Ep.195: How to implement art in business with Holly Fae

By Iva Mikles •  Updated: May 21, 2019 •  Interviews

Hey, guys! In this episode, I am chatting with Holly Fae an artist and entrepreneur with a wealthy knowledge of how to make a living with your art. Enjoy!!

Get in touch with Holly

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

All artworks by Holly Fae, used with permission

Episode Transcript

Iva Mikles  

So welcome everyone and Hello and welcome. Holy. Hi. There. Thank you for joining me here today. And if you guys don’t know, holy shoot interviews you herself a little bit because it’s a new format now, so I’m not doing this whole shebang there. So if you can tell us a little bit more about yourself?

Holly Fae  

Absolutely. Um, so I’m Holly on online, I think everybody knows me as Holly fey, middle name. And I live in California, I’ve lived in California all my life, I love it here. There’s so much beauty and inspiration, nature’s always been an inspiration in my art. So I think that’s one of the reasons that I’m so happy here. I’ve been doing art since I was a little kid. And, you know, I’ve gone through various ways to incorporate art into my everyday and into my life. And so now I have a few different businesses rolling, and all of them happen to include art in some form. And that’s pretty much it. That’s me.

Iva Mikles  

That’s super cool. I mean, not that I’m jealous about the California not at all. I think I’m gonna go visit you soon. But anyway. So, uh, what made you start, you know, with art? Or was it already, like in school that people are maybe telling you like, Oh, you are the kid in class who can draw, or what kind of made you to take it into more professional life?

Holly Fae  

Well, as a kid, I have been doing it for as long as I can remember, I have my mother saved old drawings she has that I made when I was like four years old, you know, like, my doll. And it has, you can just see like a little head and things like that. So it’s just always been something that has needed to come out of me. And definitely in school. You know, it was always the kid that did arts. But it was nice, because I wasn’t only child. So I did art a lot, because it was, you know, quiet all the time. And so I could do art, and then in school, it helps to, to make friends a lot, you know, sometimes, because we’ve moved a lot. So I would go, you know, if I was at a new school, I would just kind of hang out and be like drawing and like, Wait till somebody came in. Invariably, you know, if you’re an artist, you know, somebody will always come and be like, Why did you draw that? So of course, I’d be like, oh, yeah, you know, and then it helps to find you know, who the other kids that are interested in art and that type of thing. So it’s always been a good sort of social engagement in that way. conversation started. Yes, yes. So it’s always been there. And I was fortunate to be homeschooled. So I graduated high school early and about 15. And so I couldn’t go to college right away, I was too young. So I had a lot of opportunity to get a hold of resources. We even had a friend who was a college professor. And so she was able to get me some, you know, college level books. And I was able to start to teach myself, you know, the principles of design elements of design, all these type of things, and just really explore. And I had some family members, and people very close to me, that encouraged me a lot. So I was given Photoshop and Corel Painter, and then encouraged to start to learn graphic design. So with some graphic design books, and then that way, I was able to help the family business. So that was my first real, you know, art out into the world experience was with the graphic design. So making promotional materials, and I started learning how to do websites and things like that. And as for the drawing, I just always was all the time, just drawing, like, in my free time, you know, I had my sketchbook, one of those kids with the sketchbook everywhere and just draw, and I was always doing pencil all the time, because I am mildly colorblind. And so I found that out when I was very young, so it’s just something I kind of, you know, grew up with, but I felt a little bit apprehensive, sometimes about working with color, just because, you know, I understood that I which kinds of things I was missing, but I was a little bit apprehensive to, you know, just like try to tackle it without making something.

Iva Mikles  

So rather starting with canceled and like going full on with with colors and values. And yeah. What do you want it right.

Holly Fae  

And so, you know, I started to study a little bit of color theory to try to conceptualize it. And then someone gave me a book, and it’s called blue and yellow. Don’t make green.

Holly Fae  

Oh, yeah, no, you read that one. Yeah, love it. And you know, when I first received it, I was like, Well, no, it does. You

Holly Fae  

know, I’ve studied not, but you know, I have always been I’ve always really loved science. And so, you know, studying, I always was really into astronomy, the human body, these kinds of things. And so when I read it, and obviously for the people that don’t know, it talks about, you know, wavelengths of light and how light reflects off of objects and how we perceive it and everything, and it was just really intriguing, and it gave me an entirely different perspective. And so then, you know, I started to conceptualize more, okay, well, if I want this color to appear, and I need to mix it, you know, then I’m going to know conceptually, what I need to make some more or less how much in order to achieve what I want. So I became a lot braver in terms of color, and you know, when I started working with acrylics, and and yeah, I really got into more color for me, people who wouldn’t see my art now they know it’s very bright.

Iva Mikles  

Like a lot of colors. Yeah, color

Holly Fae  

better. Yeah. So bright, like, well, that’s how I like to be able to, that’s how I can see it clearly.

Iva Mikles  

But then, yeah, what are you still doing at the same time, you know, like, traditional art and digital art? Because you mentioned like the family business, graphic design, web design, and traditional art on the side, I guess, or?

