Artists Arise

Explore ways to overcome the 'starving artists' mentality and find new strategies to touch the world with your creative gifts!

Website: http://www.makeabeautifullife.com
Members: 391
Latest Activity: yesterday

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Discussion Forum

Learning Graphic Design questions

Started by Cheri M. Last reply by Tony Luongo on Monday. 3 Replies

What are your 2014 Art Goals

Started by Chris Callen. Last reply by Eric Pulsifer Sep 23. 18 Replies

Illustrations and "Eyeballs"

Started by Jeremy Sabacek. Last reply by Mike Roy Sep 22. 1 Reply

Artist Website

Started by Emily Buresh. Last reply by Mike Roy Sep 22. 10 Replies

Design Deposits?

Started by Janise Cookston. Last reply by John Chang Jun 12. 1 Reply

Comment Wall


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Comment by Tony Luongo yesterday

Thank you Roy. I appreciate you taking the time to comment too. Well the most obvious question I have after reading your post is how can we work together? I will try emailing you privately to discuss.

As for whats in the box, we don't specifically say because each month it changes and we have to get product and test it. Plus part of this entire Smile Create Repeat experience is the anticipation and excitement of receiving a new box each month and the surprises that are included.

However I wouldn't buy anything if i didn't at least know a little bit about it. That's why we describe the contents, in general terms, on the join, gift, FAQs page. We also show what's in a previous months box on the how this works page, our blog and facebook.

When we initially asked others in our network their thoughts, most of the questions were "What's in a box?" The fun thing about this is we say 5+ art supplies but we try to stuff the box so full of value that we hope people will go WOW every time they open one.

Group Leader
Comment by nathan miller yesterday

Of course, I realize you also put "a monthly surprise of great art supplies" on your front page after I post that last message.. arg! Sorry about that. I didn't notice your tagline on the front page (admittedly, I only looked at the pretty pictures of the paint brushes, then jumped down to the text.. leave it to an ADD artist to skip the first text. :)

Group Leader
Comment by nathan miller yesterday


I totally forgot to mention an observation I had! I meant to post it a few days ago but somehow got distracted. On your About page you have a graphic (kids, a rainbow and a dragon) with some text that spoke to me more than anything else on your website. It said, "a monthly surprise of great art supplies!" - That one line caught my attention and expressed to me what you're offering more than anything on the front page of the website. Maybe it's because I "feel" the benefit of signing up, instead of logically understanding the features.. 

Just a thought. 

I'd be remiss if I didn't reiterate how much I like the idea! It's very, very creative. :)

Comment by Tony Luongo yesterday

Thank you for your feedback Nathan. I appreciate you taking the time to help. I know about the benefits vs. features angle and that is what we tried to accomplish. We constantly need to reiterate the benefits and we're always trying different ways of saying that either on facebook or other avenues. Once we find something that really says what we need... woohooo!

Comment by Roy Simmons on Monday

I agree with Nathan, I too like the idea! I hunted but couldn't find a description of what is actually in the boxes. As it is a product, it should. (at least past boxes and the next in the series). I think focusing on the gift aspect makes BIG sense and I can share why. I run an art site with over 17k members. Many of us are 'senior (ish)' I know many grand parents want to get the grandchildren doing more hands on creative endeavors, often they live too far away to actively do things with them. Being able to give a monthly gift of creative materials could hit the spot. Wishing you success!

Group Leader
Comment by nathan miller on Monday


I absolutely love the idea! I also like that you went with Squarespace for your web platform (that's my favorite web authoring system). 

As to advice, I'm not sure exactly what you're looking for. If you can give more detailed questions we can try and help you out. 

That said, I can offer some general advice on the front page if you like:

Overall, I really like the design and layout. The header and tagline seem a little bland/stock. Instead of stating what you do, consider explaining what benefit you offer (granted, your line does this already but I bet it could be honed more). For example, instead of "SMILE CREATE REPEAT: ART SUPPLIES SUBSCRIPTION BOX FOR KIDS AND ADULTS"
simply say, "Get ideas, training, and the supplies you'll need each month." or something similar. People don't care to re-read your company name and they aren't particualrly interested in knowing what your product has in it -instead they want to know what it will do for them (i.e. it'll teach them to be an awesome artists, by giving them everything they will need). 

I fear this is a rather vague response - the line between features and benefits is something I grapple with a lot and sometimes it's hard to clearly define the difference. 

All in all I really like what you're doing! Please keep us updated. :)

Comment by Tony Luongo on Monday

Hello everyone. I've mposted/commented here a few times but now I could really use your opinions. My wife and I have started a subscription box of art supplies along with creative prompts and an art lesson using the supplies. We have gotten a good response but if you would take a look and let me know what you think and who do you think its for. The site is www.smilecreaterepeat.com

Thank you so much in advance for you help. If you need anything from me please let me know. God bless.

Tony Luongo


Group Leader
Comment by nathan miller on October 15, 2014 at 12:05pm


I read your link on raising the prices of your art pieces. To me it felt a little simplistic. The big question is determining the value of a price, and I don't feel he addressed that particularly well. Overall though, I liked the read. :) 

Group Leader
Comment by nathan miller on October 15, 2014 at 12:04pm

Janise, I think your insights are good regarding Jeremy's illustration - however, some of the problem we see in the photo could be due to the camera. It's possible the colors are more subtle than what's portrayed. 

Jeremy, I like the overall design! Your abstraction (or characterization of the animals) is pretty good. I'm curious what the end use is for this drawing. You say "for a church function", in what capacity? 

Comment by Janise Cookston on October 15, 2014 at 10:34am

Jeremy, I think the characters and shapes are great. I think the colors are too saturated and take away from the forms. I would recommend changing what you are using to color with, perhaps to something softer like colored pencils. I think by improving the color and adding shadows and highlights, you could take this work from very good to excellent. Do you have a digital copy of just the line drawing of any of your work? I'd love to color one as an example of what I am suggesting.


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