Friday, April 4, 2014

Walter the Whale {Spoonflower Fabric}

I'm back with another fun Spoonflower pattern! This week the theme was Whales. Apparently, whales are going to be the next big thing in 2014...

I liked the idea of making a happy whale with a big, toothy smile. That's when I decided to sketch Walter the Whale. Since whales have such a big expanse of nothingness, I added a little dotty design element for visual interest. 

We were given a color palette. Initially I liked it, but when I started putting the colors together I had a hard time getting them to gel how I preferred. So I decided to forego the cream all together and used the rose-y color sparingly. I was hoping for more contrast with the rose and raspberry, but unfortunately, it got kinda lost...

And here is my final piece!

As you can see, Walter is having a blast frolicking in the sea. If you're feeling inclined, head on over to the weekly Spoonflower contest and give Walter some love! There are a LOT of super whale designs - apparently everyone wanted to get in on the whale trend!

Have an awesome weekend,

Monday, March 31, 2014

Desktop Calendar {April 2014}

Hooray! It's finally Spring here in Wisconsin. After what seemed like the longest winter ever, our snow has finally disappeared and the kids are zooming their scooters up and down the block.

For April's calendar I decided to illustrate a little fox jumping in the puddles. 'Cause, you know - April showers bring May flowers!

To download the April calendar, you can click on the above image and save it to your computer, or you can also find it herePlease note that this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License. 

Oh - and if you haven't already, please sign up for the Happy Happy newsletter - a new one is being sent out tomorrow!

Happy Spring!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Mad Science {Spoonflower Fabric}

I was super excited for the latest Spoonflower challenge - it was a Science Fair theme! Something you may not know about me is my love for Science (biology and anatomy, specifically). I took several science classes in college, and thoroughly enjoyed drawing things I saw under the microscope. At one point, my Zoology professor actually suggested medical illustration as a career path for me. I was really interested in that idea until I found out there were only a few universities in the U.S. where I could get that highly specialized degree. Oh well. Such is life.

Fast forward to last week when I was working on sketches for this pattern. I was having a blast creating little Science-y icons!

For this composition, I wanted to create a more organized pattern. Rows of icons could be cool...but how could I make it more interesting? I decided to first create a hex pattern which was a nod to molecular structures, THEN fill in the hex shapes with my icons.

When I was working on my sketches, I had a pale yellow - red - light blue - black color scheme in my head. I applied it to my pattern, and I was very happy with how it complemented my icons. It has a sort of vintage feel which I love.

If you're feeling inclined, head on over to Spoonflower and vote for your favorite Science Fair designs - it is so interesting seeing everyone's interpretations!

Have an awesome weekend!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Letter I {Happy Happy}

Just finished up another letter for the Happy Happy Art Collective alphabet! 

Head on over to the Happy Happy blog to see the full post - I shared my process for this piece!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Surface Pattern Design Guide {Uppercase}


I found out some very exciting news last week - I have been accepted into the Uppercase Surface Pattern Design Guide

Cover design by one of my fellow MATS classmates, Jan Avellana

My work was selected from almost 300 entrants and 2000+ designs - wow! Since surface pattern design is something I've been focusing on this year, this news couldn't happen at a better time. The guide will be a part of issue #21 of Uppercase Magazine, and 1500 copies will be sent to Surtex in May. What an amazing honor!

Here's a fun video all about the Uppercase Surface Pattern Design Guide and 10 Tips for How to Stand Out in Surface Pattern Design:

I know I've gushed about how fabulous Uppercase Magazine is (remember when I made it into Work/Life 3 last Fall?), but just in case you are unfamiliar with the publication, YOU NEED TO CHECK IT OUT. Seriously. I adore this magazine. Each issue is so chocked full of artsy goodness it is impossible to put down. If you're interested (and you SHOULD be!), use the discount code USPDG2014 and receive $15 dollars off your subscription! What are you waiting for? Get it here.

I hope you are having a glorious Monday - I know I am!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Bedtime for Bunnies {Spoonflower Fabric}

Though I didn't have a lot of time this week, I managed to squeeze another pattern in for the weekly Spoonflower contest. The theme was so fun, I hated to pass it up just because I wanted a few extra ZZZs. Which is ironic, considering the theme was 


Stella's bedtime routine is VERY important - if we happen to miss something, she is right there reminding us what we forgot. She is quite the task master when she wants to be! I decided to use her bedtime as my inspiration for a few sketches.

Is it weird that I put bunny slippers on a bunny?

