Monday, July 7, 2014

Wedding Invitations Update: Owl and Pussy Cat

The bride who hired me to create her Owl and the Pussycat wedding invitations just sent me a photo of them printed out with the envelopes.  I appreciate that she took the time to share this and send me an update.  


I like how she brought out the colors in the invitation with the envelopes.  What do you think? If you received this invitation, what kind of wedding would you expect?  It looks fun to me. 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Design & Lion Paper Puppet to Promote this East Coast Biking Trail

It's been a while since I last posted.  I really didn't think I'd ever become one of those artists or designers who had more work than time to put into their blogs.  But I'll call it a blessing to have these art & design projects coming out of my ears.

I designed the Facebook promotion for this East Coast Greenway Alliance photo contest.
My lion bike critter paper puppet made his appearance on it to get everyone excited about it.

One thing that I recently designed and that used my lion paper puppet artwork was the promotion of this 4th of July weekend photo contest.  It's for those who love to bike and who are using the East Coast Greenway for their 4th of July family fun. Take a photo & see how to enter this contest here.  They thought my lion bike critter would get everyone excited to get out and enjoy this hot, summer weekend.

Whatever you do this weekend, I wish you a HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!!!!  

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Happy Summer with Mermaid Paper Doll

I'm still working on my clients' book projects and they're taking up a lot of my time, but I wanted to let you know I'm thinking of you and I hope you're having a great summer.  


On my lunch break, I'm going out and basking in the warm sun and gazing up at the blue sky.  I love feeling the sun on my face and watching the fluffy clouds go by.  Birds chirping make me smile.  Wind blowing through tree branches sound like a happy sigh.

What are you doing?  Are you swimming in the ocean and following the mermaids?  Here are some summer paper dolls that I've made to help you if you can't find any mermaids and sea turtles where you're swimming.
  1. Mermaid paper doll & sea turtle paper play set --- $4.00 for printable PDF
  2. Sea turtle & sand castle paper doll, paper play set  --- $4.00 for printable PDF
  3. Tropical fish paper doll & sea turtle paper play set --- $4.00 for printable PDF

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Before & After: Using Photoshop to Change a Mistake in a Painting

I may not be posting as much as I usually do because I'm in the middle of working 2 big book projects that need my illustration and graphic design skills.  It's been a lot of fun to get these projects, but it has forced me to be much more organized about my time.  Below is a little peek at 1 of the watercolor paintings I created for 1 of the books.


For this book, I'm creating the illustration in watercolor.  After I painted the portrait of this woman, there were a few things I didn't like about it.  I wished I could go back and change them, but I thought it would take too much time to do it over again.  Then I realized I could easily do the changes in Photoshop.  


Mostly, I wanted to change the position of the mouth and to elongate the chin.  No problem in Photoshop.  Once I started making these changes, I decided to do a few more.  I made the brows a little more angry.  I pushed up the nose a little.  I added some white highlights and finally I faded the edges of the painting.  What do you think of the changes?  Have you ever used Photoshop to do some quick changes to your artwork?

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Creating Designs & Products: The Process from Drawing to Completion

If you've been following my blog for a while, you may have already seen these designs.  But I recently put together photos of 3 different designs to show the process in 3 steps.  

It always starts with a drawing.  The next stage is taking that drawing into Adobe Illustrator and cleaning it up and adding color.  The final stage is printing it out on a tee shirt or assembling it into a paper play toy. What do you think of seeing the process?  Have you recorded your process before?  

Headphone Lego Tee Shirt Design for Brick Shirts can be found here.

2 Headed Ring Master Circus Paper Puppet can be found at Little Gatherer here.

Paper Fairy Mobile for Little Gatherer can be found here.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Graphic Design & Illustration for a Hair Color Ad

A couple weeks ago, I created these packages for "Color Express" a hair coloring product.  Now, here is the ad for it.

It's fun doing graphic design and illustration for products and ads.  Here's another example I created for "Color Express", a line of hair color.  I still want "Think Pink" Wednesday.  What about you?

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Whiskey, Karaoke & Souther Salazar Art


I've been venturing out into Portland (PDX) to make new friends and see new things.  This past week, I went to a whiskey tasting at a Karaoke Bar, Voicebox.  I actually came for the Karaoke with designers and creative folks.  But I was happily surprised by the whiskey and the artwork.


The Compass Box Whiskey Company hosted the whiskey tasting.  I am no lush, but I don't mind tasting and trying new things, so tried a few.  I had no idea that whiskey could be so delicious.  Some of them tasted more like dessert wines they were so sweet.  Others were deeply smokey and seductive. I'd honestly wouldn't mind buying a bottle and slowly sipping it straight up on the rocks.


When everyone had some whiskey in their veins, we started singing.  I wasn't sure what song to choose to sing among total strangers.  It would have to be something that would be enjoyed by all---or at least a few folks more than myself.  I decided on a Beetles song.  When "Twist & Shout" came on, I was ready to sing by myself, but a bunch of folks jumped up and sang it with me.  I was happily surprised.


