Fine Line Bottles for Acrylic Paint Detailing

Fine Line Bottles for Acrylic Paint Detailing

If you follow my work, you already know I am obsessed with these products. If you are used to working with tiny brushes or paint markers on canvas to get crisp fine lines, but get tired of uneven applications and paint running out too quickly then this is the solution for you!

I have now included product links from Amazon and Dick Blick. I am an affiliate with both companies and I will earn commission on items purchased within 24 hours of clicking the links.

I have included links as well as my paint recipe for filling the bottles below.

Fine Line Bottle Options:

Precision Fineline Applicator (Slim 1 oz. bottle)

This option is my ultimate favorite fine lining bottle and is the one I use most often on Instagram. The new slim design is easier to handle, and the plastic is softer and easier to squeeze. I prefer the 20 gauge bottles (blue tipped).

Dick Blick (Cheaper Option)

Amazon

 

Precision Fineline Applicators (1.25 oz bottle)

This is the product I first fell in love with. Again, I use the 20 gauge bottles. The tip is a little bit smaller, so I am able to get thinner lines with the right control. 

Dick Blick (Cheaper Option)

Amazon 

30ml Needle Tip Quilling Glue Bottles

These bottles have a wider opening, but can still perform really well for fine lining. I also use them when making my fluid flower paintings.

 

Paint Recipe:

When filling these bottles with acrylic paint, you are going to need to dilute your paints a little bit for optimal flow. I use a soft bodied paint like Liquitex Basics mixed with a small amount of water.

For my metallic silvers and golds, I currently use cheap craft paint. They are already quite thin so they don’t need any water mixed in.

I do not fill the bottles all the way, as a full bottle is often harder to squeeze. If paint doesn’t come out easily, add a little more water. If paint pours out of the bottle, you need more paint.

Care and Tips:

These bottles can clog! It is important to always cap your bottles right when you are finished using them. Especially with the Precision Applicators. Letting paint dry in the tip can ruin the bottle.

I keep a spool of 26 gauge wire in my studio to run through the tips if they do clog. For stubborn clogs, disassemble the tip and soak in hot soapy water. Try running the wire through the tip every couple of hours until the clog breaks loose.

Give your hands a break and be patient!

If you are like me and get distracted for hours with detail work, your hand is going to get crazy sore. Stretch them out a couple of times an hour.

Also, since the bottles are a little awkward, your lines won’t be precise and controlled right away. Give yourself time to practice!

***

Thanks for reading! Check out my Product Details and Reviews for more info on what I use in my studio!

-Kelly

P.S. If you enjoy my blogs and gain any inspiration from the content I put out there, please consider becoming a Patron of Messy Ever After on Patreon. Pledging just $1 a month enables me to keep doing what I do. Plus, you get extra little perks like phone wallpapers and the ability to pick my brain whenever you want through the artist Q&A perk.

My Fluid Paint Recipe

Air Compressor for Manipulating Fluid Paint

Reasons Not to be an Artist

Reasons not to be an artist.

Okay,  so there is no viable reason not to create art. It doesn’t matter if you are bad at it, good at it, do it for fun, do it for a career, do it as therapy. You should create art. We all have an artist inside of us.

But…

There ARE reasons not to be a professional artist.

I get asked quite often about how to make money as an artist, and if it’s possible to make a living off of it. I am generally very encouraging to those who want to pursue this path, but there have been a few times over the last year where I have cautioned someone to really think about their goals.

I want people to follow their dreams, but there are times when someone’s ultimate goal doesn’t match up with the path of becoming a full time creator. I never tell anyone not to do art. Honestly, I think everyone should have a creative outlet of some kind. The question here is whether or not you should make a career out of it.

Here are some of the reasons why you shouldn’t become a professional artist:

1.You think it will be easy.

In the beginning you imagine the process like this: Paint something–>Put it out there–>Make money. Easy, right?

