Work and Motherhood

In my Brain then on to Paper, Ink on Paper, Life, The Child, Work in Progress

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Life is always more fun when you take the time to enjoy it. My priority has been on raising my son and preparing for the new baby to come this summer. Although I am still drawing, it’s not everyday and most of it is sketches of my little man.

I’ve had to make some sacrifices to have a family and I’d like to think my career is just progressing very slowly rather than not at all. There are women who can do it all, but I choose to stay home with my son, rather than put him in daycare. That means even though I am home most of the time, I have little to no time for building an illustration career.

I will eventually, but I’m loving spending this time with him, watching him grow and learn and change.

Posts are infrequent but I will continue to put my sketches up, and update on all of my inspirations.

Business Cards and promo block

Children's Book Illustration Promotions, Experimental, In my Brain then on to Paper, Life, On my Desk, Work in Progress

I’ve been spending quite a bit of time working on some new business cards and post cards to mail out this fall.  The biggest slow down was my laptop, after five years the battery started acting up.  I now have my new desktop and things are working a lot better, I really like having a work space in the living room where I can sit with the little man while I work.

I have a couple layouts for my cards that I like but I guess I’m having a hard time deciding on one.

Ideasheet

I took what I liked from these thumbnails to create my business cards.

Cardlayout

This was the front and back I originally liked and started working on, the energy in this first version was lost however when I did some further work on it.

Pencilcropdetail

I like the image, but not for my card.  I guess I’m looking for an image that better defines me as an illustrator.  But really until I get something mailed out it doesn’t matter how well defined my designs are, because the point is to get my name and info to the publishers.  So I really just need to make a decision get them printed and send it out.  period.

Testprint1

Making Stuff!

Experimental, Life, The Child, Work in Progress

I sometimes get the urge to get crafty, especially after visiting a couple of my favorite sites pintrest and etsy.

Paperboat

I found so many adorable photos of paper mache little boats so I decided to try to make some too.  I started making one little boat then kinda liked the design so I made a bunch more.  I’m going to make some little sails and oars for them next sooo cute!

fourboats threeboats

 

Then a small monkey wanted to give it a try.  : )

boboboat

Ink on Paper

Ink on Paper, Life, On my Desk, The Child, Work in Progress

Every once in a while I have a burst of creative energy that inspires me to just draw.  It’s not planned and organized and more often than not I just end up doodling.  But the other day I drew some things that I really like, and it did start out as a doodle but by the end of the day I had a couple drawings of Aaron that I was happy with.

Starts with B

This time of year always has me reevaluating what I’ve done the year before and what I want to do this year.  The boredom of winter makes me restless as well, I feel the need to reorganize my weeks and improve my work situation.  As it is I don’t have a dedicated work space, the apartment has been toddler proofed so all of my drawing supplies are kept in our bedroom until I need to use them.  The dinning table then turns into my desk, until dinner time when I have to pack it all up again.

I wonder how other parents work from home but still keep the space kid friendly?

Illustrator Tutorials

Experimental, Resources, Vector Drawing, Work in Progress

 

I’ve been looking at some really good Illustrator Tutorials and spending the last little while improving my working knowledge of creating vector drawings.

Here are a couple I’ve read recently;

http://www.gomediazine.com/tutorials/from-sketch-to-vector-illustration/#.UK5OeBzeriA

http://vector.tutsplus.com/tutorials/illustration/how-to-create-a-cute-bunny-vector-character/

 

Well back to practicing, I really want to improve the way I create my critters.

The Baby, Books and Drawing (in that order)

Acrylic painting, Life, The Child, Vector Drawing, Work in Progress

The little man takes up most of my time, he is so much fun and I want to experience the discoveries he has each day.

When I’m taking a break from being a Mom I like to curl up with a good book.  Since my husband got me an e-reader it has been way to easy to get a new book every time I finish one so I’ve been reading whole series back-to-back-to-back…  The Game of Thrones is a very engrossing read by the way.

So with all of this discovery and reading I’ve spent very little time on my illustrations and all week I’ve been having the itch to make something.  Today I finally decided I would get a little work done and I spent a couple hours turning one of my favorite acrylic paintings into a vector.  It was originally  painted in layers of blocked colours which really translates well into vectors.  The image I’ve posted up is what I got done today and if the little man allows it, I hope to finish off tomorrow.

