The Dark Art FAQ – by Shadow Art Finds

Frequently Asked Questions

Shadow Art Finds


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What mediums do I use for my paintings?

I use mostly acrylic (Liquitex) on cotton canvasses, gesso boards, & wood panels. Every now and then, I’ll work with charcoal & graphite. (They’re not so fun to clean up.) I never use AI programs, NFT’s, or digital tools. They’re just not for me.

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Do I offer tutorials?

Well…sort of. My process is considerably different from most. While I don’t have time-lapse videos just yet, I do have this. 

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To what locations do I ship paintings, prints, and card decks? 

I ship originals to the USA, Canada, UK, and some parts of the EU. For art prints, I ship only to the US and Canada, as shipping costs overseas are pretty outrageous. To balance that, I offer digital downloads for collectors to buy and download local to them. They’re inexpensive, and available here. Alas, I no longer ship prints or decks to Australia or New Zealand. Too many issues with lost packages.

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Where can all my available original canvas, wood panel, & gesso board paintings be found? 

Right here! 

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What about prints? 

Here!

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How do I package prints, decks, and originals, and how quickly do they ship? 

I pride myself on very durable packaging. For lustre prints, I ship rolled in a hard cardboard tube. For giclees, usually a flat padded box. For mounted canvasses and original paintings, I ship in bubble-wrapped, double-layered, heavy-duty boxes. For card decks, I ship in lux boxes packaged in bubble mailers. Most prints and originals ship within 1-2 days of ordering. For mounted canvasses, these are custom made, and require 3-4 days to build and ship.

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My shop has a ton of different print options available. What exactly are lustre, velvet giclee, and mounted canvas prints?

I wrote up a special article just for this question. It’s right here.

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Do I create/license art for book covers, album covers, t-shirts, and other products? What about tattoos? 

I wrote up a special article just to cover these questions. Get all the details here. 

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Do I offer custom/commissioned work? 

Alas, never. I find great joy in creating whatever my personal dreams (or my cat) inspire. The rigors of painting someone else’s ideas just don’t appeal to me.

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Why don’t my oracle and tarot decks ship with guidebooks included? 

Good question. To save myself and buyers a ton of money, I’ve made the guidebooks available as free PDF’s or on Amazon Prime for a low price. If I were to ship the decks with guidebooks firsthand, the price would be much higher, both for book printing and freight. It’s better this way, trust me.

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What else do I do with my time besides make art? 

Before I sank my teeth fully into the painting, I published novels, short stories, philosophy books, and more. I was a full-time author, and I loved it! My books are here.

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Where am I located? 

Usually, Athens, GA. But sometimes, Chicago. And other times, New York. I like to stay on the move!

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Do I do art shows? 

Yes. Sometimes. Mostly local tattoos shops, Pancakes & Booze tours, Art & Chocolate Tours, and DragonCon.

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Where is the best place to see my latest work and get in touch on social media? 

Great question. Right here.

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Still have more questions, or maybe there’s something important I need to add here? 

I’m listening. The best place to reach out is here.

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Haunted Cat Tarot – Now Available!!

Haunted Cat Tarot

A Complete Tarot Deck by Heather and J Edward Neill

Get your deck right here!


The Haunted Cat Tarot deck contains 78 cards, featuring original artwork by J Edward Neill.

The theme? Surreal, shadowy, moody black cats…with a ton of charm, grace, and attitude…

The deck ships in a labeled lux box.

As with our oracle decks, the guidebook is primarily online. A free PDF is here. For those with e-readers, a guidebook is also available on Amazon Kindle. For those who prefer physical guidebooks, they’re now available at Amazon.

Haunted Cat Tarot is available at Etsy – ShadowArtFinds. Individual decks, as well as discounted reseller bundles, are available. Be careful not to confuse Haunted Cat Tarot with the already available Haunted Cat Playing Card Deck. These are two separate, unrelated decks. 

Also…a series of six special edition prints is now available (including full tarot card text) to celebrate the deck release. These prints are here.

Questions? Contact J Edward at his Facebook art page here.

A video describing the deck is now available. Click the pic below to watch!

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Exclusive Oracle Deck/Bracelet/Art Print Bundles – Dreams & Incarnations!

To celebrate the release of the Dreams & Incarnations oracle deck, we’ve created an exclusive set of special bundles.

