Finally, the Big Announcement

Today, I get to let the cat out of the bag (I’m SO excited!!!!)….

I present to you the Kindred Art Collective!!!

Kindred Art Collective Logo

Artist Photos

We are a gathering of 6 independent artists from around the globe. Together we represent the world quite literally. Hailing from Tuscany (Sara Brezzi) to Philadelphia (Barbara Zuckerman Chotiner), the Istrian Peninsula in Croatia (Antoana Oreski-Dzafic) to Colorado (that’s me!), and from Berlin (Malu Lenzi) to Hawaii (Jan Avellana), our creative hearts connect us over land and sea! Having met in Lilla Rogers’ Make Art that Sells E-course, our online camaraderie became the catalyst for something greater–a unified and purposeful sisterhood of artists bent on promoting and encouraging one another as we reach for our personal dreams.

Each of us is either self-representing or has art representation by a professional agency. Under the umbrella of a ‘collective’ we are empowered to pursue creative adventures as a single collaborative entity, while maintaining our own individual creative goals and identities.

Kindred spirits have a special bond. An almost inexplicable knowing of the other, a connectedness that goes beyond camaraderie. Sewn together like pieces of a patchwork quilt, each piece unique and beautiful, yet better together.

We are Kindred.

Over the course of the next several days, we’ll be introducing each Kindred artist as we count down to one of the BEST days of the year, Halloween!!! I invite you to follow along on the Kindred blog.

We’re all over the web too, and we want to connect with YOU! Come say hello…

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.