This handy FAQ answers dozens of the questions that I've often been asked for the past 17 years. If your question isn't answered here feel free to contact me, but since there are only so many hours in a day, I can't guarantee a response. If you email me with a question that is already answered here, you probably won't receive a response. I don’t mean to be rude or leave anyone hanging - I just need to protect my time like we all do, so please do read this FAQ before sending me any questions. Thank you!

If you'd like more information about how I create my art, please visit my art education website, Art is Fun.

About My Artwork

How would you describe your work?

My art is usually colorful and detailed, whether it is photorealist or abstract. I seek to create art that is vibrant and eye-catching, full of joy and optimism. I'd love for my art to have a positive impact on those who see it.

Do you do custom / commission work?

I no longer do commission work for individuals, but I often do custom artwork for licensing purposes. If you want to license my art for use on your products, please see my licensing page for more info.

I don't do logos, branding, graphic design, etc for other businesses or individuals. I only create art for which I retain all rights.

If you're an individual just looking for an artist to create a custom artwork, you should consider one of the many highly skilled Featured Artists that I've interviewed on my other website, who may be willing to create custom paintings or drawings -

Do you have any more _________ paintings?

I'm always pleased when people like certain paintings of mine so much that they ask whether I am planning any more in that series. The answer is usually "maybe" but I can't guarantee anything. Check back on my store to see what's available! Better yet, sign up for my mailing list to be notified when I have new artwork for sale.

Can you recreate a painting for me that has already sold?

Due to my busy schedule, I'm unable to do commissions, which includes recreating old artwork. Thank you for your interest though!

Where can I buy your art? Do you have any original art for sale?

Please visit my shop for links to my original art as well as prints, posters and gallery-wrapped canvas prints of my art.

When I have new original art available for purchase, you'll find it by clicking the "Original Art" link on that page. Or, you can sign up for my mailing list to be notified when original art becomes available for purchase.

Do you have art in any galleries or museums where I can see your work in person?

Currently I am not showing in any galleries or museums, because I'm busy authoring books, creating art for licensing, and traveling the world with my awesome husband. When I do have a gallery or museum show coming up, I'll announce it in my blog, my Facebook page, my newsletter, and other social media platforms.

Art Materials

What is your preferred medium?

When it comes to painting, my preferred medium is acrylic. For drawing, I enjoy colored pencils. I've also started exploring the use of the iPad as an art tool and frequently use many wonderful apps, such as Procreate and iDraw, to create digital art.

Why do you use the materials that you do?

I work in a variety of media, but the ones I use most are probably acrylics, colored pencil and digital media (mainly iPad apps such as Procreate and iDraw). I love acrylics because they are non-toxic and non-smelly, and I feel that they are a good medium for expressing the ideas that I want to express. I like the bright, boldness of the colors. I also like that acrylics are very forgiving, in the sense that if I make a mistake, I can easily paint over it. I like colored pencil because it is a very portable medium, so I can use them anywhere, and they require minimal preparation and clean-up. I love the rich and subtle colors that can be achieved through layering. The iPad is an awesome tool for art-making because there are some really powerful, yet inexpensive, art-making apps available. It's the most portable art tool I've found since it acts as a "canvas", a "medium" and a "storage portfolio" all in one!

What brand of acrylics do you use?

I use either Liquitex (medium or high viscosity) or Golden. For more information, see my guide to buying acrylic paint.

What brand of colored pencils do you use?

My favorites are Prismacolor colored pencils, which I love for their rich depth of color and layering capabilities.

Artists & Influences

Who are your favorite artists, and why?

There are a ton of artists whose work I admire, such as Beatriz Milhazes, Paul Klee, Friedensreich Hundertwasser, Yoko d'Holbachie and Catalina Estrada, all of whom I admire for their use of color and their detailed compositions. I also love the work of Karen Hull, a contemporary artist who creates work in a sort of whimsical realism. I had the good fortune to interview her for, which you can read here: One of my favorite 3-D artists is Nicario Jimenez, whose work I've seen in person at art festivals in Florida. His retablos are detailed and amazing!

