inspiration

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.


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!

Desktop Calendar {November 2014}

Hey Hey!

Happy November! We survived October and all the Halloween goodness, and I think I was the busiest I've ever been with client work. I just put my head down and worked worked worked. Unfortunately that didn't leave much time for social media, doodles or personal projects, which makes me sad. It's that variety that keeps me fresh, inspired and challenged. I can't complain - having an abundance of work is great - but I really missed all my other creative stuff. Hopefully things will change this month!

For now, here is the November calendar, even though it's 4 days late:



November in Wisconsin means winter is right around the corner. And THAT means the animals are going into hibernation mode. I was imagining each tree is home to an animal (or family of animals). They each have their little door and welcome stoop, shutting them away from the icy elements. It's kind of a fun idea, right? 

To download the November 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. 

Thanks for stopping by! I'm hoping to have some more posts this month - I'm excited to share some of the fun projects that have been keeping me busy!

Later!

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,






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,






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!




Desktop Calendar {July 2014}

Well, hello!

It has been a while since I've been around these parts - actually, the last time I posted was the June desktop calendar... yeesh!

I hope y'all are having a lovely summer so far.

The July calendar, inspired by the summer sun, is a bit of a departure from my typical illustrations:



If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen a few of my daily doodles during the month of June - I called them #doodleshapes, because I started with a solid shape of color, then transformed that shape into an object with just a few strokes of black pen. Because I have been so swamped with work, I didn't get a chance to explore a lot of doodle shapes, but I wanted to incorporate that idea into July's calendar.

Utilizing blocks of color, negative space and sparse line work, I was able to illustrate these bathing beauties. I have to say - I LOVED this challenge. Plus, it has been a while since I've focused on the human form and it was a nice change from my usual subject matter.

I like this one so much, I might turn it into a print - or a series of prints. What do you think?

To download the July 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. 

If you're reading this in the U.S., have a wonderful 4th of July holiday!



Tiny Green Worlds {Spoonflower Fabric}

Life has been crazy-busy here. But when I realized the Spoonflower theme was terrariums, I had to make time for it!

But I didn't have time to do all the research and preliminary drawings like I usually do. I decided to jump right into Photoshop and start drawing. This is the first time I've ever skipped the sketching process and started on the computer. It is not my ideal, but I have to say, the spontaneity was a bit exhilarating! And since the design was very organic, it worked well with drawing on the tablet - I didn't have to worry about super straight lines or perfect spacing. I could just roll with it!


This was my final pattern block. When I set it up as a repeat it looked like this:


I think it turned out pretty well! There is a lot of detail in each of the terrariums, so I have to keep the design on the bigger side in order to appreciate it all. 

There is still a bit of time to vote in this week's contest, so head on over to pick your favorites!

And speaking of patterns, I am heading to NYC this weekend to check out Surtex - the surface pattern & textile licensing show. I am looking forward to seeing the setup to see if this is something I'd like to pursue at some point in the near future. Not to mention I get to finally meet my Happy Happy Art Collective friends and other artists I've met online the last few years. It should be a fantastic experience!

I'll be back next week to tell you all about it!



Desktop Calendar {May 2014}

Hello and Happy May!

According to the calendar, it is Spring here in Wisconsin, though winter sure has taken it's time moving on. We thankfully don't have snow anymore, and there have been a few gorgeous Spring-y days, but in general, it has been a cold, rainy Spring. 

One of my favorite parts of Spring is when those first flowers break through the ground (and even snow!). For this month's desktop I decided to focus on said flowers : crocuses, snowdrops and scilla to be specific.



Something I realized when drawing these flowers, is even though I incorporate a lot of flowers in my work, I have never done a 100% floral pattern. Crazy, eh? I'm going to create a pattern out of this calendar next. 

To download the May 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. 

Have a great May!

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


Desktop Calendar {March 2014}

Hello and Happy March! Is it Spring yet? Unfortunately, even though Spring is officially only a few weeks away, it looks like we're still stuck in a Polar Vortex here in Wisconsin. 

For the March calendar, I decided to focus on basketball, since the craziness of March Madness will be happening in the U.S. later this month. And who better to play a little B-ball, but some cute woodland creatures!


To download the March 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. 

Enjoy!

Almost There {Trek + Design Madison + Allan Peters}

Last night was a very special night for Design Madison. DM teamed up with Trek Bicycles and Target Creative Director, Allan Peters to put together an art show called Almost There.

Anyone could participate. Any medium was welcome. All we had to do was create a piece a piece of art that is inspired by our interaction with biking. This was right up my alley!