I knew the place for this whiskey tasting would be at a karaoke bar, but I didn't know there would be Souther Salazar artwork everywhere.  He had painted murals on many of the walls.  I've enjoyed his artwork for a while, but didn't know he was living and contributing to the art community in Portland.  So again, I enjoyed a fun surprise.  I really had a great night.  What happy surprises have you experienced when you've gone out?

Friday, May 16, 2014

3rd Time's the Charm: Creating Mail Art & Card for a Family Loss

This month for Mail a Smile, the mail art group I've been a part of for over a year, we sent our mail art and cards to a family who has suffered the loss of a dear family member.   The theme for this month is "Your Favorite Flower".  It seemed very appropriate for our recipients.  I've never created a sympathy card before and I had a card time making it.  It took me 3 tries before I was satisfied with the results. 

Attempt #1:  I started with some paper cutting to make a sympathy card, but I didn't like the cut letters.

Attempt #2:  I switched to watercoloring, but I felt like my card was too generic and bland.


Attempt #3:  I tried watercoloring again, but just let things flow, giving the flowers a lost & found feel.  I liked it because it conveyed what I felt and what I wanted to portray.


In fact, I liked the sympathy card so much, I decided to do the same thing for a congratulations card I had to make for a friend who is graduating this weekend.  I made a custom envelope to go with the card.  I think my friend will like it.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Graphic Design & Illustration for Beauty Product Packaging in Vintage Milk Bottles

Product packaging is one place where graphic design is in demand, so I decided to create some samples of product packaging.  Previously, I had fun creating the packaging design for a juice box called, "Juice Jazz".  This time, I had fun creating the design for the packaging of a line of beauty products. 



For "Milk Bath", I got to illustrate the background with my drawings of pretty patterns.  I also had fun designing the layout and choosing the typography to communicate something fun and sweet to soften your skin.  


Of course, I had to put the labels on vintage milk bottles in Photoshop and when I had finished that, I also had to add the liquid in the bottles.  I imagined the "Milk Bath" smelling super yummy and slipping into a warm bath surrounded by the scent.  That gave me the idea to make a fun advertisement with them. 


If this were a real beauty product, what would you think of it?  Would you like to soak in a bath that softened your skin? What scent would you like best?

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Paper Flower Cutting for My Little Niece


My little 3 year old niece knows I can cut and make pretty things for her, so sometimes she pops up out of the blue and requests some art from me.  Once, it was a picture of herself.  Another time, it was a green pig.  This time, she brought a piece of blue paper and requested a flower.


When I had a moment, I made a paper cutting flower with the blue paper.  I decided it looked a little plain, so I gave it a silly smiley face.  Then I decided it needed just a little bit more of something, so I added a pink paper back to it.


The cute, friendly paper flower made me smile and chuckle to myself.  I brought it to my little niece.  I asked, "Do you like it?"  She took it and nodded.  "What do you think of it?"  I asked her.


"It's a lollipop flower."  She said with a big smile.  I enjoyed her answer, smiling with her.  She let me take some photos of her with the paper cutting flower.  I think she is quite photogenic, don't you?  So what shall we name this smiley face flower?  Do you have any ideas? 

Friday, May 9, 2014

Graphic Design & Illustration for Juice Jazz Box Packaging Designs

So if you were to design any kind of package what would it be?  This is the question I've asked myself because I've been coming up with packaging designs.  

I created the packaging design for an imaginary line of juice boxes.

I thought it would be fun to create juice box packaging.  My concept was a simple and pure juice that would appealed to kids and adults.  I called it, "Juice Jazz" because I thought it would be music in your mouth.  That became the catch phrase for this line.  Below you can see I came up with orange, pineapple and apple juice box designs.

Alto Apple package design.

Octave Orange package design.

Perfect Pitch Pineapple package design.

After I created the Juice Jazz packaging, I decided to see what they'd look like in an ad.
What do you think?  Do my packaging designs make your mouth water?  Do you wish you had some Juice Jazz now?  I kind of do.  It looks yummy to me.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Before & After Photos: Color Corrections and Image Manipulations in Photoshop

I've been practicing color correction and image manipulation in Photoshop.  Below are two photos that I changed to improve the focus of the image and to add flawless, glamour glow skin.  I also added a tattoo to the first photo.  See if you can spot the changes----you know----like one of those books of puzzles and games where you search all the subtle differences. How many can you find?





Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Cute Printables for Mother's Day: Owls, Paper Dolls & Cards

Mother's Day is this Sunday, May 11th, 2014, but don't worry if you haven't yet made her an extra special gift or a card to say I love you.  Why not?  Because there are so many cute DIY instantly downloadable printables at the Artist in LA LA Land shop.

DIY instantly, downloadable Mother's Day printables make it easy to still make a special gift for mom!

Choose from an array of cute paper dolls sets, pretty owls and lovely printable cards.  Above are just a few examples of what you can pick to make and give to your wonderful mom, grandmother, wife or an expecting mother!

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