February 6 :: Coffee

Everyday Magic. Like every single day magic. 

 

Click on the coffee to see more from the Friends of Flow Page! Happy Saturday! 

Feb 5 :: Grey Jumping Squirrels

If you know me, then you knew from the first day of February that squirrels would make it on my list. They are my favorite animal in the world. Big statement I know - there are creatures that make my mind explode in awe - but I always come back to the squirrel. It's for the simple reason that squirrels encompass everyday magic. They are essentially adorable furry acrobats, jumpers, and goofballs in and around our lives. They do not care that you have bills to pay or places to get to or goals to achieve. They will chase each other 'round trees for hours and perform acrobatic tricks before your eyes if you think to look up. 

Since moving to Nashville, I have come to know and love the grey jumping squirrels.  They are slender with skinny tails, and are quite impeccable jumpers.  One cannot have a bad day when squirrels are hopping all over the place - it's just not possible. If you'd like to fill your Friday with these gems,  head over to Flow Magazine's Friends of Flow Pinterest Page! Enjoy!

February 4 :: Chair

Today's Friends of Flow Everyday Magic post celebrates chairs!! 

This is one of my favorite chairs - it's an old red thing I found at a vintage store here in Nashville and I just love to look at it, sit in it, read in it, and watch my animals sleep on it. I found so many great pieces to share on Pinterest. Some of my absolute favorites I knew had amazing chair pieces were Maira Kalman and Isabelle Arsenault.  Countless others grace the board I share with you on this Thursday - a  little bit of extraordinary magic. Enjoy! 

February 3 :: The Post

In America, most of us call this The Mail. When I hear people talk about The Post arriving, I think…they've got a little more magic in their life than I have and I'm going to adopt it! I try to slip it in every now and then and I always feel a little jolt in my toes when I say, The Post! So today's Every  day Magic Friends of Flow Pinterest Post is dedicated to this lovely extraordinary part of our lives. I'm not gonna brag but I found so many perfect pins this morning - you're in for a treat! Check it out! 


February 2 :: Nuts

Happy Tuesday, the second day of February. For today's Friend's of Flow post, I chose to draw nuts. Nuts are in my opinion, a tiny piece of magic that we see and take for granted everyday. The way they are harvested, the plants that produce them - I strongly encourage you to dig a little further in finding out where your favorites come from. For instance - did you know that cashews do not come in shells, but are a part of cashew apples? APPLES. Yes I said apples. Magic Magic Magic. 

I started pinning beautiful illustrations of nuts and their plants, and before I knew it, I was pinning miniature felted mice sleeping in walnut shells. As you well know, that's the power of Pinterest. Go have a look! 

Friends of Flow: February

This month I was asked to be the guest pinner for Flow Magazine's Friends of Flow Pinterest Board! I've decided to start each day out with a drawing to celebrate or highlight a little ordinary element of my life that I find extraordinary. After pinning my drawing, I'll be pinning similar themed illustrations, drawings, paintings, photographs and sculptures. In addition to pinning my work, I'll be posting the images here as well. To follow along, hop over to Flow's Pinterest and see new work everyday! 

February 1 :: Chimney Smoke


my day

For Flow Magazine's first issue of 2016 (which just came out), I was invited to illustrate what my typical day looks like. If you work for yourself, then you know the levels of routine which are available to you - they range from having zero routine - to having every hour meticulously planned in your Google Calendar. I know people on both ends and they equally freak me out. I fall somewhere in the middle, but as with anything, it's been a learning experience. 

 

I used to work late into the night, fueled by coffee and Robyn, convinced I was putting my best efforts forward. This only meant I was to rise around 9 or 10am, eat breakfast, drink more coffee, huddle around emails, and I'd finally make it to my studio around noon. Little did I know I was sleeping through the most creative hours my brain was capable of. 

I should say, while I was in school, I was always a morning person - I worked two jobs in an office and at a coffee shop while attending school full time. I wasn't afraid of mornings, but when no one is expecting you at their door at 7am, it's easy to justify late nights and later mornings. 

 

Fast forward six years later and throw in a husband who, as a teacher, wakes also at 5:15am daily.  I have not only improved my routine, but I have found that my most creative energy can be harnessed immediately upon waking. Like..throw coffee on the stove - stagger over to my table -  nose to the grindstone. Sometimes I'll be sitting in my pajamas for hours, skipping breakfast, getting jittery on caffeine, before I realize it's 10 o'clock and I've gotten days of work done in those wee hours of the morning. The sun comes up, the lighting is perfect and it's just me and my work. 

Then, after feeling like the ultimate slug, I work out, shower, take my little dude, Mori, for a walk  (which is really the best part of my day - and I think his too), make a big lunch and then get back to work. 

In my illustration for Flow - I guess you could call that my dream day. Currently I'm working from home while I await the opening of a new building which is to house an illustration studio that my friend Kayla Stark and I are opening up here in Nashville. (Which I will be sharing SO soon - it's hard for me to keep this under wraps because it's a dream that's actually happening!) For the sake of all the folks in this great city, I won't be wandering before daylight in my pajamas to my drawing table. I might actually have to get start getting dressed again before dawn. Wish me luck!

I'd love to hear about your daily routine - have you found one that best suits your craft?

Love me some animals.

Last month I did a flash pet portrait project where I accepted ten commissions. Normally I have a very hard time painting people's beloved pets but I felt I needed to overcome the challenge and make good work despite my own obstacles. Painting these lovelies was a great way to become more familiar with anatomy, pattern, type, and expression. I'll share a couple with you here, but you can view all the paintings on the gallery page. Each painting is 8x8", gouache and colored pencil on smooth bristol paper. 

