She sent me a few photos as a reference, and I decided to focus in on this one.
Lastly I added the name.
I was so pleased this morning to not have a long list of errands to run while Ransom is in school. I’ve been sitting at Solace & Fine Espresso for over an hour now just drawing and such. Before I leave, I thought I’d pop in and share some art.
I recently completed a cute little illustration that I’m really proud of. A mom at Ransom’s school had been following along with my state bird series, and asked me to draw a magpie for her. She wanted to give it as a gift to her niece.
She sent me a few photos as a reference, and I decided to focus in on this one.
First I sketched it out in my sketchbook.
I took a step back and snapped a photo of my kitchen table studio. I get such great light here for drawing and for taking pictures.
I then scanned the drawing, edited it on my computer to erase some stray marks and such, and then airdropped it into my iPad. From there I added color using watercolor brushes in Procreate. I had the picture open as a reference.
I’m really pleased with how the color turned it! It makes me want to go back and add digital watercolor to more of my drawings.
Lastly I added the name.
The original commission included her neice’s name, but soon I’ll have prints available that have the name of the bird instead.
I never would have done this if someone hadn’t commissioned me. That’s what’s so fun about commissions — they are more pressure because i want the customer to be happy, but they always stretch me.
I have my first pop-up market of 2019 this coming Saturday! It's a Valentine Shopping Extravaganza put on my Puplandia Dog Rescue.
Often before a market I'll do a mock-setup at home. I put up my table in my basement and arrange all my items. This helps me remember to pack everything I need, helps me decide what inventory to bring, and makes the morning-of a lot easier. I'm part-way through my mock-setup right now.
This will be my first time to have my bug coloring book at a market, and I'm interesting to see how she does.
I'll have a few Valentine's Day cards with me as well. (You can click on the image if you can't make it and want to buy one now)
Every year I try and develop one new Valentine design. This year's is the "You're So Sweet" card. It kind of makes me hungry . . .
To close, if you're in Portland,Oregon -- happy snow day!! Today is our first (perhaps only) snow day of the season.
Last week Ryan, Ransom and I went to Texas for a sweet visit with our families.
There are so many great pictures I could share from last week, it's actually kind of overwhelming to choose. So as to not leave anyone out and not to bombard you, I'll just leave it with our own little immediate family on the plane.
It's nice to get back into a routine now that we're back, but we are also missing our family and thinking about them often.
I didn't even bring my sketchbook to Texas, but I did bring my iPad and Apple Pencil. I took advantage of a couple of nap times to finish this pattern for a current Spoonflower challenge. The challenge is to create a pattern with a specific, limited color palette.
I was thinking about mountains and suns when creating this.
I then fiddled around with those triangles and circles (because I don't like to waste anything) and also created this design.
Abstracted mountains reflected in water. I'm pretty pleased with it.
In our downstairs bathroom, we have a little note card stuck to the wall asking people to kindly not flush anything other than pee and poop and toilet paper. Ryan has never been satisfied with that little note card, and wanted something with more pizazz (if it means anything to you, he's a 4 on the Enneagram). So he asked me to create something.
He gave me a sketch to work with.
So I drew this ..
i still haven't put it in a frame and hung it over the ivory throne, but hopefully if my little dude is still napping when I'm finished with this post I'll do that next.
I also am thinking of making it available as a downloadable print in my Etsy shop soon, because you see similar such sentiments over many a toilet.
Just wanted to pop in and share.
I’m currently at the gym. Ransom is in the childcare, and I’m in the lobby using the free WiFi. He loves going to the gym childcare, which wasn’t always the case. It took coming for months before he stopped crying when I left him. Now he knows all the workers and they know him and he barely gives me a second glance when I drop him off. It’s pretty sweet.
I intended to sit out here and write a blog post, but I’m having a hard time getting my head in the game. It’s just been a frazzling morning, so I thought I’d warm up by just chit-chatting with you about being at the gym.
I intended to sit out here and tell you a little about the book I am working on.
Maybe I’m ready to do that now.
My good friend wrote a children’s book about a nerdy turtle named Finnegan, and his unlikely friendship with a rabbit named Rackle.
I’ve had the text of the story for awhile, but wanted to finish my bug coloring book before really diving into it. I already have some sketches, and now I’m using those sketches to make the finished illustrations on my iPad.
I’ve never illustrated a book before. It really is a challenge, mainly trying to capture the same character in different situations and from different angles.
I’m really glad I know how to create using my iPad now, it’ll makes the process much easier, and more lovely.
I’ve made a new schedule for myself for the new year. I hope to work on the book on Fridays, and write blog posts on Tuesdays (hi!). Monday I want to work on my Etsy shop, Wednesdays I want to create, and Thursdays I want to learn (mainly via Skillshare classes). This is all assuming i have time to myself at all on these days. Everyday I will take it as it comes.
And in closing, here is my newest Etsy item that I listed for sale yesterday. I’m pretty obsessed with this cute little armadillo. It’s for sale as a print. I sold the original at one of my holiday pop-up shops to a little boy who is obsessed with armadillos.