These are just a few of my favorite artists. All in all I find that I'm attracted to art that is detailed and full of color.

I also admire the work of outsider artists such as Augustin Lesage (the Collection de l'Art Brut in Lausanne, Switzerland is amazing!) as well as folk artists who create traditional art inspired by their culture. Read more about that in the question below...

Are there any artists that influence your work, and how?

I love folk art from around the world - art that is created by indigenous cultures. Many forms of folk art are colorful and detailed, and carry a sense of vibrancy and spirit that I find captivating. For instance, I love Aboriginal dot paintings, Persian miniatures, Indian textiles from Rajasthan and Gujarat, Mexican Huichol art and alebrije, Peruvian retablos... the list could go on forever. I think folk art in general is a strong influence on my own work, rather than the work of any specific artists.

What inspires you? Where do you get your ideas for your art?

I'm inspired by everything, really. All I have to do is look around me. The world is full of stimulating imagery, ideas and experiences. I remember going for a walk one evening after a big rain storm, and the entire sky was filled with the most amazing shades of blue, with stacks and streaks of clouds of all sizes adding even more variation and subtlety. It was beautiful to see so many deep, rich blues in the sky all at once. So, nature inspires me endlessly, because it is always changing and always surprising.

I also get ideas from everyday life - from looking at folk art of various cultures, from my travel experiences, from random doodles in my sketchbook, from books I read and conversations with friends. I love travel photography, which ties in with my love of folk art and different cultures, so looking at photos from distant places can trigger my creativity - whether it's a textile pattern, a landscape, intricate architecture...

Do you work/collaborate with any other artists?

No, I usually work alone, because that's how I work best.

Where did you learn your artistic skills?

Most of the time, I learned on my own by simply practicing. As a kid I didn't have any formal training, but I liked to draw a lot. When I was 15 my dad noticed some of the pencil portraits I had done, and signed me up for classes at the Atelier of Plein-Air Studies in Safety Harbor, FL, USA, where I studied Classical Realism on Saturday mornings. I studied there for about a year. I learned a lot about capturing a sense of realism, but it was very different stylistically from what I was creating for my high school art classes or doodling in my sketchbooks. I took a bunch of art classes in high school, including AP Studio Art. By my Senior year, art classes were my refuge. That year I took 4 art classes, 2 academic classes (both AP), and was also a teaching assistant. Of course, I was my art teacher's assistant, which meant I was in her classroom for nearly 5 hours every weekday!

After high school I went to Warren Wilson College in North Carolina, USA, and took a couple of art classes there. After 2 years I decided to focus more on art, so I applied to the Savannah College of Art & Design in Georgia, USA. I was accepted and given a $10,000 scholarship for being a National Merit Scholar, but when I received a bill in the mail for $20,000 for the first year's tuition, it finally hit me that I just couldn't afford it! As a fine art major, getting student loans would have been too risky, so I did the practical thing and enrolled at the University of South Florida in Tampa, USA. I went to school there for 4 years on a full academic scholarship and graduated in 2004 with a BFA in Studio Art with a concentration in Painting.

While I did learn a lot from my classes, teachers and classmates, I feel like I learned the most on my own through trial and error - particularly how to paint photorealistically, and how to paint abstract. I learned simply by doing, and doing a lot - making art as much as possible. Over time, things fell into place. I'm still constantly learning new things and trying new media and techniques! The Internet provides a wealth of information about nearly everything you could possibly want to know, so most of the new info I pick up is either from the Internet or books.

What was childhood like for you in terms of art? What opportunities did you have?

I always liked to paint and draw as a kid and received a lot of praise from my teachers and classmates, but my parents didn't take any special notice, really. I won an award when I was in 2nd grade - a 3rd place ribbon in the county art fair for my grade level, for a tempera landscape painting I had made in art class. As mentioned in the previous question, my dad started taking my art skills seriously when I was 15 and showed him some pencil portraits I had done (of Kurt Cobain and Jim Morrison). We showed those drawings to the instructor at the Atelier of Plein-Air Studies in Safety Harbor, FL, USA and based on the strength of those portraits, he accepted me as a student. So, it wasn't really until I was a teenager that I began having more art opportunities, and began taking art seriously.