I have a lot of memories and experiences with riding my bike. From learning to ride on my orange sunshine-speckled banana seat bike as a 4-year old, to saving up enough allowance for my first 10-speed when I was 12, biking was a big part of my life growing up. As a college student living on the UW-Madison campus, my bike WAS my transportation. And then, of course, landing a job at Pacific Cycle led me to a couple years of racing bikes - road, mountain and cyclocross. Now, since having Stella, biking is still a very important part of our life, from riding the amazing bike trails in Madison to pulling Stella to and from school in her trailer, we are a crazy biking family.

Late last summer, Stella finally learned to ride her two-wheeler. It was a pretty big deal. She had been flying around on her balance bike for a year, and we KNEW she could totally do it - we just had to figure out how to convince HER that she could do it. If any of you are parents, you know just how hard that can be. Basically we had to wait for her to want to do it ON HER TERMS. And then she was off.

That was the idea I was trying to portray in my poster - my girl with her long flowy locks flying behind her - riding off to who knows where - on her bicycle. Now it's time for her to form some biking memories of her own!

I'll leave you with a few photos and videos.








And another fun fact - that little orange bike with the streamers Stella is riding? I designed that for Schwinn! I actually had her in mind when I drew the little characters. It makes my heart soar watching her ride one of my creations!

Let's hope for some warmer weather soon...because now I want to go ride!

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,


Desktop Calendar {January 2014}

Happy New Year! I hope y'all had a wonderful holiday. Ours was jam-packed with festivities, and I was, once again, playing Mrs. Claus - working on custom Christmas orders until mere days before the big day. Though it was a really fun month, I'm excited to go back to the regular routine once again.

I can't wait to share all the projects I've been working on - but until then, the sparkly new January desktop calendar will have to suffice! 



For January, I decided to focus my illustration on one of my New Year's resolutions (and I'm sure there are MANY people out there who will have the same goal) - eating healthier! Cut WAY back on the soda, excessive desserts or loading up on the refined sugars - we're just going to eat smart. Sounds simple, right? We'll see.

To download the January 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. 

Cheers!

Desktop Calendar {December 2013}

Did December sneak up, or what? Here's your December desktop calendar to keep you up-to-date.



I was inspired by the never-ending supply of cookies and candies you can find during the holiday season. This year I'm hoping to actually have time to bake up a few batches myself! 

To download the December 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.

Have a great week!

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

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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.




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!




Sh*tty Barn Poster {Pieta Brown 2013}

Last night I finally got to experience The Barn. What barn, you may ask? The Sh*tty Barn is located in Spring Green, Wisconsin and it is an absolutely wonderful music venue. 


As they describe it, The Sh*tty Barn is where "Audience and performer coexist in an intimate and integrated space with as little separating instruments and ears as possible. No stage. Stripped down. Pure music love. Like having the performance in your living room (except, in this case, a sh*tty barn)." This rustic space is decorated with twinkle lights and decoupaged herons flying across the walls - and is furnished with old theater seats and log benches around the perimeter. It's bring-you-own-chair, and we all squeeze in to the cozy space. They have a great selection of beer and wine and a campfire warms those who are hanging outside on the lawn. It is quite the experience.

My friend Erin is very involved in the Barn. When it first opened, she took on the task of designing the gig posters for every show - quite the task, when there are dozens of shows every season. These days, she puts the call out to her designer friends to help her with the work load. I got the opportunity to design my first gig poster for the Pieta Brown show!

 

Me and my poster at the Sh*tty Barn
When I started the project, I was unfamiliar with Pieta's music. But I really loved it once I started listening to it - folksy, ethereal - she tells her stories with her wonderfully sweet and calming voice. I wanted my poster to reflect how I felt when I immersed myself in her music.

Pieta has long bangs and full lips. And she often sings with her eyes closed. So I decided to create a portrait of her, filling her hair with an intricate pattern of folksy icons. I even included a corn cob or two since she is from Iowa.


This was such a fun challenge! I'll admit I was a little overwhelmed at first, because I felt the pressure of making the poster represent Pieta and her music. But once I got settled in, I really enjoyed the process.

After the show last night, I got to meet Pieta and her band - they were so sweet and kind! I got a couple photos taken with them and had them all sign my poster. What a way to remember my experience. It was perfect.

If you're ever in the Madison, I highly recommend taking the hour drive west of Madison to visit Spring Green. It has a lot to offer - in addition to The Sh*tty Barn, you can find American Players Theatre, Taliesin and The House on the Rock. In fact, Huffington Post just named Spring Green, Wisconsin #2 on their America's Best Small Towns list. Pretty cool, eh?