Holly Fae  

Yeah, I think I did more with the traditional art while doing the graphic design. And then slowly, I got into trying the digital painting, which, you know, is so different. I mean, people just have this idea that it’s like, oh, you press a button, and it makes art and every visual artists knows that that’s not the truth, you know? Yeah. So I, it was kind of a slow thing, that digital painting that happened over time, I did a lot of like, photo manipulation. So you know, I mean, I will say, I’m pretty skilled at, you know, combining photos and making things look real, and that kind of thing. And so that came before that digital painting.

Iva Mikles  

And so So what do you do now, then, as if you can share, you know, like, basically the most of your time and kind of what do you have maybe on social media or to kind of how do you separate those?

Holly Fae  

Right? So well, after that happened, we also opened up a an activity center where we had different activities, and I was teaching art to kids. So that was a really lovely experience. And then on the side, I kept doing the graphic design and started doing it for other people as well. So you know, now it became a source of income, I was doing menus, websites, all these types of things

Iva Mikles  

can you hear? Because a lot of Fievel are usually like, oh, I started here. But you know, everybody’s been asking, like, how did you start? You know, like, how the first one came? Or who asked you? Or did you do the first one for free? Or, you know, this kind of, like, little bit of like, how did you start with that?

Holly Fae  

Well, um, because we had a lot of our own designs. Because my family also we, you know, have, like, multiple businesses going on, I guess, it’s just something that’s always been a part. So I have a lot of examples, and then we would actually go directly, like, we would find out, you know, what was the new place that had just opened, and, you know, let’s go there and be like, hey, you know, you need a website, look, you know, here’s work that I’ve done, you know, we’ve created this, and we can create something for you. And, you know, of course, we started out a little bit lower than that, then yeah, as you get more more clients and more portfolio, then, you know, you can raise it up from there. And, you know, it’s important to interact a lot with, with people, you know, because you never know, you can meet somebody that you know, knows someone else that needs something. And so the more that you share your art and bring it out, you know, the more people will become aware of you, it kind of makes like a you know, like a web in the sand and

Iva Mikles  

they can recommend you to their friends, and so on. So basically the first one there, you go to that person, you do your research, basically what is new in the town, or online or whatever, and, or, actually, I heard this like side note, but someone told me, it’s a good thing to look on Amazon, who is publishing new books, and then ask them if they need something. Give me also like a online business in some form. And then you start like, little bit cheaper write it when, like, when you were starting out, and then when you have more demons, then you can build it up.

Holly Fae  

For sure. And then you know, you get faster too. So it’s good to be able to charge more and do the work faster. As you get better and better. Yeah, I mean, like for people were starting out, it’s important to, to, especially in graphic design, to connect with the people that are, you know, wanting your services to understand what they’re about. And, you know, there’s so many different levels of art, you know, whether it’s art for communication or fine art and all these different things and you know, if you meet with people, you can find out where they are and kind of how they think their type of personality. And then you can translate you know, because usually when people are asking for something, they don’t have a very clear vision. Then, but they have something that they want. And then you can, you know, you can understand that from them and then combine it with your knowledge of the different levels of art and then you know, make something and I think that that really makes a makes a difference in getting a really happy customer, and then getting more more jobs.

Iva Mikles  

So they did you define for yourself that, okay, this is what I can help people with? Like, did you do some kind of like a mind map at the beginning? Or you were like, Oh, I can do graphic design and blah, blah, blah? Or, you know, like, did you go to specific customer like, Okay, you have very “beep” website, like, in a nice way, you know, I can help you with this, you know, because you need this. So you kind of went with direct proposal, right? So not like, oh, I can help you with something? I don’t know. I don’t either, right.

Holly Fae  

Exactly. Like, you know, you gauge what they want. And you say, you know, what you need here is people don’t know what your food looks like, you know, it’s just text. And then when people see an image, they order more food and that kind of thing, you know, or you need more warm colors to make people feel happy and lively, or, you know, just all kinds of things like that. Yeah, absolutely. So for a while, and then while teaching the art classes to the kids, which I loved and missed a lot, but then we moved and decided to take a little bit of a different direction. Like I mentioned that, you know, I’ve always really been interested in science. And I’ve also always led a really like natural lifestyle, we’ve never really used in my family like allopathic medicines, or pharmaceuticals and things like that. Just always very natural base. So, you know, after having some interactions with people and everything, and becoming close with a lot of people, like in the classes, for example, start to see how doing art was really benefiting them in in different ways, you know, in their health and in their mental and emotional health. And then taking all of that I really loved about, you know, anatomy and science and things when we started to meld that together. So now we do, like natural therapies. So I’ve seen it, we started, I started to study, I have certificates, and things like bio magnetism and some other elements, and then we start to combine the art, because, you know, when people do art, a lot of the time, they feel when you give them a pencil or paintbrush into here, you know, let’s do some art, they always have that, like insecurity, or that self doubt, you know, or like, oh, it’s not going to be good. I know, they all I couldn’t make a circle, I failed, you know, and, and through working with people and teaching and seeing how they, how, by giving them a little bit of a different approach, they can actually really let their creativity blossom. So we can, we’ve seen how in our, with the National Health, a lot of the things that people have a lot of the ailments are related to something emotional, you know, so whether that’s it sounds like it could be a self esteem issue, or a self doubt, or, you know, just feeling depressive, and all of that leads to issues in the body. So, we’ve been honing a method where we, you know, gradually do the art with the people and allows them to see where, you know, if you make a mistake, you can correct it. Or if you want to build on something you can build on it. And you know, you can make adjustments and that you can do that and like to not just in an artwork, you know that it’s not Oh, one try, and then you failed. Yeah, exactly. And I think a lot of artists probably struggle with that as well. You know, a lot of artists are so hard on themselves, and it leads them into depression and things like that, because they’re constantly in that state of mind where they’re trying to, you know, do better, but they’re don’t feel that it’s good enough. So we found that through doing it in a really nurturing way that it helps people to, you know, Blossom, that creativity, which gives you all these great hormones that you know, make you feel better. And so that’s really become the major focus of what I do now. And then in my free time. You know, it is owning your own business idea. It’s not like nine to five, it’s like you’re always doing something so

Iva Mikles  

when you’re not sleeping basically exactly.

