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Frequently Asked Questions

 

How can I keep up with your new work?

One of the best ways to keep up with what I'm up to is to sign up for my bi-monthly newsletter. When you sign up, you can select what kinds of emails you'd like to receive from me. You may receive new art, musings about my creative process and how to use art as a tool for transformation, and/or exclusive subscriber discounts. If you sign up for my mailings, I highly encourage you to add my email to your address book, so my newsletter doesn't go straight to your spam or promotions folder.

To learn more about my creative day to day, follow me on Instagram.

Follow me on Facebook to learn about new works, print giveaway contests, works in progress and other fun news.

You can also subscribe to my blog, which includes more articles and small essays I've written about art and consciousness.

Interested in classes? Sign up for my workshops notifications, and you'll be the first to know when I'm teaching something fun.

 

What is your creative process?

If you're interested in reading super in depth about my creative journey with any particular piece, I highly encourage you to visit my Creative Process page, where stories of my artistic journeys abound! I also write art invocations for many of my paintings, if you'd like to see those, visit my art invocations page.

Upon first glance, people most often assume my work is digital or airbrushed, neither of which is the case. My original works are all painted 100% by hand with Golden Acrylics. I haven nothing against digital or airbrushed methods, mind you, but knowing that all my pieces are painted by hand, layer after careful layer with actual brushes gives people a better understanding of just how much time and love goes into each piece.

People often ask me how long it takes to complete a piece and that is not always easily described in hours. To start, it takes me roughly 200 hours to complete a piece around 30"x40". That estimate only includes actual drawing and painting time on the canvas. That does not include the some 50-150 additional hours I spend researching and deliberating, and the immeasurable space/time that the piece is "with" me in waking and dreaming life as part of my process. There tends to be a significant amount of symbolism I need to research for a piece, which also includes compiling reference image libraries for inspiration. I often stare at a work in progress for hours at a time after a good painting session to feel into it, have conversations with it, and determine what steps are next. I get to do that, thankfully, because making art and viewing art are most of which fuels my zest for life.

Painting, at its best, is not a goal oriented process, it is journey oriented. As a working artist, that kind of approach is constantly challenged. That doesn't mean I can't work on a deadline, but I usually need at least 3 months (preferably 6) to complete any painting. I also don't typically work everyday all day. I tend to work in spurts, and a painting can take me anywhere from 3 months to 4 years to complete, depending on my work schedule and how many other projects I am giving my attention to at any given moment, which are not all visual art related. I'm also a full time mom when my husband is traveling for work about 50%-75% of the year, so that tends to have had a significant impact on my work schedule since my darling daughter was born in 2013.

 

How can I find where you are exhibiting?

Check my events page for upcoming shows and events and sign up for notifications on that page so you know what's coming up soon. I try to exhibit somewhere each month, whether it is at an expo, festival, gallery, cafe, or otherwise, so keep your eyes out!

 

Do you teach painting classes?

I do, indeed! Since 2017, I've began facilitating painting workshops at private retreats, festivals, and local SF Bay Area venues, including at my own residence. Please check my workshops page and sign up to receive notifications for upcoming classes, if you are interested in taking one!

I've also been taking on some fairly informal mentorships to help people develop their drawing and painting techniques, and to offer lots of tips and tricks I've learned along the way on how to build up their own art business. Please contact me if interested in more one-on-one guidance, and we can set up an hourly rate for phone or Skype calls, or in person learning sessions.

 

How do I buy a print?

Visit any of my print galleries in my Art Store, and you will be guided step-by-step through the process of selecting what size, medium, style finish (including gorgeous custom framing options!) you would like. My website includes a very robust and interactive shopping experience, so be sure to take advantage of all the order tools and options available, especially the Wall Preview and Live Preview AR tools!

You can click on the wall preview button below the price of any print to see the art shown at scale in a variety of different rooms (living room, bedroom, sitting room, nursery, café, etc). Here, you can also play with the color of the wall, or the size of the art as indicated on that page. This is a great interactive feature of my site, and I highly recommend using it to make your buying experience easy and fun!

