#ArtsyTuesday: 4 Secrets To Developing Your Own Style

art-styleBy Joanne Perkins

1. Start with what you love

You don’t just choose your style; your style is something that comes to you as you create art. The best way to go about developing your style is to start with what you love and go from there. If you’ve been creating art and you know what you love, simply go for that. If you’re not too sure, simply create lots of art and experiment in lots of different ways. Being versatile in your art is a good way of helping you realize what particular type of art you love above all others. If you create lots of different types of art, you should sooner or later come across something that you find really appealing.

2. Create lots of art

What your love is the basis for developing your style. Once you’ve got this, you can go about exploring and developing your style. Work as much as you can and create as many pieces as you can. The more you create, the more your style will develop, evolve and grow. It’s worth bearing in mind that it can take a long time for you to develop a unique style. Many artists spend years creating art in order to find their unique style – finding your style can be a long process and can therefore require a lot of your time and patience.

self_portrait_in_different_styles3. Think about what sets you apart from others

Pick an artist and look at their works to gain an idea of what their style is. What sets this artist apart from others? What’s unique about this artist’s style? Is there something common to all this artist’s pieces? Ask yourself these questions to give yourself an idea of how artists make themselves stand out. Then ask yourself these questions about your own works: what sets you apart from others? What’s unique about your style? Is there something common to your pieces?

4. Be prepared for your style to change

If you know what your style is and you’re confident it makes you stand out from the crowd, great. What you have to be prepared for is for your style to change and evolve over time. Some artists are happy to find their style and work with it for the rest of their careers. For others, sticking to one way of creating isn’t enough to satisfy their creative needs; they feel the need to always push their creativity and experiment with new styles. Even if you’re happy to stick with one style, you should be prepared for change, as changes may eventually show themselves in your works.

Joanne Perkins is a Berkshire-based artist with a BA (Hons) in Fine Art. She specializes in painting Berkshire landscapes and loves capturing the natural beauty of her local countryside. She is happy to accept all queries and questions. For more information about Joanne, her work and her current projects visit: http://joannesberkshirescenes.com/default.aspx.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Joanne_Perkins


#ArtsyTuesday: 4 Easy Ways To Get Your Artwork Noticed

By Joanne Perkins

1. Get on social media

It goes without saying that social media is an incredibly useful marketing tool. The vast majority of marketing experts would strongly recommend all brands have some social media presence. Get yourself on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and any others you want. There are some networks just for artists: DeviantArt, for example, is a very social and friendly online art community with 20 million members. Another good one is PaintingsIlove, a social network where you can get friendly feedback on your artwork.

2. Write a blog

Writing a blog gives you the chance to talk about whatever you want and share it with people. Of course, as an artist, you may well want to focus on your latest projects and how they’re coming along, but you also broaden your horizons and write about more general art topics. If you’ve managed to build up an audience for yourself, post content to your blog regularly and give your readers content they want to read. Find other bloggers who write a similar sort of content and offer to do a guest blog for them. They will then do a guest blog for you. The benefit you get from this is that you get to promote yourself to a different blogger’s audience.

guerrillagirls3. Get a website

Create a website for your artwork and your brand. Your website should be a welcoming place where potential customers can learn about you, your artwork and why you’ve chosen to go down this particular path. You should have lots of digital copies of your artwork on your website and people should easily be able to purchase any pieces they like the look of. Your website should also contain links to your social media accounts and your blog. Your blog and social media posts should hopefully bring people to your website, which is essentially your brand’s home, so to speak.

4. Make friends, build connections

Simply being online isn’t enough. You have to put yourself out there and establish connections. If you’re online and you don’t build up connections with others, you won’t get noticed, and neither will your artwork. Getting yourself online is the first step; the second is to interact with people. When doing this, you should be friendly, positive and genuine. Don’t bombard people with messages all about your artwork because they will be put off and won’t look at your work. Take a more subtle approach: engage in conversation, make positive comments on what others are doing and be more social. If you’re friendly and complimentary, people will be more likely to respond.