Holly Fae  

You know, then I do art on drawing or painting or iPad and then on the side, I also have like an apparel business that I make the designs on the computer and then they’re printed out on fabric and sewn and you know, so that little bit of that too. I had a love for fashion design since I was a little kid that was like that was what I was when I was six like that’s what I was going to do. But you know later when I got into learning how to sew and all these kinds of things. I was like no, I just want to design I don’t want to be the one like sewing it making the designs on the computer I printed and it kind of gives me that outlet, while also, you know, supplying to a niche community for apparel. So,

Iva Mikles  

I was thinking about that as well, when I was like, younger, I was like, I will do efficient design. And then I was like, Oh, you have to actually do it. Like, I can get it for people. So when you mentioned the health side of your business, right, so the health, I will, how will they call it classes, right? Or is it like get togethers? Or how does it look like when you work with someone,

Holly Fae  

it’s usually one on one, it’s like a well being method you could say so, you know, we utilize the magnets, we utilize the, like, natural elementary suggestions, you know, we do like acupressure, like acupuncture, but without the needles, we use other tools, things like that. And then the art is a part of that as well. So it’s like a global thing that encompasses you know, lifestyle changes and everything. So it’s kind of like, you know, holistic, I guess that’s the word. That’s why they use the word holistic, right?

Iva Mikles  

And so how do people find you? Like, is it people who are like, not well with their, like mental health? Or is it after some accident when they want to kind of like, kind of look into it yourself? Or what is your kind of positioning where what like type of customers usually have, um,

Holly Fae  

you know, it could be all of the above, usually, it’s people who have looked somewhere else, and haven’t found, you know, what they’re looking for, to make them feel better, or to make them feel more balanced. And then somehow they find us, we do a lot of networking just by like, word of mouth. So a lot of people once they’ve been with us for a while, though, you know, they’ll recommend it to a friend. And you know, so it mostly goes like that we have a website, and you know, we’ve gone to some different conferences and things like that. So a little bit of networking, but mostly, it’s just by word of mouth.

Iva Mikles  

So what is your website, if someone wants to check it out when they’re listening? Now?

Holly Fae  

It’s, it’s the key of living.com. But key is spelled K i, which in Japanese, you know, Japanese is the energy like the Chi. So it sounds like the key of living, but it’s the key of living.

Iva Mikles  

So then, basically, you do like, ongoing process with people, right? So it’s not like one session, but it can be like half a year or something like that. Right, right. Yes, absolutely. Oh, nice. So how do you then find time for art?

Holly Fae  

Like I said, mostly in the evening, sometimes, you know, on the weekend, I have time to paint when there’s sunlight I don’t like to paint in when it’s not light, because I really need to, you know, see as much as I can of the color. But I recently got an iPad and procreate is really great. Because it can be dark, but I can have my screen bright. And I you know, there 10 o’clock at night just relaxing and sketching.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah, I always feel like you’re also like promotion for April. I got Oh. But yeah, it’s kind of useful. Yeah, that’s true. And so when you were mentioning also the the merchandise with the, you know, the apparel, how did you start that? Did you start with one design? And then you kind of because it’s very complex project to do?

Holly Fae  

Yeah, well, I had really haven’t done social media ever. And then when I started doing like, I had some jewelry that I was doing, and I was doing like the Photoshop. What is the word like photo manipulations for people after we moved, and it was just like, like an on the side thing to kind of, you know, enjoy. And so I put it on Facebook and Instagram, because I you know, heard that that’s the new way to, you know, promote art. And I didn’t realize that there was really this huge community of art. And then also, I found a huge community of mermaid lovers and professional mermaids. You know, and I’ve always loved mermaid since I was a kid I just living by the ocean. You know, it was something that I didn’t know just this idea. I always loved like fantasy things, fairies, mermaids. And so it was just something I’ve always drawn a lot. Especially because I love that like flowing lines, you know, the underwater can allow you to really have no sense of gravity. And you can really, you know, make the lions however you would like so. So I started to come across these people. And I noticed, especially in the apparel that there were a lot of mermaids that had that they had issues with their outfits. So like they had shell tops and things like that, but it was uncomfortable or it would give them weird tan lines, or certain people at kids parties would want them to cover up more. And so I thought, you know, why don’t they I have like a one piece swimsuit that looks like mermaid scales. And you know, so that was the first piece that I made the one that looks like, it looks like skin, but then it has mermaid skills on it. So it’s like that illusion. And people really loved it. And, you know, I, then they were like, Hey, do you have it? You know, in this style? Do you have any bikini? Do you have it in a body suit you have? Yes, it was like, I start to just find more resources for how to get them made and just started to make more and more and I’m working on leggings to match and rashguards and everything. So it just kind of really grew and it gave me a way to have that you know, wanting to do fashion but then to also really feel a need that this community that I love had so it just kind of happened organically that way. Sorry.

