Ep.32: Alisa Vysochina on how to choose the right printer and paper for selling your art prints

By Iva Mikles •  Updated: Oct 18, 2017 •  Interviews

I’m an illustrator, baked goods consumer, cat hugger and tea drinker, living in Seattle, WA.

Alisa is a freelance illustrator, primarily working with watercolors. She loves plants and flowers which reflect in her beautiful watercolor illustrations.

Check out her YouTube channel where she has over 50K followers with videos about Art Supply Haul + More!,  Creating big illustration || Watercolor drawing “GREENHOUSE” or other water color art videos!

Currently, she has been super busy making new stuff for her store that she is planning to open in July, selling vinyl stickers and art prints.

Get in touch with Alisa

Key Takeaways

“Just draw, don’t be afraid to ask for advice, don’t be afraid to approach artists you like and be adventurous and try more stuff”

Resources mentioned

💡 Please note: We are supported by our readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you! For more info, please read our disclosure.

Special thanks to Alisa for joining me today. See you next time!

All artworks by Alisa Vysochina, used with permission

Episode Transcript

Announcer

Creative, artistic, happy! That’s you. There are endless possibilities for living a creative life. So let’s inspire each other. Art Side of Life interviews with Iva.

Iva Mikles

Hello, everyone and welcome to the next episode of Art Side of Life where it’s all about how you can turn your creative passion into a profession. My name is Iva, and my guest today is a freelance illustrator originally from Ukraine, now living and working in Seattle, United States. She loves plants and flowers, which reflects in her beautiful watercolor illustrations. She has also a very popular YouTube channel where she shares videos about her art supplies and watercolor art. She’s working towards self publishing more of her art prints and books. And one day she wants to create her own comic book. In the summer of 2017. She was super busy opening her own store and making new stuff, sending vinyl stickers and art prints for you. So please welcome Elisa visa, Tina. And let’s get to the interview. So welcome everyone to the next episode of Art Side of Life. And I’m super happy to welcome here, Alisa. Hi. So hi, everyone. Oh, super happy to have you here. And let’s start maybe with your background, and maybe you can share how you got to art and if you always like to draw and maybe what was your first thing? What do you do? And you know,

Alisa Vysochina

Okay, um, well, I was drawing, I was drawing pretty much always like every kid, the kids just drove. That’s what they do. I don’t feel like anybody else was not like, I’m wasn’t too into art when I was a kid, no kids just draw pictures. And when I grew up, I grew up when I was around like, teenage, I saw that, well, it could be a nice hobby, I really thought about making it into like, you know, something serious some profession because first of all, I was enjoying it a lot. And I saw like, you can start doing it as a job, it could be become boring, and you know, like routine and you lose your interest. And if it’s your like primary main hobby, you can be afraid to lose it to lose interest in it. So I consider it different other ways to just start working. So I went to college to study law. And I was very interested in that. And I spent quite a long time studying. But in the end, I figured that it’s not really my thing. Like first year, it was very fun first, like three years was very interesting. I was really into that. But later, it wasn’t as fun anymore. It was more serious and more. Like lots of things was bothering me, like in law. And yeah, at that time, I was living in Russia. I was originally born in Ukraine. But when I was small, my parents moved to Russia. And yeah, most of my life I lived on the north of Russia. And it was very cold there. We barely had summer. Yeah, so I was mostly stuck at home drawing stuff. And you know, like, okay, you know, on my computer on internet and yeah, basically that was my childhood and teenagers I was stuck a lot at home do your weather and just drawing doing doing stuff at home?

Iva Mikles

Did you draw a lot of like, warm location or inspiration images or it was more inspired from the cold outside like people with hair coats?

Alisa Vysochina

I don’t think like location and weather really inspired me I was more into you know, once I discovered internet, I was I think the other around like 10 years old. That was a great thing. And I was just like immediately drawing stuff that is so pictures in line and just copy loads of anime and manga pictures, because finally I can see something more than that, that I can find in like magazines or, you know, like different other stuff. That is not online. Yeah. So that gave me like big push and inspiration. And I started at that time like drawing much more and mostly I was Drawing fan art and I was drawing, just copying a lot. Basically copying, it helps the most to develop my skills and style, I guess.

Iva Mikles

Yeah. And yeah, which are kind of like the biggest decisions or turning points you had to do. And in order to get where you are now

Alisa Vysochina

Even professionally,

Iva Mikles

Yeah, or also personally, kind of how did you get, you know, like, or what did you have to do to follow your passion.

