color

Building the Booth {Surtex 2015}

One of the challenges of sharing a Surtex booth with other artists is coming to a consensus on big decisions. While prepping for this year's show, the booth design was probably the toughest decision to navigate. Don't get me wrong - the process was still fairly smooth and cordial - but we did have many, many conversations in order to get to the final design.

Part of the challenge was designing a booth that would play to ALL of our strengths. Jill and I have a more character-based approach, while tammie is the queen of geo and floral patterns.  We needed to figure out a way to showcase all of our skills in a cohesive manner. Since we had secured a corner booth, we'd have two main walls - so we decided to make one wall pattern-focused and the other wall character-focused. 

We also wanted our booth to look different from the rest of the booths. Last year when I walked the show I remember thinking that after a certain point, the booths started homogenizing even though the individual styles were different. Much of this had to do with utilizing the standard vertical banners to decorate. Don't get me wrong - I totally understand why that is such a popular approach - the vertical wall panels lend themselves perfectly to the banners. But how could we make our booth stand out among the sea of other booths?

The Happy Happy Surtex booth before. There is so much potential!
Once we agreed that we would have a character wall and a pattern wall, we needed to figure out a booth theme. Our theme for 2015 was Rain. As in, "raining happiness". We also worked within a loose color palette of red, pink, light blue and yellow. A common theme and color scheme would start to pull everything together. The 1st wall would have our characters walking along wearing rain slickers and carrying umbrellas, while the 2nd wall would be raining patterns - large raindrops filled with our patterns.

In lieu of the aforementioned vertical banners, we chose to get large, wall-sized banners that would cover all of the framework of the wall panels (see above). Those large banners, though incredibly unwieldy, looked fantastic once mounted - they eliminated all unnecessary seams and gave us a nice, clean canvas to apply the next portion of our booth design. We were a little worried about the weight and how we would hang them - but tammie had used some 3M velcro strips the year before with success, so we decided to use them again and they worked GREAT!

tammie smoothing down the corners of our ginormous banners during setup.
Admittedly, the walls don't look like much yet. We really liked the idea of getting our characters and raindrops printed on foamcore. This way we could attach them to the background banners with some flexibility and the added dimension would add some interest to our booth design. Again, we used those 3M velcro strips for hanging. Not one piece fell down!

One downfall of getting giant characters printed on foamcore and shipped across the country was the potential for damage. When tammie received the initial shipment, there were a few bumps and bruises:

Poor kitty and fox. (Photos by tammie)

Thankfully we had them shipped early enough that we had time to get them re-printed and re-shipped - this time with a lot more padding. Crisis diverted!

We had talked about doing some sort of raindrop garland to string across the booth. Jill found some super cool translucent colored vinyl that would add some funky texture and color. We ended up cutting and assembling the raindrops on the fly during setup:

Look at those colors!
We also got some props made out of foamcore to encourage people to stop by our "Selfie Station", take some photos and have some fun. Tammie took some quick practice selfies to whet our curiosity a couple weeks before the show:

tammie perfecting her selfie with our custom props. (photos by tammie)

Jill had the brilliant idea of handing out squirt guns swag to go along with our rainy theme. She created custom header cards with her awesome lettering which we stapled onto the bags back at our hotel. Get drenched in happiness!

A big pile o' happiness soakers. (no, they're not guns!)

As you can see, we had a lot of different ideas and pieces which all needed to come together. Since we are located all over the country, all of our conversations happened over Google Chat, email, FB or text. (thank goodness for technology!) I'll be honest - there was a tiny part of me that was a little nervous that it would look horrific once the booth was set up. I mean, we didn't even mock it up beforehand! :-O

But by the end of setup, our booth transformed into this:

Our booth after a long afternoon of setup. Now all we need is carpet!

Wowza! That's a big difference! As you can see, we had a wall for prancing characters, a wall for raining clouds, and that happy happy wall on the far left? That was the backdrop for our Selfie Station. Since there were three of us, we elected to have a tall table and a short table to help with the flow of traffic. The swag and promos ended up on the tall table for easy access, and the short table contained our portfolio books. The cute IKEA chairs allowed our guests to peruse our books and chat in a comfortable way. 

