Tuesday, June 16, 2020

More Coloring Pages fro VPR

Here are two more coloring pages that were illustrated for the VPR's But Why? A Podcast for Curious Children. This is  for the episode “Do Animals Get Married?” 

In addition to listening to the episode, I did further research to find that in addition to rats and chimpanzees, dogs laugh as well. I also found a way to include a bow tie for the hornbill wedding. It just made sense.

“But Why” is a podcast that take s all types of curious children's questions from all around the world and then spends about a half asking experts to answer the questions.

The coloring pages are now available to be down loaded and colored at their blog here. In the future they will be available at the actual site of the pod cast.

 I will be coloring them myself soon.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

My Journey: Making time to Have Fun!

Making Time to Have Fun!

Being a successful artist is a wonderful balancing act. Amidst all the work, it is important to make time to have fun. Similar to daily practice the benefits are:
• Increased creativity
• Improved quality of jobs or assignments I have taken on
• Generates better ideas
• Decreased stress

Having fun can take the form of many things. It can be daily drawing that is not connected to assignments. It can be doing other creative projects or doing something that is not related to your art. 

I see great benefit in participating in projects like Inktober, Mermay, Dinovember, Dueling Banjo Pigs, and similar drawing challenges. They are great opportunities to play while still practicing your art. You can even create your own. I have participated in Dueling Banjo Pigs and hope to participate in some of the others in the future. The key with these is to not let them dominate your time. They are to have fun and increase creativity, not to stress over.

I also enjoy the 100 something challenge which pushes your ideas beyond the obvious solution. In the past I have drawn 100 bow tie guys in 100 days, created 100 elephant characters, designed 100 logos of one word, created 100 different grilled cheese sandwiches and taken 100 different photos of my bowler hat. (I am trying to figure out my next 100 somethings challenge.)

Having fun does not always need to be art related. Here are some examples of what I have been doing over the past few weeks.

I recently completed the SixFanArts challenge as a drawing and creativity exercise. I had a wonderful time taking it in a completely different direction than others. 

Here is an example of the progress of my most recent lego creation, The Gump 3.0. I am still working on it here and there. I will post the completed one when I am finished. 

Julia and hikes around Franconia Notch a few weeks ago. It was beautiful. 

On Monday, My daughter and I biked around Joe's Pond. It was so peaceful and relaxing.

I also find great satisfaction in reading. I am currently working on reading all the Shakespeare plays and reading a few other books. I love gardening and playing games with my family. Last night I lost another game of Bogle.

In every instance I have been able to come back to my art refreshed with less stress and better able to solve the art problems I have been facing.

Monday, May 4, 2020

Finishing a Project

About a month ago, I received a call from Vermont Public Radio asking if I would be interested in illustrating a number of coloring pages for their international podcast, “But Why.” They received my name from another incredible individual and illustrator Ginny Joyner.  You never know where work will come from.

I jumped at the opportunity and upon request recommended other local illustrators, including some of my graduates and students to also help with the project. It has been a joy to work on.

“But Why” is a podcast that take s all types of curious children's questions from all around the world and then spends about a half asking experts to answer the questions.

The two above are for the episodes “Are Unicorns Real?” and “Why Do Elephants Have Trunks, and Why do Giraffes Have Purple Tongues?” I will be positing more over the coming weeks. I still have three episodes to finish. Many of them are now available to be down loaded and colored at their blog here. In the future they will be available at the actual site of the pod cast.

 I will be coloring them myself soon.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

New Stuff Available: Dance of the Elephants

I have posted a new item for sale on my website and my Zazzle Store.

This is a delightful series of illustrations depicting an awkward elephant dancing gracefully across your mug or your wall.

The Mug can be found at my Zazzle Store.

A 3.5 x 17 limited edition print can be purchased here.

Monday, March 23, 2020

My Journey: A benefit of Personal Projects, Having Fun in Hard Times

Within one week I was to take years of course development and put them online. On top of this I started homeschooling my children, I continued to try to get illustration work, and my books published, received more rejections and I, with so many others, are doing our best to navigate a world pandemic.

That can all be rather overwhelming.

I have many things I do to stay calm in situations like this. I pray a lot. I am slowing down and spending more time with my family. I try to help others by reaching out to others to lift them up.

I also make time to work on personal projects. One of the benefits of working on personal projects is they are stress relieving. There is no purpose for these illustrations, other than to have fun and explore the challenge of fitting things into a square. When I finish each one I just feel happy.

Releasing stress and finding joy is just one of the benefits of working on personal projects regularly.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

New Illustration: Dance of the Blue-Footed Boobies

I just completed a series of mixed media drawings of a dancing Blue-Footed Booby for the 2x2 exhibit in the Quimby Gallery. I also put them on a mug that can be purchased at my Zazzle Store

The original 7 drawings are available for purchase at my store on my website or you can purchase a limited edition print of all of them together.

The Blue-Footed Booby can be found along the western coasts of Central and South America from the Gulf of California to Peru. Many can be found nesting on the Galapagos Islands.

Friday, February 28, 2020

My Journey: Illustrating for Free (The Reasons I Do Pro Bono Work)

I recently finished this illustration and design for the Cabot Community Theaters production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. All my time and work was donated to the theater to help them. This included the above design and a black and white version for t-shirts.

I believe that as an artist, I should get paid for the work I do. Generally, when someone asks if I can do free work, my response is no. I also believe in giving to others. There are many organizations out there that just don’t have the finances to hire a good designer or illustrator, but they can benefit from the work we do. 

The pro bono work that I do is mostly for not-for-profit organizations that are doing something that I can support. To date this has been largely for children’s theaters. They are trying to do so much good for so many with so little. These organizations need all the help they can get. 

One friend of mine said that doing pro bono work for not for profits was what lead him to start his own design business. The not-for-profit organizations all had board members that worked for other for profit companies. When they needed work, they were already familiar with what he did. He was then hired and paid and continued to get repeat customers.

Although this would be a nice benefit to my donating my work, it is not the reason why I do pro bono work.

There are a few times I have needed to make sure I am not taken advantage. In these situations, I have found that reminding people how much the work would be if I was not donating my time and skills to them would be has been effective. 

I value the opportunity to do pro bono work for the following reasons. 
• I know they are in need.
• I get to work on really fun projects with little art direction.
• When I am not busy with other paid work, it gives me a deadline to do something more for my portfolio. 
• I have a higher level of creative freedom.
• It gives me an opportunity to explore process, medium and style.
• I like to help others out.
• I love the organizations I help (I really love theater).
• Did I mention it is fun.