Alisa Vysochina

Um, so that was later in life, Oh, when I moved to Moscow, in Russia, and I met my husband, and I was working different other odd jobs. And I didn’t really enjoy it. But I could do it. And I felt like it’s nice for a change to have a job that doesn’t involve what you basically do all the time drawing. So for a year, or a couple of years, I was working like that. But then I was pregnant. And I decided is a nice time to take rest, and start getting back into art more like I was still drawing a lot. But at that point, I consider starting, starting. Like, involve it into my work. So I started taking commissions and some other gigs related to art. Yeah. So I always was drawing, I was always once in a while taking commissions. But at that point, I was like, oh, so basically, I can stay at home for a while due to my condition. And really, there’s not much to do once you’re pregnant, you just eat and take care of yourself. So it was nice. I could I could start drawing again, like more intense than usual. Yeah. And then, after we, after we got a kid, we started traveling more. And we ended up here in us in Seattle. We are here because of my husband’s job, mostly. So my job doesn’t require working from the office, you know. And his job requires. So he found a company that he wants to work, they hired him, and he wants three different jobs. But I mean, here we because of his job.

Iva Mikles

Yeah. And so now you have also a lot of nature around you. And you implement the law of nature in your drawing, right?

Alisa Vysochina

Yeah, it’s funny because it’s gradually happened. I never was really into drawing like, you know, nature or plants. I actually hated drawing plants and flower that was like, the horrible thing. I couldn’t do a think about it. It was so boring. But eventually, I just, I just started drawing more and more. And I realized that I actually like it even more than drawing people or other stuff. So it’s funny how those changes. But I guess I became more patient and was myself and I spent more time on drawing and I’m more committed. That’s why it’s not like, I have a rush to finish the picture. I want to extend the process time and work more and more on it. Yeah.

Iva Mikles

And now you also draw a lot with the watercolors. Right? And so how did you get to watercolors? Or why did you choose this medium?

Alisa Vysochina

So, with watercolors I originally drew a lot with watercolors when I was a kid because it was, I guess, affordable medium to me. I had not very expensive, what I got was out and I was always using it and I guess it’s kind of like, eventually so yeah, I had a break. I had a break from traditional orange for quite a long time. Like at least five years. I didn’t touch traditional media. I was working digital, mostly I was doing vector art and I was very interested. So I love vector. But then I and I didn’t had you know, you kind of get boring sometimes worried sometimes I’m doing the same stuff. So I just ditched it and started doing digital and when I felt like coming back to it, I picked it up and of course I needed to rebuild my confidence in working with watercolors, but I feel like I’m pretty distant right now with the use of them. Like I’m comfortable at the point that I can Draw watercolor I know how it works and that’s an I enjoy working with it. That’s the most important part I think.

Iva Mikles

Do you have a favorite brand of the watercolors now?

Alisa Vysochina

Um, so I don’t use very expensive watercolors. I feel like it doesn’t really matter in our days when most people just come work and personal line and if you want to sell original like you know people expect with better water colors and weather mediums that painting will hold for like, many years, 100 years, but to be honest, nobody keeps stuff for that long. Nobody keeps prints for 100 years come on. Identities everyone will say just like I hate you and for a while then change with others. Like I don’t keep stuff especially with watercolors. When I buy somebody’s original I keep it in a drawer. I don’t like it exposed to light. Yeah, so I use Windsor Newton Core Series. It’s a student quality but they still pretty good and very affordable. And I don’t think you need to make better or to have better quality supplies. You can do go to art school is basically in your supplies. It doesn’t matter really. So once our nutrition is my, I guess favorite. I work with it all the time. Most of my paintings sat down with Windsor Newton Cottman series, not even professional series. They’re expensive. And it’s not that I don’t have money to spend on it. I just don’t feel the need and risk recently I got into Holbein watercolors, they are expensive and they are professional, but I use it. You know, like some sports and some colors. I don’t do full drawing with Holbein yet, but I got the set. I’m looking forward to start using but I’m still like taking my time. I don’t want to open it yet.

Iva Mikles

So So what colors did you get from Holbein?

Alisa Vysochina

I got 6060 tube sad. It’s just like a cool said. Yeah. Is it for my birthday? My husband got it to me. So I’m looking at it for two months already. Like, should I open it? Yeah. No, sir. I wait until I get the pallet to transfer it into pallet because it’s, it’s gonna be pretty huge pallet. Yeah. That’s the reason why I like Windsor Newton, because I use travel sets. And they’re very small. So you can take it anywhere. That’s very nice. So

Iva Mikles

Do you paint outside as well?

