Every so often I am fortunate enough to work on some pretty awesome projects, with some pretty awesome people.
This was one of those times.
I was hired to create the art for the lovely Andria Lindquist and her fiance CJ’s wedding invitation/stationary bundle, and it was FANTASTIC. Working with Andria was dream and the whole process was fun, exciting and just that perfect amount of creative challenge. (I painted about 5 pinatas before I made one I liked…)
The first part of the project was a watercolor portrait, painted at 16 x 20, that image was then digitized for use on the back of the invitations. The second part of the project was a list of icons for use in the wedding info booklet. Each one was hand-painted, then digitized and prepared for placement in the book.
It was an awesome project to work on and came together so excitingly at the end. The paper is PHENOMENAL, her design skills are on on pointe and I was thrilled to be able to help out. Check out her blogpost on the project for more pics and to hear more about the paper (seriously, it’s beautiful.)
This week I participated in my first Art/Craft Fair! I spent the days leading up to the event cutting/signing prints, making spreadsheets and pricelists and organizing work. I was existing in a state of excited nervousness, so curious as to how the event would go, and yet so paranoid that I would forget something important. I can’t tell you how many times I checked and double-checked to make sure I had packed my square reader…
Thankfully, the day was awesome and went off without a hitch. I made a lot of new friends, (other booths as well as customers) and learned a great deal. Can’t ask for much more
In the space in between sales as I sat at my little booth, I tried to keep track of what I learned and what I might do differently for the next fair. Here’s a quick little rundown of what I came up with;
1.) Watch out for loading zones.
I accidentally drove past the orange cones and right into the walkway for loading/unloading. I felt so stupid.
2.)Load up car the night before.
Packing everything up at 8 am seemed like a good idea then, but as I trudged back and forth to the garage nervously checking the time, I realized the loading should have been done the night previous.
3.)Label EACH item with a price.
I had my items grouped together, with one price tag applying to a whole area. I.E, Bookmarks = $10. No one looked at the tag, everyone expected to see a price on the back. I didn’t mind rattling off my prices when people would ask, but it would have saved everyone a bit of time if the information they wanted was in the place they expected it.
It was 89 degrees and sunny.
5.) Include location on the sign.
A lot of people were interested if I was local or not, which was interesting. Had I written “Miami, FL” on my signage, it may have saved my customers a bit more of their time.
Overall, I had a blast. It was a beautiful day, well organized and a portion of the booth fees and entry tickets went to a great cause. (Wounded Warriors). I can’t wait until the next one!
So, I only *really* get to enjoy these when I visit more northernly locations, which I try to do each year. As winter draws near, every once and awhile I’ll need a scarf on my porch in the wee hours of the morning in Miami, and I LOVE it. Seriously, I have an alert on my phone for the moment the temperature drops below 68. These brisk-“er” mornings are like an expresso shot for my soul, when my best sketches and plans are usually laid out.
For a brief time, our little northern hemisphere is alive with fire. Shocks of yellow, slashes of blood red and sunburst orange dot our landscape, transforming it as it begins it’s process of renewal. These colors invariably seep into my work, infusing my summer yellows and navys with a spark of fire.
As the natural world begins it’s process of renewal, so do I. Perhaps its conditioning from 17 years of education, greeting the fall with new pencils and books — but once the temperature begins to drop, I jump into “new year” mode and am a planning machine. Forget January 1st, this is my time for resolutions.
4.) Pre-holiday Inventory
As weird as it sounds, I really really enjoy prepping my shops for the incoming holiday rush. I take inventory, start to brainstorm my Thanksgiving – Christmas packaging and wrapping services, and plan my marketing campaigns. Usually these tasks are a bit dull for me, but the festive spirit tends to quickly outshadow the drudgery and before long, I’m humming JingleBells and picking out holiday stickers for orders. It’s a sickness. I know.
5.) Pumpkin Spice….anything.
I know, I know… basic. Whatever. As someone who lives rather far from family, the scents and tastes of pumpkin and it’s accompanying spices (wooo nutmeg!) recall thoughts of my Michigan home. Which is why I’m including this little printable below; pumpkin spice to me is all about warmth, love and family and friends — why wouldn’t I want to share that? Simply click on the image to download an 8.5 x 11 pdf file of my original illustration “pumpkin spice”. Save to your computer and print it out at your leisure = WHAMBAM AUTUMN ART! Give it as a gift, hang it in your office, throw it on the fridge, display it anywhere for a dose of spicy autumn goodness.
I posted a few work-in-progress shots of this floral watercolor on instagram back a few weeks ago, and received an incredible response for prints.
SO! I woke up a few hours early this morning and got to work testing the colors. My scanner/printer are pretty well calibrated at this point, so matching the colors to the original only took a few passes. I made tests of 5 x 7s, 8.5 x 11, and 11 x 14 sized prints, and was quite happy with the outcome.
I’m hoping to finish a run of 20 by tomorrow, allowing me to photograph them and put them up in the etsy shop by the end of the week.
This week has been a bit of a blur. Long hours in the studio, followed by late nights working on personal projects make for slow, blurry early mornings.
Usually I begin my work day with color studies, emails or printing orders – but this morning all I could seem to muster was a bit of splotchy painting. An hour so later and nearly a full pot of coffee later I was able to wake up a bit.
These sorts of days are not the norm. I usually feel like I have pretty good handle on how to balance my work/sleep schedule, but with an influx of ideas and only two hands, I seemed to have ended up a bit out of whack.
I’m hoping I can use this weekend to catch up on a bit sleep. What do you all do to keep a natural balance of work and sleep?
Last week I started working on a commission for a friend featuring the illusive state stone of Michigan — the Petoskey. It is both rock and fossil, created from an ancient coral reef from the Devonian period.
I can remember spending my free time during a few childhood trips to the Traverse area hunched over in the gravel looking for a stone of my own. Which, to my great frustration I never found.
Having no real-life example in my rock collection, I was thankfully able to purchase a few specimens on online
I made a few sketches before moving on to the large version (24 x 24), but found that I enjoyed the sketches so much, I might as well make a few additional paintings after I wrapped up the commissioned work.
Whew! It’s been a whirlwind the last few weeks – commissions, meetings, teaching and traveling has left me rather exhausted. I took a few days off after returning from Michigan last week ( a killer cold didn’t help…) to transition back into work mode, and am feeling pretty well and caught up now.
Here’s a few pics from our journey northward
Hope everyone is having an excellent start to the week!