Thursday, November 25, 2010

     Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  I'm so excited for this long weekend.  I've got a lot planned and I'm sure it's going to fly by, but I'm not going to even think about that right now.  I recently got a couple of new books ....

"How to Create a Portfolio & Get Hired"

and "2011 Artist's & Graphic Designer's Market"

I'm going to start researching companies and creating my mailing list.  It's going to be time consuming, which is why I'm so glad that I have this long weekend.   Right now I have to get back to cooking our Thanksgiving dinner and watching "The Jerk" (one of my all time fav. movies).  I'm so looking forward to Ham (yes, ham instead of turkey), stuffing, green been casserole and pumpkin pie.  Then if I'm lucky we might go see the new Harry Potter movie tonight.  What a great start to my long weekend.  I have at least one new (small) painting to post this weekend, and if I am really productive hopefully I will have a couple others.   But, I'm off for now.
Have a great holiday everyone.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

     You may notice a lot of changes happening to this blog.  Now that I'm heading into my promotion phase I'm trying out different looks until I have it just right.  The whole process is much more tedious than I had ever expected.  I did take a break this afternoon for a quick jaunt, with my husband, to the bookstore and then to Crumbs Bake Shop for a delicious cupcake.


     While we were out we also stopped at Target and got "How to Train Your Dragon" - which we watched while eating dinner.  Then enjoyed our cupcakes for dessert.  What a great evening.  Now it's back to the computer to see what I can figure out before it's bedtime and then another busy week of work.  So much to do and too little time to do it in, as usual.  I hope everyone has a great week.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Thanks for all the positive feedback from everyone, I really appreciate the encouragement. 
I have finally completed my final portfolio piece.  I hate to use the word "final" because it's no where near the final piece - but I wanted a minimum of 10 illustrations before I started promoting, and I have reached that goal.   So here it is .... the 10'th  illustration .....

There are still several small pieces that I have been working on.  Hopefully I will post them this week.  For now it's time to focus on the website, maybe tweaking the blog a little bit and creating a facebook for my illustrations.  I also need to begin contemplating what my promotional post cards should look like.  I have a lot of computer work ahead of me and already miss my paint brush, but I'm happy to begin the next step.  I'll keep you all posted.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

     Fighting self doubts today.  They really have a way of sneaking up out of nowhere, but I refuse to let them win.  I keep telling myself that there is no way that I'm going be self defeating before I ever even begin.   A lesson that I thought I would have learned by now.  I think that being this close to finally sending my stuff out has flipped a switch - my "what if I'm not good enough" switch.  My "what if all these years I've convinced myself that I might be good and this, but really I'm terrible and have been fooling myself all along" switch.  I think about how this is all I've ever wanted to do, and all I've ever dreamed of my life being, and now this is the point of reality.  Either it will happen or it won't.  I'm not going to lie,  I've thought about what if things don't happen.  What then? I would have no idea where to go from there - and that is really scary.  It feels as though my life would end at that point (as dramatic as that may sound).
     But then I take a deep breath and remind myself that it could happen.  It's happened for a lot of people out there - even for some that might not be as good as me.  One thing I do know is that it definitely can't happen if I don't try.
     So I'm putting my brave girl face on and I'm going to go out there and see what happens.  I don't have anything to loose, but a LOT to gain.  So here I go.  One more piece to finish and then it's "look out world, here I come".  Wish me luck.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

One more, before I say goodnight to my computer.

     I've decided that I have to have my portfolio completed by the end of October.   Here is one of the pieces that I've been working on for a long time.  It gave me so much trouble and just wouldn't come together so I kept setting it aside.  It feels so good to finally have it completed.

     It's the illustration for the song "I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas":

and I've also completed a group of spot illustrations for Halloween :

well, guess it's back to work.  I still have a lot more ahead of me and only a few short hours left of this day.  I'm so excited to finally be this close to making the next step.  I'll see you all again soon with more of my work.  Thanks to all of my friends and family that have helped encourage me to make this progress.  I'm so excited to be doing this, and I hope I can make you all proud.  

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I know, I know.. I've been MIA all summer.  My last post was in May.  What happened?  I had big plans  for having all this work completed by the beginning of June.  Well, it didn't happen.   I'll admit, I've been busy playing all summer.  Going to the beach, Disneyland, spending time with friends.  Now it's time to get back on track.  Although it hasn't been a total bust, I  have accomplished a few things the last couple of months.  Here are the things that I have done.  Now I have only about 3 or 4 more pieces to finish before it's promotion time.  So here they are ......

and then this one, which is a work in progress.  I'm not exactly sure what else it needs, but it does need something.  My husband says that it needs to be grounded - that it all looks like it's floating.  I open to suggestions ... 

I have this one and two others started but I'm just not feeling them right now.  