Joanne Perkins is a Berkshire-based artist with a BA (Hons) in Fine Art. She specializes in painting Berkshire landscapes and loves capturing the natural beauty of her local countryside. She is happy to accept all queries and questions. For more information about Joanne, her work and her current projects visit: http://joannesberkshirescenes.com/default.aspx.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Joanne_Perkins




#ArtsyTuesday: Ariana Richards – Jurassic Park Meets Botticelli

arianarichardsjurrasicparkTake a trip back in time to June of 1993 when Jurassic Park was released and the young girl eating green jello in the image above screams of terror were heard in movie theaters across the world.

She no longer caters to the big screen, she now creates beautiful landscape and figure paintings so realistic that you’d swear they were photographs.

Who knew?!

Ariana Richards is her name and she has a degree in Fine Arts and Drama and her genealogy can be traced back to the Italian Renaissance with Carlo Crivelli, a contemporary of Botticelli, so the gift is in her genes.

Ariana is an award-winning artist and her work has been featured in People Magazine, Entertainment Tonight, and Good Morning America, just to name a few!

Her website doesn’t say just how much the investment will cost, but you can request an original oil painting to be created to your specifications. I’m sure you’ll be out of a few thousand dollars in the process but it’ll be worth it.


Looks like Kirsten Dunst, doesn’t it? Click to see more of Ariana Richard’s online gallery!

Most Artists Who Make A Living Are White

80% of White Artists Are Making A Living

Duh! and No shit! were the first thoughts that came to mind when I saw this article heading. This really isn’t shocking or surprising. The research revealed interesting numbers, I suppose, but it really just makes me more depressed.

White Artists

A study compiled by data gurus BFAMFAPhD reaffirms what many, many, many critics have postulated — American artists are facing a diversity problem. As The Washington Post reported, BFAMFAPhD’s research reveals that most artists making a living from their work are white. And by most, we mean 77.6%.

The Diversity Problem

The study, titled “Artists Report Back,” analyzed data for over 1.4 million working artists* (as well as a group of 2 million art school graduates) across the United States using the Census Bureau’s 2012 American Community Survey (ACS). The results show that nearly four out of five working artists are white. That leaves 7.5% of working artists identifying as black, 3.9% as Asian and 8.3% Hispanic.

The statistics for art school graduates are a bit bleaker. A solid 80.8% of this population is white, while 4.4% is black, 7.0% is Asian and 5.7% is Hispanic. Of art school graduates who make a living from their work, 83% are white. BFAMFAPhD compares these findings to the U.S. population at large, which is 63.2% white, 12.3% black, 5% Asian and 16.6% Hispanic.

Read full story via Most Artists Who Make A Living From Their Work Are White, Research Says.

Top Story: Theresa Gonsalves – Shares Making Love to Michael Jackson and How She Inspired “Billie Jean”


How come no women have ever come forward with stories of intimate encounters with Michael Jackson? How come he never dated black or ethnic girls? If you have ever questioned this and meant it in more than a rhetorical and facetious manner and if you have an open mind and can receive credible information to the contrary, than this may be the “Kiss and Tell” story you/we have searched for….and needed.

But we must start at the beginning to get a true understanding. So here is the Michael Jackson “innocent and wholesome” backstory or perhaps folklore is a better word; From his early career he was put off by the images of strippers at a night club where he performed at the tender age of 6. This in tandem with his eye witness accounts of his brothers sexually exploiting fans conflicted with his sensibilities as a Jehovah’s Witness and a sensitive soul with respect for his Mother and sisters, respect that he vicariously extended to all women. As the urban legend goes, this exposure scarred him psychologically, rendering him sexually crippled in arrested development.  His devotion to God dictated he abstain so whether it was sexual repression or a convenient excuse, no one dared question it if God was involved. For a while that gave him a pass. We saw during Off The Wall that he began exuding a soft sensuality but it seemed curiously offset by an aura of innocence, real or contrived. I do want to stress that I do not consider virginity as a lone standing factor in one’s innocence as used in this context. I feel that being idealistic and or naive and free from malicious intent reads as innocence even if you have experience so I find his to be valid relative to most 20 year olds then and now.