Iva Mikles  

You were doing it by yourself or been you outsource it someone to the swimsuit or who is making now that out

Holly Fae  

for you, well, I do the design and then I outsource the sewing so that because the I would not have time with my schedule to be able to sew so this way it allows me to you know, do the design the creative part and then someone else can sell it and print it so it and then ship it for me.

Iva Mikles  

But the first one you did it by yourself or did you right away outsourced?

Holly Fae  

No I right away wanted to do IT outsourcing. So I had them, you know, ship me samples and check on the quality and try different ones. So I mean, definitely, there’s an investment that you have to make in the beginning, even if you’re doing like a print on demand or something like that. Because you have to, you know, try and see if you want good quality to see where it is, you know, but then it pays back itself over time. So but yeah, that definitely in the beginning, that’s what I did. And when I make new products, I still you know, I don’t work with just one company as well I work with a few because, you know, this company has this quality of this item and another company has a better quality of a different items. So yeah,

Iva Mikles  

and so how do you find the good one you want to work with? You know, like, when you did the research or kind of how did you decide?

Holly Fae  

So I’m sorry, can you repeat that?

Iva Mikles  

So how did you decide on which company or you know, like

Holly Fae  

Yeah, I mostly just did Google searches. I I’m like the Google queen and my family. Like if somebody can’t find something they’re like, can you find it for me because I like to really dig dig, dig, dig dig, it’s just part of my personality. So you know, I’ll have like 10 or 20 companies and then I’ll start to go into all the details and lower it down and then again, lower it down and so as it’s just part of my process and why I’m like that you know, it helps and so yeah, just you know, I always have so many questions and whatever company you know will give me a good customer service that they can that I can communicate with them right away and then you know trying to samples whoever I like the samples from and whoever I see that is adding new products someone who’s not just like a stagnant or like a one you know, like if we just do t shirts or something like that like it needs to be someone who’s also trying to do more so that’s those are one of the factors that I look for.

Iva Mikles  

So what would be maybe like the keywords you would serve to the beginning like company making outfits

Holly Fae  

like like apparel printing manufactures or like print on demand manufacture something like that.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah, okay, cool. Cool. Yeah, because if someone was like I have no idea where to start Yeah, that’s always a good thing. And so now you how would you split your maybe the week or day like percentage wise if you would say like the art business help business the merchandise or social media or kind of how does your week look like?

Holly Fae  

Um, well it’s mostly focused on the natural well being business throughout the week. You know, sometimes we have people on the weekend sometimes on the weekdays we really try to accommodate you know, our clients schedules so that kind of moves around a lot but mostly during the day I’m working on that and then in the evening or if I have like a day off then I’ll you know get in some apparel work and then some some painting or drawing that one mostly I mean, you know, I make a business out of it because I get the art Commission’s and those things but it’s really just something for me to like relax and express myself you know, so it’s something that even if I wasn’t trying to make money off of it, I would have to do it because I just you know, needs to come out

Iva Mikles  

Yeah, like a lot of creators right that he’s like, Okay, I need to do something. Yes. So what else is good for you and relaxation, you know, like how do you recharge yourself, you know, to stay like also mentally positive and keep on going.

Holly Fae  

I love to be in nature. Nature is a huge inspiration for me. Even things just like seeing text. errors, or fractals are something that’s always been really intriguing to me. You know, and I use it in my art and because I see it in nature, and I studied it, and it’s something so I love to go out and walk, to go to natural places and see things if there’s a lake nearby where we live that we can walk around, and there’s birds and things I love to go there. Other ways to recharge I like I like to watch like fantasy TV shows, you know, that’s always really fun to get into the story and things like that. I love stories as well. And you know, sometimes I do like Tai Chi, bit of martial arts, things like that to you know, relax the body’s like in my body. Just a lot of different things all I love art related things. We also play music. My family, we have like a music band. So

Iva Mikles  

cool. I can do anything with music, like nothing?

Holly Fae  

Oh, sure, you can try. We’ll go and have a gig or something, you know, or just go and hang out somewhere and play outdoors and things like that. There’s so many ways to refresh and recharge for sure.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah. Because like people are sometimes looking for ideas. What else? You know, can I do? Right? And is it nature? Or is it drawing or something like that? And so do you like you mentioned some books or like the fantasy or movies? Do you have something you want to recommend?

Holly Fae  

Oh, goodness. For Thanks. Well, one of my favorite series ever when I was a kid was the chronicles of Prydain. So that one I think is good for all ages. It’s a really nice story. It’s five books, but they’re little books. So you know, if somebody wants a good, simple, easy to read fantasy story, that’s a good one. Don’t pay attention to the Black Cauldron movie that’s from that same series. Terrible. The mangled story and everything. Don’t worry about that. Just just read the books. Movies, you know, I love all that I know Star Trek and Marvel universe and all these things. I just I take it all. And there’s always something to learn from all the different ones. You know, I love to learn about story structure and character development and these kinds of things. So I just feel that every everything that you can watch can be an opportunity to learn, you know, even watching movies, we I like to see how the light is the production design is one of my favorite things that people like, I don’t think they notice it. Because that’s the idea, right? You’re just in the world. You’re not thinking about it. But it’s such an amazing art, you know? So yeah, I’m always I’m always watching things.

