Inspiration - Exercise Fail

I did not meet my exercise goals for the month of July - no big deal right? I've missed a few exercise "dates" before however for the month of July I did nothing! Zero. Zilch. So what happened.....

Truth, I got sick the last week of June, and was in bed for 4 days. I did not "bounce" right back into my exercise routing simply because it's something I do not enjoy doing in the first place. It's a constant struggle to convince myself almost every time to push thru and "just do it."

I had hoped I would have learned to enjoy exercise at this point, but that is not the case. I understand and appreciate the health benefits, and acknowledge I actually feel better afterwards, not just mentally for having finished but physically as well.

However I am at odds with exercise and have come to realize I will probably never like it.  The biggest irony of course is I was a "star" athlete all throughout high school and in college. I enjoy the teamwork and camaraderie, something which is lacking when you exercise alone.

I finally talked myself into getting "back on the wagon" and guess what...my elliptical machine is broken! I know...seriously I thought perhaps it needed new batteries for the display unit but that did not fix the issue. 

So what's the "fix"? Since I enjoy a team/group environment and my elliptical was starting to get a bit boring (and now it's broken anyway...) perhaps it's time I ventured into taking a class somewhere. It's been about 4 years since I last took a yoga class, not sure why I stopped but I'm ready to give it another try. For August I will find a yoga class that will allow me to drop in 3 times a week.

So what happens when you fail? For me at least, you try again. Figure out what was not working and adjust accordingly. You learn to forgive yourself and move on. Stay tuned for next months email newsletter where I will post an update.

 

News - #52weeksofprint I'm at the half way point!

I realized just the other day that I'm half way thru my year long project #52weeksofprint!

I'm beginning Week 26 and what better time to take a look back on what I've learned so far....

Staying Focused - At the beginning I purposely decided my project would require a start and end date. I had previously participated in other challenges, such as #100dayproject and #30dayproject, and found the schedule constraints kept me focused creatively as well as allowed me to better manage my time. I was able to accomplish my creative goals in addition to all my "everyday stuff"

Keeping It Fresh - To keep every month interesting, back in January I googled several ideas and suggestions. I had a list of about 30 themes which I wrote down, cut out, folded each piece of paper and placed them into a metal tin. At the beginning of every month I randomly pull a new piece of paper.  The monthly theme is always a surprise even though I selected the ideas originally I never know what each month will be until the actual drawing.

It's My Party, I'll Cry (Change My Mind) If I want to - So the best part about my participation in the project, is that it's my project and I can change the "rules" if I want to....I am only accountable to myself and decided not to feel guilty if I change some of my preconceptions about what/how the project should unfold. For instance....

Twice I did not "like" the monthly theme. At the time, I was just not "feeling it" so threw the piece of paper away and selected another one....Yay for being "The Boss"

I originally ordered (52) 4' x 6' carving blocks and my intention was to carve a full block each week. I realized some design print better at a smaller scale and are easier to handle.  Many of my 4' x 6' blocks were cut in half and I got two weeks out of one block...Yay for saving $$.  I'll have plenty of blocks left over for other side projects.

Repeating patterns....Most are but not all. Unless you are working with a very simple shape, continuous lines are hard to block print as the registration is challenging. Those blocks that did not repeat manually, I was able to digitally manipulate in Illustrator.

SoftCut carving block vs Linoleum - My biggest "complaint" is that the soft rubber medium does not allow for fine detail carving. It's very easy to carve and does a very good job holding up while printing. The blocks are solid and easy to hold. I often found I was not able to include as much detail as I originally intended and had to simplify the design to accommodate the limitation of the medium.

As the project continues to unfold, there will be new and different challenges. The project is a continuing work in progress so I expect to learn much more and will continue to expand/improve upon not only my design skills but carving technique as well.  You can follow me on Instagram for more daily updates.

News - My Samples Are Here

Woot! Woot! Earlier this week I received the scarf samples from my "Poppy Sketch" design which I had licensed October of last year. I'm still figuring out my way around the "licensing world" and have realized the production cycle from concept to an actual product (in stores) is a long process. Behind me you see some of my original sketches including some test prints of this design

News - It's Showtime!

FallShowSchedule

I purposely decided last year not to participate in any craft or fair shows. Although I enjoyed doing them the prior year, overall I found it a distraction to my main purpose of developing a larger portfolio of work to license.

