Frequently Asked Questions
Amy broadcasts at 11am US Eastern Time to maximize the number of students worldwide who can attend live. Unfortunately we know this falls in the middle of the night for our Asia and Oceania students. Trust us Sydney, you don’t want to meet sleepy, late-night Amy.
We record every Livestream. The videos are made available immediately after the broadcast, allowing our down-unders to catch up the next day over breakfast.
The live chat panel is only active during the initial streaming session but the Livestream discussion Forum is open 24 hours a day. You can ask questions and the Vanilla team will respond ASAP.
Only if you want to watch the Livestream as it is being broadcast. But most students watch the recorded version. The live version is fun but the real value comes in hitting the rewind button and listening to key sections more than once.
COMING SOON! As each current Livestream expires, members will be offered the chance to purchase Forever Access for a small fee. This is completely optional but it gives you unlimited access to that Livestream and the class materials.
LONG-EXPIRED LIVESTREAMS: We expect to have select expired streams released by summer of 2020. They will be sold a la carte in the Workshop area here. Not all older livestreams will be re-released as some do not meet our quality standards due to Patreon's early technology problems. Please be patient with the pace of re-releases as we are simultaneously under construction plus producing brand new content.
The Forum is the quickest way to get answers. It is monitored by experienced moderators and filled with knowledgeable students. We suggest searching both the FAQ here and the Forum to confirm that your question hasn’t already been discussed and answered. Feel free to post new questions or join older discussions in the Forum.
The Vanilla Arts Team keeps regular business hours, working Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm US Eastern Time.
You can email us at email@example.com. Please allow 2-3 business days for a response. Response times can be longer over holiday periods or when courses are in production. We will link you back to the Forum if the answer has been previously well covered there.
Personal & Project-
Amy surveys the forum several times a week and comments as much as time allows.
The Vanilla Arts Team is a group of former students, hand picked by Amy for their expertise, thorough project familiarity, and enthusiasm. The team makes sure that all projects receive attention and feedback.
There are a lot of variables in being ready. While we enjoy looking at your coloring samples and reading your personal story, it doesn't tell us what your skills truly are. For instance, if you have followed a tutorial closely, we may be seeing your amazing talent for following tutorials rather than your artistic instincts and hand dexterity.
We suggest reading the guide here to better estimate your skill & comfort level. You can also post projects of your work in the Forum for member input. Our students know exactly how it feels to start fresh and they’re an excellent resource.
Note: our Forum moderators have been instructed NOT to offer skill evaluations. You must make the decision based upon honest self-reflection and the checkpoints listed in our guide.
When in doubt, underestimate your skills and choose a Livestream or Workshop slightly below your level. Amy always offers challenges and options to push yourself beyond the primary lesson. There is something new to learn in every episode, you will not be bored! If you can handle the materials as presented, then choose a harder class next time.
Do not worry! All Vanilla Livestreams use a Power Poppy digital stamp for the line drawing. We occasionally call upon students to doodle simple shapes and draw straight lines with a ruler but we deliberately keep the drawing to a minimum.
The Gallery section and the Forums are there for your benefit but you are not obligated to participate.
We do not offer feedback via email. If you want project evaluation, you must share your project photo in the Gallery section on the lesson page.
Due to the digital nature of the Livestream and the learning aids, we can not offer refunds. You can easily unsubscribe which will prevent further subscription charges.
There is no official class pace, so do not worry about falling behind! Every student works on their own timeline and many students do not complete every project.
Feel free to share your class projects online but please indicate that it is a VanillaArts.com class assignment rather than your your own original artwork. Linking directly to https://www.vanillaarts.com is always appreciated.
Note: Taking credit for class assignments as original artwork is self-defeating. You will always know that it wasn’t your idea, design, drawing, color palette, or technique selection. But here’s the other problem, when people see you make amazing art, they expect you to always make amazing art. So when you finally put out your own original artwork and the new work looks radically different than the more professional looking class projects, it will be obvious that you lied by omission. It’s much better to say from the beginning that “this is a class project and I’m still learning.” Then friends and family can celebrate your hard work and growth!
You may not sell finished or unfinished Vanilla Arts class projects. Either Marcella Hawley of PowerPoppy.com or Amy Shulke of VanillaArts.com hold all rights to the line drawing, the concept, and the intellectual materials used to produce your class assignment.
We do not advise entering Vanilla Arts projects into contests, shows, or exhibits. Most events have strict rules against submitting kits, tutorial projects, and class assignments. They want original artwork. If the rules do not prevent assignment submissions, then limited permission to show is granted when:
any Vanilla or Power Poppy logo must be clearly present in your finished artwork
you must clearly indicate on the submission form that this was a VanillaArts.com class project
any descriptive cards next to the artwork must indicate “Line drawing by VanillaArts.com" or “Line drawing by PowerPoppy.com” depending upon the assignment's artist
We do not provide watermarking service nor do we recommend that you watermark your project assignments. The Forum is private paid membership and the images are not displayed in high resolution formats. Your assignment is unlikely to be stolen. It's more important that we see your coloring clearly so that we can provide you the best feedback possible.
