Monday, April 24, 2017

Make Art That Sells Bootcamp: Magazine Assignment

This is my entry for this month's bootcamp assignment. We are to create an illustration suitable for a magazine based on 5 brave things we've done. I distilled that down to the brave things it takes to run a successful creative business.

I had so much fun making this image an combining my love of beads and nature in this illustration.

I tucked little symbols through the crown on my head: the boat for my sailing my own ship and for the Bead Cruise facet of my business. The moth to symbolize that most of my success is due to always transforming into something new and a nod to my late night creative pursuits. The nest for nurturing my hopes and dreams and my balance of motherhood and business. The fruit at the top is of course, the fruit of my labor and how it provides for our family.

Hmm, I need to make that necklace happen in real life!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Folio Focus: Maps

For this week's Folio Focus assignment we were challenged to make maps. Eek, not my thing! I did an illustration of a map of Michigan with my beloved hometown highlighted and a list of my favorite highlights my town offers.

We are a tiny tourist town on Lake Michigan. We are the blueberry capital of the world and in what's known as Michigan's fruit belt. So lots of farms everywhere. We are also the home to Red Haven peaches, a special hybrid. So I created a repeat pattern with peaches and blueberries. I see these in a kitchen on enamelware and printed on tea towels.

My map I envision it as a wall piece on a wooden base because most the homes in this area of summer homes that have a nautical vibe and I could see this working in that decor.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Beach Bags - Make Art that Sells Bootcamp

I created these two patterns based on a brief from Lilla Rogers' in her 2017 Make Art that Sells Bootcamp. This month's assignment was abstract designs for backpacks. 

One of my guiding principals when I create a design is to make something I would love to own. I think about how I would use a backpack and really, the only time I pull out anything that looks like a backpack is when we are heading to the beach in the summer. 

I pulled a color palette of pink, purple, periwinkle, navy blue, peach and olive green. I wanted something fun and playful but had a vintage nod. My designs were painted in gouache inspired by stones collected from the beach. 

This is the first time I transformed my paintings in vectors in Adobe Illustrator and then created them into patterns. It was a huge learning curve but once it clicked working in Illustrator did make creating patterns much easier. I will be exploring Illustrator much more in my patterns since I'd love to work with fabric companies. 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Hexagon Garden Patterns


A new abstract floral pattern that I've worked up into two patterns. The first one will be entered in Spoonflower's Hexagon Design Challenge. I'm going to start selling fabric on Spoonflower, trying to decide what to offer first and then I will order my test swatches. Super excited about seeing my prints on real fabric! 



Hexagon Garden-ch

My next step is take a Skillshare class that will teach me how to make my watercolors into a pattern in Illustrator. I'm excited to jump into this and add Illustrator skills to my bag of tricks! 


Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Forest Magic

I could paint moths and butterflies all day long. They are just amazing little works of art flying around. I created two coordinating patterns but thought they needed a little more tweaking.

I had the pleasure of touring a butterfly farm last year in the Caribbean and it was completely magically. There were moths as big as my head. The chrysalis were fascinating too. Do you know each butterfly or moth as a specific plant that is their nursery and they will only breed near those plants. 

In Michigan we plant milkweed to encourage monarch butterflies to stick around. I love walking through the forests here and running across one of these beauties. I don't see many moths now that we live in town, but when we lived the country the summer nights were thick with moths flocking to the glow of the porch light. 


Monday, March 6, 2017

Belize Market Mock Ups

I worked up one more pattern for last week's Folio Focus geometric assignment. This one probably fit more with the mosaic tile theme that was our inspiration.

And who doesn't love a nifty mock up? I thought these patterns would be adorable as little make-up bags. 

Folio Focus: Geometric Patterns

This week I'm back to working on the Folio Focus Portfolio Challenge. They post a fun design assignment each week with tons of inspiration. This week was Geometric Patterns.

Not the easiest for me, but I jumped with sketches of plants and fruits inspired by a recent visit to Belize. We went to the Mayan ruin of Al-tun Ha. It was my second time there and this time I have to say I saw quite smitten by the little stalls of fresh fruits near the trinket shops.

They were full of color and pattern and even the hand-lettered signs were inspiring. So that's were I ended up with my patterns this week, dissecting those fruits, pods, leaves and seeds. I mixed in some patterns from the island fabrics.

I wish I had taken more photos while I traveling but most of the best images are in my memory and slowly making their way into my sketchbook.