Iva Mikles  

I always love to do we also like studies of like, okay, where do you see in the movie? Like, do you play movies? They always have beautiful backgrounds. And they’re just amazing. But yeah, and maybe well, they’re the like, did you take some recent courses or books or something you want to mention, which maybe inspired you? I was doing a motion design course recently. So I’m doing more motion design. So I was like, illustration is not enough. So now I’m doing motion design course. And it’s actually quite cool. So I can link it also below If someone wants to check out motion design course. Oh, yeah.

Holly Fae  

Yeah, definitely. I mean, in the beginning, I always used books to study because there wasn’t YouTube and these kinds of resources, you know, and now I see people are like, well, you know, you know how to do this. And I’m like, Hey, there’s like a billion YouTube videos that can tell you

Iva Mikles  

if they want to learn from you, right, so.

Holly Fae  

So, but yeah, sometimes if I want to learn how to do something completely different, like I, you know, I got myself some different materials to experiment with like resin and things like that. And it’s great to go online and you know, find a video, of course, it tells me how to do it. I got the light and color course, from Art Side of Life, which I loved. That was really great. You know, I always want to absorb as much as I possibly can when it comes to light and color. Because I feel that I really need to conceptualize it to the maximum in order to be able to make sure that I’m conveying correctly. Because you know, I’ll tell you, when I was young, I accidentally painted people green and things like that. Well, I mean, it’s very cool. But on accident, so but you know, by learning and studying more, I get to understand how things makes you know, better and so. So I always want to absorb as much of that subject as I possibly can. So I really I really like that one a lot. But yeah, mostly just just trying, experimenting, you know, always observing and then try a lot of people, I find that they don’t necessarily like to push themselves too much. They just kind of want to stay in a niche. And I think we’ve all you know, been there and at times you want to just be comfortable, but sometimes it’s important and I feel like in the beginning that was a problem for me too. And it took some you know, people who are close to me to really say hey, You know, go and try this, you know, just like with the color for me to really push myself to do more and explore more. So that’s why, you know, I’ve tried so many mediums, you know, like acrylic watercolor, pastel, pencil, color, pencil all these things, you know, because I just want to try everything now.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah, but I think it’s very important. Now when we have, as you mentioned, so many options, like, we can watch you too, we can get like different online courses, by the way, very much. Thank you for taking the online course. So if someone wants to check it out, they can link it below as well. And also, I’m like always looking for new courses, what I can do, because I mean, if we just stay at the same level, there is always someone you know, a little bit better than you in some area. So I’m also doing like, acrylic cores, even though I was like using some acrylics, but I’m like, Okay, someone is using it longer, probably. So they can give me some peeps. And just to have something always going on in the background, even though we were super busy, but to keep the mind entertained.

Holly Fae  

Yes, that’s part of that, you know, that’s part of being healthy, too, is just always keeping the mind learning. You know, it really proven how when in old age, the people who are more alert and active when they’re, you know, like 100? Because they’ve always been learning something. Yes, yeah, it’s a very important part of life.

Iva Mikles  

That’s true. That’s true. And the relationships, that’s what I heard as well, like people with your either families or friends circles or whatever, you keep the relationships alive, then they are more healthy, and they live longer. So it was quite interesting.

Holly Fae  

I’m set for that one. So expect me to be very old

Iva Mikles  

maybe zombie apocalypse. Okay, anyway, probably too much fiction, movies and sci fi. And so when we were talking about like, developing the skill, so a little bit of online courses, then the books and so how do you maybe practice nowadays? Do you do like spatial studies? Like developing your own style? Like, do you have a focus on that, like, I want to do mermaids, and I want to do them more in this color? Or how would help you to develop your style?

Holly Fae  

Well, um, I mean, I think I love to do the mermaid, like you mentioned. And it’s something that even though it’s just like a one thing, I do try to change it and adjust it, you know, I’ve been trying to because I have my, my set colors that I really love, because they just vibrate so much. To me, they’re the ones that are very clear and very bright. But I’ve been trying to, you know, incorporate more colors, that even though to me, maybe the color is a little more dim. But I know that for other people, they will see it also, you know, so I’ve been trying to explore more with more variety of colors. Because mermaid is here, which is always exciting for me, everybody always tells me, you know, what are you going to do for her very excited to see. And so this year, I wanted to do something different than just, you know, the beautiful mermaids, which is nice, and I enjoy, but I wanted to look for something different. And so I made a prompt list that focuses on ocean conservation. So yeah, so you know, I have ones that each prompt is regarding a different, different adversity that the oceans are suffering right now. And so the art that I’m going to be making that I’m already making is a little bit more deep and sometimes more dark, because, you know, it’s the truth of what it is of what the, the ocean suffering going on.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah, the bleach

Holly Fae  

bills, and yes, the dying corals, and you know, endangered species overfishing so much. So I think that was a way to also push myself in subject matter to try to, you know, not I mean, I like to make happy and beautiful, but, you know, to really try to reach a different angle with something that’s more meaningful, and maybe not happy. But that can maybe bring something happy, which is more awareness. And, you know, so that’s, there are different ways that I tried to push myself as opposed to just visually you know, so that’s what I’m trying to do right now.

