Saturday, November 3, 2012

Grand Opening... BestArtStudios on ArtFire

BestArtStudios is now on ArtFire.
We've just launched our newest shop and think it looks great.

So, what's happening with Zibbet
Well... we like Zibbet too and plan to continue offering our work there.

However, our Original Paintings need just one home and so, we have to decide which shop will host our One of a Kind items.

Feedback on this is most appreciated.
Let us know what you think about this new site...

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Further Changes...

 Our shops recent move from Etsy to Zibbet has allowed us to reevaluate our Business plan. Change requires adjustments and we've rolled out our first major adjustment today. Pricing.

Pricing any item for sell is a bit of a task, you have to take into account several things. The price of materials, wear and tear of equipment, the cost of your time and fees associated with offering the item for sale, as well as the fees associated with the sale of that item.

The move to Zibbet changed the fees associated with offering and selling our artwork in a pretty major capacity. This has allowed us to lower the prices on our Open Edition Prints. And a few Original Paintings.

Being able to offer our work at a more affordable  price is pretty exciting for us and it helps us remain competitive.

Our next major change to our overall business plan will be in the form of advertising. We are currently looking into our options.
With the approach of the Holiday Season we will be offering a few of our seasonal prints.
As well as our 2013 Art Calendars.

Check out our Zibbet shop... BestArtStudios

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Bests of BestArtStudios

I'm Mike.  And I'm Jaime.  And together we're the Bests of BestArtStudios
and this Blog is about us... Hopefully by the end you'll know us a bit better.
We're a married couple in our thirties, living in the Midwest with our two dogs (Blueberry and Spectre) and our kitties (Crookshanks and Tigger).  We're both self-taught artists and super nerds.  Mike loves: Comic books, robots, and Star Wars.  Jaime loves: Reading books and reading books.

We sell original paintings and printed reproductions of our original paintings. Our art is a really a good window into our personal lives. There is a decree of personal taste, the things we find exciting or interesting, in each of our paintings, not to mention emotional expression. Like all humans, we have a variety of emotional happenings in our lives and painting is a good release of that.

We're also the Muse in most of our paintings. The picture above was taken as a reference for the painting pictured below... You'd be surprised by just how often our faces and forms are incorporated into our work.

We have a large in-home studio:  plastic from floor to ceiling, so we can be as messy as we want to be. It's equipped with all the necessities of painting as well as an ipod docker and a television. We spend hours and hours in our studio everyday and when a new batch of canvas comes in, you'll normally find music on as we both throw the first bits of paint at the canvas--creating backgrounds and rough subject is lively work and so we like lively music for such times. When we finally sit down to create detail, the television comes on for Mike's entertainment, while Jaime listens to a book on her Kindle.

Mike draws inspiration from a variety of other artists (Banksy, Alex Ross and Stan Lee, to name a few) and the general Science Fiction genre. His “Robot Apocalypse” series is both an original creation as well as a story he's developing. And of course an obvious throwback to a popular theme in Sci-fi history.

On a personal note... Mike is a Star Wars collector. Action Figures, replicas, posters, etc. We have an entire room in our home that we call the "Star Wars" room. It plays host to thousands of action figures and homemade dioramas depicting Mike's favorite scenes from the movies.  

Mike sketches out his work before he puts paint to the canvas. The sketch on the left was the little sleeping girl in "Night Time Protector" (which is pictured below).

He is currently illustrating a book on his Robots that might or might not be made public, only time will tell. It is full of wonderful things and new "models" of robots that will one day be incorporated into his original paintings. In this book he tells the tale of the little one-shoe girl who the robots all seem to want to help. The teddy bear that has only recently come to life (in the original paintings "Night time protector" and "You got him, you got him") and just what lead to the Robot Apocalypse.

We're hoping you'll all get to see this book one day. If nothing else at least excerpts from it.

Jaime's Artwork is kind of opposite from her personality. Where she is generally happy her characters are mostly sad, where her life is full of love her paintings often depict the lack or loss there of.

Jaime is positive to the point of annoying others (as she is told frequently). She has been compared to JK Rowlings “Hermione Granger” on more than one occasion for her ‘Know it all ism’. And in social clicks most would consider her a “nerd”. But she makes no apologies for her personality and balances it nicely with a fair amount of "Good Luck" and a decent sense of humor. If she isn't painting then there is a good chance she's reading.

Jaime's work is influenced by the Fantasy and Fairytale worlds found in popular fiction. Tim Burton's influence can be felt if not seen in several of her most popular series.

With her series "In the shade of poison trees" and "Between darkness and Wander" Jaime has created a fantasy world that is all her own. The former being a twisted love story and the latter being a tale of adventure and travel.

Jaime's series Heartache and Poetry is one of beautiful sadness. The Minimalism in these paintings is meant to add impact to the overall feeling of heartbreak.

Our Original Paintings and Fine Art Prints can be found in our Zibbet Shop.
Promotional deals and previews of our newest pieces can be found daily on Facebook.

Monday, October 22, 2012


Mike and I have been creating and selling our artwork since 2004. Our art can be found in collections, homes and offices throughout North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, South Africa and Australia.

Since 2004 we have collectively sold more than 2000 original paintings and more than 4000 fine art prints. Through these sales we've managed to make a living, maybe a small one but a living non-the-less. We quit our "Day" jobs years ago and are very proud of this.

Our business has evolved through the years, and with it, our artistic abilities.

We started selling our art online via Ebay in 2004. It was a family thing back then. We were part of the ZOA Group (Zatloukal Original Artist Group) and sold our work alongside my parents Charlene and Pat Zatloukal as well as my brother Patrick. But in 2006, I lost my father, Pat Zatloukal who passed away from Cancer. And the ZOA Group disbanded.

"Remembering Picket Fences"
by Jaime Zatloukal Best (Pictured on the left) was inspired by her Father Pat Zatloukal's Work "Picket Fences" (Pictured below)

It is understandable that we all went through a "Dark Period" then. I personally adopted the "Brush" Name Bellatrix and began creating much darker work than I ever had previously. These works were sold in a few galleries as well as a spattering of places on the internet.

"Infinite Sadness"
by Bellatrix

But the darkness passed and I set aside the "Brush" name and began creating works more fitting to Jaime Zatloukal Best again.

Mike and I established BestArtStudios in 2007 and began branding the name in a variety of places on the internet (including this little neglected blog here). Our primary site being on Etsy. Our 5 year Etsy Anniversary would have arrived next month but I guess that wasn't meant to be.

Two weeks ago Etsy closed our shop and left us waiting for an explanation. When a week later the explanation came it was absurd.  Mike and I had paid a fellow Etsy users shop fees a while back to help them out of a bind. When said shop had an issue arise that caused it's closure, our Shop was closed as well. We were told there was financial overlapping between the accounts so we were being held responsible for said shop. Our income there has come to a halt and there is seemingly not much we can do about it. With the exception of a couple of Custom Paintings drying in the studio all open orders have been shipped and once the Custom Paintings are finally dry enough to ship, Mike and I will close our Etsy shop for good. We can not continue to sell on a site that would make us responsible for another users account.

So, we're moving on... and BestArtStudios can now be found on Zibbet.

"Losing my religion 51"
by Mike Best

Zibbet is small little market place (much like Etsy was years ago) that offers Handmade items and gives Indie Artist, like us, a place to sell their work.

Thanks for reading,
Jaime Best