Vanilla Livestream is a class with a full lesson and demonstration. Unlike other online businesses, the Vanilla Livestream is not a free advertisement which hopes to funnel you into making a greater purchase or investment. Our livestream IS the investment.
Your Vanilla Arts account gives you access to a larger part of the VanillaArts.com website and your Vanilla Livestream subscription pays for your monthly access and the printable learning aids.
The Vanilla Livestream is a library of classes. You are paying for access, not ownership.
To keep the subscription fee low and to make it fair to the people who have been faithfully subscribed for years, we limit the number of projects available.
Vanilla Livestream is a subscription to a rotating library of classes.
When a class expires, you no longer have access to that class.
When you unsubscribe, you lose access to the Livestream area.
In the near future, you will be offered an opportunity to purchase extended access to expiring Livestreams. We will also bring back select expired streams as individual purchases. We will make that announcement via email, on the website, and in the Forum when the option is available.
Vanilla Livestream is a subscription to a library, not a specific class purchase.
You must be enrolled to access anything in the Vanilla Livestream library. When your subscription or membership ends, so does your access.
Individual livestream recordings and class packs are available to current subscribers for three months from their original broadcast date.
We rotate the library archives on a first-in first-out basis. There will always be three months of classes available in the archives at all times. We remove the oldest content to make room for the new stream, usually the evening before the broadcast.
At this time, the Livestreams and the Workshops are housed on two different websites. We are working now to consolidate everything onto one site. Please be patient, this is one of our top priorities!
Sure! But please understand that you lose ALL access to all Livestream videos, learning aids, and the Livestream Forum areas when your membership runs out.
Billing automatically occurs every month on the same day of the month that you originally subscribed. It is your responsibility to unsubscribe BEFORE the start of your next billing cycle.
We’re sorry, we do not offer refunds when you fail to unsubscribe before the billing cycle repeats. We also do not pro-rate your monthly subscription if you unsubscribe mid-month.
MONTHLY SUBSCRIBERS: Your membership expires 30 days after your last payment was made. For that 30 day period, you will have full access to the entire Livestream area.
6 MONTH SUBSCRIPTIONS: Your membership runs for 180 days. During this period you will have full access to the entire Livestream area.
Once your membership has expired, you will no longer have any access to any part of the Vanilla Livestream area. No video access, no printables, and no forum access.
Sorry, you only have access to the Vanilla Livestream materials while your subscription is active.
To access videos and class materials again, please resubscribe.
Note: Classes expire on a monthly basis. When you resubscribe, you will be given access to the current archive contents NOT the content that was available when you were a member last.
We automatically bill subscribers on the anniversary day of their initial subscription.
Example: If you joined on the 12th, you will be billed each month on the 12th. For those joining on the 31st, you will be billed on the 30th.
Don't worry! You are paying for a full month's access. You will not be billed again until this date next month.
No. We keep the subscription price reasonable and consistent by controlling content rather than offering discounts.
Click here to be taken to the unsubscribe page and follow the directions.
Due to the digital nature of the class materials, we can not offer refunds.
We also do not pro-rate your monthly subscription when you unsubscribe mid-month.
We accept major credit cards as well as PayPal. We do not accept personal checks or money orders by mail and we can not accept online cash transfers.
The system will put your membership into "pending" status but you will not regain access to the Vanilla Livestream areas until the payment has been made.
Please use your account page hereAccount to update or change your payment details.
Click here and follow the instructions for changing your account details. Problems? email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
There is no master supply list because the images change in style and color voice from month to month. Amy tries very hard to use similar Copic Markers as much as possible, squeezing the most value out of every purchase you make.
All Vanilla Livestreams use a combination of:
Copic Colorless Blender Solution (in marker form and sometimes straight from the bottle)
Prismacolor Premier Soft Core Pencils
Tim Holtz CLASSIC Distress Ink Pads (not Distress Oxide Ink, not every class uses Distress)
Tim Holtz Waterbrushes, Detail Tip (one for Colorless Blender ONLY, a second for water)
Staedtler Triplus Fineliner pens (assorted colors, not every class)
assorted white pens including Posca Extra Fine, Uniball Signo Broad, Sakura Gelly Roll
X-Press It Blending Card, Cryogen Curious Metallic White Cardstock, and occasionally a Kraft or colored paper
- Mask-It Masking Film or other suitable adhesive backed frisket
Copic Sketch and Ciao style markers are the only versions with a Super Brush Nib. This nib is essential for smooth blending and for coloring at the recommended project size.