For this contest, Spoonflower provided us with a color scheme. Usually I love limited color palettes. This one, not so much - the yellow and purple were really intense. Oh well - those were the parameters and I was going to make it work!

One thing I discovered during this process, was, even though I am getting better at setting up square repeat patterns in Photoshop, I can't seem to figure out other types of repeats - namely half-drop. I have a couple books that I've been referencing, but these novelty patterns that are a bit more complicated are really tripping me up. If any of you have any tips or resources, I'm all ears! 

And of course, I have to plug the contest! Head on over to Spoonflower and give my Bedtime for Bunnies pattern some love! Thanks!


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Letter F {Happy Happy}

I had the pleasure of creating a Letter F for the Happy Happy Art Collective alphabet series.

Head on over the the Happy Happy blog to see the full alphabet card. And be sure to check out Jill's version, as well!


Monday, March 3, 2014

Book Cover {Happy Happy}

Our next group project for Happy Happy Art Collective is children's book covers! Can you guess what story we're illustrating?

Hmmm. If you're still wondering, head on over to the Happy Happy blog and see the whole thing!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Desktop Calendar {March 2014}

Hello and Happy March! Is it Spring yet? Unfortunately, even though Spring is officially only a few weeks away, it looks like we're still stuck in a Polar Vortex here in Wisconsin. 

For the March calendar, I decided to focus on basketball, since the craziness of March Madness will be happening in the U.S. later this month. And who better to play a little B-ball, but some cute woodland creatures!

To download the March calendar, you can click on the above image and save it to your computer, or you can also find it herePlease note that this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License. 


Friday, February 28, 2014

Porchlight Chef's Auction

This week I got the opportunity to attend a very special event : Porchlight's Original Chef's Auction. This was a fundraiser to raise money for Porchlight Inc. - an organization dedicated to helping the homeless of Dane County - by offering shelter, food, counseling and employment services. An extension of Porchlight includes Porchlight Products. Utilizing produce from local farms, the employees turn the crops into high quality canned and preserved goods to be sold to local markets and restaurants. This amazing program not only provides employment and confidence for the less-fortunate, it also helps support our local farm community. 

I was able to contribute to this fundraiser by creating all the marketing collateral. How fun! This was a chef's auction, meaning ten of Madison's top chefs and restaurants came together to provide some wonderful food, incorporating some of the Porchlight Products. I wanted to focus on the stars of the event - the chefs - and their wonderful food made with local ingredients. These were my initial sketches for the ad:

We ended up going with the marching chef, and turned his swirl of food into the shape of Wisconsin. After adding a bit of color, here is the final poster:

Not only did I get to create a cute little chef, I got to draw lots of yummy food and do some hand lettering! This project was right up my alley.

After sampling some of the Porchlight Products, I was highly impressed! I will definitely be picking some up on future grocery shopping excursions. For those of you who are local, you can find them at Metcalfe's Hilldale, Regent Market and Willy Street Co-op. Be sure to check them out!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

C C C C...What begins with C? {Happy Happy}

One of our goals as the Happy Happy Art Collective is to do some group projects and make more art! Our current ongoing project is illustrating the alphabet in a given color palette. My first contribution is up today!

This is just a little sneak peek. If you want to see the whole thing, head on over to the Happy Happy Art Collective blog and check it out!

(And have you signed up for our newsletter yet? Good things come to those who do!)


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Gems + Geodes {Spoonflower Fabric}


This week I decided to create an entry for the current Spoonflower contest. The theme was Geodes and Gemstones.

As I've mentioned before, my typical subject matter consists of flowers, animals and Stella - NOT stones...or anything geometric, for that matter! I thought it would be a fun challenge.

After researching what EXACTLY gems and geodes were, I decided I would focus on gems. I drew a whole page of these cute little structures!

After I brought them into Photoshop, I set my palette and tried to figure out how to show the gems' dimension without adding too many colors. My solution was some crosshatching!

By layering the colors of my basic palette, I was able to not only add dimension, but some nifty tones with the "transparency" the crosshatching created. My eyes were watering like crazy from drawing all of these fine lines, but I am really happy with how it turned out.

Tomorrow Spoonflower voting begins! Be sure to head on over to the contest and check out all the awesome selections. If you're interested in my other Spoonflower patterns, check 'em out right here.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Almost There {Trek + Design Madison + Allan Peters}

Last night was a very special night for Design Madison. DM teamed up with Trek Bicycles and Target Creative Director, Allan Peters to put together an art show called Almost There.

Anyone could participate. Any medium was welcome. All we had to do was create a piece a piece of art that is inspired by our interaction with biking. This was right up my alley!