Griffws.jpg

Happy New Year! 

I am busy working on some larger projects which means I have to wait a bit to share them. In the mean time, I'll see if I can sneak away and draw some little things for me and for you. 

 

xo

The Death of Magic.

Today is a personal post. 

Last month I attended Nashville's Creative Mornings and Chris Olux did a powerful talk. A talk so bold my toes were numb and I wanted to get off my chair and scream, "YES!!" Yes to everything new. No to everything old and tired and repetitive. 

His talk focused on making work that YOU want to make. Not what everyone wants you to make. Not what everyone thinks you should be making. Because I will tell you - it's easy to get boxed in and feel a tremendous amount of expectation and pressure. But we cannot be put in boxes and we certainly cannot put ourselves in a box. We are complex beings that grow and when you are making work, work grows too. A quote that he shared that morning that pierced me:

“Forget safety.
Live where you fear to live.
Destroy your reputation.
Be notorious.”
-RUMI

It's the destruction of reputation that resonates so strongly with me. I am not saying that millions of people know my work or that I have a preconceived reputation. We all have reputations and they must all be reflected upon and possibly destroyed.  The truth is, it's hard to change course in a true and pure way. As I was talking to my friend, the wonderful illustrator, Lauren Lowen, she mentioned that she had to differentiate the joy she found in making work with the joy she found in other's approval of the work. When she said this, my head exploded. THIS. This is the struggle that I am currently going through.  I want to make work that I just can't. stop. making. 

This morning I was sharing all of these utter frustrations with my friend Greg Oberle, whom I admire so much for his personal resilience and ideas. He shared this line with me from an interview with Bill Waterson.  "Repetition is the death of magic." The whole interview is incredible and I urge you to read it - but those lines just struck me (which is why he geared me in that direction.) It's why I have such a difficult time making prints, or cards, or teaching online classes about my style or how I work. Because every day should feel new and I have no idea who I am artistically. I hope I never do - because that will mean I've ended up in a box. 

You'll see I've taken down so many of my paintings from my site, and while I appreciate the huge amount of support and care for those and so many works, I have to cut that attachment. Close my eyes and jump.  Forward ever, backward never. 




A LITTLE PRINCESS

This Spring I was approached by Salamandra to illustrate A Princesinha, the Portuguese Edition of A Little Princess written by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Immediately I knew I wanted the job. Not only was I trying to make my way into the publishing/book world, but I have loved this story since I was a little girl. When I was in 7th grade, I did a book report (along with 3D Diorama) of this story and I have always loved the magic of it. 

I owe a huge thank you to Isabela Jordani who invited me to work on this book, and worked so hard to iron out all the details. She put a huge amount of trust in me and gave me creative freedom to make the best work I could and I know it made all the difference. This was one of the most rewarding, challenging projects I've had and I feel like it's just the beginning. I'm sold on storytelling and narrative illustrations. I finally feel like my work has a home. I'm getting sappy but I'm excited!  

Here are a couple of my favorite illustrations from the book, and I'll share one sketch for you as well. Each illustration was created with gouache and colored pencil on smooth bristol paper. To see all of the illustrations, go my the Gallery Page. To order the book, visit Salamandra. 

Enjoy!



What To Do When A Ghost Finds You.

Happy October my chickens. 

I just finished this little story as a celebration of October, which is my favorite month. It's funny, I realized while I was working on this that while I don't often have the chance to do personal projects exclusively for myself, every October some little fire gets started inside me and I have a burst of inspiration. I just love. this. month. 

Two years ago, I made a little 3D set of a Fall Party. Last October I did another 3D piece of Hortense and The Love Bug. This time I was totally into storytelling and drawing. 

Truth be told, I was actually sketching out a new illustration for Flow Magazine. I was thinking of a little girl reading to ghosts..and I drew it out and wondered what books ghosts would read. And then 8 hours later of frantic writing and sketching, this book was born. Well..the framework anyway. The actual thing took hours, hence me not actually getting it out to the world until just this very moment. 

The more I draw, the more I realize my work is headed back to where I was 5 years ago. I used to love dark stories, character development, writing narratives. Somehow my work has gotten more refined and world, I've had enough! I'm going back to drawing like a kid because I can and I want to and someday I'll be dead. 

Anyway..here are a couple images, and you can find the full book on my site here**

** UPDATE. The book is in the process of being officially published! It is for this reason I have taken the complete manuscript down from my site. I look forward to sharing with you the finished product soon! xoxo. 

I do have to give a huge thank you to my sweet guy, Matt. He is an English teacher and reads a ton of books - his favorite books are sci-fi and horror, and while this isn't a horror story, he was an incredible support in helping me put it together. He's an ideas man, what can I say?

Happy October Everyone! May the leaves fall around you and may coffee be abundant. 

xoxo

Epic Fail….Already.

So I did Inktober for a day. The second day I didn't really draw anything new - I just took a picture of something that I think I drew last month. There. The truth is out. But here's another truth: I have been drawing everyday, but I can really only do one side project at a time. This time around, it's a little story about ghosts and I am having so much fun making it, that it's all I want to do. That, and eat semi-sweet chocolate chips out of my baking cabinet. I'm going mad.  

Anyway.

Here is a peek of one of the illustrations. I will be releasing this little diddy soon (for free) for you, for your friends, for myself, for my friends, for your grandparents, your enemies, and your weird uncle Terry. It's for everyone. So keep your eyes peeled. 

Good Night!