/Art Stuff

How To Transfer A Photo To Canvas

These are a series of helpful hints on how to do something art + growth related. Come over and take a peek!

This is a series of helpful hints I want to share with you that I’ve learned along the way in my art journey.  For more How To’s click here.

Come on over and check out how to transfer a photo to canvas. Click through for the quick and easy step-by-step instructions.

If there’s one thing I love, it’s to learn how to do something myself that I usually pay a bunch of money for. Recently I bought a canvas that a company will print a picture on for you.  And it got me thinking: what if could create a picture printed canvas on my own?  With a little research, I found it’s not only doable, but it’s easy and cheaper to do it myself.  Woohoo!  Today I’m sharing the process with you, so you can do it too.

Let’s get this party started!

First, let’s talk supplies.  Here are the things you’ll need for the project:

  • Canvas.

Whatever size you want, but keep in mind you’ll need a print that’s somewhat the same size.

  • Inkjet print of image you want to transfer, on photocopy paper.

(you can get this from Staples if you don’t have a printer) *It’s important to remember that if there is lettering on the image, you will need a mirror copy of it so the print is going the right way when it’s transferred. (I did it the wrong way originally myself!)

  • Some kind of  medium.

Liquitex has a great one that I use a lot but you can also use mod podge, especially if you’re on a strict budget.  When you’re buying it, keep an eye on the finish; “matte” or “gloss” are the terms they will use. Consider these when you think about how you want your finished canvas to look in the end.  Matte is cool but can dull the colors + gloss will give you a shine.

  • Old credit card/used gift card for smoothing.
  • Foam Brush
  • Acrylic Sealer (Optional)

You can put a final coat on the image to extend the life of the colors and overall look.

Come on over and check out how to transfer a photo to canvas. Click through for the quick and easy step-by-step instructions.

 

The first thing you’ll do is smear a bunch of medium on your paper print.  I used modpodge since it’s a product known for it’s ability to transfer images (and it’s cheaper which always helps).  I just squirted a bunch on the paper and used the foam brush to move it around. You want to make sure that you coat the liquid evenly on the paper and apply it a little thicker than you’re comfortable with.

Come on over and check out how to transfer a photo to canvas. Click through for the quick and easy step-by-step instructions.

Sign up for access to my free resource library made for creatives like you!

Come on over and check out how to transfer a photo to canvas. Click through for the quick and easy step-by-step instructions.

After I applied it, you can see that the image is barely visible through the layer of modpodge.  That’s what you want.  When everything is evenly coated, take the paper and lay it centered on your canvas.  Then, as best you can, smooth out any air bubbles with your credit/gift card.  A little warning here: be gentle.  The paper is wet and will rip easily if you’re not careful so just glide that card around and get the paper as flat as you can against the canvas.

Come on over and check out how to transfer a photo to canvas. Click through for the quick and easy step-by-step instructions.

If you want to turn the canvas over so that the frame is facing up, it will apply extra pressure to the paper to make sure everything sticks.  I even added some weights on top of the frame (I used candles) for good measure.

Next: you’re going to wait 24 hours.  YES!  You must wait or it won’t come out right.  The medium has to completely dry so that you can separate the paper from the canvas without creating a gooey mess.  Do it too soon and you’ll be covered in sticky paper.  Yuck.

After you wait 24 hours, get your sponge really wet and gently coat the canvas with water.  Pretty soon you’ll see the image appearing through the wet paper.

Come on over and check out how to transfer a photo to canvas. Click through for the quick and easy step-by-step instructions!

Start gently rubbing the paper off with the sponge.  It gets a little messy, but that’s how you reveal the picture underneath.  Keep wetting the paper and rubbing gently.

Come on over and check out how to transfer a photo to canvas. Click through for the quick and easy step-by-step instructions!

Eventually the paper will come off and you’ll have your image on the canvas.  Magic!

Come on over and check out how to transfer a photo to canvas. Click through for the quick and easy step-by-step instructions!