Only 16 of these bundles are available, four in each theme…

Each bundle includes:

  • 1 Dreams & Incarnations Oracle Deck

  • 1 Handmade Bead Bracelet (Woman’s Wrist Size 7.25″) Matching the Color Scheme of the Bundle

  • 1 Art Print in the Bundle Theme

The bundles are Guardian, Betrayal, The Phoenix, and Falling.

Click each pic below to see the details of each bundle.

Get yours tonight!

The Different Styles of Art Prints – A Collector’s Guide

So…

You say you’re in the market for some art prints.

First of all, awesome. After all, art prints have great upsides. They’re an inexpensive alternative to buying original art. They’re typically smaller than big canvas paintings. They can be put into stylish frames. They’re easier to handle, and even replace, than larger, hard-to-ship art.

Sounds great, right?

But there’s just one question.

How do you know what type of art print is right for you?

Now, when we talk about the ‘type’ of art print, we’re not looking at the art style. That’s a entirely different conversation. Maybe you like kittens, or watercolors, or abstract art, or…if you’re looking at my work, crazy dark surrealism. It’s all good. But what we’re talking about today is the material of which your future art print will be made of. Be it photograph paper, inkjet lustre prints, velvet giclees, canvas prints, or mounted canvas, there are more styles of print than most people realize.

Many, many more.

Which is a good thing. It’s always nice to have options, right?

Let’s get straight to it.

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The Different Types of Art Prints


Style 1 – Photographic Prints

Photographic style prints are your entry-level art print. If you buy from most artists, this is the basic style they will offer. Photo-style prints are inexpensive, durable, and provide a quality that most art-lovers find very much acceptable.

What’s the scoop?

This type of print typically uses dyed inks on digital photograph paper. If you’ve ever held an actual photograph in your hand (I say this only because so many photos these days are strictly digital) then you have a general idea for the quality of a photo print. The paper stock used is thicker than standard printer paper. It’s durable stuff, and the colors of most paintings (especially line art or art with plenty of strong, bold colors) will look good. It’s easy to frame, easy to ship, and not particularly pricey. What’s more, this style of print can be made to be glossy, semi-glossy, matte, or even metallic, depending on the artist’s (or buyer’s) tastes.

In short, it’s versatile stuff. And in today’s ever-growing art market, it’s what you’ll see a ton of.

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Style 2 – Fine Giclee Prints

Suppose you want to step up your art print game. You want better color saturation. Better paper. Something longer lasting.

And more than anything, you want an art print that picks up every detail of the original artist’s work.

Giclee prints might be for you.

In today’s world, there are many styles of giclee prints. There’s deep matte, a printing process which carves out any hint of shine, leaving only the deep, dark details. There’s somerset velvet, a smooth, luxurious-feeling print, capturing the subtle color notes in a detailed piece of art. If you see words like Lexjet, Lexjet matte, Somerset velvet, or 100% cotton, then you’re dealing with a high-quality giclee.

In short, giclees are gallery-quality prints printed using pigmented inks (instead of dyed inks) on archival (typically cotton) paper. If the original is unavailable, and a buyer, gallery, or even the original artist wants an excellent reproduction, giclees are most likely what they’ll go for. The paper is much higher quality than photo paper, which allows excellent color saturation and detail. When framed properly, a good giclee will resemble the original painting in almost every way (unless it was a highly-textured original.)

The only drawback? With giclees, buyers should expect to pay two to four times more than the price of a standard photographic print.

As the saying goes, you get what you pay for.

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Style 3 – Canvas Prints

Still further up the art print ladder, we find canvas prints.

Similar to giclees (and made using the same pigmented inks) canvas prints typically are excellent, top-notch reproductions of art. Whether created by traditional artists after their originals have sold or by digital artists who desire a physical copy of their work, canvas prints are a superb method of displaying art.

Firstly, they’re flexible. Printed on the thickest, most durable materials, canvas prints are bendy, tough to damage, and easy to trim/manipulate for framing. Even more than giclees, they’re a long-lasting print style, and can be varnished with protective coatings to last many decades (or possibly even centuries…given that the technology used to create them is still relatively new.)

If you’re a collector who wants the best possible reproduction of a piece of art, canvas prints are likely for you.

The good news? While pricier than inkjet or photo prints, canvas prints are typically only 10-25% more expensive than giclees.

The challenge? Canvas prints come loose and in need of (usually high-quality) framing.

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Style 4 – Mounted Canvas Prints

Mounted canvas prints are quite simple, really.

