NSFW Disclaimer! If you’re somewhere in which scrolling past a nude model would get you into trouble, maybe check this post out later. :)
I’ve been lucky enough to grow up with a few fabulous art mentors in my life. One of which is my good friend Erika’s dad, Bill Kreplin. Bill has been working as a professional fine artist and teacher for as long as I’ve known him and whenever I’m able to join his group of artist friends for their open studio figure drawing sessions, I jump at the chance.
Figure drawing is one of the best drawing exercises for me personally and I think it’s an invaluable practice for artists of all skill levels. It’s the perfect way to learn straight from life as well as sharpen your existing skills and remind yourself to break existing habits and try new techniques.
The atmosphere at Bill’s is always fantastic. Everyone is laid back and friendly, but works seriously and independently, always with a beer or cocktail in hand. The best way to work as far as I’m concerned. ;) It’s a welcoming environment for people with diverse skill sets and I always end up feeling inspiring by my fellow classmates’ working styles. You can bring whatever media you like–I once brought a laptop and tablet and I’ve seen someone bring clay and sculpt their figure!
It’s a blast and I encourage any local art enthusiast to join us!
What: Life Drawing with the Bill Kreplin Drawing Group
When: Thursdays | 6:30-9:30pm | September 3 – November 19
Where: 2101 Locust Street | St. Louis, MO
Cost: $360 for the semester or $35 per class
For more info, visit thekreplingroup.yolasite.com or call Bill at 314-805-3146
Just a little something from my digital sketchbook last week. When I’m really in a creative rut but want to make sure I keep drawing, I try to pick a photo that interests me and kind of interpret it. I saw this pretty photo on tumblr and felt like drawing a creepy girl clutching a squishy cat.
For the past 2-3 weeks, St. Louis has been the most depressing, rainy mess. It’s literally been cloudy and rainy for at least part of each day and it’s super bumming me out. The weather keeps ruining my plans for photos and just making me far lazier than I have any right to be. Especially this year when my summer goal is to give my shop a total overhaul and offer lots of new things. My deadline is Strange Folk Festival at the end of September and I hope to launch a new e-commerce site/blog combo by then, too. Wish me luck! It’s all very exciting. :)
I had sensory overload watching Beyonce and Nicki”s newest video together. First of all, um, hello, the ladies themselves. I loved the colors, the fashion, the vibe of laid-back fun with girl friends… it’s all good. I had to doodle them for myself. :)
I really want Beyonce’s leaf-printed jacket. Too bad it’s $700 (on sale for $490! WHAT A BARGAIN). Nothing less for Beyonce!
I’ve been trying to do more editorial illustration this year and have been sending out some good ol’ promo emails to art directors for the first time since college (yikes). I stifled a joyful squeal when I heard back from BUST Magazine, one of my all-time favorites. It was a really encouraging reminder that if you want something, you need to put yourself out there! I always kind of thought those promo emails go straight in the trash, but go figure. Ask and ye shall receive? Haha, that’ s bit too blindly optimistic for my taste, but I’ll take it. ;)
The assignment is a fun little piece about making your own video games. It gets specific about finding the right resources and collaborating with others to fill in any blank spaces in your personal knowledge/skill set, which I thought was great.
I sent three sketches. The first is from the point of view inside the game. The space looks half-finished and a girl reaches through the screen to give tools to her protagonist. The second and third both focus on the idea of collaboration between women, laying out their ideas as maps, blueprints, and pop-up windows.
My art director, Lauren, chose the first sketch. This kind of excited and frightened me because this was the one that pushed me furthest from my comfort zone. I should be challenging myself more often, so that was a good thing. I struggled to figure out the right colors and I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. My favorite detail is the rogue pixels. :)
This assignment had a quick turnaround, basically over the weekend of Anime STL (!!!). I brought my Surface Pro and worked at my table and rushed home on Sunday night to finish up. Juggling a successful show and finishing an illustration for a client I love felt super empowering. Just another reminder that I should keep working hard and push to finish more things!
I drew this one a couple months ago but forgot to share on the blog! I was into Taylor Swift’s 1989 album in a big way this winter. It was a little ray of sunshine through the cold and dreary days. :)
I’ve been working on this on-and-off for about a month. Digging in when I really felt like working on a more complicated piece. This year I’d like to try and focus on some illustrations that feel “bigger” and like they tell a story.
