While I can’t be happy with everything happening in my country at the moment, I recognize that I’m lucky to live in a nation where I have the freedom to make a piñata of our evil overlord and then proceed to beat the crap out of it! Happy 4th y’all. 🇺🇸
Donald Trump Pinata. Paper Mache (flour/water/newspaper) & Tissue Paper.
Nature is the Inspiration to all Artistic Expression
Usually, when I surround myself in nature, it results in me coming up with new ideas. That’s exactly what happened on my most recent trip to South Lake Tahoe and this tiny fellow, who I now call The Littlest Cobbler!
Being in the forest made me think of giant mushroom trees, which meant I needed a character small enough to see the world from this angle. I imagined him taking a leaf down a river like a raft and using dandelion puffs to float from one place to another.
These are a few of my first sketches of the Littlest Cobbler. I gave him this occupation due to the fact that our culture usually sees elves as either helping Santa, fixing shoes, or baking cookies in a hollow tree - my character already lives in a tree stump so I didn’t want him to be too Keebler.
What started as a few quick sketches on ProCreate has turned into one of my most lovable characters. Sometimes you just need to get ideas out - and see how others react to them. Most importantly, when seeking inspiration my tip is to just step outside.
As I'm trying to get together a good portfolio to start contacting illustration agencies, it's time to design my own characters and put my writing skills to use. I wanted to make a fun story filled with cute characters with a few educational moments sprinkled in. My conclusion was kids like animals, kids like cake and from that idea stemmed Choco Kitty's Birthday Bash. This draft is still pretty rough (and was created in Procreate) but it's me getting my ideas in order as well as a fun color palette- bound to keep the attention of children aged 5 to 7. Let me know what you think in the comments section.
Last year I did make one goal for myself, but looking back on it now, it may have been kind of lame. This year I want to focus on something that I can really take into my own hands. I'd like to get a nice portfolio together and start contacting illustration agencies. Below is the cover to the first story I have planned, it was made in Photoshop using a Wacom tablet and a brush by @loisvb (also known as "loish").
This next image was created in Procreate and is a prototype of the Choco Kitty idea. Notice how in the new piece the eyes are larger and ears are shorter, which I think add to the "cute factor." I also simplified the shading, got rid of the collar and replaced the party hat with a crown. The colors are brighter in the new digital painting as I felt the old ones were a bit too dull for a children's book. There's just something about the combination of pink and these shades of brown that I absolutely love.
I have an aunt who’s an art teacher in Bakersfield, which was always so convenient for me as she’d often gift my cousins and I with new art supplies! I remember when visiting her house I was always so fascinated with the extensive library of art books she had in her office. Because of that, I now have this idea that to be an artist I have to have my own library…which is why I’m constantly collecting reading material, whether or not it's to read right away.
I recently found myself flipping through this book that was gifted to me, “Drawing & Painting Techniques: A Step by Step Guide.” It's a great collection of paint tutorials with some good chunks of art history thrown in here and there.
This page on composition caught my eye as I remember studying this piece by Raphael Sanzio in school. The page breaks down the composition in such a way that I wanted to practice it for myself, but instead of painting people I decided to go with bears, as we had just watched the Disneynature film on bears the night prior.
I had been using acrylic paints on Strathmore Drawing paper…which is something you’re not really supposed to do, but for practice it worked out fine. So I thought I’d try using acrylics on Strathmore’s Bristol, as it's thicker and quite smooth (plus it was 50% off at Hobby Lobby).
It actually worked out fine with minimal tapering and if you’d like to see more of this process, please enjoy this relaxing, speed painting video I’ve shared on my YouTube channel.
So, I got my very first speed painting video up on YouTube and I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. The piece is the first of a watercolor series I want to make about little nymph-like girls who live in a wonderland made of candy.
For the style of my video I was very much inspired by the work of Minnie Small, who is currently my favorite YouTuber, I could binge watch her all day! Check her out on semiskimmedmin.com!
rel·e·vant: appropriate to the current time, period, or circumstances; of contemporary interest.
As a modern day artist the most obvious reason of make "relevant" art is the attention--on social media. Using the right hashtag at the right time can lead to the exposure we all so desperately crave!
And while nothing so epic has ever happened for my work, I'd like to talk about my most recent attempts of making art that could be considered "relevant."
With October just around the corner, seems it's time to create creepy things... But wait, I've worked so hard to make all things CUTE... How can I throw monsters into such an adorable body of work? Well, when I went to see the new IT movie I fell in love with the cast of kids! SO I created this piece and jumped aboard the hype train! TOOT TOOT!
Thanks to seasonal challenges on platforms such as Instagram, it's easier than ever to stay relevant. With hashtags like #inktober and #witchsona this other digital piece I've created has become part of an online encyclopedia filled with similar imagery.
What are some ways you keep what you're working on relevant? Do you rely on social media challenges and fan art like myself? I'd love to hear any other ways I haven't mentioned here.
I really want to challenge myself to start posting art regularly, like EVERYTHING I'm working on. A lot of times I get shy when it comes to sharing my creations and works in progress... but it's time for that to change. So, here's my first attempt in trying to post a new piece every week. If you're reading this, PLEASE, hold me accountable for keeping up with this challenge by checking back now and then to make sure something new has been posted. All critiques are welcome!
With this piece I was inspired by some sketches I saw of other anthropomorphic mice and wanted to make my own. His outfit was inspired by none other than Mickey himself... complete with little gloves and yellow shoes. I wouldn't necessarily call this piece finished yet, but I like where it's going and I'm having a great time working on little illustrations such as this.
I’m lucky enough to have lovely people in my life that support everything I do, most importantly, my art practice. This Christmas my boyfriend, Fabian, got me an iPad Pro! What a dream come true, to be able to paint digitally wherever we are in the world! Last year was all about traveling... and while we still plan on doing some of that very soon, 2017 will be all about chasing my dreams!
One of the first digital pieces I worked on with the iPad pro was this #meettheartist meme you may have seen being done by other #artistsofinstagram. So far my favorite drawing/painting app has been Procreate... still debating on if Astropad is worth the $30 investment. If anyone out there has a recommendation, I'd love to hear in the comments below!