Gathered here are the questions people ask me most often.  Have a question and don’t see it here? E-mail me, and I'll try my best to answer it.


Last updated on 1-6-2017.





Q: Can I use your images on my website?

A: It depends, but I’m generally OK with you posting my work on your site/blog/etc., as long as you give me credit in the form of my name and website URL. I would appreciate it if you e-mail me and ask me about it first. Just use common sense. Respect the artist, any artist and his hard work as you would respect your own hard work.


Please DO NOT:


- use my image(s) for profit;

- claim my work as your own;

- use my image(s) as advertisement(s) for your business;

- cut out my watermark (if you have to do it because you’re only using a part of the image, you must add a new watermark showing my name and website URL);

- use my image(s) as stock or clipart;

- use my image(s) as your "RPG character portrait”, or to illustrate your own creative writing (I might be OK with it, but a lot of my work already illustrates someone else’s characters or writing... please ask me first);

- use any of the navigation graphics;

- use my image(s) as a logo;

- use my image(s) on any website advocating hate, racism, homophobia, religious dogma, political extremism, or any such other biases;

- decolorize my image(s) and post them as “free coloring pages”;

- mutilate my image(s) by cutting out the main figure(s), pasting them on top of a different background(s), animating or distorting the image(s), combining them with photographs, clipart or other artists' work, painting over the original image(s), changing the original color scheme or aspect ratio of the image(s), etc.;

- title my image(s) with their file names instead of the works’ actual titles;

- direct-link.


Please DO:


- e-mail me before you use my image(s);

- provide credit in the form of a copyright notice and a link back to this site;

- pay attention to the URLs and names (my first name is Maria, not Marie or Mary, my last name is William, not Williams, and the site URL ends with .net, not .com).


Thank you for your cooperation!


Q: Do you license your work for products?

A: It depends on the product. Please contact me and ask.


Q: I've made a graphic of your images and want to use that as a web design/cross-stitch pattern/etc. for sale. Since I'm creating my own original work it's legal, right?

A: Sorry, no. Even thought you are, technically, creating your own original design, it's still based on original work belonging to someone else. You're creating what's called a derivative work, which is a copyright infringement. You're not doing me any favors by "advertising" me via your products. I do legally license my images, so please do contact me about it if you have an idea for a project or product.


Q: Can I have a tattoo done based on one of your images?

A: I'd be honored. However, it cannot be an image that’s a tattoo design commissioned by someone else. If you want me to design your own, please contact me.


Q: Can I interview you for a publication/school project/etc.?

A: I’m open to the idea, schedule permitting.


Q: Can I feature your work on my site/blog/journal?

A: I’m always happy to see my work featured. You don’t have to ask permission, but I’d love to see the feature so I can share it with more people.


Q: Can I link to your site?

A: You're welcome to. Below are some banners you can use. Please do save them locally.


Q: Want to trade links?

A: Only if your site is art-related.


Q: Would you be interested in advertising our business on your site? We’ll pay you.

A: Sorry, no. That’s not what this site is for.





Q: Why fantasy?

A: It’s what comes naturally. I’ve always had a wild imagination. Simply copying life bores me. I don’t like rules or restrictions, and fantasy is a versatile genre that allows me to challenge both.


Q: What are your inspirations?

A: Too many to list, but in particular dreams, nature, Japan, music, urban decay, mythology, history, post-apocalypse, steampunk, Art Nouveau, Pre-Raphaelites, Rococo, Renaissance, the roaring 20s, and the ever growing list of my favorite artists.


Q: What process and mediums do you use to create art? And what brand art supplies do you use?

A: You can see and read all about it in the Tutorials section.


Q: What happened to the digital art gallery?

A: As my interest and skill in digital art are marginal, I have decided to abandon it in order to focus on my traditional work. I no longer accept digital commissions, but if you’re interested in purchasing a print of a past digital work, please e-mail me the specifics.


Q: How long does it take for you do complete a piece of art?

A: It depends on the size, medium, and level of detail. Anywhere from 8 hours to a few weeks.


Q: What art school did you go to, and would you recommend it?

A: I am for the most part a self-taught artist. I never went to an art school in the true sense of the word, but I've attended some classes at the Art Students' League of New York, which is an excellent school with traditional approach to art. A lot of art schools (if not most) are still restricting and close-minded, but things are getting better. Many now offer illustration and computer art programs.  It all depends on the school. Just do your research well before you commit to one.


Q: Who is your favorite artist?

A: Too many to list. If I had to pick just a few... Bouguereau, Godward, Ingres, and Brullov when it comes to classics. Brom, Boris Vallejo, Julie Bell, and Michael Parkes when it comes to modern art, plus all the fine people on this list.


Q: Can you give me some tips on how to draw?

A: There's only one way to learn how to draw: practice a lot. Patience is an artist's best tool. Take an art class if you can. If not, get friends and family to pose for you. Don't be afraid to experiment, and get used to the thought that sometimes a drawing won't work out the way you've planned - even seasoned pros sometimes have to deal with this, and it's not necessarily a bad thing.


