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world horses by E.C. Sullivan © 2016 E.C. Sullivan. All Rights Reserved.

So you had a thriving creative business going (I had both art and music) and this corona plague came along and the government shut you down. I don’t think any of us were prepared for that, as I don’t think any of us have lived through times like these.

I had several different sources of income – fine art sales, teaching art classes, commissions for public art (murals and sculpture) and I was actually making the most money playing music gigs. Suddenly all the music venues, art galleries, art shows, art classes, and yes, even the public art commissions I had won and was about to start, were closed down. March 7 was my last gig.

I was so angry I wanted to throw something. I just got angrier and angrier. Which, of course, didn’t do any good at all.

Right now the world needs art and music more than ever before. Anything you can do to make people smile. I started a YouTube channel and put my music online. On facebook, too. Made a website for music. And let me tell you, this was a big deal for me – I didn’t know how to do any of that before! I’m 71 years old and learning to create a youtube channel was quite a feat. (The Bess and Mike Show on Youtube.)

I’ve been painting – I’ve been posting new and old paintings all over the place online. I’m going to paint a mural on the fence at my house. I created an art gallery in my house that will open as soon as people are allowed to gather again.

I’ve taken several online classes. I was invited to perform on a famous YouTube channel – that was a hoot. We had an online tip jar which actually netted us about $500. Not as much as we would have made performing regular gigs, but imagine that – people liked our music so much that they gave us tips! I’m floored.

I have my little small town projects, too. I planted more in my garden so I can give some away. I have chickens so I gave away eggs. I have an incubator which has now been running full time for almost 9 weeks. I’m hatching out chicks, because now my neighbors want to keep chickens, too. I’ve given away chicks to two neighbors who are first time chicken keepers and I have a waiting list for the next two batches to hatch in the incubator.

The game now has got to be how can you help? How can you make people smile? How can you spread a little joy and bring some beauty to the world? This pandemic will be over one day and what will be your legacy? You can do something about it, and you can help others get through and you can bring joy to the world.

Wild Spirit Artworks

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Introduce myself and a thought about art

Hello guys, I am L D Sledge. This is my first post on IAC and I intend to post regularly. I am a writer, author, poet, copywriter, visual artist and mess with a piano keyboard, guitar and a couple of other things as a mediocre player. But I love making visual and physical art whether it is an oil or acrylic canvas, a great shot with my camera, piano melody, a flower arrangement or a string of words on a page or pages that gives that joyous heart bursting joy of having flowed something extraordinary. It is all art, whether a fleeting shadow or a childhood memory of geese flying across a great yellow winter moon, with their lonely cries in the night, or the scent of a rose. This world is a sumptuous feast of eye, ear and sensual candy just waiting to be slurped up. It is all candy to me.

The test is not technical perfection. The test is if it creates an emotional impact on the observer. What impact does the Pieta have on you? If you have seen it, as I have, in situ, right there before my eyes, you would receive a palpable impact, as I did. Even looking at a picture of it does that. The artist imbued that marble with his very spirit that lives on and on in the stone, singing its beautiful melody through every molecule and atom of its self transferred through the hammer and chisel of a great artist.

But an artist, whether a writer or painter, makes a serious mistake at trying to create this impact on others. If a writer writes to please others, to make money, as a vanity exercise or as a effort to make an impression on others, it changes the essence of the form to something other than real art in my opinion. An artist must just open the doors and let it out, flowing, without concern of any other person or mind of others, except to please the artist and to make sure it speaks a language that can be understood.


Too much individuality makes it unintelligible, and a thing that renders itself even ugly to my mind and it has an instant effect the moment I lay eyes on it. I went to the Dali museum in St. Petersburg recently, in hopes of seeing something deserving of the publicity. Sorry. His work is strange, kind of scary, gross in a way, certainly not something that you can take away feeling inspired, delighted or aesthetically gratified. He just made lots of noise with melting clocks, etc. There were two or three very excellent pieces, like the Last Supper, which was inspired. And no double he was a fantastic artist. I see good artists waste it on gross, ugly, scary things. That is just my viewpoint.

Art should communicate, create a “good” impact that makes a person better for the experience, taking away a good feeling, free, happy and loving life more than before. How to do that? Just be yourself, and if it is ugly, it may be beautiful to you; don’t fret over it.  Just let it out. Let your art be you. You live on as you in your art. It is your communication line, you have given it life through your brush or pen or fingers on the strings. It may make them feel good, laugh or cry for joy, (maybe not) but just be you, you are eyecandy. But most of all. Just do it. 

