Definitely Work In Progress

I’ve been busy these past months with freelance design work and it seems everything else is up in the air and unfinished on my plate. It’s a bit frustrating to always have things in progress… but I suppose I simply need to hustle more. Philosophically, I thought this quote was fitting though…

Art is never finished, only abandoned.
– Leonardo da Vinci

 

For MATS Bootcamp I did submit a simple pattern from my drawings, digitally colored, but not sure it’s totally done.

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Then there are all the drawings I’ve sketched up of characters with bright eyes… but I haven’t had a chance to color them at all.

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I’ve also realized that I have a huge library of random designs that need to be used somehow, someway. Old designs from my digital scrapbooking design days, unfinished collections, the beginning of ideas, random icons here and there. I’m proud of the work I have created, but I realize that I need to package it up. Finishing seems to be the repeat critic in my head these days.

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I also have a library of surface patterns, but never really did anything with those design explorations. Yet again, how to finish it already? Or at least do something with them.

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There’s just so much random stuff. So I’ve decided that this month I need to revisit my own library of work and start hustle with an art business in mind. We have to always create new work, but it’s okay to leverage what you already have as well.

It’s not always about chasing the next big idea or hot trends. Sometimes the gems are already right there in front of you… just got to polish ‘em, huh?

WIP – Sketches of Girls

I usually participate with Art Every Day Month, but this year I really missed the boat. Although I couldn’t keep up with posting daily by any means, I thought that at the least I could post on this last day of the month with what I have accomplished. Focus on the positive, right?

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During my boy’s naptime, I have been able to sketch out lots of ideas for my girl characters. It’s funny how a few minutes of creativity can re-energize my body and fill me up with hope.

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Of course, some sketches were a bit odd and strange – that is what sketching is for, right?

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Hopefully, I will be able to turn these into something a bit more finished. That is always my issue… finishing what I start. It’s easy to be bursting with a million ideas, but without the follow-thru and finishing touches, there’s little to show in the end. I’m realizing that it’s fun to indulge in creative play, but I also want that feeling of accomplishment when something is complete. Wish me luck?

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Peek Into My Sketchbook and Creative Adventures…

Here’s a little peek into my sketchbook and creative adventures in general. It hasn’t been easy making time for me, myself and I… but it’s worth the effort. Creating can revive you, inside and out.

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I’ve also recently made myself a new journal to doodle in. Of course, I also got a little boo boo in the process… reminding why I don’t make and sell leather journals anymore – LOL!

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Hope to share more peeks and new work soon… stay tuned!

Make Your Fate

This past week in Lilla Rogers Studio School we tackled the market of wall art. It’s a huge, vast and so-open with possibilities market that fills me up with a lot of hope. I was excited and surprised to learn some of the expectations as well as the trends and what really sells. Some of things we assume are true can be totally and utterly wrong!

For this week’s assignment we had to create an abstract floral collage piece and Lilla encouraged us to go with real media – fling some paint!

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Although I’ve always loved playing with paint, I can’t say I’m skilled in any way. It’s one of those things I would love to do, but have never spent enough time practicing. I still have trouble controlling the paint itself and most definitely make a huge mess every single time.

These days, the mess is more annoying because I’m washing my hands a million times with all the intervals of running to take care of my boy. It may seem like a trivial aspect, but it’s really a factor in my consideration. Now I understand why one of my girlfriends said she wanted to switch to watercolor! It’s just easier cleanup and less dangerous when you have kiddies running around. That’s just a real life consideration.

However, I’m still wanting to experiment with collage, but in a neater  and less paint flying all over way. I’ve been trying to use this course to practice using real media more, but perhaps I would be creating better work going all digital – something I’m much more comfortable with. It’s this struggle of wanting to combine the two because the market is flooded with all digital artists. Everyone wants that handmade touch. But perhaps chasing the trend is not the way.

I’ve always thought it funny that digital artists always try to make their work look less precise, less perfect, more handmade with flaws and all. Funny. Lots to think about in regards to my art direction.

I can’t believe the course is practically over and the next session is not until October. Although there’s still so much to absorb and do – need to get cracking as Lilla says!

Paper Trail Show at Monkeyhouse

Are you in the Los Angeles area this weekend? My Girls Rock! illustration will be on display at the Paper Trail Show, June 29th at Monkeyhouse (2874 Rowena Ave., LA, CA 90039) – please show your support and check it out. I love all the artsy goodness and cuteness that Mayra, the owner, stocks – she definitely rocks!

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My illustration is always available in my Society6 shop. Lately, I’m in love with the simplicity of black and white drawings with tiny highlights of color. Cuteness that is crisp and direct to the point. What do you think? Would love to hear your feedback and comments!

