Welcome to the Funamals Blog

Welcome to the Funamals Blog
Funamals is a company that represents the whimsical artwork of Amy DeCaussin.

Monday, November 12, 2012

How to Order a Custom Pet Portrait

Check out this Video to learn how to order your custom pet portrait online through etsy.   

**PLEASE NOTE A CHANGE IN POLICY since this video was created. PLEASE AVOID photos taken with cell phones INCLUDING SMART PHONES**

This is the Blog post for all Questions Related to Custom Pet Portraits.  Finally...some clarity!

Frequently Asked Questions...

How long does it take until I get my pet portrait?
7-10 business days to complete before the portrait is shipped.  If you need it quicker than that just message me and let me know.  I take holiday orders through much of December.  If you have any concerns about receiving your order in time for holiday gifting, just contact me. 

How do I send my photo?
In my etsy shop you can click on the "Contact" button and a conversation box will pop up.  You can attach your digital photo file there.  Alternatively, you can email your photo to funamals@gmail.com.  Make sure that you leave the name that correlates with the etsy account in the text.  Digital files are preferred, but you can also send your photo via "snail mail" and it will be shipped back to you with your pet portrait.  (Note that this method takes longer for the finished product).
How do I pick a good photo?
A nice quality photo with good lighting is best.  I prefer "head shots" of pets so I can get the details in their face and capture their personality.  If a pet's photo has red-eye I take it out when I paint it.

Can I use a picture from my cell phone?
Please no cell phone photos of any kind.  They will not have a high enough quality for me to work with.  The better the photo the better the painting.  300 dpi is great!  (dots per inch) The higher the resolution the better.

I have more than one pet.  Do they need to be in the same photo in order to be in the painting together?
No.  It is better to have a nice, quality photo of each petI can compose them together in the painting.  It helps if they are taken in the same kind of light.

Can you ignore all the stuff in the background of my photo?
Yes!  I usually do unless a client has a special request to keep something in the photo.

Here are some examples of good photos vs. bad photos....

if this guide didn't answer your questions you can contact me at funamals@gmail.com.

Another Monday behind the Paint Brush...

Monday, Monday!  Here's a sneak preview of a portrait for a client :)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Heads Up!

Hey ya'll!  Our wedding is fast approaching so I wanted to let everyone know that I will be out of the studio AFTER Sept. 3rd.  If you want to order from my etsy shop after that it will not be processed until September 24th.

Thank you so much for your support and understanding.  Cam and I are soOooo excited! :D

(Photo ©Amy Carroll Photography 2012+)

Friday, July 27, 2012

New Work :)

I am getting ready to head down to Saugatuck, Michigan tomorrow for the Village Square Arts Fair.  I have been working on some new ways to present my work and I am really enjoying this new way to do it.  They are original watercolors that are gallery wrapped.  They look clean and they are ready to hang immediately after purchase.

My fiance Cam DeCaussin will also be showing his work at the show tomorrow.  It will be the first time we will be showing our work side by side :)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Tacocat Challenge

illustration by Amy Hofacker

illustration by Roberta Rivera

illustration by Ryan Hipp

I posted this idea to anyone on Facebook who was interested in pursuing the "Tacocat" challenge and drawing their own version of Tacocat--which Ryan Hipp pointed out, is spelled the same forwards and back.  I think this project was definitely worth the fun :)  The photo that inspired all of this is the one below...

Friday, July 6, 2012

The Rabbit + the Acorn: A Short Story

The rabbit couldn’t handle it.  One shiny acorn gleaming in the sunlight on the ground.  Thelma adored them.  "She would, too," thought Jane.  Thelma never really did the same things as other rabbits.  Jane sat there and sniffed.  Why Thelma had collected an acorn was beyond her.  There were some lovely flowers only feet from where they were sitting and any rabbit would have gone straight to those for a bite to eat.  Not Thelma.   Beyond eating them, it was like she just sat there admired the shiny exterior of the acorn.  Jane was disgusted.  She had seen enough for one day.  She hopped toward the pine trees.  There was no sense in trying to understand Thelma’s logic.  If she wanted to chomp on acorns while the others found fresh greens to eat, then that was her prerogative.  Jane made a note in her mind to find a reason not to have a meal with Thelma again.  Something would come up.  She would think of a good excuse when the time came.  There was always a good reason when you needed one anyway.

Friday, June 29, 2012

La Fille Gallery

Last weekend, after attending the SCBWI illustration conference in Lansing, Michigan, I wandered around downtown seeing the sites.  I happened upon a lovely gallery that was having its grand opening.  I had to stop in and see what was going on.

Artist/Owner Tiffany Klein holds up her banner
 As it was late in the day and the event was winding down, I had a chance to meet and talk to the artist, Tiffany Klein.  My initial thoughts were how does one sustain a one-woman-show gallery in the heart of Michigan, one of the toughest markets in the United States?  What I learned very quickly was that Tiffany is very business savvy, and although young, she is armed with fifteen years of experience in the business of art.  Having traveled to places like Italy and studying some old world techniques, she is both a fine artist as well as an interior designer.  The work goes very well together.   Tiffany has made a living doing her work for clients all over the country, and recently added a local base in Michigan allowing her to finally open up her public gallery and studio space.

 The La Fille Gallery is made up of three floors, the top floor being her studio space and office.  The space is designed entirely by the artist herself.  The flooring, walls, ceiling, furniture and all the fixtures were carefully created to add to the space as a whole.  The artwork on display is her's as well.  Every surface you see is a sample of something Tiffany could design to fit your needs.  It is hard to imagine all of the work that must have been put into the makeup of the gallery alone. 

