How to Have More Fun

Digitla Nomad Illustration_Kelly Angelovic

This illustration was our last assignment in Lilla Roger’s Assignment Bootcamp. Class started back in January, and (as was my experience last year) it has been a fantastic way to push myself and work on projects that are outside of my comfort zone. This month’s assignment was to create an editorial illustration for an online article entitled “How To Succeed At Becoming A Digital Nomad.”  

With Bootcamp wrapping up, we are now in the thick of summer (with the 90 degree weather to prove it).

What does summer mean to you?

I think of hot lazy days, dripping popsicles, staying outside until dark--and having FUN!!

Lately, I’ve been inviting more fun into my life. My husband is always trying to make me laugh, and I have two little ones who base their entire existence on having a good time.

So this should be easy. Right?

But sometimes…every so often, I can be the tiniest, slightest bit…uptight. I can get myself all worked up about all that needs to get done  (which, by the way, isn’t ever possible–the list never ends, so let it go already), or looming deadlines, or climate change, or how many vegetables my kids actually ate today…and on and on.

My kids are the very best at this–having fun. They are my greatest teachers (in so many ways).

This week my son (1.5 years old) and I have been making fish faces at each other, and he laughs and giggles like it’s the greatest thing, EVER.

Then there’s my daughter, who does a happy dance right there on the spot, when I tell her her friend is coming over to play.

There is no shortage of pain in this world. The key is to keep laughing–to have fun through the hurt and the tears.

So when I’m having a rough day, or I get some news about a friend that breaks my heart, I take some deep cleansing breaths, and then I get down and play with my kids.

We draw with chalk on the sidewalk and we splash in puddles. Sometimes we have dance parties where we turn the music up really loud and we shimmy and shake–no one cares if anyone is watching. We are wild and free.

What are you doing this summer? Are you having enough fun?? I’d love to hear from you.

***

I’ve shared my other Bootcamp projects from the past six months below (also lots of fun!!):

Ocean Garden Dinnerware Collection_Kelly Angelovic

Collection of plates featuring a floral pattern and sea creatures (a side note about this one–I want to work on this a bit more. I’m not completely happy with some of the elements and I think I can push this a bit more to create a collection that I REALLY dig). I’ll let you know how it turns out 😉

Global Art Gathering_Kelly Angelovic

Hand lettered poster design for the MATS Global Art Gathering that took place in the UK this summer.

Kelly_Angelovic_February

Funky kitchen wall art.

Jewel Themed Fancy Feathers Journal Cover Kelly Angelovic

Whimsical journal cover design.

Please contact me if you are interested in licensing any of the above artwork. I am also available for commissioned projects!

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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.

Unfettered Joy

Kelly_Angelovic_January

January’s Bootcamp assignment was to create a journal with an Edwardian brooch theme. For more jewel themed eye candy, the public gallery is now live–check it out!

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There are days, as I wash baby poop off my hands, or help my not-quite-four-year-old regain control after a body thrashing tantrum, when I long to be working more, parenting less. Enmeshed in day-to-day drudgery, I empty and load the dishwasher, again. I pick up their toys for the 10th time that day, and fold another load of laundry. I want to escape.

And then, ever-so-gently, I remind myself that I am on borrowed time.

I watch my one year old as he squeals with delight–he has discovered how to walk across the room pushing a stool. Noticing me, he rewards me with an ear-to-ear, heart melting grin.

Less than an hour later, my daughter does a spontaneous happy dance because I tell her she can wear her dress-up clothes to the grocery store.

How incredibly lucky am I to bear witness to such unfettered joy?

I hug them both, breathing them in and reminding myself how quickly they are changing. How little time, like this, we really have. I count my blessings. And my heart fills with gratitude, that in this moment, the work that I am doing is right here.

And it is the most important work of all.

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Cuckoo!

Kelly_Angelovic_February

Squeezing in 15 minutes here and there, having a creative outlet (no matter how small) is keeping me sane and at least semi-balanced as we adapt to being a family of four. In my stolen moments, this is what I have been working on. Created as part of Lilla Roger’s Assignment Bootcamp (which is keeping me in the game for now), the assignment was to create a cell phone case for the gift market with a cuckoo clock theme.

Here are some of my initial sketches.

Cuckoo4 Cuckoo1 Cuckoo3 Cuckoo2

Then from pencil sketch to digital design, color, and layout.

CuckooPhoneCover_Sketch-01

To the final image.

CuckooClockCellPhone

Now back to loving on that beautiful new baby of ours.

 

The Year Ahead

FAllColors2013

Color is one of my very favorite things. And this time of year doesn’t disappoint.

My daughter goes to daycare two mornings a week and weather permitting, I usually ride my bike, pulling her in her trailer to “school.” This morning on my way home, I had to pull over and take the picture above. The leaves looked like they were lit from within, and with Boulder’s famed Flatirons in the background…Wow.

I celebrated a birthday this week. 36 years old. It was pretty low key as birthdays go (especially when I think back to my early 20s), but for this year, it was just right.

I (usually) enjoy the introspection that birthdays bring. Thoughts on where I am. And where do I want to be inevitably weave their way into my everyday routine.

The year ahead will be very full with a new baby. Part of me is, quite honestly, terrified. I know how much work new babies are. And between the sleep deprivation and a whirling dervish two-year-old to keep up with, I have no idea how we are all going to keep our heads on straight. Don’t get me wrong, I couldn’t be more excited to be adding a fourth to our little family. But I have to keep reminding myself to stop and take deep breaths, that it’s all going to be fine. That people have been doing this for thousands and thousands of years.

