It’s Snowing!

The First Snow doodle

4:00 am. Deep in dreamland but always listening with a mother’s ear, I hear the pitter patter of tiny feet.

“Mama?”

“Hi sweetie. What do you need? It’s very early, ” I mumble.

“Mama…did it snow?!” she asks, and I can hear the excitement in her voice. I tell her to go look out our window.

The ground is still bare, the grass still green. No snow.

“We’ll check again when it’s time to get up,” I tell her as I tuck her back into bed. She nods, smiling, and nestles under her covers.

The day before, we talked about how it might snow. We talked about making snow angels and building snowmen–her eyes lit up. We talked about eating snow (her favorite part), and skiing (my favorite part).

In the morning, we looked out the window again. No snow, but a cold, light rain was falling. Hazel stayed by the window, watching intently as I went to her room to pick out her clothes.

“Mama, mama!!!” she hollered, “Mama, look! It’s snowing!!!”

I came back into the room. Her small hands were pressed up against the glass. The rainy sleet had indeed turned into snow.

Seeing life through the eyes of a child is a wondrous thing. She stayed glued to the window as I helped her get dressed and brushed her hair. The “snowstorm” lasted for maybe 10-20 minutes. Nothing stuck–it was almost over before it even began. But it was one of the highlights of her day.

And that it made it one of the highlights of mine.

***

Also, as you know, I have been donating 10% of my proceeds to a charitable organization for the last couple of months. I want to be able to make more of a difference, and have concluded that switching organizations each month just isn’t helping anyone enough. So I’m going to change things up. For the next few months, I want to focus on one charity. And we’ll see how that goes.

I will be donating 10% of the proceeds from my online store to Arts Street, a local non-profit program that creates opportunities for the young people of Colorado. Their mission is to “…cultivate low-income and under-served youth into a creative and culturally competent workforce. We use the power of the arts and arts professionals to nurture leadership and engage youth in learning.”

Check ‘em out.

Both the End and the Beginning

penelopedullaghan_liberalallowanceoftime

I am head over heals in love with this illustration. The composition. The emotion. And those colors. 

The image was created by Penelope Dullaghan. I am a huge fan of her work.

Entitled “A Liberal Allowance of Time” (Thoureau!), this piece was a response to her daughter starting kindergarten. You can read more about it on her blog. Prints are available for purchase here.

My daughter started school this week as well. Pre-School. Before I was a parent, I didn’t understand why this was such a big deal.

She will only be gone for three hours, four mornings a week. I will have enough time to unload the dishwasher and check my email. Then it will be time to pick her up.

But as I walked to my car after dropping her off, it felt…immense.

Bigger than her first tooth. Bigger than her first step. Or her first word. Excited that we have reached this milestone, and so proud–yet at the same yearning for the tiny baby that once fit in my arms.

As is the case with most of life’s transitions, it feels like both the end and the beginning. I’m just grateful to be along for the ride.

Artists Around the World Blog Hop

Last week, I was honored by Croatian artist and friend Antoana Oreški-Džafić, with an invitation to participate in a blog hop featuring artists from around the world. I am very flattered–and excited to join in on the fun!

Today, I will share some of Antoana’s gorgeous work, answer some questions about my own creative process, and I will introduce you to a couple of artists who truly inspire me, Jennifer Orkin Lewis and Nelleke Verhoeff.

International Inspiration

Antoana and I met in Assignment Bootcamp earlier this year. An incredibly talented illustrator, I love her lush colors and her great character design. The level of detail she adds to her pieces is truly inspiring.

Antoana created this Koala piece for Tigerprint’s Cute Character competition. I enjoy so much of her work, but this is one of my favorites. The color palette, those koalas, and what a sweet message! Wish her luck. The winners will be announced next month.

Illustration by Antoana  for Tigerprint's "Cute Character" competition

This was Antoana’s Global Talent Search entry. The little girl riding on top of that fabulous elephant is my favorite part–oh my, that hair!!