Well I've done it! The coloring book has landed!
In it there are twelve intricately drawn bugs to color. I drew the first one (that praying mantis) just months after Ransom was born, with the goal of eventually turning it into a book. Check!
I can now always say that I've published a book, which is pretty cool. And since I went through the learning process of creating this first book, the next time I want to independently publish something I now know how. Part of what took me so long this time around is I kept dragging my feet because I didn't know how to do things. Google and YouTube are lifesavers.
My next book project is a children's book a good friend of mine wrote and asked me to illustrate. So that will be a 2019 goal. I'd also like to do another coloring book. I'm thinking perhaps potted plants, and in a smaller format, like 5"x7" or something similar.
Oh and Christmas happened. It was cozy and lovely. See you next year!
Well my one-blog-post-a-week goal has gone out the window this past month. That's ok, I've been thoroughly enjoying the holiday season.
One of my 2018 goals has been to publish my bug coloring book, and I'm soooooooo close! Frustratingly close. It's pretty much done but I'm having some problems with formatting which is oh-so-frustrating. I know, it's ok if I publish it in 2019 and not 2018 . . .I just love accomplishing goals in a timely manner. Here's a sneak peak of the cover.
I had a lot of fun at the holiday markets I participated in this year. The best part (other than making sales) is getting to know the other vendors. The more I do these kinds of events, the more I run into familiar artists and makers. We're cool people. (By the way, you should check out those soaps!)
Time to start thinking of 2019 goals!
I'll close with this. Ransom and I had some of his friends over this morning for a toddler art party. Of course the art part only lasted like 10 min and the rest what just playing and making a mess, but it was a blast! So thankful for sweet friends.
I'm pumped that I can listen to Christmas music now without getting grief from people. We had a great Thanksgiving, but now we can fully focus our merriment on the Christmas season. Yes!
This weekend we decked our halls and decorated our tree.
And because I can't get enough, I had to draw Ransom his own cardboard Christmas tree to decorate. (I maybe helped a little).
And then I had to draw you your own Christmas tree to color.
My favorite part of that drawing is the angel on top. It's inspired by the angel that tops our tree. I bought it at a thrift store in Denton, TX 8 years ago for Ryan and I's first Christmas tree.
Oh, and speaking of Christmas trees -- I was awoken in the middle of the night to ours crashing down! It had toppled over. I guess because it's a real tree and so it's a bit asymmetrical... Hopefully it doesn't happen again! And thankfully only two ornaments were smashed.
You won't have to worry about that with my coloring sheet. Just paper cuts. I plan on coloring mine while watching a Christmas movie. I think it would also be a fun activity for a family Christmas gathering.
I have a couple of holiday markets coming up. I don’t do a ton of these weekend markets, but I enjoy them when I do. Especially the Christmas ones because they are so festive. I’m a Christmas nerd and love it all — the music, the lights, the cheesy movies. Here’s some info on my upcoming markets. You should come say hi if you’re going to be in Portland (you can click on the images for more info).
For that last one I have to wear cocktail attire. Which means I get to go shopping because my current wardrobe is all leggings and jeans with holes (not intentional holes, but holes from being on the ground with my toddler. Literally all of my jeans have fallen prey to the holes).
And while I’m here I might as well say that my Etsy shop is having a sales event now through Nov 25th — 10% off and free shipping. I myself am a little annoyed with all the emails I’m getting about sales this week, so I’m actually kind of hesitant to bring it up myself. But if you were thinking of buying something from me anyway, I thought you’d like to know.
And wow, tomorrow is Thanksgiving! All our family is across the county, so we are crashing another family’s meal. I hope you enjoy the day and eat lots and choose gratitude. Every day, really. (the last one anyway, probably shouldn’t eat lots everyday, that might get expensive.)
It's been a few weeks! My regular rhythm got thrown off (in a good way) by a visit from family. Now I'm busy getting my online shops ready for the Christmas shopping season, which has pretty much already begun.
One of my favorite new designs is this polar bear family. I originally drew them during my 100 Days of Animals last spring, and then added the color on my iPad a few weeks ago.
And remember that Winter Village from a month or so ago?
I used some of the same elements to create a card design that you can now buy in my Etsy shop.
I had a lot of fun drawing those snowflakes.
I still always have the challenge of deciding what to prioritize. I have so many ideas and so many things I want to learn, but such a limited amount of time to devote to my artistic endeavors. I know this is definitely not an uncommon problem. For instance, I would love to have an ornament for sale this winter, and I would love my bug coloring book to be printed in time for purchase as a Christmas present (so like, now).
But none of those things are emergencies. Well see what happens. My first jobis being a mom, and right now that is what most of my time is devoted to.
It's really the best and hardest job I've had.
I daily find myself wishing I had more time to do what I want to do, but really I'm so thankful I get to spend so much time with this 2 year old.
A place to share the process. This blog is not a marketing tool or an additional way to show off, but rather a space to be honest about the triumphs and trials of my daily life as an artist and mama. Writing motivates and refreshes me.
Subscribe to get blog updates sent to your email: