FAQ

Before you email me, please check if your question is answered here. I’m always happy to help out and answer questions, but you’ll probably find the answers here or in my Blog articles already.

Also, when you email you’ll get a much better and more helpful response if the question is specific. If you ask “What tips can you give me to be successful selling my art?”, I’d have to write a book’s worth back to you to be useful at all, there’s just too much. But if you ask something like “What brand of paint do you use?” or “How can I scan my artwork well?” I’m more able to give a useful answer. I don’t know everything, but I’ll always do what I can to help.

Frequently Asked Questions (15)

Sorry, I am not taking custom artwork commissions at this time. I’m currently only working part time until my daughter begins school. I may open for commissions again at that time.

The hiring process


Before beginning your artwork we will discuss via email your requirements to clarify the details, and I will give an estimated quote for the completion of the artwork. A deposit of 25% of the total commission cost is required before I start work. This is non-refundable and will cover all the work in researching and developing your concept.

I will start working on a sketch of your artwork and email a watermarked file of the sketch for approval. You can request any changes, additions, or approve the sketch to be finished. Don’t feel shy in telling me you don’t like something. It’s your commission after all. A total of 3 sketch revisions/additions can be made before extra payment is required. Sketch revisions will not be done that reflect a change of character or design to your original description without revisiting the original quote.

Once you are happy with the linework the balance of the total payment will be requested before the artwork will be completed. Once the payment is received, work will be done to complete the picture. You will be kept up to date with the progress of your painting and will be sent a file of your finished work for approval at which stage some minor changes are still allowed. Only changes suitable to the medium and artwork will be allowed at this stage, and anything deemed more than minor will incur further repaint fees. On approval of the finished artwork, the artwork will be delivered to you in your chosen way.

Standard Terms


Medium- While I can and have worked in traditional mediums (acrylic and watercolour paint on paper being my preferred traditional medium), I am currently limited to working with digital mediums while I have an infant in the house. I can create a traditional medium artwork if desired, but there will be an additional surcharge, and it will take longer than digital work as I will only be able to work on the artwork when the child is not in the house.

Time Frame- Upon receiving your deposit I will book you into my schedule and let you know when I am likely to start on your sketch. It would be my intention to deliver a sketch within one week of receiving the deposit and a further 2-3 weeks after final payment for the artwork to be completed, depending on the size and complexity and other commitments at the time. You will be updated generally once a week on the artworks progress as it is done.

Artwork Usage Terms- Unless otherwise specified, I keep all rights to an artwork I create, including but not limited to printing rights and copyright. If you would like rights to print or sell products created with your commissioned artwork a contract must be negotiated and a usage fee paid. For any commercial use of the artwork, including such things as book covers, it is best to negotiate image usage terms before beginning the commission. You are allowed to print personal copies of your commission and post your commission on the internet without a contract. At times I may decide I would like to make and sell prints of a commissioned artwork. If you do not want my to do this with your work, or do not want your commission shown in my online galleries, please let me know. If I believe your artwork is suitable to release as a print in my range, you may receive a discount on your total commission price.

Rate- My standard illustration rate is $70aud per hour. I am also a qualified graphic designer and for commissions such as book covers or anything that has both an illustrative and design component, my design rate is $50aud per hour.

Limited Availability-  Please note that I cannot take all commissions due to time constraints and will be selective with the commissions I choose to take on. Make yourself familiar with the style and themes of my work. I am willing to try anything, how ever, as my time is limited, I prefer to only take commissions which are suited to my style and allow me a greater amount of artistic license while creating your artwork. While I enjoy a challenge, YOUR artwork is not the time for me to be pushing my limits. I charge by the hour, and themes or subjects I’m not familiar with will take me longer to paint and I cannot guarantee the final result.

