Monday, October 29, 2007
Thursday, October 25, 2007
I feel so fortunte to have been a part of
the paper quilt project this October. It's my first real attempt at a collage (darn! Wish I had documented the progress) and think I did alright considering I couldn't pick out the patterns myself.
The project worked as follows: You get a bunch of scrap pieces of (lovely) paper in the mail, have two weeks to develop a piece out of the scraps (without adding more of your own) in the theme: A day in my life. Send the package back within two weeks and then at the end of the year all artists involved will decide which charity they want the quilt to go to and they get auctioned off. I'll let you know which charity it is closer to the date!
See more samples from other artists here.
A day in my life:
As some of you may know, I've taken up knitting. Both my cat and I adore this new hobby of mine although I have to actually finish a single project yet (I keep tearing them out and restarting).
It's been nearly five months since I last went figure drawing
but with my sister in town it was great to make an excuse to go, soak in the talent of other local artists (& of course feel very, very humbled) and use some very lovely watercolor paper (sigh!). Yet with all this practicing of the human form I started wondering... why on earth do I make such an effort to go to figure drawing sessions and yet very rarely set up a still life to keep tabs on my perspective skills? I know there are so many challenges in perspective when drawing the human form but architecture and objects hold a different challenge (and can hold still for soooo much longer). You have more time to play with color & lighting and let's face it: still life "models" are practically free (just grab some things from your fridge, draw them then eat. Repeat!).
I have but a couple of days left with smaller projects before I start what I'm now calling a daunting November. I've just signed a contract to help the Royal Alberta Museum out for a month (part time graphic design work for their upcoming anniversary), will be teaching at college and have two large art/craft fairs to work. I've calculated and I've got five days off that month (which really means I have evenings and five weekend days to do my freelance work). This is a blessing as our family needs all the income we can get while my husband is in school but as for setting up still life paintings and going to life drawing sessions... it may be put on hold again!
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
So! Have any of you found sticking to a specific style, engineering it and letting it grow to be helpful? Have you found a couple styles that you like to promote? Is it easier to have a broad range when you keep your illustrative efforts local?
Thanks for the comments!
Monday, October 22, 2007
Here's a little taste of the photography we played with this weekend while in a local corn maze for my birthday (photography by my husband, lighting by my sister, model: Me!).
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
My first sketchbooks rarely filled more than half of their pages before I gave up sketching, lost it (temporarily) or just plum stopped sketching for months (ahem, sometimes years) at a time. Even in college, when I was required to complete sketchbooks I did so as though it was a chore. Perhaps restricted subject matter was always something akin to completing a math problem instead of seeing it as the root for a great idea? These college notebooks, while interesting to see the amazing progress and changes I went through as an artist, are rather dull. Blackened by millions of pen strokes there were tea kettles, forks and even a wheel chair. I wondered why I didn't try to develop my style back then, why I only bothered with still lifes that were improperly set up? I rarely go a day without sketching since I quit my last full time job. I can't sit in front of the tv without at least holding it, getting ready for the next big idea. Is it that I'm no longer afraid to draw something that might be perceived as silly, just plain weird or be rejected/disliked... a target for someone's rotten eggs? I'm also starting to not care if my sketchbooks have thumbnails, wording, or the beginning trickle of a story.
But why sketch at all? Does it matter, really, if you take some of your "free time" to put pen to paper?
Sketching is so freeing. You don't ever have to show your sketchbook to anyone, you don't have to show your clients (well, unless you sketch your client work in your sketchbook I suppose), your mom & dad, your pet rabbit... although I've found that the more often I share my sketchbook the more I enjoy drawing in it and the more confident I get. Any compliment is another gentle push towards the goals I have set for my career.
Sketching is a release. I have to draw cute little things all day (which I love, don't get me wrong) but sometimes you just don't feel happy or energetic. Sometimes I feel mad as a hornet. A safe place to get this out can be in my sketchbook. I'll draw someone with a really big mouth yelling. Then I laugh at it because it looks dumb and can move on.
Above all, sketching is a record of your progress. I'd never sell my sketchbooks. They're far better than my diaries ever will be and worth way more. Maybe in the coming entries I'll post sketches from my very first sketch books just to give you an idea on where I've come from and where I am now.
Monday, October 15, 2007
Today is "Blog Action Day" (oct 15th) which focuses on the environment. You'd think there isn't much we can do as illustrators (our business's tend to be small, often in our own homes or small studios) but there are many little things that can make a big impact on the environment if you add them up!
1) Use scrap pieces of paper for spot illustrations
2) Research the type of paper that you use (or your printer uses) for postcard promotions. We send out hundreds every year and with all of the illustrators out there this one is much bigger than we think.
3) Do junkadoodles (invented by Holli Conger) with left over garbage bits. OR! Right now junk a pumpkin instead of carving one this halloween (then you can still turn it into a good pumpkin soup)
4) Make sculptures using your old pencil stubs
5) Do crafts with your kids using old paints and "no longer usable" art supplies (kids don't care if things don't work just right)
6) Recycle old print-offs (ummm, obvious, no?)
7) Make gum portraits (gross...? Take a look at the link, it's really cool)
8) Use common sense. Recycle what you can, fix what you can before buying new junk and always question consumption!
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Also, I finally updated my website
Thursday, October 04, 2007
I'm taking orders for the calendar for Canadian residents (US residents may as well order the calendar via cafépress as it will get there faster + be the same price). Save $5 on the shipping if you order before OCT 16 at 4pm. That makes the calendar $20. If you order through me I will sign your copy! (Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your address and preferred method of payment). Thanks!
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Here are some dates in which Michelle McBride (miss dishy) and I will be selling Christmas goodies (check back for exact times and for coupons):
Silvanna's in St. Albert (St. Albert Inn) TENTATIVE
Stop & Shop (Tran Alta Arts Barn, 10330 - 84 Avenue) CONFIRMED
The Royal Bison (Cosmopolitan Music Society building, 8426 Gateway Blvd) CONFIRMED
Meanwhile if you're interested in buying things but can't make it out to these dates feel free to visit my etsy shop which is constantly updated with new items!
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Well, I've been revamping and painting... take a look at the progress here:
Monday, October 01, 2007
I'm due to work some pretty big christmas shows (three day long events that occur in November) in which I hope to do a little advertising for my illustration business, sell some art and prints and meet some new people. I've been working on painting up bits of wood with snowmen to sell at the shows. Here's what I created this weekend:
"Danny" A snowmen on a stick (pole says "Let it Snow") pole measures 22.5x1.75x0.75". Snowman painting measures 5x8x0.75"
"Together" Another snowman on a stick (same measurements as above)Pole says "Merry Christmas"
Saucy Smoker 7x7x0.75"
Andy Snowman 15.5x5x1"