30: Art Advice with Madame Berry

30: Art Advice with Madame Berry

Posted by Nicholas Ribera on

In this conversation, Madame Berry discusses her experience expanding her sales channels, including partnering with Throne and selling on TikTok Shop. She also shares her challenges in keeping products in stock and her shift towards recession-proof products. The conversation covers the pros and cons of consignment and wholesale, as well as the impact of sponsored content on platforms like TikTok. Madame Berry also talks about her plans to participate in anime conventions and the importance of choosing the right market. The conversation concludes with a discussion on referencing in art and recommendations for budget tablets for digital art. In this conversation, Chain Assembly and MadameBerry discuss various topics related to art, including file specifications for digital commissions, choosing file size and resolution, the number of hours professional artists spend drawing, methods for drawing faces, including hidden materials in art descriptions, and describing digital art in galleries. MadameBerry also mentions an upcoming event, Anime Crossroads.

You can listen to the episode here (or wherever you listen to podcasts) or read the transcript below:

A Conversation with Madame Berry:

Chain Assembly (00:01.652)

holidays everyone. I am lucky enough to have with me Madame Berry. Once again, Diane joined me on my second episode way back and I feel like I have gotten a lot better at everything since then, so hopefully a little bit of hers impressed. So thank you, Diane and Madame Berry for joining.

MadameBerry (00:23.07)

Yeah, it's good to be back.

Chain Assembly (00:25.536)

So tell me, how have you been? I know, let's see, you've been leaning a little more into the YouTube stuff. You have, you messed with TikTok shop. I'm curious about that. And you're doing a lot more charms, I guess, since we last spoke. So what's been new in the world of GlitchBerry in the last 40 weeks, I guess, 30 weeks, I don't know.

MadameBerry (00:31.712)

little bit.

MadameBerry (00:41.815)


MadameBerry (00:45.23)

So... man that's a lot of weeks. So I've been, I guess, kind of branching out or... putting my eggs in more baskets, I guess, is the best way to put it, in terms of... sorry my cat. In terms of, like, how and where I sell. Like you mentioned, I started on TikTok Shop.

Chain Assembly (01:05.92)


MadameBerry (01:12.35)

I've also become a brand partner with Throne. So I don't know if you're familiar with Throne. It is a gifting service. It's a gifting service for content creators. So creators can upload their wish lists and then fans can buy things from those wish lists and nobody's information is exchanged. It's all totally, not necessarily anonymous because you can see like who bought a gift, but.

Chain Assembly (01:16.584)

Oh, no, new to me.

MadameBerry (01:41.366)

you know, addresses aren't exchanged or anything. Here she comes. So it keeps everybody's information completely safe and even safer than an Amazon wishlist. Cause with like third party sellers, you can kind of like socially hack a third party seller into giving you an address or something. So my products are a brand partner with them.

Chain Assembly (01:45.684)

Oh, that's interesting.

Chain Assembly (02:04.768)


MadameBerry (02:09.21)

Um, I have stuff in a, in a retail store in Arizona, which is neat. Um, that's on consignment. Um.

Chain Assembly (02:15.765)

Oh. And that's like, what, three states away from you?

MadameBerry (02:20.246)

That is several states, many, many states. Yeah, so that's kind of how it's been going. It's kind of a double edged sword, the way that I've kind of expanded because I've been finding myself having trouble keeping things in stock. I'm currently out of stock on a lot of pins and stuff. I've also been trying to like...

Chain Assembly (02:24.68)

Yeah. Okay, fine.

Chain Assembly (02:46.356)


MadameBerry (02:49.902)

move towards a more, I guess, like recession-proof products. So things that have more of a use than like a keychain. And I still have a lot of my keychains that are in stock and a lot of pins that are in stock, but I've been doing like sticky notes, I have scrunchies and compact mirrors.

Chain Assembly (03:13.112)

Hmm. It's interesting that you think about that in regards to your product line because I do remember that came up in our other Conversation where you mentioned that the use of a keychain is it helps you find your keys? Seeing that Be something that you're more leaning into and as far as all of the different new avenues you have I remember you mentioning before that you wanted to be into more of a retail space and

now that you've got one is that a wholesale order that started the whole thing off or is it a consignment system? How is that organized? Okay. Are you happy with it so far?

MadameBerry (03:45.602)

It's consignment. Yeah, it's on consignment.

MadameBerry (03:52.75)

I mean, so the store that I'm in is... The store that I'm in is like kind of a collective, so it's got many different artists. And I make like, I make up a very small portion of what they have in stock. So I don't see very many sales through them. But I kind of also expected that. This was like my first foray into doing either consignment or wholesale. So it's, it's kind of nice to have that.

Chain Assembly (03:55.16)

You don't have to put it on wax if you don't want to.

MadameBerry (04:22.686)

sort of expectations set, even if it's not something that's bringing in a consistent amount of income for me right now.

I think if I...

Chain Assembly (04:31.232)

So I've got, at this point I think I've got stuff with like, I have three partners that I sell consignment through, primarily as far as like physical stores. One of them, I've been with them for maybe three years and I easily get paid every month with a spreadsheet that shows everything that's been sold. Fantastic, but for the last two years, I've asked them to change the cash app account that they pay it to and they don't reply to that, which is annoying, but whatever, at least I get paid on time.

MadameBerry (04:52.757)


Chain Assembly (05:01.38)

And then I've got a new store who is... They've only been open for two months. So it's been very slow sales for everyone. I haven't been able to experience yet what that payout method will be, but that's not too bad. And then third one is... I forgot what it is. But I mean, so I've had... Oh, yeah, that's right. Sorry. It is a game store.

and they're supposed to pay out every quarter, but I have not gotten response yet for the last quarter's payment. So there's lots of variation in how well consignment model stores are organizing their payouts. And, you know, you just kind of have to roll with it. And so, but I'm glad it's working well for you.

MadameBerry (05:44.046)


MadameBerry (05:47.774)

Yeah. Yeah, this one is monthly and I do see a spreadsheet each month, so that's nice.

Chain Assembly (05:55.569)

Yeah, it definitely helps you know what is moving, what's not moving, and how much lead time you need to get more things made. Without that information, it becomes kind of a guessing game. So tell me about your experience with TikTok Shop, because TikTok's been shoving that down everyone's throats.

MadameBerry (06:04.876)


MadameBerry (06:08.174)

Mm-hmm. For sure.

MadameBerry (06:14.89)

Oh yeah, I love having turned my channel into a personal QVC. I've made a couple of sales through TikTok Shop. Not the most. I think I've made like five sales through TikTok Shop. I don't post on there nearly as often as I used to, or nearly as often as I should anymore. I think... so...

Chain Assembly (06:20.876)


MadameBerry (06:40.49)

The problems that I'm having with it are mostly logistical in terms of synchronizing inventory with Shopify. But other than that, it's been pretty seamless. Like it's just another sales platform at the end of the day.

MadameBerry (06:58.983)

The thing that I find interesting about it...

Chain Assembly (06:59.937)



MadameBerry (07:04.382)

The thing that I find interesting about it is that TikTok is offering these massive discounts, like 30, 40% coupons. Sometimes, like, I've seen people get products for a penny, but TikTok is subsidizing those coupons. So they will pay me the full amount that, like, the full retail price of the product, but they're subsidizing these coupons. And I'm like, I know this is not going to last forever, right? This is not sustainable in any way, shape, or form.

Chain Assembly (07:24.002)

Oh wow.

MadameBerry (07:34.994)

Um, so I don't know how long it'll be before I, like, jump ship, before it becomes too, like, inshitified, so to speak, if you've heard of the, like, inshitification of the web theory. Um, oh, it's, I mean, it's just a thing how, like, everything is becoming worse because capitalism. Um, but, I don't know at what point it'll tip onto...