When it’s more like: Paint something–>research hashtags–> stage the piece–>photograph in proper lighting–> post at an optimal time on Instagram–>link to a product listing from your online store–>price the piece appropriately–>post to Facebook, Tumblr, Reddit, Twitter, Pinterst, etc.–>wait for sales–>feel like a failure when it doesn’t sell immediately–>work on your skills–>create a new piece–>repeat the process over and over–>maybe make a sale! Wooooo!

There are other variations to this sequence depending on where you display your work, but you get the point.

Being a full time working artist is not easy. Even though I love what I do, there are many days where it does feel like work. You have to learn all of the aspects of a business, not just making art. It’s not easy and it doesn’t often happen quickly, but my goodness does it feel good when you see positive results.

2. You want to have fun all the time.

A lot of people get the impression that artists just f*$% around in their studio all day and don’t have a care in the world, but there is a boring and tedious side to being a full time creator. Keeping up with social media, marketing, website building, tracking inventory, pushing your skills, sticking to a studio schedule, trying new materials, bookkeeping, taxes, applying for events, giving good customer service, and more.

When art is your full time job, you spend a good chunk of time not creating. You won’t feel entertained and inspired all the time, but you have to create even when inspiration is lacking to maintain productivity.

3. You’re not willing to step out of your comfort zones and push your style. 

This includes technical skills and personal comfort zones. When it comes to skill, you need to be able to objectively assess your work and find your weaknesses while also developing your personal style. What’s going to make you stand out? Just because something looks good, doesn’t mean someone will buy it or see the meaning in it.

An example of a personal comfort zone: I am an introvert, so I really don’t like doing events. Every time a show ends, I am left with a pounding tension headache from being ‘ON’ and interacting with strangers. My comfort zone is the studio—alone—but I continue to push myself out of that in order to build a following and make sales. What is your comfort zone? Are you willing to push yourself out of it?

4. You want to make a lot of money.

Of course the goal of being a professional artist is to make money so you can keep creating–but don’t be an artist JUST to make money. If you don’t have a passion for creating, you are likely to be let down and stressed out for quite some time.

It’s completely possible to make a living as an artist—but it’s a much more demanding career path than most anticipate. There isn’t a correct and straightforward path to success so it involves a lot of creative thinking, dedication, and willingness to fail over and over again.

When I quit my job October of 2016, I set incredibly low financial expectations for myself for the first year of being an artist. Obviously, I wanted to make money, but the more important things to focus on were developing my style and building a following. I knew that I needed to finally embrace that I am an artist, but I also knew that I would struggle financially for a while.

5. You think it will be a good money making side hustle.

I was selling at a craft fair back in November, and a woman walked by my table and said “Oh, my daughter should totally do this. She could easily pay off her student loans.” It took everything in my power not to laugh hysterically and then cry a little.

Most of the time, dedicated artists have side hustles to supplement their art income so they can still focus on creating, but it’s not often that someone will jump into an art career just to help bring in a little extra cash and have the return be worth the effort put in.

Depending on the medium you work with and your cost of supplies, selling your creations as a side hustle isn’t likely to generate a lot of income in the beginning. If you are the rare person who found immediate success with creating a side income, I am genuinely happy for you, but for most people the amount of time and money that goes into creating inventory, building a display, applying for shows, building an online store, buying shipping supplies, and more negates the benefits of the income earned by the occasional sale and fair. I always considered it a win if I made enough to cover my art expenses when I was doing art on the side.

But again, it depends on your medium. If you are creating digital art, releasing YouTube videos with monetization, teaching art classes, or anything that keeps your expenses and invested time at a minimum–then art could work as a side hustle.

6. You can’t handle inconsistency and instability.

As an artist, you have to adapt to your situation. You never know where your income may come from or how to pay for your groceries from month to month. There is no guarantee that the commission you’re working on will end with a payment. Or that the outdoor event you booked this weekend won’t get rained out.

Over the years, I have learned to adapt to my instability by trimming my lifestyle down and cutting as many extraneous expenses as I can. For example, I am still driving the same ’97 Neon I bought when I turned 16 to avoid a monthly car payment and I don’t remember the last time I spent more than $15 on a haircut.

