Bellano Coffee shop Show

Welcome to Bellano! This is the local coffee shop that my family and I frequent. We love their coffee, all the people who work there, and the friendly atmosphere. They were kind enough to host my art work this month. If you are in the area I highly recommend you stop by and get a yummy coffee.

We plan to host the opening reception next Wednesday at 3pm. Come down for chocolate milk and cookies or coffee for the grown ups.
Bellano Coffee
3985 Stevens Creek Blvd
Santa Clara, CA

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Working on Frankenstein

In the background of my life I am drawing and scribbling and making puddles of watercolors and testing foggy washes and drawing messy ink lines on top.

As I can’t realistically work full time as an illustrator for more than minimal projects, I am playing. Discovering new elements to myself since I have changed with the addition of a daughter to my family. In some ways I finally feel my full self. It’s hard coming to a career when you know you also want to be a mother. I knew I wanted to have kids when I was a teen but, that didn’t mean I didn’t also want to follow my career dreams. In my life art and motherhood go hand in hand. I can’t have one without the other. Everyday is a matter of finding the balance between the two.

It can be done. Sometimes the art has to be put on hold but, that doesn’t mean I’m not thinking about what I want to do the next time I sit down at my desk.

Currently at my desk is this:

Yes his head is cropped out but, I haven’t found the one I like. This is Frankenstein his head is interchangeable. I hope to finish it by next week in time for Halloween! However, giving how much I am testing out, I may only have more work in progress for you.

APE 2013 Recap & Octo-Puss in Boots!

After my second year participating in APE I feel I am settling in to the Art Community of San Francisco. I was lucky enough to have a table right next to my friend Emma SanCartier with OddFauna. Thank you to everyone who stopped by our tables and supported us. It was wonderful reconnecting with friends and fans alike. I also appreciate the patience whenever my table helper, Candice Lucado, or I were attending to the one of the two little ones that joined us behind the booth. We were the baby table and the specimen babies on the table made that even more odd.

The time between last year’s APE and this year’s was chock full of family stuff. It was great to pull my art life back together and dive back in. This was my first con having a whole table to myself. I feel I connected with more fans than ever before but, now fueled by that support, I need move into my next stage of growth. Over the weekend my table went through some edits, fan art went away and what was left was the Animals in Alphabet and the Specimens. Hopefully there is a way for these two branches of myself to work together on one table. However, whether or not that can happen is the biggest question I have to answer.¬†With the show behind me I’m going to hunker down at my desk and see what solutions present themselves.

Now for the newest editions to the Octo-Puss in Boots book!

Jose A. Moreno
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Cody Williams
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Nana
Nana

Tiffany Turrill
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Brynn Metheny
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John Mathis
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Jenna Trost
JennaTrost

Thank you for all of these wonderful new additions!

See you all next year at APE 2014.

Taking Back Ground

I seriously misjudged how I would feel the last month of pregnancy. I only remember working almost 9 hour days the last month of my last pregnancy so, I didn’t see it coming that I would not be able to keep up with my own work this time. However, chasing a kid all day and trying to finish all my client work before baby’s arrival is a different set of circumstances.

I’m going to try to get myself set up this week to ensure that there aren’t more big gaps in blog posts. We just have to see if labor cooperates, I think it will.

I finished the hippo piece that I was having a lot of fun with. It has been delivered and now I can share it. Of course, you know my pregnant brain forgot to scan it! So, we have to wait for the person who received it to send me a photo. However, I do have my pastel color comp for you first.

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I loved drawing these sassy dancing ladies.

Trick Fox

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Sometimes a piece can just not come together. This skateboarding fox has been frustrating me since last week when “skateboard” and “fox” came up as twoodle words. I couldn’t get the motion and shape of the fox right. Pages of sketches went by. I tried shifting to other pieces, reading a book, taking breaks. It was messing with all of my drawing mojo. Finally getting this to a place I am excited about is freeing.

Looking forward to finishing up other pieces tomorrow since I’m back in the flow of illustrating. I was working on a couple pieces all week along with these sketches but, now I feel I can finish them with flourish.