Chain Assembly (07:49.17)

No, no, I haven't heard that.

Chain Assembly (08:00.98)


MadameBerry (08:04.042)

you know, they're no longer giving out these coupons. They're no longer giving out free shipping. You're like expected to perform, et cetera.

Chain Assembly (08:14.908)

I have definitely seen that as a consumer on TikTok that every, like I'm often scrolling past three sponsored videos before I get to a video from a creator that I'm interested in. And that, that I feel like is the same situation with Instagram. But I feel like TikTok got there a lot faster, like in the period of three months versus Instagram which got there over a period of like six years.

MadameBerry (08:28.364)


Chain Assembly (08:43.496)

So it is weird, but I am still overall credibly entertained by TikTok. So as frustrating as it is, it's not gonna stop me from viewing things. But personally, I also find myself instantly skipping past anything that says sponsored or available for commission or whatever it is it says, which I feel like...

MadameBerry (08:49.783)


MadameBerry (08:53.725)


MadameBerry (09:03.646)

Yeah, I do skip past a lot of those too. Yeah.

Chain Assembly (09:09.62)

So tell me a bit about how were your holidays? Were they fun? Did you have a good time? Did you cook anything amazing? Did you eat anything amazing?

MadameBerry (09:18.478)

I mean, we got a little bit sick over here. We made the best of it though. We had plans to go over to my in-laws. That didn't pan out, obviously. So we got groceries delivered and I cooked like a very last minute put together Christmas dinner.

MadameBerry (09:35.938)


Chain Assembly (09:36.644)

Let's see, I found a recipe in, I think it was like a four month old issue of Bon Appetit that I was going to do, but my wife ended up taking care of the recipe while I cooked dinner. It is a toasted coconut cardamom cake. Oh, fantastic. So good. So we've been trying to, I want to put cardamom in more stuff. It's a fun spice. It's always a little fun treat when you taste that.

And then I did a, we had a bunch of peanuts and Ritz crackers left over from a different recipe. So I did a chicken breast crusted with that. So that was pretty good. But I had a fun time. It was a nice not worrying about chain assembly or sales, just kind of focusing on some art for my next project. I feel like my last six months.

We're really heavily focused on the women's wheel crowdfunding campaign that we did on backer kit. And it's kind of depressing since that didn't fund on backer kit. But we've had the pre launch page up on Kickstarter, because we're redoing it now on Kickstarter. We've had the pre launch page up for just a couple days and it's already gotten tons of likes. So it's good to know that I feel way more confident that this will be a success on Kickstarter when it didn't work in backer kit.

MadameBerry (10:44.053)


Chain Assembly (11:02.452)

It's just, I want to get back in that flow of crowdfunding and selling and producing and designing and crowdfunding and selling and producing and designing. I love that rhythm. And I just felt like the whole thing was put on pause for the last half of 2023.

MadameBerry (11:02.604)


MadameBerry (11:16.142)

Hmm. Did you find that, like, I think with Kickstarter, you have a lot more availability of reaching a audience outside of your own. Did you find with BaccarKit that, like, you lost that?

Chain Assembly (11:32.34)

Absolutely. Primarily because, well, so the BackerKit interface was way better for crowdfunding a project. You could do launch parties, live streams, all tied within your thing. You could have pre-launch pages with lots of information. You could have forums, you could have Q&As. It is like a whole community building tool as part of your crowdfunding. Kickstarter doesn't have any of that shit.

But what Kickstarter does have is dedicated people who just browse looking for stuff to pledge to things to fund things that they want to be on the ground floor of. No one goes to backer kit to browse projects and they're trying to get that to happen more. They are giving a two hundred and fifty dollars off anyone who does their crowdfunding project through backer kit in the next three months or something like that. So they're trying to make it more of a reason for people to.

browse BackerKit for projects. But Kickstarter not only makes it easy to browse other projects, it's often gonna make other projects appear in your face. Like you pledge to something, Kickstarter says, great, thanks for pledging to that. Here are five other things that might interest you. Or you'll get an email every day of a curated list of things that might interest you. And even though a lot of Kickstarter projects will send people to BackerKit for their ultimate pledge manager,

MadameBerry (12:29.346)


Chain Assembly (12:54.7)

BackerKit does still not suggest things on BackerKit when they're in the pledge manager, which seems like it'd be the best opportunity to do it because millions of people I feel are going to BackerKit through the interface after a Kickstarter project ended, but they're not being shown other BackerKit projects. But anyways, but we learned so much from that project. We were able to streamline it and we're really looking forward to this next one.

MadameBerry (13:10.676)


Chain Assembly (13:22.624)

We set our funding goal at 2000. It's actually gonna cost us about 3000 to get everything produced. So we are, if we can't raise 2000 and there's something seriously wrong with us, and we're both happily able to throw $500 in there. So obviously we would like more than $3000 so we don't have to put our own money into it. But anyways. I didn't realize I was interviewing your cat too. What's your cat's name?

MadameBerry (13:44.55)

Mm-hmm. Don't sit on the keyboard.

MadameBerry (13:51.677)


Chain Assembly (13:52.72)

Muffin. Alright, well Muffin, we'll get you in the next episode. So do you have anything on the horizon that you're working on?

MadameBerry (14:01.574)

So I've been preparing a lot this past year to start branching into anime conventions So like a ton of like looking at different displays and seeing what kind of items I want to use for my display Spreadsheets and a lot of like just buying different display items So like a lot of people use these like grid cubes. They're meant for storage. I actually have some in the Background over no you can't see them

Chain Assembly (14:31.206)

I think I know what you're referring to. They're good for like stacking folded t-shirts and stuff.

MadameBerry (14:35.45)

Yeah, a lot of people build like different displays for their booth or their table out of those So I have that I ended up printing my own Foam core boards for each of the like display panels so I can attach my like key chains and pins and stuff I'm never doing that again. I'm gonna get them professionally printed next time because that was such a pain

Chain Assembly (14:55.832)

That's it.

MadameBerry (15:04.65)

Yeah, that's, it's been interesting. It was funny because I had intended to start doing conventions in 2019. And so I was like, 2020, new year's resolution, I'm going to do conventions. And then, you know, the world happened.

Chain Assembly (15:21.453)

I don't know if I brought this up with you last time, but I've done a comic book convention once and it was terrible, terrible results because I didn't have any recognizable characters. It was all just my stuff. But every time I do an art themed market, I do really well. If you did an art market somewhere near a college, I think you would do really well because that's where my audience is. Often people in their 20s with disposable income, they want to buy my shit and I'm sure they'd want to buy your shit too.

But it's like in the context of a comic book convention, I'm competing with people who are making products specifically for the people there who are looking to shop. In the case of an art context, an art event, I am making stuff for the people who are not interested in the other things around me, which often happens at art events. Because a lot of traditional art events are gonna be older people buying like paintings of beaches and stuff like that.

And then there's always someone there who brought their grandkid, and that grandkid is gonna be more flocking to my stuff. But it is a really nice feeling to do like $1,400 in one day. That's, you know, they're like, oh, I'm so far ahead of my planning for the year because of that. So it's always a good feeling.

MadameBerry (16:24.93)

Mm-hmm. Yeah.

MadameBerry (16:31.019)


MadameBerry (16:37.958)

Yeah, my first one will be coming up in March, so I'm excited to see how that goes. I've noticed... so I have been looking for more art events around my area. Like you said, it's all like old people. A lot of them have rules here, at least, have rules about... you have to have... it's like artisan stuff, you have to have made it yourself, like handmade. And like, I don't do that. I hire manufacturers.

