Monday, January 17, 2011

My Client's Sports Themed Nursery

I was very excited to see these photos in my inbox today.  An expecting couple asked me to do a set of 4 paintings to span the wall behind their crib.  I completed the paintings and gave them some suggestions for additional items to buy for the room.  The finished product looks great!
You can see the paintings on the left, above the crib.  The red, metal stars add to the vintage vibe.
You can see that the paintings match the client's baby blanket.
I also suggested that they get a framed chalk board to go with the sports theme.  

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Thursday, November 4, 2010

A Sports Themed Nursery

I am almost done with a set of 4 paintings for a sports themed nursery.  Here are some cute items that would also look great in the baby's room:

Where to Buy:
1.  Red Antique Stars:  Pottery Barn Kids
2.  Red Number Hooks:  Pottery Barn Kids
3.  Wire Laundry Basket:  Restoration Hardware Baby & Child
4.  Hand Sewn Football Pillow:  Etsy Store:  OscarANDTheodore
5.  Vintage Sports Penants:  Land Of Nod  
6.  Industrial Numbered Baskets:  Restoration Hardware Baby & Child
7.  Wicker Baskets with Chalkboard Label:  Pottery Barn Kids 

Monday, November 1, 2010

Illustrator/Artist I Love - Curly Girl Designs

I recently saw one of this artist's collages on a friend's blog and thought, I LOVE that quote.  I love when are makes you smile with words as well as color & fun.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Food Artists - Bompas & Parr

Check out this cool molded Jello (or Jelly in England) by British food artists, Bompas & Parr.  

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Motivate Me!

Lloyd Dobler from Say Anything: I don't want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don't want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed. You know, as a career, I don't want to do that. 
Sometimes when I'm stuck in the middle of a challenging art job, or trying to get motivated to start a new job I can come up with a dozen reasons why I SHOULDN'T take some kind of action and I feel stuck in the "I just don't want to do that" zone.  I can become annoyed with work and careers in general, wonder why I am doing what I'm doing, if it will lead to anything, and on and on.      

When I am stuck in one of those negative mindsets here are some things I do to get back to work:
1.  Make A List of small, easy steps to take and cross them off when done, ie:
- Get out supplies and set up table
- Do rough sketches for 1 hour (sometimes I even set a timer, which helps mentally)
- Scrub in basic colors on canvas
- Take a 20 minute break
2.  Listen To Music or TV while working - this tricks me into thinking that I'm not really doing "work"
3.  Step Away: take a 30 minute walk or nap - sometimes changing it up physically with rest or exercise can change your mindset.
4.  Go To The Art Store:  Buying new supplies, even if it's just a couple new brushes can inspire.
5.  Go To The Bookstore or Library - Viewing other people's art in books and magazines helps motivate me.

What do you do to get motivated?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Fashion for the Work At Home Artist

Even though we work at home, we still have to make daily fashion decisions!
1.  Gap T-Shirts - $19.50 each (sometimes $9.99 when on sale) - super comfy and cute enough to leave the house in.  Cheap enough that if you get paint on them it's ok.
2.  Sanuk Vagabonds - the most comfortable shoes ever.  They feel like a slipper but you can where them to the store.  $48.00
3.  Fab Basic Cardigan at Forever 21 - Cheap, colorful coverups only $11.50.
4.  Old Jeans - The best way to re-use  old jeans - paint in them.  Added bonus - when you wear them out with paint on them, people think they are fashion statements!  Ha!
5.  Ring Holder - Don't forget to take off your rings and jewelry before painting.  This Elephant Ring Holder from Urban Outfitters is cute and only $12.00!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Best Bite Bought: Cocoa Powder

This is a new weekly blog feature that I'll be writing to point out some of the most delicious and unique foods, snacks, candies and ingredients that are available to buy in almost any city or online.  All of these entries will be based on my humble opinion so don't freak out if you buy something and don't like it.  If you have some kind of food fave that you'd like me to include, just email me or comment me with ideas.
 The first thing I have to post about is the most amazing Cocoa Powder I have ever tried.  First let me tell you that I am a Cocoa Powder fiend.  I put it in yogurt, cottage cheese, coffee as well as sprinkling it on special desserts. I even add it to Nestle Hot Cocoa packets to make them more potent.  My favorite cocoa powder concoction involves 1 container of Fage Greek Yogurt, 1 or 2 tbsp of cocoa powder & 1 tbsp of agave syrup.  This treat is so thick, sweet and it's also low in calories!