What people have said about their commissioned art by Selina


I have just received it and not even printed it out yet but what I see I think is FANTASTIC – PHENOMENAL – you are really good
Morten Interruption Productions “Hadets Vanvid” Logo

Wonderful! Thank you for responding so soon. I’m very pleased with the finished portrait! I knew you could do it! It’ll be great to get the prints for it, to add to the others. I can’t wait to see what you come up with for Calisa!
Jennifer
Character portraits

I will have an enormous smile on my face all day… I think this style of drawing for this kind of story would be absolutely perfect. I really am lost for words – thankyou so very much.
Ryan
Childrens Illustration

Oh my goodness, it’s Perfect! It’s beautiful! I wouldn’t change a thing, that’s just exactly it. Even the gesture is just the thing. Thank you so much! :D
Juliet
 Character Portrait

That looks great! Thank you for making the changes. I look forward to seeing it in color… Wow! That turned out even better than I thought. I love the coloring.
Martin
Aryus Design Studio “Archer” Cover

I think it is ABSOLUTELY magnificent and everything I hope for!!!!!!!!!!!
Michelle Fairy Artworks

Wow… she’s gorgeous! Thanks for a wonderful job. Everything’s just perfect!
Micheal Character Portrait

Sketch Preview: Simply outstanding…don’t change a thing! In my mind, this is exactly what I was looking for.
Final Artwork: Everyone I show Matthias to is just floored by how good he looks. You have amazing ability. I am just thrilled to death.
Raymond Character Portrait

Wow – you are amazing! The design is so beautiful! Thanks so much, Gorgeous. You are definitely the most creative and inspiring artist i know.
Emilie Logo Design

Yes! You can purchase signed collectable books on different themes with my artwork in the shop.

I have! Working with author Lucy Cavendish, we have created The Wild Wisdom of the Faery Oracle deck and the Oracle of the Mermaids deck. Have a look in the Shop for how to order.

Sorry, it’s my strict business policy that I don’t allow the use of my artwork for other people’s business identity. My artwork is my business persona, so I cannot allow other business to also use it for theirs. I hope you understand.

Sure, get in touch by email and I’ll see what I can do.

There are a couple of ways that licensing art normally works which I’ll describe below. Both require an agreement/contract signed by both parties, artist and business.

Ongoing royalties- This is the option normally taken by business that have the necessary bookkeeping in place. This option requires a way to track sales, so that at the end of each payment period (normally quarterly but can be monthly, yearly, etc), the company generates a sales report which lists all sales of products using the licensed artwork. The artist is then paid a royalty (normally averages 10% net but ranges depending on costs and pricing) for all products sold with their art on. This goes on for the duration of the contract. 3 years is a standard duration after which it can continue as is or be re-negotiated or terminated.

Pros- No upfront cost to company. Only pay for what is sold.

Cons- bookkeeping and management time calculating royalties.

Upfront payment-

For companies who don’t have the means or desire to track royalties, they can instead pay an upfront image usage fee per artwork, and then be able to use that artwork on their products (as laid out in the agreement) without further cost. Sometimes this is a payment per duration, e.g. one payment for three years worth of use. The payment amount is generally negotiated and calculated to reflect an estimate of what the royalties may have been over the same duration had they been paid ongoing instead of upfront.

I normally recommend the ongoing royalties if it can be managed, however if you have any doubts about committing to the ongoing commitment that option requires (many companies start forgetting after the first few payments if it’s not something they are used to) then perhaps the second option is best.

My correct name is Selina Fenech (frequently confused as Selena Fenech or Selina French). Fenech is a Maltese name, from the country of Malta in the Mediterranean. Selina is of Greek origin, and my parents told me they picked it over the other contender for my name at birth (Gabrielle) because of the moon on the night I was born (Selina means “Moon”, from the Greek moon goddess Selene).
Fenech is said with a hard CH. So it’s pronounced “Fenneck”, like the Fennec Fox (plus how cute are they?! http://www.google.com.au/search?q=fennec+fox&hl=en&prmd=ivns&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=g2zOTYbzOIK2vQPjnoHoDw&ved=0CC8QsAQ&biw=1920&bih=955)

Why not? I think I read too many fairytale and mythology books, and watched too many sci-fi and fantasy movies as a child. I just love getting caught up in magic, and being able to create images of magical things is even better!

