Archive for the ‘INSPIRATION’ Category
When I knew I was going to be an artist, around age 6-7, I wasn’t on a quest to find my STYLE. It sounds silly. What child it on a quest to find their style? They are just interested in finding anything.
To an extent.
From an early age, I knew that if I wanted to learn how to draw a tree, first I had to sit and look at a tree. And draw it while I was looking at it.
But then I realized, that there were many ways to draw that same tree. With a painbrush. With a pen.
With short stubby lines. With long fluid ones.
Each attempt made me feel something different about that tree.
Being exposed to a lot of art as a child, I soon realized that every artist had his own voice, and I became thrilled with so many forms of art.
I get asked a lot how I found my STYLE, and while I won’t mention it all here (way too long!) I will say that I did have a very strong sense of what I liked in art and why.
I started out painting because that’s the education I had at a young age.
The above painting is a painting I did when I was 15, and I spent the summer copying lots of different artists. This is a painting of a painting, and in my early years, that’s how I taught myself.
Here’s a portrait I did of my husband when we were early married. But I realized pretty fast that I didn’t want to go into painting because it was just too time consuming and frankly, wasn’t what I wanted to SAY to the world. But because I had dabbled in lots of areas, I knew that about myself.
But while I had a traditional education in highschool, I knew that wasn’t my style. I liked it, but it wasn’t my voice. And with the hours and hours I’d spent pouring over picture book illustration, and drawing with line and wash, I really found myself drawn to a more simplistic illustration style. I marveled at how much feeling could be felt in just a few lines and a bit of color. While an oil painting could say so much, I wanted to say just as much if not more, with as little as possible. Which is so challenging. But that’s what excited me!
When I started to build my artwork professionally, I spent a lot of time surrounded by my favorite illustrators. I discovered what I loved about their work, and what I had to add to that style.
One hero of mine, Marc Simont, just died last month at the age of 97. Did you hear about that?
He taught me that so much information could be said by just ONE line. Less is more. His artwork challenged me to really be deliberate about my line work and how much art I put on a page. I adore his work!
I have so many hero’s, and I might take some time later on to go through more. And identifying the pieces that have made your voice what it is, is really lovely to identify and see. Like pieces of a puzzle. Because often, you don’t know what’s influenced your style until after the fact.
Finding your own personal style, in what ever it is you do, is a multi-layered journey. And I believe it should always be stretching and reaching for new places. My own style has changed over the years, and I love discovering where it’s leading me.
And as a side note, my friend Monica Lee, who has the super awesome site called SMART CREATIVE WOMEN with a site full of interviews from the design world’s super creative people, has just launched an online class called SMART CREATIVE STYLE. It’s an interactive online course all on developing your own personal style. I have a video interview up on her site today talking about creative process and style! The course includes my input and is full of amazing council from some real style pro’s. See her page here!
I’d love to know your thoughts on style, and what you’ve learned in your own journey. In this day and age when SO many voices are heard and seen online, knowing your own individuality is so important.
We have some new sponsors this month, and I’ll be introducing you to them one by one.
CooCubes is really an amazing brand, that needs our help to launch!
CooCubes is a new company creating custom soft blocks for your child and family, which reflect your own personal story. Inspired by her Grandparents who placed photos on wooden blocks for the children to play with, Jill at CooCubes has created the same playful heirloom in soft, easy to stack fabric blocks.
You can watch the short video here.
Like any start up with the goal to enhance and brighten your child’s surroundings, I get really passionate about making sure people like Jill at CooCubes get the chance to inspire others.
Their Indigogo site (similar to Kickstarter if you aren’t familiar) is ending in 5 days and they need your support of pre-orders to earn what they need to launch 100%
I’m due any week now with a new baby boy, and I’m just loving these sweet products. And estimated to arrive in Sept, these are a really great idea for Christmas gifts, if you are thinking ahead:)
So, give CooCubes a big welcome and shout out as the newest sponsor here in this space, and one of the newest companies to enter the children’s industry.
A LITTLE SONG OF LIFE
Glad that I live am I;
That the sky is blue;
Glad for the country lanes,
And the fall of dew.
After the sun the rain;
After the rain the sun;
This is the way of life,
Till the work be done.
All that we need to do,
Be we low or high,
Is to see that we grow
Nearer the sky.
Lizette Woodworth Reese
So, I’m curious? How many of you read your kids poetry? Not Dr. Suess or Shell Silverstein, but poetry written through the ages?
I’m not very good at it, but we have many poetry books that I try and pull out and read over a fire, or out on the lawn. Addie memorized and performed Robert Louis Stevenson’s THE SWING for her class talent show this spring. So wonderful to say out loud!
Even without pictures, my kids really love poetry! In this overly visually stimulating world, I’m amazed at how my kids will sit and listen to poetry….words that paint pictures. And when we take the time to memorize, it’s even better. I don’t know about you, but I miss poetry in the world. I miss reading it, hearing it…it almost seems like a lost artform that might just be considered a bit old fashioned, and not part of what we read to our kids all the time. Not flashy enough, maybe? Too much work to catch the meaning in the first try?
I’m going to be increasing my exposure to poetry and hopefully to my kids as well. When I was a child, I wanted to be a poet. And it’s because I was exposed to a lot of poetry. It made me want to write and write and write.
This poem came from a favorite book of mine called SILVER PENNIES. Do you know it? It’s a vintage collection of poetry for children that my mother had on her shelf, and I would read through it on rainy days. Do you have any favorite poems you read to your kids?