But it's definitely time to get back on track with everything - blogging, painting, exercising, eating better.  So here we go again - wish me luck!

Monday, May 31, 2010

I've really been slacking with my posts.  Still trying not to let everyday life get in my way - but it's a struggle.  And now that we've committed to P90X it seems that I have no evenings left.  I have been painting, but I'm afraid I'm going to have to learn how to speed up the process.  It took way too much time to paint this particular piece, especially considering that it's just a small painting (about 6X6).  I think if I just keep doing it, I will get faster and it will become easier.  I'm happy with how it turned out though.

I think that my color choices are getting better.  I have this one done and one other about half way done.  Not very close to having my portfolio completed like I had planned for this weekend.  I'll be out of town next weekend for my brother's wedding and then the following weekend my mother-in-law and father-in-law are visiting.  I'm afraid I won't get much more accomplished.  I'll have to keep motivated this week and see if I can at least get my current piece finished before we leave for the weekend.  And now I've said it to all of you - so I'm really going to have to follow through with that now.
That's all I've got for tonight - but I'll see you all again once more before I head of out of town for the weekend.   I hope everyone has a great week.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

     I know, I know... I've been slacking a little - but I have been working.  Working out color pallets and I actually got started on one of my spot illustrations.  This month is going by fast and I still have a lot of work ahead of me.  Just taking one day at a time and getting done what I can.  Only a couple more days until the weekend.  I'll have more to share then.  Hopefully I can get a lot accomplished between now and Sunday.  I'll be sure to keep you updated.  Here's what's been going since this past weekend ....

realized after I started painting that I transfered the image backwards, oops.
I think it will still work just as well.  I don't think it really changes the composition at all - since it's just a spot illustration.  I suppose I can always flip it in Photoshop once it's done.  Anyway..  I should have this finished on Saturday and I'll post the completed piece.  See you then.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

     I didn't want to be one of those bloggers that just goes on and on with long posts and no pictures.  (What can I say - I'm more of a visual person)  but pictures just aren't happening today.  Worked an hour of overtime tonight, so I left work about 6:30, walked home (1/ 2 hour walk) and then came home to do P90X.  Yes,  I did say P90X.  It's my 3rd day of it and I'm really feeling the burn now - kind of wondering what I've gotten myself into.  But I'm dedicated to getting in shape as much as I am dedicated to becoming an illustrator.  I would definitely say those are my top two goals to accomplish in my life right now.
      I didn't get to eat my dinner until 9:40 tonight, and now it's about 10:24 p.m., but I made a promise to myself that I would post something every Wednesday and Saturday.  So here I am .....  but once again as soon as Monday came around I haven't really accomplished anything with my illustration work.  Between the workouts and making a gift for a friend's birthday this week - I'm not sure where the time has gone.  But I'm determined to get something done tomorrow night.  I was thinking on the way home tonight about being happy and the idea that if you are not happy with your life you have to look at it and say "what have I done to make it that way" or more appropriately (especially in my case) "What HAVEN'T I done".  If things aren't how I like them then what do I need to do to make it what I want it to be.  I have nothing and no one to blame but myself and I'm ready to start making decisions that will make my life truly happy.    It's all up to me - and when I finally see that it's only me standing in my own way, things seem so much more within reach.  So happiness, here I come !!!   see you all Saturday.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

this is a picture from a children's book that I worked on in college and decided to try a new take on it.  To use the same idea but try to have a little more fun with it.  Here is the completed piece that I did for my class (done in colored pencil) ....

and here is the new drawing that I'm currently working on for my portfolio .....

I know some people will like the first image better, but to be honest I never felt like I was truley expressing myself.  I felt like I was doing what I thought I "should" do, or what I thought my teachers were looking for.  I  don't really enjoy working so realistically, I'm trying to bring a little more fun into my work.  I will keep heading in that direction and I look forward to where it will take me over the years.  It will be interesting to see the evolution of it all.    Well, before this gets too long, I hope you all enjoy and I'm excited to share my progress with you throughout the month.
     Finally got done going through my sketchbooks and scanning stuff.  This was a much longer process than I had anticipated, but well worth the time.  I had a chance to really look at everything and see that there is cohesiveness that I thought was lacking for all these years.  I feel like I'm finally on the right track.  I still feel like I need to keep fixing and changing things - but I have to just take what I have a go with it.  I have to realize that I will continue to grow and get better and will always look at previous work and see all the things that I would do differently now - but I can't dwell on that.  It's time to take an idea and run with it.  I feel really good about what I'm going to work on this month.  Here are the drawings that I will be working from .....