Chain Assembly (17:08.492)

So yeah, I've seen that brought up at a couple of events too. And I mean, I don't make all my stuff either. I have manufacturers, I design it all. And they're usually happy with that. Like even when I've organized events, people will apply to things without reading the rules and the requirements. So it's not, I mean, it's still advisable for you to apply anyhow, even if you don't meet all those requirements.

because they'll still see, okay, she designed everything and it's good enough. I'm sure you would be fine in that regard. But I mean, there's also markets where you make no money and you're like, well, I wasted a day, but those are totally erased in my memory when I have a good market. So how was the BizBaz at home that you did? We talked about it at our last meeting.

MadameBerry (17:38.913)


MadameBerry (17:55.173)


MadameBerry (18:01.038)

Okay, definitely for online stuff, for like online conventions, people are a lot less impulsive in their purchasing than they are in person. Like if you're holding something, psychologically you almost treat it like yours. So I expect to do a lot better when I start doing in person events. But I think it was a good way for me to get into doing conventions, quote unquote, at least.

And it might be something that I keep doing if I have, like, a slow month. Or I don't have a lot of in-person events to go to, but I could do this online one.

Chain Assembly (18:41.9)

So that reminds me of a conversation I had a few episodes ago with a local abstract painter named D Yael Kelley. And one thing we talked about towards the end of it is that she participates in a lot of digital art fairs and what did you call it? Digital gallery shows. I guess that was the terminology. And I always thought that sounded kind of silly to like why bother doing that. But the way she explained it is...

If it's an annual thing that people get excited about, then that means that it is going to be emailed out to maybe 50,000 people who are now gonna see your art that would have never seen it otherwise. And that has led to physical sales. It's led to her showing in galleries around the country, all because people were part of a digital show that she did, and it costs her nothing to apply to those. So that really is...

something that I hadn't considered to just treat those as a, as a incredibly targeted advertising campaign for who you are and what you work on. And I imagine BizBaz at home was very similar too, because you were streamed into tons of people's homes and seeing you as a brand and a product that they would have never been able to come across on their own organic.

MadameBerry (20:00.542)

Mm-hmm. Yeah. And that was one of the reasons why I did it. I was like, I- there's- there's only so much that I can do on my own. So to have, like, somebody else's community to market with.

Chain Assembly (20:12.972)

So is it like your live streaming and like QVC-ing your stuff? Is that what it was like?

MadameBerry (20:20.014)

So the thing that BizBaz tries to emulate is like the full experience of an actual anime convention, but at home. So they have... they start off with like a rundown of A, the schedule, and then B, all of the vendors that you can buy from and their deals. And then they have a bunch of different events like... they have like competitions, they have cosplay competitions, they have a coloring contest.

They sometimes have live music. I think last time they had a maid cafe. I don't know how, I missed the last one, so I don't know how that went. But they try to have a wide range of experiences that you would typically find at an anime convention.

Chain Assembly (21:08.584)

So of all of the, let's say looking back at 2023, all of the different avenues you visited for making sales, which one do you think is worth more of your time to see larger growth? I'm not sure if I'm saying that.

MadameBerry (21:30.206)

understand what you mean. So, so for the I personally, most of my sales came through Throne, the like gifting service. And aside from initial setup, and like the time it takes for me to pack orders, that took almost that takes almost none of my time, because it's a marketplace, my products are on there. And I was really surprised to see how high the volume of sales through that platform was.

Chain Assembly (21:31.124)

Which one do you want to focus on more?

Chain Assembly (21:41.086)


MadameBerry (22:01.01)

I went into it expecting like... so I've used Throne as a streamer myself before they contacted me to partner with them. So I knew what they were about, but I really did not expect to see that volume of sales through them.

Chain Assembly (22:19.368)

That's awesome. Congrats on that. I'm gonna be googling them after this for sure.

MadameBerry (22:24.407)

I think I can send you a referral code or something.

Chain Assembly (22:27.364)

Oh, that would be cool. I'd love that. And we could also put it in the show notes if you want to get points from anyone else who's listening. Or whatever they reward you with.

MadameBerry (22:35.41)

Maybe. I don't know if I'm allowed to do that publicly, but I can DM you.

Chain Assembly (22:37.844)

Oh, okay. Cool, thanks. All right, so let's... Oh yeah, I definitely will. I mean, when I do the transcription, I'll link it for sure. All right, so let's talk about some questions that I found on a few different forums on Reddit, just reading some questions that people have related to art, digital or otherwise, and get our start...

MadameBerry (22:41.678)

But you can put their website in the show notes.

Chain Assembly (23:05.58)

Get your reactions to it and I will follow you up. So this first one comes from somebody named, keep in mind Reddit gives you randomized names and if you don't edit it yourself, you're screwed. This one comes from a lemon yo-yo. They ask, what exactly is referencing? I've seen lots of different ideas on referencing, some of which I personally think are just tracing. I've also.

I've always seen referencing as having a picture of what you're drawing to refer to, e.g. having a photo of a person posed a certain way next to your canvas so that you can refer to the form and shapes of the pose. However, I've seen some people online, especially TikTok, just trace these poses and say that it is referencing, much in which initially trigger a fight or flight response, but I'm definitely prone to misinterpreting stuff. So what is referencing and is it anything like what I or TikTok seem to think it is?

Thanks for any answers. So what are your opinions on referencing?

MadameBerry (24:04.666)

I like the fight-or-flight description there. I think they have a pretty good idea of what referencing is. I think if you're... So here's the thing. If you're pumping out a high volume of art, like if you're a comic artist or something, there's so many comic artists who trace, and that's not a bad thing. That's just something that you have to do in that industry if you're drawing that much at that volume. If you're tracing somebody else's artwork, that's no bueno. But if it's like, uh, um...

Chain Assembly (24:07.419)

I'm out.

MadameBerry (24:35.35)

What's the word? Like public domain pose or something? Whatever. You know, if you have to, you have to. If you're learning, that's not gonna help you learn though. If you're using that reference to study from, tracing it is not gonna help you learn anything.

Chain Assembly (24:53.324)

So I feel definitely very the same way. I am not anti-tracing at all. I spent probably the better part of six years taking figure drawing classes in college and high school. And it's kind of a skill that I have lost a bit, but I've never been good at drawing a perfect figure from scratch. I mean, I can draw an armature, build stuff on the armature, et cetera.

MadameBerry (25:18.35)

I feel that definitely.

Chain Assembly (25:21.44)

It's never going to look as good as if I'm looking at a figure. That being said, if I'm working on a piece that's going to be in a small tarot card or something like that, so it's not going to be printed out very big and I don't want to allocate more than five hours to that, it would take me five hours to draw the figure from a model plus probably another five hours of finding a model, finding a location to draw them. And I don't want to allocate 10 hours to just that one portion of a much larger image.

So I often will import an image into Clip Studio Paint, Photoshop, whatever, and then sketch on top of that. I'm not tracing it exactly, but I am tracing these shapes and body parts and then drawing more clothes on top of that. I think as long as your original image is, I don't know, 80% unrecognizable from whatever you've made, you're fine to go.

MadameBerry (26:19.114)

Yeah. I cannot count the number of times that I've used the 3D model feature in Clip Studio to get a pose and then just gone like, I genuinely do not feel like committing the time to drawing this freehand. And the body is right there.

Chain Assembly (26:36.808)

Yeah, yeah, I agree with that. And it's ultimately the, if the final image is still something that, like no one's gonna see the references that went into that final image. But every now and then you'll hear stories about like, I think there was a Magic the Gathering artist who had completely ripped off someone from Deviant Art, if I remember correctly, or was it backwards? I don't know. Anyways, the point is they just copied and pasted the same image.

