I took the first Make Art That Sells - A course five years ago. One of the assignments was to make the cover art for Hans Christian Anderson's tale, 'The Snail and the Rose Tree'. Children's book illustration had been my focus since college so I figured I had this one in the bag. However, I was terribly frustrated and didn't even hand in an image that week. I was so disappointed in myself. I think I was doing a lot of comparing myself to the other student's work back then. Many were using Photoshop or Illustrator or both to make beautiful, flat, graphically stunning work and I had no idea how to use the Adobe products ... yet! Now I have embraced my style, learned Ps and Ai although I don't exclusively use them, and found my own voice. So, I went back to that assignment and redid it. I'm not sure this works as cover art but I had much more fun this time!
The 100 Days Project, when I did 100 Botanicals and Bugs, changed the way I drew. I loosened up and found my voice in interpreting vintage botanical illustration and most important, I had fun. TO that end, I have set a goal of creating fifty figure/character illustrations. I will not be doing this in fifty days as is sometimes the rule for these types of endeavors. I hope to gain a richer vocabulary in creating the human form. Here are my first three pieces.
I have launched a new wing to my studio: Graphic Design. The intention is to offer budget-friendly logo and marketing design to small businesses. I specialize in creating a consistent face to the online community. Linking playful ideas with deliberate design. See more information and a price list in my shop
Please don't hesitate to email me with questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
I've been immersed in the creation of the latest Lilla Rogers Global Talent Search competition assignment. I am LOVING it! I realize how much I have learned and how far I have come. I'm going to bravely share my past submissions and go through where I was at the time - creatively and technically. I want to show, mainly myself, how very far I have come in five years!
This make me cringe a bit. We had to design a journal cover with the theme of vintage playground. I did not know or even have Photoshop on my computer. I did not have my own computer or scanner! I had to carefully paint this with brand new gouache and then take it to Staples to have it scanned. I had just taken MATS A (the very first MATS class) and cried every week because I couldn't make my ideas look as cool as some of the more tech-savy artists. The only week I felt good about during that class was wall art because I was a fine artist, that's what I did. But, I completed this assignment with the know-how I had at the time and gave it my 110%. No, I did not make it through to the next round. But, I remember having fun. And I did love my palette. I admired the artists whose work rose above the crowd and used it as motivation to keep going. I knew my voice was forming and I just needed to keep working.
In 2014 we had to design a piece with the terrarium theme and hand lettering. I don't remember much about this brief. This year I had learned some photoshop from a generous and patient friend but I was still quite a novice. I hand painted this piece in sections. The background pattern was in gouache on paper and the terrarium and cup were done in acrylic on wood board. Again, I think my concept was original and my color palette was pretty good but my technical skills were not yet there. I Definitely did not include enough icons to chew on! No, I did not make it through to the next round. I could see the artists whose work was picked and could see why Lilla fell in love with their work.
In 2015 the theme was to design a cup, saucer and paper ware for a tea shop in London. I loved doing the research for this one and really let my imagination go. I had just started an obsession with drawing and painting moths so I went in that direction and used metamorphosis as my theme. Again, I really took my time with this and put in all my soul and energy into this piece. I remember loving the result. Again, I did not make it through the first cut. At the time I was crushed because I truly felt mine could hang with the fifty artists who got through. With time though, I have gained some perspective and can see that I wasn't quite there yet. I should have mocked up my tea cup and I should have included a whole lot more icons. I was going for simplicity and elegance and that's not necessarily what was selling at the time. Again, I kept going and building my skills with gouache, and Photoshop. I went to school to get a certificate in Graphic Design and I took a bit of a breather from the Make Art That Sells community so that I could find my own voice and explore things on my own for a bit.
I really do feel like a completely different artist now than I was then. My skills with Photoshop have gone from an awkward necessity to an integral tool in my tool box. I have also learned to use Illustrator in ways I could never believed I was capable of. I've honed my design skills and continued to push myself towards a more authentic voice.
I'm proud of my design this year. I will share it after July 9th. I think I've come a long way, Baby!
I want to say that I think it was a healthy choice to take a bit of a break from the MATS community to find my own way for a bit. I am thrilled to be back in the fold again. I have taken the Children's Book Illustration class and have signed up for the Money Badass class which starts in August. I'm back with a vengeance!
Oh! And I have fallen in love with my dip fountain pen! I just want to draw and hand letter with it all day long!!!
There are three new diplomas and a certificate in our house!
Please excuse my website as I work on making it reflect the type of work I want to get.
I have moved my studio to a new, sun-light-filled space with great energy and I am getting my mind and spirit ready for the Global Talent Search which starts on June 25th.
So excited for this next phase!
As the days tick down to finishing up my Certificate in Graphic Design program and my worries mount... "Where will this next stone on my path take me?"..."will it take me closer to the art career I've been digging for for years or will it feel like another dead end?"... I listened to an interview this morning with David Gray that really shifted something in me. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a huge David Gray fan. He started as a painting major in college and instead gave in to the real love of his life: music. The way he writes a song from the lyrics to the melody to the instruments he uses has always spoken to me on an artist's heart level. His words that sang true to me this morning:
One of the most fun projects I am currently working on with a group is to recreate a website for a local sustainable farm. I've done a tiny bit of the coding and been asked to be the illustrator for the project, to give the site a quirky, warm feeling. I am loving this project!
Be well and just keep painting...singing...playing...being you!
Last month I set a goal of making art for thirty days. Not necessarily thirty consecutive days, as school work and life are piled high these days. But, thirty days of sketching or producing something purely for my pleasure. I was beginning to get quite sad and missing time to make some art, play with color, muse about form just for the sake of exploration. I'm through day twenty-three and found myself gravitating back to botanicals. I guess that muse is not dead yet.