However, by the time he hit the stratosphere, a virtual global typhoon, during the Thriller era, his sexuality was under scrutiny and “at his age” it was an expectation that he was “gettin it in”. Religion or not, no one could have that level of self-control is what was often the consensus expressed by critics! With millions of women throughout the world throwing themselves at him, if he was not taking advantage of them then he was not a “real man”…..something had to be wrong with his sexuality. How come no women were talking…still? But the irony here even is that if ladies running to cash-in on the “kiss and tell” tale is even a thought or better still, expectation to the world at large, would Michael not be aware of that? Would someone who was so admittedly shy open himself up to such vulnerability, exploitation and fodder? Should he, the biggest star in the world, not be extremely careful? How could he defend his growing empire and protect his effective wholesome image if he would have spread himself around to the degree demanded? While the mantra of the rock star is “sex, drugs, rock and roll” Michael built his image on being the antithesis of all these. Any shift could prove fatal to his career. The 80’s was a different era where scandal was not celebrated or used as a catalyst.  But what of his desires? He is only human. Was there anyone in his circle he could trust with those needs, those private, intimate moments?

Now let’s backtrack. What if we start to realize that there was a point in his early adulthood, at which his sexuality was not under such scrutiny. After all, there was a time as a young man that he could still go out in public. So could there have been a period where his desires and curiosity intersected causing him to explore his needs during what he nor anyone knew would be his last window of opportunity? This would be the brief period of adulthood before Off The Wall (and that 14 Million Superstardom) where he had the ability and opportunity to enjoy his success, make decisions, trust, still have privacy and some semblance of normalcy….but before Thriller,(megastardom)…before he became THEE Michael Jackson, the all time greatest fodder of rumor and tabloid news, aside from being the all time greatest entertainer. Might there have been some undocumented encounters from his past with ordinary girls who truly cared and did not wish to use or expose him? Imagine such a person or person(s) watching him go into seclusion as his life was no longer his own. Would such a young lady not feel even more determined to protect his privacy even if it occurred in the past? We have to consider that the bigger he and his fixed persona got, the less feasible this scenario seemed and after the accusations, the less credible it seemed. But this was largely due to a calculated decision by Michael and his handlers to present him as virginal and nonthreatening so that he could have a wholesome image that reached the masses in a way no one else ever had. AND IT WORKED!  That is until some opportunists used this to capitalize on such eccentricities, accusations, an assertion from which there seemed no turning back, no image do-overs.  Perception had become reality and the accusation served as the answer to this enigmatic behavior for many. The allegations touched off a series of events that lead to much despair and arguably his death.


Theresa and Michael

During the trial and after his death some women  who had originally respected his privacy decided it was no longer of any use and even damaging to withhold their stories of intimacy with Michael Jackson. Many, most notably the media, dismissed them to push the more salacious and disconcerting angle, any one that supported the accusation. But what makes these women any less credible than a family of proven grifters, convicted criminals? Nothing! The problem is that the women threatened the agenda of the media to make millions from the negative feeding frenzy!