Yes it is. This does not by any means mean I get to paint all the time though. A career in art has to be very flexible and varied, and find its income in a lot of different places. My primary income is through sales through my website www.fairiesandfantasy.com, and much of my time is spent simply filling orders, packing and shipping, maintaining the website and answering emails. I can often go weeks without time to paint between other business duties such as order filling, networking and negotiations for licensing products, account keeping, advertising, product development and design and so on. I even have some employees to help me now, and am still busy busy!

Needless to say, the favourite part of my job is still painting, creating and writing. That, and receiving samples of the cool products that manufacturers have licensed my art for!

I’m actually not that fussy, and will generally use what I can get at the time. Art supply stores in Australia a scarce, and generally only stock one or two brands anyway so there’s not a lot of choice.

The only and MOST IMPORTANT thing when buying art supplies of any kind, but particularly paints and brushes, is to always buy “Artists grade”, never “student grade”. Many brands will have the option for both, and it may seem cheaper and better to grab the student grade because yep, artist grade can be significantly more expensive. But it’s worth it, the quality difference can be shocking. Artist grade products are always better in every way, you will see an improvement in your art if you switch from student to artist grade! It’s all about using the quality tools for the job.

Some of my favourite tools-

Brushes- I like to have a few “chinese mop” brushes around, they are great for watercolour washes and special effect techniques. Sable is a luxury, but synthetic brushes are really good these days too.

Paper- Always, always Arches Smooth/Hotpress 100% cotton watercolour paper, in 300gsm or more. Perfect for just about every medium!

Acrylics- When possible I get “liquid” style acrylics rather than “texture” style. Texture has more filler in for creating texture in your painting. Great if that’s what you’re going for, but I use my acrylics more like watercolour anyway, and find the “liquid” style acrylics have a higher pigment to filler ratio.

Stay-Wet Palette- Essential for keeping your acrylics for drying out on the palette. You can buy these, but I make my own by putting some wet cloth or napkins under a piece of baking paper. The baking paper becomes my palette and the water seeps up through it slowly to keep the paint moist.

Everyone asks this, and it’s one of the hardest questions to answer! As Stephen King says about writing- “Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.”

This applies to visual art as well. Often I just start working and see what comes out. Often the very act of working helps you come up with cool ideas.

Like many artists, I find inspiration comes and goes. People often ask where my ideas come from… where do anyone’s ideas come from? The great melting pot of the imagination. They simply are ideas in my imagination that I develop along with my years of experience and research and love for enchanted things, to create the artworks as I feel they should be. I find that things that can spark these ideas are generally beautiful natural objects, shapes in a tree, and so on, as well as stories and fairytales and mythology. I also have fun asking myself “What if…?” questions, which are great to find ideas with. For example, “What if… mermaids worshipped the moon?”, or “What if dragons were really tiny?”. Visual ideas can come out of these question and answer games.

Over the years, and having to find time to paint in between “business work”, which I find makes my inspiration run away anyway, I still get artists block. I often just wait it out now, I know inspiration will come back. But in truth, the best cure for artists block is to just paint. Nothing inspires me more than just finishing a painting, I want to jump right into the next one!

I always drew a lot growing up, probably more than most kids. My mum encouraged it and “craft time” seemed to be her favourite way to keep me and my brother busy and out of trouble. In high school whenever I could choose to take art classes, I did. At the age of about 16, I decided I wanted to be a comic book artist when I grew up! I began more seriously studying artworks and practicing a lot and self teaching at that stage. My love for comics faded a little after high school and I decided a job in graphic design would be stable, and still creative, so took a course at university in Visual Communication. This course was mostly advertising based, working a lot with computers, designing logos, websites, packaging and so on. It taught me a lot about design, and there were a couple of excellent drawing classes included as well. My training in graphic design has been indispensible in my career as an artist, as I’m able to design my own logos, packaging, website and so on. Otherwise I’ve learned loads from art books and online tutorials.

