Do you have any old school 3-D glasses at home? The really cool 1950′s style ones? If you do, you should slip them on and let me know if this kaleidoscope art actually looks three dimensional. I’d love to test it myself, but I don’t have any old 3-D glasses lying around my house (although I guess if I was feeling super crafty I could make some…but I’m lazy).
Don’t you love it when you’re creating something with a very specific style in mind, but at the last minute you experiment with something on a whim and your project does a complete 180? It actually happens to me a lot. This particular project was supposed to have all kinds of colorful rainbow edges, but when I experimented with it in Illustrator things weren’t working out the way they were supposed to. I ended up with this distracting stripe-y rainbow pattern going through the design and I hated it. I hope to keep playing with it and post a new version in a week or two, because in my head it’s beautiful (but everyone’s art is gorgeous in their head, right?). We shall see.
Anyway, when the rainbow effect didn’t pan out I tried changing the lines to solid blue, and suddenly it made me think of those 3-D books where the picture is printed in red, and then again in blue in a slightly different placement. I made a couple of quick tweaks and there you go – instant 3-D kaleidoscope artwork!
It’s been a while since I worked on a typography project. I hate to get rusty, so what better to practice with than the inspirational words of Matt Foley, motivational speaker?
Oh man, I just had to watch the video again. It never gets old. This sketch has to be one of the all time best things ever to come out of Saturday night live. Chris Farley was so funny it’s ridiculous. And David Spade and Christina Applegate trying to not crack up on camera? Priceless.
Please tell me you’ve seen it. If not, click here…unless you want me to die a little inside.
Don’t you love it when a project that’s been bouncing around your head for a long time finally comes to fruition? For a few months now, I’ve wanted to create a time-lapse video of the process I use for creating kaleidoscope art on my computer. The thing was, I wasn’t really sure how to go about it. After learning about Screenr, a free online service for recording screencasts on your PC or Mac, I got really excited. I had the tool, now I just needed the time (all you parents out their nodding your heads in agreement – can I get a “hell yeah!!!” ?)
Well, the art gods were kind to me yesterday, because my little munchkin took a three hour nap. This turned out to be doubly fortunate, because making the video was a rather slow process. The free version of Screenr only allows for five minutes of recording at a time (you can upgrade to a paid version for $20/month), so I had to work in five minute increments, uploading my video when the five minutes was up and then recording a new file.
I was also worried about how well my five year old Mac would handle a ton of large video files, so I had to limit how much I recorded. I can spend several hours on my more intricate kaleidoscope art, but I didn’t want hours of footage clogging up my desktop. This meant I had to make my image a little less complex than I normally would. After I completed my drawing in 6 five minute segments, I imported the files into imovie and increased the playback speed to 800x the original speed. Half hour hour of video footage down to just under four minutes!
For my first attempt at something like this, I’m pretty happy with the result. It was definitely a learning experience, and something I want to do again in the near future.
Have you ever recorded your creative process? How did it turn out?
This Saturday I drove up to Lake Geneva for a bridal shower, and since I knew it would end relatively early, I brought my DSLR along with the intention of wandering around town and taking some shots. We go up to Lake Geneva a decent amount for family gatherings, but I’ve never really gone into town or explored the lake. Even though we’ve been having record breaking heat in Chicago, it was actually quite a bit more bearable in Wisconsin, and by the time we left the shower it was actually pleasant to be outside for the first time in weeks. It was a perfect night for watching sailboats, strolling around the lake path, checking out amazing lake shore mansions, and eating ice cream. Much more pleasant than my other Lake Geneva experience, which involved my fifth grade class staying up there for a week of outdoor ed…in the middle of February.
Been on any good photography adventures lately? Where did you go?
After I finished this owl painting about a week ago I decided it would be fun to do a whole series of different birds against interesting backgrounds. Although I kind of hate birds in an up-close-and-personal situation (you can reference this story about me being attacked by a parrot to understand why), they are really fun to draw. Besides, I love having a series to work on. That way when a project is finished I have a new thing to move on to without needing time to brainstorm.