The best thing I got for my birthday this year was a new bedroom.

My very talented, hard-working husband has put in some serious overtime in the past week to convert my loft office/studio into a new nursery.

When I was pregnant with my daughter, I had so much fun decorating her bedroom:

Hazel's Nursery

This time around, we are doing a bike theme. I have been playing with color palettes, and wall decor ideas and I’m getting close. As it all comes together, I will post pics so stay tuned.

AND… if you are going to be out and about in Denver this Saturday, I’m having an art show!

Artists’ Reception: Backstage Coffee Art Gallery at the Denver Performing Arts Complex on Saturday, October 12, 2013 | 7:30-11:00 pm.

Hors d’oeuvres will be served and the bar will be open so come on down!

 

 

 

It Makes my Soul Sparkle

Recently, I was featured in Work Life 3: the Uppercase directory of illustration. When the call for submissions came, I figured that, other than some potential ego bruising, I had nothing to lose.

And, what if….they said yes?

I almost fell out of my chair the day I got the email from Janine Vangool (creator/designer/editor/creative powerhouse) of Uppercase magazine, accepting my submission.

My feet didn’t touch the ground for days.

Based on their work and an interview for the publication, each selected artist received a different assignment for their featured illustration. Here are a few of my favorites:

“Take your comment, “illustration is my never-ending playground” as the starting point for your illustration. Show yourself keeping busy and having fun in the creative environment.”   – assigned to Cecilie  Ellefsen

“Using images and handlettering, illuminate your statement: “I’m still explaining what I do for a living.”   -assigned to Katy Dockrill

” Envision your own folklore or fairy tale and make a self-portrait in which elements of you (ie your hair, limbs, clothes, and/or body) depict the story.”   -assigned to Katie Skau

And my assignment, based on my answer to the question How and why did you become an illustrator or an artist?:

“Draw a portrait illustrating this: “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.”

I knew I wanted to show my character in the air, with pure joy exploding from her head. So I started with some rough pencil sketches.

Work Life 3: Pencil Sketches

From here, I moved onto the computer and created several digital sketches. I often work in grayscale while I am figuring out the composition of an illustration because I get too sidetracked by the power of color.

Work Life 3: Grayscale Sketch

This is still very rough, but my “character” is beginning to take shape. I wanted to convey enthusiasm, joy, and the process of ideas incubating and hatching.

Drawing in my sketchpad or sitting in front of my laptop, I am usually working alone. This can be incredibly isolating. For this piece especially, I needed some feedback so I showed my sketches to a few trusted souls, including Janine. We decided that I needed to flesh the idea out a bit more, add more of “me” and my process as an illustrator.

As a side note, while creating this piece I found out I was pregnant with my second child. This was incredibly exciting but, as those of you familiar with the first trimester of pregnancy know, this is also when you are most likely to be sick. I will spare you the gory details, but for 3-4 months after I finished this illustration, it made me feel sick to even look at it because I felt so terrible while putting it together. Now in the third trimester my nausea has, for the most part, abated. And I can reflect on this project without feeling like I am going to lose my lunch.

I digress…

Incorporating the aforementioned art direction, I turned the eggs into light bulbs, and added my laptop, a sketchpad, and my collection of paintbrushes, pens and pencils. I also started to play with color–which is often my favorite step.

Work Life Sketch: Color

I came up with two different color palettes. Looking at them now, I am still torn between which one I like better, though I chose the option on the left.

The final step was to take the whole thing into Photoshop to add texture and shading.

Work Life 3: Angelovic Final Illustration

True to the design aesthetic we have all come to expect from Uppercase, this publication is clearly a labor of love. The level of talent is both impressive and inspiring– and I am truly humbled to have been included.

Order your copy today!

A Global Talent Search

Global Talent Search Entry

Part of taking Lilla Roger’s class was automatic enrollment in a Global Talent Search. The winner will score a slew of licensing deals (a home decor line, a fabric line, a scrapbooking license to name a few), PLUS two years of representation by Lilla Rogers Studio.

Global Talent Search

Wow.

It would be unbelievable to win.

There are three rounds to the competition. The first assignment was to create a 5″x7″ journal cover with a vintage playground theme that  somehow included the word “Journal”.

The image above is what I came up with.

Entries were due this week, and 50 semi-finalists will be chosen by Lilla Rogers and her team by August 1. At that point, the talented 50 move forward in the competition with another assignment. Their work will be posted in an online gallery and presented to an esteemed panel of judges from companies such as Anthropologie, Chronicle Books, Paperchase, Real Simple Magazine, Demdaco, Oopsy Daisy, and more. From there, the list will be whittled down to six finalists who will advance with another assignment. Lilla herself will choose the final winner.

It’s a long shot.

I have seen some of the entries–the level of talent involved is amazing. Humbling. And that’s just from my fellow classmates. The competition was open to the public–there are probably thousands who entered.

I do know this though:

I definitely won’t win if I don’t put myself out there and try.

So stay tuned. I would be absolutely over the moon just to make the top 50 and get my name and my work in front of that impressive list of judges.

In other news, I’m hard at work at a new line for Oopsy Daisy. And…I am having a gallery show in downtown Denver this fall. Yahoo!! Details to come.