Friday, December 25, 2015

My yule gift

Finally, after years of lusting after this piece of technology, I had enough of a business case to justify purchasing a Wacom Cintiq 13HD.

There is a bit of a learning curve, but I'm "powering through" it.

These are some of the things I've created since I got the thing on Monday:

The Elements - a first draft coloring page, colored in. Illustrator and Photoshop

Snow Girl, from a photograph by Antonia Barry (Ant B Ceramics)

Thursday, December 3, 2015


In honor of me surviving into my second half-century, I drew this last night. Ink, freehand. I will be scanning a better version and making it available for large-size download during my travels today. A reverse birthday gift, if you will.

 11x17, ink on Bristol board. 

It's available on my DeviantArt account as a PDF download.

If you do download and color it, PLEASE share! I'd love to see it!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Card, finished.

Scanned and colored in Photoshop. I can alter the color of the background for different moods/effects. I like this one so far.

I might tweak it further, but I think this one is done for the most part.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Another Drawing for a Card

The weather was glorious today; it finally feels as if it's spring. So it was time to sit outside and draw something. I decided to do a pen-and-ink drawing and I'll probably be printing this in one form or another as my thank you card for now.

I also think I'll be using this or something like it for an adult coloring book when I finally have enough drawings to produce one.
Of course, I manage to get a smudge on the piece just as I'm almost finished. Flashback to my final project in drafting (in 1975, when we were required to use ruling pens... 3 hours of meticulous lines ruined at the last moment). At least now I can easily clean that up in Photoshop, after I scan it.

Thank You Cards

I have been told that it's good business practice to send Thank You cards to clients. And it occurred to me recently that since I've taken up the mantle of artist and designer, that I should create them myself. So yesterday, I took the afternoon off from business development and took pen in hand. to create this Zentangle™-inspired drawing.

Then I worked with watercolor pencil and some digital enhancements in Photoshop.

I'm still on the fence about whether I will produce these or make another attempt (this time using watercolor or at least mixed media paper instead of heavyweight sketch paper). This was my first time using masking fluid.

What this also informs me of is that I really need to do some work every day to be able to get my children's book done. I need a bit more control over my paint.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Anatomy of a Logo

I have an assignment to help relaunch a business which includes a logo and beautifying a wordpress site. They will be offering holistic services, including health coaching, and an interesting program to work on one's self. I'll talk more about that in another post when the site's ready to launch.

In the meantime, the business name is Little Stone Bridge Pathworking and I decided that a literal treatment is needed for this logo. And that it needed to be hand-drawn, because I wanted it to look charming, hand-crafted with care, and personal, which embodies some of the emotions and values of the endeavor.

I started by searching stone bridge photos online. I roughed the bridge out with a pencil and then inked it in.

Then I scanned the drawing and manipulated it in Adobe Illustrator.

And then brought it into Photoshop to color it.

It's complex, but I really am pleased with the way this turned out.

Monday, February 9, 2015

What To Do When You're Waiting

So, what do you do when you've called your clients, sent out your drafts for review, bid on all the jobs, and emailed your prospects? You wait.

What do I do when I am waiting for people to get back to me?

Well, if this was last year, I'd be scrolling through my Facebook feed, or tweeting or doing some other time-wasting web surfing. True, I still do that, but I limit it now. I've set a time limit for goofing off. 

What I do with my waiting around time now is work on Passive Income Projects. I've spent some of the past few months thinking about how to generate passive income.

Passive income is income you get from something you did in the past. Royalties from book or music sales is a prime example. It's something you create once and sell many times. Patterns, coloring books, books, recorded music, fabric designs - all these things (and more) can be passive revenue streams. 

They do take some time and effort to create. And they do take some time and effort to market. There are ways to have other people help you market the things you create, but you have to create them first.

My list of passive income projects are these:
  1. Illustrate the two children's books that I've written.
  2. Write up the quilt patterns I've had on the back burner for the past 5 years.
  3. Promote my music that I've finally made available for purchase online
So, what are your ideas for creating passive revenue streams for yourself?

It's a New Year

I am a sporadic follower of designer David Seah. He doesn't do New Year's Resolutions; he does Ground Hog's Day Resolutions. I really like the concept (almost as much as I like using semicolons and parenthetical phrases). First, it lets me delay thinking about the new year until after the stress and general craziness of the holidays are over. Second, by this time of the year, we are in "full winter mode" (which typically includes being snowbound or dealing with snow in one way or another) and there is plenty of time to think about things. Third, I've been thinking about what comes next for a month or three. And finally, it's also Imbolc, my favorite holiday of the Wheel of the Year. I'm noticing that the sun is rising when I do and the days are noticeably longer than they were at the winter solstice.

So, it's 2015 now. I have gone back to working for myself, and have resurrected Moon & Star as a design firm. I've decided I want to focus my business on graphic design, interaction design, web design and illustration (both technical illustration and "artistic" illustration). I plan to refine my focus and find my niche over the course of this year. I'm not quite there yet. I also am nowhere near being fully booked with work.

So I am in the process of building my client roster, which means I'm learning how to look for clients, jobs, gigs, what-have-you. I'll be writing about how I'm doing with that as I go along.