It’s my artiversary: I’m celebrating a decade as an independent artist! 

I don’t take this 10-year journey for granted….many businesses never even last five years, and I owe such a debt of gratitude to my mentors, patrons, students, followers, art collectors, and business partners who’ve taken a chance on me. Bless you all for your love of art, and thank you for coming along on this journey, for trusting me and supporting me!

In this post I’ll be talking a bit about the art, since the video doesn’t cover much. But at least you’ll see the various aspects in realtime, eh? 🙂

Tutorial: My Artiversary: 10 years and counting!

Watch the video below and scroll to the end to leave comments or questions — or click HERE to watch it on YouTube and leave comments over there. I read both dutifully!

From Snoopy to Vienna

After the old tutorial being a Snoopy stamp (no longer made as far as I know), I decided to create a drawing featuring my two dogs. Often when I color or draw dogs they seem to just magically become my babies, ya know, I don’t make the rules.

With Vienna’s tail marking being the same as Snoopy, all I had to do was make the tail long and curl – then add the spot around her eye. And since everything else got realistic on this Stonehenge paper, I gave her a real eye too. Olo markers and colored pencils were layered to get the textures and realism you see. (If you want to learn to draw animals realistically in alcohol markers + pencils, click here.) A few elements needed to be painted in gouache, too – the highlight on the hat grommets, collar, and parts of the eye.

Annnnnd Giallo!

I debated making something that was either 1) crayon and crazy or 2) abstract (which is how Vienna paints) — but I instead opted to let Vienna’s talent shine through with a quasi realistic “painting” of her brother Giallo! (If you’re new to gouache, click here.)

What’s Substack?

It’s….a bit like a blog site; people are much more interested in reading and writing than pictures, though some of the artists do share just photos of their work.

How does this differ from what I already post on my blog, YT, and social media?

PAID SUBSCRIPTION: I’ll be creating a written longform piece weekly there, which will be just for paid subscribers. The first one is public, so you can get an idea what I’m planning for these newsletters. ($5/month or $50/year – $4.17 a month)

FREE SUBSCRIPTION: Daily doodles (including a tutorial in the welcome email!), sketches, drawings – again, this is more like a public sketchbook, which will be more easily searchable for me than scrolling for eons through an instagram account. And it’ll be just sketches, all mediums. (Free)

You can download the app from Apple or Android, but you could just go simply to my Substack page, subscribe, and everything will come to your email. If  you want to add to the discussion, though, you’ll need to be a paid subscriber. And if you decide it’s too much email and you want to unsubscribe, there’s always a link at the bottom of the email.

IF YOU DOWNLOAD THE APP, there’s other features in Substack – you can go searching for others who you’d like to potentially subscribe to, there’s a public text chat option called Notes (similar to Twitter or Threads) and Chat for community-building among my subscribers.

10th Artiversary celebrations

All throughout August, I’ll be popping up with various celebrations, so stay tuned for sales, a zoom party, giveaways, and more! Two for right now:

1. The V & G drawing from this post will be given away on my Substack this coming Monday. How to enter will be announced Monday there. 

2. Everything on my fine art site is on sale! I added a bunch of new paintings and sketches – lots at a variety of prices. 

Your suggestions for videos to revisit?

Let me know if you have a favorite video I could refresh – or how about one that was terrible and needs to be redone? LOL! I’ll take suggestions and pick from them!


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  1. Pat Vilbaum

    Congratulations, Sandy on 10 years of living from ART! You are a lot of fun to watch and your new Artventures platform is awesome. It really does feel like a community. I’ve not had a lot of time to spend on it this year, but am hoping to catch up with my classes and get into some more.
    Thanks for all the inspiration and distilling of your knowledge.

  2. Gab

    LOVE this post!! You are so talented and so brave … what. huge achievement – 10 years as an independent artist. I love this drawing/painting!
    Oh and please don’t delete your earlier videos !

  3. Danette K

    You are so brave to have embarked on this journey as an artist. I don’t know if I could ever do what you have managed to do. I offer my sincerest Congratulations on your 10 year anniversary that is truly a monumental accomplishment.

  4. creatingincolors

    Congratulations on your 10-year Artversary! Thank you for sharing your love of art, and your skills, with us. I’ve learned a lot from you!

  5. Linda Conway

    Congratulations on 10 years and bringing us along for the ride! I love watching your videos and learn so much from you.

  6. Delila George

    I so enjoy all that you do and you are a true artist!

  7. June from Minnesota

    Con-ART-ulations on 10 years as an independent artist!
    I wouldn’t last 10 minutes as an independent anything 🙂
    You are an excellent teacher and artist. Unfortunately, I am a terrible art student, but I still learn and enjoy your posts.
    I wish you continued success in your “Artventures”!

  8. Vaunell J Temple

    What a blessing you are to all of us wanna-be artists, painters, sketchers,etc. You teach us that almost anything is possible and there are so many ways to get around mistakes!

    Thanks for all your efforts and great videos and encouragement.

    • Joan VanCourt

      Congratulations! I know I have been admiring your talent for a good while. You are so blessed.


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