Photo Fail

I’ve been working on drawing and coloring mandalas, experimenting with all the different ways to use them so that I can get an idea of what people who purchase them might want to do with them.

I printed out a couple of my Monday Mandalas from this blog and colored them in with my favorite colored pencils.  I wanted to take a photo of them and show you how they turned out.

Unfortunately for me, my photo skills aren’t up to par and apparently neither are my photo editing skills.  I’ve taken a million photos and I can’t seem to get the paper to look white – there’s always a weird yellow cast.  I’ve tried editing the photo, but whatever I do also affects the colors I used on the mandala, which I don’t want.

So, after much frustration and face-palming, I’ve decided that this is a fail that I need to accept and move on from.  The photo itself wasn’t the point, the experience of coloring it in was.

The failed photo:

Colored Mandala MeSee how it’s dark on the right side?  So, clearly, one of the things I need to work on is how to take better digital photos, especially if I’m going to be posting some of my designs for sale on Etsy.

Ignoring the lighting fail, actually coloring in the mandala went well.  This one is a fairly simple design, but that meant that I could color it in quickly, which is nice.  I like how it turned out, even if my photo skills don’t do it justice.

Maybe I’ll try taking some of the photos with my digital camera rather than my phone and see if that works better.  In the meantime, I’m also experimenting with layering some of my designs and turning those into coloring pages.  Hopefully I’ll have something to post about that here soon.

Mandala Monday 7

Mandala_7Again, more experimentation with variations of shapes, rather than the more traditional circular mandalas.  I think I started off thinking about a feather motif and then it morphed into more leaves and flowers.

That’s all part of the process, I think.  Getting into the feel and flow of creating the mandala, rather than being focused on forcing into something preconceived.

I haven’t actually drawn one just for fun in a while, as I’ve been concentrating on producing ones for a coloring book.  I think I need to draw a couple that are just for fun – find my mandala mojo again!

 

Digitally Coloring Mandalas

I’ve been playing with various options with the mandalas I’ve created so far.  I’ve made a bunch that I’ve posted here on my blog, but I am also working on others that will hopefully go into my Etsy store for sale as digital downloads.

I wanted to see what some of my designs would look like if they were colored in, to make sure that the designs were intricate enough to be interesting to color.  I also experimented with different ways to color them in, since I want to give people options.

I took one of my favorite mandalas so far (Mandala 6) and tried a few ways.  I’ve been using my Procreate app on my iPad to create these mandalas, so I wanted to see what they would look like if I colored them in using Procreate.

I know many people have coloring apps on their phones and iPads, so I thought this would be a good way to see how well my designs worked doing so.

Mandala 6 Colored ProcreateI’m pretty happy with the results.  I think there is a good amount of detail in the design and that it works well coloring digitally.  I can see where I’ve made some mistakes in creating the design, but since these designs weren’t specifically created for coloring, I’m not going to worry over it too much.

It would probably look even better if I had used a variety of colors rather than sticking with a blue scheme, but I had a reason for doing that, which you’ll see in a later post.

I am also hoping to offer the option to purchase my mandalas (together or separately) as stickers, so I need to test out coloring them on sticker paper as well.  If nothing else, I’ve had a lot of fun creating the mandalas themselves, so I’m calling all of this a success! 😀

Mandala Monday 6

Mandala_6So far, this is one of my favorite mandalas that I’ve created.  The lines, the shapes, the symmetry of it, all turned out much better than I anticipated.  I feel like I found a good balance in all of the layers, as well as making it detailed enough to be a good design for coloring.

Speaking of coloring, perhaps I should print some of these out and color them and see how well they actually work. Maybe you could help me out and do the same – and then send me photos of your work to share? 😀

Off to the printer I go. 🙂

Mandala Monday 5

Mandala_5I have been playing around with different shapes of mandalas and wanted to try one that wasn’t completely circular.  I like the snowflake-like shape of this one, but I’m not sure I put enough detail into the outer layers.

I have been searching the interwebs for inspiration for design elements, but I find many of them too similar.  So I have also tried incorporating some elements from zentangles to fill in details.

Regardless, the process of drawing the mandalas themselves has been fun for me.  So it shall continue!

Missed Deadlines and Sales Tax

img_0087-1Okay, so they are only self-imposed deadlines, but I think that makes it feel worse when you miss them, because you are disappointing yourself.

Sigh.

Sadly, my goal of opening an Etsy business still hasn’t happened.  Part of it is fear, part of it is procrastination, and part of it is just pure avoidance.

I’ve been waffling back and forth about whether I want to sell physical products (which would require me to deal with collecting sales tax) or whether I want to limit my sales (at first, at least) to digital downloads – which would not require me to collect sales tax in my state of residence.  (Etsy collects sales tax and handles all of the reporting/payments for states that require it even on digital products; for now, anyway.)

Part of my avoidance is that, in general, sales tax on the internet is becoming a huge pile of red tape.  For a long time, internet sales were exempt from sales tax because the internet didn’t exist when most of the laws were written.

Fast forward to the digital age, and everyone wants their cut of internet sales.  Instead of only having to worry about the laws in the state you physically reside in, it’s rapidly becoming that you have to worry about the laws in every state, regardless of where you live.  Which is a giant headache, and one that will likely drive a lot of people out of business, because the convoluted record-keeping required is just too time-consuming and expensive and eats up their time and/or profit.

For now, digital downloads seem to be the way I should go, if only for my own sanity.  Having finally decided that, I have begun working on designs for the coloring pages and stickers I hope to sell. Let’s hope the laws don’t change on me before my procrastinating butt finally kicks into gear!

Mandala Monday 4

Mandala_4I quite like the way this mandala turned out.  The repetition of the shapes turned out better than I thought it would.

I’ve been working on some larger mandalas, with an eye towards turning them into a coloring book.  Interestingly, as I’ve worked on them, I struggle with them more than the mandalas I was drawing just for my own enjoyment.

So maybe my own enjoyment of the process has an effect on the final product.  Something to keep in mind as I go forward.