An Open Letter to Budding Artists

In the past few months, I received a number of emails from budding artists asking for advice. One, who I particularly found sweet and endearing, wished she could be "half as successful as" me. Another one thought she would have to give up her life to her art.

We live in a time where a small success may seem augmented. Social media has the capacity to echo our 'doings' far beyond than what we could ever reach alone. And, if you are doing it right, you do attain that elusive notion of success.

So what advice did I dispense? Un-sugar coated...I can honestly say that this is the best career in the world. But it is also the hardest to be successful at. The earlier you start, the better. Practice daily! It is the only way to do the best. Even it is just a squiggle, but do it.

NEVER compare yourself to anyone. NEVER! Your uniqueness will seem like a flaw. You are the Amazing YOU! Not Picasso. Not Dali. Not Erte. Not David Downton, Katie Rodgers or SuJean Rim. This piece of advice is one I have to CONSTANTLY remind myself, because there will always be artists that are better than you and more successful than you. It takes years to be successful, and their current skill level, is a mark of the years they have spent practicing this wonderful skill. You will get there too.

Be proud of every sketch. Don`t censor yourself. Always post them. Why? Because usually what you think it`s flawed, will be loved by everyone else. On the opposite spectrum, will also hear criticism. That is all that is, criticism and it is a valuable tool that can help you grow. Be open to it and wise enough to discern when it is not constructive.

Form heroes. Living and dead. I love Jean Cocteau, but I know why I love him and what parts of my work he inspires. If you are inspired by anyone, learn from them. Learn why you love them. Why you find their lines appealing or their color palettes call to you. Know the reasons and how you can apply that knowledge to your work.

Read books. That`s right! Educate yourself. Find who is the authority on what you want to know. Here is some books I have read; " Ignore Everyone", "It's Not How Good You Are, Its How Good You Want to Be", "Whatever You Think, Think the Opposite", 'The Motivation Manifesto", Andy Warhol`s Idea Notebook (not a book but a sketchbook prompter), "Steal Like An Artist". These books will help you think abstractly about your adventure in art.

Leave a legacy. One day, you will not be here. But your artwork will survive you. Your family, children, grandchildren will admire the wonderful person who created those pieces! Why not make that artwork be the most meaningful? Did you know that Beethoven`s 6th Symphony was meant to depict actions and pictures in the music he composed? Illustration, or fashion illustration, doesn`t have to be a shallow en-devour. It can be meaningful and lovely.

Know that, you do not have to be half as successful as anyone. The perceived success of a artist is just a landmark of their hard work thus far. Work hard, know your goals, keep motivated and you will reap the benefits of being "as successful as", only you can be. 

I once hear that you never truly master anything. You improve yourself daily. But by the time you die, you have set a standard for someone else to improve upon. That is all we, as illustrators, hope our work will be. The new standard.

Demi Lovato #BeRadiant World Tour

This past Friday I was a guest at the Demi Lovato World Tour which kicked off right here in Hershey, Pa. I really couldn't tell you how amazing, it was because you had to be there.

Demi sings as she takes a panorama picture of the audience.

Standing in front of Demi`s Wardrobe


Bea Miller singing Living in the Real World

The positive energy, great opening acts and a fantastic anti-bullying message was enough to get you motivated in your own corner of the world. Her introduction video had a quote that touched the most: "It`s not how hard you get hit. It`s how hard you can get hit and keep going."

Demi Lovato Intro from elaine biss on Vimeo.

Spencer West speaking about the moments and words that changed his life. #uplifting

If you are being bullied, regardless of the reasons, I understand. It`s taken me years to get over my own experiences with bullying/cyber bullying. But something amazing happens after you emerge from it. In the words of Spencer West: "I’m a warrior • I’ve got thicker skin • I’m a warrior • I’m stronger than I’ve ever been • My armor is made of steel • You can’t get in • I’m a warrior • And you can never hurt me again"

I also met the fantastic Ellen Ross and you should meet her too! Visit her at

Disclaimer-Though I am not being compensated to write this post, I was gifted tickets and products from the sponsors.

Bloomingdale's Fashion Show


The Bloomingdale's Fashion Show was amazing! Between the models, the cookies with my image printed and the fantastic music, it was an a spectacular time.

Here are some moments and illustrations from the show!!
Pre-show moment I like to call "The cookie and me!"
My handler for the day, Michelle Rene'!
Some pieces ready to go!!
DJ Christian L. mixing tunes!

Every one got an illustration!!
You can see more in my Instagram at

Dee Ocleppo

I have never seen a purse so cute that it could be a hat. The beautiful Dee Ocleppo, otherwise known as Mrs. Hilfiger on Instagram, loved this piece!!

The beauty of these handbags is that you can have 3 looks with one bag. Can you beat that?

Luxe just went next level at @mrshilfiger's launch event at @saksbeverlyhills #DeeOcleppo #zoereporter

She reposted the little drawing I made!!

They are like a work of art!! Get one at

The Paris Fair Vector Set

The Paris Fair has been 4 years in the making. Carefully extracted from an old book on decorating found on etsy, The Paris Fair follows old style design to a T.

From logos, signage and patterns the set comes with 45 ready to use shields, the original 27 separate elements with 6 brushes for your to edit as you wish!

I actually spent hours creating shields. Feeling like could spend more time doing this, I decide it to release them and allow you to run away with your creativity and create hundreds more.

Created on Adobe CC, it can be opened in earlier versions. Updates (not currently available) will be available to include PSD files.
Get it here
The Paris Fair by Elaine Biss. Copyright ©2010-2014 All Rights Reserved.