I’d love to know!
Happy Summer Days:)
We painted the kids rooms 4 months ago. We ripped out their floors 4 months ago. We put in one room of floors 3 months ago…but we never had time to paint and reassemble the bunk beds, or floor the second bedroom. This year, like most, has been really full. But I’m realizing (because I’m pregnant and actually on “pelvic rest”) how much Kenneth and I are a total team. We get so much done when we are working on projects together! But this year, he’s been pulling 80 hour weeks, and I’m unable to move around very well. Hmmmm. Tricky.
See, I think and feel SO much more clearly when my spaces aren’t cluttered, and the house is in order. Not perfect order. I’m NOT a neat freak by any means. But the truth is, we’ve been under a lot of clutter because I’ve had to been on “pelvic rest” and I’ve not been able to do things like assemble and paint bunk beds. And it’s something that’s obviously second to making a baby, but not having beds for your 3 children gets to you after a while! It’s something really only a woman can understand. When you have all three kids camping out in a small room with no floor space because the mattresses are sprawled out in a room the size of 3 mattresses, it’s cute for the first couple weeks. But 4 months, and pretty soon you have a bunch of kids and a mommy that just need a bit more space.
And we are starting to get there. I’m excited to show you the progress in the next few weeks. It’s been quite the transformation. And the kids are really involved with which art piece of mine they want where…and are even giving me ideas for what they want me to make next. I love hearing their ideas. So clever.
And with this new space, I’ve been inspired and will be showing you some new art prints this week as well! I can’t wait! They coordinate with my up and coming fabric line that I’ll be sharing with you at the end of this month, and I’m tickled.
Something that’s really hard to articulate, is the dilemma of the mother-artist that lives in a constant ebb and flow of creativity and order. For me, when life is out of order, I’m not very creative. But on the flip side, when I’m crazy creative, things get out of order. You’d think I’d have this all figured out by now. But something about not having order in my home these past couple months with rooms under construction, being on partial bed rest, and managing on my own most of the week, I’ve found that I’ve been less creative than I normally am. Any of you fall into this boat? And maybe it’s the nesting, or maybe it’s just me….but something about starting a room from scratch and reorganizing my home makes all the juicy creativity flow again. I could be odd, but I bet I’ll find a soul mate reading this and saying…..”Um…Yes. That’sexactly the way it is.”
But on a good note, I actually got cooperative, happy children for Easter pictures right before church. Like 3 minutes before church. Score! I haven’t always been so lucky:) Actually, I’ve never been that lucky. Happy kids. That’s what I live for. And 3 faces in focus:) Eek! Soon to be 4! I can’t wait.
But really….I’ll be posting lot of new things this week. New art, originals, sewn items, and a sale! So stay tuned:)
Lately, I’ve been thinking about creativity, ideas, and I’ve been drawn to reading and watching people I admire in the creative arts. Keeps me motivated.
I’ve shared some of these on Facebook this week, but I wanted to post them here, because they’ve affected my own creative spirits so much, and I hope they inspire some of you too!
Love this one. Oliver Jeffers is a favorite of mine. Total creative genius. Such a fun peek into his creative process.
And Rilla Alexander has been on my radar for a while. This is a must see. She is speaking at the 99 Conference (have you heard of it? 99 stands for 1% inspiration 99% perspiration) Conference about ideas, but mostly getting those ideas into ACTION.
Hope you are just as inspired as me!
Ian, my 6 year old, came up to me this week, and made this very profound statement. It really took me back (especially since he loves reading books on magic, dragons, and all kinds of fantasy creatures).
And I found myself so wrapped up in that thought. I’ve spent a lot of time as a mother valuing pretend play, imaginary play and all the ways that children experiment with that they know, see, fear and love. And that fact that he shows so much confidence in his pretending makes me so happy. But that he would take something like “magic,” recognize that it doesn’t exist, but acknowledge that anything can exist when he’s pretending it to, made me smile.
I love childhood. I really do. I don’t really know what I’ll do when my kids grow up, or when I grow up for that matter. I just won’t. That’s that.
It’s right about now, every year, that I find myself saying, “Slow down! Stop! Freeze!” Wait. No. Not freeze. That will come soon enough.
Think about this: of all the seasons, I think this one is when you can really witness daily change and turnover. Every season comes in with it’s own personality, but Fall is when I literally find myself saying “How orange are you today little tree?”
It’s pretty much magic, isn’t it? I’m stopping to look today. What is your favorite way to capture Autumn? Of all the seasons, this one never lasts as long as I want it to.
Have a LOVELY weekend everyone!!
I’ve been thinking a lot of compassion lately. Understanding both sides of the story. Being aware of other’s needs before your own. Maybe it’s the political climate. Maybe it’s that I have small children and not a day goes by with some lesson that includes the word “share” “say you’re sorry” “I love you” and “It’s OK.”
Maybe it’s that the Weepies are on repeat tonight: “Don’t say words you don’t mean | Looking back now I only wish I had been kinder | Did I ever know love, did I ever know love? And could I have been blinder?”
But I’m constantly aware of the possibly oversimplified truth, but truth nevertheless, that if we all just learned to see and understand the other person’s perspective, and said “I’m Sorry” more often, the world would be better off for it.
And I personally wouldn’t mind painted color dots showing up every time forgiveness happened either. It’d be a much prettier world, at that.
Be unexpectedly nice to someone today.