Alisa Vysochina

I do. I do paint outside. I had for a while I had an issue about painting outside. I felt very uncomfortable that people are looking. But yeah, it’s just like don’t make eye contact. But why don’t we move to California. And my, my kid had to go for a while to different school because our school didn’t have a spot. And I wasn’t driving it didn’t drive in at this moment. So and school was pretty far. So I had to wait for him like about four or five hours every day for a month. And I just went to a local Starbucks. And I was sitting there for like everyday for four or five hours. And I just started bringing my supplies it started drawing. So after a month of drawing like that I am not afraid of drawing in public. I don’t care at all about anything anymore.

Iva Mikles

Because when you’re forced in one time, and then you’re like, oh, okay, yeah, it’s fine.

Alisa Vysochina

I still need to sit there. What would I do? I could, I could spend doing something fun. And I started getting really at this time into urban sketching. Sometimes I would sit in outside draw with a CRO and so just basically buildings, cars, people, and just people in that I saw in Starbucks in cafe and around. That was very fun. And very interesting. And after that I keep I think it’s also gave me a nice not started but push to start working on more detailed backgrounds. Because basically, you just implement what you draw outside with the character. And it became so easy. I couldn’t like you know, for some time I couldn’t start working with backgrounds because I couldn’t imagine character in environment. But after doing lots of urban sketching it became pretty easy because he has finally realized, oh, that’s how it works. You just like mix them all together. And if you’d like, for example, drawbar ground was a chair, you just place character in this chair and look at them. Like they feel comfortable in there. That worked out that was my way into backgrounds. It wasn’t really hard actually.

Iva Mikles

Then how did you practice sketching humans? Was it like, back when you were a child? Or did you do some live drawing? Or maybe did you have a mentor when you were growing up?

Alisa Vysochina

Unfortunately, I didn’t have a mentor or art school. In our area, they did have a good article, most of them just like drawing with oils, mushrooms. That was like, that was a real thing. We came to our school and all the all they did was mushroom. Like that probably teacher was very into this kind of stuff. My mom decided that’s not really what I’m interested in. And that wasn’t what I was actually interested in.

Iva Mikles

Now you draw some mushrooms, though.

Alisa Vysochina

I do draw right now. But at that point, I’m like, I don’t want that to be my main thing that I want to draw. become good drawing on the mushrooms?

Iva Mikles

Because now they’re just part of the scene, of course.

Alisa Vysochina

Yeah, it’s not that complicated. Actually, you don’t have to spend lots of time. So I didn’t I feel like I didn’t use lots of figure drawing, or enough of figure drawing, because I still, whenever I have chance, I practice and draw and figure drawing. And most of my problem that I draw women mostly. And when I started drawing, man, that’s when it gets hard. This is like why the men are so difficult. Why are they constructed of different parts? Not the same flowing Nice. So, but that’s not the reason why I don’t know, man, I just, I don’t know. I just feel like women are very pretty. And mostly people would like to look at beautiful man. I’m so sorry, beautiful woman. This is sorry, that sounds so bad.

Announcer

No, it’s good.

Alisa Vysochina

I think I ever bought a print with a male character. That’s so sad, just realizing that. Just like, yeah, it’s all girls.

Iva Mikles

At least most of the people actually draw girls because also girls like to look at drawings of the girls and guys want to look at drawings of the girls as well.

Alisa Vysochina

We all have an interest in girls.

Iva Mikles

And so do you remember maybe like the best advice you ever received, and also maybe the worst advice.

Alisa Vysochina

I think the best advice related to art was just in general, it’s not even an advice. It was more like when I was younger. And when I just started posting online. Some people gave lots of critique. And they don’t really see that really young artists when they start. And basically they make lots of mistakes. But at this point, there is no point of giving them critique on what is wrong with their work. You just need to make them happy about art and making it and help them continue to pursue art and life. So at this point, I feel like at the age of between 10 and 14, maybe younger, or like view before the 12 At least, you don’t need to criticize harshly. Kids that do art you need mostly encouraged them to work on it and develop their passion into it. Because of that age. They cannot really they will learn they will learn eventually everything. But at that age very important to just make them fall in love with art with the process mostly, and not feel like they are not the same as already good, good and well developed artists. You just need to make them happy about what they do. So when I was at that age, there was a man who was very good at art, but he always came to comment on my work and he gave me very nice sweet comments was like, it’s very nice try your best Oh, ICU became better than before and stuff like that. And that really helped me at that point. I remember that was like a turning point to me that I decided that no matter what I’m going to try my best. And when somebody who is very good and who is like more like, person you look up to encourages you, it gives you lots of motivation and inspiration to work on yourself and skills. So I guess, just be nice to other artists. And be nice to yourself. That’s advice. Because word world is harsh. And eventually, you’ll get lots of critique from everywhere, even if you don’t ask for that. But just remember to be nice to yourself, and to be nice to others. Because art is is a good thing. It doesn’t have to be, you know, a struggle. I guess that’s the most like, not advice, just the thought that I took from growing up and having this experience. And that’s what I try to do all the time. I try to encourage people and try to motivate younger people to work on their on their art, and not compare yourself to somebody who has more experience.