ANTOANA_ORESKI_Dreamland Terrarium

Antoana’s patterns are magical as well.

Exotic

Balancing work with family, Antoana is a dedicated mother of two. As I muddle through, trying to strike a balance between work and parenthood, I’m inspired by fellow mamas working as artists as well.

To see more of Antoana’s work, check out her website and her blog.


How I Work

Next up, a few questions about my creative process:

What are you working/writing on?

Right now, I’m building out a wall art collection for an exciting licensing deal that’s in the works. I’m finalizing another wall art deal (details coming soon!), and waiting to hear on a couple of other pending collections as well (eek–fingers crossed).

I’m also trying to make a decision about Surtex next spring, and whether to just walk, or to go for it and try to exhibit. Oh, and overhauling my website too. I tend to work best with a lot of irons in the fire.

How does your work differ from others in your genre?  

As many artists have said, this is a hard question to answer about yourself. If I were to sum up what I do, I would say my work is whimsical, layered, and sophisticated. Color is one of my very favorite things. And I enjoy creating depth and interest with a variety of textures.

How does your creative process work?

I love an assignment. Please don’t tell me I can do whatever I want, however I want–I will freeze like a deer in headlights.

When I do start a new project, I’m usually super charged up and excited. Lately, I have also been trying to set an intention at the outset–a kind of prayer to my cosmic muse–that the project will be successful. Then I begin to draw. Without thinking too much about where it’s all going, I fill pages of my sketchbook. Usually just pencil on paper. Then I go back and I look for what’s working (it’s a gut feeling). I scan those drawings and start to play with elements digitally.

At some point in the process, more often than not, I hit a wall. I get stuck. Nothing is working. My excitement morphs into anxiety. And it talks,‘You’re not good enough. What were you thinking? Why you?’ When this happens, I need to walk away.

One of the things about working while being at home with my daughter (3) and my son (8 months), is that I spend a lot of time thinking about different approaches, compositions, and solutions in my head. All this thinking time usually means when I actually sit down to work, I make real progress. Not always, but usually.

Once I have the composition dialed in, I start to play with color. Like I said, this is one of my very favorite steps. I adore color.

Happy with my palette, I take the whole thing into Photoshop and rebuild it, adding texture until I’m happy and the piece is finished.

Why do you create?

From an interview I did last year for Uppercase’s Work/Life 3 Illustration directory:

“When working on a project that I’m really excited about, I get this buzz…an electric current of excitement that lights me up from head to toe. I am an illustrator because it makes my soul sparkle.”

 


Two Artists You Should Know

Enough about me. Now I want share the work of two incredible artists who inspire me.

I met both of these women through Lilla Rogers’ classes (one of the best parts of class is connecting with a community of talented and supportive artists), and I am truly honored and excited to share their immense talent with you.

First up is the fabulous Jennifer Orkin Lewis, whose work was recently featured in Uppercase magazine.

Jennifer, who works under the studio name August Wren, maintains a 30-minute-a-day sketchbook practice. Below are some excerpts. I am inspired on a daily basis by her creations (check out her Facebook page to follow along).

Blue Lady illustration

Jennifer Orking Lewis_Daily Sketchbook

Jennifer Orkin Lewis Uppercase Spread

Jennifer is also one of the semi-finalists in this year’s Global Talent Search!! This was her Terrarium entry.

Terrarium_GTS_AugustWren

I’m so excited to see what Jennifer creates for the second round.

For more of Jennifer’s work, check out her website and her blog .


Next, I present to you the lovely Nelleke Verhoeff. Creating work that is whimsical and fun, yet incredibly sophisticated, Nelleke works under the studio name Red Cheeks Factory, which (from her bio) “…stands for enthusiasm, but also for shyness and excitement.” What I adore most about her work is her loose style and her wonderful people.

“Puzzled,” available for purchase here.

