Monday, March 28, 2011

Mary and the Sunflowers

That could be a really cool band name. Just a thought.

Anyway, I finished my Mary Poppins book cover illustration and wanted to share it:

What few people know is that Mary Poppins was a book before she was a hit Disney movie and Broadway Musical. The first of the eight-book series by P.L. Travers was published in 1934 and the last in 1988! That is a long time--54 years!

I grew up loving Mary Poppins. I loved the movie, I loved the songs. Everything about that story is pure magic! I suppose it was only a matter of time before I did a piece involving the wonderful magical nanny.

Also, I wanted to show my Teddy Bear Sunflowers that I painted the other day. Hopefully tomorrow at school, I can do some more stuff with these flower icons to make some cool product ideas.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Spring Fever

I know, technically it is Spring. But the weather we have been having here in Northern Illinois (and probably throughout much of the upper Midwest) has been anything but Springy. Today, it was in the 20s here! I guess that's really not all that unusual, but since this Winter was brutal, I am just really looking forward to some sunny and mild weather!

And that, in turn, has affected my art.

I'm currently working on two separate projects simultaneously for Advanced Illustration. One is a book cover for Mary Poppins (which I don't have images of) and the other, or others, are Spring flower icons to be used on product. I'm thinking wrapping paper, desktop wallpaper (for myself or anyone who would want to use it), umbrellas, rain boots...possibilities are endless.

Poppies- my favorite flower! I pretty much can't do a piece with flowers in it without including poppies. They're just so whimsical in their own way, how they all bend and point in different directions. When I think of my idea of what bliss would be, it is a never-ending field of red poppies.

Daisies - they're just cute and sweet and oh, so Springy!

Pansies - whenever I see Pansies, I think of my grandmother because they were her favorite flower, so I guess that there is a deeper meaning in there. But the reality is, I was in Advanced Illustration, and my instructor, who was setting up still lifes found some silk pansies and asked if I wanted to draw and paint them. But they are very colorful and I love color!
Anyway, here's some of the stuff I've done so far with the icons:
 A desktop. It should be 1024 x 768 pixels when you click it so it is usable. But please credit me, if possible.

A poppy bubble umbrella mock-up. I am currently in the market for a new umbrella and I've had bubble umbrellas, in particular, on the brain. I can't seem to find one online (because that is literally the only place they sell them!) that I like enough so I designed one. Sure, I don't have the money or resources to actually have one made (yet), but it's nice to daydream a little.

I'm also currently working on making Teddy Bear Sunflower icons as well. My friend Leslie suggested I draw them. I have to admit, they look pretty cool:

 Do you guys have any suggestions for other things I should use these icons for? Comment and let me know :)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Welcome to my website!

My official website is live now! Check it out!

 Click here to go to my website!

Friday, March 18, 2011

This is me...sort of?

So one of my weekend projects for my Portfolio class is to gather some information about myself for a website that one of the design majors, who is graduating, is making about all the graduating seniors. We each have to have two pictures of ourselves and some art work up there, along with who we are and what we do, like a digital yearbook, almost. In a way, it's kind of an exciting thought; having my profile up on the school's website for possible clients to view and being able to carve out my own little piece of history. It's sort of special.

But who am I? I feel like over the past three years, I've been trying to figure out who I am and though I have a rough idea, it just doesn't seem like enough. I know I like to draw. I know I like to paint. I know I like a lot of color and whimsy in my work. But is that too vague?

We also have to have a tag line, almost like a Senior superlative, like "the class clown" or something. I'm definitely not that, unless people are laughing at me, rather than with me. I don't really know what I'd be in that area either. I told my mom that I could be "the one with her head in the clouds" and she thought it was stupid, and told me my tag line should just be "tea and cardigans" (which are two of my favorite things), but only a select few would get that. I just don't know.

People who know me in real life--PLEASE comment with any suggestions!

Oh, and yes, I painted that self-portrait. Not sure how accurate it is. I worked from a photo. You can definitely tell. My eyes look too big and my head looks too small.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Just wanted to post this painting I just did this evening. It was probably a 1.5 hour painting. I like it. It's not my best work, but I'll keep it.

It's actually kind of nice to break free from Illustration every once in a while. Although, I guess you still would call this an illustration because I drew it and inked it. But I was looking at it right in front of me as I drew it and it's a still life, so maybe it could be classified as fine art as well. I always think of illustrations as things that I make up completely from my mind or things that are made up of a bunch of other already existing things...maybe I'm wrong?

Anyway, I found that I really like using Indigo, French Ultramarine, Burnt Sienna and Teal in paintings. I just love how well those colors go together. In a way, it's made my paintings a bit darker, more "grown-up", for lack of a better term, which isn't a bad thing. I want to be versatile.

And...the zig-zaggy drip was not intentional. Making the paint drip was, but the zig-zag was pure chance. Not sure if I like it or not. It almost looks forced.