Iva Mikles

And so now when you’re creating your art, and you have a lot of really sweet characters and plans and and different settings, where do you take your inspiration mostly? Or what is something which always comes through your work?

Alisa Vysochina

Yeah, I think right now, it’s mostly in nature and plants. And I say all the time, that’s where I take my inspiration from the most. Because you could just go outside and what I do I just take a lot of pictures of plants. Just phone feed of fixtures is just all always planned. Yeah. Yeah, it doesn’t take as many pictures of my son. It took more pictures of plants around. It’s just like nature. And we were recently walking in the park just like two days ago. And I was running around taking pictures. Oh, that would be nice. implemented. Oh, that’s a nice thing. I will I would like to draw it later.

Iva Mikles

Maybe you position him you know, with some plans.

Alisa Vysochina

Yeah. That is that is actually very inspiring, especially if if you try to step up from drawing on the character. So there’s lots that lots of people do. You just like need to change your focus. I think on different things. You won’t be stuck on drawing the same thing again. Like I was rolling only characters, but then I was more focused on plants and now implement characters with plants around and just like go in and gardens and like Arboretum’s and different parks really inspires me just my favorite place to go. Mostly alone.

Iva Mikles

Because then you can focus on inspiration.

Alisa Vysochina

Yeah, I can take my supplies and just sit there draw. And it’s very nice. Nobody nobody distracts you people. Yeah, sometimes come over to ask what you do in slaves. And it’s like, is that you try to look yeah, that’s me just see to right now is my supplies. Brush. Yeah, we’re just like pretending waiting for someone to pop up and

Iva Mikles

I kick so

Alisa Vysochina

Yeah, yeah, I do that too. I need to post something on social media. So here I am. With my supplies and my plants around me.

Iva Mikles

So how do you design your your day except taking selfies you know and posing with a brush? What else? What else do you do like during the day which kind of contributes to your success? Maybe meditation or you know, like, how do you schedule your day?

Alisa Vysochina

Um, I feel like at this part, I’m the least creative person because I’m very dependent on my kids schedules. So and I really liked when I’m into strict in in strict schedule, so when he goes to school, not staying at home, right like right now during the summer break. I like to wake up early, take him to school. And then I know that I have specific certain time that I can spend working without interruption. So that’s the most time I spend, forget. And just, I feel it’s not very creative, but that’s what inspires me just like waking up early and knowing that I will have my time alone. Working. That’s, that’s a big thing to me. Once you become a parent, you need to prioritize lots of other stuff other than what you’re into what you’re drawing and what you’re, what do you have to work on? Like, kid is my first priority. That’s why I’m like telling everyone like, yeah, that’s my full time job being a mom. But art comes next. But I don’t identify myself as a person as a mom person. Like, it’s my role. It’s my duty, but I’m an artist. I’m like, much more than that. You know. So just working really keeps me going. And having a schedule. Yeah, I don’t really meditate. I. I sleep. I take naps. That’s that’s important. Yeah, like power naps. Yeah, power naps. And eating is good. I like to eat.

Iva Mikles

Do you have like a favorite food which maybe it also inspires you to draw or like a texture of either colors or something like that?

Alisa Vysochina

I liked. I like sweets. Actually. I like sweets a lot. If I could, I would eat all the sweets. But luckily, I’m trying to avoid doing that. Just lately, it doesn’t really work. Because I always have stash of snacks in my studio. Well, I think at the studio, like I have so many places to stack my snacks.

Iva Mikles

Yeah, because the worst wouldn’t you just have them there. I would be like, Yeah.

Alisa Vysochina

Before that my table in my office area was next to the kitchen. That was very hard because I was taking snack breaks so many times. And now I need to go downstairs to get to kitchen. So I was slippery water was me drinking lots for it’s

Iva Mikles

Good. Good. Definitely.

