app, so it won’t crash. It is very resource intensive task on the computer and the file can be quite laggy after that process is done, but after it is done, you can just export it to PDF or any other vector format and it won’t be a problem. The bigger and better quality the original image is, the more resource intensive the task is to the point that the Inkscape crashes or you would need to wait for like 5 hours for the process to finish (the file would be so big that it would be pretty much unusable anyway). That’s why we resize and degrade the image quality in the first place – to make the process faster and the file more usable.


Before vectorization:

After vectorization:

In conclusion the art loses a lot of details and that traditional drawing feel is lost too. The only advantage that vectorization gives is that you can print the art at any size that you want, but in most cases, high resolution .TIFF or .PNG is enough and most print companies accept these file formats just fine. Those which are limiting themselves to just vector art I think are loosing customers.

How to trademark check t-shirt ideas?


So you have got an amazing T-shirt idea – alien head drawing with a bold font saying “I want to believe”. Everyone who loves X-files will love it and the design will be killer right? That’s awesome and it might be, but you have to perform a trademark search before you use that saying or you can get into a really big legal trouble with the copyright/trademark holder for selling T-shirts with a saying, which might be trademarked. Anyone who have watched x-files knows that it is really popular saying in that TV show. Anything that’s popular and well know could be trademarked so we have to check. But how do we actually check if we can use that saying on our t-shirt design that we want to create?


You go to these websites, which are global brand databases, and enter your saying “I want to believe” and check the results.


For example, using WIPO database we can see that the trademarks are still active and we cannot use that saying on our T-shirt design if we don’t want any trouble. Also, I would suggest to check all 3 of the databases just to be on the safe side.


What we can do though is to change the saying a little bit and be original, for example, let’s say “I want to leave”, which is not trademarked and create your art with that. Of course the meaning changes a bit, but it’s better than getting in trouble with the court anyway and you can still be creative while associating a little bit with your favorite TV show.


P.S. I am not a legal expert in any way and this not a legal advice, I am just an artist, who have learned from his own experiences. Always consult your lawyer with such questions!

How to get free resources for your art projects?


How to get free resources for your art projects? I mean fonts, textures, photos / photo references for your art projects. , , – free stock photos, great to use as a photo reference or you could use them for your design projects since they are free, just double check website rules and photo licence to make sure it is 100% free and available for commercial use (selling your project, which includes that image). You can find some textures there as well. – various mock-ups and templates – from apparel mock-ups, to Instagram posts, stories, Facebook ads, banners, logo templates and so on… This one is not free though, but really really useful and low cost. , , – a bunch of various free commercial licence fonts, which you can use for your t-shirt designs, album covers etc… A lot of them are free, just look at the licence file on their website and when you download the font to be 100% sure. – 3D models. Some of them are free, some are not. I sometimes use 3D models similarly as a photo reference, but they allow me to look at the object from various angles, right in the browser, don’t even need to download anything. For example, I’ve never seen a real tiger in my life and I want to draw it realistically and take a closer look at him from various angles, there it goes Just don’t copy or trace those models, just use them as a reference to help you imagine things and get inspiration.

Why it’s important to charge the price YOU want for art commissions


You have to ask the customer to pay the specific amount for the commission that YOU want, not the low-ball amount, but that one amount, that would make you feel valued, respected and adequately paid. Why you need to do that? Well, because only then you can create your best work, it does not make you feel resentful towards the client and towards yourself for accepting the work that you don’t want to do anyway. If you charge on the low side and you are not happy with the price, but you still accept to work, over time, you become resentful with yourself and the customer, you feel used, you start to rush, to do mediocre work and you don’t even enjoy the process anymore and enjoying the process is VERY important if you are planning on playing the long game. Finally, if something goes wrong during your commission process, you are the only one to blame, because you accepted the customer who can’t or don’t want to pay you adequately and don’t respect you. So say NO way more often, pick the clients very carefully, charge the right amount for your work and remember it’s quality over quantity and it’s a long game!


P.S. Good customers actually understand that they are getting the best work ONLY if they make you feel valued, respected and pay you adequately. So it’s a win-win situation.