Q: Why would you draw a samurai in Medieval European armor with a Celtic tattoo and tribal face paint? That makes no sense!

A: The short answer is, “why not?” The longer answer is, I consider my work fantasy, not history. In my world, Asian warriors wear European armor, geishas get inked with Celtic symbols, and tribal women carry katanas. It’s fun for me to fuse together various genres, cultures, and styles.


Q: Why do you think it’s OK for you to appropriate other people’s cultures?

A: I have no interest in made up buzzwords, invented grievances, or oppression olympics. My right to free expression supersedes your right to not be offended. My work is what it is, and if you don’t like it, that’s fine - just click the "back" button.


Q: Your drawing looks like you/my best friend/Buffy the Vampire Slayer!

A: If you see <insert real-life person> in my drawing(s), it's either your imagination or a coincidence. I generally don't draw myself. If I do, I call it a self-portrait. Occasionally I might use a model or celebrity as reference (as is the case with this painting), but if that's the case, I always make a point of mentioning it in the description.


Q: I saw a book The Retrieval Artist by K. K. Rusch with your painting Who We Are on the cover, but on the inside the art is credited to Ken Barr. What's up with that?

A: Yes, unfortunately it was an error on the publisher's part, and it doesn't look like a reprint is due any time soon.


Q: I want you to draw something for me, but I can't pay you. Can you draw it anyway, since I'm such a huge fan of your work?

A: While I appreciate the fact that you like my work, it does not feed me and my children. I don't work for exposure, on spec, or without a written and signed legal agreement with 50% of the price agreed upon paid up front. No exceptions. Please understand that it's nothing personal. And please read this. And this. And this.




Q: Did you want to be an artist while growing up?

A: No. I wanted to be everything from an archaeologist to a rock star, but never an artist.


Q: What do you like to do for fun?

A: That's implying I have a life. ;) I'm actually quite boring. I'm shy and take a while to adjust to people, so I'm not really a social butterfly. Though I do love nature, my home is my castle, and being out of it knocks me off kilter. Most of my time is spent with my husband and kids, creating art, or in front of the computer. Gaming, Zumba, and horseback riding are my forms of stress relief. I love cooking and scrapbooking, but that's the extent of my homemaker finesse. I'm a tomboy; I love gory horror movies, violent videogames, roller coasters, horses, weapons, and other "guy things". (Except sports. I freaking hate sports). And yet I still love wearing makeup and skirts. Just call me one heck of a walking paradox.


Q: What kind of music do you listen to?

A: Pretty much anything with a good melody. My playlist includes Travis, The Decemberists, Belle And Sebastian, The Shins, Guster, Mohair, Supergrass, Death Cab For Cutie, Muse, The Beatles (in particular Paul McCartney), oldies (blame the Fallout and Bioshock franchises for that), some 70s and 80s music (I'm a closeted Pet Shop Boys fan), Bach, Mozart, and lots of J-pop (in particular Arai Akino, Maaya Sakamoto and Ai Otsuka).


Q: Do you ever get creative block? How do you banish it?

A: I doubt there’s a single person who doesn't. I'm very affected by the weather - I’m a northerner, born and raised on a parallel above the farthest northern part of US, so I’m not really made for the hot, sticky New York summers, and my worst artist blocks come during the hottest days. When I do get it, I completely distance myself from all my art supplies and do anything but art - read, write, watch a movie, take a bath, take a walk...


Q: What are your favorite books?

A: Two books that had most impact on me as a kid and still remain my favorites are Tolkien's “The Lord Of The Rings”, and “To Kill A Mockingbird” by Harper Lee. Other than that, I read lots of dark fantasy, sci-fi, and "weird" fiction, with a few classics here and there. I love stuff by Dan Simmons, Octavia Butler, Stephen King, Margaret Atwood, Jeff Vandermeer, and Paolo Bacigalupi, just to name a few. And I also like quite a lot of YA (bite me).


Q: Do you have any guilty indulgences?

A: Videogames. I must own close to 300 of them, and counting... And yes, I've played them all. Twice. At least.


Q: What movies/TV shows do you like to watch?

A: I'm omnivorous when it comes to movies. The only thing I won't watch is "art films", because it's like the emperor's new clothing. I like a story with my movie, thanks. Lord Of The Rings, Matrix, original Star Wars, Goodfellas, Fight Club, and The Fall are just a few of my favorites. I also love Asian movies, in particular horror flicks like A Tale Of Two Sisters and Re-cycle. As for TV, my absolute favorite show of all time is Firefly. The only shows I watch regularly are Supernatural, The Walking Dead, and Game Of Thrones. Past favorites include (reimagined) Battlestar Galactica, Fringe, House, Lost, and The X-Files.


Q: If you didn't do art, what would you do?

A: Be a full-time professional gamer, or course! :) Seriously, I don't really know. There are so many things I would have loved to try. If I had to pick one it would be either medicine or working with horses in some capacity.


Have a question and don’t see your answer here? E-mail me, and I’ll do my best to answer it!









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