Blog Hop With a Difference (and Global Talent Search)

My fabulous new artsy friend, Kate Mason, with whom I share a love for online art courses, such as Lilla Rogers Make Art that Sells, tagged me to take part in a Blog Hop With A Difference, where fellow creatives share their creative process.

What am I working on right now?

1. Lilla Rogers Global Talent Search

 Close-up of a tiny preview of my submission. Quite a 180 from last year's, which you can see below.

Close-up of a tiny preview of my submission. Quite a 180 from last year's, which you can see below.

I just finished up creating and submitting a wall art piece with the theme of little terrariums for Lilla Rogers Global Talent Search. As I’ve been exploring working in traditional media lately, I was driven to go handmade this year rather than the vector concept I did last year. I loved my playground journal from last year, and I still love vector design, but I enjoy working with this ink, collage, and watercolor style as well. Last year, I wouldn't have had the nerve to try something like this. Lately, I see these opportunities as a time to experiment. The chances of winning a competition like this are so slim to none, that it's best to simply enjoy the process. I've included sketches and bits from my creative process for the project below.

  Sketch for last year's Global Talent Search

Sketch for last year's Global Talent Search

  Sketch for last year's Global Talent Search

Sketch for last year's Global Talent Search

  Sketch for last year's Global Talent Search

Sketch for last year's Global Talent Search

 Last year's concept for the Global Talent Search.

Last year's concept for the Global Talent Search.

 Sketch I developed for illustration below

Sketch I developed for illustration below

 A piece I did based on the second round of the Global Talent Search project (which I wasn't a part of, but still wanted to participate in in my own way).

A piece I did based on the second round of the Global Talent Search project (which I wasn't a part of, but still wanted to participate in in my own way).

2. Felt Christmas ornament patterns based on Christmas cards I did for Make Art That Sells: Part B

3. Collections for licensing

4. My first fabric collection for Windham Fabrics will be in stores October 1st, and I’m so excited to get my hands on it.

 Sketches for this year's Global Talent Search submission

Sketches for this year's Global Talent Search submission

How long does it take to create a project?

Since I spend a goodly amount of time with my kids during the day, I work at night. During intensive projects, I might put a late hour in here or there, but I don’t do that too often. I love working on creative projects, but I also find it necessary to daydream and pursue all sorts of interests that pop up.

I’m not sure how to define in hours how long it takes me to work on something. I work fast, but since having kids, I work in little clumps. (Lilla talks about managing time wisely and working in clumps in the Make Art That Sells A & B classes.) Mostly it depends on deadlines, which I enjoy, even if sometimes they cause a little cursing. Having a deadline and knowing someone is counting on me means it’s going to get done. Somehow during my MATS classes, I found time to get projects done. I could snag an hour while the kids played to get all the watercolors and inks done and then at night assemble it. For years, I didn’t believe I could work in the evenings and be with my kids during the day. After practice and doing intensive projects, somehow, miraculously, I found I could juggle both. The key seems to be about narrowing down tasks and focusing more. More time does not always mean more productivity. I make do with less or take time where I can wrestle it away from something else.

  Sketches for this year's Global Talent Search submission.

Sketches for this year's Global Talent Search submission.

What are my fave things I love to create with at the moment?

My mom and step-father brought back a beautiful twisted glass fountain pen and ink from Italy some years ago. Only in the past several months have I tried it out. The ink is sepia (with a touch of violet) in color and translucent. I love how it bleeds and looks aged. Also, I’ve been using just one color of my mom’s watercolors from when she went to art school, Payne’s Gray. The gray is actually a deep blue, or a moody ocean blue. I enjoy working in a monochromatic fashion and then later adding color in Photoshop. The process allows me great flexibility and a client or whoever can tweak things easily later.

 My favorite pen (black and white twisted glass) and ink (tiny bottle with wax-covered top)

My favorite pen (black and white twisted glass) and ink (tiny bottle with wax-covered top)

How does my creative process work?

My process seems to vary depending on the style and project. Initially, it starts with understanding the project and the customer. Then, I have fun with jotting down words first, and any ideas and brainstorming that might occur to me. Next, the research. I look for images that support my ideas. It could be colors that feel right for the project, an image that reflects the mood, something that represents a specific design period, and especially related subject matter to use for sketching. Then I sketch my ideas and composition thumbnails. When I work in vector in Illustrator, I like to have everything sketched out so I can concentrate on executing the concept rather than filling in any blanks as I go along.

Recently, I’ve deviated a bit in my process when I do the watercolor, ink, and collage style, as I did for some MATS projects and the Global Talent Search concept. Like in Lilla’s mini projects, I draw all sorts of things and later see what resonates with me. If I like an ink sketch, I might pull out my light tablet and on a new sheet of paper over my sketch, I’ll make a paper collage or watercolor. Later, I combine the pieces in Photoshop.

How do I become inspired and stay inspired?

 Some wreath sketches I made inspired by Art Deco and Art Nouveau.

Some wreath sketches I made inspired by Art Deco and Art Nouveau.

Often, I’m inspired by what I want to learn about. If I want to learn more about a subject matter or design period, I can’t help but explore it in illustration or design. Also, I have to give credit to all the amazing classes I’ve taken for the past year and a bit. It all started last year with Lilla Rogers Make Art That Sells course and Design Garden's Trends and Vector Graphics classes. They've been life-changing for me and have given me hope that I can do what I love and also enjoy my family life at the same time. I don't have to sacrifice one for the other.

Next week, I'll post my final piece for the Global Talent Search with the link for all the wonderful (999!) wall art submissions for the contest.

If you are so inclined, please join in on this Blog Hop With a Difference! Give a shout out to me if you decide to play along. I can't wait to see your creative process and learn about what moves you to create!