Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Sun! The Sun!

There really is a sun! The Lord finally let the sun shine for a few days! And I got off of my lazy butt and went walking at the park in the sunshine, and wow did it feel goooooooooooooddddd!!! I forgot to take my camera with me each time, though. Which sucks, because the trees around here look awesome. I like the value contrast of the white branches and the dark bark some of these trees have. As well as the funky curly branches. They're just soooooo interesting.

I did do some sketching last week, and was NOT pleased with any of them. So I am not going to post them.

My goals for this week:
Get out and walk every day - even if it's one lap around the track (1/2 mile) and bring my camera with me.
Do a sketch worthy of being posted - OR - paint in the trees and unicorn in the Fantasy panel of the mural.

which reminds me... I need to find some good photo-references of goats. I thought it would be kind of fun to throw our family's Chinese Astrological Signs into the mural. And since my 5 yr old and 8 yr old are constantly fighting, I wanted to have the goat trying to eat the dragon's tail. You guys can't see the sketches of the goat in that picture, but it's there as well as a dog, a cow, a pig, and a rooster. The dog will be chasing the rooster and pig. Since I'm the cow, I should give it multi-colored spots and have it painting the barn...ha ha. The rat - my son - not sure if I should stick him in the farm scene or somewhere else. The Monkey will be in the jungle panel on the other wall. If you're interested, it will be a squirrel monkey, since that's Rob's favorite kind. Those three panels will be: jungle, underwater, and desert - egyptish kind of stuff... I have the sketches for it somewhere, but I can't find them.

right now I'm lucky to find my glasses.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Career Fairs - What do YOU do for a living?

Today I spent 4 hours at the Jr. High at a Career fair. I took my portfolio, some children's books, some printing plates and package examples I'd gotten from Huish Detergents, and set up ready to tell young minds what it is that Illustrators and Graphic Designers really do for a living.

I gave a 5-8 minute spiel every ten minutes. Some kids had lots of questions, others just stared at me in such a way that I wondered if there was a brain inside.

I found it funny that more adults asked me "Oh, do you illustrate books?" more than the kids did. But what was really amusing was them exclaiming, "Oh! YOU drew that??" When I'd point to my charcoal drawing as an example of head-studies done in figure drawing classes, and how expressions can illustrate an emotion more than words sometimes.

Granted, I didn't take the original photo, but yes, I did do that charcoal rendition right there.

Some kids were very interested, and we'd talk about value contrast in drawings, or how good design means the reader or buyer doesn't have to work to understand the product. I.E. Good book designs flow with the illustrations so readers don't think about it, they just enjoy it.

Other kids couldn't wait to be done so they could run over and see the Music D.J.'s presentation. And to think I actually want to teach Jr. High art someday. Maybe I'd rather teach High School?

I tried to use as much as I could from our local market so that kids knew there were opportunities right here. I named off ad agencies and graphic design studios, as well as working Illustrators. I used some picture books by Guy Francis as my examples of Illustration and Graphic Design working hand in hand. And I let them know some good schools with good programs, always giving props to SLCC cuz they have an awesome program.

I ended up having to rush home from the Career Fair to finish the program design for "Into The Woods" so it could be printed today. Turns out they couldn't print it earlier because I'd misspelled my own name. Go me. But, all my hard work on that 20 page program (I saw the page count when I saved it in booklet form. 20 pages, no kidding) earned me free tickets to the show. So next week we'll be heading Into The Woods as a family if I can find a sitter for the two littlest kids.

After all that, I just want a nap. But, alas, I have to go deliver Girl Scout Cookies in a few minutes. So maybe after that.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Meeting Death

I met Death in a dream the other night. He didn't speak to me, but he communicated to me anyway. He wasn't looking for me, he was looking for my father. But our spirits were so similar he found me first. I don't remember his face, it was a blur, and yet I remember the piercing feel of his gaze. He did not look like a grim reaper; he was dressed in white. Tall, dark, I would assume handsome. And yet... other. He left me with what felt like a warning. He wasn't pleased.

At one point in the dream we were heading down to the funeral, and I was crying. We stopped at my husband's grandparents, and I don't recall exactly what was said, but I ended up having to explain to his grandmother that my father had just died. And her response was "It's too bad you didn't get a chance to tell him what a failure you were."

Upon waking, my husband's response was "You have some really weird dreams." My response is to wonder what I'm supposed to learn from the dream. It didn't feel dreamish. What do I need to change? I do know that some of it is in part to the depression. And maybe some of it is to get me to draw a response. So I will. My personal goal is to have a drawn response/reaction to the dream done and posted here by Saturday night. Even if no one but me reads the blog, at least my goal is recorded.

Besides, I figure baby-steps. That is how to get back into doing the full-scale art projects. Today is Tuesday. No reason to not have at least a sketch done by Saturday.

keeping busy

With some Photoshop help from my dear friend Bradon, I was able to make this cover for the Northridge High School's production of "Into the Woods." I drew everything out, and then when I went to trace it with my Wacom tablet, I was seriously irked to find that my tablet pen no longer worked. So the lines don't have the lovely thicks/thins I wanted because I drew it in with a mouse instead. My first attempt at leather and gold embossing was very scary. I cannot even convey how grateful I am for friends willing to share their skills! - And for Peggy and her internet search engine that found more resources than mine!!

The full program is at least 16 pages, black and white interior, full-color cover. It was good to have some work to do that stimulated my brain, but wow did I feel overwhelmed. I was hoping the school would ask me to paint backdrops. But no... they needed help with the program design. It was fun, I just hope they are pleased with it. And I can't even say how glad I am that I haven't forgotten how to use InDesign! Hooray for style guides!!!!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


I am in some serious need of motivation. I haven't wanted to even think about painting for a while. The girls would like their walls done, but every time I go in to paint, the 2 and 5 yr olds want to help so much that I can't get anything done. It's not that I want to discourage them from learning to paint. But when I find my palette dumped over onto the carpet, it seems more trouble than it's worth to try to continue.

I am hoping that with spring, sunshine, and fresh air, I can send them outside for a few hours at a time and get some work done.

Latest Creations

My son is 5 months old now. Yesterday he rolled from his tummy to his back three times in a row! I feel like maybe he is a little slow in learning to roll over, as I remember my girls all rolling around between two and three months. Perhaps he's so spoiled with the girls bringing the world to him that he hasn't felt the need to go off exploring on his own yet?

I personally feel like my kids are works of art constantly in progress. They are each so different, and yet so similar.