One woman whose name is synonymous to die hard fans with being an early Michael Jackson girlfriend, Theresa Gonsalves, who is ethnic, has recently made it abundantly clear that, point blank, she made love with Michael Jackson as early as the filming of The Wiz. If you are in disbelief or shock, remember the open mind and read on. But the revelation is shocking to fans as well in one regard, which is that in this well-known, true fairytale the two had always denied any physicality. I can recall reading the definitive and controversial biography, “Michael Jackson: The Magic and The Madness” and being intrigued by this fan, Theresa, who touched Michael with her letters so much that she was invited into his world. It was as if his song “Dear Michael” came to life and she certainly has the pictures to corroborate the timeline! In the 1991 book ” Michael Jackson: The Magic and The Madness,” author J. Randy Taraborelli who added credibility by researching and naming all his sources, tells of an encounter where Theresa and Michael were on his bed in his New York Apt poised to kiss when Latoya walked in. That has never been disputed by anyone involved. However, according to the first account given the endeavor ended there, never to be explored again! But why? How is that plausible? Why should we believe that desire subsided? Are we supposed to think that they took it as a sign of divine intervention to warn them of their impending sin? That is idealistic but perhaps it is just that and nothing more. Weakness of the flesh….yatta, yatta, yatta! No religious judgement is implied here. We all fall short of the glory…..

Theresa and Michael had been growing as friends from near and far and through letters and meet ups for 3 years and had to trust and care deeply for each other by now. And they were now consenting adults at 19. So I always found that story of suspended animation in the bedroom to be illogical and a bit of a cliffhanger. There had to be more. Turns out my suspicion was correct! For years Michael and Theresa kept what happened that night and thereafter between them. They were entitled. But now Theresa wants the world to know the passion they shared. It is no surprise that this story is met with opposition and criticism. I feel privileged to have had the insight to recognize there was more all along. That thought occurred to me back in 1991. The fact that she filled in those blanks decades later is very validating. It just rings true. “Remember The Time” boasts a unique approach of allowing us to hear even her thoughts and narrative in letter form as if she is speaking directly to Michael and it proves very affective and touching. But make no mistake, Theresa Gonsalves definitely and very literally opened up her journal to share her actual letters and give the masses a more humanizing and passionate rendition of who Michael was. We have asked for “it.” This Is It! “Remember The Time” is their story….

L. Burner



Myra Hissami – Creating Original Art With Swarovski Crystals & Gore


How do you create your art?

I actually invented my own mixed media art form where I combine digital art, physical mediums for embellishing and jewels all on giclée canvas to create something innovative, fun, and eye-grabbing. Most of my creations are initially drawn digitally with my Wacom Intuos4 tablet. The digital works are then printed on giclée canvas and wrapped over a wood frame.

Then the fun part begins: I hand-embellish each piece with clear gesso, string gel, heavy gel, acrylic paints, colored inks, and other mediums with various brushes and tools. I essentially paint my artworks twice by first digitally painting them from scratch on Photoshop and again with physical mediums. 

Lastly, I encrust my artworks with a variety of jewels including Swarovski crystals, diamonds, rubies, etc. to give them that final sparkle and magic touch. This is the part of the creation that usually makes people smile when they view the final piece.

What was the first piece of artwork you sold?

I sold my first piece to a good friend and it was then that I realized what I created had value.

Which of your paintings is your favorite?

“Zombie Chaplin” is my favorite for many reasons. For one, Chaplin has been someone I’ve looked up to as an artist and creator since I was a child. He was a perfectionist and he took his craft seriously. I decided to take a bit of a morbid approach with this piece, considering that I’m drawn to zombies, monsters, and horror in general.

I also love the “Diamond Series” version of “Zombie Chaplin” since the piece is beautifully decorated with Swarovski crystals despite its horrific nature..

In your opinion, how should art be priced?

That is a relative question. Sometimes the simplest art pieces are highly priced for a variety of reasons. I personally think art should be priced based on how it makes an individual feel. If an art piece evokes a certain feeling in a person, it becomes that much more valuable.


Do you make a living as an artist? How?

Yes, I make a living with this new art form I’ve created. It has sparked interest in people since it is different and people generally are drawn to new and creative things.

You’re a huge Michael Jackson fan, like me! How has he influenced you?

Michael Jackson is my biggest source of inspiration to this day. I grew up dissecting him as an artist. He was an innovator as an artist and perfected every aspect of his art – from every dance step, lyrics, vocal arrangements, video creations and even his use of wardrobe and props. His imagination was out of this world.