So the BEST Cocoa Powder that I bought recently is E. Guittard Cocoa Rouge Cocoa Powder.  I was very pleasantly surprised that this brand doesn't have the typical bitter cocoa powder taste - it almost tastes like regular chocolate.  It's ultra fine, almost airy and it has a deep, red color that looks so pretty on desserts.

It is a little bit more expensive than regular cocoa powder but it's so worth it!  I got mine at Sur La Table, which has a location near my home as well as an online store.  If you are a cocoa powder lover like me, please try this brand of cocoa powder - you'll be a convert, I promise!   


Friday, October 15, 2010

My First Crack At A Professional Illustration Job

These last few weeks were exhilarating, challenging and exhausting.  I completed my first major commercial illustration job and boy did I learn a lot!  I anticipate my next jobs to be a lot easier because I learned so much from the process and through working with an amazingly patient client.   I'm not sure if I can post the final paintings yet but I can highlight the most important things I learned from doing this project.

6 Takeaway Tips From My First Illustration Job:

1. Take Time To Evaluate Your Artistic Process:  When evaluating the job at hand try to plan out exactly HOW you are going to complete the job and what tools you'll need to do your best work.  Then discuss your process with the client and ask for any tools or extra time you'll need.  Don't let your process be a surprise to the client.  For example:  Will you need detailed reference photos? Will you need real life references?  Will you have to do a lot of extra leg work to research or prep for the project?  How long will each painting really take?  How long will each revision take?  All of these questions are important to think through because if you get to the middle of the project and realize you don't have all the tools you need or the time you need, you'll feel stuck.

2.  Consult with a Pro Prior To Signing Contract:  Talk to another commercial Illustrator before taking the job to learn about what the process is like and what to include in a contract.

3.  Consult with A Pro To Keep Your Head on Straight:  During the job you might feel isolated and frustrated and have no one to consult with when you question or doubt yourself.  Don't bother your husband or your mom - they won't get it.  Try to contact other illustrators throughout the process so you can vent to someone who really understands what you are going through.  I received some great tips from illustrator, Karyn Servin, while I was working on my project.  She also helped relieve some of the stress I was feeling.

4.  Take Time Off:  Give yourself time to step away from the project and force yourself to think about things other than the job.  While it is necessary to give 110% to the job, it's important to remember that you'll do better work when you are healthy, happy and enjoying life.  At first I was trying to work every day, all day, and I thought about the project around the clock.  Finally when I started taking appropriate breaks and gave myself time to breathe, I ended up producing better work and enjoying the process more.

5.  Don't Be A Mind Reader:  This is sooo important.  I don't know how many times I jumped into a new leg of the project without being 100% clear on what the client was looking for.  I THOUGHT I knew what they were looking for but it wasn't until I asked very specific questions and got very specific feedback, did I realize what to do.

6.  Don't be stubborn:  At the end of the day, even if you don't think a painting needs a brushstroke here or extra color there, listen to what the client wants and just do it to the best of your ability.  This isn't about what you like, it's about what THEY like.

This list could go on and on because I did learn a lot.  But all this learning is making me itch to get started on another project.  So I'll leave you with these 6 tips - I hope they help!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Food Photo Shoot: European Desserts

Hope you are having a great weekend!  I have been baking and taking pictures of desserts to help me illustrate Tiramisu, Caramel Panna Cotta and Profiteroles.  Here are some shots from my work today:
Tiramisu with whipped peaks lightly dusted with cocoa powder
 Caramel Panna Cotta or Creme Caramel
A cool shot of the Caramel Panna Cotta on my porch
Oreo Tiramisu!
This last shot is Tiramisu for two - made especially for my husband and I to enjoy tomorrow on our 1 year wedding anniversary!!