They’re the same as canvas prints, same material, same color quality, same durability.

But they’re stretched and mounted on a wooden frame, and are 100% ready to hang.

For collectors who don’t want to pick out custom frames, and for art-lovers who like to hang art just as it looked in the original artist’s studio, mounted canvasses are a great option. Like standard canvas prints, they can be varnished. The wooden frames (typically 1/2″ to 2″ thick) offer stability, ease of hanging, and true-to-life colors which often match the original work.

Personally, I’ve hung multiple mounted canvasses of my own work (after the originals are gone) and I can’t really tell the difference between them and the original paintings.

They’re that good.

The good part? Original-looking art which typically costs far less than original paintings.

The only drawback? The cost of stretching and mounting the canvas is significant, meaning these are usually the most expensive print option.

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Of course, there are other print options out there. Custom paper styles. Custom finishes. But in general, 95% of what collectors will see in the market today will fall under these four art prints styles.

I hope, for all you art-lovers and artists out there, this article proved helpful. If you have questions or want to chat about print styles, reach out to me at any of my social media links right here.

And of course, I invite you to take a look at my own selection of art prints. Click the pic below and fall into my surreal world.

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Until next time…

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J Edward Neill

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Cover Work by J Edward Neill

Hi there.

I’m J Edward.

Quite often, I get asked to do album covers, book covers, and other licensed products. It’s time I addressed it publicly.

A lot of artists have complex or difficult-to-understand rules regarding art rights, cover work, commissions, and exclusivity.

I do not.

My rules are simple:

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Album Covers, Book Covers, T-Shirts, & Other Licensed Products

  • If you purchase an original painting (not a print) you may use it for your book cover, album cover, t-shirt line, or any other licensed product. Simply let me know after the purchase is complete, and I will agree in writing not to ever give license for that piece to another person for the purpose of cover work.
  • If you live overseas and are unable to purchase an original (usually due to high shipping costs) and you want to use one of my images for cover work (either for business or personal use) I will accept a one-time payment of $75. For this, I will email you a high-resolution image and grant you non-exclusive rights (meaning someone else is permitted to use the image if they pay similarly) to the image.
  • If you’d like to use an image for your business, cover art, or album art, but the original painting has sold (but has not been licensed) I will accept a one-time payment for $75. This option is for non-exclusive licenses only (meaning someone else is permitted to use the image if they pay similarly) to the image.

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Digitally Downloaded Prints

  • If you’d like to use one of my images to make your own prints (for personal use only) but you live outside of North America, please click on my available art downloads here. Any digital images obtained this way are not to be used for cover work, sale, or commercial distribution. (I’m trusting you to be a good human. 🙂 )  Also, if the image you’d like doesn’t appear available for download, please reach out to me. I can add them very quickly.

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Tattoo Art

  • If you’d like to use one or several of my artworks for tattoos, I request only that you download the images (very inexpensive) using this link here.

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Commissions, Custom Work, Copyrights, A.I. Art & NFT’s

  • I do not do commissions or custom work. It’s nothing personal, of course. Commissions interfere with my process, and frankly, they pay poorly for my time investment.
  • I reserve the right to sell my prints until the end of time. Regardless of any image’s use as cover work.
  • None of my work is digital art or A.I. I keep it old school…always.
  • I do not do NFT’s. If you see an NFT with my artwork, be advised it is unauthorized and stolen. Proceed at your own risk.

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Want to discuss further? Find me via any of my social media links.

Want to view the originals and prints I have available? Go here.

Much love to everyone.

May the art live forever.


A Sample of Previous Cover Work (Albums & Books)


The Dreams & Incarnations Oracle Deck!

Now Available

The Dreams & Incarnations Oracle Deck

An All New Intuitive Card Deck by Heather and J Edward Neill


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The Dreams & Incarnations oracle deck contains 52 lushly-illustrated cards, featuring original artwork by J Edward Neill and card definitions by Heather Neill.

Ravens, moons, cats, crocodiles…skeletons, towers, and otherworldly landscapes… The theme of the deck: dream symbolism and powerful, personal self imagery.

As an intuitive deck (readers are encouraged to find their personal meaning using the artwork) the guidebook will be primarily online. A free downloadable PDF is here: Download. For those with e-readers, a guidebook will be available on Amazon Kindle. For those who prefer physical guidebooks, they’ll be available at Amazon (Prime w/ fast shipping) for just $5.99.