To see him so enthusiastic, passionate, focused, and so attentive to detail in every aspect of his work was always very inspirational to me.

Where can we see and buy your work?

My artwork can be seen at my website at www.myrahissami.com. I’m releasing a limited series of all my paintings – an “Embellished Series” & “Diamond Series” where each art piece is signed and numbered with a certificate of authenticity. They can be purchased directly through me via my email at mhissami@gmail.com.

Flint Positive Spotlight: Author Rajah E. Smart Releases “Black Rain”

Is Black Rain biographical?
No…Black Rain was developed from a real life incident in Detroit between two young professionals: one being a Black male and a White female. The story caught my attention because they were involved in a car collision, and were robbed while waiting almost two hours for the police. Two individuals that would not likely even talk to one another if not for the event, gave me the idea to produce “Black Rain.” They both cited being with one another helped lessen the stress. However, I did utilize some aspects of my life for this book, but not extensively. The story involves two people just trying to learn how to break through cultural bias to be friends.
Is that your wife on the cover?
Good catch…yes, that is my wife. She was waiting while the photographer took pictures of the actual model for the cover. The photographer snapped that photo of my wife and it just caught my attention. I decided to go with the photo.
Will you be doing any signing events in Flint?
I do not have anything currently arranged. However, I need to contact Deanna Ziots for the author forum. I’m sure you know her. She contacted me a month or so ago and I have not had the opportunity to connect with her.

Are YOU Flint Positive?

FaLessia Booker Loves Keep Your Panties Up and Your Skirt Down

I really appreciate the unique viewpoint of this book. I consider myself very well-read, and have encountered very few titles that have touched on the topic of safe sex from so many angles. Dangerous Lee handles this subject through a series of informative, eye-catching short stories that made me stop and think. The HIV information appending the stories gave credibility to the title. Surely there is a need to “keep your panties up and your skirt down” with the prevalence of STI’s and STD’s within the global community. Dangerous Lee doesn’t restrict her stories to just the African American experience, but paints a broader picture that includes young, and old, married and single, black and white. The message that she drives home is simple, yet powerful: these issues affect us all, and our ignorance, arrogance and misinformation are killing us!

Visit FaLessia at Flint on the Rise!

Get Your Copy Today!


Black Music Month Spotlight: Black Alley


Soul Garage Band, Black Alley (members: Kacey- Lead Singer; Animal – Drummer; Josh – Bass; Eric – Lead Guitar; Hope – Keys; Mack – Keys; Beedy – Percussion)

Why is celebrating Black music important to you?

(Kacey) Celebrating black music is important because it allows for a period of reflection.  Seeing the changes and the growth of music is phenomenal.  Black music is so diverse and yet so relatable. The expression and emotion of black music is so powerful.

(Beedy) Black music is beautiful, so cool and so inspiring to me.  Black Music made me the musician I am today.

What do you think of the current state of the music industry?

(Kacey) I think that artists who have a true love and passion for their craft have a certain transparency about them.  There is some music that has infiltrated the industry that will soon be forgotten.  But true music and the love for the art will live forever.  There are so many talented musicians and artists around the world, I think soon, they will put on Main Street again.

What is your favorite song currently?

(Eric) Wiz Khalifa – The Code

What do you love almost as much as music?

(Josh) The only thing I can say I love as much as music is being a father! My baby girl Janaya Mone’ is my world! She changed my life for the better and she’s helping me to understand what a father truly is.

Who influences you most?

(Hope) Musically I’m influenced the most by Herbie Hancock and Peterson.

A world without music is…?

(Eric) George Orwell’s 1984

(Mack) A world with out music would be less creative; everything would be serious and dry.  Without music there wouldn’t be any dancing, instruments, or even singing. With out music we lose everything that is associated it. Bottom line,  the world would be a boring place.

Websites and social media links:


  • Black Music Month Spotlight: Traz Messiah (dangerouslee.biz)
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