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Brava Artist Feature

This month I am extremely honored to be featured in Brava Magazine as December's Portrait of an Artist!


I've done a bit of work for the publication (remember this post?) and I look forward to receiving my issue every month. Brava is a Madison-based magazine focused on women + style + substance - and as the editor-in-chief puts it, "[Brava] is the most fun, interesting and inspiring girlfriend we could think of". That just makes me smile! :-)

Hopefully you can read from my photo, but if not, here is the link to my feature in the online publication. Basically, it tells my story of going from a graphic designer at Pacific Cycle to full-time illustrator. What a whirlwind it has been!

And I am happy a snippet of my studio was included - the top photo is my inspiration wall that hangs right above my computer. It consists not only of some of my work, but some of my favorite artists' work as well. You should check out their work, while you're at it! Seen here is the work of Lesley Barnes, Mikey Burton, Hamiliton Wood Type Museum, Eight Hour Day and Shauna Lynn Panczyszyn.

Thanks again to the fabulous ladies at Brava for including me in their magazine!

Who Inspires Me {Blog Hop}

Since I took Lilla's Make Art That Sells course in 2013 I have met so many wonderful artists from around the world. I am a big believer in making connections and starting conversations both online and in real life, and the recent "Who Inspires Me" blog hop is a great example of this. 

Liz Ablashi, the designer/illustrator behind Eine Kleine Design Studio recently wrote a lovely post and asked me to participate in this international blog hop. How fun! 


Liz and her adorable family live in Maryland, where she is not only designs sweet patterns and illustrations, but she turns them into lovely product with her sewing and crafting skills! From bags and pouches to scarves and cushions, her designs are bursting with fun themes and fresh color palettes.


If you've been following the 2014 Global Talent Search, you may have noticed that Liz has gotten all the way to the semi-finals. Yay, Liz! 



Thanks so much to Liz for inviting me along on this blog hop. Please be sure to check out her wonderful work here!

I'm also supposed to answer a few questions as part of the blog hop:

1) What am I working on?
I am currently in the middle of my first book project with Storey Publishing. Unfortunately, I can't show any images right now, but I CAN tell you it is right up my alley and I can't wait to share more! I am also about to start the roughs for a local animation project and initial concepts for a logo design this week. This is one of the things I love about what I do - there is always so much variety - it really keeps me fresh!

2) How does my work differ from other work in its genre?
I'd like to think the humor and quirkiness of my art sets it apart from other illustrators. My influences vary from mid-century picture books to JCrew catalogs to block prints, so I feel these bring a unique perspective to my illustrations as well.


3) Why do I create what I do?
The simple answer is, it makes me happy. The fact that my hand, head and heart creates art that has never existed before is such an amazing feeling. 

4) How does my creative process work?
When I first tackle a project, I initially think about the assignment - a lot. I rarely jump in and start drawing from the get-go. I let the ideas swim around, form concepts, problem-solve - all in my head, so when I do finally sit down with my sketchbook, I have some pretty solid ideas to start working through. I create sketches; first pencil, then inked - for I prefer seeing a more finished drawing before I scan it in. Once it's scanned, I work primarily in Photoshop, re-drawing the color flats with a Wacom tablet in several layers. I generally work with a limited color palette, between 6-8 colors, and I set up my files almost as if I'm planning to screen print it. If I am planning on adding texture, I print out the illustrated color flats, tape it down to my light box, overlay a sheet of tracing paper, and manually add the texture with a pencil or china marker. Once all the analog texture is complete, I scan it back in, make it into a transparent layer, and add it on top of my digital color flats, recoloring the texture as I see fit. 

Now, I am excited to share two artists that inspire me!

First up, Lucky Nielsen, an artist hailing from Minneapolis, Minnesota. (go mid-west!)


I first discovered Lucky when I read her insightful blog post all about her Surtex experience last year. And shortly thereafter, Lucky and I both approached the initial 2013 Global Talent Search assignment from a similar perspective - the climbing apparatus! Since then, I have really enjoyed her charming characters, bright patterns and needle felted creatures.


I absolutely fell in love with Lucky's entry for the 2014 Global Talent Search semi-finals! Between the hand lettering, textures and darling outfit - I think this print is going to have to be showcased in Stella's bedroom - don't you think?


Good luck getting to the finals, Lucky! I can't wait to hear the results.

Next up, a Swede living in London, England - Monika Forsberg! I cannot help but get lost in the quirky cut-paper worlds that Monika creates:


Combining colored paper, crayons, paint and markers, Monika loves the adventure of not knowing exactly how her illustrations are going to get from start to finish, growing organically as she listens to audio books. 