If you have the Classic (square barrel) Copics, consider purchasing replacement brush nibs. The Copic Brush Nib replacement part for Classics is smaller and firmer than the Copic Super Brush Nib for Sketch/Ciao, but it’s better for coloring than a Classic bullet nib.
Amy teaches with Copic Markers only. Any substitution you make must have a soft and juicy brush nib comparable to a Copic. Amy does not offer substitution charts or email consultation. Because Amy focuses on Copic, she can not expertly answer questions about off-brand marker problems and issues.
DO NOT USE: Chameleon, Zig, Arteeza, Crayola, Crafter's Loft, Prima, or Nuvo. Do not use bullet nibs, hard brush nibs, or brush nibs made up of individual brush filaments.
Amy uses several brands of pencils in her freelance work but teaches with Prismacolor Premier Soft Core Colored Pencils for the benefits they provide.
She does not offer substitution charts or email consultation.
It is important to note that substituting colored pencils is far more complex than finding a similar color. Substitution charts lie! A matching color will look radically different when the translucency is different. We use some Prismacolors because they are opaque and other Prismacolors for their transparency, you must match both color and translucency for optimal results.
DO NOT USE: Polychromos, Inktense, Arteeza, Crayola, Crafter's Loft, or Prima. Do not use Prismacolor Verithin, Prismacolor Col-Erase, Prismacolor Scholar, or Prismacolor Watercolor.
Livestreams use X-Press It Blending Card, Cryogen Curious Metallic White Cardstock, and occasionally we call for specific specialty papers.
Some areas of the world have limited access to X-Press It (or the price is unreasonable). In this case we recommend substituting Holtz Perfect Colouring Paper. Please note, XPI and Holtz behave differently! If you have access to both, please choose XPI.
We encourage you to try!
Please understand that Amy chooses some markers based on their behavior traits rather than their color. And often a single color substitute triggers a snowball effect, requiring more substitutes to find a friendly blending combination.
Substitute at your own risk and know that the farther you stray from the supply list, the harder the project gets. Some students miss the entire point of the lesson when their markers do not shatter, splay, blend, or bleed as the technique requires.
Please use the Sandy Allnock Hex Chart to find similar colors. This is an amazing resource which should be in every Copic studio. But remember, similar is NOT the same!
All office grade printers and commercial copy machines which use heat-set toner rather than ink are safe for Copic use.
Some ink based printers are safe but most are not. There is no spray, heat setting, or cure time that will transform unsafe printing into Copic safe printing!
For more information, discussion, and student recommendations, please log into the membership Forum here.
Power Poppy digi stamps are sold separately and can be purchased at PowerPoppy.com.
Power Poppy graciously offers students 20% off the monthly stamp. This discount expires at the end of each month. Log into your account to access the current Livestream info page where you can find the current discount code.
No. You must be logged into your Vanilla Livestream account to access all class content including videos.
No. We do not allow video downloads. You must be logged into your Vanilla Livestream account to watch videos.
We recommend using the latest version of Google Chrome. We have a Livestream guide here.https://www.vanillaarts.com/crowdcast
Yes but the quality of the broadcast depends entirely upon your connection. We have a guide here for more info.
If your service continues to buffer, we recommend that you replay the Livestream videos rather than participating live. You can watch as little as 10 minutes behind the live version.
Slow connection primarily affects the video content. It will not hamper your access to the learning aids or the Forum.
You can watch from any of the above devices as long as you have a working internet connection and are logged into your account. See the Livestream guide here for more info + app links.
No. Your subscription must run through VanillaArts.com
Please contact us at email@example.com for a special link to a version of the class which may have closed captioning available.
Please make sure you are logged into your account. If your subscription is active, the Livestream area will be available in your menu at the top of the screen. Visit the current Livestream class page to access the viewer.
Still need help? Post a message to the Forum help section here.
Please note that during broadcast time, Amy and her assistant are busy with the broadcast and cannot monitor the Forum for SOS calls and we do not monitor emails during the broadcast.
We recommend that everyone practice logging in and navigating to the correct page BEFORE broadcast time.
Click here to be taken to the log in page where you can begin the password reset process.
Vanilla Arts does not have access to your password and thus can not troubleshoot the spelling for you.
Still stuck? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will guide you through the reset process. Our hours are Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm Eastern US Time.
Please go through the standard Livestream purchase process here. You will be prompted to enter the gift code at checkout time.
Note: your gift code is unique to you and specific to the Livestream. It will not work on other classes or in the Vanilla Arts Stamp Shop.
Email the Vanilla Arts Team at: email@example.com
Hours: Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm United States Eastern Time.
Due to the high volume of email, please allow 2-3 business days to respond, longer over holidays or times of peak activity.
We may link you back to the Forum if the answer has been previously covered there.