I am greatly influenced by a lot of artists, both current and past. Artists and art movements such as Alphonse Mucha and the Art Nouveau era, Waterhouse and Bouguereau and the Preraphaelite era, as well as comic and anime art, fairytale and children’s book art have all affected and influenced my style at some time. Arthur Rackham and Ida Rentoul Outhwaite are some of my favourite turn of the century fairytale artists, and I love modern masters like Brian Froud. There are some artists who aren’t strictly fantasy that I love, like Audrey Kawasaki. Basically I love anything beautiful.

It’s a little like asking what the length of a piece of string is, as I will change the size of an artwork depending on the amount of detail I intend to include in it. Larger artworks (up to A2 size, about 17×22 inches) when I want to add a lot of detail, or A4 or standard letter size paper for simpler artworks is about the smallest I work, although I have done a few ACEO’s (Art Trading Cards which are 2.5×3.5 inches in size).

The larger the actual artwork, the longer it takes to paint. Actually formulating my ideas and planning out the composition and elements of the image can often take the longest. It’s less “full time” than actual painting, but I could be thinking about, sketching or researching an idea for an artwork for months before I start painting it.

Once I actually begin painting, a small artwork could be finished in a days sitting of full time painting, so about 10 or so hours. Larger paintings are generally more than 3 days of painting, as are digital artworks which also can fit in a lot more detail like large traditional works.

I use a wide range of mediums, and often mix a few together. My tastes have changed over the years, and with them my preferred mediums.

For traditional paintings I work primarily in watercolour or acrylic paint, with a number of other mediums mixed in as well for whatever effect I require, including gouache, pencil, pastel, and ink. My black and white traditional artworks are done completely in graphite pencil. I generally work on 100% cotton smooth watercolour paper by Arches no matter what traditional medium I am using.

For my digital artworks, I use a pressure sensitive Wacom tablet and pen in Adobe Photoshop CS5 with custom “brushes”.

Full Name: Selina Almira Fenech
DOB: 4th November 1981
Place of Birth: Kurri Kurri, NSW, Australia
Current Residence: Central Coast, NSW, Australia
Marital Status: Married
Professional Artist Since: 2001
Education: Bachelor of Graphic Design, Visual Communication, The University of Newcastle

Awards

Lyn Farrelly Memorial Award: Visual Art Category 1998
Kurri Kurri Youth Art Award- 1997, 1998, 1999
Artwork exhibited in Art Express- 2000
World of Froud- Froudian Artist of the Month- May 2004
Indie Reader Discovery Award – Winner Fantasy Category 2013

Radio interview for Melbourne SBS Maltese Youth Show 07/08/2006 Click here to download mpga file

The Wild Wisdom of the Faery Oracle by Blue Angel Publishing (all artwork by Selina Fenech)
Oracle of the Dragonfae by Blue Angel Publishing (some artwork by Selina Fenech)
Memory’s Wake – 2010 Novel by Selina Fenech
Lost Lands by Lucy Cavendish – Cover Art
Faery Magic by Cavendish and Connelly- Interior Art
Fairytales by Ken Young (album)- Interior Art
Finding and Embracing Soulmate Love (CD) by Karina Godwin- Cover Art
Spheres Magazine Issue 27 – Cover Art
Wychwood Brewery (UK) Goliath Beer 2008 Label Design
Fairy Figure Drawing Bible by Linda Ravenscroft- Interior Art
Pentacle Magazine UK Issue 28- Cover Art
ImagineFX magazines “FXpose” Feature Issue 43
UK FAE magazine issue http://www.thefaeryshop.co.uk/faemagazinespring2008.htm
Art Scene International Magazine Issue 58
Fantasy Babies 2009 Calendar by Ellen Milliong Graphics
Legends of the Sea 2008 Calendar by Ellen Million Graphics
Faeryland Calendar 2010, 2011, 2012 by Silver Lining Publishing for Barnes and Noble
Moonshadow Magazine- Interior Art Oct, Nov, 2005
Renard’s Menagerie Anthology Issue 7- Cover Art
500 Fairy Motifs by Myrea Petite http://www.amazon.com/500-Fairy-Motifs-Myrea-Pettit/dp/1843403021
Curvy 4, 2007 – http://www.yenmag.net/
Visions of Atlantis – http://www.ellenmilliongraphics.com/fantasyart/emggroup.php?id=7

