Thursday, March 10, 2016

Will You Be My Bridesmaid?

A special day is coming up soon- so I wanted an extra special way of inviting my favorite ladies to be my bridesmaids! I started with a little watercolor portrait of each girl....

Then I used my button maker machine from American Button Machine (in 2.5" size) to create individual pocket mirrors for each girl.

Then I took a little trip to Michaels and picked up these items....

  • 4 Square Craft Boxes
  • Recollections: Wood Embellishment Tags (12 pc)
  • Recollections: Floral Embellishment Tags (48 pc)
  • Bead Landing: 20lb Hemp Cord 
  • Organza Bags in Aqua
  • Celebrate It: Paper Crinkle in white
I then created some printable burlap hearts to fit the exact size of my boxes (about 3 in by 3 in each).

I embellished each heart with my message and wedding date and added some little faux stitches using a sharpie. I then cut out each heart to be placed inside the box.
Next I "popped the question" on each of the little wooden tags.
Finally, I assembled each of the boxes and here are the final results!!!
... They all said "YES." ^_^

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The "Polite" Commission Decline!

So we've all been there...

 "Hi there- Can you paint a replica of the Sistine Chapel Ceiling in my baby's room and make it look JUST like Michelangelo? But also I have a very tight budget... like I can only pay you $5.00 maximum. When can you start?"

It's often difficult to keep things professional and not respond with...

So to make a little easier on you I'm sharing the patented LEILANI JOY POLITE COMMISSION DECLINE! Guaranteed to get you out of an awkward payment explanation while maintaining professionalism and rapport with your oh-hell-no-it's-never-gonna-happen-client.

All jokes aside, when someone contacts you for a potential commission, it's a compliment! That person loves your work enough that they really would like an original custom piece of their very own. In most cases, that person isn't trying to take advantage of you or your time. Most likely they are simply a little naive about proper artist etiquette and the going rate for your services.

As a preemptive measure, it's a good idea to have your commission guidelines available on your website- what you will or won't do, turn around times and other policies. You can see an example of mine here:  

I would also recommend having at least an approximation of your rates so people can easily access this information and have an idea of it before contacting you. These things will cut down on the amount of are-you-serious-wtf-requests you receive.

BUT! If a commission request does make it through all your well placed booby traps you may have to actually politely decline. I prefer to reply rather than ignore, because again - this person is well intended and probably loves your work and may be a long time customer.

So below are two different ways to wriggle out of your sticky situation. One for a commission that doesn't fit the type of work you do OR you just don't want to do it, and a second one for outrageous budget constraints that would have you working for 5 cents and hour....

The Polite Decline #1:

Dear ___________

Thank you so much for your interest in my commissions! I truly appreciate all inquiries for new projects! However, at this time I will regrettably have to decline this commission request. I am currently focusing on work that fits into my existing portfolio. While I love a challenge and new ideas- I typically focuses on ________ . If you'd like to commission something similar to my current body of work please review my commission rates and process here insert link to your website. Thanks again, and I hope you'll consider me for a future project.


The Polite Decline #2:

Dear ___________

 Thank you so much for your interest in my commissions! I appreciate all inquiries for new projects! However, at this time I will regrettably have to decline this commission request. My minimum is ___________ for a ___________ (whatever they requested). Have you thought of checking out Deviant Art for your commission concept? There are some very talented artists on there that may be able to work within your budget and may be better suited to your needs. 

If I can be of further assistance or answer any other questions for you please don't hesitate to contact me back. 


Well, my work here is DONE! Hope this helps! Feel free to add or change these as needed. It might not hurt to also offer them a coupon code for your online store as a token of your appreciation. and Remember it's ok to say "NO." Sometimes it's better to decline than torture yourself doing a piece you hate- especially for next to no money! 

XOXO Leilani

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Works In Progress!

