Illustrations by Nancy C. Sampson

Posts from the ‘Drawing’ category

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This year I was inspired to create handmade cards for friends and family instead of having one of my designs printed. This meant that I was not able to send them to a long list of recipients as in years past but in the end I think I made and sent about 45 cards.

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To keep the cards affordable, simple, and colorful I started with large sheets of plain, brown craft paper, then ripped up and glued down shreds of colored tissue paper that I had on hand.

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After the glue dried I cut the craft paper into 5″ strips and cut those strips into 8.5″ lengths to form individual cards. After that, it was time to draw and personalize …

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I began with a handful of images and themes sketched out on a piece of paper but sometimes allowed the shapes and colors on each card speak to me. I liked making each card a little different. Even if I reused an image/idea, I tried something new with the drawing.

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It was important to me to send out something personal and special since I have received so much love and support from my friends and family through my career change and relocation process, which is far from over. I wish I’d had the time to make more of them so I’ll have to try it again for another occasion!

Supplies used to create these cards: Craft paper, tissue paper, glue stick, scissors, ruler, Uniball pens, imagination, love.

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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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A gorgeous sunset from my trip with Kelly to the Chesapeake Bay area in the Fall.

The sun is setting on another year and I have been thinking about goals, both old and new. It’s important for me to remember to celebrate accomplishments first, before moving too far into the goal-setting stage. I found myself ignoring that last week, my thoughts focusing only on what I’d like to achieve in 2015. Taking a moment to compose this post is bringing me back to more positive reflection.

For 2014 I am proud to have welcomed a new rescue cat into my home, The Amazing Mongo! He has a very loving and entertaining personality. I am also glad to have deepened some new friendships and renewed some older ones. I brought my artwork to three craft shows and heard great responses from new fans. I conceived of, produced, packaged, and began selling a set of temporary tattoos in my Etsy shop: “Foodietoos.” My parents and I went on trip to visit beautiful Tuscany and Rome (the latter has a very different beauty compared to the Italian countryside) in the spring, and then visited my brother in Colorado for a week in the summer. (Greg and I spotted a bull moose in the forest one morning!) Friends and cousins came to visit me throughout the year and we enjoyed what the city has to offer. I have been keeping sharp at my freelance day job in magazine production and helped the publication complete some important articles. I’m so thankful to be part of the process each month. I made sure my friends kept laughing. I discovered a new genre that I’d like to explore with my drawings … which leads me to 2015.

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Mom, Dad, and I at lunch in Sienna, Italy in April.

Goals and resolutions are definitely important but I never can actually accomplish everything I set intentions for at the beginning of each year, unless they are very low goals! (Eat fruit. Don’t wait 4 weeks to do laundry.) I have learned to not let myself become discouraged if the way things turn out isn’t quite the way I expected or would have liked them to be. It is too easy for me to get into a negative mind space and start thinking about what I “didn’t work hard enough” at, or “didn’t do enough” of, which tends to dissuade me from moving forward.

Looking back at what I did in 2014 reminds me that I am living a full life and I have to allow myself to be fluid within it … if I only stuck to my goals I might have missed out on some surprises and detours that enriched my year.

In light of that, I’m not going to post any of my specific goals here (Are you surprised? I am, too.) but I will share my general mantra for the New Year: Keep exploring, stay positive, reach out and up. (I stole that last one from yoga class!)

What about you, do you prefer very specific goals or more general ones? Why?

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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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Fashion Weak

Fashion Week started here in New York City on February 6, and I was freelancing with a fashion-related publication at that time and I thought of this image.

New York Fashion Week is such an exciting time… I have never been to a fashion show
but I like checking out  The Cut blog on New York Magazine‘s website or WWD for reviews and slide shows of the latest designs appearing on the runways.

Even though I have not experienced any of the festivities I’m pretty sure none of the attendees or models are wearing pajama pants!

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Over the years I have been working on-and-off with an idea for a graphic novel featuring my character, Adele, from an illustration I created in 2001 inspired by my first trip to Paris, France that March. Since I lack knowledge and experience with sequential art and comics, I have also lacked confidence in how to move forward on this, and have had doubts about even trying at all. I haven’t shared the story or sketches with many people… it never seems to be “ready” for others to see! I am always sketching and re-sketching the panels and pages.

Recently I traveled to Paris for a third time and 10 years (ouch!) have passed since Adele first came to life on the pages of my sketch book, I’ve decided that I owe it to her and to myself to push forward to see what can happen with this story. Plus, I can’t seem to completely drop the idea, that has got to mean something.

Although it feels a bit scary, I’ve decided to start posting sketches and finished pages on this blog. I hope it will make the project seem more tangible, plus many of you might have comments that could help or encourage me. So please click “follow” on my blog page, add me to your RSS feeds, or catch the posts on Facebook since my blog updates automatically to The Nancydraws Shop page.

I may not be posting the pages in sequential order as this experiment goes along, but here’s page 1!

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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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