Thursday, November 13, 2014

Make Art That Sells Week 2 - Home Decor

My completed assignment for MATS wk2

Week 2 of MATS was Home Decor. Our assignment was (drumroll please) design a set of plates with a Suzani motif! What is a Suzani you ask? Wikipedia defines it as:

"a type of embroidered and decorative tribal textile made in TajikistanUzbekistanKazakhstan and other Central Asian countries. Suzani is from the Persian سوزن Suzan which means needle. The art of making such textiles in Iran is called سوزنکاری Suzankāri (needlework)."

First off let me begin by saying I had no idea what a Suzani was. I've certainly seen this type of needlework and home decor inspired by Suzani's but I had NO idea what it was called or what the origins were. So I began week 2 learning something new. (Oooh that rhymed!) I have designed plates for party goods before so I had some experience designing plates (even if they were only paper) but party supplies and home decor are definitely very distinct. 

Here are some images of my sketches:

First up was researching Suzani's, obviously then came the sketches. Choosing colors was probably the most time consuming because I am extremely indecisive when it comes to color (as I might have mentioned). Once I settled on color swatches all I had to worry about was coloring of my sketches which I used image trace for.  I pretty much had the layout done in my sketches as you can see. This was probably made easier for me because I do have that background designing for party and paper. 

Above is a screenshot of my work in progress. As you can see I started off with a grey ground on the larger plate. As I played around I scaled things differently and changed color (a lot) but I think the end result was well worth it. I am really pleased with how the collection of plates turned out. The background I downloaded from a free texture site and the photos of the plates for the mockup was shared by a fellow classmate (which was really useful and appreciated!). All I did was adjust the contrast of the plates to brighten them up and I isolated them from their background and placed them on the wood texture then I copied and pasted my vector art into Photoshop and used the Multiply layer filter to make the images look like they are really on the plate. Easy peasy!

This week was really fun. I learned a lot and I got to draw things that I draw on a daily basis which made it very easy for me. I didn't make the cutoff for the Flickr group, unfortunately because I had my kids that weekend and NO time to work on the assignment but I worked on them all Sunday night until they were done, despite not being able to officially hand in the assignment. Yes. I am dedicated. =)

Now I'm off to work on week 4's assignment which is a bit of a struggle. Week 3's post is going to be a really fun one so stay tuned!!

Keep drawing

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Make Art That Sells Week 1 - Bolt Fabric!

As you may remember in my last post I mentioned that I was taking Lilla Roger's Make Art That Sells e-course. This is a bit late seeing as I have just started week 3 of the course but I have been BUSY. Busier than I have been in a long time. The course is really pushing me, inspiring me and challenging me in more ways than I thought it would. The best thing about it is I may be losing sleep, but I am throughly excited every day to read the class post and chat with my classmates in the Facebook group and share photos of our sketches and progress on assignments. It literally is the best investment I have ever made in my future and in my career. So if you have never taken the course or you have been on the fence - what are you waiting for?? Tell Lilla I sent you. =)

Okay...week one! Bolt fabric! I was thoroughly excited to see that week one was going to be bolt fabric. Number one because I just love creating patterns, number two because I have experience creating for bolt fabric and was lucky enough to have some of my designs licensed through Robert Kaufman Fabrics via Pink Light Design a while back, and number three my part time job is at a bolt fabric company. Yes I get to make designs for bolt fabric for a living - I'm lucky, I know!

Our assignment theme was root veggies and vintage pyrex. So great, right?! I love drawing veggies and kitchen stuff so I was totally psyched! Here are my first sketches for the mini assignment:

I chose to do my sketches with a Prismacolor Premier chisel point marker. I usually just use pencil or micro pens but I wanted to try varying thickness of line and I love how they turned out. Next up is the pyrex dishes. These were so much fun!

Here's a screenshot of my work in progress and my final piece. It took a LOT of editing but I managed to narrow down the motifs. I had TONS from the mini assignment. That is the one thing I have learned that is going to make my work flow so much better is drawing these little mini's so that I have tons of doodles to work with for a print. The more you have the better. It make designing your final piece that much easier. Once I had all my icons drawn I then scanned them in and used image trace in Adobe Illustrator CC. Easy peasy. Half of my work was already done. All that was left to do was layout and color. Color probably took the longest. I wanted a vintage yet modern feel. It took a lot of playing and moving icons around to get the look, feel and flow I wanted. 