As you guys know, I really enjoy sharing my process and seeing the process of others. I thought I'd share some behind the scenes shots of my most recent works. xoxo L

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Leilani Joy's Disney Works for Wonderground Gallery

Hey Disney fans! I'm proud to present my finished works commissioned by Disney for their WonderGround Gallery in the Downtown Disney® District at the Disneyland® Resort in Anaheim, CA. These pieces made their official debut last weekend on August 16th 2014 and my original "Tick Tock Tink" found her forever home that very day! "Maleficent" and "The Queen's Way" are still available for purchase and Wonderground also offers beautiful double matted giclee collectable prints and postcards! The originals, prints, and postcards will be available until sold out at Wonderground Gallery, OR you can order via email or by phone! Wonderground Gallery is happy to ship worldwide! Contact or by telephone at: 877-560-6477. Just let them know you are interested in Leilani Joy’s artwork from WonderGround Gallery and they would be happy to let you know what is currently available. All images are officially Disney licensed. All rights reserved. Be sure to visit for more upcoming events!

 "Maleficent" 14x30" Acrylic on Wood Panel. Available. $5,500.
  "The Queen's Way" 16x20. Acrylic on Wood Panel. Available. $3,500

 "Tick-Tock Tink" 16x20" Acrylic on Wood Panel. SOLD. $3,500

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Leilani Joy Does Disney!

Very excited to officially announce this news! On Aug. 16th I'll be appearing at WonderGround Gallery in the Downtown Disney® District at the Disneyland® Resort in Anaheim, CA. to sign and debut my latest pieces in collaboration with Disney! I'll be at the gallery from 2 - 4pm to sign prints! Event Info:

More Details in my latest vlog:

Don’t live in California?  Luckily, Disneyland’s WonderGround Gallery is very happy to ship worldwide and takes orders via email at:  or by telephone at: 877-560-6477.  Just let them know you are interested in Leilani Joy’s artwork from WonderGround Gallery and they would be happy to let you know what is currently available.

Here is a sneak peek of my Disney works in progress! All images are ©Disney and an official licensed Disney products. All rights reserved. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

REPOST: Freelance Pros Take the Zeros Out of Project Bids. Here's why.

I found this great and insightful article and I thought I would share! I use this technique when I quote my clients and customers. It makes it easier for clients to understand your prices if you present them with a cost breakdown- think of it like your dentist for example. Decide what your time is worth and provide client with specifics like; 4 thumbnails cost $X.XX and 6 thumbnails cost $Y.YY etc. Hopefully using this methodology will cut back on customers responding with, "WHY IS IT SO EXPENSIVE"

Reposted Article by BY:  – JUNE 16, 2014

"Here’s a really simple piece of pricing advice that always works: cut the zeros.

Let’s say you’re doing an interior design project for a client. You list out all the services you’ll provide in your proposal, and then you give them a project fee: $5,000.
The client balks. Even though you provided a breakdown of how you got to that number, they want a breakdown of your hours or an itemized list of expenses. They try to haggle you down another $500.
What would happen if you quoted them a price of $5,180?
I bet your client would be happier. A specific number has greater meaning because it looks like you calculated your cost exactly. You took the time to break down all the custom component costs, and come up with a number for their needs -- not just the number you normally quote. $5,180 looks like an unrounded number with no padding.
I’ve seen it time and time again: clients don’t like zeros. It wakes up their never-far-away suspicion that freelancers pad their quotes and are trying to milk them dry. It’s a law of non-even price numbers that marketers have employed for centuries.
If you’re pricing your services right -- based on true value -- you will not be lying to your clients. This is not about misrepresenting yourself. It’s about making the proposal and bid process smoother.
This is not always going to make your clients happy. But try it and you may see a difference."

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Portfolio Updates!

I realized  I haven't updated the blog with my most recent work- so I thought it was time for an update! Here are a few of my most recent works! -L

"The Queen Wore Red," and "Alice Wore Blue" 
11x14" each. Acrylic on Hardboard Panel. 2013.
For the Bad Apple Artist Collective Group Show "Alice in Wonderland" Aberdeen, Scotland. UK.

 "Ebony," "Ivory," and "Prisma"
11x14. Ink and Watercolor on Illustration board. 2013
For "GET THE LEAD OUT V" Group Show. Swoon Gallery, Los Angeles CA.
16x20" Acrylic on Hardboard. 2013.

16x20" Acrylic on Hardboard. 2013.

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