Puzzled

“Ma Cherie,” available for purchase here.

Ma Cherie

Trio Umbrella available for purchase here.

TrioUmbrella

Her patterns are top-notch as well–and I love how she mocks them up.

Dancing_Feathers_Nelleke_Verhoeff

You can see more of Nelleke’s work on her website and blog, and in her online shop.

This has been so much fun! Thank you for following along. These women will be talking about their own creative process,’ and sharing a few artists who inspire them next week. I hope you’ll follow along.

Grow

Don't be afraid to stand in your own power and blossom

This past Tuesday, the semi-finalists in Lilla Rogers Global Talent Search were announced.

My piece didn’t make the cut.

The assignment was to create a piece of wall art with a ‘Little Terrariums’ theme. And I was thrilled with what I came up with–I had so much fun!! Even though I didn’t make it through, what I created was 100% me and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.

That’s not to say I’m not a little disappointed. Last year (to my amazement–I entered on a whim), I made it through to the next round. This was my submission (the assignment was to create a journal cover with a ‘Playground’ theme).

Let's Play

So I knew it was possible…

There were 999 entries this year. You can see the list of semi-finalists here. And this year, they published everyone’s submissions–so you can peruse the entire gallery if you are so inclined. It’s an impressive collection, and I have no idea how Lilla and her team narrowed the field to the top 50 (what I would’ve given to have been a fly on the wall for those conversations).

Through Lilla’s MATS classes, I know a lot of the artists who made it through. And I am genuinely excited for them. I can’t wait to see what they create for the next round.

There were a lot of entries that I loved–pieces that would have made my top 50–that didn’t make the cut though.

That’s maybe the best and the worst of what I do, that art is inherently subjective.

In all honesty, I did host my own private pity party for a good part of the morning on Tuesday when the list of semi-finalists was announced. And then I got on my road bike and went for ride up a really big, steep hill. As always, this helped, immensely.

And then I picked myself up and dusted myself off. And I’m getting right back in that saddle. Giddyup.

***

And don’t forget, this is the last week in August–for the rest of the month, 10% of what I sell will go to DAVA, a local organization that “… provides high-quality, after-school programming in the Aurora community and has become an anchor of free arts education for 900 urban kids (ages 3-17) annually. DAVA programs are designed to provide young people with the tools necessary to activate a new vision for community through the arts.”

 

Still Waiting…

KellyAngelovicArtPrintsforSale

Purchased prints to be mailed out.

Last week, I posted about Lilla Rogers Global Talent Search. The first round of submissions were due this past Monday–wall art with a “Little Terrarium” theme. The talented top fifty will be announced on Tuesday (the 26th).

Lilla Rogers Global Talent Search

I feel like I submitted my entry AGES AGO (and am keeping it under wraps until the semi-finalists list is out).

I am nervous and so excited. Regardless of the outcome, this contest is so much fun to be a part of. If I make it through, the next assignment will be given on Tuesday as well.

Any guesses as to what it might be??

Based on the list of prizes, (this is a COMPLETE shot in the dark) my guess is a bolt fabric assignment based on typewriters.

In the meantime, I’m keeping myself busy with customer orders and a collection that I am building out for an exciting wall art deal that’s in the works. Details to come!

Best of luck to all the participants nervously chewing fingernails as they await the big semi-finalist announcement!!!

***

And don’t forget, for the month of August, 10% of what I sell will go to DAVA, a local organization that “… provides high-quality, after-school programming in the Aurora community and has become an anchor of free arts education for 900 urban kids (ages 3-17) annually. DAVA programs are designed to provide young people with the tools necessary to activate a new vision for community through the arts.”

An Awfully Good Adventure

Green and lovely aren't they?

Lilla Rogers Global Talent Search has begun! The deadline for the first round of entries is due Monday. A bit ahead of the game (and with sweaty, shaky palms), I submitted my piece yesterday.

