Ohhh 2013, you were so long and meandering I didn’t even notice you slipping away. There’s been so much that happened with my business this year, I demand a recap!
Lots of firsts! This year I:
– started the year out with my first calendar ever.
– launched a successful Indiegogo project for my first trade show!
– had a super fun photo shoot with the lovely Kristen England.
– had a booth at Surtex for the first (but not last) time.
– was featured in The Wall Street Journal about my Indiegogo project.
– created more business logos than ever, and had fun doing them!
– collaborated with companies such as Giggle & Envelopes.com, directly from attending Surtex.
– created a Christmas scrapbook line for Hazel and Ruby.
– was asked to license to an exciting company launching in 2014 (more to come about that one!)
– was asked to license designs to a company I love dearly (more soon on this too!)
– asked to join some other special projects I can’t discuss yet. EEP!
So now we see what 2014 has in store…I love a clean slate, a fresh start, and lots of late nights to look forward to.
I’m starting to realize my intense love for all things Christmas, and I don’t really think I can stop myself. This past weekend I went with my family on a Polar Express train excursion, complete with Santa and carolers and 28 degree weather. I was much more excited than the 3-yr-old. It was his first introduction to Santa…he wasn’t super impressed. But I have been inspired this month to create more Christmas themed work, which has been really fun.
I wanted to share some new patterns that I would love to see on wrapping paper. As weird as it may sound, I LOVE wrapping paper. I spend an embarrassing amount of time deciding on what papers I’ll use each Christmas (last year I fell madly in love with some “Christmas Story” vintage-y paper…). I’m definitely the only one in my family who cares at all about it, which is really great because then I’m in charge of all the wrapping!
The past few weeks have been so great. Finally feel my normal self after a month of crazy-vertigo-virus and I’m back to things like, uh, driving, and am so grateful for that. And back to manic art-making to “catch up” from that lost month. Yesterday I found every flat surface in the house and gessoed it, just in case the 4 paintings I already started were to stay wet too long. I forgot how hard it is to maneuver multiple canvases in such a small space, but now I remember. Oh yeah, that’s why I moved to the computer. One day we’ll have more space, but for now, I accidentally paint the couch as I turn to move the water cup for the 500th time.
I spent last Friday with my dear cousin Megan and our kids making Christmas craftiness with my new scrapbook line. Megan & I grew up together and have spent so many days and nights covering things in glue and making a fat mess, and it was just like that- only with 3 little glitter fairies running around. Much much glitter. Her house will never be the same. She broke out the vacuum about 10 minutes into the project.
Eventually the kids got bored with us and created a little festive display in the next room. That’s not a real cat with ornament earrings (it’s a robot cat, duh!)
One of the actual projects we had fun making, and more to come soon:
The sun wasn’t kind to us that day, so it was hard to get decent photos. But you get the ultra sparkly idea, yes?
If you’re researching current trends, whether fashion or stationery, you are bound to find yourself staring at a lot of black and white. I was recently asked to work up some patterns for a black/white trend report–In some way, using only black and white really kills me, because I am such a color addict. But it is a great exercise and look at the restraint I’ve learned!
Here are a few of my black and white patterns. Some of these are included in my set at theinknest!
It’s finally feeling like fall, so naturally I am working on Spring patterns! It was fun to go back to older patterns and make them fresh, with new colors and a little tweaking. Thinking all the way to next year is kind of calming, even though I absolutely love the weather right now. I am thinking about some of the little things that will hatch by that time–new projects, new babies (my friends’ babies, simmer down), and there is comfort in that.
Spring Floral Pink
Spring Easter Chicks
So! Let’s take it back to March of this year. I was contacted by the company Hazel & Ruby, a super sweet scrapbook company that’s just launched. I worked on patterns for their 2013 Christmas collection, Very Merry, for several months and was prettttty much ecstatic to work on such a project, because A) Christmas patterns are like the dessert of surface pattern design and B) I hoard paper almost as much as I hoard fabric!
I hope these are used in lots of fun projects, and I can’t wait to try some out for myself. Here are a few of my favorite papers (shown with front and back), stickers, and album. The Instabook album is my very favorite, because it has pre-designed pages that you simply add your photos to, which makes a great gift. You can see (and purchase) the entire collection at the Hazel and Ruby site.
“Seasons in Bloom” paper
“Polka Dot Pines” paper
“Coundown to Christmas” paper
“Bubbles and Babbles” 157 piece sticker set
“Instabook” 6×6 album
“Instabook” 6×6 album: inside pages
I am having such a fun time working on my new portfolio….I only wanted to share a tiny blip from some new work. I can’t seem to stop making penguins! I suppose I’ll just keep making them until they migrate somewhere else.
I spend a lot of time dreaming about where my designs would work. Last week, after my third straight day of sneezing, I was pretty into my patterns being on some Kleenex boxes. And this week, possibly because I’ve made my third list of the day, I’m stuck on notebooks. I have a wholllle lotta notebooks, mostly from Galison and Greenroom Company…So I thought it’d be fun to make a couple of mock-ups. These are from two new collections…
Right now I’m adding to my portfolio, which feels so great. I am taking a little longer to create new work for some reason, but I’m digging the slight new direction I’m off in. Trying to be patient with the process of creating an entirely new body of work, but I can’t say I’m succeeding.
My personal to-do list is overwhelming at the moment, so I’m trying to prioritize and figure out what I REALLY FOR REAL have to do and what can wait….Apparently baking is pretty high on the priority list. Er. Oh but you know what other things I have recently decided I need more of? Running. And books. Oh, haha, not at the same time, you silly fellow. But I really never thought I would be part of a 5K or a book club, yet here I am. Apparently this is just what people in their 30s do! Not that I have a) actually been in the 5K yet or b) actually attended a meeting having finished the book, but ya know. Work in progress.
Two years ago, I was given an awesome gift from my family & husband. Don’t laugh. It was my MacBook. I had taken one graphic design class and knew there was no looking back, after years of trying to paint “when I had time”. After graduating with a degree in fine arts in 2003, I had nowhere to paint or practice printmaking…and art became even more unlikely after I started teaching and then had a baby. But once I took that class, I knew there was hope. I had discovered that having a tiny computer would suffice, and a new world opened up. I stayed up every night working on patterns and emailing questions to designers I admired, and later, submitting my portfolio to various companies. Two years after getting this computer, I am diving into a freelance career and finding myself surrounded by new opportunities. Lately things have been rolling along so nicely that I could pinch myself. I am so grateful to have found a way to make art, even if my idealistic 20-yr-old self would not recognize the designer I am now.
Happy first day of school to ya! Here are some fun buses (doesn’t that word always look so wrong?!) for you. I gotta say, I’m a little sad I won’t be working at a school this year. But this year has been a great one for my design work and I am very excited to see what the rest of the year brings!