November Challenge

I've been no stranger to daily challenges. I have been attempting them since at least 2010, when I started the daily photo challenge (& successfully completed it for a handful of months before falling behind on documenting -- but I wouldn't be surprised if I had actually come close to completing the task of taking a photo a day).

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Also, here's a peek at my first month of photos. It totally takes me back to a time when I was bursting with creativity and using photography as my outlet, along with the city I lived in (New York City). 

This year has been a year of making, and I've done it almost daily (with a day or 2 missed - most likely because I was terribly sick or traveling with my little ones). I did the 100 day project for the second time in spring/summer. Following my summer art journaling workshop, I art journaled daily for a month. I attempted 30 paintings in 30 days in September, but fell short --- however, I did paint more, so I still count it as a success! I have been participating in Inktober (despite lacking on sharing daily). And now, I'm looking to November with plans to join friend, Nikki Cade, as she does the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge. 

Despite doing this challenge only a month ago, I'm setting this on up differently. I'm going to be making 30 small paintings over 30 days. I'll be using 4x4 inch pieces of paper to create small abstract paintings. Some of these may end up being studies that I can pull out later and paint onto large pieces. Some of these may end up in the trash because I'm so not into them that I'd rather let them go rather than force myself to keep them for the sake of the project! 

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And because I almost ALWAYS get super excited about projects before they officially start, I've started this challenge a few days early. There is a good chance that I will have a collection of more than 30 small paintings when the month of November ends. Which is a good thing, because I need a LOT of practice to work through what is already happening with this challenge. 

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Here's the spot where I can either share a little more details about this project or I can share about this work I am already coming up against before the challenge has even officially started. Here's where I can give some boring specifics about what paint I might use or colors or rules I'm setting for myself. But. I think I'll share my challenges. I think I'll put this out for someone else to read. Maybe you've been through this yourself and can share a little shout out to me saying I'm not the only one. Maybe you are going through this too, or will in the future, and this will be my shout out to you to let you know You aren't the only one!  

My favorite kind of art is abstract art. But the art I tend to make myself isn't exactly that. So I'm challenging myself to play with abstract art and see what might be inside. I'm going to share some of the paintings I've done so far (since I already started the challenge), but I'm almost hesitant to share them because I don't think they are my own. I don't "own" these pieces. These don't feel like me -- or at least not yet. I haven't done this enough for them to be my art. 

And you know what? These feelings are extremely uncomfortable. Thinking-about-quitting-before-the-challenge-even-officially-begins uncomfortable. My inner critic is so loud on this too. I'm not even going to give the words a place in this post, but they aren't encouraging ones for sure! 

I think this project will be challenging one because it's going to be a practice of figuring out what kind of marks to make to get something to look the way I feel. I am already realizing that I am not good at knowing when too much is too much until I have done too much. Working small is a challenge within itself (it's really not that much space to paint in), yet I want to do this because I'd rather get quantity at this point in the project. A bigger sized paper would give me more space to analyze and overthink on. It would take up more of my time (which I don't have much to start with, especially when I have a few other projects that NEED my attention this month!) This smaller size also helps me not feel so precious, so if I end up hating one so much I want to throw it away, I can without too much guilt over it. 

In one day, I will be officially joining this challenge to paint 30 small abstract paintings over the next 30 days. I'm hoping to share the ones I love on Instagram if you'd like to follow along. I'm probably going to throw out the ones that do not work (after I've analyzed why I do not like them). If you are feeling inspired to join in this month, please let me know so I can follow along on your painting journey! Otherwise, I hope to be back here with a reflection on the project when I have completed it!

BIG NEWS: Greeting Cards at Target!

I'm beyond excited to share this news! I've been keeping a BIG SECRET for a little while now, but it's time to share!! 

VINE & THISTLE GREETING CARDS CAN BE FOUND AT TARGET!

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I licensed these designs with Minted, who partnered with Target to bring a beautiful collection of greeting cards to select Target Stores across the country. If you are looking for a greeting card in the near future, I highly suggest this collection! It definitely stands out among the cards in the greeting card section + you'll be supporting independent artists! I feel honored to have some of my cards as part of this collection.  

I visited a Target by my home recently and found 2 cards! Here's a peek:

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Here are the five greeting cards I created that can be found at Target:

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The first two above can be found at select stores around the country and will be hitting all stores in 2018. The last three cards above can be found in a small number of stores currently and will also expand availability in 2018, however, not to all stores. 

