A Big THANKS to Mirela from Create and Cherish for sharing her dot art stone painting secrets and letting us glimpse into her life and creative process for creating her amazing dot art stones.
First of all, tell me a little about your background and how you got started painting.
Hello, my name is Mirela 🙂 I can’t really remember when I started with the painting, it was sometimes in Elementary School. Although it was always my favorite thing to do, I somehow managed to forget this during High school and College and I stopped. I studied Program Engineering, got my masters degree, got a job in IT and then finally started painting again! It was like 5 years ago, but I am pretty sure I won’t forget to paint again 🙂
What is your creative process like?
Well, I am not sure I have a creative process. Maybe I even had it before but since I got my baby the process is defined as following “find 10 minutes of alone time, sit down and paint something :D” I usually paint in late evenings, once the baby is asleep and I finally have some time for myself.
What’s your work space setup like?
Luckily I have my own work space (office) that is dedicated to my paints, brushes, packaging material and everything necessary to get my Etsy and Amazon shops running smoothly. I am one of these nerds who just need to have everything neatly organised. Even a slightest mess in my works pace blocks me from painting. Lots of people call that creative mess but for me it’s just mess and I need to get it cleaned immediately :). Of course when my little guy comes to my office the situation gets out of control… he just loves to play with colors, pens and especially rocks. – picture of part of my work space is attached.
What are your favorite art tools to work with when you’re creating beautiful painted rocks?
Through the years I experimented with lots of tools and paint brands. I like to use Cadence paints and little brushes that can be found online as “nail painting brushes”. I do use the dotting tools as well sometimes, it all depends on what I am painting.
What’s your best time-saving painting shortcut or hack?
I never paint one rock at a time, I always paint several, it is a way to save time on mixing the paint (you wouldn’t believe how much time you waste on colors preparation). I use a lot of different shades of the same color on a rock and this is also the the reason why it would be very “time consuming” to paint a rock at a time.
What inspires your creativity?
Everything and nothing. I just sit down and paint. Sometimes I see an interesting thing in my surroundings or in nature and get a wish to recreate it in my way with my style but most of the time I don’t think a lot in advance what I will paint. Artists love to talk about their inspirations or they tend to interpret their artwork with a lot of philosophy, metaphors and complicated words 🙂 I have no idea how to do that, maybe because I come from an IT world where everything is 0 or 1, maybe because I am pragmatic by nature, who knows. I just paint what I consider is “nice to look at or have at your home as an decoration”. I see art as something that should help you feel comfortable in your home or at your work, something that makes you smile when you look at it.
Besides dot painting, are there other forms of art that you like to do?
There are so many things I would like to try out. I am so jealous to all these mixed media artists who do beautiful things with so many different mediums. I love art journaling, acrylic artworks on canvas, polymer clay modelling (especially these cute little things called fairy gardens). I love succulents growing and consider it as art as well. There is tons of things I would like to do, but at the moment I started with my Etsy Shop I had to decide to dedicate myself to one thing and to do it well. Also, it is kind of hard to find time for it with my daily job, household and family because family always comes first. But one day.. I will do it all 😀
One thing, I have noticed it’s the beautiful color palettes that you use to create your artwork. How do you decide on what colors will compliment and provide a mesmerizing design for your artwork? How many colors are too many?
I love bright colors, rainbow colors, pastel colors, strong colors, all kinds of colors. The decision about which color I will use just comes with experience and couple of thousands of rocks painted. As mentioned earlier I don’t think about it in advance, I just sit and paint 🙂
You have an Etsy store, selling your inspiring mandala rock art. Do you sell at craft shows or in boutique stores? What advice can you give to someone wanting to sell their painted rocks, but not sure where to start?
I live in Croatia, a small beautiful country on Adriatic coast. Craft shows and boutique stores isn’t really something that is very spread here and I have to confess it is much more easier to sell online on established platforms (especially if you come from a small market). I would definitely tell everyone to try on Etsy first because the costs of starting a shop are so small and you can’t do anything wrong. I would also suggest them to start to share their artwork on Pinterest. Pinterest goes very well together with Etsy.
Can you give beginner rock painters some advice on how to create mandala dot art on rocks?
Try and fail 🙂 This is the only real advice, you can watch a lot of Youtube tutorials but you need to paint at least dozen of rocks before you figure out what you are doing wrong.
How to make dots so evenly distributed on a rock?
The trick is in color mixing and quality paints, the texture of the paint needs to be smooth enough and well mixed. When you find out what works for you it gets easier 🙂
What are the best paints to use for dotting?
I am sure there are many of them, I tried out only some. As mentioned I like Cadence paints (Turkish paints), I liked Reeves and many others. The important thing to know is that the brand doesn’t have to be expensive. You just need to find the ones that have the right texture and try couple of different brands.
What’s the best paint consistency for dot art?
Oh gosh, how to explain this. It shouldn’t be too thick or too liquid 🙂 You should experiment with adding the water.
Is there anything else you’d like to add that might be interesting to readers & fans?
I would like add a huge THANK YOU to thousands of people who like what I do and buy my little decorations and artworks. There is no greater acknowledgement of your work than when you know that someone would like to have what you created in their home. Or give it as a special gift to someone they love. Couple of months ago, a cute grandma from USA contacted me that she wants me to create bunch of little ladybugs as Christmas gifts for her little grandchildren. I love this, when people contact me and want something special for someone special. What I would like to add to everyone who have talent for painting is “just do it”. Just try to create what ever you love and you might find yourself a job where you will always do what you love. And what I learned through the years is that sacrifice is needed for everything that is worth something 🙂 But it’s worth it 🙂
Where can people find your artwork?
All my currently available artwork can be found on Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/Createandcherish
My portfolio and everything that I ever created can be found on Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/createcherish
I also sell on Amazon Handmade and some of my designs can be found on VIDA https://shopvida.com/collections/createandcherish05
Where are all the places people can follow you online?
INSTAGRAM – https://www.instagram.com/createandcherish/
PINTEREST – https://www.pinterest.com/createcherish
FACEBOOK – https://www.facebook.com/createandcherish05/