I love the bright colors and crazy shadows bouncing around in a good arcade scene. I let loose a bit, experimenting with brushes and colors. It’s another resolution of mine to keep pushing past my instinct to use lazy, literal colors.
I’ve been blowing off the dust on the tumblr I use for my illustration work this week, too. You can follow along here!
I used some of these fashion editorials as reference and inspiration. Aren’t they fantastic? I just want to capture more of these moody, neon feelings. So rad.
Green With Indie is one of my favorite local craft shows! It has an eco-friendly focus and always features a great group of vendors, plus it’s located in Webster Groves which attracts a wonderful crowd of shoppers. Webster residents love any arts and culture event and they really show up, which is awesome! :) The weather was lovely and I had my most successful GWI yet!
Over the winter, I was kind of hoping to hide away in a creative cocoon and emerge at GWI (my first show of the year) as a fabulous crafty butterfly with tons of new items and a beautiful new display. While I wish I would’ve gotten more sewing and jewelry making done, I did debut my paintings and several new prints–including that fancy gold foil one! So shiny! Haha. I also got my pegboard display figured out and looove the way it turned out! I’m definitely feeling more inspired by the way my booth looks.
This year I’d love to narrow my focus a bit and concentrate on products that represent my best. I know I spread myself a bit thin now by doing too many different things at once, but hey, this is my creative outlet where I encourage myself to try new things and see what sticks.
Unfortunately, that means I spend money on lots of different supplies for different things. I don’t just buy illustration supplies, but jewelry making tools, and sewing supplies. I don’t sell tons of any one thing, so my profits don’t do much more than break even because I can’t buy huge quantities of supplies. I’d love to get more serious about the business side of things in 2015. I finally caved and bought a bookkeeping service and it’s already motivating me to focus on the decisions I’m making in more practical way.
I’m going to try and take photos this week to do a big remodel of my Etsy shop, so look for new prints and jewelry soon! I’d also like to set up a new, independent e-commerce site this Spring. I’m definitely on the “Etsy is a giant bummer now” train and I’d like to start distancing myself from them.
My latest portrait commission is for Lauren Dee of Daisycakes Creative! Lauren provides lots of services for her clients including writing, editing, and proofreading. She wanted a portrait that reflected her business and its name.
Lauren was one of those clients who had a pretty clear vision for what she wanted. She loves yellow and blue, chevron patterns, and wanted to make sure to reference her love of books. She also wanted some kind of daisy border or frame. The composition pretty easily built itself!
She really responded to the second sketch with the circle of flowers and suggested a chevron pattern for her shirt. I wanted to make sure the book was a title that reflected her taste and personality–Pride and Prejudice it is! A girl after my own heart. :) I had to play off of Jessica Hische’s cover design because really. So gorgeous.
I’m not necessarily a creature of habit. I enjoy multitasking and dabbling in many different jobs and tasks at once. It keeps me on my toes and engaged. Apparently I’ve been working at my computer too much lately because a switch flipped in me, just needing to get messy with my paints and hands.
I’ve been having fun making some really self-indulgent things and messing with layers and textures. Some of these are still in progress. I hope to have a nice little gallery of original work for sale at Green With Indie next Saturday (YIKES!)
I mostly use acrylics on canvas because I always have them handy. I like the flexibility of acrylic. I can use thick layers of paint and smear and blur or I can use thinner coats and let them dry quickly so I can go color crazy without getting muddy. It’s a great paint when I’m craving some instant gratification and just want to churn out a finished product.
Lauren was one of the first bloggers I really fell in love with and I’ve had the pleasure of hanging out with her a few times. We bond over our mutual love of good food, good drinks, cats, and handmade stuff. She’s fantastic.
I was so excited when she asked me to draw a portrait of her and her lovely boyfriend, Jeremy (plus her perfect kitties) for Valentine’s Day!
I wanted to have fun with lots of bright colors and incorporate little details personal to them. Lauren makes amazing pom-pom headbands, so I had to include one of those! The banner has a latin phrase that’s meaningful to the two of them and her yarn brooch was another requested personal touch. I’m really happy with the final product and think I managed to capture them well–the best test for a portrait!