art

Drawing Tips and Tricks

As everyone around me knows, I absolutely love to draw. I’ve come a long way, too. I’ve learned so much from other artists as well as taking classes that every time I pick up a pencil I feel I get a little stronger. It’s just so important to always be willing to learn. I would like to share a few tips and tricks that have helped me along the way.

A few years ago I took several classes at the Art College at Origins Game Fair. One helpful tip I learned is to use tracing paper to transfer drawings. This has saved me millions of erased pencil lines. Cover a piece of tracing paper with graphite, and tape it graphite side down to your paper using painter’s tape. Tape the tracing paper containing your drawing on top, and trace your drawing with a ballpoint pen.

Another fun trick is to use Sharpies during life drawing sessions. I remember using Sharpies in my drawing class in college to practice making deliberate lines. I’ve experimented with them during figure drawing, and I was pretty happy with the results.

life-drawing

Draw what you actually see, not what you think it should look like.

Guides for body proportions are also helpful. I find drawing hands to be especially challenging. I tend to make them too small. My drawing instructor used to hold his hand in front of his face so I could see a comparison.

This is a really simple one, but it made a huge difference for me. When I first started showing my work I had a lot of abstract paintings featuring eyes. One artist suggested I put a light catch in my eyes. I had never even thought of it, but it was definitely an improvement.

eye

My last tip is to experiment. My favorite project of my drawing class was to find 25 different ways to draw a single object. Not only was the project fun, I also ended up with some interesting pieces.

Elmer

I want to continue to learn, experiment, and grow. Hopefully, soon I can write another blog post about new things I’ve learned.

Do you have an interesting or useful tip? Please share and comment below!

Library · Small Business

Book Review: Free Marketing 101 Low and No-Cost Ways to Grow Your Business Online and Off

I love this book! It’s an easy and sometimes eye-opening read. Jim Cookrum writes confidently, and his advice is bold, practical, and maybe even unconventional. The book consists of 102 short and straight to the point chapters. He’s a big fan of videos and email marketing, and lists tons of helpful websites and tools.

marketing book

Some of my favorite advice:

  • The “irrational habits” outlined in chapter 6 are awesome, and are definitely not what you would think of as great marketing; or at least I didn’t at first.

 

  • Be authentic and transparent, because customers want to buy from a   person.

 

  • Be over the top and go out of your way to please customers, because with the internet, “every customer has a megaphone and an audience”.

 

Even though this book is from 2011, I believe most of the information is still relevant. It’s definitely worth a look for any entrepreneur wanting to grow their business.

SCORE · Small Business

July 2017: Update on Rahm Designs, LLC

I still spend a good amount of time working on Rahm Designs, LLC everyday, but I’ve slowed down a little to concentrate on some other creative opportunities.

My focus is still on marketing. I am reading some helpful books in my free time, and promoting the business on social media daily. I’ve also been sending flyers to local daycare centers. I’m so excited to be meeting with Northwest Ohio SCORE’s marketing mentor in August, that I’ve already been preparing questions for him.

Sales have been up and down, and seem pretty unpredictable. I received a large custom order last week that gave our revenue a boost. Gamer Kids and Baby Pride Wear are still our two most popular Etsy shop sections. In a post last week I shared a coupon code for our Etsy shop to celebrate Gen Con, which will be here in a little less than a month!

Lately I’ve been feeling pretty creative, and I’ve been spending a lot of time writing and drawing. Carrying a journal and sketchbook everywhere I go really comes in handy!

When I started this blog, its sole purpose was to promote Rahm Designs, LLC, but posting every week has shown me a newfound love for writing. I am having fun exploring this interest, and checking out new opportunities. As I mentioned in a blog post last week, I am a new blogger for healthyplace.com. I am co-author of the Recovering From Mental Illness blog, and I’m thrilled to be a part of this resourceful website.

I’m hoping this will be a good month for Rahm Designs, LLC, and I want to thank everyone for your support.

 

mental health

Blogging For Mental Health

I’m excited to announce that I’m going to be a blogger for healthyplace.com, the largest consumer mental health site out there. I’m really looking forward to this new adventure. I want to grow and learn from this blog, and I hope the readers feel the same. I can’t wait to get started. More details coming soon.

art

My Favorite Past Art Shows

There is nothing more freeing to me than drawing. Discovering and feeding my interest in art during my early recovery from schizoaffective disorder was very healing, and expressing my symptoms through drawing brought me peace.

Over the past ten year I have been able to participate in some amazing art shows in some interesting places. Here are my 5 of my favorites.

  1. Multimedia Recital at Michigan State University (2015)

My dear friend Travis, a euphonium player and doctoral student at MSU, invited me to participate in a multimedia recital. He performed the music, and I created artwork inspired by the songs he selected. During the recital, the lights were off and my artwork was projected on a large screen. Art shows usually make me nervous, but I was especially anxious at the recital when I saw how big the projection screen was. I was happy to have my supportive family there with me. You can see a portion of the recital here.

  1. Visions and Voices (2013)

This was a solo show I had at Southern Oregon University in Ashland, OR. I feel like there’s a lot of freedom in solo shows, and all of these drawings were about my hallucinations. Unfortunately, school and work schedules and finances kept me from attending the show in person. I live in Ohio, so Oregon is pretty far away.

  1. Gen Con Art Show (2012)

This was my first artist alley, and the size of the convention was so overwhelming. I like this show because I was really struggling the first couple days. I’m shy and crowds freak me out, but by the end of the con I had made several sales, enough to break even, and I felt like I was on top of the world. Plus I challenged myself by doing art with a fantasy theme.

  1. Exposed and Empowered (2012)

Red Tornado Art Gallery in Findlay, OH hosted my friend Rebeca and I for a two-woman show. We dealt with mental health issues and the show felt very raw. This was the most people I have ever had at an opening. We were both from the area, so there were lots of family and friends. Plus Findlay is a small town and the gallery owner knew everyone.

  1. Agnes Reynolds Jackson Fund Benefit (2009)

This group show had many artists and bands as well, and was held in Toledo, OH. The show had a very underground feel. The Agnes Reynolds Jackson Fund is a local organization that fights for women’s reproductive rights in Northwest Ohio, so it felt great to be a part of something so meaningful.

These past ten years of art shows have been amazing, but I’m hoping it’s only the beginning.

Gaming · Parenting

Gen Con 2017 Coupon for Gamer Parents!

Gen Con, the longest running gaming convention in the world, is only one month away! To celebrate, I’m offering a 30% off coupon to my Etsy shop so you can get your little ones ready for the con! Here’s the coupon code:

GENCON2017

Check out our Gamer Kids line here.

To all of those heading to Indy for the con, have a great time!