Monday, August 11, 2014

Big Art Update 3~Make Art That Sells July Assignment

Make Art That Sells July Assignment: Favorite Beverage!

For our final assignment in Make Art That Sells we were given a fun, personal project to illustrate and play on the subject of our favorite beverage. The assignment didn't target any particular market or client. We were challenged in the Mini to draw one beverage a day and to draw on different surfaces, such as an old envelope, a brown paper bag, canvas paper or maybe a different kind of paper from the art store that we've never used. The final could be any size, shape and in any color palette we found inspiring.

My final submitted to the Make Art That Sells July Gallery:


To start off with the Mini, I created a list of my favorite beverages. My list included beverages such as coffee, tea (and bubble tea, green tea, Thai iced tea...) wine, smoothies, etc... I did a lot of sketching for the Mini and just really tried to loosen up for the final assignment. I started off with the one (or two, or three) beverages a day challenge:

"In wine there is truth."

I then tried drawing on a cardboard surface:

I love white ink on a brown/neutral surface.

Final sketch stages:

After seeing some cool reference photos of stylized teapots I was inspired to create a teapot illustration. Pinterest is a great website to create reference/inspiration boards for your artwork!

Reflecting on this class I saw a lot of improvement in my work and it was great to do work for my portfolio again. I love doing personal illustration assignments because they are a great way to practice and your individuality as an artist comes though. I definitely saw my style evolve and change (in a great way) and I feel my confidence in digital media has grown.
Make Art That Sells Assignment Bootcamp is being offered again next winter, I would love to take the class again and stretch myself even further. The class is definitely challenging but it is a great experience! :-)

In the next post I will talk about the May and June assignments!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Big Art Update~Part 2

Make It In Design Summer School: Advanced Creative Brief 1

In yesterday's post, I mentioned that I would post art from the MIID Advanced Track. The first assignment was to design a water inspired/water ray pattern using only 4 colors, plus black and/or white if we chose. We were also asked to include a textured layer (such as fabric, ink splatter, peeling paint, etc).
Reflecting on this assignment, I feel it should have been completed before the Intermediate challenge because it was tough (it wouldn't be an advanced assignment otherwise!) We were encouraged to mock up the pattern onto a set of cushions. We were also provided a list of other great product options to apply the pattern to. The pattern could also be repeating or non-repeating.

Final submitted to the MIID Advanced Gallery 1.

Watercolor painting which I turned into a pattern on the throw pillows. This was also my 'texture'

This piece was the definition of the 80/20 rule, sometimes said as "80% of the work you do is done in 20% of the time." I did this assignment at the last minute, probably in a few hours before the deadline. I feel it came out well but I would have loved to have done a more transparent, "watery" pattern. I also had another idea to do a pattern inspired by pool tiles. If you look up 'pool tiles' or 'Roman pool tiles' in Google Images you get some great inspiration. I happened to type in 'paisley pool tiles'  to see what would happen and I got this cool image:

I still would like to try these pattern ideas but for now I am looking forward to the next 4 weeks for the Intermediate and Advanced tracks!

In Part 3 I will post about the July assignment from Make Art That Sells Assignment Bootcamp. :-)

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Big Art Update~Part 1

I haven't updated my blog in a few months but I've been working on (and continue to work on) a lot of different projects. A lot of things have been happening outside of art, including one major life event...

I'm engaged! :-)

You may have seen my fiancee's work, he does a lot of stuff for the fantasy and sci-fi art industry. Very different style from what I do but it is a fun genre.

I recently finished Make Art That Sells Assignment Bootcamp. The class was a lot of fun and way more challenging than I thought it would be, which is a great thing though because the idea is to stretch oneself. Fortunately it is being offered again next winter. I definitely saw improvements in my work taking this class- and I would love to take it again next winter and see how much farther I can go! I will be posting work I did for the May, June and July assignments in another post. All the student work from the MATS Bootcamp has gone live over the past several months, including also the July gallery!

