What Is It That YOU Really Like?

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After taking Monica’s Smart Creative Style course, I’ve been in this stage of evaluating my own work and trying to reframe and realign, so that I can move forward with intention and clear direction.

As I look back, there has definitely been a lot of growth in my work… which comes from a lot of experimentation… which looks quite inconsistent and all over the place, unfortunately.

I suppose it’s time to buckle down and really take stock of what I personally LOVE and stick with that. We all want to receive feedback and recognition for what we do, but sometimes those outside opinions can really skew what we set out to create to start with. Gwenn Seemel did a video post about imitation and it sparked all these thoughts for me.

I MUST create what jives with me personally, no matter what. It’s taken me a while to get to this point and I’m still brewing with thoughts, but I realize that I often live inside my head too much. Time to get out there! On that note, I’m super excited for the launch of ArtLicensingShow.com and have already signed-up as a founding lifetime member.

Also, I want to thank you everyone for answering the little survey I emailed out last week. I’m humbled and honored that so many of you took the time to respond. I feel so loved and grateful for this little piece of the web-o-sphere – grazie grazie grazie. If you’ve missed everything, you better join my newsletter asap!

Owl Girl Illustration

How long can I dwell on this little owl girl? I can’t seem to figure out how to finish her off and have been playing a lot with different color experiments. It would be the start of a beautiful series now that I’m getting really comfortable with this style of character drawing.

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My little helper seems to think any marker color will do – perhaps all colors! But I’ve been learning that I like the muted, soft colors. Happy colors for sure, but not in your face. I like to think of it as quiet, happy.

Slowly but surely, I will find my way! What do you think?

Love That I Can Draw and Eat My Cake, Too!

I often have no problem diving into sketch mode and drawing to my hearts content. It’s fun to invent characters and bring them to life with pen in hand.

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The trouble is how to finish it all off. That’s where I definitely fall short. I can never decide how to color up my work. Should it be an acrylic painting? A watercolor? Collage fun? Copics? There are too many possibilities and that seriously drives me into a panic and wide-eyed, head-twirling stand still. Sigh.

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Enter the computer. Oh, for the love of digital tools and the Undo button! With a scanner and Photoshop, I’m able to load up my sketches onto the computer and play with a million color combinations. Yes, it can be a time consuming affair, but it’s definitely worth the time. This is what they call color studies, right?

I’m loving the variation and freedom to play with color, since I consider color theory one of my weaknesses! How do you like my little girl sketch variations?

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Pretty cool that with technology, we really have so much power – muhahaha! Now, if I could only decide which version to go with! What do you think?

It’s A Doggy Dog World…

I’m realizing that I’ve never posted my own entry to The Global Talent Search by Lilla Rogers… so here it is finally – it’s a doggy dog world journal cover by yours truly.

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It’s totally inspired by my westie dog, Vash. It’s not easily to illustrate a white furbaby, but I’ve always wanted to create westie themed items. From there I branched off into other dogs and what it would be like to see them hanging out in a playground. Silly, fun, sort of back-to-school style illustration for me. I realize that I might have gone overboard with the pink background… too girly girl?

Well, I didn’t make the cut for the competition, but a fellow MATS classmate blogged about a bunch of us unsemi-finalists and really I’m grateful to have pushed myself to create check out Ashley’s blog to see all the beautiful journal designs. You would buy a journal with those designs, right?

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… :)

Just Draw It – Pensieri Issue 7 is Digital!

The most popular issue of Pensieri is by far issue 7, Just Draw It! It’s about doodling fun and letting go of the fear of drawing. I go through the basics with lots of examples and fun exercises.

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Read about my philosophy of drawing fearlessly – 31 pages of creative wisdom and playtime. BTW, CraftyPod interviewed me about this zine a while back.

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You can grab a digital copy and download instantly in the tortagialla shop along with all the other issues of Pensieri. Let me know what you think and enjoy!