Why did you decide to become an artist?

I've always loved art, and it always came naturally to me. I also have a lot of other interests as well, such as writing, traveling, learning more about this fascinating world we live in, and pondering the meaning of life! When I was a student in college, I took classes in all the subjects that interested me, such as Art, Writing, Philosophy and Religion. As much as I loved studying all of these things, I came to the realization that I could only focus on one of them as a career. I sort of "fell" into art after realizing that being an artist would allow me the freedom to pursue all the other subjects that interest me, by allowing me to pursue and express those interests and ideas in my art. All in all, becoming a professional artist just felt natural.

Why do you think some people are drawn to becoming artists? And what does art mean to you on the whole?

I think people who gravitate towards art are generally people with big imaginations and sensitive souls. We are all unique individuals with our own viewpoints, our own storylines, our own dreams, memories and aspirations. All of these things are part of us, and artists are the people who try to bring these things out - giving voice to our inner visions. Art is about sharing our unique perspectives on the things around us and inside us. It's a way of communicating. The creative process is also very therapeutic and uplifting, and people can be subconsciously drawn to art for that reason. Art allows a safe environment for searching inside oneself, spending time with oneself, and then sharing one's findings with the world.


Can you give me a quick overview of how you create your paintings?

Okay, but just a quickie!

Photorealist paintings - after drawing in the subject matter, I do a quick underpainting, which is basically thinned-out washes of color (I water down the acrylics or thin them with Glazing Liquid). That way I can capture a quick overview of what goes where, and get in the basic colors and lights and shadows. Then I gradually go in and do all the detail for each object. Normally I go one object at a time, completely finishing it then moving on to the next object in the painting. I normally save the shadows and background for last. If you are interested in learning more, check out my in-depth guide called How to Paint Photorealism: A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Paint Your Own Photorealistic Paintings.

Abstract painting - These are basically many, many layers of colors, patterns and details. I normally work one color at a time, laying down different designs here and there, and slowly everything builds up. Acrylics dry quickly, so by the time I'm done with one color, the painting will be dry enough for the next layer of color. For a step-by-step example of how I created one of my abstract paintings, read my page on How to Paint Abstract Art.

Can you give me some art-making tips?

I've posted all of my art-making knowledge on my other website, Please check it out because it's quite extensive and it may answer many of your questions. While the website isn't "finished" because there is simply too much information to share and not enough hours in the day, it's grown to a fairly comprehensive stage, so I hope you find it useful!

What special techniques do you use? Can you explain to me how you created a specific piece?

Please see my art instruction site,, where I explain many of the techniques that I use to create my art. Sorry I don't have time to respond to individual requests, which is why I created my lessons on Art is Fun!

I need help getting inspired or help with a specific technique. Can you help me? Can you critique my work?

I'm sorry, I can't offer individualized attention, but I encourage you to join an online art community like The Art Colony, where you will find a bunch of artists ranging from beginners to professionals who help inspire each other and answer how-to questions. Browse through the forums, groups and blog posts to see what others are up to, and check out the gallery to see what members are creating. You'll probably learn something and get inspired!

Do you offer private art lessons?

Sorry, no.

I'd like to start making art. How do you recommend I get started?

Just go for it! Get yourself some art supplies and just see what happens. There is a ton of how-to information online to help get you started, such as my art instruction website,, where you will find a wealth of information about painting and drawing. Be sure to check out my Guide to Buying Art Supplies if you're not sure what to get.

Taking classes can certainly help too, especially for beginners, as it is always beneficial to get feedback from instructors and from peers. Plus, many people find it motivating to connect with teachers and other artists in real life. Check your local community college or local art center! Or perhaps the people at your local art supply store might know some good places to take classes.

If you can't afford art classes or there aren't any available in your community, consider joining an online art community like The Art Colony, where there are lots of beginners and experienced artists helping each other improve their art.