Moo Cow

My time has still been absorbed by the piece that can not yet be shared. So, here is something a little old, the cow from my son’s word/image game that I made for him.
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I made this while he and I were doodling at our shared art desk. I reused some paper that had been partly drawn on, hence the random blue lines. I liked the activity feel they added to it. We had a lovely afternoon that day.

Opossum wants to play with Tiger

A little risky fellow has tangled himself up on this tiger’s tail. We will have to see if this tiger’s interested expression is based on hunger or playful curiosity.

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This is the color comp for my twoodle from last week.

Ah! I did it again didn’t I? I got behind on posts, this should have been out yesterday morning. Two things lent themselves to this delay. One, I am working on something I can’t share yet. So, my pastels that were actually done Monday, is under wraps until the finish gets into the hands of the recipient. Then, I have gotten back into the habit of visiting our library. With a new treasure trove of books on loan I have been reading a little obsessively. We found some really great books! I couldn’t help myself but, sit and read for a few endless hours.

If you want to keep up with what I’m reading I am using Goodreads to keep track.

My favorites from this past visit are R.L. LaFevers Nathaniel Fludd Beastologist series. They are perfect middle grade adventure reads. Nathaniel is adorable and easy to relate to. The illustrations by Kelly Murphy are just right for the feel of the book.

Cowboy on a Parrot

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I am so grateful for Alicia starting Twoodle. It has been a wonderful exercise for making new illustrations and finding new members of the community. Thank you for pulling us all together.

This is my finished illustration of last week’s twoodle, cowboy and parrot. For my current twoodle go to my tumblr to see my sketches for this week’s.

the Fun Part

“getting there is half the fun; come share it with me” – Kermit

As I work my way back into an illustrating routine which, is guaranteed to be interrupted again in just 8 weeks, I have changed up my color comp stage. Instead of using the computer or watercolors, I am working with wet pastels. I do a color wash over my whole page then dip my pastel in water before I draw. This medium is very forgiving and lets me push color on top of color as I find the color balance I am looking for in my illustration.

Also, drawing like this is a ton of fun!

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This is the horse I drew for a word-to-image match game for my son. In this instance the pastels are the final but, this is the image that made me realize I should be using this for every illustration. The pastels take me out of my desired highly controlled zone that is colored pencils. They give me room for error and quickly show me where I should push color that I wouldn’t otherwise test with pencils.

It’s easy to neglect process on an illustration especially when you are strapped for time, as most working moms are. However, it’s necessary to get to know the illustration you want to create, in whatever way is comfortable for you, to end up with the best finish possible. My path to final was make a sketch, think about color, then head to final. I kept feeling let down by my finishes, seeing them get overworked as I tried out directions and then had to double back to cover up the failures. Drawing a piece a few times, applying color a few times, means once at my final everything comes together and I don’t end with the question is this finished. It is clear to me when I’m done.

In digital illustration you see this done through the undo button and layers that can be removed. (Many people choose to work this way because in general it can accomplish a finished illustration faster.) If, you are still working traditionally you have to find other ways to apply the undo tool. Generally it comes down to, do it again. When you are working with watercolors especially, they are unforgiving when you have over worked them. It is almost always better to start over but, don’t fret on this taking more time. Every minute you are drawing, you are practicing, growing into to the best you you can be. Eventually you won’t notice how long something took because, you know it took as long as it needed to take.

Enjoy the process. We draw because we love it, if you aren’t having a good time, you’re doing it wrong.

Hiccup

Well, the regular scheduled programing of my blog has fallen to the wayside again. I’m afraid I am going to have to admit defeat of keeping up with it at least until mid June. Work, other responsibilities, and being a mom are all asking for the whole amount of my time right now.

As we go through this time where blog posts are few, I am looking into revamping my schedule to provide my own work a solid and regular chunk of my time. So, until June when I set things back up and get a flow going I will try to post when I have new work. Today I have my twoodle!

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I also wanted to post some thoughts about time management and being a mom but, I hesitate as I wonder if that is appropriate. I feel this blog reaches other illustrator moms but, I’m hoping it reaches art buyers too. I will keep writing it but, give me some feedback if you definitely want to read it.