MadameBerry (26:48.544)


Chain Assembly (27:06.24)

and then just use like the distort tool to like move some stuff around. So like, yeah, that's obviously different. But like if you're, yeah, if you're laying down your own strokes, I say go for it. Maybe that's my rule of thumb there. If you're laying down your own strokes, go for it. But that being said, I also recommend Pexels, P-E-X-E-L-S.com for some free to use reference photos.

MadameBerry (27:12.924)

That's respect.

MadameBerry (27:20.322)

Hmm. Hehehe.

Chain Assembly (27:34.176)

All right, so the next question comes from OKC Prod. Best cheapest tablets for doing digital art or drawing? I know iPad is an option, but I'm not a fan of Apple. I want a budget Android tablet or maybe laptop that is good at doing digital drawing art since I've had an interest in that for a while. Any recommendations?

MadameBerry (27:56.215)

Oh, if they want. I have no idea.

Chain Assembly (27:57.984)

I mean, budget is kind of a subjective term, but where would you start? If you have a niece or a nephew, say they are 17, no, say they're 15, they wanna do digital art and their parents don't have a lot of money, where would you have them start?

MadameBerry (28:01.575)


MadameBerry (28:14.542)

I feel like I would get one of those non-screen XP pen or Huion tablets. They don't have a screen, but you can plug them into a computer or a laptop and then work off of that. And that's the first tablet that I got when I was in high school in 2008 or something, so it's been a while. That thing still works, technically. You can't download the drivers for it anymore, but it still technically functions.

So like one of those would probably be the most budget option. I don't know of any tablets, of any Android, like, so I've used the like Wacom screenless tablet and then now I have a Huion tablet monitor. And both of those are the kind that you have to plug into a computer or a laptop to use. I don't know of any...

Android tablets that would be able to be used like an iPad. I used to have a... this is not budget, but I used to have a Surface Pro and then the battery kind of expanded, so that's out of commission. Yeah.

Chain Assembly (29:20.887)


Chain Assembly (29:27.283)


Chain Assembly (29:30.616)

So I, like you, started with a bamboo, Wacom babu, Wacom, wake-um? Bamboo non-screen drawing tablet. And I just looked up on Amazon for those. And looks like there's one as cheap as $39.85. The Wacom Into a Small Graphics Drawing Tablet includes training and software. Yeah.

MadameBerry (29:42.722)


MadameBerry (29:51.659)

Is that?

MadameBerry (29:55.47)

Oh, that's Wacom. Yeah, you can usually get cheaper ones from like Huion or XP-Pen. I don't know what those go for. I think it's interesting because... Oh, the XP-Pen is more than... Huh. XP-Pen is more than Wacom.

Chain Assembly (30:04.948)

I see a $43 one from XP Pen. It said 10 by six. That's a pretty good size.

Chain Assembly (30:15.404)

Well, this Wacom one is probably really tiny. The XP pen one is 10 inches by six inches. Anyways, so I do rec, so yeah, that's definitely the place to start for sure. Cause then you're under a hundred dollars. And so there was a documentary that came out about Red Raven Games last year. Red Raven Games, if anyone who doesn't know, is a board game manufacturer, which is...

MadameBerry (30:18.837)


MadameBerry (30:23.182)

That's pretty sizable. Yeah.

Chain Assembly (30:44.036)

one guy and his wife. He does all the art and game design. She does all of the math stuff to balance the game as well as all the manufacturing and production stuff like that. And his art is gorgeous. It's a very consistent, like kind of gouache storybook style. Every board game they do is in this same universe with the same art style. So in the documentary, I was shocked to see that he was still using a non-screen drawing tablet.

And I was like, you know, if this guy whose name I can't remember, Ryan Laukat, if Ryan Laukat can have an entire board game, like a multimillion dollar board game, uh, company while not using a screen, then that's still a viable option. So, uh, so yeah, absolutely the place to start.

MadameBerry (31:32.594)

Mm-hmm. Some people prefer them because... Yeah, some people prefer the non-screen ones because with a screen, your hand is in the way. So it does feel a lot more like drawing on paper, but if you want, you know, the ability to actually see what you're drawing without your hand in the way, then, you know, go with the non-screen one. The only downside with both the non-screen tablet and then also the kind that I have, which is like the monitor tablet,

Both of those, you do require a computer to plug them into. So if you don't have one already, then that's also something you need to factor into the budget.

Chain Assembly (32:07.832)

Mm-mm-mm, that's true. The non-screen ones are also probably better for your neck, so you're not craning down, you're still looking straight ahead. So after my bamboo, I graduated to a Microsoft Surface Pro 6 when that had first come out, and that was still like $2,000. So I wanted to get the most expensive Microsoft Surface Pro they had. But that being said, Microsoft Surfaces, the regular ones,

MadameBerry (32:16.5)


MadameBerry (32:27.522)


Chain Assembly (32:34.732)

Those still have wonderful touchscreens and if you get the cheapest one available, that's like $800 maybe. And so that's computer plus drawing tablet in that regard.

MadameBerry (32:44.206)

Mm-hmm. And it runs as far as... I think the Surface Pro tablets run full Windows? Is that all of them, or is it just the Pro ones?

Chain Assembly (32:52.308)

Yeah, yeah they do.

Chain Assembly (32:56.32)

That's all of them. That's all of them. The Surface Go is like a mobile version of Windows. So the Surface Go is the mini version of those. I'm sure there's still Android stuff you can install on that, but I was I quickly fell in love with Clip Studio Paint, which is available on Windows or iPad. I don't. Oh, it's also available on Android because I have it on my phone, too.

MadameBerry (32:58.818)


MadameBerry (33:03.886)


MadameBerry (33:07.127)


Chain Assembly (33:23.496)

even though I don't really use it on the phone. But, so I was happy just using the software directly in Windows. But like you said, if you are just getting started, you'll either need a computer with a touchscreen, a really good touchscreen, or you'll need a drawing tablet or pad attached to a computer that's powerful enough to run some type of drawing software. And then you'll need a pen. So.

MadameBerry (33:26.008)


MadameBerry (33:51.436)

Mm-hmm. Yeah, I know, I think like Lenovo makes some nice, like, touchscreen laptops. I'm pretty sure. I don't know how they work with pen pressure.

Chain Assembly (34:02.812)

Yeah, I haven't messed with any of those for drawing. Right. So I guess a good question too would be to ask yourself, are you happy with the computer you have? Can that computer run decent drawing software? And you won't really know unless you start checking your stats, I guess. Cause even on my... Yeah. Yeah, and like with my Surface Pro 6 at the time,

MadameBerry (34:21.63)

Yeah, or like download a free trial.

Chain Assembly (34:28.712)

It could run Adobe Premiere, Photoshop, Illustrator, everything, but I couldn't draw directly into Photoshop without it really slowing down the computer. Clip Studio Paint had no problem with it, but drawing directly into Photoshop really put that thing through its paces.

MadameBerry (34:38.08)


Chain Assembly (34:47.76)

All right, so next question comes from 69cloudys69, digital commission. So an Instagram follower DMed me about an art commission. It doesn't matter if it's digital or tradition, they said, and they wanted it as an 11 by 14. But the bad thing is that I have no idea how any of that works, help quick. So what were some of your first commissions? How did that start for you?

MadameBerry (35:13.61)

Um, oh gosh, I think, and this is gonna date me, I think some of my first commissions were on Gaia Online for Gaia Gold. Not even real money. I think... Oh, it was, uh, it was like an anime subculture website that was really popular back in like the mid-2000s. It still technically exists, but it is basically dead, I wanna say.

Chain Assembly (35:25.253)

I have no idea what any of that is.