I'm a teacher and my students did a lesson inspired by you and your art. Can I send you photos of the art they created based on your work?

Sure, I would love to see it! You can post images on my Facebook page, or send me a message via my contact form and I'll get back to you with my email address.

I'm a student and I'm doing a report/project on you and your art. Can I ask you a few questions about you and your art?

That's great that you've chosen me as a subject for your report or project!

Most of the questions you may want to ask me have already been answered online. I get a lot of emails from students doing reports on me and my art, so I've posted those questions and answers in this handy FAQ. Please read through this FAQ, and if you can't find the answer to your question here, have a look at my Biography, my Art pages, and

I'm sorry but I can't guarantee a response if you email me with additional questions, and I can tell you in advance that if you ask me a question that is already answered in this FAQ, you won't receive a response.

How do you make the brush strokes invisible on your photorealist paintings?

I use really really thinned out layers of acrylics (with a tiny brush!), thinned with a combination of water and acrylic glazing liquid. I think that's what the old masters did too - only with oils, of course... and it's a lot easier with oils cause they stay wet for a long time! Acrylics dry quickly which is a blessing and a curse - a curse because it's so hard to blend as a result. For instance, certain shadows can take forever to paint!

When the painting is finished, I coat it with a gloss varnish, which results in a nice "sealed" effect.

If you are interested in painting your photorealistic acrylic paintings, or want to learn more about the process I use, check out my in-depth guide called How to Paint Photorealism: A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Paint Your Own Photorealistic Paintings.

Can you look at my artwork and tell me what you think?

It's great that you value my opinion, so thank you for that! I'm sorry I don't have time to comment on your artwork though.

Making a Living as an Artist

How did you get into the art business? How did you get your work noticed?

I first started putting my art online in 2002, when I built my first website, and things snowballed from there. Back then, I was an art student at the University of South Florida in Tampa, and I put some paintings up for sale on Ebay just to see what would happen. That was where I first developed a following and had many repeat customers. It was encouraging and helped pay the bills. When Etsy was launched in 2005, I switched to Etsy because it was a much more relevant place for artists to sell their work. Then, social media became "the thing" for getting noticed and connecting directly with potential buyers. First there was Myspace and Blogspot, then Facebook and Flickr, now there's Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, and a whole host of other websites where artists can display their work and generate a following. The Internet is an invaluable tool for gaining exposure, sales and business connections. I'm so grateful for the Internet - without it, my life would have taken a much different path! The Internet allows me to be a completely self-supporting artist, and my husband is my full-time business partner as we explore licensing options, book deals, e-products and other ways to monetize my art.

So, in terms of "how" I got into the art business - I simply put my work out there (over and over again), worked my butt off, took risks, hoped for the best, accepted nothing less than what I was after, and eventually it all came together!

What tips do you have for anyone who wants to make a living from their art?

My advice for budding artists is to create as much art as possible - keep a sketchbook (or several), and jot down all your ideas, doodles, observations, drawings - because you never know what might be handy or inspirational in the future. Also, I think one of the most difficult things for an artist is to actually have the discipline to sit down every day and create art. It's not always easy, as the mind can get easily distracted - but it's the only way art can get made on a consistent basis. As Thomas Edison said, "Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration."

It's also extremely important to focus on the business of being a professional artist. You can't just create great art, with the hope that you'll be discovered; you need to get it out there! Build a beautiful website (if you can't afford to pay someone, learn how to do it yourself; that's what I did), embrace social media (Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, etc), network with other artists, make contacts with galleries and anyone in the art business, and look for opportunities to license your art. If your art is good enough and you embrace a range of different strategies to sell and promote your art, it's possible to make a living. Good luck!

How can I find a publisher (to publish my coloring books / how-to books, etc)?

I'm afraid I can't give advice on how to go out and get a publisher, because I've never done that. The 3 publishers that I work with (for my coloring books, calendars and how-to books) all approached me after seeing my art online. Therefore the best advice I can give from personal experience is to create awesome art and put it online, because publishers do actively scour the Internet for new talent. (Be sure to include watermarks and/or URLs on your artwork so that people can identify and find you!)