So as you can see, I tried out 2 different styles with this project: one was to use an image that was flush with the sides of the canvas and the other looks like it has a natural border because the picture was smaller than the canvas.  Which ever one you try is up to you and what kind of look you’re going for.  If you try to do the flush edged style and it doesn’t reach the edge, you can always add a little paint to make it a mixed media one-of-a-kind piece!  Just have fun with it and don’t get too crazy about making it perfect.

If the edges are a little ragged, you can either sand  it with fine sand paper or just slap a little medium on it and smooth out those edges.

I do want to show you a mistake I made though, so you don’t do the same thing:  I got a little zealous/impatient and used the scrubby part of the sponge to remove the paper.  You can see where it pulled off part of the image from the canvas. Oopsie.  But I can touch up those parts with a little paint too. And it gives it a little character, no?

Come on over and check out how to transfer a photo to canvas. Click through for the quick and easy step-by-step instructions!

If you look closely on the left side of her dress, there’s a cut out that looks a little like a butterfly.  That’s another part of my *ahem* enthusiastic paper removal, or maybe it was an air bubble.  But you know what?  I love how it looks.  Some how the ink made it’s way to the canvas, and created a multi-textured look.

Come on over and check out how to transfer a photo to canvas. Click through for the quick and easy step-by-step instructions.

So there you have it, friend!  How to transfer a photo to canvas for beginners.  It was actually really easy and didn’t take a lot of time at all!  And if you want to seal the image you can use a spray acrylic sealer OR add an isolation coat to it.

Hope you have fun trying, I’d love to see your results in my Facebook Group!

Love, Steph

 

February 16, 2017|Art Stuff, How To|

How I Incorporate Creativity Into Everyday Life

Click through to learn how I keep my creative energy flowing each day. Maybe these will help your creative mojo , too!

I feel like I’m starting to make a comeback. When I had my sweet boy Marty a little over a year ago, my creative projects came to a screeching halt–my blog went unwritten, canvases were dry and emails went unanswered. I went into hibernation because I was alllll baby alllll the time, for a long time (being a first time mom,and all).

Although I was frustrated at some points because I just wanted to get back to creating stuff, I knew that I  needed that time to focus on other things.  And in a way it was a gift: coming out of any kind of hibernation is wonderful because you see with new eyes. That hiatus from creating was rejuvenating because it built up a yearning for me to get back to it. I can feel that urgency to create again and I’m excited.

But as I get back into the flow, I realize that I need to be flexible with how I’m expressing my creativity due to time+ life constraints.  It’s just not realistic for me to say I’m going to paint for 2 hours everyday–I don’t have the time or attention span (or cooperative baby!)  I’m a different person than I was, and my art is changing with me.

So I’m practicing new ways to be creative, and some of it isn’t painting either.  It’s ways to incorporate creativity into everyday life to keep that energy flowing.  Maybe you can try a few of these practices in your day, too:

Try a new medium

I moved from canvas to paper.  It’s a lot more portable and more forgiving too!  I can experiment easier and not worry about messing things up.  Also, it’s easy to pull it out really quick with minimum set-up.   Right now I’m using the Canson Mixed Media Pad (11×14) and I love it.  I’m also having a lot of fun playing on Canva (so much that I created a course on it!)  I create all of my blog images and online profile + post pictures there.

Use different supplies

I’m still using acrylics, but I’m using a lot more paint pens and these watercolor crayons.  The flexibility of these supplies is inspiring!  And it’s challenging to incorporate my usual style with new tools (which is good for me).

Dress with intention

Whenever I go out, I try to put on clothes that I love and that make me feel good.  I’ve been purging a lot of old outfits to make room for more ease.  Lord knows I wear the a lot of the same pieces over and over, but at least I really love them.  And at least I’m not bogged down with the clutter.

Take more pictures

I have a Samsung Galaxy phone and love to take pictures with it because the camera is awesome!  Not only can I use the images for blog post background images, but it creates a photo memory of my days and it’s fun to look back and see what interesting views I’ve captured.