Iva Mikles  

Because murmee is very good thing to join as well, like, also, either the, the message, or if you want to focus on improving, right, because it’s like the challenge and

Holly Fae  

you every day like October, right? Yeah,

Iva Mikles  

exactly. So now you’re creating one mermaid day, or? That’s a lot. Yeah.

Holly Fae  

Yeah. I only put out I think eight prompts because, you know, as much as I would love to make one every day with my other work and everything, of course, I can’t, but at least that way, it’s you know, some level of participation and try. That’s why also I want to make it more meaningful as opposed to just the challenge of churn it out, you know? Yes. Yeah,

Iva Mikles  

definitely. I mean, yeah. Always super time. I’m sorry, but it can help. Also with growing Instagram, if someone is looking into that, like challenges, because people following other people are always interested if you are able to finish the challenge or how much you improve, or basically just being part of your journey. So, yes, yeah, definitely helps. And also, when you mentioned the oceans and how we can help, and I think it’s like captivating the image first, and then you can read, right? So it’s super cool. Like, you’re like, Oh, this is amazing. Like, there is something behind, right? And then you can like, read more about it?

Holly Fae  

Yes, yes, that’s so much the idea. Because, you know, I mean, they say a picture’s worth 1000 words. And it really is, or maybe even more sometimes, because you know, an image can really capture people. Whereas if you’re just putting texts out there, especially now, with so much information, people are just, you know, likely to skim over and not really read things. So yeah, I think that the image is important.

Iva Mikles  

scrolling, and yes,

Holly Fae  

I think it’s more important now than ever, especially on the world of the internet, because it’s, you know, the way to capture somebody’s attention.

Iva Mikles  

And when you mentioned also the merchandise, and your art on the side, I know your business, what would be something you want to do like in maybe five to 10 years, like, what were you thinking like, Okay, this will be kind of like my dream scenario?

Holly Fae  

Oh, goodness, well, um, I mean, I’m not sure if I’ve planned like, 10 years, because in my life, things have always changed. Like, if I plan to go ahead and things, check another path, and I’m like, wow, this is even cooler than I thought, you know. So I’ve gotten out of the habit of like, planning way ahead, because I’m like, well, let’s see, you know, where the path goes. But I have some ideas that, you know, I want to get, I want to do like a coloring book, you know, things like that. So people can, you know, have the opportunity to enjoy that I have a, like a top secret project that’s related to inspiration. I haven’t mentioned anything yet, because I’m still working on it. But it’s something that I’ve been conceptualizing for a few years. And I really want to get it out there, it’s going to be like a kit, let’s say. So that’s something that definitely I want to nurture and see if I can get it to grow, because I think it will help a lot of people. So that’s like my secret baby project. I have graphic novel ideas. For Gosh, one, I think, like eight years now that I haven’t really had the time to sit and work on those. So you know, maybe one day people will see that for me, once you know, things settle down, and we can have more employees or things like that, then maybe I can, you know, sit down in my retirement age in the graphic novel or something? You never know.

Iva Mikles  

You can maybe do it to other you know, maybe next year, maybe you don’t know.

Holly Fae  

Now all the comics are, are online, though, too. So you don’t have to evolve with the times. Maybe it’ll be an interactive comic, maybe it’ll be a 3d virtual comic, you know,

Iva Mikles  

to like, live music, with music as well.

Holly Fae  

Yes, music to see. So you know, just going with the flow, that sort of thing. You never know what type of things can can come out definitely, in the realm of the wellbeing business, we want to really grow it where you know, we can have a big place and people can come and they can stay for a week or something like that, and be doing, you know, projects and workshops and really grow it. So that’s something that I’m definitely looking forward to.

Iva Mikles  

Are you guys doing also retreats, you know that you go to mountains or something like

Holly Fae  

yeah, like that would be the idea where we can have not yet but that would be definitely a future plan for sure.

Iva Mikles  

You should come to Switzerland for a retreat. Yeah, I think people liked it. Yeah, sorry.

Holly Fae  

It’s beautiful.

Iva Mikles  

I mean, it’s a nice nature. But there is a lot of nights nature places. But yeah, I think people like to go to the mountains, right? Because it has just a different vibe. And then you can do all the activities, which you guys provide. And then it’s just more relaxing. It’s kind of emphasize right?

Holly Fae  

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. So that’s the one thing that’s really solid, the rest the art stuff is always ephemeris. Solid.

Iva Mikles  

And when you’re planning a new project, you know, also we talked about a little bit of creative process. So it’s also drawing but how is your process like from start to beginning? Do you do like mind maps or you know, these kind of like planning because yeah, you mentioned that you are Googling a lot. But is there something else you do? Like do you lock yourself in a room and you draw on the walls or something? Oh, it was so dramatic. I really cool though.