I am currently taking Make It In Design Summer School, which is a 5 week class on surface design run in three tracks: Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced. The class is currently in session and is being offered for FREE (don't know if they will continue to offer it for free in the future) but I felt it was a great opportunity to take advantage of. I am in the Intermediate and Advanced tracks.

The first assignment for the Intermediate track was to design retro geometric patterns for swimwear. The finished piece could be submitted as a repeat or non-repeating pattern, though we were encouraged to create a mockup of the pattern on swimwear (which was optional). I feel it is important to create mockups because it is a great way to see how your art can look as a product concept and if you submit work to a product/fashion design related industry the art director may want to see your art applied to a product concept.

This was my final submitted to the MIID Intermediate Gallery 1. (I accidentally left out the orange swatch...oops).

This design I feel would be better suited for wallpaper or a curtain possibly.

I generally work in thumbnails first. Most of the time I do thumbnails in pencil but lately I have been into drawing in pen, which is a lot of fun and I enjoy working with different types of pens from a 005 Micron, to a calligraphy pen, to a brush pen.

In Part 2, I will be posting my final for the first Advanced creative brief for Make It In Design Summer School (the design has something to do with water).... :-)

Friday, April 18, 2014

IF~Chinese Zodiac: The Rat

This week's Illustration Friday topic is Zodiac. I chose to illustrate my sign in the Chinese zodiac, which is the rat! :-)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

UFOs and Astronauts!

We are on break for the month of April for Make Art That Sells Assignment Bootcamp (new assignment starts in May!) I'm currently brainstorming new ideas for future illustrations and thought it would be fun to do some space-themed sketches. I think this theme would work great for t-shirts--for children and adults alike! The astronauts gave me an idea for another project but I will reveal more about that later. ;-)

...Also I'm a little late posting this, but the Make Art That Sells March Gallery is up too!! Check it out!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Make Art That Sells March Challenge!

For the past couple weeks I have been working on the March assignment for MATS. My piece is submitted to the class gallery and as promised, I'm sharing what I've been working on these past two weeks. Our challenge was to do illustrations of jello/jello molds (or an interpretation of that) and create a bolt fabric piece with them.
In the beginning of the assignment I was uncertain of what direction to go in. I enjoyed looking at all the vintage jello ads--and vintage dishware but then I looked at some animation books which led me to drawing jello characters! I feel that the characters came out awesome but that more attention could have been put into the repeat and possibly put on a product in the final presentation. I had a lot of fun drawing and painting the characters but will revisit the pattern in April--I'm still pretty new to doing repeating patterns. :-)
I think the characters look great as a standalone illustration and they look very cute side by side. Our next assignment starts in May. Can't wait to see what it will be!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

MATS-More Sketches!

We got our main assignment for March this week from MATS. We are to design a piece of bolt fabric! I did not know what bolt fabric was until I looked it up. For those who are not familiar, it is bulk fabric you buy from craft/fabric stores and it is used for a wide array of projects. Bolt fabric comes in many different designs, lots of really fun designs especially. We were given a website to check out Purl Soho, a yarn and fabric shop located in SoHo, New York City (which I will be visiting soon). :-)
Luckily, while working on this project, I am also reading a great book from Pattern People called Pattern Design & Beyond, which gives all sorts of info on the textile industry, including terminology used in the industry, print/pattern categories, popular types of prints and standards, and also official names of repeat prints you commonly see on clothing, etc. Repeat After Me is another great book they offer.
Anyway, here are some more sketches I did to prepare for our main assignment. I spend a lot of time concepting (still concepting in fact). I am getting started on the color portion at the end of this week
and will be posting the art for that soon.

My favorite page of sketches

We are encouraged to try hand drawn type. It can help your piece go from good to great!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Make Art That Sells Assignment Bootcamp~March Mini!

This week we got the March mini assignment from MATS. The theme....Jello! We were given a few reference photos to get a feel for the color, texture and lighting/transparency of jello.
I got started by drawing a few jello shapes but then got inspired from animation concept art books, especially the movement/gesture shown in character concept art.
Since jello is very wiggly and wobbly I went on to creating 'dancing' jello characters. I definitely want to incorporate the fruit somehow, possibly as a background element. 
I am looking forward to finding out what the main assignment is on Monday to see how I can change/adapt/improve these sketches to the final.
Post for MATS March main assignment coming soon! 

