Life As An Artist

Artists of the world, I appreciate you!  What a job we have. We create from our passionate hearts and then our creations are rejected. Still we continue to create.. It’s in our blood. It’s in our DNA. If we don’t do it, we get cranky and frustrated.

We may take a vacation, but creativity goes with us. Colors sing to us. Lines, shapes, ideas..they follow us…sometimes they holler at us to take notice.  

One time I was riding home in the car from a trip to the mountains. My husband was driving. I had my sketchbook on my lap and a magazine on top of that. Ideas began flowing as I flipped through the pages of the magazine and made notes in my sketchbook. From there, more ideas came. Without a word spoken in the quiet car, my mind was ablaze with activity. 

I stopped. I looked over at my husband. I asked him what he was thinking about. He said, “Nothing, I’m driving”.  I chuckled and told him he would be freaked out if he could get in my brain at that moment in time. Hahaha!  

It’s a gift to hold the creative gene. To see ideas flow from the viewing of a sunset or a passing snail. To be inspired by looking at an old piece of barn wood, a bolt of fabric, a skein of soft yarn, a tube of red paint, a song on the radio …etc. oh what a life we lead. 

My dream for all artists is that we find our way and create what we were meant to create to make the world a brighter and happier place. Will your art speak? Will it have a voice in the life of someone who needs encouragement, will it make a baby smile or a grandparent shed a tear as it touches their heart? Will it boost a spirit? Will it change a life? I hope so. Keep going! Keep creating. You are amazing! Sing your song! Have fun!!!

Ideas!

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Life for the artist is a continual collection of ideas.  Those ideas generate new work. It’s a fun process.

Ideas come from so many sources.  Books, movies, fabrics, nature, magazines, paintings, dreams and more. Sometimes they simply drop out of the sky into my thoughts.  I love good ideas.  They are scrumptious morsels to feast on.  I have some waiting for me now.

 

 

Happy Toosday!

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And why am I happy?  The “flu” flew by in record time.  One day in bed is enough for this happy camper. It’s back to the studio!

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Over the weekend I attended the Picture Book Summit in the privacy of my studio!  I joined more than 300 other authors and illustrators. What fun!  We listened to advice from all the experts from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm!  Barely enough time for lunch and potty breaks but well worth the time. There is already talk of another one next year.  If you are an author or illustrator I highly recommend it!

ONWARD to new adventures!

 

The Art Licensing Show Ribbon Cutting!

ribboncut Oh What fun!!!  The Art Licensing Show website is up and running today!!   You may ask, what is it?  Here is the explanation by founder Cherish Flieder.

ArtLicensingShow.com is a permission based, virtual portal where artwork can be reviewed privately by Art Directors who are looking to commercially license artwork. Authorized Art Directors may request to see art from a wide assortment of participating Artists and Licensors and highlight favorite art pieces, all with a single login.

It is an online directory where art licensing companies and professionals in supporting roles can be be listed and found with a simple search by name, keywords, subject and genre.

Lastly, it’s a a social gathering where industry professionals can network and connect with one another in groups, site updates, and via direct messaging to advance their goals.

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All of us on the site have been working hard to get our art up and loaded.  Today is our big day!

Am I finished?  Is an artist ever really finished?  There are always more things to do!  More drawing, more coloring,

more ideas, more more more!

Living in my Illustrations

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Being an illustrator is great fun.  Why?  Because you can use your imagination to go places you’ve never been and do things you’ve never done. For instance, I have always wanted a log cabin up in the mountains.  As a teen, I used to imagine having a studio up a flight of wooden steps to a big room. It would have rafter ceilings and a window seat for me to look out of.  It would be warm and cozy and I could sit and do my art all day long near a roaring fire in the wood stove.

When I began thinking of places for my character Burl the bear to live in, I made it just like “I” wanted it!  Warm and inviting!  When you walk through the doorway of my story, you will find a home that lives in my imagination. It will be a place that I love and I will revisit it many times as the story progresses. I must be passionate about what I draw or it becomes listless and boring. This process is what makes a story believable.

My experience tells me that children notice the tiniest of details.  I did a school visit after Peepsqueak was published by Harper Collins Publisher.  I read the book to the children and then we talked.  Through out the story there was another story going on in the book. It was a little tiny mouse who appeared on many of the pages.  The children did not miss it. They even commented on the mouse as I read to them.  I let them in on a little secret.  I named the mouse Elliot.  When I told them his name they all squealed with delight and pointed to the cutest little boy in their classroom who was named Elliot!   He was beaming.  Suddenly he became part of the story. He was so happy!