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Wonderful Dreamscape Comments from 2019!

Flying Free Dreamscape by ILIA

Whenever I create a new Dreamscape, I post it on my Facebook page asking for feedback and name suggestions. I believe in 2019 I received the best feedback and the most wonderful acknowledgements – EVER! I’d like to share some here:

“Beautiful!!!!” DC
“Great colors!” LH
“This is my favorite so far! It evokes warmth and love and beauty. Really lovely gush of emotion!” RR
Voyager Dreamscape created by ILIA
“Oh wow that is awesome!” EW
“This image really spoke to me on a very very deep level.” PT
“I suggest ‘The Universe Within’ For within the universe that we share with others is a universe that is solely our own. In it, exist dreams and spaces privy only to ourselves; and it is from this universe that dreams spring forth. It is an awesome piece!” MG
“Wow! Beautiful and protected and infinite on the inside as all beauty is.” RP
“Your beautiful piece reminded me of a book by that title where a girl was magically transported to a place I imagined looked like this.” VL
Forest of the Fairies“Fabulous! You are a great artist!” TD
“I am at a loss for words with this one. I love it!” BL
“Beautiful. Have no name but WOW!” RVDF
“This is haunting – love the flows in it.” JH
“No name but it’s a glorious feeling in my heart. Splendid piece! TH
“Wowowow!!!! So Beautiful!!!!!!” EW
“It’s a very ethereal and beautiful work of art that speaks to me of something that’s not ‘something’” VL
“Gorgeous!” GB
“It’s beautiful!” JK
dreamscapes by ILIA“Your Dreamscapes are unbelievably aesthetic! I don’t know how you create these, but they are really, truly a work of art. I can think of many classical musical pieces that could be played while viewing these – your dreamscapes are soothing and pleasing to the soul, as it were.” LT
“Imagination, its realization, it’s an artist’s gift, and ILIA expresses her imagination beautifully.” MAS
“Thank you for inspiring people – especially me! Keep creating ILIA!! Your artwork is awesome!” CM
“ILIA’s Dreamscapes are mind blowingly beautiful, haunting, and impossible but there it is.” LDS

Thank you very, very much to all that participated with my Name it Game this year.  I sincerely appreciate the wonderful comments and amazing name suggestions!


You can find my Dreamscapes at my ILIA LIFE website.

© Copyright 2019 ILIA.
All Rights Reserved.

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Dreamscapes by ILIA

Cliff Garden digital art designed by ILIA. copyright 2016. All Rights Reserved

I’m a multi-talented artist with the purpose of inspiring others.  The inspiration can come in many forms such as create, attain goals, belief that dreams can be accomplished and more.

Because of putting my art out there where people can see it in place such as on Facebook, I’ve not only had people comment about being inspired but also have had people walk up to me and let me know that I inspired them.  It’s very nice to experience the feedback as it validates my efforts to achieve my purpose.

The art you see here is called digital art.  The foundation for the pieces are fractals.  A fractal is a never-ending pattern. Fractals are infinitely complex patterns that are self-similar across different scales and created using math formulas and shapes. A fractal is created by repeating a simple process over and over.  Once I create one or many fractals, I use other graphics programs to get the exact effects that I want including combining or using parts of the fractals created.  The last program I use is Adobe Photoshop to fine tune the details and colors.

One digital art piece takes several hours to create.  There are no “oridinals” like with a painting as its a digital piece of art.  The digital art is printed on archival paper or canvas.

Cliff Garden digital art designed by ILIA. copyright 2016. All Rights Reserved
Cliff Garden – © 2016 ILIA. All Rights Reserved.

Here’s some of the recent feedback about Cliff Garden:
“such beautiful colors!!” BD
“That’s beautiful” DD
“I love the perspective viewpoint of it and the colors on dark background!” SS
“very well done” JJ
“I like all of your stuff but I think this my favorite” SA
“Love this! It’s so theta!” TD
“OH that is soooooooooooo awesome” EW
“I love this. The complementary color is perfect.” LDS
“this is beautiful” DDA
“Love it! It lights up my space!” LT
“Gorgeous!” PHR
“It looks like a Deep Undersea Garden! Actually at the darkest deepest depths of the ocean there ARE fish and corals and plants that glow in the dark and are their own sources of light.” CW
“very nice” SKA
“Wonderous!” CWS
“Neat art! Good job!” DA
“This is awesome, best yet – just my opinion – love it.” RD
“Gorgeous!” TN
“Crystals were what I first thought of when I saw the pic.” LD
“This is gorgeous!” CP
“I love this one. Stored Energy Release.” BL

Efflorescence digital srt designed by ILIA. © 2016 ILIA. All Rights Reserved.
Efflorescence – © 2016 ILIA. All Rights Reserved.