Friday, February 28, 2014

Make Art That Sells~February Gallery!

As I said earlier, I'd post the link to the MATS Assignment Bootcamp February Gallery. It went live on Tuesday and is up for all to view! There's lots of great work in there from artists all over the world. I am still looking through the gallery myself--it's huge!
My work is in there too, at the bottom of page 4. :-)

Monday begins our assignment for March, new sketches to come...

Sunday, February 23, 2014

MATS February Assignment~Phone Case Final!

Just finished my final design for the Make Art That Sells assignment for February, which was to design a cell phone case based around our cuckoo clock illustrations. I went with a Native American inspired design. During the assignment we were given a lot of great tips regarding color palettes, how to discover color trends, etc. I'm really proud of how the design turned out and I am glad that I went outside my comfort zone regarding color, instead of using colors I would typically go with. 
I have submitted my design to the monthly class gallery, which goes live on Tuesday. I'll be posting the link to that.
Really looking forward to seeing what March has in store!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Make Art That Sells~February Assignment: Cell Phone Cases!

So last week we got the February Assignment from MATS. We are to create a cell phone case with our cuckoo clock design. I am currently in the final drawing stage and very close to going to color--(only one more week until the deadline!!) I went with a Native American inspired look for my design. So far I am happy with it but I think for the March assignment I am going to play with more ideas, more designs...More than one illustration.
We can only submit one piece to the class gallery each month--this got me to think how great would it be to have options and to choose the best piece from a group of designs/illustrations.
This is my first time taking this class so it is a learning experience for me. I would like to try a simpler illustration for the March assignment, depending on what it is. I am naturally very detailed in my work and getting simple illustration and simple design down is a big challenge for me, yet it is definitely a look I want to experiment with.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Make Art That Sells Assignment Bootcamp~February Mini

So a while back I found a great class online called Make Art That Sells. They teach a two-part course for some really great markets out there available to illustrators/designers, such as giftware, home decor, children's books, surface design, etc. I found out about their Assignment Bootcamp, which runs for 6 months, from February-July. We get an assignment every month, starting with a mini warm-up assignment the first week. For February, our mini warm-up is cuckoo clocks!

So...I did a clock design once for a client and it came out pretty first I was hesitant about doing a clock design/illustration. I wasn't sure where to go with this design but I thought it would be a good idea to break down the clock into parts (clock face, minute/hour hand, etc...)
Yesterday I put together a really great drawing (bottom) that I feel has somewhat of a Native American feel to it. I was actually inspired by some really awesome reference/still shots I had of a Mickey Mouse cartoon called "Yodelberg."
Tomorrow the main assignment for February is released and I can't wait to see how it relates to cuckoo clocks! I would love to take this clock to final--I think it could have some really great earth tone colors. :-)
I'm looking forward to future minis/assignments from this class! I'm hoping that with each month I can build on more and more drawing at the beginning stages. :-)

Monday, January 20, 2014


Here are some new floral designs/motifs from my sketchbook! I got myself a large sketchbook recently (...and loving a larger sketchbook vs. a small one) so I'll be posting ideas, drawings, doodles, etc. from it. I'm looking forward to seeing how it progresses!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Sketchbook: Borders & Flowers...First Post of 2014!

I'm currently working on a new business card design and at the same time doing some research and sketches related to the surface design/pattern design industry. I already do a little bit of it in giftware, but I feel my knowledge of it is still very limited compared to what I see out there from other artists.
For my business card I am going to have my confidently standing bird character on it, except he's going to be saying something instead of singing.
I'm going to have a border or some flowers around him. While doing my research, I did some sketching and also used this book as a reference. Dover books are great for reference (and they're also dirt cheap) if you're a designer and/or illustrator.
The color for my business card is likely going to be done in Illustrator. Hope you enjoy seeing this and I will be posting more pieces from my sketchbook!