We were thrilled with how it turned out. Yes, it is bold and loud and colorful. But it reflects who we are as artists - and it was almost impossible to not look (or smile) when walking by. That was our goal - to spread happy-happiness!

Stay tuned for an in-depth look at our booth during the show. For all of my other Surtex-related posts, check them out here, here and here.

Until next time,

Wedding Invitations {Brian + Meredith}

Brian and Meredith are a super fun couple that I met through mutual friends in the Madison cycling community. When I sat down with them regarding their wedding invitations, they were looking for a few things:
  • an organic, laid-back style
  • eco-friendly - limit the number of pieces 
  • incorporating bikes and the city
  • a fall wedding = a warm, autumnal color palette 
Meredith sent me this photo she took at their venue for inspiration:


With their great direction, I was able to pull together several concepts.


We went back and forth a few more times and eventually landed on the final layout:



Once we had the layout, I started painting! Here are a few progress shots.




After all the color flats were laid, I added the text, which was a font I created out of my handwriting. The invitations were printed at Think Ink & Design on French Speckletone - a recycled paper - and paired with grass green envelopes. The main invite and map are actually 1 piece of paper, printed double-sided, to be a bit more eco-friendly.


This was such a great suite to work on - made better by working with such a fun couple. Together, we created a pretty fantastic piece of art to celebrate their special day.


Palm Springs Mini-Collection {Happy Happy}

I am so excited to share my latest group project from Happy Happy Art Collective! This summer Lauren taught a class geared towards art licensing at Watkin's College of Art, Design & Film. She thought it would be fun to assign the Happy Happy ladies the same project as her students - creating an mini collection using a city as inspiration.

My first thought was Seattle, since my family was headed there for vacation. And though I truly loved my time in Seattle (what a fun city!), I had a hard time coming up with a theme for my collection - sure, there's coffee and rain and music, but those themes just weren't ME. 

As I was contemplating other cities, I decided to do something more architecture-based. Usually, my illustrations are pretty organic - so I thought focusing on buildings could be a nice change. Then I started thinking about different types of architecture, and of course, I decided to do something from the 1950s/60s. What city is known for their mid-century architecture? Palm Springs!

I've never been there, but I'd love to go some day. And once I started researching the Desert Modern Architecture and Eichler homes, of course I HAD to check out the going rate for one of them on Air BnB. Yikes! I'll have to start saving ASAP. :-)

First I started out by drawing the Palm Springs Houses.


I couldn't stop!


Those rooflines! The textures! The patterns! Even the landscaping was perfectly proportioned. I decided to focus on the different elements.


And just for fun, I did a quick pattern using my Pentel brush pen:



I intended to create my main pattern utilizing the houses, then create two more inspired by the elements. I envisioned a warm, pastel/coral palette, inspired by the desert. 

And without further ado, here is my Palm Springs Mini Collection!


Here's a closer look:





If I ever get the opportunity to visit Palm Springs, I am DEFINITELY making myself a bag out of this fabric!

Please, please please head over to the HHAC blog to see the rest of the city collections. They are amazing!!

Have a fantastic weekend,






Sh*tty Barn Poster {Spirit Family Reunion 2013}

Recently, I got the opportunity to design another gig poster for the Sh*tty Barn. This was a fun one : Spirit Family Reunion! Their music is so full of energy, it is almost impossible not to clap or stomp along while listening to it.

They paint some beautiful imagery with their lyrics, so I decided to focus on a phrase from their song, On That Day: "...like the clothes upon the line...". I thought it would be fun to create the letters of their band name out of pieces of clothing hanging on a clothesline.

Here's the sketch:


And here's the final poster!


I played with texture in the knockout areas of the clothing which adds a bit of visual interest and balances the linework pretty well. Also, I made myself use colors that weren't red or pink or turquoise! It was tough, but I think it speaks to their music better than my typical bubblegum pop color schemes. 

Unfortunately, I had to miss the show this year, which was a bummer. Fingers crossed that I'll get back to The Barn sometime this season yet!

Have a great week!

Walter the Whale {Spoonflower Fabric}

I'm back with another fun Spoonflower pattern! This week the theme was Whales. Apparently, whales are going to be the next big thing in 2014...

