Hello! I’ll go ahead and answer some of the most frequently asked questions here. Please do me a solid and read through this before sending a message. :D If you still have a question after reading through this, or if you emailed me a while back and haven't gotten a response (very sorry about that!), please shoot me a message over on Etsy!
Are You Accepting Commissions?
I'm not open for individual commissions currently; however, if you are a company/looking for licensed artwork, something of that sort, feel free to message me and inquire about my rates/availability! :) I am especially fond of doing cover work, so if you're a company looking for a cover artist and are interested in my art, feel free to shoot me a message to see if I have a spot open! :D
Unrelated To Art—But Here’s Info On My Hair Because I Get A Lot Of Questions On How I Dye It/Maintain The Colour.
I get asked about my bright hair quite a bit! To get hair colour this vibrant, you have to bleach it if you don’t already have very light hair. I get tons of people with dark hair asking me if they have to bleach—YES. You do. Sorry, I know that’s not the answer you want. I had black hair before I started dying my hair, so it was definitely a necessity.
For any colors like blue or violet or cotton candy pink, you will need to tone it after you bleach. I used a silver/ash blonde toner from Sally’s. Don’t bleach more than once in a week or two week period if you want to keep your hair healthy. Deep condition it often to try and repair your hair. Do a strand test before all dyes to make sure you’re gonna like the colour. Bright colors WILL BLEED—there is no stopping it. It won’t be so bad after the first couple of days, but it will always bleed a tiny bit in the shower. To save yourself some ruined towels and pillowcases, either buy black ones or buy ones that are the same colour as your hair. To slow down the fading of colour, only wash it in cold water. I went a step further and stopped shampooing completely (Google the “no-poo” technique and you’ll see it’s a thing). My hair is MUCH healthier now that I only condition it. I also try and only wash it two times a week. Doing all of these things enable me to keep very vibrant hair for about a month and a half or so. Dyes I recommend: Special Effects, Lunatik, Manic Panic, Pravana Vivids and Punky Colour. Ion Brilliance is "okay" and Splat will do in a pinch. I haven’t tried any others.
If you have any other hair-related questions: I guarantee you can find the answers on Google or YouTube. :D That’s how I figured all this hair bullshit out!
Will You Design A Tattoo For Me?
What Are Your Rates?
I am currently not giving out my hourly rate, as I'm not totally open for commissions, and my rate might change by the time I open them back up.
Will you do free work for me? What if I will pay you in publicity/exposure! Shipping is really high to my country; can you send me high-res files? I promise I'll only print one off! Can I have free samples to review? Free art for promotion?
No, no, no, no, no, noooo and no! <3
When do you post portraits for sale in your etsy shop? May I reserve a spot?
I am not currently offering portraits, but do check back from time to time!
The print on my shirt came out wrong. Do something!
I don't do any of the t-shirt printing myself. I only do the designing, so it is best to contact the company you purchased them from first. Sadly, I can do nothing for you, personally. If you have issues with Etsy art prints, please message my partner on Etsy.
Second: It is very possible that the tee you purchased is distressed, which is something I do a lot. It’s intended to give it an aged effect. If it looks a little aged in the preview, then that’s how it’s supposed to look on the tee, too.
May I use your art for promoting my product?
No. I don’t like my art to be associated with other brands/projects I’m not involved with. I like to keep close tabs on my art. Sorry!
You should create x, x and x! It would be awesome and I’d buy it.
Unfortunately I don’t really have time to take up many suggestions, as I have a lot of other work going on at the moment.
Is all of your work licensed?
A lot of my work (Firefly, Marvel, etc.) is licensed, official work. What isn’t is transformative/parody work inspired by pop culture. I love painting and paying homage to things I love.
Why aren’t some of your designs available?
Some are awaiting approval, while some never got approval and are just portfolio pieces now.
What’s your XBL/Steam tags and can I friend you on FB?