Here are a few - follow along on my Instagram
Gracie Brave on the shelf in Grand Rapids, MI! Seeing her nestled in the with these noteworthy new picture books on the market is thrilling! If you are local to Grand Rapids get yours at Reader's World on River. Also available thru Amazon.com.
I have been experimenting with my friend's Glowforge and we are brainstorming ideas faster than our little (well, my little ;-) ) brain can process! Seriously, check it out!
I've started my second semester in the Graphic Design certificate program I am in. This semester I will finally master Adobe Illustrator and InDesign! I got a 4.0 last semester, let's see if I can keep up the momentum. I'm seeking an internship to learn layout design for a magazine or catalogue so if you know any interesting leads in Central Massachusetts for me, I would welcome the resource!
Happy 2018 everyone! I am looking forward to a few weeks of break from my graphic design certificate program I am currently enrolled in. I had a great first semester, survived web design with minimal hairs being pulled and made Dean's list!
Big news for this month is that Gracie Brave has been launched on Amazon by the authors (Pamela Krikke and Kate Eldean). I illustrated Gracie Brave and worked one on one with the authors to bring her to life. It was an interesting project and one I enjoyed a great deal.
I have had requests for several years to do a wall calendar and I thought the latest Bugs and Botanicals series would be a perfect opportunity to satisfy my customers. The twelve-month calendar features:
- Large, 12' square format
- Printed in full color on heavy card stock matte paper
- coil-bound with a hole for easy hanging.
- Features 12 of my favorite images from the 100 Day Challenge project.
I love September! The temperature is a mixed bag and allows for the occasional heavier layer: a favorite cardigan and jeans. It's also one of the most nostalgic times of year, don't you think? I'm headed back to school to get a certificate in Graphic Design to help round out my skills! Don't you just love the smell of new books and pencils!?
Oy! Best laid plans... yep. This summer hasn't gone as planned. My seasonal allergies have really dampened my energy and reserve. I was on steroids for a few weeks to try and get on top of them and those were the best two weeks of my summer! I haven't been able to do any of my new series, other than the 100 Days of Botanicals and Bugs which has been really helpful and enlightening. So, let me catch you up on some of those pieces I was able to squeeze out of my hands. I also had some client work this summer which has been great as well.
I will be at Holden Days Community fest this Saturday with some new works like the ones below, "Love Thy Neighbor" series. I will have afordable originals as well as prints of soem fo the botanical and bugs. COme say hello! I'd love to see you.
I've been wanting to do circus-themed illustrations for years. I've been collecting imagery and dreaming about the sort of characters and environment I wanted to create. Lately, with the closing of Barnum and Bailey and the changing circus mission, it's been on my mind even more. I'm putting together a promo packet to send to art directors and agents and creating a few personal pieces to include in my port folio. I took this opportunity to have some fun with the circus theme. If you are an art director or agent and are interested in recieing my promotional packet when it is ready please email me or comment here with your email and I will be sure to include you on my short list!
Normally, summer is not my favorite season. I don't do well in the heat and my allergies leave me feeling itchy, tired and a bit foggy most of the time. This year, however, I have a reason to welcome it with open arms! I can already feel the schedule of the school year fading away and I'm starting to adjust to the new, more consistent work schedule in the studio. I will still be navigating the work schedules of my two teenage sons who are not yet driving and the very phrenetic schedule of my new(ish), high energy puppy but this is all an improvement!
Looking forward to sinking my teeth into my emerging "Caged" series. This series gets its imagery inspiration from vintage botanical and biological illustrations. The energy for this series is fueled by my own angst and thoughts about being a woman in her fifties as I consider all the choices I've made along the way and the things that cage me in one way or another. I will be incorporating hand embroidery into the works, as I have in the previous two series. This time I plan on working on hand dyed fabrics as well as the tissue paper layers I've used in the past. I have been doing research on the history of embroidery and it's parallel to woman's roles in the family and community. This history will play its own role in the series and what I hope to express in these works.
Because most artists these days have to keep many irons in the fire to keep the bills paid, I will also be putting together a marketing package to send out to art agents and directors in the direction of illustration and licensing work. Work on the Gracie Brave book is ongoing and I will be doing some illustration work for the authors this summer as well.
Happy Summer to all who have teken the time to visit my "desk" today. Be well and stay in touch!
I am now offering some of the 100 Days of Botanicals and Bugs as giclee prints in my shop here on my site! Please email me with inquiries or requests for specific images or sizes.
The 100 Days Project Continues and is going well ... I've loosened up and have played with new color palettes and am finding pure joy in the process! I've started doing research on the history of botanical illustrations as well as the history of embroidery and it's reflection of society and culture. This search and the daily practice of playing with the themes will inform my next series which I hope to really dig in to this summer. Finally, I am researching fellowships and artist residencies to commit a focused block of time to this series, if anyone has any leads - I'd welcome the resource!
These studies and sketches will inform my next wall art series. This new series will explore the mixture of hand embroidery, used in a more free-form/intuitive way than I have used it in my first Beasts series. I've begun to explore the use of embroidering on tea-dyed fabric as well as water soluble substrate material for hand work. My intention is to bring an updated and deeper exploration of the traditional botanical/natural history illustration.
I continue to work on my children's book illustration portfolio and hope to pull a pitch together for the Gigantic Turnip book.
Finally, I am researching the possibility of pursuing a Masters in Social Work to support my goals of bringing creativity as a means to healing to audiences that have experienced loss and or trauma.