Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Merry Christmas!

  Wishing everyone a very Happy Holiday and a healthy and prosperous new year! Let's hope that 2011 will be a more positive year! Love to all. :-) Laura 

Friday, November 19, 2010

Card Store

I have a wonderful new store on Greeting Card Universe. Wonderful quality and stock. Come by for a visit!

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Meeting Doreen Erhardt of Salon of Art greeting cards on Greeting Card Universe has been a special experience for me. She publishes a wonderfully informative newsletter as well as runs her card store on GCU of her amazing art. She has so many creative things going on in her life that I don't know how she does it all. I was beyond honored when she chose to interview and feature me for November & December in her newsletter. Be sure to visit her card store. I hope you enjoy the article as well as her newsletter!


Monday, October 25, 2010

Speaking of Stealing Art...

I had this girlfriend from art school a long time ago. Not particularly talented, but never the less she got by in all the art classes. We were very close and always had a good time together. A lot of the ol’ college day memories include her. And then a day came years later when a mutual friend dropped the bombshell:
“Ethel (not her real name of course) was caught trying to pawn off a well known artist’s work as her own!” 
Gasp!!! I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. But Ethel just couldn’t take the stress anymore of not producing decent work (is what I’m thinking) and resorted to the most horrendous crime against any artist. She was suddenly shrouded in black in my mind. I exiled her to the farthest corners of my brain. I know longer knew this woman. How sad and desperate of her. It’s like cheating on a test and being caught. Or having your mother write all your high school essays and now you’re in college and you’re a boat up the creek without a paddle (I actually knew a student who admitted to me that his mother wrote all his essays).
So the moral of my writing? It’s so not worth it. Do something that you’re good at, or preferably great at. Or something you’re willing to work hard to be great at. Because there’s nothing like the moment when you’re rewarded for your hard work. Your own work.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Art Point of View

Drawing perfectly was always my goal when I was younger. It had to look 'real' and at times my art paid the price of looking stiff. It also got rather tedious and frustrating striving for perfection. While I got very good mechanically with my art, I can see now that creativity was lacking in my earlier works. I actually find quirky art much more intriguing to look at now. While I appreciate the technique of recreating a neat, perfect, photo-quality piece of art, I find that I've become bored (despise this word, but it's the only one that seems to fit here) with it and that I need the visual stimulation of something way less perfect to view. I want to be somehow challenged by what I look at. This new perception has made me stretch and grow as an artist. Granted, I still struggle with my inner perfection demons, but I feel I'm more willing to be more creative now. While I still have a thing for doing the cutesy things that so many like to see, I also like to vary my mediums and my styles so that I can continue to grow. The only way to truly improve as an artist is to open yourself to the inspiration around you. There's no better way to improve upon yourself.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Inspiration-The When, Where & How

The redundant question asked over and over to every artist is "What inspires you?" When I first read it or hear it, I always think there could be a different, more exciting way to ask it. It's almost like hearing the question, "What grade are you in?" when you were younger. It's a question that doesn't require much thought. But the inspiration question does. It's never a knee jerk response, so I guess as uncreative as the question is, the response makes up for it. Sometimes I'm a well of never ending visuals that I can't get out on paper fast enough. And then there are those times when the well has dried up and nothing seems inspiring. Then it suddenly hits out of the blue at the weirdest time and place. Like recently driving and listening to a talk station and the host utters the word "bucket"in context to a story he was discussing. Suddenly my mind takes off, like a race horse out of the gate. Images of pails everywhere. And I'm not sure about you, but I visualize so strongly that I no longer see the world that I'm in and don't know that I left it until I come back. I see everything so clearly in my mind's eye. Colors, details and all. It was a struggle to fight the onslaught of images that were fighting for visual time in my head. Home safely, I sketched away on a magical illustration that is ready to be put to the finish. It will be a party invitation as soon as I can get to it. It's great when that happens. It's such an exciting moment and one that makes creating so rewarding. It's like giving birth to something new time and time again, and the excitement of bringing that visual to tangible life. It never gets dull and is totally addicting. I think that's why artists tend to be like hermits. The addiction to the feeling and the creation process is a high like no other and one that you need to protect and be alone with. And speaking of high, remember that 'lighter than air' feeling you had when you were little (or maybe it was just me), especially when it was your birthday? It was the inspiration for my latest illustration that is now posted on Zazzle.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Think about the type!!!