I tend to only want to play with people I know in real life (no offense!), and you’re welcome to subscribe to my personal FB page or “like” my art page. I make a lot of things public, but for the most part I just friend people I know IRL. No hard feelings! :)
Can I send you the prints I bought to have them autographed?
Not currently, but I d have autographed prints available in my Etsy store now! :)
Can I use X design as a tattoo?
Absolutely! You don’t have to message me to ask. The ONLY thing I ask is PLEASE buy a print of the design you want. This serves two purposes: it helps to support me and my art, and you can bring it into your tattoo artist so they can work off of that instead of a low res JPG. Please send me a photo afterward. :) I absolutely love seeing people get my artwork tattooed on them.
Can I use your art on things on my etsy store? (Coasters, shoes, etc.)
Thank you for asking, but no you may not.
What program do you use to create your work?
All Photoshop and my giant Cintiq. I don’t know diddly squat about illustrator. :3 I tried, briefly, but it’s just not as fun for me!
Where can I find your shirts?
All of my shirts available for purchase are listed on this website!
What cons do you usually go to?
Any con in Chicago/the midwest area. Currently I'm going to C2E2, Denver Comicon, GenCon, Emerald City Comicon, DragonCon and New York Comicon.
Can I interview you?
If they are text-only and shorter, then maybe! Shoot me a message and ask. :)
But I am open to interviews for publications, though I generally don't do video interviews. I prefer e-mail ones, please!
Will you be my mentor?
The fact that you thought to ask me is wonderful and super sweet and I'm very flattered, but I unfortunately am unable to do that at the moment. Thank you so much and good luck in all that you do.
Will you donate art to me for *insert charity here*?
Sorry, but again, this is a request I get a lot. So only donate to charities of my choosing, sorry!
Will you share x, x or y on your page?
No. I try to keep my page focused on my own artwork / artwork in general. I don’t like to use it as a platform for others to gain likes/shares. I tend to only share things that I feel people who follow me would be interested in seeing. I do not participate in that “share for share” nonsense.
What is your process?
All Photoshop on Cintiq 24HD. Draw a small thumbnail sketch, gather references, refine sketch, remove anti aliasing, colour, halftone and finished.
How do you like your Cintiq versus other tablets?
Cintiq 24HD is miles above all the other tablets I’ve used. I haven’t tried the Yiynova so I can’t be sure, but I would recommend it over a Cintiq if you’re NOT a professional. If this is your job, however, I’d go for the Cintiq (at least from all the comparisons I’ve read).
Please email me so I can ask you a question
I get asked this a lot.. or “email me so we can discuss a commission.” Just message me first, I don’t bite! :)
“Can You Please Give Me Some Advice On Art, Various Career Stuff, Etc. Etc.?”
I receive a lot of emails asking for advice, and I really appreciate that you value my input! Thank you so much for that. :) Unfortunately, though, I can’t dole out a ton of useful advice to everyone that emails me, because I tend to be kinda wordy, it would take up too much time, and I would be making less art. :( I don't mind talking about it at conventions! :D Here is some advice that I tend to give everyone just starting out: The mantra I’ve used throughout my career has been “Fake it until you make it,” and that’s essentially the summary of my career-related advice. :)
Other things I abide by and have learned over the years: draw every day. Don’t expect anything to be handed to you. Be a decent person. Help others. NEVER feel entitled to anything. Be kind. Research anything and everything you’re curious about. Don't get in your own way. Don't burn bridges. Don't tear down other people in order to build yourself up. If you instead build others up, you'll be building yourself up, too.
Question not answered here? Have a product photo you want to send to me? Emailed me but haven't gotten a response back? I decided it's easier to centralize where I get my messages/where I respond from, so I'm only handling correspondence through Etsy--it's just easier to keep things organized that way. So if you haven't gotten a response from me through email or elsewhere in a while, please shoot me a message on Etsy and either my partner or I will get back to you within a few days: https://www.etsy.com/shop/MeganLaraArt.