7. You give up easily.

If you are on Instagram or any social media site, you will come across a plethora of talented artists. Artists that have a larger following, incredible skills, and unique styles. This is an over-saturated market. It’s easy to think, “Why bother trying when I’ll never be like that?” My confidence is tested every day, because I worry that my work isn’t at that level–but the only difference between us and the incredible artists like @kelogsloops and @poli.bright.art is time.

If you want to be a paid professional artist, it won’t happen overnight. It may not happen for months or even years, but if you put in the work, give yourself time, and keep going even when you feel like a failure–you’ll be unstoppable.

Which brings me to the reasons you should be a Professional artist:

1.You can’t see yourself doing anything else.

If you are passionate about creating, then you should do it! But, without passion, you run the risk of burning out or giving up before you gain momentum. Have you tried working a variety of jobs, but couldn’t find fulfillment? I have a long list of jobs under my belt. I gave them my all, but they never felt right. I’d always become antsy and restless after about 3 months.

Now that I finally gave into the artist in me, it’s been 1 year and 4 months and I am full of drive to continue growing even though I’m still a “starving artist”. Passion keeps you going.

2. You’d be happy doing it even if you didn’t make money.

Like I said before, it’s a slow process to make a living for most artists.  A lot of us don’t have the luxury of not making money. Obviously we need to be able to cover our living expenses while building an art career, but can you find satisfaction in working 40 to 60 hours a week on art while barely covering rent?

Can you arrange your life in a way where you can handle financial uncertainty for a while? Or, can you work a part time job to pay for your necessities as you focus on your art in your off time? Do you have a partner or roommate that is willing to take on a financial burden in exchange for you taking on other burdens?

If art is your passion and you want to focus all of your energy on it–then find a way to do it, but know that it may be the most difficult and frustrating path you will take.

And it can potentially be the most rewarding thing you have ever done with your life.

***

I hope you found value you this article. My intention was not to dissuade anyone from chasing their dreams, but to help you feel invigorated to take on the challenges that come with it.

Let me know if you have any questions or comments below, and as always, I am happy to provide my coaching services to any artist out there who wants encouragement and guidance on how to get started with their career.

-Kelly

P.S. If you enjoy my blogs and gain any inspiration from the content I put out there, please consider becoming a Patron of Messy Ever After on Patreon. Pledging just $1 a month enables me to keep doing what I do. Plus, you get extra little perks like phone wallpapers and the ability to pick my brain whenever you want through the artist Q&A perk.

How to Find Your Style: A Guide for Artists

How to Make Art a Habit and Stop Waiting for Inspiration to Create

 

 

How to Make Art a Habit and Stop Waiting for Inspiration to Create

How to Make Art A Habit

If You Want to Make Art into a Career- You Can’t Wait to be Inspired to Create. 

Art is work. When I quit my job to become a full time artist, I had to get used to the idea that it won’t always be fun. I’ve heard so many times over the years that “If you do what you are passionate about, you’ll never work a day in your life,” but that line is kind of bulls*** and gives false expectations.

Having passion doesn’t mean what you do won’t feel like work. Passion means you are able to work harder, longer, for less pay and still wake up with energy and desire to do it all over again.

So if you have passion for art–are you the type of artist that wants to make it a career?

Professional versus Hobby Artist

The difference between a professional artist and a hobby artist has little to do with skill and everything to do with perspective. As a hobby artist, you are likely to create for fun. You enjoy the activity, play around, and maybe even sell something here and there, but you don’t need to sell your work to pay your bills. As opposed to professional artists who often torture themselves to create constantly and stick to a schedule no matter what they are feeling, because a girl’s got to eat!

I used to be a hobby artist. I would create only when inspiration struck or when I had a deadline looming over my head. Maybe this was once a week. Maybe it was a couple of times a year.

Since finally taking the leap into full blown “I am artist, hear me roar!”, I’ve learned you must make it a habit to create, no matter what state of mind you are in.  You cannot stop when it’s no longer fun or therapeutic. You have to show up, do the work, and realize fear of failure or lack of inspiration is no excuse for inaction.