Leave me some comments! Even some constructive criticism is welcome.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Some very "Sensible" illustrations

The latest project I worked on for Advanced Illustration was a book cover illustration and other little icons for the classic Jane Austen novel Sense & Sensibility. If you know me, you know how big a fan of Miss Austen I am. I haven't read all of her books yet, but I'm working on it. I have seen many of the BBC/film adaptations, though. Most of which I truly enjoy. I may be 23, but in my opinion, there is nothing like staying in on a Friday night with a cup of tea and Jane Austen film...especially if the week hasn't been all that great. But I'm getting off track here.

So I did these editorial illustrations and during the process, I realized that Sense & Sensibility, which was the first book Jane Austen published was published in 1811--200 years ago, this year! So I thought to myself, I could make this like a special edition 200th anniversary edition! Well, that's just what I did.

The cover:
I used a photo reference for the two young women (who, if you are familiar with the story, are the Dashwood sisters), but tried to keep my style present. I like using variations in inked lines and little details as well. Then of course, I added the splashy (though ever-so-slightly more rendered) watercolor. All the text was hand-written by me on separate sheets of paper then added digitally. During the critique, it was said that the "font" for "Jane Austen" should be the same font as the book title. Not sure if I agree with that or not.

Inside Title Page:

Again, I used that same hand-written font here, but since this would be on the inside of the book, I kept the colors minimal. Since it would be a special edition book, I thought I should at least do something a little, well, special to it. So I designed the splashy silhouette icons of the two sisters. I tried to make them reflect each of their personalities. Elinor (blue) is more grounded and sensible, while Marianne (magenta) thinks with her heart and is a hopeless romantic.

Back Cover:

I used the silhouettes here too, but I have to agree with what the class said during the critique. They said that the silhouettes would look better if they had been ghosted behind the text. Looking back, I should have done that. But I like all the other parts. Yes the "S" is the hand-written font...and no that is not the actual ISBN for this book.

And the chapter headers meant for specific chapters:
 Norland--the family home of the Dashwoods before their father dies and they have to move out because homes could only be passed on from father to son. Aren't you glad it's not like that anymore?

 Barton Cottage--where the Dashwoods move after they leave's a pretty big deal because they had to basically had to travel all the way across England to get there....why am I such a nerd?

A bonnet... why did I add that digital drop shadow? Why oh why did you do that, Emily of the past?

 A letter and quill pen, this one is probably my favorite of the bunch. It was originally two separate icons, but I mashed them together in photoshop. I just love that letter. I wish someone would send me a letter with violet petals in it. How sweet would that be. Never mind that this was supposed to be the letter Willoughby writes to Marianne after they "break up".

Anyway, let me know what you guys think! I need feedback, or I won't flourish. 

So, that big news I mentioned...

 Remember in my last post when I said I had some big news coming...well, I guess it's official now, so I can say that I am a member of Sons of Turner And since I am a Son of Turner, that means I'm going to Maine this May with my watercolor instructor and 7 other students! I'm so excited I can hardly stand it! Maine should be fun for me since I love the Ocean, though I've never seen it...but I pretty much love everything that is aquatic in nature. Not sure if I want to swim in the ocean, but I want to see it and splash in it for sure. Also excited for the lighthouses. I would assume that, being in Maine, I would see at least one light house. And, I wish I could be excited about the lobster, but being allergic to all seafood prevents that. Oh well, at least I can eat the blueberries...and whoopie pies (which apparently are the state dessert!).

And directly following my return from Maine, I'm graduating! It's going to be a busy and probably extremely emotional week for me.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Life Updates and Art Updates

March has been one crazy month so far and we're only 12 days in. Wow! I guess I understand the saying "In like a lion, out like a lamb" now.

I try not to talk about personal issues on here, but I need to address the main reason why this month has been so out of control. Basically, on March 1st, my dad had an aneurysm behind his left knee (while he was home alone) and had to be rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery. He's home doing well now. Thankfully he didn't lose his leg, but he will have to go back to the hospital next week to have plastic surgery to patch up his wounds that they left open in order for it to heal properly on the inside.

So my mom and I have been superwomen lately taking care of him aside from leading our everyday lives. Well, actually, my mom hasn't been going to work because of this, but I've still been going to school. We're into the thick of things and it's getting intense. Aside from my dad's medical problems, the stress has been high for me getting myself prepared to graduate and get on with life. It's tough, probably the toughest and most draining thing I've ever done, but I'm staying strong. Speaking of that, I want to thank everyone for your thoughts and prayers regarding my dad and thanks for sticking by me in these tough times. It really means a lot to me.

ok new subject...

Today, I went to the Annual Creative Chicago Expo at the Chicago Cultural Center sponsored by Chicago Artists Resource (CAR) . I wanted to try and start doing some networking in the Chicago art community and what better way than at a free expo which basically concentrated a bunch of people in that field in one building. It was completely free, there were giveaways. It was good. Plus, I handed out a few of my freshly made business cards and explained what I do. It was a good experience and I had fun. My friend and I vowed to go again next year.

That's all for right now. I will try and post some art soon. I have quite a bit, I believe.

Also, I may have a very big announcement soon. I probably will, what am I saying? But I always have doubts.'ll find out soon enough.