Thursday, May 27, 2010

Art Aprons

I love these art aprons.  I'm already thinking ahead for Christmas gifts for my nieces and nephews - I have quite a collection of relatives in the under 9 year old range!

Of course I'd have to stuff those pockets full of art supplies - crayons, paints, tiny pads of paper, colored pencils, markers.  All the good stuff to make a creative adventure.

I could also see them used for a tiny gardener - add a few pint sized gardening tools, seed packets and gloves into the pockets.  Or for your mini-chef add in small cooking utensils, cookie cutters and a kid's cookbook!

Zazzle has a 40% off all aprons as part of a big sale this week.  Use coupon code: MEMORIALSALE

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Threadless Design

I created this design for the Threadless Loves Coffee contest.  Just something sweet and simple.  The contest is based on voting.  If you could take a moment to rate my design on the Threadless website, I'd be one happy camper.  Now I think I need a cup of tea and to steal away a few minutes for daydreaming.

The contest ends June 6th, so if you are feeling coffee inspired submit your design too!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Tiny Lands

A little diversion from the old to-do list. Do you do this - there are deadlines and project you know you should be working on, but then an idea pops in your head and darn if you don't suddenly have a little extra time to fit that in too?  Maybe that's just me.  I like to call it procrastination inspiration. 

Friday, May 21, 2010

My Process

I thought I'd share a little behind the scenes of what goes into my illustrations. 

Everything starts as a sketch, usually a pretty small one, that is scanned, enlarged and flipped in Photoshop.  The printmaking process is in reverse, so to save my sanity I simply flip it backwards in Photoshop and print it out to transfer to my blocks.  It can be a little tricky wrapping my brain around the reserve image, as you'll see later!

Some prints I carve everything on one block and print the entire block.  For this image, I decided to create the image in a series of 'stamps'.  For the background, I cut a little square and used a stencil of the owl.  After that I created belly stencil and did the flower print.  The owl and words were also created with as stamps and printed on the image. 

Here you can see the print before the owl.  If you missed the print, you can see it here:

Now, printmaking may see like a scary process - but there is an 'undo' button.  If I make a mistake I simply carve out the part and make a stamp that replaces it.  As in the 'a' that I carved the wrong way. So there you have, one way I make my artwork. 

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Taking Chances

I ordered postcards from Vista Print last week and unfortunately they printed a little too dark.  And after holding them in my hands I realized the smaller postcards just didn't have a big enough impact with this quieter image.  Good to know for future campaigns.

So I went back to the drawing board (photoshop) and created the design for the front in the larger postcard size.  And then I was just playing around with the back and the large owl in the middle of the postcard struck me as a little brave.  And I liked that.  It's kind of nice not playing it safe.  I took a chance, we'll see if I get any response.

I need to get better at sending out postcards, my last one was in November.  The goal is to send one out every 3 months, so I'll aim for that again!  Now to work on polishing up the ol' mailing list.  And await another delivery - until then I will keep telling myself...

Fortune Favors the Brave

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Question Everything

New piece I worked up today.  4 color blockprint.  Liking this new stuff.  I'll show more of the process later this weekend - I took photos!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Illustration Friday: Equipment

 Equipment needed for the best smelling laundry ever:

1. clothesline
2. clothespins
3. gentle breeze (use country air for best results)
4. sunshine
5. a few hours

My entry for this week's Illustration Friday.

Mono print and block print with some hand-coloring.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Owl Sketches

Two random owl sketches.
Nothing more, nothing less.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Zazzle Dazzle

One of the topics covered in the ecourse I recently took was using print-on-demand companies to sell your image on different products.  I have quite a stash of images I used for promotional postcards that are available for me to use and resell.  How Zazzle works - you select the royalty you want to get for each product, the copyright still belongs to you, so your image is safe.  After you upload the images, you create products and a store.  So here is my shop, filled with goodies!  It's something to try, I mean why should all these beautiful images sit collecting dust on my hard drive when they could be out in the world making kids cute! You can even create shoes.

My next goal is to offer prints in my etsy shop.  Do you have your illustration in a Zazzle or CafePress shop?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Sophie's Garden

My very first job as an illustrator, years ago now, was a project for the San Antonio Water Systems for their H2O Heroes series.  They did 7 books in the series and I illustrated one of them. Sophie's Garden - a story about a little girl who learns how to plant a water saving garden. 

Well today at our SCBWI critiquenic my friend Bill, who did 2 of the books in the series, had a copy of each.  I thought the books were never going to be published and was thrilled to see them in person! 

I can't even remember what year it was, but we are talking the dark ages of my Humblearts career here.  But I thought I'd show the book cover, because a book is a book - isn't it?  And they are aways exciting.  These are paperback and given out in the school system here in San Antonio.  I would love to do more work on green themes, maybe I will create some new samples on the subject later this summer.
A few of the images are in of my black & white portfolio.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Illustration Friday - Fearless

Experiencing failure and finding your passion can lead to fearless abandon when you discover your joy in this world.

A little sketch that is awaiting my printmaking magic.  I thought they were a good fit for this week's Illustration Friday.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Taking Care of Business

I signed up for this awesome online class starting this week.  Multiple Streams of Income Ecourse with Laura Bray. Details can be found here.

Check out some of the guests for the class:

Teaching - Claudine Hellmuth will talk about teaching your craft

Children's Book Illustration - Priscilla Burris will share lots of information about getting started

Licensing - Tara Reed will talk about art licensing

Selling Online - An article with Tim Adam will help you get your online store generating income

There is much more and I can't wait to get started.  This is so what I need at the moment.  Eggs in many baskets is a good thing when you are earning your living as an artist!