I have a lot of memories and experiences with riding my bike. From learning to ride on my orange sunshine-speckled banana seat bike as a 4-year old, to saving up enough allowance for my first 10-speed when I was 12, biking was a big part of my life growing up. As a college student living on the UW-Madison campus, my bike WAS my transportation. And then, of course, landing a job at Pacific Cycle led me to a couple years of racing bikes - road, mountain and cyclocross. Now, since having Stella, biking is still a very important part of our life, from riding the amazing bike trails in Madison to pulling Stella to and from school in her trailer, we are a crazy biking family.

Late last summer, Stella finally learned to ride her two-wheeler. It was a pretty big deal. She had been flying around on her balance bike for a year, and we KNEW she could totally do it - we just had to figure out how to convince HER that she could do it. If any of you are parents, you know just how hard that can be. Basically we had to wait for her to want to do it ON HER TERMS. And then she was off.

That was the idea I was trying to portray in my poster - my girl with her long flowy locks flying behind her - riding off to who knows where - on her bicycle. Now it's time for her to form some biking memories of her own!

I'll leave you with a few photos and videos.

And another fun fact - that little orange bike with the streamers Stella is riding? I designed that for Schwinn! I actually had her in mind when I drew the little characters. It makes my heart soar watching her ride one of my creations!

Let's hope for some warmer weather soon...because now I want to go ride!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Valentine Printables

Valentine's Day is right around the corner! And if you're a procrastinator like me, you could definitely use some FREE Valentine printables to save you a trip to the store.

I made a couple fun Valentine's cards if you're feeling a little randy. Head on over to the Happy Happy blog to download these and more!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Happy Happy Art Collective


Shortly after Christmas, my online friend Tammie emailed me and a few other graduates of Lilla's Make Art That Sells class inquiring whether we'd be interested in forming an artist collective. Heck Yeah! Denise (another friend and MATS buddy) and I had already been discussing the same thing a couple months earlier and it seemed the stars were aligning.

After a month of planning and lots of preparation, we finally launched our website this week. I am now a proud member of the Happy Happy Art Collective!

Over the next several days, we will be introducing the members one-by-one on our blog (mine was just posted today!). After you've had a chance to get to know us, then we'll start posting lots of fun group projects and freebies we've been happily creating! Head on over and check it all out. And while you're there, be sure to sign up for our monthly newsletter for a little dose of happiness in your inbox!

I'm really excited about the possibilities that will come from being a part of this collective! It's such a creative, supportive group of ladies, and we're chock full of ideas - I don't think there is room in the blogosphere for all of them! 

Can you tell I'm a little happy happy?

Monday, February 3, 2014

Custom Portrait Service


You may know that I have been offering a custom illustrated portrait service if you follow me on Instagram or Facebook. I finally made it official by posting the service in my Etsy shop!

The listings in the shop are categorized by the number of family members in your group, be it people or pets. And of course, if you don't see what you're looking for, I can create a custom listing for you.

These would make great Valentine's or Anniversary gifts!

The process is pretty simple - After you purchase the listing, you will need to send me some photos of the people/pets in your portrait. Since this is completely customizable, I can apply a preferred color palette, or if there are certain outfits or props you want included, I'll do my best to cater to your needs!

Add props like a book or a superhero cape!

Would you like a border? Your name and date at the bottom? I can make it happen!
That's what's so cool about these portraits - they're illustrated, meaning I start from scratch and can do what you want. Plus you don't have to worry about blinking or the crying baby or the dog who just won't lay down. These portraits are easy peasy with no stress on your end!

Commemorate a great group of friends!
Included with the portrait are PDF and JPG files of the digital portrait so you can use the portrait for holiday cards, Save The Dates or on your Facebook profile. An 8.5 x 11" (21.6 x 28.9cm) print is also part of the package. Extra prints are available at an extra charge.

Sound like something you're interested in? Head on over to my shop and check out the options! And if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask. 

Have an excellent week. I'll be back on Wednesday with the big news!

Friday, January 31, 2014

Desktop Calendar {February 2014}

Well hello there!

As February is right around the corner, I have a new desktop calendar to share with you!

Once in a while I try to break out of my usual subject matter - and this time around I realized I hardly ever draw vehicles. So I decided to have a go of it. And it was really fun!

To download the February calendar, you can click on the above image and save it to your computer, or you can also find it herePlease note that this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License. 

And stay tuned - in a couple days I have some very exciting news to share with you!

Until then, have a great weekend!

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