Write Down Thoughts As They Come Up

My memory is short these days so when I think of a clever idea I have to write it down immediately.  And even when it’s not so clever, but I feel like there’s something more to explore, I write that down, too.  It’s along the lines of, “entertaining the muse when she shows up” and not judging my ideas right away.   Otherwise if I don’t write things down,  it escapes into the air never to be remembered again 🙂  These days, I’m loving google keep for this.

Look at art videos

I love looking at Flora’s work, I could watch her all day!  And she always gives me new ideas when I watch her paint.  I also love the artist video posts on Stampington, especially the ones about new supplies.  Painting videos really spark my creativity when I’m feeling a lull.

Connect online

I have a private Facebook Group and the sole intention of it is to create a space to share our creative projects.  It’s fun and low pressure to be a part of and gives just the right amount of inspiration and support.  I love popping in to see what everyone has been up to!  The community is growing, want to join?

So those are just a few ways I keep my creativity flowing everyday. I try to change it up/add new things periodically to keep it fresh and fun. Do you have a daily practice that keeps your creativity flowing?  Come over to the group and tell us about it.

Love, Steph

January 9, 2017|Art Stuff, Personal Development|

5 Ways To Use Pinterest For Business. (Especially If You’re A Creative Entrepreneur.)

The Business of Art: In this series, I share tips + tricks I've learned from running a creative shop + blog.

Click through to learn 5 ways to use Pinterest For Business, especially if you're a creative entrepreneur. Download your free worksheet!

Click through to learn 5 ways to use Pinterest For Business, especially if you're a creative entrepreneur. Download your free checklist!

If you’re a creative person online, no doubt you have at least heard of Pinterest, if not used it personally. When I started hearing more and more about how people are using Pinterest for business, I did some of my own investigating and found that it was the second largest search engine (with Google being the first).  Say what?!  I thought Pinterest was for collecting pretty pictures of DIY projects and recipes!  Whoa, Nelly was I wrong.

To say that Pinterest has the potential to be a business powerhouse is an understatement. Here are a few basic statistics:

  • Pinterest has 100 million active users, of which 85% are women.
  • 55% of US online shoppers pick Pinterest as their favorite platform.
  • 87% of pinners have purchased something because of Pinterest.
  • Top reason why Internet Millenials follow a brand or company on Pinterest: to share their interests/lifestyles with others. (Which makes it easy to appeal to a specific market)

So basically, a LOT of people are using Pinterest to shop and to connect with brands that resonate with them.  For this reason, Pinterest is a perfect way to promote your business because you can connect with viewers in a creative, visual way.

Ever since buckling down and getting serious about my own Pinterest strategy, my site visits have skyrocketed and my email list has grown steadily.  With just a few simple moves, you can get great results, too!  Here’s how to get started:

1. Sign up for a business profile if you haven’t already.

This will allow you to promote pins as well as create Rich Pins (which add extra details to Pins from your website that ‘normal’ pins don’t.) Right now, there are five types of Rich Pins: movie, recipe, article, product and place.  That product you’re trying to sell on Etsy?  You can easily promote it with a Rich Pin on Pinterest.

2. Create boards that are in line with your brand.

Include a mix of boards specifically geared to promoting your work as well as boards that compliment your work.  (You should make it a practice to pin a variety of others pins, not just your own.)

For example:  I have a board for my blog + a board for my art, both specifically promoting my work.  But, I also have a board called Inspirational Quotes  and another called Art That Inspires Me–these both promote content that someone who is following me would probably enjoy seeing.

People are looking to connect with you: Make sure you use keywords in your board descriptions that readers will use while searching for your items/posts.  Keywords are how they will find you, so give it some thought. You can see all of my boards here for keywords I use.

3. Make sure your blog or website is pin-able.

You want to make sure anyone who is visiting your home on the web can pin your content to their heart’s content.  That is how you will get seen–the more pins that are out there of your work, the more chance you have of someone clicking through to your store/site.  The best result (and hope) of this work?  A pin of yours could go viral (that means it is pinned by a lot of people, sometimes quite quickly. Yay!)

