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!
Here’s the finished portrait of every one’s favorite Bird-About-Town, Percival Featherington III, framed by lovely scroll-work and Brooklyn-baked bagels. For the frame, I transferred my original drawing onto fabric and embroidered the design, then enlarged it when I scanned it in to work the collage aspect in Photoshop.
Ms. Holly Moser-Ross is the winner of a framed print of this artwork, but I will also offer it as a print and blank greeting card in The Nancydraws Shop… soon!
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!
It’s the beginning of holiday time again, and as much as I love the parties, decorations, and the fun that comes along with it, sometimes it can be overwhelming, can’t it?
There are extra shopping trips and errands to add in to our usual schedule; card and gift buying, wrapping, and sometimes shipping; special dishes to cook and bring with us to the holiday parties or events we attend. If you’re the host/hostess of such an event, your home must be decorated and cleaned up and down.
Amongst all of the usual holiday preparations I am gearing up for orders from The Nancydraws Shop, stocking up on my supplies, finishing the artwork that appears on the cards and tags, and thinking of ways to spread the word out about my shop to potential buyers. Since I print the cards from my home printer, I wait until a new order comes in and then get to work printing them out, trimming to size, and wrapping them up for shipment.
So, aside from hiring a personal assistant, what are your tips for staying sane during this exciting but busy time of year?
My 20% off sale went well and now I have 3 Multi-Pack orders to work on. (Thanks Holly M., Stacy M., and Christina R.!) I’m printing out my customers’ cards right now, under the mistletoe… well, not quite, but I did decorate my place last night. (see above)
As promised, I am revealing last Sunday’s source of awesome inspiration…. a wedding card for my friends Holly and Craig, who got married in Las Vegas early in March!
Holly had worn a headband with devil horns and a veil for her bachelorette party. That headband sparked the idea… I feel that Holly and Craig have a devilish nature in common, so I drew this cartoon portrait of them as devils and did a little play on words: “Devils May Care,” to state their obvious love and care for each other, but also to indicate their quickly pulled together (but well-thought out) nuptials.
I had this image in my head for a few weeks before having the time to execute it, so I’m pleased with how it turned out, and so are the newlyweds.
Baluchi’s, one of the restaurants that I illustrated for the Park Slope Reader’s restaurant review asked to purchase a print of my artwork! You must stop by some some of their delicious Indian cuisine and to check out the print, everyone is really nice there. I am very flattered to have this print displayed in the restaurant. I also added a small caption to let people know it was published in the Winter 2009-10 issue, along with my credit. I am working on getting in touch with other managers at restaurants that I have illustrated in the neighborhood to see if they would like to purchase prints.
I re-purposed one of my existing illustrations to give as a retirement greeting card to a nurse at my allergist’s office. She’s been working at that office since before I started going for treatment there and I’ll really miss seeing her. I personalized the inside with her name and the message “Congratulations on your retirement!” In the future, I may offer this card in The Nancydraws Shop.
Every few months, I have a couple of restaurant review illustrations in the Park Slope Reader, a free, local publication available in my neighborhood in Brooklyn. In lieu of payment for my most recent work for them I asked for ad space for The Nancydraws Shop in the Winter/Holiday issue. That issue hit the streets today! Here’s my ad:
In this issue, I illustrated Fonda, a great new home-style Mexican restaurant and Baluchi’s Park Slope location, which serves Indian cuisine.