 

Illustration Friday ‘Bounce’

illustration friday, On my Desk, The Child, Vector Drawing, Work in Progress

I’ve been singing a lot of songs with my thirteen months old son.  The word for Illustration Friday reminded me of this one.  I can never remember the right words though, so this is my own improv to get my little guy bouncing.

Illustration Friday ‘Suspend’

Acrylic painting, illustration friday, Life, On my Desk, Portfolio, Vector Drawing, Work in Progress

Here is the vector drawing version of a painting I did for my sons room.  It is a simplified flat colour and no texture image that I think would look good as a tee shirt.   I’m still playing around with the bunny and fox characters, I think they are a fun little duo whom I imagine will continue going on adventures together.

Vector drawing is a challenge

In my Brain then on to Paper, Life, On my Desk, Portfolio, Vector Drawing, Work in Progress

Most of my artistic experiences had been in traditional media, I drew on paper with a pencil, paint with a brush on canvas and print with blocks of wood on handmade paper.  More recently I’ve had to scale back on how much time, space and resources I put into making art.  I still have boxes and boxes of artworks and supplies, but I find myself using these less often and some now, not at all.  The tools that have gotten the most use in the last few years have all been new technology.

My computer is the main piece of equipment along with my tablet and scanner, they are my new tools of the trade.  I do still do a lot of drawing in my sketch book, but after that it’s brought in to my computer and finished there.

In the early days of working from my computer I used to finish a painting, then scan it in and just do the editing and touchups in photoshop.  But now I’m finding that I want to create entire pieces on just the computer, this means I need to learn something I’ve been avoiding for a long time.  Adobe Illustrator, I’ve been using this program casually for five or six years now, but I’ve never really invested the time to really sink my teeth into it the way I did with photoshop.  At this point in my life I need to look at more effective ways of creating my images, so I get the most out of my time, space and resources.

I’ve been working on a few images over the past two days and really working on picking up new skills so that I can create the images that I want.  The most challenging thing I find about creating vector images is how sterile the images look to me compared to my other work.  I’m used to tactile media and lots of textures, and recreating that digitally has changed the feeling in a lot of my work.

My next step today is to create a simple image with the warmth and tactile feeling of a mixed media painting.  Wish me luck!

Life Changes

Life, Sketchbook, The Child, Work in Progress

It’s been way too long since my last post and every time I try to write something new I end up not finishing my post.  This time I will write something even if it is just an update on what I’ve been up to over the past year.

My priorities have changed or shifted, as I got into my thirties I realized that having a family was something that was very important to me.  I saw mothers and babies everywhere I went, and having a child became my focus.  I’ve always had a fascination with children’s books but as an outsider appreciating a world I was not yet a part of.

Much to my husband’s and  my delight shortly after we were married in the summer of 2010 we became pregnant.  It was so exciting dreaming about how our lives would change, and experiencing the amazing changes my body went through in the first few months of pregnancy.

That winter I was approached to take over teaching the Children’s Book Illustration class at George Brown College, the timing was perfect, morning (all day) sickness was over and I was not due until the end of June.  Having the opportunity to teach a class about a subject I cared so much about was amazing.  Even though I was extremely nervous about teaching a class to people I would consider my peers, I was also excited about the opportunity to inspire other people with amazing illustrations and books.  By the end of that semester I was starting to get quite big, and the aches and pains that go along with the beginning of my  third trimester had made me quite glad it was done.

I continued my coffee shop job up until three weeks before I was due, but by that point all I wanted to do was sit on the couch with my feet up all day.

On the 24th of June our lives changed completely, and our beautiful son Aaron came into the world.  Suddenly the only thing that mattered was meeting the needs of this tiny little boy.  The first few weeks were very bumpy but we all made it through and were able to muddle our way around the proceeding months.  My beautiful boy is now seven months old and I can hardly believe  how he has thrived in that time.  As I write this all down I can’t believe how cliché it all sounds, but all those things people say about parenthood are true.  Its exhausting and wonderful, and you try to cherish every second of it because they really do grow up so fast.

Finally we have gotten to a point where sitting and writing for an hour is possible again, as my boy naps in the next room I can reflect on the profound effect he has had on my life.  My hope is that I can now pass on some of his beautiful inspiration through my art and to others.  If I can spend enough time during the day working on my illustrations I may not have to go back to my coffee shop job.

I will post some photos of my main source of inspiration as well as do reviews on some of the books that have become our favorites. I will also continue to update the work I have done in the past year, although there in not too much of it.  I’m going to start off with devoting an hour a day to work on this, it seems like an easily attainable goal, then move up from there.