I liked the idea of making a happy whale with a big, toothy smile. That's when I decided to sketch Walter the Whale. Since whales have such a big expanse of nothingness, I added a little dotty design element for visual interest. 



We were given a color palette. Initially I liked it, but when I started putting the colors together I had a hard time getting them to gel how I preferred. So I decided to forego the cream all together and used the rose-y color sparingly. I was hoping for more contrast with the rose and raspberry, but unfortunately, it got kinda lost...


And here is my final piece!


As you can see, Walter is having a blast frolicking in the sea. If you're feeling inclined, head on over to the weekly Spoonflower contest and give Walter some love! There are a LOT of super whale designs - apparently everyone wanted to get in on the whale trend!

Have an awesome weekend,



Desktop Calendar {April 2014}

Hooray! It's finally Spring here in Wisconsin. After what seemed like the longest winter ever, our snow has finally disappeared and the kids are zooming their scooters up and down the block.



For April's calendar I decided to illustrate a little fox jumping in the puddles. 'Cause, you know - April showers bring May flowers!

To download the April calendar, you can click on the above image and save it to your computer, or you can also find it herePlease note that this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License. 

Oh - and if you haven't already, please sign up for the Happy Happy newsletter - a new one is being sent out tomorrow!

Happy Spring!

Mad Science {Spoonflower Fabric}

I was super excited for the latest Spoonflower challenge - it was a Science Fair theme! Something you may not know about me is my love for Science (biology and anatomy, specifically). I took several science classes in college, and thoroughly enjoyed drawing things I saw under the microscope. At one point, my Zoology professor actually suggested medical illustration as a career path for me. I was really interested in that idea until I found out there were only a few universities in the U.S. where I could get that highly specialized degree. Oh well. Such is life.

Fast forward to last week when I was working on sketches for this pattern. I was having a blast creating little Science-y icons!



For this composition, I wanted to create a more organized pattern. Rows of icons could be cool...but how could I make it more interesting? I decided to first create a hex pattern which was a nod to molecular structures, THEN fill in the hex shapes with my icons.


When I was working on my sketches, I had a pale yellow - red - light blue - black color scheme in my head. I applied it to my pattern, and I was very happy with how it complemented my icons. It has a sort of vintage feel which I love.

If you're feeling inclined, head on over to Spoonflower and vote for your favorite Science Fair designs - it is so interesting seeing everyone's interpretations!

Have an awesome weekend!



Bedtime for Bunnies {Spoonflower Fabric}

Though I didn't have a lot of time this week, I managed to squeeze another pattern in for the weekly Spoonflower contest. The theme was so fun, I hated to pass it up just because I wanted a few extra ZZZs. Which is ironic, considering the theme was 

Bedtime!

Stella's bedtime routine is VERY important - if we happen to miss something, she is right there reminding us what we forgot. She is quite the task master when she wants to be! I decided to use her bedtime as my inspiration for a few sketches.


Is it weird that I put bunny slippers on a bunny?



For this contest, Spoonflower provided us with a color scheme. Usually I love limited color palettes. This one, not so much - the yellow and purple were really intense. Oh well - those were the parameters and I was going to make it work!


One thing I discovered during this process, was, even though I am getting better at setting up square repeat patterns in Photoshop, I can't seem to figure out other types of repeats - namely half-drop. I have a couple books that I've been referencing, but these novelty patterns that are a bit more complicated are really tripping me up. If any of you have any tips or resources, I'm all ears! 

And of course, I have to plug the contest! Head on over to Spoonflower and give my Bedtime for Bunnies pattern some love! Thanks!

xo


Gems + Geodes {Spoonflower Fabric}

Hello!

This week I decided to create an entry for the current Spoonflower contest. The theme was Geodes and Gemstones.

As I've mentioned before, my typical subject matter consists of flowers, animals and Stella - NOT stones...or anything geometric, for that matter! I thought it would be a fun challenge.

After researching what EXACTLY gems and geodes were, I decided I would focus on gems. I drew a whole page of these cute little structures!



After I brought them into Photoshop, I set my palette and tried to figure out how to show the gems' dimension without adding too many colors. My solution was some crosshatching!



By layering the colors of my basic palette, I was able to not only add dimension, but some nifty tones with the "transparency" the crosshatching created. My eyes were watering like crazy from drawing all of these fine lines, but I am really happy with how it turned out.

