Monday, November 18, 2013

Another Wedding Project

This is another belated post, but while I am working on my calendar, I thought I would get you ready for more flowers. Also, since this project was a gift and I know the person now has it, I feel comfortable blogging about it.
The wedding thing seems to be taking off for me. This summer, I did a project for a friend that also had to do with weddings (on top of all the wedding invitations I made!).  She loved the paintings I did for my 2013 calendar, and asked if I could do a painting for her to give as a wedding present to a friend. Of course I said yes. At first I was just going to do a flower painting for her, but then came up with what I thought was a brilliant idea: I would draw the date of her wedding, with the flowers forming the dates, like a trellis of sorts. My friend loved this idea so I went ahead and sent her some sketches.The bride's favorite flowers are johnny jump ups (or at least this is what I was told) and her bridesmaid dresses were a lovely lilac color, so this formed the basis for the painting.
 This was a much bigger painting then I had done for awhile, so I miscalculated the time it would take me but I was very happy with the result.

The colors!

starting to paint the flowers

it was a slow process

halfway there!

flowers are done!
stems done
numbers and letters done, now just the leaves
now to outline everything

finished! time to take the tape off

the finished painting (the colors are a little bit more accurate in the other pictures.)

The leaves make up their wedding date and their monogram.
Although a pain in the neck at times (and I do mean that literally, I must hold my head in the same position for a long time when I paint),  this was a good project, and another that I hope to put on my etsy store for people to see and order their own versions. (I am currently working on a similar project which I hope to post in the next couple of weeks) I thought this was such a nice way to remember such a beautiful and important day!
And now, back to feverishly painting my calendar!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Textile Design Class: Black and White

One of the things I decided to do to keep myself busy this fall is take a class. I chose an online textile design class and so far it's been really good. Our first set of assignments dealt with creating black and white designs. First we had to come up with a concept page. This was basically a page of images that inspired our design process. We were also allowed to make a Pinterest board. So, of course, being me, I did both.
Pinterest board
my concept page
As you can see, my main inspiration was wrought iron. I liked how this combined both a delicate and graphic look often achieved in black and white designs. I also used nature inspired images, and lace. From this concept page, we had to come up with at least 5 motifs. For some reason in my head, I thought these had to be square, so this is what I came up with.

my motifs
Of course, I had to edit these when it came to designing the prints. There is only so much you can do with squares. We had to submit as the final project five different layouts: a basic set design ( think tiles) a half drop design ( tiles that are offset instead of perfectly lined up)  a tossed design (basically exactly what it sounds like, you, "toss" your motifs somewhat randomly on the page), a border with a field ( design that has a border) and a stripe layout.

basic set design
half drop design
tossed non-directional design
border with a field design
stripe layout
I was actually pretty pleased with the result. Designing patterns is so much fun! I'm also learning a lot about Photoshop that will come in handy for my own work.

I definitely would recommend taking a textile design class. I find taking classes outside my field really inspires my work within my own field, and helps get the creative juices flowing. You come up with more ideas just because you are learning to think differently!

I've been working slowly but surely on calendar 2014 (updates and calendars following soon!), and some other commissioned projects that I can't post now, but will as soon as they are in the hands of the rightful owner. I'm also trying to start participating in Illustration Friday again, so be on the lookout for those posts too!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

What I did this Summer: Wedding Invitations

 It's been awhile since I updated here, mostly because my summer was so busy with weddings!

A couple of years ago, one of my closest friends got married. My sister Elizabeth and I were trying to think of something unique we could do as a gift, and thought, why not ask if she wants us to do her wedding invitations? She and her now husband accepted and we got to work.
I started with a couple sketches, she picked the one she like best and then I made a prototype for her to see. We wanted to make it special, so my sister came up with the idea of making envelopes for it. I don't have many pictures but here is the finished product:
We cut out each envelope and added the ribbon pockets at the bottom
They came out beautifully but took us way longer than expected! Lesson learned? Never make envelopes again. While they added a nice touch, they were a pain and were the main reason it took us so much time.

Fast forward to last spring when another close friend got engaged! She hired me to make her invitations, and I was really excited. However, she was going to be living in Australia for the year before her wedding, so I had to have the design finalized before she left. It was super easy to work with her and her husband, so coming up with an idea was quick and simple. In fact, I had too many ideas for her to choose from!
For these, I did not make an envelope, but I still hand cut and hand glittered them all. I thought it would be easier, since we weren't making the envelopes this time, but she wanted close to 200 invitations! I wish I had kept better track of the hours I spent on these invitations because it was a lot.
The glittering table
All 540 pieces of the invites
all packed and ready to go!
the finished invitation
A closer look. We ended up going with two different cards for mailing and the online RSVP, but this at least gives the idea of what they looked like.
They came out beautiful though, and I think they captured my friend's personality wonderfully. She and her family loved them which was the best part of the whole experience. I also made the design into a template for their wedding website and their programs. All in all, it was a great experience except for being so time consuming. I was sure I had given myself carpal tunnel after cutting over 700 pieces for the invites! Lesson learned: find a place to get them printed and cut in the future.