 

The Snail and The Rose Tree Illustration

For the third week of Make Art That Sells with Lilla Rogers, I created a mock children’s book cover illustration for The Snail and The Rose Tree.

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It turned out quite vintage looking to me… but I ran out of time, so it’s not very detailed at all. There are so many little tidbits that can be added to this and I always seem to struggle with the balance of elements. I personally like simplicity, but I second guess myself, wondering if it’s too spare.

People have often told me that my drawing style seems to cater to children’s books, but I’ve always been afraid to approach the industry. It’s intimidating for sure! But I’ve been thinking about how sometimes scary things need to be faced and how sometimes your path is not even close to what you think it would have been. Must be more open to possibility…

Succulent Dinnerware Designs With Lilla Rogers Make Art That Sells

For the second week of Make Art That Sells with Lilla Rogers, we learned all about the home decor market and ended up playing with designing dinnerware. I decided to concentrate on my drawings of succulents and transforming them with splashes of bold color.  It was a design that immediately came to mind, I just had to make it happen.

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I think there’s really a place for bold hand-drawn lines with bright colors these days – can I call it trendy sophisticated? It was my attempt to try something different – instead of my usual cute factor. I like the results, even though by the end of the week I realized that I’m not a huge fan of designing for the round shape.

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More and more I’m realizing that my joy lies in conceptualizing the art to begin with… not necessarily all the layout and details afterwards. I would not be fit to be the manufacturer’s technical designer. LOL! Maybe that means I’m just lazy!

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I could pull out the baby card and say that I don’t have time while taking care of a 3 month old – but that’s not really the reason. I just don’t like to tinker because it kills my joy in the end.

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I think it’s important to learn what part of the process you enjoy the most, so you can maximize the joyful time and minimize everything else. Makes sense doesn’t it? For everything in life. I believe that striving for that will make the world a better place…  and will make you a happier person. I’m so zen today, huh?

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As I was playing around, all the designs overlapped looked appealing as well, albeit chaotic. I started to think my designs were too simple. I suppose that I need to achieve a balance that suits me in the end. Still learning, still growing.

Enjoying my time in Lilla’s class and loving her creative wisdom, as well as the entire group of students. Tempted to take the course again in October just because… :)

Make Art That Sells with Lilla Rogers

I’m happy to report that I “made it” through week 1 of Lilla Rogers Make Art That Sells class.

It’s been quite intense with at least one post every weekday, mini exercises and an assignment to complete by the end of the week. I’m filled with inspiration, motiviation and possibility… as well as some initial doubts and fears. There are over 400 students who are super duper talented and amazing. In just one week our group has exploded with fantastic artwork. I was naturally intimidated, but concentrated on creating my own artwork – whatever made me happy – and soon enough I was moving forward on my own creative high.

The experience has already been awesome and I can’t wait for the coming weeks. All my classmates are amazingly supportive – everyone offering great comments and constructive suggestions. You really couldn’t ask for a better group to help you grow! Not to mention, there’s Lilla with all her wisdom and industry information. Creative learning heaven?

One thing that has really blown my mind is Lilla’s talk of icons and basically the process she has shared on how one might approach designing bolt fabric. I love the idea of creating little icons – that’s what I do in my sketchbooks! I love to draw and invent little characters – it just makes me happy. See below, my character filled swatch for the first week about bolt fabric.

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I think we often have this misconception that great art just spontaneously combusts into existence in the minds of great artist. When in fact, it’s actually the fruit of very hard work and the routine of letting yourself creatively play.

Suffice to say that I’m happy to have made the investment in taking the class. I also bought Lilla’s book and slowly working through it.

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When I filled out the pre-class worksheets, I totally circled this part about the course being the biggest thing in my life right now – at least, after family! Living in Italy and sliding into this culture of slow living has unfortunately pushed me to the borderlands of procrastination at times.

However, now that I’m a mommy, I’ve actually gotten better at managing my time because I have less of it for myself. The estimate of 7+hours a week is nothing if this is really the biggest thing in my life – forget TV and other stuff (laundry?!) – it’s about gathering up all possible time for this one important effort.

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I’ve made myself a special journal for the class as well. It’s been so enjoyable to absorb the daily lessons, collaging in my journal and taking notes. It’s learning and creative play wrapped into one!

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With all the information my mind is definitely a flurry of ideas. It’s been challenging to actually get everything done on the weekdays, but it gives me time to absorb and marinate ideas. Thankfully, my hubby helps with childcare on the weekends so I have a bit more time to concentrate. By Sunday night I’m totally whipped, but happy at the same time.

It’s like being drunk with creativity. I see the possibility and can’t wait to make art (that sells) – yay! I’m so looking forward to going to class… thank you, Lilla.