I've just listed my new Lily of the Valley print on my shop. From now through March 14, which will mark the one month anniversary of the horrific Stoneman Douglas Shooting rampage, I'm donating all proceeds from the sale of this print to Everytown For Gun Safety. This is a small gesture- one that seems tiny in comparison to the tremendous challenge that lies ahead on the path to creating common sense gun laws and ending gun violence. But every little step helps, I've got to believe that. I urge you to research and consider supporting any of the following organizations, get involved locally however you can and most importantly, VOTE and encourage other people to vote in November.
In the not-too-distant-future, I see myself wistfully telling our daughter, Lucy, about the good old days when I’d flip through my huge, overstuffed Caselogic CD case to choose an album to listen to. To her, the technology that fueled the musical backdrop of my teenage years will seem as ancient as a phonograph did to me when I was young. I remember saving my babysitting money until I had enough to go to the music store, then holing up in my bedroom, greedily tearing open those pesky cellophane wrappers and methodically paging through the album art, pledging to learn all of the lyrics while listening to every song on repeat.
When we moved to Oakland earlier this year, I found four of huge Caselogic books packed away in storage. Flipping through their heavy pages, filled with thick album covers and shiny discs, I found myself lost in thought about times in my life that haven’t floated through my brain in years. Not just specific memories, but also the feelings of moments in time. Moments when it truly seemed that the music I had chosen was the actual soundtrack playing in my life, just like in a movie.
I have hauled my collection of CD’s around with me for years, not having a use for them, but not willing to part with them. This time, though, when I flipped through them, I saw everything they contained in a new way. Maybe it is because this year has brought profound changes in my life and the life of my family. Maybe it’s because I feel like I have been fast-forwarded into grown up mode: wife; mother of one, with another on the way; new homeowner. These primary aspects of my life are everything to me- they come with immense joy and emotion, immense love and gratitude, and immense responsibility. It seems like eons ago when what mattered most was carefully choosing a CD to listen to while driving the ten minutes to my high school. That album would predict my day, that song was meant for me, those words somehow reading my mind.
Maybe, it’s that I am three weeks away from welcoming another precious little soul into our family and I am feeling nostalgic. But, maybe not. My memory is jogged by this music in the best possible way- I remember those days and all they carried with them in detail, especially the way time moved more slowly then. And I am pretty glad I’ve held onto these weighty tokens of the past for all the years.
So, today, I’m introducing the first installment of my new series: Music + Memories. Each month, I’ll choose an album cover to illustrate, and post it here with some brief ramblings about what that album recalls for me. I’m looking forward to unearthing some real treasures. I'd love to hear about your musical memories too, so feel free to comment below as you follow along.
Without further ado, the first album: The Allman Brothers' Band: A Decade of Hits
More than any other album in my collection, I think this one got the most wear and tear, through the biggest expanse of years of my life. The 16 tracks on this album played through teenage heartthrobs, giddy laughter with friends, and the first time I drove my beloved first (used) car. It was a Saab. 1989 turbo, manual. I spent countless summer hours in that car, sunroof down, listening to Allman Brothers croon away, with their slide guitars. This album spurred my desperate, 14-year old desire to learn the to play the guitar myself. I remember dragging my mom along with me to a seedy guitar shop a few minutes from our house, to inquire about lessons. The denim-clad man behind the counter, who eerily resembled Gregg Allman, looked at me skeptically and promptly asked me what kind of music I wanted to learn. When I answered innocently, “Uhmmmm...The Allman Brothers,” he nearly laughed me out of the joint. I ended up taking a few lessons- but didn’t stick with it. This album, however, has stuck with me, for a long, long time.
Happy Thursday, Friends!
I brought new prints of my work home from my fantastic, Oakland-based printer, Candela Fine Art today! The color saturation and paper quality is out of this world. If I didn't know better, I would have thought these were the originals.
To get your hands on your own, check out my Etsy shop, HERE. Happy Thursday, Friends!
I'm thrilled to announce that my Etsy shop is now open for business! Opening this shop has been a goal of mine for a long time, and last night as I pressed the button to officially open the shop to the world, I felt a huge rush!
Check out the shop right HERE!
In my shop, you can buy archival art prints of my illustrations, paintings and drawings, and I'll soon be adding original pieces for sale as well. As many of you know, I love working on custom and freelance projects too, so feel free to get in touch if you have a project proposal.
Thank you all for your continued support, encouragement and interest in my work. The last year and a half has been a wild ride, and I wouldn't have been able to get this far without all of your love!
Happy Friday, Friends!
My work is featured this week in Sir Magazine's "Workspace of" series. Sir Magazine is a gorgeous online magazine based in Antwerp, and the magazine's editors have invited illustrators from around the world to draw their workspaces for this series. I'm honored to be included in the group, and I have loved perusing the other artists' drawings and workspaces. It's not only interesting to see the places where artists do their creative work, but also how they visually transform and interpret their studio spaces. I had a lot of fun making this piece- especially thinking through how the aesthetics, light, sounds and mood of my own studio make it a good place for me.
You can see my work and the quirky, beautiful and fun work of many other artists HERE.
From August through October of this year, I participated in Lilla Rogers’ Global Talent Search, a multi-phased competition that illustration agency Lilla Rogers Studio holds annually to find the next artists they will represent. This year, the Global Talent Search attracted 1,000 entries from around the world.
The finalists' task was to create art based on one of four trend board given to us, and to develop a line of home decor products using our art. I chose a board called "Welcome Home" because it looked like an opportunity to use strong contrast and hand lettering, as well as draw quirky San Francisco architecture - something I’ve loved drawing in my sketchbooks over the years. It was a super exciting and challenging assignment, precisely because it could be taken in so many directions. I tried to stay focused on dreaming up art and products that I could imagine in my favorite shops, and my own house.
Here is my final work.
Though I did not ultimately win (Congratulations Tara Lilly, Flora Waycott and Rebecca Jones!), I am glad that I participated and I was honored to be chosen as a finalist. I learned a lot in the process, and I received amazing exposure for my work and kind feedback along the way from so many of you. Thank you!
I started by gathering reference material, going on walks in my neighborhood for inspiration, and thinking about color. Then I sketched rough ideas and decided on a color palette. I always have to mix colors and see them on paper before I can figure out which way to go. Here is how I started to mix and notate colors for this assignment.
And here is my final color palette, which I used as the basis for the rest of my work.
I knew from the beginning that I wanted to include a lot of strong geometric patterns for my home decor line. I also wanted the shapes from my house drawings to carry through the other illustrations and tie together different components of the overall line. So, I started by drawing houses. Then I expanded on the geometric patterns and kept working them further.
Eventually I started to paint from the sketches. When I paint, one thing leads to the next, and that was especially the case with this work. I'd paint a house in ink, then make a hard-lined geometric pattern next to it, which would carry over to the next page in a washy watercolor version of the pattern.
Once everything was scanned and cleaned up, I played with scale and pattern combinations and mocked up my work on different kinds of products. Finally, after many hours of tinkering, this was my final presentation.