Alisa Vysochina

Yeah. But I don’t think food really inspires me because I don’t draw for illustration, like I don’t do for the illustration. And I don’t think I draw lots of food. But that’s a good idea. Actually, I would like to get more into maybe after plants, they’re going to be food. So combination. Plants food characters, what what can be better,

Iva Mikles

Like colorful donut and then like circle and plan?

Alisa Vysochina

Yes, you cannot decide what I like. Totally.

Iva Mikles
And so when you’re creating these projects, or drawings, or like finding new paid projects or commissions, how do you do maybe the networking? Or how do you get noticed?

Alisa Vysochina

That is fine. Because I honestly never was putting really time into, you know, promoting myself like specifically go in reaching out to people or set up my profile, profile and portfolio on some sites. Like Behance or dribble I tried it, but I’m like, it’s, I don’t know, I couldn’t keep up with that. I just mostly use social media. And I’ve noticed that Instagram helps a lot. It’s the most people notice you especially right now because basically it’s became like portfolio site for artists. In my opinion. It’s really easy to get noticed when you have Instagram account just dedicated to just your art and not just your life and then sometimes you get ours into No, that doesn’t really get you noticed. Just specifically setting an account for your art really helps. And then I’ve noticed that actually lots of friends and commissions and art related contexts I got from Twitter, and Twitter has really big supporting arts community. You just need to follow all the artists and what I tell to everyone if you want to get noticed and engage with everybody, you just need to really talk to people and pay attention what they say not just retweet or like you know, and just you know have a conversation Well, people, it’s not that hard if you’re just like talking to normal to normal people just online, I mean, and then you get lots of friends and they repost your art. And they, like, I mean, retweet your art and other people notice it. And that’s how I get my commissions from the people just come to say, oh, somebody told me on Twitter that you do origin is so pictures. And would you like to do that commission too, for me? And yeah, I guess most of my Commission’s I get from Twitter, but noticed and get the most. I don’t like to say fan base, but most following. I get on Instagram. And I recently just try doing YouTube. And it’s also very fun. But it’s also very time consuming. And yeah, yeah.

Iva Mikles

And posting. Yeah.

Alisa Vysochina

I struggle with editing a lot. But mostly voiceovers. It’s just hard. It’s just, once I turn on my mic, I just, I don’t know what to say, if I got all my words. What did I say? So yeah, I feel like these platforms are very helpful for artists. And so yeah, I don’t really I don’t have Facebook, I deleted it. And I don’t feel like it’s their place for me to, you know, to do art and it just too personal in my opinion. And I don’t want that. So that’s the only places I interact with people. Actually, I don’t even visit any other places online. I just all the time. I don’t have time, right. Like recently to even just check all the feeds, I just work during the day, it may be while I’m brushing teeth in the morning, I check my feeds a little bit and they clean. That’s all as well. Yeah, I just I don’t have time. Also, because I film on my phone. During the day, I just, I cannot check what people write to me. And because I fill them in on the phone. So basically, I just concentrated on work. I am not very distracted during the day from doing my work. Yeah.

Iva Mikles

And how do you how do you choose the projects you work on? You know, like, either the Commission’s are new projects, which are coming up what is kind of the self talk which going on in your head? You know, it’s like, okay, how do I choose like to say yes and no to because sometimes you cannot do everything?

Alisa Vysochina

Yeah. So, with projects, I have a huge list, I keep this, sorry, I keep this little notebook. And I have a list of ideas that I have. And it’s such a huge list. So have ideas, just go and pick from there. And usually you can at least pick something that he would like to troll. But I don’t need really motivation inspiration to start working. I just like, I know myself, I can just go to the table of pillowed paper and start working on something. I don’t need extra kick. I don’t need to be inspired or have a muse I’ve just I’m boring person I just show up and work.

Iva Mikles

But it’s also

Alisa Vysochina

Yeah, it’s very nice. And I actually enjoy it a lot. I like to I like boring stuff. I like just constantly working on something. And I guess because I like the process more than the finished result. It’s nice when the result comes out the way I wanted it. But process is what I’m looking for every day. So and with commissions I try right now not to take personal commissions, only the commission that comes from some company and they hire you to do couple illustrations at a time, like as a project or is a series of illustration. And it’s much easier I found out that is much easier with just like different stuff like contracts and communicating and people, professional people, they are more disciplined, I think and just hiring other people and commissioning artists so they treat you as a fellow professional who is doing their job. Whether when someone, and I don’t want to hurt anyone or offend, but when you do, when you ask someone to do a personal commission, and you’re just a fan of these artists, sometimes it’s getting overwhelming. And also the grown up adult a specter of commissions, companies, and yeah, pay more.

