Friday, March 19, 2010

Internet Artisan Interview - dj's artworks

Dolores, owner and artist from DJ's Art, is an animal and nature lover. I think that's why I was so drawn to her artwork. We first met on an Etsy team called AWE (Art Walk Etsy.) Her work encompasses various mediums, including ACEOs, mixed media, photography and prints. I especially like Dolores' notes cards; they're reasonably priced and cover a wide array of topics. Something for everyone! I think she's incredibly "business smart," and we could all learn from her. Hope you enjoy the interview, and have fun checking out her various online sites.
  • What's the name of your business/shop?
The name of my shop is DJ's Art.

  • Do you have a registered domain name and/or a blog?
I have a registered domain; it's or They both go to the same web site. I also have an Etsy site, and a zazzle site. Yes I also have a blog. I'm on but I haven't gotten "into" that site as much as I'd like, but I will.
  • What type of handmade products do you sell?
I'm an artist who works in a mixed media of watercolor, India ink and colored pencil. My work can be whimsical, a memory of childhood, and of nature. I sell my original paintings as well as turn some of them into notecards. My Zazzle site allows me to put my art work on t-shirts, mugs, shoes and more.

I also take commissions and have done pet portraits and special note cards of pets, teddy bears, and flowers. I pretty much know what I can and can't do and if I'm not comfortable with it or like it there is no charge for my trying. So far I have been successful. The only thing that I won't do is portraits of people. I can do it, but it's not something I feel comfortable with. I recently started to hand tint my own black and white photos. They look like the old color photos before color film.

  • Show us a piece you recently finished
Recent piece..... I sometimes have different projects going on at the same time. My last painting was an experiment with heavy watercolor paper and salt called "Reef"

I take photos for reference. I tinted this one with colored pencils, called "Pathway To Heaven"

  • What are you working on right now? Any sketches?

Right now I am working on a commission of a house that was built in the 1700's. It's been a challenge because of perspective, meaning I have to use rulers to make everything look correct. I am pretty excited about it.

  • If you have a website or blog, what do you use for advertising? What do your avatars look like?
For my blog I'm using feedshark which will ping my site when I have updated it. I also use facebook and I email friends and family to "ck it out." I belong to Etsy Teams, VAST and AWEteam and I also let them know I have posted something new. I just started an email newsletter that's on my registered domain, so please if anyone is interested, including you Debra, I invite you to sign up. I also carry my business cards everywhere, so I am ready to hand out a card if an opportunity arises. My avatar on facebook is my sleepy looking lab, Holly and on my blog is an art piece called masquerade, it is a painting of a mask with cat eyes. On my domain and zazzle is a photo of me with my girls (labs) Holly and Abby.

  • If you have a website or blog, tell us about your favorite widget.
WOW...widgets, it took me a long time to figure out what a widget was, besides what my husband calls my daughter in affection. On my blog I have a widget of a cat that you can download to your sites, so it can chase your curser... I know silly, impractical, but I think fun, we can all use a little laughter! Ok seriously, the RSS, because the way I understand it, people can get updates from that directly to their email, without having their personal information out there. On my domain I have to say my email newsletter.
  • Which online selling vendors do you use? What do you like best about each one?
I use Etsy, I like it because you can learn about business as well as getting comfortable with web sites. It has teams you can join, chat rooms, convers and it takes care of the google search for you (something that I have had problems with.) It is very user friendly for customers as well as the sellers. I use Fine Art Studios for my domain, it's a little more professional looking if I have to have a gallery look at my work. It has the email newsletter and a blog tied into it. Their staff is quick to answer any questions and their instructions are easy to follow.

I also use Zazzle for putting my art work on t-shirts, mugs, shoes etc... You have to know a little bit more of the computer lingo, but it is do-able. Other sellers are very helpful, and supportive. The site is free and you get paid a royalty of your choosing. They are very explicit as to the how it all works. I enjoy it, especially designing shoes...

  • Are you involved in social networking? What's your favorite and why? If you're not involved, you must have a good reason!
I try to be involved in social networking. Facebook is the one I am on the most. I have a fan page and try to keep it updated as much as I can. Still learning! Although I am addicted to Farmville, so if you want to be my neighbor that would be great! I find that game very relaxing. I like the zazzle socializing as well as the teams I have joined. But facebook is my favorite, maybe because it is easy to understand and to use... farmville, it's those cute cows that get me! lol
  • All of us can use a helpful business hint once a week. What's yours?
Do I have a helpful business tip... You need to have goals and to remember they aren't written in concrete. I like to write out my goals, the big dream is ok, but be realistic about other goals. Like for me this year one of my goals is to get organized with my computer time and creative time. It's not enough to just write it down; I have to figure out a way to make that happen. At the beginning of the year I bought a day planner and I write the days I will create and the days I will be online. This isn't written in concrete because life happens, so sometimes days have to change, things have to get switched. For me it's ok because I check off the things that got done and the things that didn't get checked off, are carried over to the next day. When I feel that I haven't been productive, I look at my planner... look at all those little ck marks :) It's never really good to run a business by the seat of your pants, think of your goals as your road map to success.

  • Do you have a "modus operandi" for computing the price of a handmade object? Tell us your formula?
Pricing, that's a toughie.... For my notecards, I add up all costs of my materials, including my packaging, then my overhead (the cost of running a business to begin with) if you have any. Then add your time. Then I would times that by 2, maybe that's too high. So instead I may just add 20% to 40%.... I then go online and look for something similar, is my price too high or two low, am I well known or a newbie. I adjust accordingly. There it is... For my paintings, I add cost of materials, matting and framing, if needed. I take into account how much a painting that is similar in size and medium is selling on the market. Again I ask, am I a newbie or well known. After much thought as to what I would like to sell it for, I should have a price. It's tough, because if you're living off of your work you need to take into account how much you need to live and how much you can reasonably produce. If you keep your prices low, then you need to produce quite a bit.

  • We'd love to see your little corner of the world, where you create.

  • Where do you see your artwork in one year? Any plans in the works?
I hope to see myself better known than what I am now and to have my internet sites set up well, where all I have to do is add work and maintain it. One of my long term goals is to illustrate my own children's book or a poem with an illustration of my art work published. This is a big goal and I'm working towards it now. Every step I take gets me a little closer to it.

  • OK, it's the storybeader's turn to pick a favorite!

I usually don't get into fantasy art, but Dolores' drawing are so special. Just little things that you wouldn't usually expect, and there it is, staring you in the face. What a great imagination!


tbranscum said...

Ooohhh! I love the "Reef" piece. Thanks for introducing us to another great artist.

Patch said...

Thank you for this great artist!! I love those teddy Bears!!!

Beadwright said...

This is a fantastic interveiw. I too like "Reef"
Thanks for sharing this talented lady with us.


memoriesforlifescrapbooks said...

I always dreamed of being a painter! I admire such beauty!

And those shoes rock!!!

monalisa said...


Splendid Little Stars said...

I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Delores and seeing some of her artwork! Now off to check out her sites...

DJ said...

Thank you so much Deb for interviewing me! Your blog is amazing and you did a wonderful job with my interview.

Peace and Hugs,

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