Sunday, May 14, 2017

Sunday Sketches (A special "Jack")

It's a quick one this week as Michael and I are about to head out of town for his mother's funeral next week. We've got a lot going on here, including the oldest son graduating from college today! Lots of great food and yummy cakes!

The illustration above is from a recent custom order I did for a client, of her grandson, "Jack". It took me just under two weeks to sketch and color in - and it turned out wonderfully! I couldn't be happier with the results and my client is very, very happy as well!

With that said, I will visit everyone when able.  I'll also try to post the following week for Sunday Sketches, if possible. If not, we'll resume the following week. Thank you for all of your love, support and beautiful thoughts regarding Michael's mother passing. It means a lot to us. Especially, Michael.

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If you're participating in Sunday Sketches, you can grab the NEW Sunday Sketches button HERE.

Submit your artwork by signing up below with a link to your blog. PLEASE make sure to visit each other! One of the biggest reasons for this wonderful art co-op is encouraging one another in our creative endeavors. Thank you!

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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Scribble Picnic (Plant Shopping)

Scribble Picnic is here once again and this week we're sharing our interpretation of the theme, "potted plant". I knew fairly quickly what I wanted to illustrate and was quite excited to get started! In this scene, you'll discover I implemented two of my previously illustrated characters - Rudy and Quinton.

So, how about it? Grab your picnic basket and let's go shopping for some potted plants. Of course, Michael says I have more than enough plants in the house at the moment!

For more wonderful contributions, or to share your art of a "potted plant", hop on over to Michael's blog. It's been loads of fun picnicking with others across the world!
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Sunday, May 07, 2017

Sunday Sketches (A special little bear)

Over the past several months, I've been asking my mother more questions about her childhood. Sadly, my father's passed away and I know so little about his life growing up. In chatting with my mother one day, it broke my heart to learn she never, ever had a doll or teddy bear growing up. All she had to play with was a little red wagon she pulled to the top of a hill to ride down each day. I cried.

Yesterday, I learned something pretty significant about my family. Unfortunately, I'm not able to share it at this time....but hopefully, soon! Until then, enjoy this little doodle I made of my mother - picturing her as a little girl holding a special teddy bear.
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If you're participating in Sunday Sketches, you can grab the NEW Sunday Sketches button HERE.

Submit your artwork by signing up below with a link to your blog. PLEASE make sure to visit each other! One of the biggest reasons for this wonderful art co-op is encouraging one another in our creative endeavors. Thank you!

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Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Scribble Picnic (My Secret Garden)

I've always loved the book, "The Secret Garden". In fact, I still hold a 2004 unabridged copy of this book with beautiful illustrations by Scott McKowen. So, when tossing around ideas as to what to create for this week's Scribble Picnic theme, I landed on creating my own version of a secret garden.

This particular painting took about a day and a half from beginning to end. It's not exactly how I'd hoped it would turn out but it's still lovely and hey - great practice, no?

I'd love to hear your thoughts and maybe what you would have done or not done, creating your own secret garden world. I intend on taking another stab at a second version just for fun!

Now, grab your picnic basket with goodies and follow me through the door of my secret garden.
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My Life As An Illustrator

Let me start with saying there really isn't any sort of standard career path to becoming an illustrator. I've read articles about a number of artists across the board and each one has a different story as to how they got started. With that said, let me share with you my story and what I've learned since diving into the world of illustrating a few years back.

Unlike others, I didn't grow up wanting to be an artist. Funnily enough, music was my first love. All I ever wanted to be was a professional singer! Hard to believe, huh? For several years, I traveled around multiple states, singing at different women's events, children's homes and churches. In time, life changed and so did my career path. This is where I began to dip my toes into art.

It wasn't until my father passed away of stage 4 cancer in 2011 where I began considering creating art for income. My heart wasn't really settled on any specific thing. I moved forward just doing a bit of everything and tossing it up in my Etsy shop to (hopefully) sell. I say hopefully, as I still didn't "own" my confidence in what I was doing at that time. There was a lot of uncertainty but I was taking my time and enjoying the process.

Move time forward a few years. It's 2012 and I made the decision to quit my good paying job of 13 years with State Farm to return to school full-time. I married in 2013...and then it happened...in Spring of 2014, I was in a horrible car accident that changed my life forever. I was just a few weeks away from college graduation when my world came crashing down. Recovery was long and extremely painful at times. I thank God every day for my wonderful husband and step-children who took time out to help their father care for me.

After 9 months into my recovery and still being fairly confined to the sofa, I was beginning to get bored! Who wouldn't? Right? Although only being able to sit halfway up on the sofa, I began to create little doodles and post them on Facebook. Let me tell you, the feedback I received was incredible! - and THIS is where my illustration career began. My inbox started filling up with not just requests for custom illustrations but inquiries to illustrate children's books as well.

Because of this, I began to thoroughly emerge myself in the Facebook world. Within a few months my page grew from about 2,800 followers to over 8,000. Today, my wonderful followers sit at around 15,600...and still continue to grow! I'm also very active on Instagram. In fact, I look forward to sharing something every day, whether it's a project I'm working on or a peek into my cozy, Colorado life.

With that said, here are some important things I've learned over the past few years that will help one grow and gain exposure as an artist:
  • Have a good, solid online presence. (e.g. Facebook, Instagram, etc)
  • Post daily! Your followers LOVE to know what's going on in your world.
  • Learn to accept rejection. Some things just aren't mean to be and it's OK!
  • VALUE yourself as an illustrator.
  • Work hard.
  • LOVE what you do!!! 

I'm incredibly grateful to wake up and have a job where get to draw and paint every single day. I personally find great joy in knowing whatever create in my studio, it touches the hearts of individuals across the world.

Do you have more questions? Is there anything else you'd like to know about my life as an illustrator? Simply leave a comment below and I'll be sure to answer your questions.
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