Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Painting Every Day

I'm trying very hard to balance drawing and painting the "analog" way with learning how to create on the computer. The computer is fun and it has the wonderful function of "command z" which allows me to go back a step or 10 steps if I mess up. But I find the computer analytical. I think it's because I'm still learning how the programs work. Painting and drawing is more meditative for me. I just go with the flow. I usually don't worry about mistakes because I can quickly cover them up or use them to my advantage. I think having a more meditative creative process feeds into my learning how to create on the computer.

I doubt I will actually be able to paint every single day. I'm going for 5 days a week. I made my rules simple. I set my timer for 30 minutes and just go for it in a small sketchbook. So far I've been using gesso, gouache and some collage. I try to not have a lot of materials on hand so I can be quick. I've also given myself permission to quit if I'm not "feeling" the page. It's just my sketchbook. Forcing art making if you aren't feeling good about what you are creating will not result in a good piece. I think it's important to try for at least 30 minutes though as it can push me past any uneasiness in the beginning and get me into the groove. Here are some fun pages I've done so far.



They're playful and simple. I'm just goofing off and having fun!

Thanks for stopping by!


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Designing Pattern Collections

I have pulled myself out of my funk after Lilla Roger's Global Talent Search and I'm filled with creative energy. I found the most amazing course on Creativelive.com called Design Surface Patterns From Scratch with Bonnie Christine. Bonnie reveals all her secrets showing step by step how she creates her designs. She uses Adobe Illustrator (Ai) and I have struggled with this program. It can do hundreds of things but I don't need to know everything it does. I only need to know how to use the program to make surface pattern designs. This is the first course I have found that shows you the creative process using Illustrator for Surface Pattern Design from beginning to end. It has great video instruction, lots of info and Bonnie Christine in an inspiring instructor.

Much of her beginning process is what I learned in Make Art That Sells; find inspiration and sketch, sketch sketch. The big eye opener for me was how to transfer my sketches into Illustrator and maintain my hand drawn look. I don't like the perfect shapes you often see in vector drawing so it's very important to me to maintain my style and personality in my drawings. Bonnie uses Image Trace, the Blob Brush, the Pen Tool and the Pencil Tool in various ways to bring her drawings into Ai. I love the Blob Brush so I had a blast using my Wacom Tablet and bringing my sketches into a vector format. My other best friend became the Smooth Tool (which is in the fly out menu of the Pencil Tool). You can use this tool to smooth out your lines if they're a little wonky. It also works well with drawings brought in with Image Trace to help smooth out lines and reduce anchor points.

I went through my sketches for the nautical assignment from Make Art That Sells Bootcamp and started my first collection.

My main print is the sea creature print which I've done in a girl themed colorway and a boy themed colorway. I created a supporting jellyfish print and the abstract dot print is actually a piece of coral I photographed and Image Traced it to change it to vector. Using photography for vector drawing was something I hadn't tried before and it's so cool!

One thing Bonnie doesn't use often is the Pattern Tool new to Illustrator in version CS6. I'm going to try and see if I can conquer it. I used the Pattern Tool to make the above patterns. I think some artists don't like it because it's easy to see where the pattern begins and ends. As long as you keep moving items around you can create a very interesting pattern. I'm also doing a course from Laura Coyle that talks all about using the Pattern Tool called Pattern Power. It's very thorough and it's free when you sign up for her newsletter. You need to have knowledge of Ai though for Laura's course. If you or a real beginner it will be overwhelming.

What I can't wait to dig into is putting the sketches I've made in Adobe Ideas into Ai. Adobe Ideas is a vector app that works with Illustrator. You can upload your files straight into Ai from Ideas as long as you have a Creative Cloud account and wifi. Check out these cute critters I made! The only downside is you have to clean up a lot of stray anchor points when you bring it into Illustrator.

If you are interested in creating patterns from your art I highly recommend Bonnie Christine's course. The beginner and the professional alike will find this course helpful and inspiring. If you are new to Creativelive.com they often send out a coupon (I got one) to purchase past classes. Bonnie's course is around $80 and so worth the money. Other courses I've had my eye cost $100's more and this one has everything you need to get going. Below I will provide links to all the things I've mentioned.
I hope you find all this info helpful. Thanks so much for stopping by!



Friday, September 12, 2014

All About My Global Talent Search Submission

I decided to give Lilla Roger's Global Talent Search a go again this year. I was really hoping to make a piece good enough for the top 50. I was also looking forward to the challenge as both my kids would be in school and I would have loads of time to work on the piece. Unfortunately Life, Murphy's Law or whatever you want to call it stepped in and mucked up my grand plans. My son got sick and was home for most of my art making time. I've never been good at creating with others around. I can doodle or sketch but I just can't seem to get my head deeply into the creative zone if I have distractions. My final piece has parts I really like but it wasn't what I wanted. The brief was wall art with terrariums and a word or phrase. I had a hard time getting my style to fit into the theme but then I figured out to make imaginary worlds. I created a lot of icons and did my best to assemble the art in Photoshop.

I liked my fairy a lot.


I of course had to have a fox so I tried creating a world with the fairy and the fox in a hand drawn terrarium.


It still quite wasn't what I wanted so I tried something else.


The above was a work in progress and I kept playing around with it but it still wasn't coming together. I didn't like how my sketch was looking in Photoshop. Then I tried collage and my favorite symbol; balloons.


This was better but still not what I wanted. I finally settled on the version below. It's okay but it can still use improvement.

When I saw the talented artists that made the top 50 I realized my painting was needing more. I'd like to believe if I had the time I had originally wanted I would've made something I was more passionate about. Maybe yes, maybe no. I admit I was pretty upset after the top 50 came out. I knew I wasn't going to be in the top 50 with the piece I submitted but when I saw the art that made it (plus a lot of the other pieces) I realized my art isn't where I want it to be. I feel I am struggling far more than I should be at this point. I just really need to buckle down and create, create and create.

Funny thing though, literally the day I was feeling super low about my art and my career, I got these fortunes in my fortune cookies.


The universe does speak to you and will give you a boost when you need it. So, I'm trying very hard to paint or draw daily and I am determined to learn Illustrator and Photoshop. Next year I will kick GTS's a--!


Thanks for stopping by.