In my last post, I mentioned how much MATS Bootcamp affected my creative life in such a positive way. One of the best things about it was being a part of an amazing international community of awe inspiring and supportive artists. Last week I was flattered and honored to be invited to participate in a world wide artist blog hop, "Artists Around the World", by a fellow MATS Bootcamper, Margot Miller.
Margot's work is so whimsical and fun! I love her use of color and the way she combines her traditional work with her digital work. I could learn a lot from her! I was also surprised to learn that she works full-time while also maintaining a freelance career designing products for licensing. She has superpowers!
Below is her jello pattern creation from Bootcamp which I adore:
For the blog hop, I will answer a few questions about myself and then point you to some other artists whose work I love and who inspire me. But first, the questions....
1. What are you working/writing on?
Too many things! I always seem to be stirring several pots on the stove at once with several things baking in the oven.... Currently, I am working on the cover of a book that will be published next year by Henry Holt in the fall. I just turned in all the interior illustrations. Yes, it takes that long to publish a book! It is a wonderful story written by Anne Rockwell about taking a trip to a hardware store. I have loved doing the illustrations for this book more than any other. I really stretched myself and incorporated a new technique into my process. I also did a lot of hand lettering in the illustrations, and I will even hand lettering the title for the cover! Whoo hoo! :) The classes I took on Skillshare and the MATS Bookcamp really pushed me to broaden my horizons, and this book is a product of that.
I am also painting the illustrations for another book that will come out next year about Chanukah (my third Chanukah book!) to be published by PJ Library. It is kind of nice to go back to a more traditional way of working with this one and spend more time painting and less on the computer!
I am also working on book proposals for two projects, and waiting to hear on another project that may be in the works....
Oh yes, and I'm still taking a million classes on Skillshare in my spare time. ho ho.
2. How does my work differ from others in your genre?
That's a hard one. It's hard to look at my work objectively, but I've been told that my sense of composition and use of perspective is very unique. Also, I work in many different media, but I've been told that my work always looks like "me" -- my people and animals are somehow recognizable as being my creatures.
3. Why do you create?
That is also a hard one! To me, that is like asking: Why are you so short? It's just been programmed in my DNA, I suppose. Even when I took time off from creating traditional art (drawing and painting) to pursue a more "grown-up" career in Linguistics during my misguided 20s, I was still creating things for myself in various forms. I have been doing it since my earliest memory. I can't imagine NOT doing it.
4. How does your creative process work?
Right now it's summer, and we have a very fluid schedule, as both my husband and I work at home, and our son is not in camp! But in general, I start the day in bed before I remove myself from the warmth of the covers. I think about the dreams I had during the night. I may think about a problem I would like to solve with one of my projects. Some of my best ideas come at this time! Then I get out of bed and scribble things I remember. Usually I go to the gym to wake up properly. I workout, shower, and lie in the sauna for a few minutes and go over in my head what I need to get done. Then I go home and make breakfast for myself and my son (hubs doesn't eat) and make a to do list. If it's Monday, I make one for the whole week. It is the only way I can stay on track. I am a total list maker.
Then it's time to work. If I am creating traditional work, I go downstairs and hide away in my studio where I paint, sketch, ink, basically anything messy. If I am creating digital work, I will stay upstairs and work on the computer and be part of the family. If I am swamped with work, I will skip the gym and just start working immediately after doing my scribbles.
Recently, I've been doing a lot of digital work. I scan my drawings and paintings into the computer, then assemble them in Photoshop. I also scan my lettering in and clean it up in Photoshop and then vector them in Illustrator.
If I'm working on the computer all day, I make sure I set my interval timer! It is too easy to sit in the same position for hours, and it is so bad for my aging body. So every 20 minutes I take a break to reheat my coffee or tea, drink water, stretch, whatever, for 1 minute. I've found when I do this, I don't get back, neck, and shoulder aches at the end of the day.
Enough about me, let me introduce you to some amazing artists I had the pleasure of getting to know through MATS. I'm tagging them on this blog hop for them to continue the tour next week!
I first saw Victoria Johnson's work on Print and Pattern, and I immediately fell in love with it. I love the way she uses colors and shapes. She is a master at making things look simple (though they are really complex) and elegant in everything she creates. Here is just a tiny sample of her gorgeous work:
I met Flora Waycott through Victoria (we both helped Victoria in her booth at Surtex in May), and she was also a MATS Bootcamper. She lives in New Zealand though she is originally from England. I love Flora's delicate line drawings and her ability to create beautiful patterns. I also adore her hand lettering. Here is a quick peek at some of her work:
Recently, Shirley joined in on the Bootcamp party! Here is her piece of wall art inspired by her favorite beverage:
Shirley's characters are so cute and lovable -- they make me smile.
She also illustrates recipes and has a whole collection of them on They Draw and Cook!