Illustrations by Nancy C. Sampson

Posts from the ‘artistic process’ category

If you like to cook with a sense of humor, then check out my Foodietoo temporary tattoo designs applied to kitchen aprons. I am testing out this new product idea since the images in their original form were such a hit with my customers.

Now there are three Foodietoos-themed aprons available in The Nancydraws Shop:
Quel Fromage
Lucky Kale
Honeycrisp Apple Cult

My friends Beth and Philip allowed me to use their gorgeous kitchen as a location to take photos for use with the Etsy listings. Beth and I enjoyed figuring out the best angles, framing, and arranging the different foods for me to pose with. She happened to have cheese, kale, and apples at home, so we switched out the food whenever I changed aprons!

The photos below are some fun out-takes from that day.

Foodietoos-apron-apple-sillyFoodietoos-apron-kale-silly

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I began an online class assignment in 2014 on the subject of hand-lettering a quote. It’s a good thing that the class is “work at your own pace;” I have been itching to get back to it and have a new sketch to show for it! This is the central image, I will be adding the rest of the quote and embellishments as I continue.

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This is a great year for the Christmas/Hanukkah card! I had these printed up a couple of years ago and they have been listed in The Nancydraws Shop, but this year Hanukkah and Christmas fall so closely together I am hoping this card gets the attention it deserves.

A Hanukkah & Christmas card.

A Hanukkah & Christmas card.

On one side, Adele is trying to wrap Christmas gifts at home, but Henrí has decided, as cats do, to take a nap in the middle of the operation and might have pulled a decoration or two off of the tree to play with.

On the Hanukkah side of the card is a dignified Percival Featherington III, slurping up some Lo Mein noodles with an urban landscape in the background. I know that this isn’t quite how Hanukkah is celebrated, but I have gotten a lot of laughs and good reactions to it.

There are interior greetings to go with each side of the card. The Hanukkah side simply says “Happy Hanukkah,” next to two fortune cookies. The Christmas greeting says “Merry Christmas, it’s a wrap!” With a small drawing of Henrí bundled in wrapping paper above.

Interior greetings.

Interior greetings.

If you prefer one greeting per card, each image is also available on its own card, but this one is a two-for-one bargain, don’t miss out on the perfect year to send some to your dual-religion friends and family!

If you order one card, it is $4; 6 cards for $15; and 10 for $22. See this card and all of my other holiday greetings in The Nancydraws Shop.

If you would like to sign up for my e-mail newsletter, click here. I will announce my Thanksgiving sale via the newsletter and Facebook fan page, but the “Friends & Family” sale code will only be available for newsletter subscribers and for whom they choose to pass it on to.

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I began using Pinterest last year as an experiment to showcase my artwork and my illustrated characters’ lives as well as images or subjects that inspire my creativity. I have recently found it useful as a way to collect images for research related to my illustration projects.

I am taking part in an online Skillshare class about hand-lettering, and the main lesson revolves around choosing a quote to draw. I’m using Pinterest to collect the images I’d like to use as style and inspiration reference for when I am ready to begin sketching my ideas. The quote I have chosen is from the TV show, “Dr. Who.” I won’t reveal it right now, but I will share the Pinterest reference board and more about my work as I work through the lessons for the class: Hand-lettering Class Research Pinboard.

 

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In recent months I have been thinking about different ways of getting my art into other people’s hands as a fun way to get some attention for my artwork. Being a self-marketing machine gets pretty dull and repetitive, and for the amount of time I put in, it is often without much reward or acknowledgement from the public. What I do never seems like enough and I always expect, or would like more reaction than I get. So I made a fun challenge for myself and my friends Thelma and Louise (as luck would have it, they were interested). I wanted to give prints of my “Love, New York” artwork away as a fun surprise for the recipients.  I figured what I had been doing wasn’t getting a lot of attention, so why not try something else, and I held the same expectations for this experiment.

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“Thelma,” our intern “Cherise,” and “Louise” after our reverse art heist.

 I have a handful of images for my “Love, New York” illustration theme and one focuses on a woman wearing a leopard-print coat, sunglasses, green turban, and she carries a large orange tote bag. For “Turban Lady,” my idea was to secretly place a small number of  prints somewhere inside of a department store without the employees noticing. I came up with a plan to visit a few of them in Manhattan with my gorgeous volunteers. Each of us were to shop in the store as if we were looking for clothing or an outfit. While in the dressing room, we’d conceal a print in the items of clothing. Each postcard-sized print was inside of a clear, plastic sleeve with a pipe cleaner attached to it for easily attaching to a tag or hanger; they were also sized small enough to be able to fit into a (preferably leopard-print) coat pocket.

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At Store #1 there were a huge number of employees out on the floor which got me nervous right away. I couldn’t walk 3 feet without someone new asking me if I wanted a dressing room or help finding something. It seemed as if they somehow knew I wasn’t really shopping! I got over it and attached my cards to the items, after trying them on, of course. We were sending each other image texts from the dressing rooms! Here’s a cute pair of shorts on me. (Pardon my black socks, I know they are a “Don’t” with shorts.)

shorts

Placing the cards amongst the fashions in Store #2 was much easier, and Thelma joined us at that point, so that meant more free art for their customers. She was even bold enough to place one of the postcards inside of an orange handbag right out on the store floor.

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We had one or two more cards left so we made a third stop and left the remaining cards there.