MadameBerry (35:42.402)

Or at the very least, it really does not have the user base that it used to have. I think that's actually where some of my first, like, actual money commissions came from, too. I don't think you were allowed to advertise that you were selling things for real money on there, but like, if somebody asked, then, you know.

Chain Assembly (36:08.152)

And so what about now, what is your commission process and how often does that happen?

MadameBerry (36:14.198)

So I don't advertise right now that I have commissions open because it's really not my favorite way to spend my time. Cause I'd rather not trade direct hours of my time for money. But if somebody asks, then I send them to a Google form and they'll fill out that form. If there's anything that they're looking for that like isn't covered on that form, then we can just chat about it.

But they'll fill out that form and then it automatically goes to, A, a spreadsheet where I can keep track of that information, and B, a Trello card, where I can keep track of everything they want from that commission and also what stage that commission is in. And that does a couple things for me. One, it keeps all of the information in one easy-to-access location.

So they can like tell me what the commission is, if they have any references, they can link them in that form. And that keeps it all organized for me. And B, it stops scammers. Or at least it really inhibits them, because scammers don't want to put in the effort of filling out a form. Right? They just want to tell you that they're going to pay you twice the commission amount, and please refund me half the difference, please. Or however their scams go.

Chain Assembly (37:39.532)


Yeah. They're always shady. I don't know why scammers like to go after artists so much, but it happens in like the fine art world, it happens in the digital art world. I don't know.

MadameBerry (37:46.027)


MadameBerry (37:50.094)

I don't know.

MadameBerry (37:55.982)

I think it's a lot of people get into art and don't always know what the scams are, and they're counting on that. Like I- I'm moddery for an art Discord server, and the amount of times we get questions about- I don't know why it's always Instagram DMs, but it's always Instagram DMs. The amount of times we get screenshots of Instagram DMs, and somebody will like post the screenshot and be like, please tell me if this is a scam, and like 99% of the time this is a scam.

Chain Assembly (38:14.904)

Hehehe... Colloids.

Chain Assembly (38:27.929)

So, for me, the first piece I ever sold was in college. It was at a silent auction. I don't know, I don't remember what it sold for because it, I think it was like $75. It was a, it was a charity auction, so I didn't really get the money. But it was a casting of a human neck.

So I got these neck bones from the...

Chain Assembly (39:01.14)

what do you call anatomy? Sorry, from the anatomy lab. Then I made a mold, silicone mold, cast it in plaster, but I added iron filings to it and rusted it and then put it in a wooden box that I made. And so that was like 75 bucks. Then I did a fiberglass mounted head of the Scarlet Beast of the Apocalypse from the Book of Revelations. That I sold to someone for $250. That was my second thing.

I definitely underpriced that because that took me like a month to make. Just sculpt it out of clay and then do a big latex, no, it was a polyurethane mold with a plaster mother mold. Or was it a fiberglass mother mold? It doesn't matter. Anyways, and then I painted the whole thing after I did the fiberglass casting of that. So that was just cash with that sale.

But then when I started like doing this stuff regularly, the first thing I was doing, which is pretty stupid, was I would, if I did a digital file for someone, I would create a listing on Etsy with that file attached as a digital purchase and put a note, only buy this if you were the person I made this for. And then I'd get the money from Etsy after they did the transaction. But at this point, Etsy was only charging like 2% on a transaction. It wasn't ridiculous back then.

MadameBerry (40:25.966)

Mm-hmm. I think that was pretty common back then.

Chain Assembly (40:26.844)

Um, but if you go to my Etsy store, it's... Was it? Okay. Well, that's good.

MadameBerry (40:32.21)

Yeah, I used to see a lot of custom listing for username.

Chain Assembly (40:37.064)

Yeah, so like if you go to my Etsy page, you'll see a whole bunch of reviews from digital art that I did for people. And I think that was maybe one of the main reasons I was doing it back then was just to get more five star reviews, which I guess worked since I've been a star seller for so long on Etsy. But then I eventually just switched to square to send the invoice and

Because with Etsy and with Square, there's a 5-megabyte max that you can attach anything to. So I just started creating organized folders in my Google Drive for each client. And then within that, the folder for their project. And I would just have a link to that in the invoice I would send through Square invoicing. And then I track my time. Oh. And then I do my time tracking through Clockify.

MadameBerry (41:25.674)

Oh, that's smart. I just Discord DM people.

Chain Assembly (41:35.744)

which is a free program where you can put clients projects, track what you do on each thing and have counters running during it. So it's very useful and it becomes very public facing too for your client if you want them to see when you're working on stuff and how long you've been working on it and exactly what you've been working on. So that was useful. But just like you said, I don't want to... I don't...

I always get more commissions than I want. And it's always like a very fine, fine tune, a fine line between like, I want this many, but I have just a little bit more than that. And-

It's just not fun because you know if you were if you spend five hours on your own thing You can sell it a hundred times if you spend five hours on someone else's thing. You can only sell it once It's the way I kind of see things

MadameBerry (42:33.72)


Chain Assembly (42:36.884)

So let's do the little small part within that question was if it is a digital commission and they want 11 by 14, what kind of file are you starting off with?

MadameBerry (42:48.918)

So I will always do what the size is or larger. So if they want 11 by 14, that's big enough. I'm just gonna do 11 by 14, always 300 DPI. I don't really know. Other specifications other than that. RGB, I guess.

Chain Assembly (43:04.312)

Okay. Yeah. Well, one thing I've been doing a lot lately because I've been making tarot cards is I will do the actual print size with the bleed and everything, but I'll just do it at 1200 DPI so that a, you know, a five foot, five foot, five inch by seven inch card kind of thing. I mean, that's not the actual size, but something similar to that, like a five by seven.

could then be blown out to like a 20 by 30, and it'll still be 300 DPI. My math does not math in that, but you know what I'm getting at. Yeah.

MadameBerry (43:40.774)

Yeah, so what I usually do for things that are not commissions is I will double the inches. So if I want something that's 5x7, I'm going to do it at 10x14 at 300 DPI. But for commissions, I usually just, well, I kind of just do whatever, honestly. I just open up my... I call it t-shirt front.

template, which I think is like 11 by 14 ish. And just draw on that. I haven't had anybody, unless they request a very specific size, which rarely happens, I kind of just go with that pre-made template.

Chain Assembly (44:11.18)


Chain Assembly (44:27.16)

So it's funny you bring that up, like it, maybe seven out of 10 times when I create a new file in Clip Studio Paint, I'm creating a 20 by 20 at 300. And I think that's usually because the most common commission I do is hot stamps for disc golf discs, which are usually like six inches by six inches, and they're magnesium etched eye plates that then do hot foil onto the plastic.

With the 20 by 20, I can do all the art that I need, following the rules that you need for etch magnesium die plates. And that still has well enough, like the file type isn't gonna be gigantic. It'll probably be 50 megabytes or less. And then it's got enough detail and resolution that I can throw the whole thing into Illustrator and vectorize it, which is the final thing I need to do. So I often find myself doing that 20 by 20 and 300 DPI for something that's ultimately gonna be

six inches by six inches.

MadameBerry (45:28.692)


Chain Assembly (45:30.484)

There was someone I spoke to, Billy Blue, an artist I spoke to a few episodes back, and he does a lot of his pricing based on whether it's gonna be a full page, a half page, or quarter page. And that also determines the size of file he's gonna use, which just seemed different from the way I always approach things, because I pretty much do everything the biggest I'm comfortable it being, and just a matter of how much am I gonna zoom out and put detail in there.

But do you, when you do your commissions, do you do it based on size of how it's going to be printed?