At almost the same time, my sister Emily was getting married. (She got married two weeks after my friend Steph!).  I had offered to do her wedding invitations as a wedding gift so for months I was working on invitations. She was slightly harder to work with because it was harder to gauge what she and her husband wanted, but in the end I think the invitations were beautiful and they loved them. I had found a website for envelopes when I did Angela's , and discovered all sorts of good pocket folds like the kind we had handmade for Angela. I got them printed at a local business and cut and they were gorgeous. Plus I didn't get carpal tunnel.

back from the printers! the Washington postcard rsvp layout was better, but for the purposes of the blog post, I had to remove personal information
the glittering and assembly station
getting ready to mail
a slightly closer look
the finished piece... you can't really see it, but the tulips on the actual invite have a white glitter on them that was subtle (for glitter) and added a touch of elegance that was beautiful.
with a nifty little pocket for all the pieces
For all the brides and grooms I asked that they come up with their own wording, and gave them websites where they could do the research.

The photos here are slightly blurry unfortunately as I had to rely on a not great camera for them, but I think they will give you an idea of the projects.

I want to start  a business designing wedding invitations because it is quite fun and I think it could help get my illustration business off the ground. (It is a lot of hard yet rewarding work too).  I hope to get these that I have done as examples and a custom order form set up on Etsy soon. First, I am going to try to finish my 2014 calendar and have it on Etsy (previews coming soon!)
I already have the next set I'm going to be working on. My brother Richard just got engaged to his now fiance Brianna and I'm doing their wedding invitations! I'll be starting to think about those in the next couple weeks.

if you or someone you know is looking for unique, one of a kind wedding invitations, Send me an email: and send them the link to this post.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

My 2 Cents

I rarely post anything political on facebook. In fact, I have a policy not to: the one and only time I did I received anonymous hate mail telling me I was going to hell for my political decisions (this all based on an assumption they had made based on my status)
I figured people didn't need to know where I stand on things: facebook is a social network, not a soapbox. If my friends wanted to believe different things than me that is fine.
However, there is one political issue I feel strongly about, enough so to break my silence and take a stand for what I think is right.
And so I made this picture based on the symbol for marriage equality and an idea my sister gave me.
And now it is my profile picture.
Because I firmly believe no one should be denied rights because of their sexual orientation.
Ever. And certain people need to remember the message to love one another.
Feel free to make it your profile picture too if you support marriage equality!
or if you want the human rights campaign logo in its original colors

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

January is flying by. .. .

... and February is almost here!

Hi everyone!
I am really trying to keep up with my promise of updating here more regularly. I missed last week but I was busy working.  . .
on Valentines! I know it seems far away but in two weeks it will be here! January just flew by.
Here are the valentine's I came up with this year for the holiday:

I was super happy with how they came out! And it was fun to do some painting that was pretty simple. The hearts were the most fun to paint because even though I did sketch them out before hand, I didn't transfer the sketches or meticulously follow a pattern. I just painted which was very refreshing.
The best part is you can buy one or all of them on my etsy store!

So that is what I have been up to. I have gotten a little better about sketching something everyday even if it is just a squiggly pattern. Hopefully by the end of the week I'll have updated my website and I can share that with you.
Enjoy the last week of January!

Monday, January 14, 2013

In Memoriam: Sandy Hook Elementary School

It’s been exactly one month since the tragedy at Sandy Hook school in Newtown Connecticut occurred. At the time, I had written a poem trying to capture some of the emotions of the moment, and now have decided to illustrate the poem and post it here in remembrance of all those who lost their lives that day. My thoughts and prayers are with them and their families today. 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Happy New Year! A quick recap of 2012 and some resolutions

Happy January! "January Snowdrops" from my 2013 calendar. buy it here 8x10 or here 5x7
Happy New Year everyone! I hope your holidays were filled with family, love, and laughter.
2012 was a good year for me with my art. I put together a portfolio, created a new website, updated here more than previously, designed a logo, designed a tattoo (2 of my first paying jobs as an illustrator!), designed wedding invitations for one of my best friends and my sister (you'll have to wait until July to see them!), FINISHED a big project I created for myself (my 2013 calendar), started an etsy store, and sold all the calendars I had printed, plus some prints of my paintings.
I am very excited to start 2013. I have so many ideas that my fingers are itching to complete. I am hoping that 2013 holds so many more accomplishments for me as an illustrator than 2012, that I can't even recount them all here at the end of the year!

Of course,  the new year comes with new resolutions for my art career. I am sharing them here with you so that I know I have people counting on me to complete them. Here they are:
1. draw everyday
2. create more work
3. start contacting publishers with book ideas
4. update my blog, website, and etsy regularly
5. experiment with showing my work on other social media platforms
6. Have fun doing whatever I end up doing
Trying to keep it somewhat short and simple so I can keep track of my goals. Of course, knowing the way I work, I am going to end up creating outlines of all the stuff I want to do and get overwhelmed.

My goal for this week is to finish some valentine's day designs I am working on, do illustration friday tomorrow, and start some of my other projects. I'll keep you all posted. :)

I really am excited for 2013. I think it will be a good year for me as an artist. I hope those of you who read this blog will continue to follow me as I grow as an artist this year and my portfolio grows!
Happy New Year again!

the front of my 2013 calendar. I don't have more printed; however, I will be offering them until February 1st. Send me a message on etsy or put a calendar in your cart,  if you want one!