Some are spot illustrations and some are more complete, full page illustrations.  I've been trying to come up with more full page drawings that have a character within an environment - that it is actually telling a a story, rather than some of the spot illustrations that are just about the character.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

     So, I'm trying to be focused and have some direction.  I'm looking at this month and trying to figure out what I need to accomplish.  I have two more weekends after this, and then my 3 day Memorial Weekend!! My plan is to have all the pieces for my portfolio planned out and at least onto illustration board.  I need to have 10 - 12 pieces.  I have 3 for sure right now and a couple that I am going back and forth on.  So that means I need 9 pieces.   They need to be ready for painting by Memorial Weekend.  What would be ideal is that I have one or two of them done before that weekend - because my ultimate goal is to have this portfolio completed by June.  We have a lot going on in the beginning of June and that will be a great breaking point.  Then by mid June, when I'm back on track, I want to be ready to send stuff out.  This can't wait any longer.  I have made the decision to focus on Children's Illustrations (books, Magazines, etc ... ).  I had to find a direction and that is what I've always wanted to do - so there will be no more question as to the direction I want to take my illustration work.  I've also decided to stop trying so hard to find a style and just learn to have fun with it (but make sure that I approach it also with the knowledge that I've learned this far) but not to over think it.  There is a fine line there, but I know that if I don't loosen up about it and find joy in it I shouldn't even do it.  The point is to do what I LOVE.  If I don't love it then it will show.  This is a constant struggle in my life - to not over-think everything.
     The other struggle to overcome this month is finding inspiration and motivation when I have the time to sit down and work - and then carry that with me throughout the week.  One of my biggest problems is that my Saturdays are spent trying to find the inspiration to work (to not sit and stare blankly at the white page in front of me).   All week I think about the weekend ahead of me and how I can't wait to sit down and finally work on all the things I have in my head - and then when I finally can I find myself distracted with everything other than what I need to be doing.  Then by the end of the day Saturday I find what I'm looking for.  But then Monday comes too fast and I'm feeling frustrated that I have to walk away from this productiveness that I finally found.  As the week goes on I've completely lost all enthusiasm.  I have no motivation after a long day at work to come home and do any sort of drawing or painting.  Before I know it the week has gone by once again and there I am Saturday morning staring at that cold white page.  Posting on this blog twice a week is one of my solutions to this problem.  I have to keep drawing so that I have new things to post.  My hope is that it will get easier and easier.
     Right now I'm not going to fight this creative block that I seem to be having (which is my fault for having neglected my work for so long).  I'm going to find ideas that I've already had in my sketchbook and portfolio from College and bring them to life again.  There are so many that it's really not necessary to come up with all new stuff - but I hope that in the process of immersing myself in work again new ideas will emerge.  Either tonight or tomorrow morning I will post some of the sketches that I'm going to work from.  I have to get them scanned and then I'll post.  So, until then - I hope everyone finds the inspiration that they are looking for.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

     This is the beginning.  Well, not the VERY beginning, but the beginning of making some real steps forward with my life.  I know that this isn't the first time that I've said that, but this will be the last.  This is the point in my life where I stop "saying" that I'm going to do this and I begin to take action.  This is the place where I stop dreaming of who and what I want to be and wishing I could be there, and start "living" that life - to begin living in the present and just BE me!
     I'm ready to say "I'm ok with being an ordinary girl."  I'm not the girl that just seems to have everything together, and I probably won't ever be, but that's ok.   I'm just an ordinary girl with big dreams and I will make them happen!

     This is a place to document my journey.  Originally I thought I would start something like this once I reached my destination - but then got thinking, what better time than now to start telling my story.  What better way to start living it than to be responsible in keeping this updated with my progress.  In order to make this blog work I HAVE to take steps forward.
     This will be dedicated to my art and forcing myself to sketch and draw and produce work to put on this blog.  Not to say that some of my personal life won't bleed into this, because this is more than just my work - it's my journey,  and that involves every aspect of my life.  The things that I do or don't do and the things and places that bring me inspiration.  I want a place where I can share those experiences.
     I'm ready to start being accountable for my life and put myself out there.  I'm done worrying about what other people will think or say about me, my work, what I say on this blog ......   I'm done censoring myself and I'm ready to be me.  Life's to short to spend it  hiding from the world, right?  So here I am - to share myself and my journey with anyone who might be interested.  Maybe someone out there is facing a similar situation in their life and can relate - or maybe you might just find this amusing.  Either way I invite you along to share in all of my ups and downs, my little steps and big leaps & everything else that happens in between.

     The plan is to update this blog twice a week (for starters) and to always have something new that I've created,  am working on or found.  I've been too lazy in the past.  It's time to get the sketchbook out and begin finding that part of myself that makes me the most happy that has somehow gotten lost in the shuffle.      

 I did a little bit of sketching last night - unfortunately I just wasn't getting into it - it felt really forced.  But I do like this little Ducky guy - I may try and do something a little more with him.