MadameBerry (46:00.883)


MadameBerry (46:09.038)

No, usually people don't end up printing the commissions that I do for them. A lot of the times, so I tend to get like TTRPG character commissions. So if somebody's starting a new game and they want like a portrait for their character or something like that, I tend to get up more of those than anything. And I haven't, I haven't ever seen anybody I think print them out.

So it sort of doesn't matter what size it is, but I still kind of just use one of my like stock templates that I already have. Sometimes if the composition ends up a certain way, I'll like crop the canvas so that it makes more sense. But usually they're happy as long as they can like take a take a portion of it that's near the head and put it on like roll 20 or something.

Chain Assembly (47:01.76)

Well, how often do you find yourself printing your stuff, even if it's just in preparation for a Comic-Con or an event or something?

MadameBerry (47:11.03)

At least a couple times a week. So, I work differently with printed things than I do with commissions. I haven't sold prints in a while, but I will be amping up to that in March. I'll be making a couple prints for anime crossroads. But, I... So I'm a bad, and I...

I don't do a lot in CMYK because the CMYK color space makes my like neon-fueled brain weep.

Chain Assembly (47:50.176)

I know exactly what you're talking about. So just to quickly pop into what you're saying, I've always thought, okay, I need to do CMYK because that's what's used for printing. And then I was doing prints with the image prograph I have from Canon, the ProGraph 1000, of my illustrations for the role playing game I just recently did through Kickstarter. And the CMYK prints all looked kind of dull. And I thought, oh, maybe it's just like a shitty paper. I didn't buy Canon paper or something.

MadameBerry (47:50.459)


Chain Assembly (48:19.4)

And then I said, you know what, let me just give this a try. And I just re-exported it from Clip Studio Paint as RGB and it looked, chef's kiss. So I'm like, well, I guess that makes sense. Like if it's a photograph, CMYK, because that's probably the images that are like the actual color space that your camera registered. If it's digital, we're probably using some wacky ass colors that are not in the world. So.

MadameBerry (48:27.426)


Chain Assembly (48:46.16)

RGB makes sense because there's way more colors in that color space than in CMYK.

MadameBerry (48:51.37)

Yeah, if it's something that I'm gonna pass off to a manufacturer, I at least will convert it to CMYK, and then do any sort of like, um, adjustment layers to make it look closer to the RGB version, because the manufacturer is gonna do whatever they're gonna do with it, and I have no quality control over that. So if I... I want to make sure at least that will be consistent. But if it's something that I'm gonna print on my home printer, I just cross my fingers and print it in RGB.

And if I need to, if I need to make adjustments, I can do that because it's on my own home printer.

Chain Assembly (49:26.4)

Yeah, no shade on that. It's weird, I don't know where I got this idea that it has to be CMYK for it to be professional. I don't know where that came from.

It's just something I made up, I guess. All right.

MadameBerry (49:41.107)

I mean, it does help with like manufacturing stuff, but.

Chain Assembly (49:46.572)

Right. So our new question comes from TacoSpitter. How many hours a week do professional artists spend drawing or painting? I've been drawing my entire life and I was getting interested in starting to approach it in a more professional way. But I recently had a pretty bad hand injury and I'm still in the recovery phase. It's very early on and I can only draw for one hour a week. I'm hoping to get up to at least 20 hours a week eventually, but was hoping for even more.

MadameBerry (49:52.821)


Chain Assembly (50:16.564)

What do you think is a reasonable amount of hours per week to shoot before taking on any business? Now counting clerical work, etc.

MadameBerry (50:25.586)

Well, first off, if you've just injured your hand, zero hours until it stops being injured. Please, I beg. In this house, we do not want hand injuries. We do not stand. Um, honestly, I... There are weeks where I go by that I haven't drawn anything, honestly. I d-

Chain Assembly (50:32.47)

I'm gonna go.

MadameBerry (50:49.846)

There's a lot more admin work that goes into it, especially now like running your own store, running multiple storefronts. I spend a lot more time on... Today, I literally only packed orders. I printed and packed, and that was it. I've drawn nothing, right? I wanna say on a good week, I probably draw for about 10 hours. I say, not a good, a drawing week. I draw for about 10 hours.

Chain Assembly (51:17.033)


MadameBerry (51:20.098)

which doesn't sound like a lot, but there's a lot that goes into things more than just drawing, if you're going... it also depends on what it is you're doing in terms of business. Like, we both own our own companies, produce things, ship... I don't know if you ship things yourself or if you use like a management company or a warehouse.

Chain Assembly (51:43.224)

Um, both. Both. I, uh, like I think about a year ago, I switched my biggest things. Maybe it was a year and a half ago over to a local warehouse called the fulfillment lab. So like my big tarot decks and things that I need to do fulfillment of, I will ship that main order from China to me so I can inspect everything, take the parts I want to put in my shed, then the rest I take to the warehouse, which is like a 25 minute drive.

MadameBerry (51:57.271)


Chain Assembly (52:13.14)

They inventory stuff and then all the orders from my website automatically go to them and they ship it out for me. So the things that I have on hand, those I'll use at markets. So both. Small things I'll ship myself, but my best sellers I'm gonna offload over there so I don't have to have huge inventory in the house.

MadameBerry (52:20.472)


MadameBerry (52:32.162)

Mm-hmm. That makes sense. Yeah. So I currently am still like operating pretty small, so I do all of my shipment myself. So like, there's, there's that if you're like going to be, you know, running your own store. Or you could have a different business model that doesn't involve all of that stuff, and you don't have to spend all of that time doing that, and you can spend more time drawing. It really depends. I don't think there's like a correct answer to this.


Chain Assembly (53:03.224)

So I feel like Taco Spitter's question is kind of based on an idealized view of what the life of an artist is. So I mean, we're also like digital artists primarily, and I think Taco Spitter is talking about traditional artists, non-digital, analog, I guess you can call it. But like

MadameBerry (53:15.72)

Yeah, it sounds like it.

Chain Assembly (53:30.56)

The idea that you need to constantly be drawing or painting or something like that in order to be successful that's not going to translate to success and The most successful artists maybe do one painting a year, you know, so you really have no idea what it is It's all about finding what is successful for you And if I was in the situation where I injured my hand and I couldn't draw I'd use it as an opportunity to Let's try doing color fields while taping a paintbrush to my wrist or something like that

You know, like because I mean, you're probably the same as a digital artist. You want to zoom in and work on details and like maybe use it as an opportunity to try and do more impressionistic landscapes or something. Get big color swaths out there. We don't need details. And maybe when your hands feeling better, go back later, revisit those and put the details in.

MadameBerry (54:14.687)


MadameBerry (54:23.182)

I feel like if I injured, so I'm left-handed, I feel like if I injured my left hand, I'd just be like, well, time to become a righty.

Chain Assembly (54:29.304)

Yeah, I mean, that would also be a good opportunity for that too. Yes, I'm also left handed. So as a lefty, which hand do you use for the mouse?

MadameBerry (54:32.682)

I'm just stuck for a while.

MadameBerry (54:39.213)

Ah, right hand.

Chain Assembly (54:40.64)

I'm the same way. So I'll have like my... I'll have my drawing pen on my left, my mouse on the right.

MadameBerry (54:47.302)

Yeah, that's exactly how I, I love it because like I can do that. I'm like, how do right-handed people, you have to like put the pen down and... I have known...

Chain Assembly (54:56.788)

Yeah. And it's also...

It's also great when you have the little Clip Studio Paint hand clipper, the tab mate, because then you can like, the scroll wheel will let you change your brush size, this clicker will change to like the color picker, and then you can shortcut buttons to all these other little things, so. And you can be super efficient.

MadameBerry (55:04.375)


MadameBerry (55:16.038)

neat. I've known left-handed people who take their mouse and move it over to the left side and I'm like, it's not shaped like that?