The first step is to create a website to showcase your artwork. You don't need to be a web designer to have a stunning website these days, when services like Squarespace offer a range of professional-looking templates. I know a few talented artists who don't even have their own websites, yet they wonder why they've never been able to launch their art careers. If you want to get published, having a website is one basic factor that shows that you approach your art as a business.

Once you have a good website that showcases your artwork, it's time to build a following on social media. Create accounts on sites like Facebook, Instagram, etc devoted solely to your art, and link to those profiles from your website. This can help generate a buzz around your art, and publishers are likely to be more interested in your work if they see that others are enthusiastic about your art.

If you want to publish art instruction books, create a website or blog where you post tutorials with professional-quality photos and step-by-step instructions. This shows publishers your teaching style, writing style and art style. Once you've posted a few tutorials that you're really proud of, research publishers that publish these types of books. Many of them have submission guidelines on their website which will explain how to approach them with a proposal.

If you want to publish calendars, create 12-13 images in a square format, sharing a similar theme. Research calendar publishers and follow their submission guidelines.

If you want to publish coloring books, brainstorm a concept (theme) for your book and create at least 5-6 sample images. Research coloring book publishers and follow their submission guidelines.

To research publishers who might be interested in your work, go to a bookstore and look at books/calendars/etc that are similar to what you'd like to publish. Make a list of the publishers you find and then look them up online. You should be able to find their submission guidelines and contact info on their websites. I'm sorry I can't provide any contact info for my publishers, but if you do some research you should be able to find several publishers who match your criteria.

Good luck!

How do you self-publish your printable coloring e-books?

To create my printable coloring pages, I scanned each drawing at a high resolution (300dpi). After making some Photoshop adjustments (mainly to adjust the contrast to ensure that the white areas were pure white and the black areas were a rich black), I saved the images as PNGs. Next I put the images into Open Office (free software, similar to Word) and saved the document in PDF format. This is just one way to do it - I'm sure there are many other ways, so feel free to do further research and experiment.

There are a variety of online services that allow you to sell digital goods, such as E-Junkie, but for total beginners I'd suggest selling your coloring e-books on Etsy, because they make the process so easy. You can also easily sell individual coloring pages on Etsy.

Usage /  Copyright

I colored one of your coloring pages and would like to post it to social media or on my website. Is that okay?

Yes, absolutely! I just ask that you keep the copyright info intact at the bottom of the page or credit me in your description as the creator of the original line art. Please note that my art (colored or not) cannot be used for commercial purposes.

I colored a page from your coloring book. Can I sell it?

Here's the scoop:

Inside the front cover of my published coloring books, you'll find a copyright notice that reads:

Copy Permission: The written instructions, photographs, designs, patterns, and projects in this publication are intended for the personal use of the reader and may be reproduced for that purpose only. Any other use, especially commercial use, is forbidden under law without the written permission of the copyright holder.

"Copyright" literally means "the right to make copies". Since my art is copyrighted, by law I am the only person allowed to make copies of my art for sale. This means that it is not permitted for others to sell copies of their colored pages from my books, including (but not limited to) the selling of prints, greeting cards, shirts, fabric, etc as well as posting the artwork on print-on-demand sites, licensing the artwork to companies or charities, etc. As it says in my books, my publisher and I grant users the right to make reproductions for personal use only.

According to the First Sale Doctrine, you are only allowed to sell your actual colored page taken directly from my book - the page that you literally removed from the book and colored in with markers, colored pencils, etc. Those are the only conditions under which you can sell your colored page from my book (but read the next paragraph before you decide to do so). Bear in mind that if you made copies (reproductions) of the original B+W page from my books and then colored in that copy, you are not allowed to sell it - you can only sell the original page that was literally pulled from the original book. This is similar to how you can purchase a novel, highlight it or do whatever you want with it, and then sell it - but you're not allowed to purchase a novel, make photocopies of it and then sell the photocopied version, because that would be copyright infringement. Also note that the First Sale Doctrine only applies to my published coloring books, and not my printable (PDF) coloring books or free printable downloads. Because my printable coloring books and free downloads exist in a digital format, when they're printed out the resulting print-out is considered a "copy" of the original digital image and therefore users are not allowed to sell their colored versions.