Dreams & Incarnations is available at Etsy – ShadowArtFinds. Individual decks, as well as discounted reseller bundles, will be available.

Also…a series of six special edition 8 x 10 prints is already available (including full oracle card text) to celebrate the deck. Available here.

Questions? Contact J Edward at his Facebook art page here.

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Coming soon…the Dreams & Incarnations guidebook…

 

All New Art Prints & Mounted Canvasses at Shadow Art Finds!

Now available at Shadow Art Finds…

All new print sizes,  Including small and inexpensive 8″ x 10″ and 16″ x 20″!

Also…

Mounted canvas prints have been upgraded to be even more heavy duty. Wooden frames now a full 1″ thick and gallery wrapped!

Click the pic below to explore more than 150 prints!


 

Coffee Table Cats – A Mini Art Book by J Edward Neill

Black cats aren’t so unlucky….

Charming, sensitive, and wily, these enchanted felines bring love to every heart they touch.

In this artsy book by J Edward Neill, enjoy numerous illustrations of our black cat friends, each paired with a loving tribute.

Each piece of cat art is based on one of J Edward’s original paintings, and appears in full-color.

Now available in paperback and hardcover!!


Why I Can’t Bring Myself to do Commissioned Art

“Can you paint a portrait of me, but as a sexy, armor-wearing warrior queen? And thirty lbs. lighter?”

No. And you mean forty-five lbs.

“Can you paint my dog? He’s really cute. Look how his tongue hangs out the left side of his mouth. I really want to capture him in a painting.”

No. Your dog isn’t cute. Also, you have no money.

“Can you paint a lovely little orange barn with a giant Florida Gators logo on the side?”

Instead of that, can I paint a giant dark tower with a logo of a massive alligator demon devouring the souls of the innocent?

“Can I wait until you finish painting my commission to pay you anything?”

No. Go download something free off the web.

Ashes for Ande – A commissioned piece. Never got paid, so I kept it.

I know why artists do commissions.

At least…I think I do.

For artists who have a strong foothold in the industry, who sell every single painting they create, and who can demand a high commission fee, doing custom-to-client work can be lucrative.

For everyone else, not so much.

In the past, I’ve entertained commission work. The orange barn with the Gators logo? Yeah, that was a real commission I did. I spent a ton of time and materials in an effort to make it perfect. I delivered, and the buyer paid me as promised. Only trouble was – I lost money on the sale. I invested far more time than I could ever hope to recoup. And more than the money, I lost self-respect.

I paint demons. Towers. Dark trees. Mysterious women.

Not college football logos on cheesy barns.

In my humble experience, I find more reasons to turn down work than to accept it.

Oh, you want examples?

Last year I painted a huge wood panel piece for a buddy of mine. I quoted him my fee, spent most of two full nights sharpening the image, and delivered earlier than promised. Now, I love this guy like a brother. But here we sit, six months later, and he still hasn’t paid. I’m not willing to lose a friend over the issue, and so I don’t mention the money anymore. Though I do feel a little pain whenever I see the panel hanging on his living room wall.

No, I’m not bitter.

If anything, he helped me.

I’ll explain.

When I sit down late at night, a fresh canvas before me, a glass of scotch in hand, and my paintbrush whirling, I’m in my element. I’m right where I want to be. Whatever I’m about to create will bring me great enjoyment. It could be something grand – a giant mural of skulls. Or something simple – a swirly drip-painted tree. It doesn’t matter. I’ll love it because it’s mine. No one told me to do it. No one cares whether or not I succeed.

But…

If I’m creating the piece for a commission sale, none of this is true.

I’ll feel pressure to make it ‘perfect’ as if perfection is something that exists in art. I’ll feel hurried. I won’t feel like a creator anymore, but rather like a business. It’ll become work instead of pleasure. Rather than savor every moment, I’ll want the process to end as quickly as possible.

I’ll hate it.

I want to paint this…

…not this.

What’s weird is..

Even though I’ll strive to make the commission look fantastic, I won’t do my absolute best work. My creative engine will go idle, and my brush won’t move with the kind of freedom to which I’m accustomed. That’s just the way it goes. With freedom comes passion. With rigid expectation comes pain.

Not a week goes by without at least one person requesting some kind of work from me. “Draw me a tattoo?” they’ll ask. “Paint a forest scene for my wife’s bathroom.” “Paint my portrait, only not exactly like me. Make me look better.”