So that's week one in a nutshell. So much fun. And I really love the group of artists in this class - SO much talent and kindness and support! And Lilla (our Fairy Art Mother as she likes to call herself) is the BEST. So inspiring and motivating and uplifting. She really makes me excited to come to class every day. Love her. 

Check back soon for the next post - Week 2 is Home Decor!!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Lilla Roger's Global Talent Search 2014 Entry

So if you follow my updates you know that I signed up for Lilla Roger's 2014 Global Talent Search and today was the deadline for Round 1! The theme? Little Terrarium. I sketched in my sketchbook, I sketched in illustrator and even in photoshop. At first I was trying too hard to create something that was not my 'style' and I got stuck. Really stuck. And I didn't like where it was going. It didn't feel natural. But I kept playing around with different mediums and concepts until it hit me. And I was really happy with it. 

Sure, I could have played around and added and taken away and layered and edited until the cows came home...but I wanted it to feel done, not overdone. So I followed my joy and my excitement and went with my gut. It was a long process getting from sketch to finished art. I was careful not to spend too much time looking at illustrated anything. I didn't want to be subconsciously influenced by anyone or anything that I saw. I stuck to real photographs and ideas, words, definitions. I made a list of things that the word terrarium conjured up for me and I imagined what kind of terrarium I would make for myself. You can see my progression in my sketches.

This was the sketch I did that finally made the lightbulb go off. It was like lightning struck and knew exactly what I was going to do. Don't you love when that happens? It takes a lot of playing and thinking and exploring sometimes but it's so worth it! 

And here is the final submitted piece. I love how it turned out!

I tried really hard not to compare myself to anyone, to get down on myself or doubt myself or my skills and I just went with it. It's so freeing. Artists tend to be very self-critical, don't we? We just love beating ourselves up and comparing ourselves and our progress to others'. Word of advice? DON'T DO THAT! Keep telling yourself that you are an artist and you know instinctively what to do and how to do it. Have faith in your ability and have fun with the art making process. It's supposed to be FUN after all, isn't it? =)

Until next time!

Monday, July 07, 2014

Fresh Start and Exciting News

My new creative corner
I recently had to say goodbye to my first home. After 10 years in the house where I brought up my children, I had to move on. Part of me was really sad and hesitant to let go and part of me was relieved. Many beautiful memories were made, many tears shed, many firsts....but it was time to let go of the old and embrace the new. It started with a new love, then a new baby, a new job, now a new apartment and a whole new life. FRESH START. Don't you love the sound of that?

I have been thinking about all this change and new-ness and I decided I was going to STOP being AFRAID of being successful and START being BOLD. So for my first bold move I signed up for Lilla Roger's Make Art That Sells (MATS) Part A & B starting in October of this year. ((SUPER excited!!)) Today I made my second bold move - I registered for Lilla Roger's Global Talent Search 2014!! Yes. I was tired of sitting on the sidelines watching all the exciting, fun things happen to other people so I decided I would grab the new, exciting, challenging, and fun by the horns and go with it. How else am I going to grow? My life has been topsy-turvy and oh-so-stressful the last year and a half. I have not been able to concentrate on work AT ALL. I think MATS and GTS are JUST what I need to get back into my groove and remember why God put me on this earth. And I can't wait to share every step of my journey with you guys!! Are you excited?? I AM!!

Change is scary but OH.SO.GOOD. And necessary. One thing is for certain. I am DONE fighting the current. I am going to go with the flow from now on. No more struggling for me. My heart really wanted to do this so I jumped in and I did it. Now my heart is happy and excited and scared and anxious but that's ALL GOOD because it means I'm going in the right direction! And THAT is EXACTLY where I need to be going. Until next time! =)

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

How the time flies. I've been so busy lately and crazy and stressed and happy. Most importantly HAPPY. And I've missed you. I've missed blogging and sharing and reading your comments. How are you?

I promise I'll be back soon to give you the details of what I've been up to all these months. Some of you know some of you might be surprised. Either way I thought I would share this anniversary card I made for my sweetheart. Because I knew you would appreciate it. =)