Tomorrow Spoonflower voting begins! Be sure to head on over to the contest and check out all the awesome selections. If you're interested in my other Spoonflower patterns, check 'em out right here.




Great Barrier Reef {Spoonflower Fabric}

Once of my 2014 goals is to do more patterns. I would love to get some work in the surface design category, whether wrapping paper, fabric or home decor - so I figured in order to make this happen, I need to make more patterns! 

I love assignments - they challenge me to create something out of my usual wheelhouse. So I decided I would start partaking in Spoonflower's weekly fabric design contests. I've been meaning to spend more time on Spoonflower's  lovely site, especially now that they offer wallpaper and gift wrap options, so this would be a win-win. 

The theme for the current design contest was Great Barrier Reef. If there is one thing I don't draw a lot of, it is fish - or any water creatures, for that matter. I usually prefer a hairier subject matter! But this is what the challenge is all about, right?

I started out by drawing a lot of coral - so many beautiful colors, shapes and sizes! I was having a lot of fun.



I decided at that point that I was going to stick with the coral - no fish. I liked the idea of focusing on the underwater flora. Inspired by these IKEA glasses one evening,


I found my color palette!

And here is the full Great Barrier Reef design, in all it's glory:



If you're digging it, I'd love your vote over at Spoonflower! To vote in this week's contest, please click here. Thanks!

I have to say, this was super fun. Though I wasn't particularly thrilled by the theme at first, I am really happy with how the pattern turned out. It just goes to show, it is worth going out of your comfort zone once in a while!

Have a great week,


2013 Holiday Card

I love Christmas. I really do. In fact, my nickname used to be Mrs. Claus. Then, being the crazy maker person that I am, I started taking on more than I could handle in November and December. Instead of focusing on what the season is REALLY about, I became overwhelmed with my never-ending to-do list. I couldn't just buy a wreath, I had to MAKE a wreath. I couldn't just use store-bought gift tags, I had to HAND DRAW pretty, swirly names on the Kraft paper wrapping. Yes, in the end, I had a beautiful handmade holiday, but was it really worth it?!?

This year I made a tough decision. Instead of hand printing our Christmas cards, I outsourced the printing. This was the first time since 2000 that I didn't physically make my holiday cards. It pained me to hand over that task to someone else, but I have to say - it alleviated SO much pressure. And because of it, I could create a more complex design (more details and more colors) knowing that a pro could handle it.


Like previous years, I wanted our card to depict a fun, holiday family tradition. We decided to focus on the moment when Stella places the topper on the tree. Here is the sketch.

As far as color palette goes, I wanted something non-traditional, but still somewhat Christmas-y. I knew Stella would be a fan if we used pink, so I picked out French Paper's Shocking Pink and went from there. This was going to be a bold one!


I was excited that French was now offering no. 10 size envelopes. I thought the long, skinny format would be the perfect match for our tall tree. I hired Screen Door Studio here in Madison to do the printing, and I think they did a splendid job - especially with the fine line work I presented them. It was the best feeling sending the job off to the printers and NOT having to do all the work. Of course, we still had to write the inside message and address the envelopes, but it still felt like nothing compared to the hours of back breaking printing, cutting, scoring and stamping it used to be.

So the lesson I learned here is that it is OKAY to ask for help - even if it is one of your favorite things to do! I was much happier, that's for sure. And that extra time meant I could make snowball garland for the windows...and felt ornaments...and Christmas tree centerpieces... Who needs rest, right? ;-)



Party Paper {Make Art That Sells Week 10}

I made it! School is officially out. Meaning, Make Art That Sells with Lilla Rogers is over. What a whirlwind the last five months have been! I plan to do a post to summarize my projects and thoughts about MATS, but for now, I am going to focus on the final week : Party Paper.

What is party paper? Well, simply put, it encompasses paper goods associated with a party - paper plates, napkins, cups, tablecloths, crepe paper streamers, etc. Lilla asked us to focus on Ukrainian and Bavarian folk art for our inspiration, as birds and florals are such an important theme in party paper goods. 