Please note that if you do attempt to sell your actual colored pages from my published coloring books (as described above) and you don't include proper credit to me as the original artist, then that may also be considered copyright infringement. Legally, when someone colors in a coloring page, the resulting image is called a "derivative" because it is based entirely on an existing artwork. Adding color to a B+W image is not enough for the result to be considered an entirely new artwork, because the colored version simply would not exist without the original B+W version. (For example, that would be like colorizing a B+W movie and then trying to sell it or pass it off as your own creation.) It is really poor form if someone tries to sell their colored pages from coloring books as if it's their own artwork, without crediting the original artist. Doing so opens that person up to all kinds of potential legal issues, so please don't do it.

If you have any questions about copyright, please consult a copyright attorney. Since I'm posting this publicly I need to add a disclaimer that I am not an attorney and none of this is "legal advice". If you want to learn more about copyright law, consider reading some NOLO books about copyright, intellectual property, etc. They're great books. Several years ago I read their book Patent, Copyright and Trademark: An Intellectual Property Desk Reference and found it to be very thorough. I also read the entire section of the US Code pertaining to copyright law, which you can read online at the US Copyright Office website here.

Also, please remember that my art is my livelihood. It makes me SO happy when people enjoy coloring in my art, but it puts a dampener on things (to say the least) when people try to complicate things by selling my art as their own. Thankfully, this rarely happens, so THANK YOU for respecting my art and my livelihood!

Amazon removed my listing because the item I was selling infringed on your art. I swear I had no idea it was an infringement and I promise not to sell anymore of it. Can you write to Amazon and withdraw your complaint?

Sorry, but that is not possible. The only way Amazon will allow me to "withdraw my complaint" is if I retract my original complaint by explicitly putting in writing that I will allow the seller to continue selling the item in question, and as I'm sure you can understand, there's no way I'm going to give permission for someone to sell an infringing item. Amazon doesn't allow retractions to come with "restrictions" - for example, I can't withdraw my complaint by telling them that the seller emailed me and agreed to never sell the item again. To Amazon, that is not a valid retraction because it comes with the restriction that the particular item in question is not allowed to be sold. These are Amazon's rules, not mine, so there's nothing I can do for you - sorry. I have tried a couple times in the past to see if I could patch things up between Amazon and the infringing seller and the result is exactly what I described above, so honestly there is nothing I can do for you.

I completely understand that some Amazon sellers are running a small business and infringement complaints can negatively affect a seller's account, which is why in the past I tried to let Amazon know if an understanding had been reached between me and the seller. However, there's obviously nothing I can do about Amazon's policies and experience has shown that it's futile for me to even try. It's important that you understand that I too run a small business and need to do whatever is necessary to protect my livelihood. If you sell on Amazon, it is up to you and you alone to make sure the items you sell are not infringements. I suggest you chalk it up as a learning experience and move on. Thank you for your understanding.

Can I use your artwork in my logo / store banner / etc?

It is not permitted to use my artwork (in whole or in part, even if it's just a little part) as your logo, store banner, or any type of decoration in your online shop or item listing. This is considered commercial use. Trust me, it would be better in the long run for your company if you use your own artwork anyway, since that's what creating a brand is all about!

Can I use your artwork in a poster / flyer / brochure that I am creating for my non-profit organization / school / community event? You will be credited on the poster and the poster will not be sold, it's for non-profit use only.

Sorry, I can't allow you to use my artwork for free, even if your organization is a non-profit or a school. Art is my business and I get paid for it. There are companies that pay to use my art and it wouldn't be fair to them if I let others use my artwork for free... and it wouldn't be fair to me, either. Thank you for your understanding.

Can I sell your art on my handicrafts - that is, t-shirts, jewelry, quilts, etc that I make by hand?