Iva Mikles

So with that kind of like exciting projects, which are coming up like something you are working on you would like to share.

Alisa Vysochina

Right now, I’m trying to make more series of illustrations involving with different witches and plants. That’s for them very interior for the last year. And I’m very looking forward to you Inktober in October, it seems like it’s far away, but not really. Right away. Yeah. And I’m just like, I’m trying to create more illustration for upcoming shows that I’m going to participate this year. And I was thinking about maybe doing more fan art and like on jibley movies and stuff like that, that I’m very interested. And I feel like it’s very close to my style. And what I usually do so

Iva Mikles

Do you have like a favorite just sorry, do you have a favorite Ghibli movie?

Alisa Vysochina

Yeah. Yeah, I have, I think pornea I forget how is the full name but plenty of fish on a cliff or something like that. It’s called. I’m sorry, I always forget how it’s called the full name. Yeah, and house Moving Castle, I guess. These two are my favorite ones. So I’m looking forward and doing some fan art pieces on these movies. And just continue doing their witchy illustrations more and I’m looking forward also, in self publishing my ziens from the last year I did a series Australian pulling Tober and I was put in the side for longest time, but I decided it’s time since the new Inktober stars I need to finally publish the book. And just working on my shop that just opened less than a week ago. It’s also Yeah, I didn’t expect it because I didn’t have an online shop before. But it actually takes lots of time. Yeah, yes, lots of you know, work that not related to actually drawing just like picking, printing and sending stuff and it can take days for doing that. So I’m getting used to that I’m getting interested it just like new thing to me. It’s not new to many other artists are just new to me. So trying to figure out how to make it better into my my schedule to implement it in my daily schedule.

Iva Mikles

And yeah, do you have something like so you create the the original watercolor and then you also do the copies in a like scanner and then you printed on whatever paper or do you only sell originals?

Alisa Vysochina

I do prints I don’t sell originals right now. Sometimes I do gallery shows and there you can sell originals. So I do prints I scan my work I clean it up from any dust and stuff. And then I print it at home. I have a professional printer and I order professional artists print print paper. So I ordered two different kinds of ones is very smooth and looks like hot press watercolor paper. And another one I get was texture and it’s very thick. And it feels like cold press watercolor paper and I printed different ones because the painting that I did initially on texture paper I will print on schools paper because if you start printed on textured paper it’s going to create some kind of imperfections. Like some kind of little gray shadows and stuff. So yeah, I’m very picky with the quality of my prints so it’s just right next to me that’s why I’m looking.

Iva Mikles

Like you’re looking at like your baby so it’s like oh, so can you can you share what is it which printer is it?

Alisa Vysochina

It’s a Canon PIXMA Pro 100 It’s very affordable right now is cost like about like 500 bucks. You can save money and get it and the paper I get on I get from a company called Red River. It’s very good. It’s very, very good paper. And the brands that have paper that I get is Palo Duro etching that is textured one is very, very nice, and it has natural white color. And the other one is Aurora white, it has very bright white color. So I’m very picky with prints. That’s why I tried to print it on different papers that are more suitable for my work. I feel like that is important. And also I’ve tried to print it with outsource it was different companies. But what I don’t like when they print and you can see, you know, like dots and all the pixels. Yeah, that’s why I like printed at home myself, because my printer does very nice quality prints. And basically, it looks exactly like original watercolor painting. And sometimes it’s really hard to tell. So that’s what I really like.

Iva Mikles

It’s perfect. And and what is the biggest size you can print on it, it’s like a three, or usually your brains are a four.

Alisa Vysochina

Right now I’m printing on a four, just because my bigger paper haven’t arrived yet. I’ve ordered and I’m going to be printing on 11 by 14 inches, I think it’s about a four a three, I, I don’t really remember how it size up, like my printer can do a little bigger than that. So it’s like about 13 by 19 inches is pretty big. So I’m looking forward into doing bigger prints because bigger size prints because I feel like my work. Especially I hang my work on balls. And I can tell that it looks better on bigger sites.

Iva Mikles

Yeah, because you have a lot of detail. So it kind of works really well.