I think I mentioned this before, but seriously, HURRAY for Photoshop and pen tablets and digital painting! There were many 10-15 minute sessions of work put into this, which would have been a horrible pain if I’d been using actual paint. When I’m painting I always feel like I should have at least a few hours to dedicate, because it’s such a pain to set up and put away everything (does anyone else feel this way? Or am I being dramatic and making it out to be worse than it is? Maybe it’s because I don’t have a dedicated studio and keep all of my art supplies in the garage). When I work in Photoshop and I’m finished, I can simply unplug the keyboard (because my daughter loves to “work” on my computer and has renamed/moved more files than I care to think about) and walk away.
I think that sometimes Photoshop gets a bad rap as an artist’s tool. Because of all the bad Photoshop work out there, a lot of people have the misconception that all you do is make some minor tweaks to an existing image, run a couple filters through it, and call it “art”. Of course, you can do that, but you can also play with it’s huge assortment of brushes and colors and create images from scratch. I have a Wacom Bamboo tablet (which I absolutely adore…so much that I’m asking for a bigger one for Christmas this year), which makes drawing on the screen much more natural and fluid than using a mouse. I can build up colors, smudge, erase, and add layers of patterns and textures…all digitally. Some people think the fact that you can go back in your history to correct mistakes is “cheating,” but it allows tremendous freedom to experiment without the fear of permanently making a mistake that ruins your piece. To me, it’s not cheating any more than using an eraser is cheating. Photoshop is just another tool to add to my bag of artist’s tricks.
Have you ever used Photoshop or a similar program to “paint”? What do you think of it?
A week ago we were lucky enough to get a babysitter for an entire day (!!!), so BF and I headed to the city to have lunch and drinks with a friend of his from out-of-state. Afterwards, were in the car, about to jump on the highway to drive back, when we stopped ourselves. What were we doing? We had a night to ourselves, the stifling heat of the day was rapidly dropping, a nice lake breeze was kicking in, and the sun was beginning to dip. We were headed into the absolute best time of day to be in the city, and it would be madness to turn that in for rush hour traffic. The thirty dollars we’d pay in parking to run around and enjoy our night would be worth it’s weight in gold.
We ended up at Navy Pier, which is either an overcrowded tourist trap, or a magical place of sunsets, margaritas, waves and twinkling lights, depending on when you go. On that evening it was the latter. At night it clears out a lot, and we spent some much-needed time relaxing on restaurant patios overseeing the lake, drinks in hand. It was wonderful. I have a thing for boats (seriously, it’s one of my life’s dreams to someday own a boat) and I adore being on the water, so BF bought us tickets to a sunset cruise on the Tall Ship Windy. There’s absolutely nothing better than sitting on the deck of a giant ship with your best friend, sipping a rum and coke, and watching the sun set the sky afire behind the skyline of the greatest city on earth. If you do know of something better keep it to yourself, because I like thinking that I pretty much discovered perfection
I really should start automatically grabbing my DSLR when we go to the city, because I always kick myself later for not having it. We always end up on so many random adventures chock full of amazing photo opportunities. Even though the battery on my phone was dying, I still managed to capture some pretty nice shots.
There are some days that just feel like magic. This was one of them.
Does your city have any “tourist traps” that you absolutely love?
Our family has this thing for owls. My BF has an owl tattoo. My youngest daughter has really cute owl decals on the wall of her bedroom and multiple stuffed owls. We hang our keys on owl hooks. I own an owl t-shirt, owl earrings, and two owl necklaces. We just love them. I actually got pretty excited when this whole owl trend started, because it’s made cool owl stuff super easy to find. I’m not going to pretend that I’m suddenly too cool for owls because they’ve gotten popular. Whatever. I’m not that interested in being cool these days.