I'm very excited to be a part of this collection and hope you'll check it out at your local Target when you are in shopping! If you spot them, snap a photo and tag me on Instagram! I'd love to see them in the wild!!

A House is not a Home Without Plants: A Collaboration

A few months back, I had the opportunity to start a collaborative art journal with two amazing artists, Jennifer Bilton and Lauren Caterson. Through messages back and forth, we came up with a list of themes. Funny enough, I suggested HOME, even though I wasn't at all inspired by it. Both Jennifer and Lauren liked that one the best, and I, at first dragging my feet, agreed to it. My first instinct was to convince them to do something else, but then I reminded myself that it can be fun to exercise a little creative problem solving now and again. How could I turn this theme into something I would be inspired by? 

I thought about home, about my home... and my house plants popped into mind. I've been working diligently to expand my house plant collection (despite the fact that I have to put them all up high out of the reach of my 1 year old!) Over the last year, I've been working to keep my plants alive, propagate plants I already own, and to add new ones in. (This article is justifying my expansion of house plants, in case you need an excuse to grow your house plant collection!) And so the theme for my journal in this collaborative swap was born: A House is not a Home without Plants. 

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Here are the pages, complete for now:

Photos of each spread for a more detailed look. There are some spots in the art journal where I know distinctly which artist did the art, and others where I'm not sure (& even a spot where I can't remember if I did it or if another artist did it!) 

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Do you have house plants? What one is your favorite? Any in particular that you would recommend I add to my collection? 

iPad Pro Tips & Resources

I have been working digitally using an iPad Pro & Apple Pencil for almost 2 years now. In this time, I've been learning how I can make it work for me to digitize my art to be used in various products including stationery, art, tea towels, logos, patterns, and more. I originally got the iPad Pro to make digitizing lettering easier, but I now use it also for creating illustrations and patterns as well. More and more artists are getting the iPad Pro, and I've sent out a similar email to a handful of people sharing resources and information I have found for using the iPad Pro. I wanted to put it in a post for others to use as well! 

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A few things I would suggest -

1. Use procreate! I love so many elements of it. The layers, the brushes you can download, and the many different capabilities and options. 

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2. If you have photoshop brushes - I've recently read you can save them in the cloud and then use them in the photoshop drawing apps. I haven't tried but need to check this out.... It's definitely new and something I thought a while back that they should add. 

3. You can do your collages using some of the apps you love + procreate.

4. When I'm starting a piece of artwork digitally, I will often draw it on paper first, add it into procreate, take down the opacity and then use the sketch as a reference for making the art digital. It's helped me learn how to draw on the iPad. I then make changes and edits digitally. 

5. On procreate, double tap means undo. I use it so much that I even double tap my sketchbook sometimes when I'm actually drawing.... :P

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Here are some links for resources I've found helpful for using the iPad Pro and Procreate. Some of them are more for lettering, because that is a big part of the work I do on the iPad Pro, but they aren't all lettering resources. 

 This is a peek at something I made on the iPad that was turned into a product!

This is a peek at something I made on the iPad that was turned into a product!

One thing I've mentioned to most people who are just getting the iPad Pro is: Expect to not like it immediately! There's a learning curve for most people I've talked to (including myself), but with continued practice, experimenting, and learning, you'll likely love it in no time!

There are many more resources available, but for now, I am going to end this post. I do plan to come back and update and would love to hear any tips or resources you've found to be extra helpful to add to this post! Feel free to share with me!  

Season of Fairy Tales: Week 4

Last week was week 4 of the Get Messy Season of Fairy Tales. Here are the pages I created as part of week 4.

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I spent this week being sick, so my pages were done on the last day. The first page I did is actually in the last page of my art journal. (I skip around sometimes when I'm art journaling so I don't feel pressure about where a page is going in the order -- especially for the first pages of the journal! Anyone else do this?) I wanted to end my art journal with this thought, and I had actually planned to do this page on the last day, but since I had the idea and this week was a little short on energy and creativity with being under the weather, I just went ahead and made that page spread now! 

The next page spread below is from the fairy tale "The Three Feathers." I'm finding so many of these stories to be so odd. I pulled this thought from the story, but honestly, I'm not even sure if this is the right idea! Ha! Nevertheless, this is maybe the thought I want to get from the story! 

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