      

“During February of 2008, I noticed some changes to my body, and after a number of tests and visits to doctors I was diagnosed with early breast cancer. I wanted to make this public both to explain some changes and slow down of my business that this will cause, and also to help spread awareness of this disease. I will try to keep this page up to date with my recovery news. Thanks to everyone for their support and understanding through this time. This is a life changing thing to happen to me, but I also know that people suffer from much worse every day. But life isn’t about what bad might happen, it’s about living, loving, and laughing through the bad times and treating every day as precious.
Love and Magic,
Selina”

Selina’s Journey and Treatment Updates-

Selina was diagnosed with early breast cancer on the 25th of February, approximately three weeks after first noticing symptoms of pain and a distinct lump and undergoing tests.

She had the tumour removed in breast conserving surgery on the 11th of March. The surgery went as well as could be hoped and Selina is already recovering very quickly.

After surgery pathology confirmed no cancer cells found in Selina’s lymph nodes or the tissue margin from surgery, meaning it is unlikely the cancer will have spread at all, and was caught just in time. However, the cancer was tested as a Grade 3, being a more aggresive form, and doctors recommended a series of treatments to make sure Selina remains cancer free.

Following surgery, Selina underwent fertility conservation treatment, followed by six three week cycles of TAC chemotherapy, and then thirty radiotherapy treatments which overall took from March until October of 2008. It was a hard time as these treatments had many physical and emotional side effects, but was the best way to make sure Selina lives a long and with the best chance of cancer not returning, so she can keep painting for as long as possible!

Selina has completed her last chemotherapy treatment as of 22nd August! Over the course of her treatment, Selina lost nearly all body hair and experienced the usual nausea assosciated with chemotherapy as well as many other side affects, but overall tolerated the treatment remarkably well.

Selina completed her radation treatment, or radiotherapy as of 31st October 2008. With all scheduled treatments now complete, Selina is on the slow path to recovery. Her body and spirit has taken a great beating, with many side affects of the treatments expected to take months to fade away, but she is now looking forward to getting back to a better kind of normal!

Selina would like to thank everyone who has kept her in their thoughts and passed on kind wishes during this time, it has meant the world to her and gotten her through many hard times.

Awareness and Information on Breast Cancer-

Selina is hugely grateful for the Australian free health care system and how quickly and easily this has been dealt with, and the care and professionalism of all doctors she has dealt with so far in her journey (there have been a lot!).

She also wishes to spread awareness of this disease to help others understand it and if needed also benefit from early detection. Selina has no known risk factors such as family history of breast cancer, and is much younger than the normal age for breast cancer cases. It just goes to show this can happen to anyone.Statistically as many as 1 in 8 women will have breast cancer during their lives. All women over 20 years old, and even younger, should perform regular self examinations. If you’re unsure how, ask your doctor, or find an online tutorial (eg http://cms.komen.org/komen/AboutBreastCancer/Resources/InteractiveTools/BreastSelf-Exam/index.htm)

Breast Cancer these days is very treatable, but the best results come from early detection. The sooner it is discovered the easier it will be to remove and with fewer complications.
For more information about Breast Cancer, please visit the very informative Cancer Council website at- http://www.cancercouncil.com.au/editorial.asp?pageid=37

I am not affiliated with The Fairy Society, FuzzB, Fantasy Fabric Blocks or any other business run by Sherri Baldy. Any contracts I had with TFS ended in 2008. Any artwork of mine or reference to my name on TFS sites is unauthorised. If you are an artist considering working with The Fairy Society or Sherri Baldy, I advise caution. If you want to hear my experiences, please contact me and I will be willing to share them in private conversation.