No. Anyone who wants to sell my art on their products needs to contact my licensing agents at Infinity Licensing - however, be aware that I'm seeking to partner with reputable companies who can put my art onto products that will be distributed to retail stores. Unless you have signed a licensing agreement with me, you are not permitted to sell my art in any form.

To sell my art without my permission is technically called copyright infringement, which is illegal, and I do take legal action when necessary. If you happen to notice my art being sold on products and you're not sure whether it is an illegal reproduction or an authorized use, please contact me with a link to the item. Thank you in advance!

Can I paint a mural based on your artwork for private display in my classroom / house?

As long as you include a visible credit to me as the original artist, and only if you are painting the mural yourself and you are not paying anyone to paint it for you, then yes you can paint a mural based on my art in your home or classroom. If payment is involved, then it's considered commercial use and is not allowed. The credit should be something like "Mural based on art by Thaneeya McArdle", etc.

Can I recreate your art for public display, like in a sidewalk chalk festival or a public mural?

Under 2 conditions: As long as you are not getting paid to recreate my art, and as long as you include a visible credit to me as the original artist, then yes you can recreate my art for public display. The credit should be something like "Mural based on art by Thaneeya McArdle", etc. If you are being paid, then this would be considered commercial use and is not allowed.

I'm a teacher preparing a presentation / handout / lesson / etc on you and your art. Can I use some of your art/information in my presentation?

Yes, as long as you provide proper credit to me as the author/artist of the information that you use, including my name and website ( and/or, whichever one is relevant to your lesson). Thanks!

I'm really inspired by your style, and I created some paintings based on your art. Can I sell them?

First, thank you for asking in advance! When someone paints something that is directly inspired by another artist's work, the proper etiquette is to include a credit to the artist in the title of the work. For example, "Title of Artwork, inspired by Thaneeya McArdle" or "Title of Artwork, after Thaneeya McArdle".

As for selling those pieces - that's where it gets iffy. There's a big difference between being inspired by another artist and copying the other artist's work. If you are inspired by another artist's work, you use the elements that you admire in that person's work to create your own unique composition, to express your own unique vision. If you've copied another artist's work, it means you've used the other artist's specific design elements or motifs in your work without changing it to any significant degree, so that when the original and the copy are placed side by side, it's obvious that one is a copy of the other. Copying another artist's work is dangerous ground, especially if you try to sell your art, because if the amount of copying is significant it could be considered copyright infringement, which is illegal, and you could be held liable for damages.

I really encourage you to develop your own unique style, rather than emulate someone else's. Copying another artist's style is helpful for learning how to make art, but if you want to be taken seriously as an artist then you need to create a body of work that is unique to you. It can actually be damaging to an artist's reputation if others discover that the artist has mainly copied someone else. So feel free to be inspired and learn from other artists, but explore your medium and investigate the concepts that appeal to you to make your art truly your own. Good luck!

Can I get your permission to have your art tattooed on my body?

Yes, I'm very flattered that you'd like to get my art tattooed on you! You have my permission. All I ask is that if the tattoo artists displays the tattoo online or offline, that s/he credit me as the original artist. Likewise if you post a pic of the tattoo online, please include a credit to me as the artist. Thank you! I'd love to see how your tattoo turned out, so feel free to send me a message or post on my Facebook page!

Can I display your artwork on my website?

If you are excited about my art and would like to share it with everyone you know by posting my art on your website, blog, facebook, etc, you may do this as long as you include a clear credit to me as the artist, with a link to my website - and as long as you display my art as its own distinct image and not as part of a banner, logo, header, etc. Please note that it is not permitted to post my artwork without a credit or link. To display my art without proper credit or permission is copyright infringement.

Please also note that commercial use is strictly forbidden without my prior authorization, which involves a signed contract specifying the terms of use for the image. "Commercial use" can include, but is not limited to: inclusion of my artwork in books (print or digital), film, software, product design, website templates, or any other venture for which you will receive a profit.

Can I pin your art on Pinterest / display it on my blog / post it on my Facebook account so my friends can see it / etc?