Most website themes include a unique set of social sharing buttons but if you need to add a save it button, here is how to do it.  There are also plenty of free ways outside of Pinterest to add them, Sumome is a popular one.

Click through to get access to my free library of helpful tools, including this worksheet on how to create a good graphic!

4. Join Group Boards.

Group boards are made up of a collection of people who pin common interest content to one board (for example: art techniques board or mixed media art board).  The power of the group board is that if a pin gets repinned, it will be seen by each pinner’s individual audience–one you might not have been exposed to if you hadn’t pinned it to the group.  It expands the amount of eyeballs on your work exponentially.

The catch to group boards is that you want to make sure the boards are popular enough, but not too popular.  What this means is, you want to join boards that people are pinning to consistently, and the pins have about 5+ repins each.  Otherwise, if you’re a part of a board where people only repin once in a while, it defeats the purpose.

Once you get the hang of Pinterest and have a good amount of pins, I would highly suggest using a pin promoter like Board Booster so that your pins don’t disappear into the feed.

5. Create good looking graphics.

Sometimes getting noticed is as simple as creating something people want to look at. #truestory Pinterest is loaded with beautiful images, so you want to be sure to stand out in the crowd.  The way to do that?  Catch the viewer’s eye with a great looking pin.

What you create will depend on your brand, style and the overall vibe you want to put out there, but creating a unique look will help others remember you.  It comes down to making a graphic that contains a mix of what you like, with the message you want to convey.

The goal is to design something that people will want to click through and explore further–whether it’s to a product in your shop, a creative technique to learn from your blog or to promote a new course.  The best practice I’ve found with graphics?  Keep it simple.

Need a little help getting started when it comes to creating graphics?  Download my free worksheet below: 5 Elements of a Good Graphic.

Click through to get access to my free library of helpful tools, including this worksheet on how to create a good graphic!

Alright friend, I hope these tips help you get started using Pinterest for business!  Don’t worry about getting everything perfect from the beginning, just get moving and you can adjust as you go.

Love, Steph

December 5, 2016|Canva, The Business of Art|

4 Easy Ways To Display Your Art Online (In 5 Minutes Or Less)

Want to know 4 easy ways to display your art online? Especially if you're a new artist, click through to read these helpful tips to get you started.

Even if you’re a multi-tasking master, there’s always more to do and let’s face it–we’re all crunched for time.  Especially if you are running a creative business/blog/website in addition to your everyday responsibilities or work!  So when you’re trying to get more eyes on your creative ventures,  it can mean working on it a little each day. And because of this, you need to make the most of your time.

I’m a huge fan of making small micro-movements towards a bigger goal to avoid overwhelm.  You too?  Great–here are some fantastic micro movements to make your creations more visible to others.  And some take less than five minutes!  Let’s get started, shall we?

Register for your own real estate

Social media is fantastic, but your know what else is fantastic?  Owning your own pictures + words.  Because when you post pictures or thoughts on social media, it’s no longer just yours. It’s Facebook’s or Instagram’s or whatever outlet you’re posting to, and they can take it for their own use or they can also just eliminate your profile altogether. #yikes So it’s important to have your own little corner of the world in the form of a website or blog to maintain your own intellectual property.  It’s as simple as buying a domain name and setting up a basic site.  Then you can post your work and your thoughts to your heart’s content without the fear of losing your information!

When you buy your name as a domain (or your company name) it’s yours forever until you let it expire or you sell it.  Even if you don’t have time to create a blog or website now, buy your name immediately so when you are ready, you have the address rarin’ to go.  Google Domains is an easy way to buy a domain and so is namecheap.  Give it a try!

Start collecting emails

When you have a list of emails, you can send your creations out to the exact audience that is interested in seeing it (otherwise, they wouldn’t sign up for your list!)  Your email can be as simple as sending a newsletter that includes images of your work, or pictures from behind the scenes of what you’re creating.  Because one of the great things about signing up for a newsletter, is learning more about the person behind it.  If your reader feels personally connected to you, they are that much more likely to share your work either on social media or in their own newsletter.

