Monday, February 29, 2016

Let's Talk Books The Nesting Place

I was so excited when I found out the small town that we moved to last year had a large library. Over the past few months I have been there a couple of times a week. They have a large arts collection and for a small town this has been such a gift for me after leaving a town with two libraries. I thought I would start sharing some of  the books that I have been enjoying there. This weeks books is The Nesting Place by Myquillyn Smith. 

This book is all about loving where you are at this time in your life. I really needed to read this book, because before we sold out house last year I had only lived in 3 different homes in my whole life. Since we sold our house we have lived with my mom, lived in an apartment and now we are living in a camper trailer while we are building our home. So a book about being content where you are was really the thing that I needed.

It really is about embracing where you and the messing that come along with it. I know that sometimes we have to look past the mess and focus on the beauty that is in the homes that we each live in. 

We also have to be willing to give up on perfect to make the house a home. Sometimes we have to learn that just because it isn't perfect doesn't mean that it is not inviting. I hope that you are able to pick up a copy of The Nesting Place and I would love to know what you think. 

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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Let's Talk Art with Emily Cromwell

 Tell us about yourself. What makes you tick? 
My name is Emily Cromwell! I’m a 21 year old illustrator and I am a second semester senior who will be graduating this May. I’ve been illustrating and drawing ever since I was a young girl and I’ve continued to create art into my twenties. I currently live in a tiny town in Massachusetts with my cat Misty, and I spend most of my time upstairs in my loft studio creating fun and happy illustrations.
How did you get started as an illustrator?
I’ve been drawing for a long time so I guess you could say I’ve always been illustrating since a young age. I went to college to major in Illustration and that’s what really kick started my career and my love for illustrating and it helped me see where I want to go with my career as an illustrator.
How did you find your style? Has it changed since you started?
I’ve had several different styles throughout my life as an illustrator. I first started out only doing realism and I had done that up into my freshman year of college but as I started experimenting I realized that although I was good at realism, I was much more happy illustrating whimsical designs that made people happy just by looking at them.
Can you briefly explain your creative process, mediums, etc?
I start out by sketching my ideas in my sketchbook (I’m pretty sure I have over 20 or so sketchbooks!) and then I transfer my ideas over to the computer where I paint digitally in Photoshop using my Wacom tablet. Sometimes, I even skip the sketchbook and just sketch digitally, but I usually always start out in my sketchbook by brainstorming ideas.
How do you come up with new ideas? Do you have a process?
I always keep a little notepad with me in my purse wherever I go so that when an idea hits me, I write it down so I don’t forget. Once I have an idea I sketch out possible illustrations as thumbnails and then I see which one I like best and go from there.
Do you ever have creative slumps? What do you do then?Oh definitely! I think almost every artist does. Whenever I end up in a creative slump, I walk away from what I’m doing and I take a break and do something fun to distract me. It helps clear my head and then I’m able to go back to my sketchbook or tablet and continue working.
Best / most fun part of your job:
Illustrating in my own style! It’s so much fun to have someone come to you and ask you to work for them because they love your style and don’t want you to change it in any way.
Worst / most difficult part of your job:Sometimes it’s hard to exactly meet art direction when there are a lot of requirements, and although it takes more time to accomplish those projects, they are still fun to do, and definitely worth it!
Do you have side projects you work on?
Yes I definitely do, several at a time actually, that’s what keeps me busy!
What’s on your horizon? Any current/future projects and plans/dreams you can share with us?There are quite a few exciting things that I have been working towards recently! I’m currently in the process of working on designing and releasing my own coloring book. Also, I’m an aspiring children’s book illustrator and I have been building my portfolio and working really hard so I can submit my work to publishers.

 5 things inspiring you/your work right now:1) pretty florals
2) the people in my life such as my boyfriend, my mom, and my dad
3) my hard working illustration professor who is also a children’s book illustrator
4) inspiring quotes and encouraging words
5) my self-motivation and drive to want to succeed
Your #1 art tip or words of wisdom:
Never, ever let anyone tell you that your dreams are too big. You can do absolutely anything that you set your mind to!
Here is Emily's Studio space. This is my favorite part of these posts. 
You can find Emily online 

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

For the Love of Food Coloring Book

I am so excited to announce that my third coloring book For The Love of Food is now live on Amazon

This books is full of images that will make you hungry. I have created 18 images that are full of drawings of food items. This was a fun book to draw. I enjoyed making all the pages and I hope that you will enjoy coloring them. 
I will be sharing a preview of the book soon. 

Friday, February 19, 2016

Glimpses of My Life Week 8

 My life has been super busy this week. I have been working on finalizing my 3rd coloring book and it has been finished as of yesterday.

This is the For The Love Of Food Coloring Book. It has 18 different pages of illustrations all about things you might find in a kitchen. It will be available next week on Amazon. Here is a link to my author page and this is where you can find the first 2 books that are already available. 

My first class "You Can Self Publish a Coloring Book"  has taken off over on Skillshare and I have almost 300 students. I am loving the interaction with the students, and hearing everyone's project ideas. 

I have started on my next SkillShare class already. This class will answer some of the questions that I have been getting on how I convert my sketches to vector. I will be sharing how I use an iPad to do this conversions and how I am able to get most of my workflow done on the iPad. 