You can also click on the Live Preview AR button below the price of any print to see how my art would look to scale in your exact space! You must use a tablet or smartphone for this feature to work, and make sure you have opened my website with your regular browser, not Facebook's native browser (which can happen if clicking on my website from any FB post or link in messenger).

 

Do you do commissions?

You bet! Go to my Commissions page for more info on that. Commission work is some of my most favorite of all art adventures, and if you have something in mind, I'd love to hear from you.

 

Do you sell originals?

Definitely. You can browse all originals I have for sale right here. Payment plans are available for any original purchase, just inquire to work out a good plan with me. Please note, the originals listed in my art store are currently priced significantly higher than my commissioned pieces at this time. The originals I still have available for sale now will most indeed become collector's items in the coming years, so that is why they are priced as they are; and in the meantime, I quite enjoy them in my personal gallery at home.

If you are wanting an Ishka Lha original, but can't quite indulge in the price tag I have on the ones listed, I highly encourage you to commission one! And don't forget, I have payment plans available for any large purchases--just inquire, and we can work out a suitable plan that works for you.

 

Do you have any testimonials I can read?

YES. Buying online can be scary, especially if you are buying from a person or business you've never heard of before. Please visit my testimonials page to see what others have to say about hiring me for commission work, their online buying experiences, and other comments about my work in general.

 

What forms of payment do you accept?

Online, I accept PayPal, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover cards. I also accept Bitcoin (contact me for details). For any in person sales, I also accept cash, of course. A 9.25% CA (Alameda county) sales tax will be applied to all orders made in California.

 

How do I use the "Wall Preview" feature?

For any print available in my art store, you can click the Wall Preview button below the pricing to view the art displayed on a virtual wall. Change the wall color, type of room, or image size (where applicable) to get an idea of scale, and to help you visualize what the art will look like in many different types of spaces. This is one of my favorite features on the site, and I highly encourage you to try it out!

 

What is a giclée print?

In giclée printing, no screen or other mechanical devices are used, so there is no visible dot screen pattern, unlike regular printers. The image has almost all the same tonalities and hues of the original painting, and the longevity of the print is far superior than any other because only archival inks and museum quality substrates are used.

 

How can I be sure your giclées are archival?

That's a very good question, and if you are asking it, you're probably aware that over the past few years, the fine art printing industry has been compromised by companies who cut corners and use substandard printers, inks, and media that produce prints that look okay today but will not tomorrow. Most artists (and their customers!) have no idea this is going on, but it is. 

Therefore, I have established standards, and I require my print vendor to maintain it. The platform I use to market my art regularly audits my print vendor, and if at any point they do not meet the standards we have set, they will be replaced immediately by a vendor who can. This has never happened in the time I've worked with my print vendor, because they, too, set the bar for excellence.

When it comes to print quality, three areas we focus primarily on are printers, ink, and media (i.e. canvas, paper, etc.).

Printers must deliver high resolution and detail, and all media and ink used must meet the archival standard for their respective category of product. Under almost all circumstances, the ink used must be from the original equipment manufacturer and not a third-party (i.e. if you use an Epson printer, you should be using Epson ink which has been archival tested). In terms of media, each media type must come from a credible and recognized brand name with an established history of reputable performance and cannot be a cheap import.

Keeping these audits up-to-date is so important to me because it allows my customers to feel confident in the quality of their fine art.

 

What is a "canvas gallery wrap"?

Each canvas print can be stretched (gallery wrapped) around wood bars just like a painting, with all the hanging hardware affixed, so your art is ready to hang as soon as it arrives. Choose what depth stretcher bars you would like (how far you want your canvas to stand out on the wall). If you plan to frame the print, I recommend getting a .75" depth, or just ordering a canvas print that is not gallery wrapped. All selections are printed on heavy museum grade fine art canvas (machine stretched & wrapped for proper tension) and covered with an UV and scratch resistant coating to protect the surface of the print.

 

I don't see the dimensions I'm looking for offered as a print...