SO, in order to collect emails, you need to sign up with an Email Service Provider.  There are TONS to choose from, but I find Mad Mimi to be simple and easy to use.   They have a free option for up to 100 contacts, so you can try it out first before committing.  And you can literally create your first newsletter in under 5 minutes.

Pin your work

If you are not already on Pinterest, run don’t walk, and sign up immediately.  It’s not only a treasure trove of amazing imagery but it’s also a great way to be seen.  If you create an eye-catchy graphic and others pin it, you can boost your blog or shop views in a matter of hours.  And that can lead to more fans + sales. Hooray!

Click through to get access to my free library of helpful tools, including this worksheet on how to create a good graphic!

Join a Facebook Group

Facebook groups are having a moment right now (I have my own group for creatives if you want to check it out here).  They kind of feel like a continuous cocktail party–you can jump in and out of posting in the group when you have time and you can share your experience or opinion on topics that interest you.

There’s pretty much a Facebook group for every topic, you just need to do a little vetting to make sure it’s a community that is positive, fun and one you want to be a part of.  If you find the right group, it will not only connect you with like-minded people but it will inspire you to make more work that you can share with them on a regular basis.

So there you have it: a few easy ways to keep that sharing momentum going.  And if you’re just getting started, don’t worry about being found–just keep working on being seen.

Love, Steph

P.S. Not sure how to create those eye catchy graphics you see on Pinterest?  Download my worksheet: 5 Elements to a Good Graphic.

Click through to get access to my free library of helpful tools, including this worksheet on how to create a good graphic!

 

October 24, 2016|Art Stuff, How To|

The 3 Best Places To Post Your Art Online

Click through and find out the 3 best places to post your art online to get more views!

The World Wide Web is one big crazy place, isn’t it?  It can be difficult to figure out where the best place is to post your art online because there are just so many options. There are so many new social media sites popping up everyday (I’m talking to you snap), that it can be a bit confusing.  And when it comes to promoting your work–you want to make sure you’re putting effort into the right channel, so others will see it.

I’ve played around with quite a few social media sites and learned that it’s impossible to be everywhere.  When I started out, I signed up for 5 of them at once (!) and trying to juggle all of them at the same time was exhausting.  There’s just too much work involved in keeping up with multiple profiles; I learned it’s better to focus on just a few to see more engagement.  That way I can actually enjoy posting my work and making connections with others along the way.

In my experience, these are the 3 best places to post your art online:

Pinterest

This is by far the best place to post your art online to be seen by others.  Are you surprised?  I was too.  I thought Pinterest was just for recipes and DIY posts.  #hellno.   Not only is the Pinterest world a feast for the eyes (which is a bonus when posting art), but it’s also an amazingly HUGE search engine that will direct people to your site like hotcakes.  Seriously.  All you need is to create an eye catchy graphic and throw that baby up there for everyone to see.

Not sure how to pin something?  I got you covered.  After signing into an account at pinterest.com, just follow the steps below:

Pinterest's instructions on how to post your art online to their site

If you need a little example of what I’m talking about, you can see my boards and pins on Pinterest here.

Sign up for my free resource library made for creatives like you!

Instagram

Instagram is my favorite of the three platforms because of it’s simple, visual nature.  Most people gravitate to Instagram because it’s basically nice to look at!  And there’s a short learning curve to getting your image seen which is a total win for beginners.  Instagram is used mostly as a mobile app so you can post when you’re in action which is great for a creative profile–you can show behind the scenes shots, works in progress and some of your favorite supplies.

The key to Instagram is to use a few hashtags in the comments of your post to attract your audience, since that’s how people search for what they’re interested in.  And I love my Instagram feed because it’s full of profiles that I personally choose so it’s exactly what I’m interested in seeing.

Here are the simple steps to post to Instagram.com after you sign up for an account:

Simple steps to post your art online to Instagram

You can check out my Instagram Profile here.

Personal Blog

When you have your own space on the web to display your work, it’s easy to connect to social media for increasing followers.  When I started thinking about creating this blog, I thought it sounded a lot more complicated than it actually is.  It was a matter of figuring out how involved I wanted to be–wordpress is a little more complicated to maintain than a site like Squarespace which is basically a site in a box.  (It all depends on how much control you want.)

