Sunday, October 27, 2013

Make Art That Sells (MATS) Week 3 - Children's Books

This week in my Make Art That Sells class we were working on children's books.  Our assignment was to design a cover or spread to the Russian folktale The Language of the Birds.  I decided to adapt the story for a New Zealand audience and have the birds in the story be kiwi birds.

This was the sketch I started with.

I quickly decided that the outfits I had planned for the birds did not match the aesthetic of the Maori inspired blanket nest.

I decided to add a border to the piece as well.

The finished illustration

If I were to do this again I would do it in a more stylized manner.  For next week's assignment I am going to push myself to work less realistic.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Friday Phrase

Today's Friday Phrase is inspired by Katy Perry's new song "Roar". I thought it would be fun to draw a lion roaring for a children's room. Feel free to share this post (just make sure it links back here).

Prints and products available in my society 6 store.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

New Items In My Etsy Shop

I just added a bunch of items to my Etsy shop just in time for the holidays.  There are prints (in two sizes) of my illustrated maps as well as my Illustrated NYC Dogs.

If you need a different size for a print or would like to custom order something I'd be more than happy, just send me an e-mail.

More items will be added soon including some more Christmas/Holiday cards!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Make Art That Sells (MATS) Week 2 - Bromeliad Plate Collection

This week my assignment in Lilla Rogers' Make Art That Sells course was a challenge for me.  We needed to make a collection of 2-4 plates with the theme of bromeliads.  I don't usually draw flowers or plants so this was a personal stretch.

I approached this assignment knowing that I wanted to do a profile of individual plants using their scientific names.  The background colors would be bright and bold to go along the nature of the bright flowers.

Overall I am pleased with my assignment.  Next time I think I would try stylizing the plants more.

This class has been fun interacting with the other students.  We are able to give feedback, critique, and support each other along the way.

Here are some of my classmates' take on the assignment:

Jennifer Appel
Dreaming on a Star
Larisa Hernández
Victoria Johnson
Aisha Khan
Jordan Vinograd Kim
Nic Squirrel

Friday, October 18, 2013

Friday Phrase

Today's Friday Phrase is a saying applicable to art as well as life. Feel free to share this post (just make sure it links back here!)

Available on a variety of products in my Society6 store.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Custom Name Portraits

A while ago I decided I wanted to make some paintings for my roommates for their birthday gifts.  I wanted each painting to be personal and relate back to the recipient. I also wanted their name typography to reflect their style as well.

Each friend loved their canvas and that it was personal to them.  Now they are hanging up in our living room.

I have been thinking about opening comissions for custom name paintings as well on my Etsy store (square canvases or boards though, I no longer have any triangles).

Monday, October 14, 2013

Make Art That Sells (MATS) Week 1

I just finished my first week of the online course Make Art That Sells (MATS) Part A.  I'm learning so much and can't wait to start this week's prompt.

Our assignment this week was to create bolt fabric that incorporated berries and vintage pyrex casserole dishes.  Below is some of my brainstorming efforts- preliminary sketches, both digital and traditional.

I decided to have my icons have their own personalities and be very happy.  I am a happy person, and wanted to embrace creating cute, happy things in my work.  This week I pushed myself to see where I could go, and I am pretty pleased with the final results.

What do you think of my final patterns?  Are there any items from my sketchbook you think should have been incorporated into my final?  Which kitchen item or berry is your favorite?  Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Friday Phrase

Today's Friday Phrase is something I'm always reminding myself. Feel free to share this post (just make sure it links back here!)

Friday, October 4, 2013

Canon Pixma Pro-100 Printer Review

A few weeks ago I bought a Canon Pixma Pro-100.  I did alot of research into finding a good, quality printer to suit my needs as a designer.  My criteria for looking was:
  • Large print size
  • Print borderless
  • Multiple inks that could be replaced individually
  • Wireless capability
  • Great color
  • Less than $400
  • Trusted company

I decided to go with Canon's Pixma Pro-100 for a number of reasons:
  • Can print up to 13" x 19" borderless
  • 8 ink cartridges that can be individually replaced
  • Wireless capability
  • Great color
  • Was less than $200 after rebate (now it's less than $100 after rebate until 12/31/13)
  • I have multiple Canon cameras and am very pleased with the company and quality of items
  • My printer came with a free pack of 50 sheets of 13" x 19" paper 

My first impressions of the Canon Pixma Pro-100 was how large it was.  I ordered it online and took advantage of free shipping.  I almost went to the store to pick it up and am glad I did not because it is so large and heavy.  This is a large printer!  It also weighs about 50 pounds. I originally was going to place the printer next to my computer, but because of the needed clearance on the back for the paper tray (which I did not account for) I placed it across the room.

The wireless capability is nice, but I had issues setting it up.  I called Canon support, and they were very friendly and helped me set up my printer wirelessly. I can print wirelessly from it sometimes, but my internet router sometimes forgets it on the network.  I will either buy a new router or a long USB cord so it will not become a headache.

A 8.5" x 11" art print. Great color!

The color is absolutely amazing!! As an artist, who works mostly digital, one of the biggest headaches is trying to get colors from the computer screen to match what prints. I have never been so amazed with the color from a printer. I didn't even need to calibrate it (I made sure I used the right print settings though). The quality and depth of the color is amazing as well. The images are clear and sharp, especially on the Canon papers.

A 13" x 19" photograph.  The color and detail are amazing!

I also print on 100% recycled matte paper for my Etsy greeting cards and was apprehensive about a professional "photo" printer printing on matte paper.  In the past with other printers I've had issues with the colors looking faded on matte paper.  When I set my Canon Pixma Pro-100 printer settings to matte paper and the colors turn out beautiful! I even had a friend said that it almost looked like gouache!

The only negative (besides my internet router having issues with the wireless setup) is that I haven't figured out yet how to print borderless on my greeting cards. I print from Photoshop and use a custom size paper.  I will play around with the settings some more and if I figure out how to print borderlessly on a custom size paper I will post here.

Overall I am very pleased with my new printer! I can't wait to keep bringing more of my designs, photos, and illustrations to life!

Here are my specific printer settings.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Online Courses

I'm so excited that within the next month and a half I am taking three online courses.  These courses will each help advance me in different areas of art and business.

The first course I'm taking is Lilla Rogers' "Make Art That Sells".  There are two parts to this online class and I am taking part A which focuses on bolt fabric, home decor, children's picture books, wall art, and the gift markets.  These are all markets I'm looking forward to learning more about and how I can sell my art and help make other people happy. This is a 5 week course and will be intense with assignments.
To learn more about the course click here.

The second course I am taking is Creativebug's "Building a Creative Brand".  This course is about finding your style as a brand, business nuts and bolts, licensing artwork, publishing books, and the work/life balance.  This course will be a great addition to the other course because it focuses more on the business aspects of being an artist as well as figuring out what sets you apart from other artists.
More information about this 4 week course can be found here.

The third course I'm taking is a class through Skillshare.  It's called "The Greeting Card Business: Design and Sell Your Own Cards" and is taught by Kate Harper.  It's very fitting because I just launched my Etsy shop with greeting cards and I plan on making more. This class teaches about the greeting card business, different markets for greeting cards, writing cards, and more.  I'm excited to learn more about this business and learn how I can expand my greeting card business.  
To learn more about this class and to get $10 off this course (and any other $20 Skillshare class if it's your first course) click this link.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Facebook Page

I now have a Facebook page (click here)!  Please "like" me to receive updates on your facebook newsfeed.

A screenshot of my new Facebook page