I think I’ve mentioned in passing once or twice that aside from maintaining a blog about nature stuff I’m seeing, I do have other pursuits as well. One of these was a post I made way back in March, where I included a sketch I did from the field, of a snow-covered trail. I’d made a semi-resolution to try to do more field sketching this year. Well, I haven’t, just so many other things to do, to look at, to photograph.
That doesn’t mean I’ve abstained from drawing, however. In fact, I’ve done considerably more this year than I do in an ordinary year. Most of it has been on commission. The primary project that’s been keeping me occupied lately is illustrations for a book on the birds of Niagara County, Ontario, edited by noted Ontario birders Kayo Roy and John Black. The book is currently in process (good thing, or my drawings would be a tad late), and I believe will be published sometime early next year.
I’ve been asked to do the warblers for the book. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m no Julie Zickefoose, or Debby Kaspari, at least not yet. Hopefully with a bit more practice, and some more years under my belt, I’ll be drawing like they do. But I still feel that I draw well, and am happy with the works I do. It was an honour to be included in the Niagara Birds project. There’s no up-front compensation for the drawings I do for it, but it will be great exposure for me, and practice, plus I do have the opportunity to sell the originals once they’ve been scanned in by the layout designer.
Black-throated Green Warbler – ink
To this end I’ve set up a storefront at Etsy.com through which my pieces will be available for purchase. I’ve tried to price them fairly – both for myself, in terms of receiving reasonable compensation for the time put into them – but also for the buyer, since I’m still a relative nobody in the art world (perhaps I always will be, or perhaps in twenty years I’ll be the next Robert Bateman – okay, I’ll probably never be a Bateman, but it’s nice to fantasize).
My shopkeeper name there is simply Seabrooke, and the store address is Seabrooke.etsy.com. In addition to the Niagara warblers, I also have a pencil drawing there that I did for the Ontario Field Ornithologists’ October issue of OFO News, and a few gouache paintings that I did last year for my own enjoyment. I’ll be putting up the rest of the warblers as they get done and scanned in for the book, as well as other works where I have the original to sell. I invite my readers to swing by and check them out if interested.
8 thoughts on “Some shameless self-promotion”
Awesome shop, Seabrooke, and clever digital framing of your pieces. I must snap you with a wet noodle for working for nothing, though. Makes it hard for those of us who charge to compete! Seriously, though, you will find plenty of opportunities in the natural history illustration world to work for nothing–you could spend a whole lifetime doing that–but why shouldn’t you get paid for your fine, clean, strong drawings? My mortgage company won’t accept exposure for payment last I checked. Maybe they do things differently in Canada. ;-)
Gorgeous work, a very nice body of work to show your skills. Now, stop doing anything for nothing, OK? Nobody’s going to offer you money unless you ask, or dig in your heels and refuse to work without it. That’s the hardest part, I think, about making a living off illustration–educating each and every customer as to a. why you charge for doing something you enjoy and b.convincing yourself, and then your clients, that you’re worth what you’re asking. As my old mentor Lois Darling put it, “The more high-handed you act, the better they’ll treat you.” Sad, but true. That doesn’t mean being snotty, it just means believing in your core that this is your work, and that you will be paid for it. And if they want it for nothing or peanuts, they’ll have to look elsewhere.
Seabrooke- I think that you are “our generation’s” Julie Zickefoose. Amazing talents you have.
Thanks, Julie and Tom, for the compliments! And yes, I know you’ve told me that before, too, Julie! It’s true there’s no shortage of volunteer opportunities out there. I guess with this project I thought it would make a great portfolio piece and give me a bit more credibility that I could use for future paid work, something to point to – although I suppose really the quality of the artwork should be able to stand on its own. I’ll make sure I take your words to heart for my next project, Julie!
Bravo. As to “shameless” self-promotion, my experience is that artists never do enough self-promotion.
These are wonderful drawings and certainly you should share them! Promote, promote!
I love your Etsy site! Great art and I wish you all the best! Self promotion is an absolute “yes”! You have such tremendous scope: detailed knowledge of flora and fauna; skilled photographer of the natural world; fantastic artist; talented writer. Thank you for sharing. Inspirational, and your blog is a delight to read. Geri
What could be better — tramping around outside on fine days, and curled up in a corner drawing on intemperate ones? You DO draw well; keep it up!
These are great! Wish I had that kind of talent.
Good Blog. I will continue reading it in the future. Nice photos too.