Wow. I had SO much fun perusing folk art inspiration. I already utilize many elements of folk art in my illustration so I knew this was going to be a good fit. First I started filling a page with the amazing patterns I was seeing on Ukrainian Eggs (I have always been a huge fan):


During my research, I stumbled across some fantastic folk art in the fashion world:

source

source

source

These were from the Spring 2013 collection of fashion designer Mara Hoffman. Gorgeous, right? I was completely smitten by the background images. Turns out this was a collaboration between Mara and Ukrainian folk artist Maria Primachenko. I had to find out more. Oh my gosh. I was blown away by her work - the color...the patterns...the creatures! I had to start drawing. I filled a page with Maria-inspired doodles:


At that point, I knew where I wanted my pieces to go. I drew up a round plate and a square napkin.



Now came the fun part - adding color! I wanted it to be bold and bright. I ended up putting the bird on a white background and the giraffe on a black background for maximum POP. Here are my finished party paper goods!


I had a blast with this assignment. In fact, I recently acquired a tired, old toy chest that we are going to utilize in our mudroom as a storage bench. I just put a fresh coat of black paint on it, and I have now been inspired to do some folk-art inspired hand painting on it to give it a little personality. I can't wait to share it!

Thanks again for following my journey through Make Art That Sells. It has been a wonderful experience! Check out some of my other classmates, while you're at it: Denise • Ine • Sam • Johanna.


Editorial {Make Art That Sells Week 9}

I was pretty excited for the Editorial week in Make Art That Sells. I have had very little editorial experience, and I would love to do more work in that market. I was wondering what assignment Lilla would have up her sleeve!

For the Mini assignment on Monday, we were asked to do some hand lettering of where we live. How fun! I love playing around with lettering! Here's a page out of my sketchbook:


Do you know what our maxi assignment was? I'll give you one guess. 

Yup! A map of the town/city we live in. To Lilla's point - the key to editorial illustration is being able to create an image that a photo wouldn't necessarily be able to depict. A perfect example is a map! I was super excited about this one. 

I started out by writing a whole slew of things that makes Madison a great place to live. And then my list got REALLY long (because Madison is awesome, of course!). I needed to focus my point of view. Then it hit me - I wanted to show how Madison was so fun for kids! 

I originally started drawing the places and associated objects. Chairs for the Union Terrace; A picnic basket for Picnic Point; A baseball and bat for Mallards Baseball. Sure, they worked, but they didn't have much personality. I decided if this map was for kids, I should SHOW some kids. Duh! Here are some kiddos out of my sketchbook:


And here is the final map!


I really wanted the color palette to be light and fun. And I chose to speak directly to the kids in the key, so they would really be able to identify with the map.

This was such an amazing project. It really made me think about WHY I am doing something instead of just churning out a whole slew of random drawings. 

Wanna see where some of my classmates live? Denise • Ine • Johanna • Sam • Samantha

So...if you visit Madison with your kids, be sure you check out some of these fun activities!

Scrapbooking {Make Art That Sells Week 8}

Hi there! 

I'm back with another Make Art That Sells recap. Last week was all about the scrapbooking market. I'll be honest - I was probably the least excited about this topic. I think it's because I had preconceived ideas about what scrapbooking was all about and I generalized who the target consumer would be. I apologize if this offends you. But what I realized after Lilla's instruction, there is opportunity for many different styles and mediums - including mine! That's what I get for being close-minded! :-O

Wow, scrapbooking is all about STUFF. Borders, stickers, stamps, fancy papers, buttons and other embellishments - I can see why people have so much fun with it! Lilla showed us lots of examples and assigned us our mini assignment focusing on vintage cameras and typewriters. 




What an assignment! I choose to do my initial drawings using only pen (no pencil sketches), so the angles and high level of detail in these instruments really flexed my brain - trying to get it right the first time. Lilla chose these subjects BECAUSE of the details - and boy, was she right. I have to say - it was fun deconstructing the objects into their little parts and pieces - it really gave me a good idea of what they were all about. And you'll see later in my icons - I was able to incorporate some of these details in a fun and unexpected way!

For our main assignment, we were supposed to design a full page of scrapbooking 'bits and bobs' that could eventually become stickers, chip board cutouts, buttons, washi tape - you name it. And of course, use the cameras and typewriter drawings to create a "Recording Your Life" theme.