Chain Assembly (55:27.103)

I've tried that too, and it's weird. I don't like clicking with my middle finger.

MadameBerry (55:32.39)

Yeah. I also use scissors with my right hand. I've tried, like, ambidextrous or left-handed scissors. Can't do it.

Chain Assembly (55:34.077)


Chain Assembly (55:41.872)

This is really riveting that we're, I'm sure there's lots of listeners who are really curious about the life of lefties. Alright, so, uh, Gazebor asks, what's your method for drawing facies? Faces. What's your method for drawing faces? With reference or otherwise? I'm wondering what other artists' methods are for drawing faces, portraits in particular. With references, I was taught in, like, middle school to use a grid.

MadameBerry (55:44.174)

I'm sorry.

MadameBerry (55:48.78)


Chain Assembly (56:09.952)

So you would make a grid over the reference, then use the grid on your drawing so you can tell how everything is spaced next to each other. I used this method for a short while, but it's way too tedious. I then moved on to doing something akin to doing the Loomis method when drawing a reference. But the issue with doing this method is that sometimes you can get proportions messed up drawing the base head. So now I mostly draw a circle and try to draw everything by the eye around it.

Drawing portraits, faces without references is a whole other thing. How do you make faces unique? A lot of tutorials teach you these guidelines like the Loomis method, and then it goes on. I don't think we need to go with that. So let's just go back to the first question. How do you draw faces when looking at a reference for someone?

MadameBerry (56:53.894)

Oh, okay. I feel like I use something similar to the Loomis method. Like, I... I don't, I... It depends on kind of my mood, but sometimes I'll draw like the circle and then the chin, or other times I'll just draw an egg and operate on a hope and a prayer. Honestly, that really describes how I draw in general. Just a hope and a prayer.

Chain Assembly (57:11.468)


Chain Assembly (57:17.269)

I'm gonna go.

So I could say for me, it depends on why I'm referencing someone. If I'm referencing someone because I'm doing their portrait, I'll just straight up trace it. I'll just trace the face because I want it to look exactly like them. And I'm probably doing it digitally. If I'm not doing a portrait and I'm just trying to use this image as a reference for my drawing, then I'm just going to eyeball it. I've done the Loomis method stuff, but like, I'm not.

trying to pump out 5,000 faces. I'm not a cartoonist, you know? So I'm fine with just eyeballing it. I can tell when something looks weird and it helps in Clip Studio Paint too if you constantly flip your canvas. That'll let you easily see if something's not in the right place. But yeah, it's generally what I do.

MadameBerry (57:59.927)


MadameBerry (58:06.766)

I actually weirdly never had any luck with the flipping the canvas thing. I don't know why. It just doesn't work for my brain.

Chain Assembly (58:11.722)

Oh, okay.

Chain Assembly (58:18.54)

So are there any, um, like drawing or art books that you have, like, used and learned off of or anything like that?

MadameBerry (58:28.002)

I'm sure there was when I was in college. It's been a while and a lot of those books are tucked away. I do like some of the Morpho books. They're not very expensive and they have... Their books are separated by like category. So I found the... There's one that covers like fat and skin folds and...

Chain Assembly (58:49.516)


MadameBerry (58:50.63)

I think that one is really valuable because a lot of drawing books will go over a really idealized form. And when you're drawing real people, real people don't all have the exact same idealized shape. So this really helps you understand, like, where skin hangs, especially as people age, where fat deposits are on people, how that... how gravity affects that, how, like,

sitting or laying on a surface affects that. So that one's really nice. I can't remember off the top of my head any other drawing guide books that I have referenced recently.

Chain Assembly (59:33.964)

So I, through Kickstarter, I've bought the first three volumes of How to Think When You Draw.

MadameBerry (59:40.543)

I've seen their Twitter, it's so good.

Chain Assembly (59:42.876)

Yeah, I haven't even like flipped through the books yet. So I haven't used them, but I do as a work of art, I think they're beautiful books. That's really why I bought them. And because, hey, business expense, why not? But so those are good. And then there's also this other series from a French artist called Art Tips Collection Mule. I don't think you could see it on the screen kind of, but it's the same thing, but a little more.

MadameBerry (01:00:06.296)


Chain Assembly (01:00:13.076)

I don't want to say anime, but yeah, maybe anime. But it's again, just like, yeah, just pages of random things showing you, like how to do emotions, how to do things pointed at the camera, how to do sitting and like keep in mind what people are doing when they're sitting. So they're fun to look at. If I had tons of time to kill, I would actually go through those and try and replicate some of the lessons in there. Uh, but one art book.

MadameBerry (01:00:17.873)

and the major reason.

Chain Assembly (01:00:41.74)

that I have actually gone through, not all the way through, but like the first third, is I think it's called Making Creatures. I've brought it up in another podcast. But it's done like a whole course on how to do character and creature design in drawing. So like the first assignment in it is to.

pick an animal, draw a skeleton, and then try and draw a new animal using that skeleton. And so it's like different things like that on like how to make fake cultures, how to create fake worlds, how to create fake animals and stuff, all just different ways to think about how to build things from scratch in your drawing. So that was pretty cool. It's more of like creative activities rather than teaching you specific lessons. But that's a good book. Whatever it's called, I'll link it in the notes.

MadameBerry (01:01:37.934)

That sounds really cool.

Chain Assembly (01:01:40.404)

Alright, so next we have ShadowMonster24 asking,

MadameBerry (01:02:08.534)

That's... that's interesting. I thought this was gonna go in the direction of, like, loving and hating where your skill is at over a period of time, which is like an actual phenomenon, because your skill, your, like, physical skill and your taste are always evolving, and they kind of do, like, helix, you know, back and forth. I thought that's where that was gonna go. I relate, but...

I think I mostly just push through that because this is my job.

Chain Assembly (01:02:43.052)

So I feel the same way, but not in the back and forth. So I will draw something that I like. A year later, I hate it. I've never grown to like something that I initially hated. If I hate it, I'm always going to hate it. If I like it, I'm probably going to hate it later on.

MadameBerry (01:02:55.703)


MadameBerry (01:03:03.123)


MadameBerry (01:03:07.05)

I think as I'm drawing something, over time I'll be like, oh this sucks. Actually this is okay. No, this is actually horrific. But it's like as I'm progressing in the same drawing. It's like, oh I messed it up. I ruined it. Wait, no, I fixed it.

Chain Assembly (01:03:08.929)


Chain Assembly (01:03:22.561)

So there was this Tarot project I was working on a couple years ago. I was calling it the Assembly. So like in the world of Tarot, there's Tarot, Oracle, and then also relatively common are Angel decks, which in my mind, that's the way that Christians are allowed to play with Tarot. And so I wanted to create a Demon deck. So I created this whole

universe. I did a lot of backstory writing of like the hierarchy of these demons and what everyone's role in society is. Each demon is assigned four of eight different personality traits and I had an even distribution of all of these traits. The cards are all square so when you do a reading they'll face four different directions. So if you play a card, you'll play the next one in the orientation of the previous card so that eventually when you do a four card reading

The shape of your spread is also something that can be interpreted as a message that these demons are trying to pass on to. So I really liked all the philosophy and design I did behind it, but I was nowhere near good enough to do actual demon design from scratch without referencing other existing demons. So that's the reason why I got that book, to help me develop characters and creatures that look otherworldly, but make sense in their own context.

And I just never went back to that project because when I saw those first drawings I did, I was like, God, these are horrible. It was a mess and I don't want anyone to see those. But I will eventually get back to it and restart that from scratch because I still like everything outside of the actual illustrations themselves.