This painting was inspired by….(are you ready?)…Game of Thrones! No, really! How, you ask? Well, I got a little obsessed with the show last season. My BF had already watched season one, and got me to watch the second episode of season 2. Jumping in right there had me utterly confused, so then I had to backtrack and watch the first episode of season 2. That was enough to get me hooked, and I proceeded to plow through the entire first season showing on On Demand within a week. Seriously, it was like all I did was sleep, eat, job hunt, and watch Game on Thrones. Can I say that Tyrion Lannister is my absolute favorite? Seriously, he’s The Man. When he bitch slapped Geoffery? Yeah, that was beyond awesome.
Anyways, I liked the show on Facebook, and one day last week they posted an album of fan art. There were some amazingly beautiful, realistic and gorgeously detailed digital paintings in it, and I found myself remembering that I too own a Wacom Bamboo digital tablet, and that I should really use it. I used to mess with it all the time, but after catching my daughter with the digital pen in her mouth too many times, and several pursuits where I had to chase after her and it almost snapped in half, I put it away on the bookshelf out of her reach. Which is too bad, because painting in Photoshop is fun, but painting in Photoshop with a tablet is amazing.
Besides, digital painting means no supplies and mess to clean up, which is priceless when you have a toddler tearing around your house.
I don’t normally post about every little thing I add to my shop, but I really like this one so I thought I would share. It’s very peaceful and calm, like a sunrise. To be totally honest, I don’t pay attention to that many sunrises, because I’m not at all a morning person. I’m more of a night owl who finds morning people completely baffling. If I had my way no one would look at me, speak to me, or try to interact with me in any way prior to 10am (which doesn’t work out too well in the worlds of jobs and motherhood). Chances are, if I’m up early enough to see the sunrise, my eyes are still barely open and all of my brainpower is concentrated on forming coherent thoughts. Think I’m exaggerating? You’ve obviously never met me.
Let me preface this by saying, I am NOT an air conditioning sorta girl. If I was the only one who lived in this house it would probably never get used. Artificial, cold, recirculated air when it’s beautiful and sunny outside…yuck. No thanks. But today when I walked into the house I was rather appreciative that my BF cranked up the cold when I wasn’t looking (this happens all day long…he gets hot and turns it down, I get cold and turn it up. Repeat, repeat).
Here’s the thing. His car was leaking radiator fluid and has been at the mechanic for the last few days, so I’ve been driving him to work. Wouldn’t you know it, yesterday as I’m getting off the highway, my car overheats and dies at the light. Luckily we were able to restart and pull over into an office parking lot, and one of his friends was awesome enough to come to the rescue with engine coolant. Even after the refill though, I had to blast the heat at full strength or the car started overheating again. We’re pretty sure the fan died, and we can’t get it looked at until Monday. Fun, fun, right? After driving back in 85 degree weather wearing flip flops and scalding air blasting through the vents I’m pretty sure I have burns on my feet. And this is coming from the girl with a crazy-high tolerance for heat. People tease me that I’m part lizard.
In other news, I made the drawing above a couple of days ago. I rather like it. The original drawing is pretty big, and a lot of the details get lost in the picture above, so I included a couple of detail shots below. I would love to blow it up big and cover an entire wall.
It’s been a while since I added any new products to my Etsy and Redbubble shops, so I spent the majority of my day Thursday turning some of my designs into iPhone and iPod cases. I thought I was over my iPhone envy when Instagram finally came out on Android, but I still feel that twinge of jealousy every so often when I think about how many cool customized cases are available for iPhones vs Android phones. I have a Galaxy S, and although I love the functionality of my phone, I have yet to find any cool options for customizing it. At least, not any options that don’t cost an arm and a leg. (Dramatic sigh). Oh well.
For those of you who ARE iPhone/iPod touch owners*, head on over to my Redbubble shop to check out the designs pictured above, plus a few others. If you own neither (like me…still have my regular ol’ black iPod Classic) but you like the designs, feel free to look around anyway. Most of my work is available as posters, framed prints, canvas prints, and photo prints as well.
I was messing around this afternoon with creating patterns in Illustrator, and I thought it would be fun to offer this crazy pattern I made as a free desktop wallpaper. Just click on the image above, then click the “full size” option above the picture to download*. Enjoy!