Holly Fae  

Yeah, mostly, I just get ideas. You know, in my head I have. Honestly I have so many different visual ideas and not enough time. I have them. So you know, I kind of go through this conglomeration of things and see what I’m kind of, like which mood I’m in. And then you know, I’ll say, Oh, I had that idea that I wanted to work on this one, you know, and I, yeah, that’s this is that one is a good like, it’s kind of like pick from the, from the plethora be like, today, you, you know, and then I will sketch a sketch, even if it’s digital, you know, and make a sketch digitally, or I’ll make a sketch on paper, sometimes paper always flows better, for some reason, it’s just the pencil, there’s something about, you know, physical pencil, that is just so nice. But, um, so I would sketch out the idea. And, you know, mostly, it’s working on poses, just getting the pose, how I wanted trying to transfer, you know, the mental image to the paper image. And sometimes, it’s not, because it’s the same as like, when you have your eyes, and when you have a camera, like, you can take a picture what you see, but it’s not the same. So I think sometimes when I’m imagining something, it’s more like with a vision of my eyes, and then trying to translate that to the to deed, I think, is what makes me need to kind of sketch and readjusting everything to like it in a way that in a two dimensional way that feels, you know, on par with what I’m imagining. And then from there, I usually I usually don’t plan out colors Strange as it seems. Because I kind of just visualize the colors in my mind, like, you know, if I think if I want this more cool here or more warm, there are what I want to do. And then I just kind of go for it. And you know, in the digital, it’s nice to be able to always adjust colors. In the watercolor. One of the reasons that I really liked that is because of that unpredictable nature that it has, you know, like I was saying, I really love fractals and things like that. And so yeah, when you put watercolor and let it blend, it does its own sort of magic. So I like to really utilize that to the maximum that I can so if I’m too over controlled with the watercolor like trying to get something exactly how I want it then I don’t have that little bit of magic. So when I’m working with a meeting like that, I really just kind of go layer by layer and seeing what unfolds and then you know, Oh, I like what’s happening here let’s build on that or that kind of thing. So it’s very that’s what what makes it relaxing to I think it’s just kind of let it unfold a little bit

Iva Mikles  

in from the traditional tools do you have also like a favorite paper or favorite watercolor brush or pain?

Holly Fae  

Um, I like the so far from the different paints that I’ve used. I really liked the prima watercolor those were really sick and pigmented and they had a little bit granulation I was recently given for my birthday the the test sheets from Daniel Smith because I’m always like pulling up the Jimmy that that has like every single color so I’m really looking forward to seeing that if you you know asked me in another interview in a few weeks I might tell you that now it’s Daniel Smith we’ll see

Iva Mikles  

he’s like good

Holly Fae  

and paper you know I

Holly Fae  

don’t think I’ve had like a particular one yet. I’m always trying new brand I feel like I’m always looking for like that perfect one. And like I still haven’t found it so I’m always trying you know, I think the brand Strathmore overall really offers me a you know a good a good quality that I can work with. But I don’t have like an ideal one as of yet. And brushes I always use synthetic just because like you know, while squirrel hair is amazing. I just like I can’t bring myself to use animal hair brushes

Iva Mikles  

is weird you know like taking a squirrel from the tree like okay, I’ll just been with you.

Holly Fae  

So always just use like a synthetic staples something like that. You know even with acrylic I like the softer synthetic brushes I never really liked the bristle brushes or things like that. And then you know on always pencils I like to have no a lot of people do I mean some people are amazing with just like a to b but I always like to have like a two h and like a to b and like a four or six B because I really like to get that range you know to be able to make the very light values and in the very dark values. To me value is very important because as I found out is because I’ve studied your life science right so I’ve studied a lot about the color blindness aspect to really understand it like to the most depths and we actually tend to see values more clearly because we’re not so engulfed by you know color so for me I really like when I’m doing pencils to get you know those values in there. So if anybody’s doing pencil art I would definitely suggest get yourself an array of pencils because it’s going to be so much easier to really get strong values

Iva Mikles  

because for me I like to use more one pencil and they’re like few brands which are like able to kind of mimic more pencils like a little softer and hire somebody cuz he’s not the same but for me it’s just like oh another pencil and I’m like yeah just

Holly Fae  

definitely for sketching it’s easier just like yeah like I have a lot of people that I’ll do Commission’s of like doing them as a mermaid in pencil so for those I definitely like to pull out my you know array of pencils to do like one

Iva Mikles  

and when you mentioned like the the Commission’s Are they coming from Instagram if someone wants to do like how do I start first Commission’s

Holly Fae  

yeah I mean um I do get some from Instagram a surprisingly I got a lot from Facebook even though on Facebook I only have like 500 followers, but what I will do is post in groups so you know like a group that’s based on what your niche or what your style is so like I would you know, get one commission and then I’ve gone post that finished one in like a group of mermaids, which they’re, you know, 4000 Mermaid enthusiast and then and then you know people show them to the people or share it and it kind of happens like that mostly I don’t really advertise commissions it’s just that the people come to me I mean even if you look on my Instagram right now, it says Commission’s closed just because, you know, I have so much that I’m keeping up with that I don’t want people to have to wait like six months for me to finish their commission artwork. But I still get people coming to me through other venues like Facebook, or you know, through a private message that they saw one that somebody else had or something. So it’s just about getting out there and really sharing Instagram can be hard because, you know, it’s just people. Yes, exactly. And you heard trying to reach everyone, you know, without any kind of I mean, there’s the hashtags, but it’s very strange lately, you know, and sometimes it doesn’t even really show you to your own followers show your posts lately. So I find that doing the Facebook groups helped a lot because it was easier to get it to you know, more of a maybe the market.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah, more specific people. Yeah, definitely. Yeah, yeah. Because then it’s more like for example the mermaid right so you do mermaid art and then the group is about like a mermaid enthusiast so they share I guess also like mermaid fashion maybe photo location accessories and these kinds of things, I guess.

