A super quick sketch today for Illustration Friday.
I had paper dolls printed to sell at craft fairs in November, but now I’m finally getting around to putting them up on Etsy.
The outfits on these are from the “Alice in Wonderland” set of outfits:
Notice how it looks like they’re floating in nothing but white space? Enter: my new light box!
I made it to make taking photos of my jewelry easier- I had been taping a piece of white paper to a chair and balancing the camera on a pint glass to keep it steady (yeah, real professional.) This setup is no less makeshift, but at least it’s a little more consistent. I found the tutorial here. It has been way easier to keep lighting consistent and avoid harsh glares.
The paper dolls should be all photographed and up in my shop in about a week.
So sorry…I just really love puns. I have been going a bit bear-crazy, though. Its probably the terribly frigid weather. February is nearly gone and still, all I want to do is hibernate. Just look at his furry coat! Must be cozy.
A brand new shipment of necklace supplies arrived yesterday as well. Even when you know what it is, isn’t opening mail still terribly exciting? Especially when it includes adorable handmade wooden frames and beautifully packaged hand-antiqued chains.
(Despite my enthusiasm, Mr. Owl is not amused.)
Writing a blog can be lonely, especially when you start out. There are so many blogs, so many things that have been said, and finding readers can be an uphill battle. It might sometimes feel like your only reader is your mother (hi Mom!) Which is why support from other bloggers can be so important.
I received a comment from Sarah of Daisy Chains and Dreamers the other day, saying she nominated me for a Liebster Award. Apparently it’s like a chain mail award of appreciation, started in Germany in 2010.
Here are the rules:
1. Post an acceptance post and include a thank you to the blogger who nominated you
2. Nominate 10 bloggers with under 200 followers with links to their blogs
3. Answer 10 questions your nominator sent to you
4. Include 10 questions for your nominees to answer
It was such a neat feeling that a lifestyle blogger, an ocean away, just happened upon what I had written and liked enough to single it out among 9 other great blogs. So thanks Sarah! Sometimes a little nod of “yes, you’re doing something right” is all you need. So now I’m passing it on!
Here are my answers to her questions:
1) You’re at a Starbucks counter, what do you order? I live by a local coffee shop, and haven’t been to Starbucks in years. But when I did go there, I loved London fogs. I’m pretty sure they’re just Earl Grey tea, vanilla syrup and steamed milk. So creamy and delicious, with a little bit of bergamot. If I’m at my own shop, or another one that prides itself on bar drinks, I’ll just have an espresso or cortado.
2) Read a kindle or paperback book? Paperback! Though I love the convenience of a kindle- if I was still in school I’m sure it would be invaluable- there are too many benefits to reading a physical book. The thrill of finding something new at a used book store… the musty smell of the pages… finding notes in the margins and writing your own… having conversations with strangers because you can see they’re reading a book you love… yes, I’m too much of a romantic to give up a good paperback.
3) Tattoos, a do or a don’t? Do. There are a lot of awful, regrettable tattoos out there, but when done right they can be a beautiful form of self expression. I’ve always wanted one, but just can’t like one idea long enough to get it permanently inked on my body. Things I’ve considered: a cupcake, a wedge of cheese (don’t ask), a quote by Anais Nin, and lately I’ve really wanted a floral half sleeve. A girl I know has the phases of the moon tattooed on her collar bone and its gorgeous.
4) If had the chance to live one day as a character from film or TV who would it be? I would love to be Maude from Harold and Maude! She’s such an adventurer. I would want to be imbued with that spirit for a day- think of all the trouble you could get into! It is a tough choice between Maude and Amelie, but I think Maude would be a little bit more fun, and certainly a change of pace from my normally reticent self.
5) Name a blogger, or bloggers, who inspire you. Sara from Pink of Perfection writes beautiful, thoughtful posts. I always leave her site in a better, more wistful mood. And I look at Emily Martin of The Black Apple as an example of the good things that can happen with an illustration degree and a lot of hard work, whimsy and chutzpa. And since discovering her blog I’ve rethought of the way an illustration blog should be kept- half of her posts are of other people’s work, or thrifted finds or random craft projects, but the all tie back to her signature style.
6) Harry Potter or Ron Weasley? Ron. I’m a sucker for an underdog with a sense of humor. And red hair, of course.
7) Life without cheese or life without chocolate? Aah, this is a tough question… Umm, chocolate. I think I would have to choose life without chocolate as opposed to life without cheese. I once briefly considered a cheese tattoo, so you can see how important the savory fermentable is to me. (Though it would be a hard life. I would have to drown my sorrows in gouda.)
8) Onesies. Yay or nay? Nay. They seem very impractical. And not to be nosy, but how do you… you know, use the powder room?