That said, I recently have come to realize I actually miss doing the shows. I'm not ready to take on another full show schedule however I have decided to partner with my good friend Paula DeFranco on two shows this coming fall. More details on when, where and what we will be offering as well as our booth design/development

Desktop Wallpaper - July

I wanted to share this FREE DESKTOP WALLPAPER. Rather than have several sized wallpapers, this series is available in the four most common aspect ratios for computers. The design is pulled from my year long project #52weeksofprint - a series of block printed designs.

If you are not sure of the correct aspect ratio for your computer simply find out your screen resolution.  For Windows this can be found on the Control Panel under Display.  For Mac click the Apple icon at the top left of your screen. 

To download, click on the appropriate image below and right click then set as desktop wallpaper.  If you have selected the correct aspect ratio your image should load without needing to be stretched and should not be blurry.  Enjoy

Aspect Ratio 4:3 800x600 1024x768 1400x1050 1600x1200

Aspect Ratio 16:9 1366x768 1600x900 1920x1080 2560x1440

Aspect Ratio 5:4 1280x1024 2560x2048

Aspect Ratio 16:10 1280x800 1440x900 1680x1050 1920x1200 2560x1600 2880x1800

News - * FINALIST *

MarrakechCamel

I was thrilled to learn the other day that my design for Printed Village was selected as a finalist in the "Oasis" competition. As some of you may know already, next Spring I will be traveling to Marrakech, Morocco as part of a longer "bucket list" trip which also includes Seville and Granada, Spain. I already had tons of ideas floating around in my head and was greatly inspired by the details going into the planning of my trip. Below is the mood board I used to help keep my design on track

Moodboard

* UPDATE * Although I did not win this months challenge, Printed Village never the less decided to purchase my design.  Yay! Marrakech Camels will appear on their scarves, to be released Spring of 2018.

Inspiration - What if you did'nt quit

NEW - Swim wear inspired patterns available for license

NEW - Swim wear inspired patterns available for license

What if you didn't quit? If there is one thing "universally true" about human nature, it is that we tend to give up to quickly. It's far easier to just "throw in the towel" especially as compared to doing the actual work.

The emotional ups and downs in search of success, can be enough to derail anyone from their intended path. Just remember, the only steps that really matter are those which allow forward progress. The key is to give yourself a break - recognize and acknowledge all your small accomplishments along the way. Eventually you will have achieved some measure of success on a larger scale.

It’s easier to give up. So we do.

But what if you didn’t?

Who knows where you could be or what you could be enjoying, doing, creating, savoring—five, ten, or fifteen years down the road.... if only you didn't quit.

Decide today to keep going.

LIVE EVERYDAY BRILLIANT

News - Coming to a store near you

The Spring trade shows are here and Printed Village is busy promoting their new designs (including mine!) to retailers and wholesalers alike. These shots were taken at the NYC Accessories Show a few weeks ago. Additionally PV also had a booth at Surtex and the NY NOW shows. Excited to learn in which stores my design will end up in.

News - Pattern Observer mention

Thank you Michelle Fifis from Pattern Observer for the recent feature on Instagram. It's rewarding to learn other professionals enjoy and appreciate your art. I'm always glad for the recognition and the new followers it brings to my own work.

This particular pattern started as several leaf sketches on my Ipad. Once I decided on a leaf shape I applied a clipping mask in Photoshop to add the background "scribbles " Finally everything was imported into Illustrator where I designed the final layout and repeat for the pattern. 

This has a very "summery" vibe and would look terrific on women's swimwear. I created the two mockup's below to help buyers and art directors visualize how the pattern could be applied and at what scale.     

Design - I'm an Illustrator Gal not Photoshop

I have access to many kinds of drawing and painting tools to create my designs. Despite this large "toolbox" I gravitate to what is most comfortable - for me that is Adobe Illustrator. Every design always starts out as a series of loose pencil sketches on paper.

Once the concept is on paper I bring it into Illustrator to add details, fine tune composition, add color and finally develop the motif repeat. Above are a few patterns which are representative of "flat" style artwork. This style is very popular and something I am comfortable producing.

That said, I am realizing I need to venture more outside my comfort zone by learning different techniques. This will help expand not just my knowledge, but also hopefully attract a entirely new audience to my work. I have a basic understanding of Photoshop, I can edit/manipulate images but beyond that I had little use for the program. Photoshop is an extremely powerful program for illustrators as designs created in PS have more of a "painterly" look and feel. So to jump start my Photoshop "adventure" I have signed up for a 6 week class with a focus on illustration. Below are examples of my first homework. I'll be posting more progress on Instagram