art · graphic design · graphics for shirts · Small Business

Be On the Lookout: Inspiration Comes from Everywhere

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Inspiration comes from everywhere, and sometimes when you least expect it. I’ve always believed that as an artist you need to be professional and have the ability to work on a regular basis, not just when inspiration strikes. However, it’s definitely a boost when it does strike. You constantly have to keep your eyes and ears open.

Continue reading “Be On the Lookout: Inspiration Comes from Everywhere”

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art · graphic design · graphics for shirts · Heat Press · Onesies · Parenting · SCORE · Small Business · Toledo, OH

New Year, New Portfolio

After several weeks of work, I am excited to present my new portfolio. It consists of three designs I’ve already been selling and nine new ones. I tried different subject matter, and more importantly, tried to make them as cute as possible. I’m pretty happy with the results, and I’m looking forward to sharing my portfolio with my mentors. Hopefully this will help start the new year off right.

Happy New Year, everyone! Wishing you happiness and success in 2018.

Here are the 12 designs included in my new portfolio.

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art · graphic design · graphics for shirts · Small Business

My Creative Process

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All artists have their own creative process – how to work, when to work, and what keeps them motivated.

My personal creative process is not very structured and unfortunately I only create new designs about once a month. Lately it’s been more frequently because I am working on a new portfolio.

I always carry a notebook with me so I can jot down ideas and work anywhere. I don’t need to be inspired to work; I just need to sit down and get started. The ideas will eventually come as long as I commit the time to do the work.

Usually I start with thumbnails and hand drawn sketches, but sometimes I go straight to the computer. Most of the time I think that the designs I work on over a few days look the best, but some of my popular designs I threw together in under an hour.

No matter how I decide to work, the best feeling is the sense of accomplishment you get from a finished design you’re happy with.

What does your creative process look like? Let me know in the comments.

art · Small Business

The Handmade Marketplace, 2nd Edition is a great resource for crafters!

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I just finished reading The Handmade Marketplace 2nd Edition by Kari Chapin, another awesome book I found at the library. It was a quick and easy read (I finished reading it during breaks at my day job), but it was a very thorough overview of the craft business. Throughout the book, Chapin adds input from the “Creative Collective”, a group of craft professionals of all different disciplines from around the world.

Chapin starts at the very beginning with setting goals and setting up your workspace in chapter one, and branding in chapter two.

Everyone seems to struggle with pricing, including myself, so I found chapter three extremely helpful. In this chapter Chapin explains pricing and members of the Creative Collective reveal their formulas and strategies. It was like someone turned the light on as these craft professionals demystified pricing.

Chapter four is about marketing, and Chapin emphasizes the importance of good photography. She adds simple instructions on how to make a light box using materials you probably already have at home.

Craft communities and the importance of making connections are highlighted in chapter five.

Chapters six through eight explain ways to promote your work such as blogging, advertising, and using social media.

The last four chapters of the book outline the different ways to sell your work. Craft fairs, e-commerce, brick-and-mortar stores, and other creative opportunities are all included.

The Handmade Marketplace is a great resource. It’s so thorough; I can’t think of anything Chapin left out. I highly recommend this book to any crafters ready to take it to the next level.

art · mental health

Drawings Influenced by Mental Illness

I would have never pursued art if it weren’t for my mental illness. There have been times in my recovery when it has been easier to show than to tell, and I have numerous drawings and paintings depicting my symptoms. I’d like to share a few with you.

 

all eyes on me

This drawing, “All Eyes On Me”, is about my visual hallucinations, or the “ghosts”. I often feel like I’m being watched before I see ghosts.

 

 

Don't-Let-Me-Sleep

This one is called “Don’t Let Me Sleep”. It’s about the fear I sometimes feel when I go to bed, wondering if the ghosts are around.

 

 

future motherhood

This is called “Future Motherhood”. I have always wanted children, and for years I wondered how pregnancy and motherhood would affect my mental illness. Now that I have a daughter, I know it’s nothing I can’t handle.

 

 

limitations

This drawing, “Limitations” is about the times I have felt my mental illness has gotten in the way of the things I want in life.

 

 

brainstorm

This one is “Brain Storm” and depicts the feeling of racing thoughts.

 

It has been a while since I have created any drawings like these. I love how my mental illness has caused creativity, however, nowadays just about anything in life can influence my drawings.

art · graphic design · Small Business

My New Favorite Series on Netflix – Abstract: The Art of Design

Abstract: The Art of Design is a series that came out earlier this year on Netflix, and I was instantly drawn to it. This inspiring program profiles the beautiful and innovative work of 8 designers at the top of their game as they reveal their processes and motivation. This is a must-see for anyone pursuing a creative career. I found their stories fascinating as well as an incredible learning opportunity.

Episode 1

Christoph Niemann talks about his illustrations as he works on a ground breaking cover for New Yorker. He explains the importance of abstraction and shares exercises that help him with the creative process. I have enjoyed trying these exercises myself. He says on a trip to the museum, “The gateway drug is not creating art, it’s experiencing art.”

Episode 2

This episode follows iconic shoe designer and creator of Air Jordans, Tinker Hatfield. Tinker discusses the problem-solving element of design and the importance of creating something meaningful – something that tells a story. He says, “Get out and experience life. Then you will have a library in your head.”

Episode 3

Es Devlin opens up about her successful career as a stage designer. She’s designed for small theaters as well as sets of today’s most famous pop stars and everything in between. She discusses 5 ingredients she uses in her design work, and what it means to fill a void with art. She explains, “Everything’s only going to exist in the memories of people.”

Episode 4

This episode follows Danish architect Bjarke Ingels. He created an inclusive approach to architecture and his work focuses on sustainability and problem-solving. He explains, “The way you realize your dreams is one step at a time.” You won’t believe the clean power plant with a ski slope on top of it.

Episode 5

Episode 5 profiles Ralph Gilles, automotive designer for Chrysler. He says, “Everything should be art.” His designs are beautiful and functional. He calls designers “taste makers” and as he explains, “Taste making takes time.”

Episode 6

Graphic designer Paula Scher is featured in episode 6. She describes design as “existing beyond screens” because “it affects real life.” She’s a big fan of typography. As she explains, “Making stuff is the heart of everything. That drive never goes away.”

Episode 7

This episode follows photographer and cultural provocateur Platon. He still shoots with film and has an amazing way of connecting with people. He always asks himself, “What can I learn from this person?” He has photographed numerous world leaders and everyday people alike.

Episode 8

Ilse Crawford, the successful interior designer, is the focus of episode 8. She considers all the senses in her work, because “we are our bodies”. She explains, “Design is a thought process, a skill, and a tool to enhance our humanity.”

I loved this series and I am grateful to the designers for sharing their work and stories. It was truly inspiring. I am more motivated than ever to learn and discover as much as I can about my own discipline. Time to get to work!