How to Make Art a Habit

(You can use this free worksheet as you read to organize your thoughts.)

  • Create a Schedule-
    • If you want to make a career out of art, you need to make a schedule. Create a schedule that is realistic for you.
    • Do you work best in small bursts? Do you prefer working for long periods of time?
    • Stick to it, and create as often as you can.
  • Give yourself goals to accomplish-
    • I often create a large goal and then break that down into small tasks that I can accomplish each week. For example,  I want to generate more passive income through Patreon and affiliate links, so I create blog posts and YouTube videos each week to attract new patrons and inspire creativity with new products.
    • Example goals: Sketch every day for 10 minutes. Paint every Sunday for 4 hours. Draw hands every Tuesday. Do a group gallery show 6 months from now. Grow your Instagram following to 1000 by posting new work twice a day, etc..
    • Make sure they are SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely).
  • Learn how to shut off your internal critic-
    • My internal critic is a dick. “It’s likely that you will fail.” “Do you really think you can do this?” “There are a lot of artists that are better than you, so what’s the point in trying?”
    • When you aren’t inspired, your critic is probably going to be loudly telling you that everything you touch sucks and it’d be better to just stare at your phone for a while and wait for inspiration. Ignore the critic. The less you pay attention to that voice, the quieter it will become. Power through the frustration and keep creating.
    • It’s also helpful to ask yourself what the harm of dreaming big is. I call it stubborn optimism. Believing I can’t do something just prevents me from trying. Believing I can do something, even if I ultimately can’t or don’t means I spent a lot of time having fun, enjoying the process, and maybe at the end I feel sad for a bit, but then I adjust my goals and go back to enjoying life. Be a stubborn optimist with me! Believe in yourself.
  • Stockpile Inspiration Catalysts-
    • Write everything down. Sketch your ideas. When you ARE inspired, take advantage of those moments and capture every little idea you have.
    • When I am inspired, I often start multiple pieces of art so that when I come into the studio another day, I have a starting point. It’s easier to build off of previous ideas than to come up with entirely new ones when inspiration is lacking.
    • I also keep a journal or sketch book near me at all times to be ready to write and doodle when I have ideas.
  • Make time to practice-
    • You don’t need inspiration to practice. Practice is like lifting weights. Go through the motions. It hurts at times. You’ll feel your weaknesses, but the more you do it, the easier it will be to start creating.
    • Improving your skills and constantly growing as an artist will help you reach different levels of success.
    • The best part is that ideas can develop from practice. Just showing up and doing the work opens the door to new areas to explore.
  • Find an art buddy for accountability-
    • Is it hard for you to stay motivated when you are the only one paying attention to your habits? You may benefit from having someone there that checks in on your progress and keeps you motivated to stick to your schedule. A fellow artist or creative person would be best.
    • I do this with my coaching clients. I help keep them on schedule and monitor their progress in reaching their goals. It’s no different than having a personal trainer or workout buddy.

Conclusion

Making art a habit is the first step to making a career out of it. A year ago, I was not nearly as productive as I am now. I lacked discipline and had the wrong perspective. Now, I feel guilty and antsy if I am not in the studio or working on something art related.

I have made art a habit, but I am still working on new goals to push myself even further. Passion keeps us from plateauing and seeing how much you’ve grown keeps you motivated to push harder.

How about you? Do you want to make a career out of art? Are you ready to make art a habit? What are your goals? Feel free to use my  downloadable worksheet to help you get started on your journey. If you are having troubles making or reaching your goals, I am always happy to offer my coaching services.

Let  me know if you have any questions or comments below! Thanks for reading!

-Kelly

P.S. If you enjoy my blogs and gain any inspiration from the content I put out there, please consider becoming a Patron of Messy Ever After on Patreon. Pledging just $1 a month enables me to keep doing what I do. Plus, you get extra little perks like phone wallpapers and the ability to pick my brain whenever you want through the artist Q&A perk.

Resources:

Free Download: How to Make Art a Habit | Worksheet for Artists

Additional Reading:

How to Find Your Style: A Guide for Artists