The definition of Efflorescence is: 1. the state or a period of flowering; 2. an example or result of growth and development. Here’s the comments about it:
“Very ethereal & many points of interest.” I like it. NG
“Beautiful.” SS
“Very pretty!” BD
“Beautiful!” DA
“This is one of your best. Keep it up!” BP
“Thoughtful happyness. I love you and what you are doing!” HG
“Very beautiful!” TD
“I love this one.” MLC
“Wow that is gorgeous.” JL
“I love this form of art. I haven’t done one like this for over a million years. Can’t wait to see the next ones. The name is perfect.” BL

Thanks for stopping by.  You can find more of my digital art works at Designed by ILIA.

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Adroit Use of Art

adroit artists at Indie Artists ClubIn order to understand and appreciate art (or even to create art, for that matter) you must understand one thing: it is a form of communication.  The artist tries to communicate to the viewer, and if it is a good work of art, the artist’s technical skills are up to a point where the viewer understands the communication.  This applies to any form of art: painting, writing, film, poetry, sculpture, jewelry making, and theater – any form of art.  Good art creates an emotional response from the viewer.  Hopefully, an inspiring response.

Adroit artists have been working since the beginning of time to communicate through their art.  Cave paintings still communicate to us today and some are exceptionally moving, such as the paintings in the caves of Lascaux in France.  Those prehistoric artists were good – very good.  View the panels as a work of art, without nit picking why one guy has a spear and one guy has a bow and arrow.  Leave that to archeologists. There are equally beautiful artworks carved into rocks in the American southwest and in Africa.  Look at them as artworks. Let the archeologists worry about religious significance of small figures of a religion they will never know and cannot find. (Maybe those artists just created art and wanted to communicate the majesty of their world.)

If you are looking for art to hang on your wall at home or hang on your ears, search for something that communicates to you.  If the earrings you find are the colors, design and style that communicate to you, those are the ones you should have.  Diamonds are always popular, but very few diamond designs are really art – people buy them to show off wealth, not because an adroit artist created one-of-a-kind handmade earrings that make you happy.  Maybe that’s all the message there is – it makes you happy.  What a great message from an artist!

The art you like does not have to match the couch.  Perhaps it will because it is the colors you like and you have already used them in your home.  But if it is something that communicates to you, it is something you should have.  If it isn’t in your budget, buy a print now, and an original when your ship comes in.  If it doesn’t match the couch, have it anyway – it will make you happy and other people will enjoy it for many years. If an artwork “speaks” to you, don’t pass it by.

There are a few artists who try to create artworks that offend.  There are others who try to create art in a way that nobody but a “select few” can understand (and those “select few” are faking it).  Most artists want to communicate good things or exciting things and they want to make their viewers happy or excited.  The best artists want the viewer to contribute to the artwork.  The emotional response can be the contribution, or as another example, the artist may paint only a minimum and ask the viewer’s eye to fill in the rest.  Chinese brushwork art often uses this technique.  The painting itself is a few masses and a few lines, but the viewer can put them together to see a delightful scene or animal or whatever the artist has painted. Some of these paintings are the most beautiful artworks.

At one time the Catholic Church was the major patron of artists, and since artists wanted to eat, they created religious art.  But they certainly took creative liberties, and much of the art from this period (Renaissance) is incredibly inspiring even if you are not a Christian.

The Indie Artists Club is a group of adroit artists who have the skills, most from years of practice, the allow them to create art that communicates.  You can find them right here at Indie Artists Club. Browse the art. Enjoy the prints and paintings and jewelry and photographs and carvings.  As more artists join, there will be new forms of art. It will continue to expand, so browse often to see new faces and art.

Artists are grateful that many people want to hang paintings over the couch.  Artists wish to make a living, too.  But do not settle for something that matches the curtains, just because it matches the curtains.  Find an artwork that “speaks” to you and hang that over the couch.  You will enjoy it.  Most artists try to raise your spirits and painting by painting inspire a happier world.  You can help, too, by displaying art.