I started out by drawing a bunch of simplified typewriters, but it quickly turned into typewriter and camera characters - robots, maybe? I was really attracted to the form of the type bars, and I thought it would be fun to transform them into fancy hairdos, teeth and facial hair. Things were getting goofy, and I was trying to figure out how to tie all of my ideas together into one concise theme. 


I utilized some sound effects, phrases and positivity, along with a happy color scheme to pull it all together. I'm still not sure if it exactly meets Lilla's Recording Your Life theme, but I sure had fun with it! After learning all about the scrapbooking market, I think I could really enjoy immersing myself in themes and creating lots of these bits!

Once again, it was so neat seeing my classmates' interpretations. Here are a few for your perusal: Gabriella, MarianaIne and Denise.




Childrens' Apparel {Make Art That Sells Week 7}


Week 2 of Make Art That Sells part B was all about the Childrens' Apparel Market. Though I have never really thought about creating for kids' clothes specifically, anything for kids sounds fun, so I was all in.

Lilla gave us Camping as our theme - awesome! There are so many directions I could go. I started this assignment by writing a giant list of anything camping/woodsy related I could think of. The sketches came easily - instead of only focusing on objects, I could draw activities, as well. I decided a moose and a fox would be the stars of my collection.








I came up with a few fun scenes and phrases, and I thought they'd be nice placement graphics. I tried really, really hard to pick a color palette that wasn't typical for me. I wanted it to be a bit more sophisticated and masculine. That was tough! Way to push me out of my comfort zone...






I was having a blast with the lettering as well! I chose to keep my backgrounds simple since there was so much detail in the characters.

Once I created the three concepts, I built a few patterns that coordinate with them. The first is the main pattern, comprising of all the camping gear the fox and moose would need to hike, hang out by the fire and canoe.



And then some trees and stripes for the next two patterns:



By the time I finished with these six pieces I was almost out of time! I have never pushed it so close to the deadline. I had planned on creating a hoodie with the campfire graphic and the stripe pattern inside the hood; a pajama set with the canoe graphic for the shirt and the tree pattern for the pajama pants; and two coordinating onesies with the hiking graphic on one and the gear pattern on the other. Unfortunately I didn't have time! :-(

I'm pretty proud of this collection. Though looking at it in it's entirety, I think it's a bit to dark for your typical kids' clothes. I'm planning on revisiting the palette at some point and brightening it up a bit.

Whattya think? This was super fun!

And be sure to check out some of my other classmates' work, too! Ine • Johanna • Denise

Thanks for stopping by!


Paper {Make Art That Sells Week 6}


School is back in session! That's right. Lilla Rogers' Make Art That Sells Part 2 started back up last week. There is no rest for the weary, that's for sure!

Week 1 was all about the Paper Market. From journals to notepads to washi tape to greeting cards, the paper market encompasses a LOT. And this is one market I am dying to get into.

On Monday we were given our mini assignment - and it was all about the holidays! Yippee! Can I say, this Mrs. Claus was VERY excited about that? We were to focus on holiday ornaments and candy. So fun! I drew lots of little icons - which are key, according to Lilla. Here's a sample of the fun I was having:




When we got our main assignment on Wednesday, we were asked to create two greeting cards utilizing our holiday icons from the mini.

While brainstorming, I was trying to think of ways to display ornaments WITHOUT relying on a Christmas tree. I thought that was too obvious. Here are some of my early concept sketches: 




They were cute, but they didn't have that somethin' somethin' I was looking for. So I kept going. Eventually I came up with these: 


So much more fun! It was time to digitize. When all was said and done, I had this card:


and this card - which was the one I ended up turning in as my final.



I had a blast with this assignment. I utilized a fresh color palette, and I feel I packed a lot of personality into these cards. I have been making a huge effort to maintain a good balance of strong graphic shapes and detailed line work. And, I'm trying really hard to give my characters different expressions and features. This is so fun!

And you should definitely go check out some of my classmates' work - it was great seeing all the different interpretations of the theme : Denise, Tammie, and Lauren.

Until next time,


Global Talent Search {Final Entry}

Hello!

Today I am back to share my Global Talent Search final entry with y'all. As you probably already know, the lovely Zoe Ingram won the big prize last week - yay, Zoe!