The assignment was to create wall art around the theme ‘little terrariums.’

Succulents. Cacti. Strange, wonderfully shaped containers cradling exotic plants within their transparent walls. Run with it.

Have fun.

Create something you would hang on your wall.

People buy your joy.

One of the reasons so many artists want to be represented by the fabulous Lilla Rogers is that her assignments are full of nurturing directives. Who wouldn’t want to work under someone urging you to, above all, follow your joy? 

Plus, an industry juggernaut, her business sense is as finely honed as her artistic eye.

I can’t show you my entry just yet, but no matter the outcome of this first round, I had an amazing time creating it.

An ‘I can’t sleep because my whole body is creatively buzzing’ good time.

It’s exhilarating. And terrifying. Bigger than me. Or that’s how it feels when I’m in my groove.

In this messy, hard, scary, beautiful experience we call life, you can be an observer. You can sit on the sidelines and watch it all unfold.

Or you can get out there. Jump right in the middle and see what happens..

Seize your moment.

It will be scary. You will hear voices (inside your head and out)–voices telling you you’re not good enough. Voices asking ‘why you?’ Voices telling you you’re crazy to even try.

Do it anyway. No matter the outcome, it will be one helluva a ride.

“To live. To live will be an awfully big adventure.”

- Robin Williams, Hook

***

And don’t forget, for the month of August, 10% of what I sell will go to DAVA, a local organization that “… provides high-quality, after-school programming in the Aurora community and has become an anchor of free arts education for 900 urban kids (ages 3-17) annually. DAVA programs are designed to provide young people with the tools necessary to activate a new vision for community through the arts.”

Rolling On…

Red Truck Johnny Bregar

Honeybees

Garden_JohnnyBregar

HotAirBalloons

Butterflies_FinalJB

Girl Hanging from Tree

A couple weeks ago, I posted about an exciting project I was commissioned to do, creating 6 illustrations for family musician Johnny Bregar. Johnny will be using these images on his revamped website. His site isn’t quite finished yet, but the illustrations are. Hope you like them!

And next week, Lilla’s Global Talent Search kicks off on August 5th. Yikes! I am really excited–and super nervous.

Lilla Rogers Global Talent Search

As the month of July draws to a close, I will be writing a check to the Art Students League of Denver. Thank you to all who bought something from my shop this month!

Rolling into the month of August, I will be donating 10% of the proceeds from my online store to DAVA, a local organization that “… provides high-quality, after-school programming in the Aurora community and has become an anchor of free arts education for 900 urban kids (ages 3-17) annually. DAVA programs are designed to provide young people with the tools necessary to activate a new vision for community through the arts. Projects encourage youth to develop their imaginations and character, and to step up as future leaders.”

Check ‘em out.

DAVA 1  FPA 4.29.10.indd

 

 

 

The End of Bootcamp

FizzyDrink

There is a wall in my entryway that has been empty since we moved in four years ago. It has always needed something, but until now, I hadn’t figured out what.

July was the final month for Lilla Rogers Assignment Bootcamp. The assigned theme was favorite beverages, and we were told to create a piece of art that we would hang on our own walls.

Create for the sake of creating (without thinking about commercial appeal).

I started drawing coffee cups and wine glasses. Wine bottles and tea cups.

As so often happens in the midst of a project, I got stuck. Nothing felt right. I backed off. I shifted my perspective–and tried to think about the kind of art I’m drawn to.

Working with the intention to create something for that empty space in my entryway, everything began to flow.

The image below was my final Bootcamp submission. The image above ended up being my favorite of the three that I created (it wasn’t finished by the submission deadline).

FlowerDrinkWarmDrink

This isn’t my space (my empty wall is quite a bit smaller, and I haven’t hung them up yet), but this is how they would look, at full size (24″ x 30″) hanging on a wall together.