As long as you include a clear credit to me as the artist, with a link to my website, then you can share my art on Pinterest, your blog, Facebook, etc. It is not permitted to post my artwork without a credit or link.

Can I use your artwork on my personal, non-commercial website as a background / header / etc?

Sorry, I can't allow this, because headers and backgrounds are a form of "branding", even if your intended use is personal and non-commercial. If you like my art and want to display it on your site, such as in a blog post, then you can post an image of my art with a clear credit to me as the artist and a link to my site. It is not permitted to post my artwork without a credit or link.

If I send you a message asking to use your artwork for _________ and I don't receive a reply, can I assume that it's okay to use your artwork?

No. If I don't respond to your request it's likely because the answer your your query is already answered here in this FAQ. If I don't reply it means I have not given permission for my art to be used in the manner you described.

Why is it so important to credit you and provide a link to your site if I want to post your art on my blog/etc?

When my art gets posted without a credit or a link, that makes it really difficult for others to know who created the art. This can cause all kinds of problems, and actually contributes to the problem of copyright infringement. I spend a lot of time creating my art and it's only fair that I receive proper credit whenever and wherever it appears online.

Also, when my art gets posted on a website without my permission and without a credit or link, that site might start to receive traffic from Google Image Search for my images, which isn't fair to me at all, and actually hurts my web traffic and my business. Sites that post my art in that way might receive a DMCA notice for my work to be removed from their site.

Where can I find your free Twitter backgrounds?

I used to offer free Twitter backgrounds featuring my art, but these backgrounds are no longer available. Unfortunately there were instances in which they were used without respect for their Terms of Use - for instance I have seen the backgrounds used with my name and website deliberately removed from the art and I have seen people use them on commercial websites or as banners. I appreciate those who used them as intended, especially those who wrote and told me how much they loved them!

I saw your art for sale on ________. Is this an authorized use of your work?

If you see my art for sale on a product and you're not sure whether it is an authorized use of my art or if it's been used without my permission, then please send me a message with a link to the item. My art is my livelihood, so I take copyright infringement very seriously and take legal action if necessary. When a person or a company uses my art without permission, it is legally considered copyright infringement, which is a federal offense. I appreciate any leads I get on potential infringements, so if you are not sure whether a company is licensed to sell my art, please contact me. Thank you!

I'm a student preparing a report / project / presentation / etc and I was wondering if I can include an image of your art if I give you credit?

Sure, if you are a student creating a report, project or presentation and you would like to use or display my artwork, you may do so (for educational, non-commercial use only) as long as you include a credit to me and my website (Thaneeya McArdle /

Business Inquiries

I would like to license your art. Who do I contact with my proposal?

You can contact my licensing agents at Infinity Licensing. They look forward to hearing from you!

I'm interested in discussing a book deal.

Awesome! Please send me a message via my contact form with details about you, your publishing company, the book proposal, the amount of the advance, the royalty rate, the time frame, and any other relevant info. I look forward to hearing from you!

I own a gallery and would love to show your artwork on consignment.

Cool! Feel free to contact me with details about you, your gallery, the type of work you are interested in, the number of pieces, and your time frame for the show. Depending on your schedule and the type of work you are interested in, we might be able to work something out - but in general, I am busy with multiple projects as well as traveling the world with my awesome husband, so I don't have any work immediately available to hang in a gallery. However, you never know, so do contact me. I appreciate your interest, and if I happen to be unavailable this time around, I hope you will keep me in mind for a future show.

Can I interview you for my blog / magazine / newspaper etc?

I do welcome all media inquiries, depending on my schedule and the nature of your publication. Please contact me with info about you, your publication, stats about your readership, your article idea, and the time frame you are working with. If it feels like a good fit, I'll let you know if I am available for an interview via email. Please note that I don't do phone or Skype interviews. Thanks for your interest!

Can you create a custom logo / banner / etc for me?

I don't create custom artwork; sorry!

Can I pay you to put a text link on one of your websites?

No, I don't place paid text links on any of my sites.