Alisa Vysochina

Exactly. Yeah. Some people ask if I’m going to be doing some prints on very small size, like postcard size. And I don’t do that much. Because I do only simple work because I want people to enjoy all the details and it’s gonna look better on bigger size.

Iva Mikles

Do you have something like you didn’t think about before you started something you wish you knew before you started the whole art career.

Alisa Vysochina

I wish I knew. I wish I knew about financial aspect. Nobody really talks about that. But artists job is very hard. And you don’t earn that much. And sometimes that is very unstable job. And sometimes you work work in the end of the month, you have barely minimum wage, and you need to work if you’re self employed, you need to work on your own taxes, you need to be very strict with all the papers and all the receipts and everything. Nobody tells really young artists, they loads of fuel, just encourage them. But I think it’s good. It’s good to encourage other people, which I do too. But financially, it can be challenging.

Iva Mikles

So do you have like a special system or like special software? How you can handle the I don’t know the taxes or invoices because I heard about I think it’s called FreshBooks where you can actually store your invoices are there like different software’s which can like make your life easier? Do you work with something like that?

Alisa Vysochina

Not yet. So far, I just have lots of binders where a collectible might be papers, and print receipts and collect everything. But I think that would be easy. Just like I don’t like to work a lot on my computer. Like on this kind of work like admin stuff. I don’t really enjoy it. And I feel like for me, it’s easier to do everything with just paper and collecting everything this way. And I’m pretty good at being organized with this stuff. But definitely who is not that organized. I feel like it’s going to be a huge help. Like different apps. I just don’t use it for now. But I feel like if once my shop will get bigger or I will probably need something like that because sometimes it gets overwhelming. And yeah, so far right now I will tell you this thing I need to report tax quarterly. And that is not fun. So some people reported once a year but quarterly is no fun. Yeah.

Iva Mikles

Each country is different. So probably people should You’re out. What is it in their country before you start?

Alisa Vysochina

Yeah, definitely. I’m live right now in the US, but in different countries, they have different laws and totally before June, are in considering our business, especially like freelancing and self employment, people need to make their own research into that. And yeah,

Iva Mikles

Definitely, that’s the part.

Alisa Vysochina

That is not very fun part. But that’s a big part of my art life art career, just spending time on doing this important adult stuff. Yeah.

Iva Mikles

So yeah, to grow up when we do like, art career. Actually, that’s, that’s true.

Alisa Vysochina

Yeah. It’s hard for me to talk a lot about like, being inspired and being artistic and creative. When I don’t, I don’t feel like that all the time. I just feel very organized. And once I’m stick to the schedule, everything going to be done. And I don’t let myself because it doesn’t work for me being you know, just like, Oh, I’m just gonna take a break and go wandering the woods and meditate. And so I’m like that it works for somebody else, but not for me. I am going to be totally lost and freaking out that I don’t have everything done in time. And what am I doing? What time do I have right now?

Iva Mikles

I like to plan as well, like what’s happening? Because if I don’t plan for every day, then I’m like, okay, maybe I don’t have that much to do today. You know, so you kind of started wondering.

Alisa Vysochina

Right? Exactly. That’s why I have I don’t use planners, but I write on paper that hangs on my table all the time. What I need to do today, and try to schedule everything. Yeah. And we’re in person that is sorry.

Iva Mikles

Nobody’s perfect. Because people need to kind of realize that as well. You know, like when they started the career because it’s not only about courier a car, you are a kind of building your own business. So you have to be like a business person when you are like choosing self employed courier so and what about like books do you like to read or something you would recommend to people we mentioned some movies and maybe something you give as a gift or you really enjoy?

Alisa Vysochina

Um, I really like science fiction. And I like like to read books on science fiction. I feel like my favorite one is Jeff noon. He is remembered series. And also Neil Stevenson is a great author. And I think everybody should read him. He is he’s so amazing.

Alisa Vysochina

Right now I’m reading Snow Crash. And but actually, I I don’t have a specific book that I would recommend sort of trade. Just start with anything. Anything he writes is very good. He is. Yeah, he’s great. Sorry. Okay. Yeah,

Iva Mikles

But it’s good. And what they also want me to ask you, because you mentioned some conventions. So what conventions do you go to?