Our final assignment was to design a home decor/gift collection for Midwest CBK. We were given four trend boards in which we were to pick one to use as our inspiration for our collection. I went with Boho, since the color palette and detail suited my illustration style quite nicely.

Our collection was to include a main pattern with 2-3 coordinates, 2-3 products, some placement graphics and type.

When deciding my theme, I wanted it to exhibit a few things:

- reflect my personality
- something I would display in my own home
- speak to my illustration style

- have some fun elements that could be showcased 3-dimensionally

After lots of sketches, I chose a Sun theme. Why suns? First of all, it's one of my favorite things to draw. It represents happiness. I can bring in other celestial elements to sprinkle throughout the collection. I can have lots of fun with different types of rays, and it gave me some more dimensional options. I also didn't want to do birds, butterflies or flowers - I thought that was too common - suns were a  little more "out there". :-)

I now introduce to you, Shiny Happy Day!





I tried to incorporate a good blend of organic elements, geometric shapes, texture and a bit of whimsy. When I saw Boho was one of our choices, I immediately thought "pom-poms!" - one of my favorite decorative styles - so I knew I was going to include pom-pom trim somewhere!

My three products are a macrame hanging planter, a lamp and a pillow. I love house plants, especially hanging ones, so I thought it would be fun (and very Boho) to create a macrame planter with red beads. And, yes - I actually made that planter and painted those wood beads. Remember this photo from Instagram?
 

I created a geometric pattern on a white background that I thought would make for a very striking lampshade.

And the pillow is my favorite! As I said above, I am a sucker for pom-pom trim, so I knew I wanted to do a sun pillow, where the pom-poms would represent the rays. And, depending on your mood, you can flip it over for a fun, inspirational quote!

I also created a chair out of the main pattern, but decided not to use it at the last minute. Here's a peek (and please don't mind the crappy seam-y pattern - I was just trying to visualize...).





In addition to the main sun pattern and the geometric pattern, I also created two more coordinates - a stripey clouds and sun bursts. I am so in love with that cloud pattern I think I'm definitely going to get some of it printed so I can make some fun throw pillows.

The final assignment was a great exercise, and quite the challenge. I am glad I got the opportunity to design a mini-collection, because it forced me to think across a range of products and applications. Now I know I want to do more of this type of work!

Thanks again for all your support throughout this competition. Though I didn't "win" the final prize, I still feel I have won so much - the experience was so valuable - it something I will carry through all my future work.

Now it's time to focus on school again. Make Art That Sells is back in session!




Work/Life 3

Hello!

Wow - it has been absolute madness since my last post regarding the Global Talent Search. Thank you all for your amazing support and comments! I just turned in my final assignment late last night and now I can finally relax. Until October 3, when we find out the results, of course! :-)

In the mean time, I want to share some more exciting news that occurred in the flurry of GTS. I received this gem in the mail:





Are you familiar with Uppercase Magazine? It is a quarterly publication that is chocked FULL of inspiration, artist profiles, trends, typography and vintage ephemera. As they put it - it is a magazine "for the creative and curious". I love it. I've only been subscribing for a year, but on the days when Uppercase arrives in my mailbox, everything else is trumped as I soak in the goodness found within the pages. Plus, the fresh ink smells glorious! Stella took this photo of me sniffing my latest issue...  :-)






Uppercase also publishes a book called Work/Life where they profile 100 artists from around the world. And I am happy to say that I am part of edition 3!


For the third book in the series, they focused on the theme, "An Illustrated Life" in which they "explore the illustrator's lifestyle in intimate detail and find out what it takes to stay creative 24/7". Each of us were given a fairly comprehensive questionnaire to complete, from which, along with our bio, a custom illustration assignment was crafted for the participants.

I loved my assignment - though it made me a bit nervous first. I was to ask Stella what she thought I did during the day when she was at school. For all I knew, she thinks I watch movies or ride my bike all day. That would make for an inspiring portrait! Thankfully, when I did sit down with her to chat about what Mommy does all day, she answered:


Work
Make Fuzzies
Look at the computer
Draw
Paint
Cut paper
Use string

Phew! At least we were on the right track. I asked her to be a bit more specific about what I draw and she answered:

Giraffes
Birds
Bunnies
Flowers
Bears
Rainbows
My friends
Daddy
Stella
People

That was a pretty good list! I felt I had all I needed to start my composition. I decided to paint this portrait, since I thought an original painting would be a nice keepsake. I originally had a blue color scheme in mind, but I changed it up at the last minute. I thought the yellow would be a bit more cheerful - since I am pretty darned happy when working!