Contact me and let me know what size you are looking for, and I'll see if I can help. I can offer most pieces in print in any size up to 54" on the shortest side, and 100" on the longest. Some pieces can be purchased as multiple panels (called Polyptychs), making the overall dimensions even larger if you have a gigantic wall you would like to adorn. Some, but not all of my prints have a tab at the top of the item description that is labeled "polyptych" if available for purchase as such, but if you don't see that, just contact me and we will get it figured out.

 

What is your shipping policy?

All print orders are shipped through my production partner via the cheapest route, using USPS, UPS, or FedEx. Shipping dates range from 1-7 business days, depending on order size and distance. Customers will receive a tracking number via email as soon as their print order has shipped. For originals, limited edition prints, and custom products/treasures in my store, make sure you read each item description to know what the order processing time is, so you know what to expect. If there are no details listed for processing time on your order, you may inquire about it prior to ordering or after you've placed your order. Generally, most orders go out within a week, unless a certain item is on back-order, in which case you will be notified immediately via email, to update your order status. Please contact me to request any rush order and I can let you know what the additional costs would be for your request.
 
All print orders are shipped from northern California. There are a number of variables that will affect the price of shipping. The price you see at the check out will be calculated based on weight, quantity, and size.

Please contact me if you have any questions about your order.

 

Your shipping rates seem a bit high, how do you determine them?

Shipping charges shown for any items (excluding prints) are an estimation only, so do not be alarmed if they seem rather high for your region. Upon your request, I will re-imburse you for any over-charges once the items are shipped. Conversely, I may need to charge more for shipping if I have under-estimated, in which case I will send you an invoice to be paid once your order has shipped. I charge a $5 handling fee above whatever the actual cost of shipping is, which is already included in my rates.

 

How do you package my order?

Depending on what your order consists of, my production partner will put rolled paper and canvas in secure shipping tubes, while stretched canvas and framed pieces are protected with cardboard corners, bubble wrap, craft paper, and a secure shipping box. Very large pieces will require having a wooden crate built for them. 

 

Do you have an in-store pick up option if I live nearby?

If you are near Berkeley, CA, you can most likely come pick up your order at my private studio. Not all my print and framing options are available with this delivery method, as most of my prints and style finishes are handled by my production partner in Santa Cruz, CA. However, I do have a variety of prints and products available for pick up, if desired. Just contact me, and let me know what you'd like to purchase, and I'll check to see if it's available for pick up.

 

What is your policy on returns/exchanges/refunds?

I want you to be happy with your art, and I'm happy to figure out how we can make things right.

If for some reason you are dissatisfied with your purchase, you would need to ship the undamaged item back within 3 business days to receive a full refund, but please contact me to let me know, to make sure you are shipping your return to the correct address (some orders I ship directly, and some are fulfilled by my production partners).

Did your prints arrive damaged? Shipping is often stressful for any art. It is important to check the packaging for signs of in transit damage right away. You can refuse delivery if the packaging is obviously damaged in a way that ruins your order. If the package is left off when no one there to accept it and damaged in some way, get photos of the package (include the tracking number if you can) and the damage to the prints. Contact me right away and email the photos to me so we can start an insurance claim. Save the damaged pieces and the packaging because until the claim is closed, the carrier may want to come by and have a look at the damage.

Any Ishka Lha original will be shipped via UPS and insured for full cost. If item is damaged in shipping, please contact me immediately with photos of the damaged art and packaging. A partial or full refund is contingent upon the insurance claim decision made by the mail carrier, and you can be sure I will do everything in my power to get the best result for you.

 

Can you give me some tips on how to care for my art?

Unpacking your prints:

If the package looks undamaged, it is best to let the package rest undisturbed overnight if it has been exposed to extreme weather conditions. Temperatures in the back of a truck can exceed 140 degrees Fahrenheit on the one extreme and well below freezing on the other. Sometimes with stretched canvas prints, there might be a small crease from packaging materials that might take a day or two to work itself out. Artful use of a hair dryer can tighten these creases quickly. Heat the back of the canvas while constantly moving the heat over the affected area, then let it rest for a bit.


