To Hold It In Your Hands

Books_UppercaseBrief

I created the image above for a somewhat ambiguous design brief that asked me to create a pattern around the ideas of paper and folding.

When I think of paper, I think of…something I can hold in my hands. It’s tangible. It has texture. Weight. You can breath it in. You can decorate it–add your own thoughts and expressions (however that may take shape for you). You can experience the thoughts and expressions of others.

We live in a digital age where so much is here and gone in an instant. It’s probably the artist in me, but I believe I will always prefer the tactile (more enduring) experience of paper.

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Getting Out of Your Own Way

Cuckoo Clock Fabric Swatch

I’m so excited to share that my pattern ‘Cuckoo’ will soon available for purchase at a retail outlet near you!! Details to come. 

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Things have been quiet in this space lately. That hasn’t been the case in my studio by any means, but I’ve had some exciting things going on and have had to re-prioritize my studio/work time.

I  have missed meeting you all here though. I enjoy this process of sharing and recording my experience as I follow my heart.

My son is now almost a year and a half. My daughter turned four at the end of March. I’m working between 20 and 30 hours/week, and there is an ongoing conversation in my head, equal parts inspiration and guilt, about the time I spend away from my babies to chase my dream of being an artist.

When I stand back and I look at the big picture though, and I consider what I want them to believe is possible in this world, I’m proud to be doing what I love.

I have unbelievable amounts of respect for parents that stay home with their babies. It is, hands down, one of the most demanding (albeit rewarding) jobs there is. What I want my little ones to know though, is that it’s all a choice.

I want them to know that the universe is abundant. That almost anything is possible. That following a dream is not always the easiest path–but it is the one that will make them feel the most alive.

How they see and experience the world is a choice–and it’s all up to them.

What is it that’s holding you back from following your dreams? What small step could you take today, or even this week, to change course?

You only have one shot at this. Life. If you can get out of your own way, incredible things are possible.

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?

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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.”

 

Which one?

By the Light of the Moon, ABy the Light of the Moon, B I have been working on this illustration for the past month or so. A couple weeks ago, at the Society of Children’s Authors and Illustrators (SCBWI) Fall Conference in Denver, I received some feedback that the little boy could to pop a bit more. So I have been playing around with the colors. I love the more mono-chromatic image, but perhaps the boy is stronger donning orange? What do you think?

One of the more challenging aspects, for me anyway, of being a freelance designer and illustrator is the isolation. More often than not, I am working alone- a state that’s not always conducive to creative breakthroughs. In design school, even when my work got ripped apart, I loved the discussion about what was and wasn’t working in a piece. I miss that and would enjoy finding a similar community- perhaps this blog will lead to that.

For today, I would love to hear your opinion on the two pieces above. Which one tickles your fancy?