Holly Fae  

Yeah. And a lot of people with like, tails and that they you know, perform as mermaids professionally and and that kind of thing. So a lot of my Commission’s have been from those type of people as well, that they, you know, say, Hey, can you draw on my murse? Sona it’s called I know that. Yeah. And then sometimes from Etsy to I have just a pencil drawing one up on Etsy. And I get a good amount of people also asking they send me a photo and then you know, I get them a lot of gifts. I think art Commission’s are really good. If you want to advertise that if people want to mention that it makes a great gift. You know, I get a lot of those that people say, Oh, my sister loves mermaids, can you turn her into a mermaid you know, that kind of thing. It’s nice to it always feels exciting to be part of like a gift or surprise like that.

Iva Mikles  

People are happy, or they can have it also framed at home or something. And it’s very personal. So it’s super great. I mean, you like shared super great actionable steps, I think for people. So like nowadays, no one can complain that they’re not getting. Like go research Facebook groups. Yeah. Also posting on LinkedIn, surprisingly help, because there are grant types of people, you know, so you can share your art and someone from the community might see it. So you’re not competing with other artists, mainly there. But yeah, so Facebook groups, I’d say, okay, maybe LinkedIn. So very good ideas. And before we finish, I would like to know, as well, like, what would you like to be remembered for in 100 years? Or more? You know?

Iva Mikles  

That’s a big question. 

Holly Fae  

Um, I think for me, what I find really touches my soul the most is when people are inspired when I did something to spark some kind of inspiration. So whether that’s, you know, working with the people here that they are, you know, doing something creative when they’ve never done it, and then they, you know, start to get more into art. Or even, like, sometimes there’s, like young teenagers on Instagram that will make a drawing and say, you know, this was inspired by this artwork from, you know, Holly fey, and, you know, she really inspired me to make a sketch or to make a drawing, and it just really touches me. And I think that if anything that I’d like that there were people that were inspired, that kept making art, you know, so in 100 years, maybe that will trickle down, you know, from one person to another person, and if I could be part of that seed, then I think that would be what would be the most that I would like to be remembered for.

Iva Mikles  

That’s super nice. Yeah. I’m sure that a lot of people are inspired and then we can keep inspiring each other I think that’s super nice. And it’s I also like these interviews because you know, so many different stories and yeah, so hope everyone who is listening now it’s also inspired and yeah and also before we finish Yeah, right. Yes, hopefully. Yeah. And before we finish I also want to mention to you guys listening or watching that yeah, I started the Patreon if you haven’t noticed, so either would be super nice. Like if someone you know wants to, you know, support the interviews because yeah, I need your help guys. So it will be very nice. And if you can’t then also commenting or just liking the videos or whatever, it’s also great, so

Holly Fae  

likes and comments helped a lot.

Iva Mikles  

So thank you so much again for the interview. And yeah, see you next time. Bye, guys.

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.

Recommended:

Ep.98: Finding mentors with Ismael Alejandro Moreno Ozuna (IAMO)

Ep.98: Finding mentors with Ismael Alejandro Moreno Ozuna (IAMO)

Hey, guys! In this episode, I am chatting with Ismael Alejandro Moreno Ozuna, aka IAMO from Tijuana, Mexico. He is a Cartoonist and Character Designer mostly known for his popular Nerdmigos webcomic where he shares his passion for telling stories.

Ep.187: Art Processes and Techniques – Interview Highlights

Ep.187: Art Processes and Techniques – Interview Highlights

Hey, guys! This episode is about highlights from the previous Art Side of Life interviews. Ester Conceicao a.k.a Tehchan, Matt Urbanowicz, Victoria Ying and Armand Baltazar share tips and advice about their art process.

Ep.128: Be a student of life with Brian Ajhar

Ep.128: Be a student of life with Brian Ajhar

Hey, guys! In this episode, I am chatting with Brian Ajhar, a character designer, illustrator, and storyteller. His art career has spanned 3 decades and his clients include magazines, newspapers, advertising agencies, corporations, and book publishers.

Ep.158: The adventure of children’s book illustration with Richard Smythe

Ep.158: The adventure of children’s book illustration with Richard Smythe

Richard Smythe, an awarded picture books illustrator and oil painter from the UK. He has worked with publishers such as Simon & Schuster, Paula Wiseman.

Ep.86: What it takes to be a great artist with Nathan Fowkes

Ep.86: What it takes to be a great artist with Nathan Fowkes

Nathan Fowkes is a veteran artist with screen credits on 11 feature films including The Prince of Egypt, Spirit, Shrek, How to Train Your Dragon, The Legend of Puss in Boots, Rio 2 and recently Ferdinand.

Ep.152: How to overcome art frustration with Yan Sosak aka YanSculpts

Ep.152: How to overcome art frustration with Yan Sosak aka YanSculpts

Hey, guys! In this episode, I am chatting with Yan Sosak, a 2D and 3D artist most known for his YouTube channel called YanSculpts where he shares awesome Blender tutorials, on sculpting, textures, speedpaints, time lapses and more.