AARRGGHHH... I've run to my blog like a lunatic and I want to scream from the tallest building, "Wake up art people. Type is also an art!" Whhattt? Yes, it really is. I can't believe the number of designs I see on a daily basis that are completely destroyed by the choice of the wrong typeface, or poorly designed type. It's an absolute epidemic. And what's more disturbing is that we're seeing it so much that people think this *&%$ actually looks good. OK, I feel better now, but not 100% as I see the art of type dying and going the way of the dinosaurs. When we are told the art world is competitive, it just means there's a lot of stuff out there. But if your work is good, well designed, and if there is type involved and it's well thought out, then you will rise above and be one of the best. Be observant and take your time in design. I remember my mentor/boss telling me after I showed him what I thought was a great illustration, "But, Laura, it's not designed." I finally know exactly what he was talking about. Shlock art... it was around way back when and it's still around only more so, because with a computer and an art program, everyone is an artist. Right?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


The concept for this illustration woke me out of a dead sleep last week. Bleary-eyed, I grabbed my pencil and paper that I keep by the bed for such moments and began to sketch what was in my head. I've tried to memorize inspirations like this before; convinced that it would all come back to me in the morning, but it never did. I've learned my lesson- paper and pen at bedside at all times. Thank god my husband is a sound sleeper. Unlike my other illustrations, this one is done in watercolor; a medium that I really don't know all that much about. I find I have little patience waiting for it to dry before I venture on. But I do love the fact that it can be so delicate, yet bold when you want it to be. I'm very happy with it. Now onto Mother's Day.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Raining Cats & Dogs!

Sometimes an illustration doesn't appear to be heading in the right direction and that ultimately it won't be worth the time and effort. I started 'Raining Cats & Dogs' with a light sketch on my Pastelbord, and then stopped. I thought it was looking just terrible. I jumped on to a painting and another illustration, and then life got in the way. I spotted it on my drawing board some weeks later and thought I would give it another chance and I'm glad I did. It took a life on of its own, especially after researching the type of rainwear I wanted to draw my characters in. I was thrilled with the outcome, leaving the border wavy and uneven, enforcing the surreal fantasy of dogs & cats actually raining from the sky. It won a TBA on Zazzle when I placed the illustration on a stamp. I never would have thought, of all the drawings, that it would eventually win an award. You just never know the surprises in store when you create a piece of art. It's such an incredible journey, and one that is never the same with each piece.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Angst of Creation

I thought maybe I was the only one. But the more I read about the creative process, the more I realize all artists go through it. So now I don't feel so alone. My inspirations are the spark. Then I make a sketch, or draw off of a photo (I never project- I like the challenge of actually drawing- keeps my brain in good shape). Then I choose the medium, and start the process. I'm excited at first, then I begin to wonder what I was thinking. Half way through, I think it looks like you know what and I stop. Then I go back, wrestle mentally with the color, and start again. Once in a rare while, I move right through like I'm on auto pilot. That's probably the best case scenario. It's like running into the ocean and then minutes later, realizing how truly cold it is, but it's too late. You're already in. So you take the swim. It's best that way. If my art sits for too long, it's almost intimidating to go back to it. It becomes a dare. Especially if I'm working in a medium I'm trying to conquer. But the more you do something, the better you get... right? So right now, the acrylic painting of my friend Sean stares out across the room at me, daring me to finish him. His pale green, piercing eyes are done and they are boring through my mind. I envision the rest of him every which way I can, and what colors will best compliment him in the painting. I know for a brief moment in time, I will love the painting. And then it will fall from grace the minute the next one is started. I'm just glad I'm not the only tortured soul.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Create, No Matter What!

Be free to create. Enjoy the process without expectation and you will be surprised as to what comes forth!

A lot of times people who feel they are not artists express themselves when they feel brave enough, in a medium of choice. And then the outcome is complete frustration and the desire to never create again. When I taught art, I think the thing I tried to steer clear of, with the students, was their expectation that they would not produce a 'work of art.'  My message was always the same to them:  "You are unique, and everything you draw is from you. So each creation is special because it's you."
I remember some of the looks I got when I said it; like I was speaking a foreign language, but now I realize it was the look of my words sinking in. Nothing is worse than seeing one of your students in tears over an art project. Art class should be an enjoyable class, not one of depression and torture! So while we all don't possess the natural ability to draw technically correct, the field of art allows for a wide variety of the definition as to what is art. If you have a vision to create, then create. Pick your medium and go for it. And the more you experiment with it, the better you get. With that new found confidence comes more incredible creations until you truly become that artist that you never thought you could be!

Friday, January 29, 2010

I'm Dazzled at Zazzle!!

On January 28th, I received a TBA from Zazzle: Today's Best Award. I'm thrilled for the recognition and the fact that it helps to build more traffic to my store. It's great to have a virtual store; no overhead, employees calling in sick, etc. But I'm thinking the hours are the same as a 'real' store, as I find myself constantly managing it and creating new pieces of art. And I'm thinking of giving it a name. With each piece I create, I learn more and more. The possibilities are endless!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Somehow my thoughts turn to Spring right after the first of the year, and I don't even live in an area of freezing temperatures and snow to justify the obsession. There is even an unfinished butterfly person type thingy illustration on my table begging to be finished. Moe was actually done the latter part of last year when, out of the blue, Pugs became a momentary fixation. I know there's a story in him somewhere, but the illustrations are getting the better of me. Sketches are scattered everywhere begging to be a finished piece of art. I better get started......
Once I get started, it's hard to stop. Once I stop, it's hard to get started.....