Drink Wall Art Mock-up

Bootcamp started in February and it has been so much fun, especially with a new baby in the house (I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again–maintaining my creative outlet and keeping one foot in the working world makes me a better mama). Since I first took Make Art That Sells, Part A last June, I have evolved and learned so much.

If you are thinking about signing up for one of Lilla’s classes, don’t hesitate!! Though I would recommend taking the full blown MATS classes first (Bootcamp is like an extension, a way to maintain your momentum–it’s not nearly as intense, but not as juicy and full of information either).

Either way, do it!! You won’t be disappointed.

AND I have several licensing deals in the works (hopefully, fingers crossed!!) that have come from my MATS projects. I can’t spill the beans yet, but there are a lot of exciting things happening behind the scenes right now.

My other Bootcamp pieces:

Jello themed fabric pattern for the bolt fabric market

TimeForTea_KellyAngelovic

 

Cuckoo clock themed cell phone case

Cuckoo Cell Phone Case

 

Editorial illustration for an article about meditation

How to Meditate

 

Wall art with a nautical theme

Under the Sea

So….what’s next?

Lilla Rogers Global Talent Search

Lilla’s Global Talent Search!!

I entered last year on a whim and I made it to the semi-finals (which I still can’t believe)! After going back and forth (and back and forth) about entering again, I decided to throw my hat in the ring. I have nothing to lose, and if I win (oh my goodness, can you imagine?? I wouldn’t be able to scrape myself off the floor!!!), I would be represented by the fabulous Lilla Rogers Studio for two years, in addition to scoring an exciting list of licensing deals and other once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.

The excitement starts on August 5th, and the deadline for the first round is August 18th. So stayed tuned and wish me luck!

***

And finally, July is almost over! For the remainder of the month, 10% of what I sell will go to The Art Students League of Denver, a local organization that focuses on providing opportunities for artists of all ages and abilities to study and work with regionally and nationally recognized working artists. From their website:

“ASLD is an inclusive and inspiring art community where members of all abilities are guided by professional artists to reach their highest potential.”

 

 

Fair Compensation

Pillowcase

This is a pillowcase that I got on a trip to Thailand with my husband before we had kids. I love the loose patterns and bright colors. We’re not traveling anywhere exotic these days, but we will again, with Hazel and Thatcher in tow. I can’t wait!

 

I was approached this week by a company called Paper Culture. They are similar to Tiny Prints or Snapfish, but with an environmental platform. Planting a tree with every order, their mission “..is to deliver modern eco stationery as unique as the life events we help celebrate.”

Great, right?

After finding my portfolio on Behance, they contacted me about becoming part of their freelance design program. Always interested in additional revenue streams, I was excited to learn more. And, I really resonated with what I read on their website–caring about the future state of the planet, using recycled paper and reducing their carbon footprint, etc.

Unfortunately, those sustainability ideals don’t extend to their artists.

They pay $100 per design for exclusive rights, in perpetuity.

That’s it.

100 bucks. And you can’t even sell the design in your own shop.

I find this reprehensible. And disheartening.

After talking with them on the phone, I sent a strongly worded email declining their offer on the basis that they are exploiting artists everywhere and undermining the entire profession–making it harder for any of us to earn a living in this industry.

Would you ever call your doctor and ask for a free or discounted exam on the basis that you were going to tell all your friends about it and they’d get great exposure?

There will always be someone willing to be paid next to nothing in my line of work.

That doesn’t make it right.

By hiring freelance designers, they are asking those artists to provide a service that they will benefit from financially. Is it so wrong to expect to be fairly compensated?

I’d love to hear from you on this one–what do you think? Have you had an similar experiences?

***

Don’t forget, for the month of July, 10% of what I sell will go to The Art Students League of Denver, a local organization that focuses on providing opportunities for artists of all ages and abilities to study and work with regionally and nationally recognized working artists. From their website:

“ASLD is an inclusive and inspiring art community where members of all abilities are guided by professional artists to reach their highest potential.”