She describes her work as "technicolor", and I couldn't agree more. She is a master at combining dark, moody shades with bright pops of color, creating lush palettes with neverending texture. I especially enjoyed following her recent project on Instagram - illustrating all the matches of the World Cup


Monika also made it to the semi-finals of the 2014 Global Talent Search - way to go!! You can see her piece here.

Thanks for following as I hop - hop - hopped through 3 amazing artists' work. Please check out their portfolios and stay tuned for when they share their inspirations next week!

Have an awesome week,






Women in Baseball {Wisconsin Storytime}

I recently got to participate in an ongoing collaboration all about the history of Wisconsin. The guys that brought you Project Wisconsin [365 towns : 365 logos] decided to delve even deeper into what makes Wisconsin a great state by focusing on its history. Each Wednesday, Wisconsin Storytime pairs a different designer with a different story from our state's amazing past. 



My assignment was exploring the All-American Girls' Baseball League, which was right up my alley! It was fun poring through the old photographs from the ladies on the original teams - and drawing them was even better! What a great exercise in different body positions.


And here is the final illustration! Please head over to Project Wisconsin to see more info about my story and read all the others from the first 6 months of 2014 - you'll learn a lot, I promise!




24-Hours in Madison {Design*Sponge}

Hey hey!

As you may know, I currently live in lovely Madison, Wisconsin. I adore Madison, and all it has to offer. I am certain I will be spending many more years here, possibly the rest of my life!

I recently had the opportunity to share my love of Madison on the fabulous Design*Sponge blog. Contributing to their well-known City Guides column, I was tasked with describing my ideal day in Madison. This was such an honor, considering I've been reading Design*Sponge for a LONG time!



As you'll read in my guide, I had a really tough time narrowing down my favorites to encompass just one day. I am still thinking about local establishments that I didn't mention in my guide - there are too many things that make Madison awesome!


sketchbook drawing

Head on over to Design*Sponge to read through my ideal day in Madison - and if you ever visit - I guarantee you'll have a fantastic time!



Guest Posts

Howdy! 

In the last two weeks I have been honored to be a part of two lovely ladies' blogs: 

First up, Kate Erickson, of KMericks Spreadable Joy




Kate is a painter with a wonderful blog showcasing her art and inspirations and talks about adding joy to your life. She shares her favorites, tips on exploring your style, boosting creativity and even interviews artists. Recently, I was interviewed on Kate's blog! Get to know me a little bit better right here. It was so fun - please check it out and say hi to Kate!

Next, I was a guest blogger on Lilla Rogers's blog!


Since I've been talking about Lilla for months, I probably don't need to introduce her. But just in case, Lilla Rogers was a full-time, very successful illustrator in the 1980s. In the mid-90s, her top students asked her to represent them and Lilla Rogers Studio was born. Today her studio represents 30+ artists internationally. Since Lilla is an artist herself, she really understands the creative process and how to maximize her artists' potential. I participated in her inaugural Make Art That Sells course, where we focused on 10 illustration markets and learned a TON about the illustration business.  

In my guest post, I talked about my experiences with Make Art That Sells and the Global Talent Search and my recent journey into illustration. Please read it here!

Thanks for letting me share my story with you!



October 2011 Desktop Calendar

I know, I know - It's October 6 already and I am just now sharing the October desktop calendar with you. If you follow me on Twitter, I've already apologized, and I will once apologize to y'all - I am SO sorry about the delay! I have been a busy lady. 

I'll shut up now. Here we go:


Halloween is probably one of my favorite holidays because I love to dress up. And now that I have a kiddo to dress, it's even more fun! Halloween brings so many fun ghoulies - I had to showcase one for this month - Frankenstein!

It's pretty simple, but I am loving the color palette. The green just pops right out at ya. Hopefully he's not too scary - he still wants to grace your desktop, of course!

You can also find Frankie here.

Please note that this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.  

And, in case you missed my post yesterday - be sure to head on over to Paper Sparrow's blog where she is having a 2-day Tim Burton-inspired mega blog party. I have really been enjoying all of the posts, and there are even some printable freebies from me! And did I mention a super-fun giveaway? There might be a Bluestar prize there, too...


So download your October desktop calendar and then head straightaway over to Paper Sparrow!


Woo!

Tim Burton Blog Party

I hope you're not too busy today because there is a Par-Tay going on over at Paper Sparrow's blog! What kind of party, you may ask? Well a Tim Burton Blog Party, of course! Andrea has scheduled 2 full days of Tim Burton goodness, complete with 24 posts and 8 special guests (including yours truly!). Wow!

You can find my guest post here. I don't want to give too much away, but here's a little sneak peek:


So grab your black & white striped outfit, a bowl of popcorn and head over to Paper Sparrow for some Tim Burton-inspired fun!