I included my contact information on the reverse side of the card and asked if the people who found it might get in touch with me and let me know something about them. Unfortunately no one has responded, but we went into it knowing that we might not hear back. It’s entirely possible that with the large number of security cameras around, that people in the store noticed what we were doing and didn’t approach us, but tossed the cards.

Basically what I got out of the experience was being able to act on one of my ideas, a fun afternoon (we went out for wine and a snack afterwards with Cherise), and a touch of mystery. Who knows, I may still hear from someone, so stay tuned for that and my next art giveaway idea!

 

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I’ve posted two new original illustrations in The Nancydraws Shop as part of the “Love, New York” series.

Like the others in this group, I plan to create multiple original drawings based on the same designs as they sell, but I also offer prints at a lower price. Its a little experimental as far as how most people relate to buying original art v. prints made from an original piece. Each original is unique in subtle ways; the color and line work vary slightly since I draw and color them at different times. The prints are based on only one of the originals.

Image“Window #42” as seen from my friend M.E.’s backyard in Brooklyn where
I have enjoyed many barbecues and lovely parties.

Image“WIndow # 108”

This illustration is another from M.E.’s backyard; once I had noticed the previous one
I started looking around to see what other interesting things her neighbors kept in or near their windows.
Some artistic license was taken, of course.

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A shared post from Pikaland: What does being an artist mean to you?

The organizer/instructor of the online class that I’m taking, Amy Ng, is very active on her blog, Pikaland, which is how I found out about the class in the first place. This week she asks readers, “What does being an artist mean to you?” and I thought I’d share my thoughts on the question here, but make sure you also read her post at the link above.

In the Pikaland post, Amy included a quote from Edgar Degas:

Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” ~ Edgar Degas  

Degas truly sums up my feelings about being an artist. My thought process and visual interpretation of the world are a big part of my creativity. Without the ideas or quirky observations about life my drawings, photos, and collages would not have much meaning to myself or to others, they’d just fall flat. I know that my way of thinking and observing has effected my daily life in the way that I witness particular moments happening around me and then I’m able craft them into a visual treats to share.

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I made a deal with myself tonight that I’d write a blog post or do some work related to my illustration business before I ate dinner. This is usually my game plan on the evenings that I come home from my day job in magazine publishing and don’t have any set social plans. Luckily tonight I’m making my Mom’s classic pasta salad which does not need to be eaten hot, so I made it first and sat down to write this, so it will be ready for me when I’m done writing.

I always love a tasty, healthy and fresh meal to feed my body and this meal will be a soul-feeder too, I was just on a family vacation a couple of weeks ago and a recipe from Mom’s collection is a comfort for the times I miss being with my family in person.

Working toward my goals and dreams is the ultimate soul-feeder, of course. I never seem to have as much time as I want for pursuing those goals but my thoughts on that lately have been to make the most of what time I do have.

My current project is the creation of original art to sell in The Nancydraws Shop… I won’t give it all away but it has to do with living in New York City as an artist and appreciator of the beauty and unique situations that are part of that experience.

I began some experimental sketches and tests earlier this summer (see the image below), so far I’m happy with the way they are coming along, and feel hopeful that I’ll get a good response. But the process of creating something in a new way is also important, and its helping to bring the fun back into my artistic technique. I am looking forward to seeing where that will lead me down the road.

Now, back to feeding my body, be well until my next post!

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“Holiday Shoppers,” available at The Nancydraws Shop:
http://www.etsy.com/listing/61807091/christmas-card-city-shoppers

Well, its the last week before Christmas, and not even a week before Hanukkah begins. I’m sure there are still cards to write, cookies to bake, parties to attend, and gifts buy and wrap, so thanks for taking a look at my blog post today. I want to share some pictures to show what inspired a greeting card that I created last year, which is pictured above, “Holiday Shoppers.”

If you spend much time in Manhattan at this time of year, you’ll see people wandering around the city with all kinds of colorful and festive shopping bags. Since this week is the height of the holiday shopping season, I’ve taken a bunch of photos of these bags, which you’ll see when you scroll down.

This illustration also reminds me of a story a friend of mine told me from when she was in high school. She went to midtown after school in December with a friend to see the store window decorations along Fifth Avenue. Both of them were raised in a blue-collar Queens neighborhood and had their backpacks with them as they walked around and enjoyed the sites. They both felt a little out of place, walking past others in fur coats, carrying their purchases from the ritzy stores along the avenue in festive shopping bags.

The friend suggested going into Saks Fifth Avenue and requested 2 shopping bags from one of the sales clerks. The two then placed their backpacks in the bags and felt better about “blending in” with the rest of the well-to-do shopping crowd. So, you never know what’s in those bags you see people carrying down the street!

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I really love it when I have an image or an idea in my mind and I can get it exactly as I imagine it onto a piece of paper and into the world without a glitch!

Believe me, this is a rare occurrence. Usually it takes me a few drafts, centimeters from my eraser, turns with the pencil sharpener, and layers of tracing paper to get the art to look the way I want. More often than not, I either can’t seem to make it as great as I imagined it in my mind’s eye, so I have to compromise, or I didn’t have a clear enough vision of what I wanted until I started sketching.

The drawing that inspired me to write this blog entry happened just an hour or so ago. I really am pleased and surprised with how easily it flowed from my mind to my pencil. The image has been floating around in my imagination for a few weeks and I just could not let it go until I made it real. I wish it was always that easy and quick.

Unfortunately I can’t go into much detail about what the image is or what inspired it for reasons that I don’t want to give away right now. I will be able to share all later in the week!

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