MadameBerry (01:04:41.301)


MadameBerry (01:04:59.665)

That's a really compelling concept.

Chain Assembly (01:05:02.636)

Thank you. I had this whole thing about how like angels live in the positively charged plane, but meanwhile, in a world of anti-matter and the negatively charged plane, that's where the demons live. And it was a demon named Salikin who developed the ability to see the effect of the positive neutrinos against the negative neutrinos. And when those things merge, they create the material plane. And so they use this technology to try and

influence the humans on earth. Angels, they're trying to influence, they're trying to get as many people as possible. They're looking for quantity while the demons are looking for quality. So they're trying to message people that are actually going to be useful in their society. And that's kind of the idea I was going with. But anyways. All right, so the last one comes from That Ranjeet. That Ranjeet asks, when writing

The material list medium for the didactic, as an artist should, I include the stuff that isn't visible? For example, I have a sculpture that includes wood and plaster, but those materials are hidden and mainly used for structural purposes. Should I include those in the description? Similarly, should I include that I used epoxy and wood glue? How much should I include? Pretty simple question, but thinking back to your days of physical art when you were hanging things, how much would you list in the art label?

or the art card, whatever you'd call it.

MadameBerry (01:06:31.53)

Oh, I don't think I ever did this in a professional enough manner to have, like, the correct opinion on this.

Chain Assembly (01:06:36.492)

I'm gonna go.

Chain Assembly (01:06:40.968)

Okay, well, let's talk about a digital piece. If someone asks you how'd you make it, how in depth would you go?

MadameBerry (01:06:50.171)

I would probably just start out by saying like, oh, it's digital, like it's a digital painting. If they didn't know what that meant, I would probably just explain that it's on a digital canvas drawn on a tablet. Because like at this point, people know what tablets are, right?

Chain Assembly (01:07:06.456)

Right, right, yeah. Now, how often have you found yourself in situations where you have to explain the difference between AI art and digital art? Because it's been happening more and more for me lately, and I hate that.

MadameBerry (01:07:20.842)

I don't think ever, honestly. At least so far. I mean, we'll see what happens when I start getting into, you know, art markets. But even like... I... Even, even my grandmother, who like, I would have to explain that sort of thing to... She still thinks I'm doing video games. So...

Chain Assembly (01:07:39.852)

Oh, that's sweet. Well, I guess I do have to I do interface with potential customers and a personal level way more than I guess you do, since I do markets like once a month or so. And people will be like, oh, is this watercolor or is this a painting? But like, it's a digital painting. And they'll say, oh, so is that like AI? I'm like, no, it's I'm doing it. I actually do all the brushstrokes. I use a pen and a computer and I'm able to, you know,

MadameBerry (01:07:53.102)


MadameBerry (01:08:02.794)


Chain Assembly (01:08:09.492)

I try and say, it allows me to paint without getting all dirty. And they're like, oh, OK, OK. So when I do have to go into depth, I explain, OK, I can do, I'll still do a pencil level layer where it's all in pencil so I can figure out what things I want. Then I'll do darker things and charcoal on top of that to get the values. Then I'll block in back things, back colors, and overall shapes and shades. And then I'll go in depth and be able to zoom in, zoom out, whatever. So that's usually the description I go with.

And so if I am doing a print of these at a gallery or something like that, I'll just say digital painting. And that that's good enough for me.

MadameBerry (01:08:46.646)

Mm hmm. I think.

Chain Assembly (01:08:47.572)

I don't even specify on paper, because that's pretty obvious.

MadameBerry (01:08:52.544)

I mean sometimes you can print on like canvas at this point

Chain Assembly (01:08:55.768)

That's true. But then that's also pretty obvious. They'll look at it and know.

MadameBerry (01:08:57.91)

Um, for... Yeah.

For traditional art, you are supposed to list everything, right?

Chain Assembly (01:09:09.905)

Um, at a certain point you're gonna write mixed media. I think if you have more than- yeah, if you have more than three things, go with mixed media.

MadameBerry (01:09:14.594)

That's fair.

Chain Assembly (01:09:23.039)

So do you have any interest in showing your digital stuff in a gallery setting?

MadameBerry (01:09:30.738)

I don't think it would fit as well there. I think like the culture is different. And that's one of the reasons that I was targeting like anime conventions is because I have a very like.

kind of pop culture, but not referencing specific IPs approach. Um, so like very icon ish images of like things like, uh, I've got art of like cassette tapes, um, Boba, stuff like that.

Chain Assembly (01:10:03.648)

Well, I do recommend you check out cloudfolios.com. It is a place that does a lot more like modern digital. It's actually an interface where people, now I'm not 100% sure if it is.com or dot something else, but it is a website that allows people to curate shows and requests calls for art. Yeah, it is cloudfolios.com. I had the creator on it on an earlier episode.

MadameBerry (01:10:03.713)

So I don't.

Chain Assembly (01:10:34.464)

And I've done lots of art exhibits through that. So people having an art exhibit, whether digital or in person, they will do calls for art through here. And a lot of times the type of events that are happening are things that are more open to digital painting. Because it's already something that's happening via a website, it's not like you have to show slides to anyone or go into a gallery to show it off. So it's already a few steps ahead of the game, digitally in that regard.

MadameBerry (01:11:02.83)


Chain Assembly (01:11:04.704)

So if you were interested in having a framed print and a gallery, this might be a good place to start. Not saying you have to do it, but it's something that I bring up a lot in the podcast, is that I always feel like a small part of me needs the recognition of being in a gallery, but financially I don't really give a shit.

MadameBerry (01:11:05.491)

Check it out.

Chain Assembly (01:11:24.48)

All right, well, that brings us to the end of the questions. Thank you so much for giving us some of your feedback and your wisdom. Is there anything exciting that you want everyone to make sure to keep an eye out for in the coming months?

MadameBerry (01:11:40.978)

I will be at Anime Crossroads in Indiana. I forget the dates. It's like early March, I think. Let me check.

Chain Assembly (01:11:49.828)

Well, this is going to be coming out January 10th, I want to say, so plenty of time before then.

MadameBerry (01:11:55.224)

Okay. Yeah. March, March 1st is the date of the convention there.

Chain Assembly (01:11:59.676)

Awesome. And you said that's in Indiana? We're in Indiana.

MadameBerry (01:12:03.886)

Um, it's like near Indianapolis, I think. Hang on. Plainfield. It's the it's the only city in India. Uh, Plainsfield, Plainfield, Indiana.

Chain Assembly (01:12:09.688)

I think that's the only city in Indiana, isn't it? Heh heh.

Chain Assembly (01:12:19.743)

Okay, cool.

Plainfield, Indiana, March 1st, animecrossroads.com. And then if they want to see your art, they're still at glitchberry.com. All right, and if anyone's not already following you on TikTok and YouTube, they should. You're a Madam Berry everywhere or glitchberry everywhere. All right, well, thank you again so much. Sorry, go ahead.

MadameBerry (01:12:41.646)

Mm-hmm. Yeah, but...

Oh, the Glitchberry social media handles are at Shop Glitchberry. So if it's not Madame Berry, it's at Shop Glitchberry.

Chain Assembly (01:12:50.583)

Right. Sorry. Thank you.

Chain Assembly (01:12:54.968)

All right, so thank you again so much for your time and thanks for being on the show and you're always wonderful to talk to. Thank you.

MadameBerry (01:13:02.762)

Yeah, thanks for having me again.


Chain Assembly: Art for profit sake is recorded through Riverside FM, distributed through Spotify for podcasters, and edited on Adobe Audition. The music is provided by Old Romans. If you learned anything useful or found this podcast helpful, please rate and review us five stars. If you want to learn more about me or my art, head over to ChainAssembly.com.

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