Some people want me to do this work for free. Or at rock bottom cost. Or they want to wait until I’m done to decide whether or not they’ll pay.

To a degree, I understand these approaches. Art is a luxury to most people. More important things exist, like utility bills, car payments, and food on the table.

The solution feels simple.

Don’t do it. No commissions…ever. No worrying about other people’s ideas, needs, and wants. Make art a meditative, peaceful thing, a creative avalanche instead of a business goal. Separation from commission angst means not worrying about whether or not I’ll get paid. It means growing my skill organically, not forcing myself into styles I either haven’t yet mastered or have little interest in studying. It means painting at a self-chosen pace, not hustling to push something out the door I never wanted to do in the first place. And it means a friendly but firm “No” to everyone who asks the question, and then peace of mind afterward.

Commissioned J Edward art

 

Non-commissioned J Edward art

Is it a bad idea to say, “No commissions! Ever!” Yeah. Maybe. I’m probably eliminating a segment of the population who might otherwise be interested in my style.

Am I going to lose sleep over it? No.

I’d rather be broke and free than wealthy and enslaved.

This philosophy applies to much more than art.

It’s life, man.

J Edward Neill

 

 

 

Oracle Decks, Art Prints, & Bead Bracelet Bundles

To celebrate the release of the Spirits & Shadows oracle deck, we’ve created an exclusive set of special bundles.

Only 25 of these bundles are available, five in each theme…

Each bundle includes:

  • 1 Spirits & Shadows Oracle Deck

  • 1 Handmade Bead Bracelet (Woman’s Wrist Size 7.25″) Matching the Color Scheme of the Bundle

  • 1 Art Print in the Bundle Theme

The five bundles are Protection, Reincarnation, Awakening, Strength, and of course, Death.

Click each pic below to see the details of each bundle.

Get yours tonight!



More details on the oracle deck can be found here.

Let’s Talk Art – The Top Five Challenges Facing Modern Day Artists

What’s it like being a full-time artist in the real world?

Let’s talk it out.

In his latest Let’s Talk Art video, J Edward brings up the top 5 challenges facing artists today.

And…

…shows off his giant painting, ‘The Death of Yggdrasil.’

Click the giant painting below to watch the vid!


The Spirits & Shadows Oracle Deck – Now Available

The Spirits & Shadows Oracle Deck

by J Edward & Heather Neill


Welcome to Spirits & Shadows. This 52-card oracle deck includes original art by artist J Edward Neill and card concepts, keywords, & guidebook by Heather Neill.

This deck came into being after four long years of love, focus, and no small amount of hard work. Our focus with Spirits & Shadows is hope, the human spirit, self-improvement, overcoming obstacles, and resilience in the face of life’s many challenges. 

Herein you’ll find spirits of nature, images of hope and light, and even shadows which you, the reader, will master and overcome.

Spirits & Shadows is meant to be used intuitively. The keywords and meaning for each card are merely starting points. Please take the time to connect to each image in a meaningful way. This deck was made for you.

A full guidebook including card definitions appears below. 

For those who prefer a physical guidebook, they’re available on Amazon here

We wish you the best in your journey.


 

Get the Spirits & Shadows Oracle deck right here. Just click the pic!

 

The Spirits & Shadows Oracle Deck – Coming Soon!

The Spirits & Shadows Oracle Deck

An Intuitive Card Deck by Heather and J Edward Neill


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NOW AVAILABLE!!

 


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The Spirits & Shadows oracle deck contains 52 cards, featuring original artwork by J Edward Neill.

Cats, owls, crows… Skeletons, towers, otherworldly landscapes… The theme of the deck: personal challenges and powerful hopes.

The deck ships in a white lux box.

As an intuitive deck (readers are encouraged to find their personal meaning using the artwork) the guidebook is primarily online. For those with e-readers, a guidebook is available on Amazon Kindle. For those who prefer physical guidebooks, they’ll be available at Amazon (Prime w/ fast shipping) for just $5.99.

The deck is now available. Get yours HERE. 

Future expansion decks, including a Dream Symbolism expansion already in the works, will be released using the same card back. (Meaning they can be shuffled into Spirits & Shadows and used at the same time if desired.)

Spirits & Shadows is available at Etsy – ShadowArtFinds. Individual decks, as well as discounted reseller bundles, are available.

Also…a series of six special edition 8 x 10 prints will be available (including full oracle card text) to celebrate the deck release. Available here.

Questions? Contact J Edward at his Facebook art page here.

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