These are the things that make a story magical in the eyes of children and adults alike.  Its also why I continue creating images.  I love seeing characters develop.   I love finding their voices. .. what they are like… what they like to do.  It does not stop when I leave the studio.  I think about them all the time, until I finally know how they would react in any given situation. That way they become very believable creations and loved by all.

Stay posted,  Burl and Briley are growing on my heart daily.  I can hardly wait to illustrate the books that are in my mind!

A Warm Heart

What warms your heart on a cold day?  What warms your heart when the tides of change come crashing in?  What warms your heart when the” no’s” become overwhelming? What warms your heart when the crowd scatters and you are “Home Alone”?

I have a whole list of favorite things I like to look at periodically.  These are things that Warm My Heart.   I found myself smiling and even laughing. They are things I feel that God has blessed me with.  When I look at them I see stories! I see people, I see events…  and more.  Life is so much more than what we see during our day.  Life is a tapestry of stories that intertwine and make memories for us.  Some are so real we can almost re-live them just recalling them to our memories.

Favorite Things

  1. God my Father, Jesus my elder brother, the Holy Spirit my helper.
  2. All my Family
  3. Friends / art friends
  4. People
  5. Rosie and Violet
  6. Coffee with cream
  7. Purses
  8. Odd things for the house
  9. Floor Pillows
  10. Blankies
  11. Coffee Shops
  12. Art galleries
  13. Hankies
  14. Sketch books
  15. Lists
  16. Personal chef
  17. Trip to Maine and beyond
  18. Jeep
  19. Toys
  20. Children’s books
  21. Goat yogurt and blueberries
  22. Zinnias
  23. Colors : purply blue, raspberry, Yaya green
  24. Good movies with popcorn
  25. Breakfast in bed with a good magazine.
  26. grandsons!
  27. my SONS.
  28. a zillion best friends!
  29. colors
  30. the valley between Kenosha and BaileY
  31. the mountains
  32. a crackling fire in the stove
  33. falling snow
  34. deep snow and 4wheel drive
  35. My cozy studio
  36. a good book
  37. a comfy chair
  38. writing a story
  39. a bike ride . . …… and today…. Matthew!

Today’s Warm Fuzzy came from a friend.  She took this wonderful picture of her son sleeping with my Peepsqueak plush.  He is so cute!  Matthew is on my list!

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What are your favorite things?  I am sure mine will grow!!

Designing With Color! Moving Past Boring

3x11paletteThere is so much involved in designing.  One must be up on the trends for color and pattern and more. I always have my eyes open to finding things I love to look at!

Here are the Pantone color trends for 2013.

http://www.pantone.com/pages/fcr.aspx?pg=21005&ca=4

I had to take a close look at them. . . some of them bore me unless they are paired with an “eye-catching” color.  Color is so amazing!  It can make your day!  It can bring a smile to your face, and warm your heart.  It can also bring you down. Why else do people get depressed when they experience too many gray rainy days?  All that because of color? Yes!  Think of the feeling you get when you take a walk and come upon a beautiful scene.  Do you ever “OOOOoooh and Aaaaaahhhh?”  Do colors grab you?

Colors can calm the soul.  One of my favorite movies is Miss Potter.  I like her spunk, I LOVE that she talks to her cartoons,  and I also love the scenes of her beautiful English countryside.  The colors speak peace and tranquility.

One might want calm and peaceful and serene colors for the baby nursery.  So why did I decorate my first child’s nursery in bright sunshine yellow with brown and Kelly Green accents?  ha!  Because I crave bold colors!  All I could think of was that my baby would wake up and want to be inspired by what she saw.  The room had to be warm and happy and that it was!!

As the room progressed to fit two more daughters into it, we moved to pinks and browns. I loved it, but the girls were not really drawn to it.  Interesting.

In my house, you will find that colors change often.  If I could, I would paint my house every year!  My husband jokes about our bathroom being smaller because of the many times I have painted it!  I am thinking of a new color as I type!!!  I am leaning towards a beautiful blue with just the right amount of purple in it!  Baby blue is okay, but I always want something with a little PUNCH in it! I like to walk into a room and hear my heart sing! La la!  Wall colors can be muted but if that is the case, in my house, the paintings must sing!  Oh how I love a noisy house filled with color.

So what am I to do?  Follow the trends?  Or start my own trends?  Am I brave?  These are the questions every designer must face.  I always lean towards being a renegade trend setter!  ha!