I am so honored to be a part of such a fantastic publication, along with some highly talented artists. Some of my personal favorite illustrators included in Work/Life 3 are Lindsey Balbierz, Tammie Bennett, Helen Dardik, Denise Holmes, Dinara Mirtalipova, Elizabeth Olwen, Ashley Percival, Erica Sirotich, Linda Solovic and Brad Woodard. Though now that I am reading the book cover-to-cover, I am discovering so many others! If you're interested in purchasing the book, you can find it here.

I recommend subscribing to the magazine and the blog - it's a constant source of inspiration! Plus - they're always looking for new content - they welcome submissions and often have Open Calls to Participate. It's a great community.

Go check it out! You won't be disappointed.

Have an awesome week!


Global Talent Search {Round 2}


As I've mentioned in a previous post, I made it to the semi-final round in the Lilla Rogers Global Talent search. Wowee!

Our round 2 assignment was designing a Fall-themed Farmer's Market Tote. It was pretty open-ended, other than we had to focus on nature. AND it was suggested we incorporate people and hand-drawn type. Suggested? Yup. I'm doing it.




I love going to the Farmer's Market and Autumn is my favorite season. I thought about WHY I love them so much. Our family always rides our bikes to the market and we find a good place on the grass to call our "base". Then Stephen and I take turns running around the market picking up our favorite stuff. We end up just chilling out watching the people shuffle by as we munch on raspberries, beef jerky and Stella's favorite cookies. (We don't buy a ton of produce at the market because we get a CSA). When we're done, I load up my cute wicker basket with all of our goodies and we ride home.

And in Fall, I love, love love the fallen leaves! I love the sound of them crunching under my feet. I love watching them fall quietly to the ground as the sun illuminates what's left on the trees. But my favorite part is walking through the piles that accumulate on the edges of the sidewalk. I'll admit I may kick a bit harder than normal, just to see them scatter in my wake.

So I knew I wanted to incorporate biking and fallen leaves. I wanted to focus on the experience of traveling from the market, gliding silently through the fallen leaves with our precious goodness strapped to our bikes. Though browns, oranges and yellow are so typical, I wanted to throw in some bright colors to complement their warmth. If this design were screen printed on a canvas bag, I think they'd really pop.

With all of this being said, 6 finalists will be chosen to move onto the next round. Five will be picked by the amazing panel of judges, and one will be the "People's Choice" finalist. This is where you come in

Please take a look at the online gallery of all the phenomenal semifinalists. I would love your support, but you can vote for up to five different artists, so please share the love! Voting ends Monday, so don't delay!

Thanks again for your vote and all of your support throughout my journey. This has been an incredible year.



Silver Screen Society {Hero}

Silver Screen Society is the brainchild of  Trevor Basset and Brandon Schaefer. Each month they choose a film and gather designers/illustrators to create a piece of artwork based on their interpretation of the movie.

Back in May I was lucky enough to be selected to do my interpretation of the Movie, Hero. From IMDB : "One man defeated three assassins who sought to murder the most powerful warlord in pre-unified China." Whoa. Kung-fu movies are not typically my genre of choice, but as I always say, I love a good challenge. 

So we rented the movie, and I took notes and sketched as we watched it. This proved to be difficult, since there were subtitles to read, but that's what Pause and Rewind are for, right?



Throughout the movie, I was very moved by all the colors. I seriously considered doing a rainbow-themed poster that would represent all the colorful scenes, but in the end I decided to focus on red and black - very dramatic. Arrows had a big role in the movie, so I wanted the page to be thick with them. I added a bit of texture in the background by scanning in an ink wash - I thought it tied in the painted calligraphy that was prevalent in the movie.

There's a lot of symbolism that I tried to incorporate, but at the same time, keep it simple. 

This was fun. Hopefully I'll get the chance to do another one!