Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Little Help From Our Friends

Greeting Card Universe is running a contest where a GCU artist can pick an artist on the site to promote their work. I've chosen Betty Matsumoto-Schuch. She's is an artist that continually amazes me with her creations of Bud & Tony's adventures; two endearing and comical cats that do more than many adults I know! I always look forward to Betty's latest creations and her attention to detail in her work fascinates me. All of her cards are customizable, so you are able to add your own text to the inside, or use them as wonderful keepsake note cards.

This Valentine card is just adorable and will strike a familiar chord with all cat lovers who have to constantly chase their kitties off tables. Especially when one wants to eat! I love how the cats have the human quality of making their own Valentine party. Be sure to check out other Bud & Tony cards at  Betty's Store.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Defensiveness in Art Continued

I think defensiveness may have its roots in insecurity. As artists, we are all insecure, but I can't think of a better way to get secure in your craft than to listen to others constructive criticisms and do a lot of research on your chosen craft. The criticism is not about YOU, it's about your art. It's hard not to take it personally because art is a part of us; like a child we have given birth to. We need to hear how beautiful and wonderful it is. Rising above that will open up a whole new world of supportive friends and inspiration enough to make you soar. It will also build a professional attitude within yourself, as I don't know a client that doesn't want to change something about your wonderful creation. If you work with the client and maintain a non defensive attitude, the whole experience will be a pleasant one and one in which you may have a new client for years to come. I have been drawing and designing my whole life, and I feel the more I learn, the more I realize there's even more to learn. It never ends and that's what exciting about it. Drop the defensive walls and open your art up to new possibilities. Explore taking your art to that next level of being the best you can be.

Defensiveness in Art

O.K. This is one of those posts that I hesitated on writing, but I hope to help those that really have their hearts set on being a photographer, designer, artist, or whatever. You know the show "So You Think You Can Dance (Sing)? Have you ever seen it? And how many times does the "talent' start out with, "My family thinks I'm a really good (fill in the blank)." That's when I usually cringe. Family support and encouragement is one thing, but pumping up a family member to the point where they think they are of professional quality is another thing. It's getting late, so I will continue this tomorrow, but I will end with one thing. I started writing years ago. I wanted to maybe be a children's book writer. Why, you may ask, when clearly my abilities lie in art. But off I went to write. And I mean write. I even went as far as meeting with a writing coach. I was convinced I had a story as good as any one. I had many stories I felt that way about. Gosh... my family thought they were just GREAT! So there I was one afternoon, sitting across from the coach, and after awhile I finally came to grasp what he was saying (even though I didn't want to hear it), "Stick to what you do best. Illustrate." Really???? Damn. But you know, that's ok. Maybe one day I'll write a simpler book. A picture book where the reader is more enamored with my illustrations than the few words I'll have on the page. Pictures books were more my thing, the coach told me. In other words... My story was "cute" but not GOOD let alone GREAT. And you know what? I didn't get angry and I didn't get defensive. I will hopefully blog tomorrow about the main reason I'm writing this... defensive attitudes among people who have chosen an artistic career for themselves, because somehow (I think) all that I talked about above will somehow relate to what I will continue on tomorrow! See you then!

Lemur #2 in Progress

A friend recently asked me "Why Lemurs? I've never even heard of them." I didn't have an answer. Truly, these things just pop into my head. And the animals I think of are always usually exotic. I love Lemurs because they're so dramatic looking and people can own them as pets. The white one (pictured here) is actually the less common one, and I've read that there's a possibility they will become extinct. And yes... there are orbs in the painting and again, I can't even say why. When a thought speaks to me I listen and go with it. This is just a portion of the art. It's 19" x 24" chalk pastels. Part painterly, part illustration. I love combining the two. There's no rules in art really. I have visions and I just go with it. Mostly I use pastels, other times it's watercolors or acrylics even though paint freaks me out sometimes. I feel I have more control with pastels because I'm such a control freak! Actually it's the line quality I crave in my work. Line is everything to me. I feel it's the element that I can get the most emotion from when I draw.
I will post the finished art when it's done.
What do you think of it so far?

Monday, January 9, 2012

In the Land of Hearts

I want to wish you all a very healthy and successful new year. I'm already in the Land of Hearts for Valentine's Day as I leave Christmas in the past. Different from most of my art, the heart above is a combination of watercolor and digital mediums. I still have a passion for hand drawn art as I personally feel digital art can never capture the "heart" of the human touch to paper or canvas. BUT.... there are such wonderful possibilities with digital art that it's fun to expand on new art horizons. And I can get so many variations on one concept! I'm actually making myself crazy and spending way too much time on the computer. I love to stand when I draw, and sitting for a long time staring at my computer screen makes my eyes dry and my butt sore!! It's addicting for sure, and once I'm on Zazzle, there's no stopping me. I have to admit, the technical part of making products like tagging, descriptions, etc. are not my idea of a good time, but someone's got to do it! And then there's the Spring cleaning of my online stores. Whether virtual or real, it's my least favorite thing to do. But in the end, it's always so well worth it!