The gallery is filled with lots of spaces to look at and enjoy.  There is a whole section in the back just for artwork of which she specializes in carving multi-medium relief sculptures.  Many of her pieces are flat and hang on the wall, but also have a three dimensional element to them.  Another room set up for design consultations.  There are a variety of options to choose from to make every element unique to the client's space.  The gallery features products that are made in the United States.  I feel there are few things that make me more giddy than seeing a small business shine with success in all of its greatness.

  It is always a pleasure to meet another working professional artist.  Many have a wealth of knowledge and experience to offer and are wonderful supporters.  They often know just what to say to keep you motivated and your creative spirits up.  Tiffany is no exception.  I could immediately tell that she has a kind heart, and is also very honest.  She showed me her studio space, and even her office.  I could tell that her work fed off of the ability to be open to new ideas and experiences.  I felt that we had a connection, especially since we both studied art in Italy.  (I went to John Cabot University in Rome).
Tiffany in her upper studio
on the show room floor
  Ofcourse, I am always drawn to bright colors, and the space shown above is definitely my favorite.  I have a weakness for nice wood floors too, especially in a studio space.  The carpet on display is made from another designer and then Tiffany makes the pillows and artwork to match.  She has a way of elegantly incorporating other artists into her business and supporting their work as well.  I happened to have my portfolio with me, so I showed it to her.  She loved the watercolor and plans to show my work in her space at some point.  I thought that would be lovely.  I'm so glad I had the opportunity to check out the La Fille Gallery and see Tiffany's work.  I must say, strolling around a city, you never know what you are going to find!

Check it out!

La Fille Gallery
336 E. Michigan Avenue
Lansing, Michigan 48933

Some new work...

Click the images to view them larger

Monday, June 25, 2012

Turtle and Giraffe Meet Adventure

click the image for a larger view

I just finished this painting this morning.  I am looking to get some of my work made into prints to sell.  I am wondering if this one would be worthy of printing.  If anyone could give me some feedback on whether I should print it I would REALLY appreciate it.  You can leave your comments here or email me at funamals@gmail.com.  Thanks!

A Huge Honor...

Well I went to "Shine 2," a state wide portfolio review and competition for children's book illustrators.  (Writer's attended too, but they had their own conference).  The conference was ran by SCBWI, or the Society of Children's Book Writer's and Illustrators and held in Lansing, Michigan.  A panelist of judges, successfully published illustrators, Cyd Moore, Wendy Anderson Halperin and Aaron Zenz reviewed each portfolio.  There was a ton of talent and the feedback was wonderful.  I took LOTS of notes!

At the end they announced the winner of the illustration competition "Illustration Idol."  The winner was Bradley Cooper who received a one year mentorship with Wendy Anderson Halperin.   I received 1st runner up!  I will be getting a one hour session with Wendy to discuss my work and the future of my career!  I'm so honored to receive this award and very excited to work with Wendy.  I will be in the studio all this week working on applying all of the feedback I received at the conference.
Wendy Anderson Halperin, Amy Hofacker & Ryan Hipp

Friday, June 22, 2012

I'm Ready! Children's Book Illustration

I am all ready for a conference I am headed to in Lansing, Michigan tomorrow for children's book illustration.  I have three printed copies of my new portfolio.  I sewed the sheets of paper down the middle to make the book. 

I took some left over postcards from my last gallery showing "Don't Think, Don't Blink" and sewed fabric and new information to the backs of them.  Now they are repurposed into what we call "leave behinds"--something to give to someone for networking or a potential client.  I got a fresh set of business cards printed too as I was really low.  

I just received my official membership card in the mail for the Society of Children's Book Writer's & Illustrators. 


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Introducing: Cam DeCaussin

I would like to formally announce my engagement and introduce you to my other half and fiance, artist Cam DeCaussin

Amy Carroll Photography

It is important to me that my viewers know this because we are both artists and I can definitely say that I would not be much good at my work without him.  Together we work as a unit, not only as a couple, but also creatively.  We brain storm together and work in the studio together.  We go to art shows together and critique each other's work.  In fact I will rarely send out a painting for a client unless it gets Cam's approval.  Cam knows my work better than anyone. 

Cam is an artist too...a photo realistic oil painter, we could not be more different in both the medium, process and style.  

"As he passed through the doorway, he caused a reflection." oil painting on canvas.  (30" x 40") To see more of Cam's work click here.
Cam at his recent gallery showing at Central Michigan University "Continuum" in February 2012.
Amy Carroll Photography
 An Artistic Journey Together...
Cam and I met while studying art & design at Grand Valley State University.  At first we were just friends and then classmates working and studying together in the studio during all hours of the day.  Cam is the reason I got through my first and only oil painting class.  I helped him when it was time to study watercolor too.  We fell in love in the painting studios.  We both graduated from the Illustration program and received our BFA (bachelor of fine art)I graduated in 2009 and Cam in 2010. 
Amy Carroll Photography

Cam and I will be married in the church we claim as our own, Immanuel Lutheran Church of Grand Rapids, Michigan in September 2012.  Together, we stand on our solid foundation, Jesus Christ.

Amy Carroll Photography
Amy Carroll Photography

My new name will be Amy DeCaussin.  I'm excited to change it, but a little nervous about my professional career because I'm afraid people won't recognize me anymore.  This is why I named my company Funamals, but my name is often still used with it too. 
We got this wonderful sign for our home from our friend Jennifer Chiodini at Click & Create Alphabet Photography.  It is really cool to have something personal in our home to recognize what we will become.....The DeCaussin's
Amy Carroll Photography
 I feel that in addition to knowing my work, by knowing Cam and his work one can fully understand me better as an artist.  Without him, you really only see half of the picture.  I'm so glad to have this opportunity to share with you our life as it evolves.

Amy Carroll Photography