Hanging your prints:

No art prints should ever be placed in direct sunlight or near direct sources of heat or air conditioning. Ideally, they should not be exposed to challenging environments such as bathrooms or kitchens. Climate controlled spaces are always best to avoid temperature extremes, but also to avoid excessive moisture which might condense behind the glass and mold or stain the print or mat. If you light your prints, do so only when you wish to display them. The high intensity light will take a toll on them. Use hanger hardware that is appropriate for the size and weight of the piece. Use two hooks whenever possible for stability and security. Paper prints should be placed behind UV blocking glass as they are normally not coated with UV blockers as with our canvas prints. They should be mounted with acid free materials and archival techniques. The print should not contact the glass, when mounted. The best rule of thumb is that you should treat your reproductions as if they were originals.


Cleaning your prints:

I cannot stress enough the need to hang paper prints behind UV blocking glass. The glass can then be lightly dusted with a “Swiffer” type device or even sprayed with an aerosol duster. If your back is to the wall and you must use liquid to clean the glass, spray very light amounts of a household glass cleaner on a soft, absorbent cloth and apply the cleaner to the glass with the cloth to avoid allowing any moisture to get behind the glass. Never spray glass cleaner on the glass. Similarly, canvas prints can be damaged by virtually any cleaning products. Avoid them. Even using excessive amounts of warm water can damage the print without removing the soil. A light dusting is always possible, but should not be required more than once every couple of years.

Cleaning is always difficult and seriously hazardous to the print. Your hands should be thoroughly washed to remove any dirt and oil before handling the print. Acrylics are used in the processes that, while water resistant, are not water proof. Try any cleaning technique on an edge first (usually the bottom edge which is the least noticeable) to see what the print will tolerate. A soft cloth lightly moistened with water is best. Dab the soiled area lightly to slowly remove the soil. Do not rub vigorously and support the canvas by placing your other hand behind the area of the canvas that you are cleaning. Go slow and avoid putting enough water on the cloth to allow it to run over the surface of the print. Professionals who do cleaning after disasters such as floods or fires often have the most up to date information and products to restore badly soiled pieces. Use anything but a moist cloth only in the most dire situations.


Storing your prints:

When not hanging, store prints standing upright, not stacked, with protection surrounding them. Do not put in spaces that are not temperature and humidity controlled, like unfinished basements, attics, or garages.

 

What is your privacy policy with regard to my personal data?

Under the General Data Protection Regulation (or GDPR as it is more commonly known), I am required, as are all businesses that hold your personal data, to provide you with certain information in relation to the lawful grounds for our ongoing processing of your personal data.

In order to fulfill that obligation, I put together a new privacy notice (May 24th, 2018) that clearly sets out how I collect and process your personal data, for what purposes I use your data, the legal grounds of processing such data, how I keep your data secure and your rights in relation to such data.

To view my complete Privacy Policy Statement, click here.

You may be receiving direct marketing newsletters from me via email because you have previously opted in to receive such communications from me. However, if at any time you would like to stop receiving email communication from me, you may simply click the "Manage Your Subscription" link at the bottom of any email you receive from me, and under "Your Current Subscriptions", click the checkbox beside "Unsubscribe me from all future mailings." Be sure to click the "Save Changes" button to ensure you are removed from my mailing list.

 

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Verified Returns & Exchanges

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Description of Policy from Merchant:

Ishka Lha wants you to be happy with your art, and we understand how sometimes things can turn out a little differently than you expected. If for some reason you are dissatisfied with your purchase, please contact us within 3 days of receiving your order. All returns and exchanges are handled on a case by case basis. Once approved, you must ship the undamaged item back within 5 days to exchange it for another item or to receive a full refund. Did your art arrive damaged? Please keep and document all packaging, and contact us for further instructions to replace your order items. Any Ishka Lha original will be shipped via UPS and insured for full cost. If item is damaged in shipping, please contact Ishka immediately with photos of the damaged art and packaging. A partial or full refund is contingent upon the insurance claim decision made by the mail carrier.

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Description from Merchant:

All giclée prints are made with archival inks on fine art papers using a high-resolution large format inkjet printer at a certified green business facility. All original paintings are created using only professional grade Golden Acrylics. All other art products are created with the highest quality in mind, as well as keeping production as local and green friendly as possible.

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