I’m delighted to share this punchy video my kick-ass video expert husband put together of my creative process. I love our creative partnership. Seriously though, watch me pen slingin’ and flingin’ some paint around as I complete a stylish drawing from scratch.
My favorite series to come out of this year has been my adventure partner series.
My husband and I grew up in the same neck of the woods geographically but wouldn’t meet each other until high school. But we’re convinced that had we known each other back in those days, we would’ve been inseparable. The first illustration I did in the adventure series imagines us exploring together in a slightly Wes Anderson style. I’m still in love with that illustration, and from what I’ve heard, so are many of you. So I was inspired to keep imagining our adventures and illustrating them. If you follow my work closely you’ve already seen some of this work. But I’m proud to wrap up this series as we wrap up this year.
In 2016 I look forward to creating more whimsical bodies of work that echo themes, characters, colors, or style. Creating sets of illustrations that are harmonious together is a goal I’m already striving for as we enter into the new year. But you know me, illustration is my passion. I’m always striving to push myself and my work.
And so we’ll close out the year with a set of meaningful quotes from 2015 that I hand painted in bubble-gum (or what I like to call) power pink.
If you’re familiar with my work, you’ve probably seen my iconic design featuring leaves in rich colors like Monarch yellow, Bittersweet red, and blushing pink. Dappled with chilled berries against a crisp black background, this print is finally available as a luxurious satin fabric that is now part of an exclusive D.I.Y Luxury Zipper Bag Project. This project kit will be available in two colors of leather that is soft to the touch and will feature my designer satin fabric as it’s interior. Combining high quality materials with simple bag making techniques makes this project the perfect place to start sewing your own luxury accessories.
Now that’s something you can be proud of.
Ready to make one of your own? A limited number of kits will be for sale at my pop-up shop located in Modern Textiles during Small Business Saturday. A tutorial on how to make this D.I.Y leather bag is coming soon.
Exciting things are happening behind the scenes in my studio! What sort of exciting things
you ask? Well, I am busy creating a whole new series of work set to release on 1/1/16.
The illustration you see above is a continuation of the adventure partner series, and a sneak-
peak at the kind of content that will populate my site in the new year! So if it’s a little quiet
around here, know that it’s because I’ve got my headphones on and that I’m working away
behind the screen!
Apparently, former Google exec, Ellen Petry Leanse thinks so. You can read all about what she really thinks in her opinionated article. Personally I think that the issue is much more dynamic than what Leanse would have you believe. There are many comments on the article but some of them manage to make you think. For instance, Robbert Sheppard insightfully responded saying:
“With all due respect, it is clear from the content of this article that the writer doesn’t have a background in linguistics. She says, “I began to notice that “just” wasn’t about being polite: it was a subtle message of subordination, of deference.” This sounds plausible enough on the surface, except that when you dig into the language, one of the primary ways that we express politeness in English is through deference: “would you mind…”; “could you…”; “if it’s not too much trouble…” We soften a request to make it seem less of an imposition. Things like this are especially important in email, where you don’t have facial expressions and intonation to soften your language.”
Personally, I agree with Sheppard. But I also think that this sentiment expressed by John F. Kennedy in 1962, gets us even closer to the heart of the issue.
“Too often we hold fast to the cliches of our forebears. We subject all facts to a prefabricated set of interpretations. We enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.” ― John F. Kennedy
Blogger, Debbie Cameron, explores just these sort of prefabricated interpretations in her recent blogging on the topic saying:
“What this advice boils down to is ‘talk like a man’. The writer doesn’t even try to argue that there’s some inherent reason to prefer ‘less body language’ (whatever that means) to more. It’s preferable simply because it’s what men are said to do. Men are more successful in the workplace, so if women want to emulate their success, the trick is to mimic their behaviour.
Even in the 1990s the flaw in this reasoning was obvious. Men’s greater success in the workplace is largely a product of their privileged status as men: just imitating their behaviour won’t give women their status. Yet here we are in the second decade of the 21st century, recycling the same old advice.”
I’ve been reading a lot of reactions to the topic over the last couple of days and felt compelled to add my own. As you might expect from an artist like myself, my ideas are probably best expressed in the illustration. I hope this inspires you to dig into the background of the topic and do some thinking of your own.
Shane and I recently explored the Como Zoo & Conservatory. One of the first animals I saw, was a gorilla. As we watched him lumber his way down the side of the hill, I silently willed him to come closer. And to my astonishment, not only did he come closer, he came right up to our viewing area, sat down and looked out at us with thoughtful eyes, his chin in his hand. I waved shyly and then leaned over to Shane and said, “I hope he likes people watching.”
Speaking of Zoos, Radiolab did an interesting podcast episode about Zoos that you should listen to. I for one, will never look at a Gorilla the same way again.
Bird illustrations drawn in vector – inspired by the iconic Charlie Harper style – made for my Dad’s birthday. Love you, Dad.
This is a recent portrait commission that I finished. Look familiar? He is. You guessed it, this is a childhood picture of my husband.
New Zealand rap artist, Larz Randa (Mainard Larken) is totally “hot like tiger balm.” I’ve got mad respect for Randa’s androgynous style, endless smile, funk, quirk, and sense of humor. Check out the song Rangers and prepare to be hooked.
One day I asked my friend, “How are you?” to which he replied: “Oh you know, it’s been one of those days, darling. When I woke up this morning I discovered that I really needed to do my laundry. I wasn’t sure if I would have anything to wear! But just when I was beginning to despair, that’s when I found them, the last pair of underwear the universe had given me, hidden away for a special occasion. And so, you see, I was saved.”
I couldn’t have said it better myself.
My first crush was on a boy who took me on an adventure in the woods. We roamed over his parent’s seemingly endless plot of rural land in awe. We hunted for and found treasures in the leaves, we built a fantastic fort out of sticks, and we spent the golden-hour together with flushed cheeks and fresh air blowing through our hair. When my Mom came to pick me up I told her I would marry him. I was really young and didn’t know what I was talking about. My Mom just raised her eye-brows and smiled.
But I knew there was something special there. I really liked the idea of having a life-long adventure partner. That idea stuck with me as I got older. And I consider myself extremely lucky to actually have found that adventure partner. My husband is the best adventure partner I could imagine. We enjoy walks through the woods, reading next to the river, exploring abandoned ghost towns, and traveling together. We’re always talking about big ideas, making each other laugh, and we know how to have fun like two overgrown kids. In fact we’ve talked about our childhoods and determined that we would have made great adventure partners back then if only we had known each other. And that my friends, is the spirit of this illustration.
This illustration was heavily inspired by this *photo* of tame Reindeer taken in Alaska in the early 1900’s.
A few months ago I stumbled onto this video blog called Makayla’s Vanity. Makayla candidly opens herself up to the world by sharing her thoughts and ideas on youtube. She covers everything from her pixie-cut to bigger topics like being yourself and being confident in your own skin. From watching her videos I feel sure that she is adorable, thoughtful, and sweet. When I was 16 I had my own pixie-cut and my thoughts about life were all crammed in the pages of a journal that I did my best to hide. And that’s part of why I think Makayla’s vlog is so great. She’s not hiding, she’s sharing her herself and her insights with us as she grows. For many I think she’s probably a friend from afar. For me she’s an inspiring example of transparency. So this illustration is for you Makayla! Stay beautiful!
Here is the final post chronicling the mural. Brooke Kupcho captured some shots of the finished mural at the opening party for the shop. I hope you enjoy the photos and I encourage you to stop by the store to check it out in person. The hand-lettering is original and designed by myself with the help of Sam Gunderson.