Upcoming book sneak preview, and May the 4th!Read More
February and March 2019 recap including lessons learned, kaizen, and some rainbow eats!Read More
It's only summer, but already this year I have a lot to be thankful for. Back in February, I was very fortunate to win a spot with a mentor in the Writing With the Stars program organized by Tara Luebbe of Becky Tara Books site and author of Shark Nate-O and I Am Famous.
The incredibly generous and fabulous mentor that decided to take me on was Brianne Farley (pronounced /BREE-ehn/ rhymes with 'Ian'). She'd never met me before, but took a chance on me and was my mentor earlier this year. Brianne's got a wry sense of humor and was the perfect match. If you're not familiar with her work, you can see her quirk-tastical illustrations in her author-illustrated books Secret Tree Fort, Ike's Incredible Ink and also in the Charlotte the Scientist series (by author Camille Andros).
The Goal: create a kidlit friendly portfolio to exhibit at my regional SCBWI conference in Orlando this past June. Brianne had an excellent plan which I set about executing.
This is something I know about myself - I need accountability by way of a deadline or art direction. It's hard for me to work on projects strictly for portfolio purposes. I'm very pragmatic so it feels too indulgent, so the WWTS program gave me the opportunity to have an accountability mentor.
I learned in a studio environment, and worked in studios, but these days I work from home. I miss having that rapport with other artists and designers. Getting that outside perspective is absolutely critical to getting out of my own head and so Brianne was a great guiding force to bounce ideas off of. She guided me with regularly scheduled critiques and I managed to make the most of the experience to create these portfolio pieces...
THANK YOU, BRIANNE!!
It's a real treat to see work made into something beautiful. Today, I'd like to share how a series of sketches for my son became gift wrap.
It all started out last year with a family visit. Someone mentioned that my brother-in-law was a whiz kid at memory when he was a tot. So, the thought of a memory game was planted. My son is very much interested in all things mechanical and vehicular, so I went ahead and sketched out some of his favorite vehicles.
Then, I chose a set of colors that were modern, eye-catching, and child-friendly. I used the primary colors red, yellow, and blue, plus the complementary color lime green and the neutral grey.
I then used a DIY printer (Shutterfly) to produce a set of memory cards. He promptly learned to play and they are much loved and scuffed and full of crayon dust.
Later that year, I took the images to a tradeshow as a last-minute addition to my portfolio. This was where the art was spotted by the art buyers from a wonderful gift-wrap company in California.
They produced the wrap using a beautiful shimmery silver in place of the neutral grey. At an angle you can see the shimmer. I'm so pleased to have my work out in the world, and I hope you'll let me know if you see the gift wrap wherever you are!
The brief called for the design of a teacup, saucer, and napkin... but who could resist not designing the entire set?! Not I! I love tea!
What should it have on each piece? I'm not a big fan of the lacy, teensy, frilly flower on my tea sets as many traditional ones do. And lately, I've been really enjoying working with traditional printmaking methods especially linocut. I made a bunch of patterns and arrangements using stamps I made on my own, and some I took into the digital realm and began testing repeats that way. I was really excited to use my recent patterns on something I'd love to own and see every day. I'm a big fan of tea and the paraphernalia that comes with drinking it.
So I set about sketching and came up with a concept that I'd love to have in my own home. The sketch gave me a general idea of how I'd present my work, and then I set about testing colors.
|My first tests with pink...|
There you have it! Tea for two... a cuppa for me and one for you!