I am still working on my Kickstarter project as well. I am trying to raise $6000 to cover the cost to bring the coloring book series to the wholesale market this July in Atlanta. I am very excited about this opportunity and I really would love if you could check it out. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Let's Talk Art With Tarsila Krüse

Today is the start of a new series. I will be interviewing a lot of different artist and introducing them to you my readers. I hope that you enjoy this series and will find a new art friends along the way. Today I am interviewing Tarsila Krüse, I hope you enjoy it. 

1.Tell us about yourself. What makes you tick?
My name is Tarsila Krüse and I’m a Children’s Book Illustrator. I live in Dublin, Ireland and I absolutely love it. Besides creating happy fun images I spend time collecting Picture Books, drinking tea, eating cake and enjoying the company of my husband, our beautiful son and our two very happy dogs.

2.How did you get started as an illustrator?
My background is in Languages but drawing and creating has always been a passion. When I moved to Ireland almost 10 years ago I got a job as a souvenir designer & illustrator. For nearly a year I worked in house and gained so much experience in marketable and sellable work. From then on I decided to take the plunge and go freelance.

3.How did you find your style? Has it changed since you started?
Once someone said to me that a drawing style is more like a voice, how one shares their vision, expresses their inner feelings, ideas and experiences. So my voice has changed a lot, especially with experience, and now that I am confident with who I am I feel confident about my own voice.

4.Can you briefly explain your creative process, mediums, etc?
Usually I take in a brief or book text and read it many times to understand it better and see jot down any ideas. No judgment. Then I sit down either with my sketchbook or my Cintiq and start sketching different ideas that I think can work and eventually I select a couple to present to a client alongside a color palette. f the client is happy with the sketch I’ll go onto refining it digitally in Photoshop. From that sometimes I create a more refined sketch, sometimes I create the finished piece.

5.How do you come up with new ideas? Do you have a process?
Anything can spark a new idea. Sometimes I have ideas when I’m in the shower, sometimes when I’m walking my dogs. Giving myself time to reflect upon my experiences and let my brain work on its own (without the amazing yet addictive influence of Pinterest or Instagram) it’s when the best ideas pop up!

6. Do you ever have creative slumps? What do you do then?
Oh yeah! Creative slumps are hard, but usually a bit of fresh air or meeting a friend for tea and cake does the trick.

7.Best / most fun part of your job:
Seeing how people are touched by my artwork, how they react to what I do is a beautiful thing. When someone buys something I created and is proud of it, or happy because they have it, it’s the best feeling ever!

8.Worst / most difficult part of your job:
The most challenging part about my work is probably doing the administrative work since I’m a freelancer who does it all. It’s not difficult but I would prefer to be creating images.

9.Do you have side projects you work on?
Of course! It’s a way to keep a creative buzz going. Side projects are important because they represent what you want to put our into the world without the direction of an exterior client or brief. They tend to be the most loved projects because they come from a special inner place.

10.What’s on your horizon? Any current/future projects and plans/dreams you can share with us?

I’m currently working on a couple of picture books and I intend to have many more published in the near future. Also, perhaps, an stationery line? Keep your eyes peeled!

5 things inspiring you/your work right now:


3 constants in your day:
Time management, Family and Illustration.

Your #1 art tip or words of wisdom:
Practice lots and lots and lots and lots to find your voice. And share your UNIQUE ideas. “Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken”.

You can find Tarsila online here: 
TWITTER: @tarsilakruse

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

How To Self Publish a Coloring Book

Do you love to learn new skills? I love to learn new skills and I love to share what I know. I decided to take my sharing to a new level with classes on SkillShare. I am teaching classes to share what I do and why I do it. I love to be able to share things that I have learned and this platform lets me share with more than just my circle of friends.

My first class is:

In this class I will be sharing how I have been able to self publish my coloring book series to Amazon. You will learn how to take it from Art to Finish. If you sign up through my link you will receive a free month of Premium Membership and be able to take my class for free as well as any other class on the site. .

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Glimpses of My Life Week 6

This week has been super busy. I am working on publishing my third coloring book for adults. It is called For The Love Of Food.

I have started a Kickstarter Campaign to raise the funds needed to take the coloring books to the Wholesale Market in Atlanta at the July 2016 show. For a donation of as little as $1 you will a PDF printable from one of the books in the series. The rewards go up from there. I would love it if you could help me spread the word about this campaign and if you could donate just a dollar it would be a big help. Sites like Kickstarter promote campaigns based on a lot of different things, the amount of backers, the amount of money and a mix of other data. I need to have a few more people backing me to bring my project up in the ratings so if you could that would be great.

I am still working on filming the class for Skillshare all about How To Self Publish A Coloring Book. This has been a fun project. I having been learning as I go about filming a class and how to edit a class. 

These are some of the other books that I have in progress. The Floral Abundance Coloring Book and the Jewels and Mandalas Coloring Book are both available on Amazon
 I am excited and nervious at the same time about taking my work to the next level. and I will be sharing a few new sheets that you can purchase as downloads soon. 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Let's Talk Business: Teaching an Online Class

Today to continue the Levering your Art to Work for You, series I want to tell you about what I am working on this week. 
After I published my coloring book and started talking it up in the Art Business Groups on Facebook, I started having people ask me how I did it and what steps I took to make it happen. So I decided that I should teach a class on How to Self Publish a Coloring Book. I will be teaching this call over on Skillshare. I really like this platform for teaching a class because I am able to share a project based class with more people than just you my readers. 

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