Alisa Vysochina

Oh, so this year, I’m gonna go to a little convention, not even convention, but event that’s going to be in Seattle is going to I think it’s called Mahato. Market. It happens in International District is going to be in August 26 or 28th. And this year, I was also accepted for the next year is Emerald City Comicon. So that is very exciting to me. And I just yesterday got a letter that I was accepted in artist alley, and I’m going to be prepared for that. And for now, I’m trying to do only a local cons. And before that, I was just traveling and not really Tabeling just going around and spending all my money on my friend’s art. And I feel like right now I’m ready to actually start Tabeling perfect, and I’m looking forward for that. Yeah, and maybe next year I can get to Portland’s fro City Comicon and if I would enjoy it that much. I don’t know if I will, because it’s exhausting. I will try. Yeah. And just like seating interaction with people for four days. Straight like not doing going anywhere. It’s really hard. I feel like I’m not used to just being at home working on web stuff all the time, it just couldn’t be very challenging. Yeah, if I would like it, I will try to do cons in different cities, and maybe the countries eventually.

Iva Mikles

And so some of the last questions I want to ask is about the future. And what would you like to do in five to 10 years, like a dream scenario? What would you see yourself, if you cannot fail, you’re not afraid of anything. And you know, just like how it should be.

Alisa Vysochina

You know, I’m pretty happy at the point that I am right now. And this is very hard, because I would like to continue, I would like to be happy with what I’m doing. And I would like to, I guess, self publish more and make more books in future. Like, I’ve been trying to start drawing the comic. So I would like to be more organized with that part. Because, yeah, I guess just doing what I’m doing. And publish more books. That that is what I can think right now. I don’t have I don’t have just, you know, super big plans and dreams. Like I, I don’t really. I don’t know what I’m doing right now. This was my dream, and I’m living it. It’s, it feels very good. I would like to continue.

Iva Mikles

And the last question would be like, What would you like to be remembered for in like, 100 years?

Alisa Vysochina

In 100 years? Um, I don’t know. Not not, I’m not even thinking about my art. Maybe. I would like to be remembered as a fun person, you know, fun to be around fun to talk to. And my Rs, I don’t think if it’s gonna live for 100 years, or somebody’s going to remember, like, for me, it’s very important to concentrate on what’s happening right now. And what’s not going to be after me, I’m really enjoying what’s going on right now. And I always think, like, you leave only one. So you just have to do your best right now. And not seeing what you’re going to be remembered for? And what’s going to be next and what’s going to happen after you go. Yeah, right now was good. I don’t consider it thinking was gonna be later. At least at this point. I plan for like, a year ahead. Not more. Let’s see what, Francis,

Iva Mikles

It’s really nice. And maybe if you have like last advice for young starting artists, before we say goodbye, you can share your wisdom.

Alisa Vysochina

Just draw, don’t think you need good art supplies, or expensive art supplies. Don’t be afraid to ask advice or question. Lots of people just willing to answer it. And it’s not a big deal. Don’t be afraid to approach the artists that you like, I have trouble with that. I still have trouble with that. And that’s a big problem for me. Just you know, coming out of my shell, and like going to my favorite artists and telling him who I am and that I enjoy their work. That’s a huge problem for me. Usually, I don’t even like I’m scared to introduce myself and just like being in or, like around artists that are like, totally overwhelmed and embarrassed. But yeah, don’t be like me. That’s good. Okay. And be Yeah. And be adventurous and try more stuff. Yeah.

Iva Mikles

Yeah, that’s really nice. I really like that. So thank you so much for being here.

Alisa Vysochina

It was fun. And thank you so much for having me.

Iva Mikles

Oh, it’s super cool. And thanks, everyone for joining and see you in the next episode.

Alisa Vysochina

Thank you bye.

Iva Mikles

Hope you guys enjoy this interview. You can find all the resources mentioned in this episode at artsideoflife.com. Just type a guest name in the search bar. There is also a little freebie waiting for you. So go check it out. If you enjoyed this episode, please leave a review on iTunes hopefully five stars so I can read and inspire more people like you. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to Art Side of Life podcast, because I post new interview every single workday. If you want to watch the interviews, head over to artsideoflife.com/youtube. Thank you so much for listening. Don’t forget to inspire each other. And I will talk to you guys in the next episode. Bye

Announcer

Thanks for listening to the Art Side of Life podcast at www.artsideoflife.com

Hi, I am Iva (rhymes with “viva”). I am an artist, illustrator, founder of Art Side of Life®, and Top Teacher on Skillshare. Since 2009 I've worked as an illustrator, character designer, art director, and branding specialist focusing on illustration, storytelling, concepts, and animation. I believe that we are all creative in infinite numbers of ways, so I've made it my mission to teach you everything I know and help either wake up or develop your creative genius. Learn more about me.

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