Anyway, when you have a personal blog, you can post all of your work there and then link to social media to get more views.  For example, here are three ways I do this on the blog: Art in progress, Quick Inspiration and New Art.  Each of these categories show my work in different ways and I have total control of how my art is displayed so it’s a no brainer.

I hope this helped you get motivated to share your work, it’s important to get it out there!  What’s your favorite place to post your art online?  Come on over to the FB Group and tell us.

Love, Steph

P.S. Posting your art online can be as simple as creating an eye-catching graphic and posting it where your tribe hangs out.  Need help creating the graphic but not sure where to start?  My course, Create In Canva is just for you.

October 5, 2016|Art Stuff|

Abstract Painting Art In Progress: Be True To You

Art In Progress: See how I create Inspirational art for kids + the kid in you. To learn about art technique + my motivation for creating this piece, click through for a peek. See how paintings evolve from start to finish! Original artwork by Stephanie Martel.

Art In Progress: See how I create Inspirational art for kids + the kid in you. To learn about art technique + my motivation for creating this piece, click through for a peek. See how paintings evolve from start to finish! Original artwork by Stephanie Martel.

In an effort to get back to creating consistently, I went out and made an on the go studio kit for myself.  You can see what it includes in this post I wrote about creativity.  I wanted to take the pressure off of needing to set my studio back up after having a baby in order to get back to abstract painting.  I realized I can be creative in so many ways on the go (hello simple sketches) and I liked the idea of smaller versions of my favorite supplies to bring the ease back to my process.

I got these adorable paints from Target.  They’re small and fun and the colors!  *swoon*

Art In Progress: See how I create Inspirational art for kids + the kid in you. To learn about art technique + my motivation for creating this piece, click through for a peek. See how paintings evolve from start to finish! Original artwork by Stephanie Martel.I wanted to change what I painted on and try a new format–using a pad of heavy duty mixed media paper is new to me because I usually use a canvas to create.  You know what? I found working on the paper to be amazingly freeing!  I wasn’t so worried about ‘messing things up’ like I would feel sometimes in front of a fresh started canvas.

I began this piece below by using water soluble wax pastels and treating them like watercolors.  Have you used them before?  They’re definitely worth checking out.  I colored with them on the page, then smudged with a wet brush and sometimes my fingers and it gave a nice watercolor background effect.

20160716_092712

I spread some of the paint colors around the edges of the paper and added in collage and pen details.   I had fun with the doodles, I wasn’t thinking too much but just trying to enjoy the process–that is the way abstract painting is meant to feel.  I saw that a girl was emerging so I brought her to life by painting her face and neck.

Art In Progress: See how I create Inspirational art for kids + the kid in you. To learn about art technique + my motivation for creating this piece, click through for a peek. See how paintings evolve from start to finish! Original artwork by Stephanie Martel.

Some close up details of the doodles…

Art In Progress: See how I create Inspirational art for kids + the kid in you. To learn about art technique + my motivation for creating this piece, click through for a peek. See how paintings evolve from start to finish! Original artwork by Stephanie Martel.

I found myself getting a little stuck on what to do next so I started adding details to the girl–her hair came first.  And then I added the outline for her eyes, but I messed up on the left eye!  Oh well.  I was using a pitt pen, so I quickly wiped it with a baby wipe and just tried again.  The paint for the color of the eyes eventually covered it up.

Art In Progress: See how I create Inspirational art for kids + the kid in you. To learn about art technique + my motivation for creating this piece, click through for a peek. See how paintings evolve from start to finish! Original artwork by Stephanie Martel.

After adding some more details and the sentiment, I feel like it was finished. This was so much fun to create on paper, I can’t wait to do the next one!

I spread some of the paint colors around the edges of the paper and added in pen details.   I had fun with the doodles, I wasn't thinking too much but just trying to enjoy the process.

Love, Steph

 

August 15, 2016|Art in Progress, Art Stuff|