9) You’re top three high street stores and why? Oh gosh. I had to Google “high street stores” to find out what they even are- unfortunately I’m not very knowledgeable about fashion. Most of my clothes come from resale shops, to be completely honest.
10) If you had to live in a decade other than the current one, which would you choose? I’m one of those people who get really nostalgic for eras they never lived in. Though I’m sure life in another decade would be rough (I’ve really gotten used to, you know, voting and being able to control my own life) I would have loved to have lived during the Belle Epoque in France. The turn of the century is endlessly fascinating, with the countless scientific advancements and the social importance of the arts.
And my nominations:
- Polanshek of the Hills Her artwork is insane. Seriously, it is gorgeous. Most posts are artwork only, but that’s more than enough.
- Daydreamer This blog only has three posts, but they’re personal and insightful looks into the life of a designer. Her work is beautiful and I hope there’s more to come.
- Olivia’s Art Box features Olivia Palmer’s beautiful children’s book illustrations and sketchbooks. The writing is kept to a minimum, and instead her blog focuses on the working state of her artwork.
- Lucy Rosales It’s a lot of fun to see comics in the process of being made. Lucy takes you through the steps of getting a comic book started, and posts great little works in progress as well as finished pages.
- The Daily Compote With tips on cooking for one, immediately likeable writing, and recipes like Cardamom Sea Salt Ganache Tart it’s hard to go wrong.
- She Loves Happy This is a brand new lifestyle blog that I literally just found, but it’s so sincere and well photographed I can’t imagine it staying under the radar for long. (And now I really want to make sushi.)
- Fabrication Pollination Great DIYs and How-To posts. I’ll definitely be going back for more “Weekly Wannabes.”
- Irene Cortez Illustration Irene posts gorgeous abstract and nature-inspired illustrations. They look almost like doodles done on the back of math notebooks…if they were done by someone with mad talent.
- Doodleby Her illustrations are sooooooo cute.
- Novel Escapism This is an excellent book review blog. They do top ten lists, author profiles, and have very good taste in the books they review- both new books and classics. (And they’re not exactly a new blog…but they’re new to me!)
Here are my questions:
- What is your favorite book?
- You’re on death row. What do you choose as your last meal?
- What movie do you most want to live in?
- As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
- What style of art has influenced you the most?
- What do you listen to while you draw/write?
- Do you make your bed every day?
- One non-essential item can’t you live without?
- What is the best concert you’ve ever seen?
- What other blogs inspire you?
Things have been strange lately. My precious routine has been uprooted, and I’ve had to create something entirely new in its place. I will explain: the coffee shop I work at has been deathly slow, so my hours were cut from 20 down to… basically none. After the initial mourning period and obligatory consumption of all the wine in the house, I of course had to decide what I was going to do with my new-found free time.
See, I got this job while I was still in college- my senior year, in the midst of putting together my thesis show. It has been almost five years since I graduated (I’ve been at the coffee shop for longer than I was in school. Ugh.) and this job has been a safety blanket of sorts. In the bewildering few years after art school, it was sort of my safe place, and the one constant between changing apartments, losing roommates, not finding jobs, and over all Not. Knowing. What. To. Do. (No, the weirdness of that level of emotional attachment to a job is not lost on me, thank you.)
So when that became a non-option, after the disappointment I was almost relieved? I do have another part time job at a restaurant, so I wasn’t going to become destitute. And time had become a precious commodity as I regained my footing as an illustrator. While working both jobs I had picked up a few projects- a graphic novel, a mural, a little craft business. But while working full time, doing any amount of art outside of that is really difficult. Now as my schedule has suddenly opened up, artistic opportunities have been flooding in to fill the empty space.
I guess the moral of the story, is that sometimes the things that are most comfortable are actually the things that are holding you back. And sometimes a little jolt of reality (seen here as the need to pay the bills) can be a wonderful motivator.
To thank all of you lovely blog readers, I’d like to give you a present- a little Valentine’s Day printable of the raccoon I posted the other day, and 20% off of anything in my Etsy shop. The coupon code is HELLOVALENTINE14 and it expires the day after Valentine’s Day.
This is a close up of a painting I’m working on. It just so happens to fit with this week’s Illustration Friday theme, disguise.
The starting sketch.
…And the whole thing.
It’s the first one of a series for Sparrow Collective. I’ll be participating in the next Bayview Gallery Night, and I’m pretty darn excited. Jewelry has taken up much of my time recently, and I’ve missed working full size. This is a fun piece to start out with. I’ll post more work as I finish it, of course.
On another note, I’ll be posting a special Valentine’s Day gift for everyone who reads my blog tomorrow morning. Stop by if you can!
See you then!