Tag Archives: illustration

Thanks, WHAM-Goers!

‘Tis the season to get out there and support your local artists and craftspeople and boy, did you! Last weekend was my fourth year participating in Fresh Arts’ 11th Annual Winter Holiday Art Market, and I had a blast getting to meet my fellow art-lovers. If you didn’t get a chance to swing by, check out the official Fresh Arts photo album highlighting the event.

Here I am, animatedly discussing who-knows-what with a friend who stopped by the Friday preview party…WHAM 2016

I was pretty happy with how this year’s setup turned out. Thank GOD for those Ikea shelves! They were certainly more work on the front-end (positioning, measuring, re-positioning, running to Target to buy a longer extension cord, drilling) but super convenient any time a framed piece was sold. Or you know, any time I had an OCD moment and felt the urge to rearrange… and rearrange again. Yay for enabling indecision!

After WHAM, I immediately flew to Arizona to spend Thanksgiving with the fam (and the cactus-fam)…img_0345

…don’t you think my cactus-brother and I look alike?

This week it’s back to the grind, working on more original illustrations and trying to organize for the holiday rush. If you still want to see me to do some holiday shopping, I’ll have a booth at AIGA Houston’s DesignCraft at Market Square Park this weekend! And for all you vinyl lovers out there, rumor has it I’ll be sharing a spot with my fellow design comrade, Tim, where he’ll be promoting Record Props (check it out to support his kickstarter!)

Hope to see you this weekend!

Animals for People — From Concept to Completion

Dog Sketch

Over the past few months, I have ventured out into unknown territory: the territory of solo art shows (gaaaah!!!) Unsurprisingly, it’s been a learning experience. I initially felt overwhelmed by the prospect of creating all new works of art with no real outside direction placed upon me — Anyone with a background in graphic design will understand the comfort associated with having project constraints. But a blank page (or really, 15 blank pages), 3 months, and no requirements for media type, dimensions, or theme? Terrifying.

Luckily, I am a list-maker, which means I had a plethora of concepts to choose from, some of which had been stewing in my brain for years. I narrowed it down to two possibilities and eventually settled on the one that I thought was realistically doable in the amount of time I had available. The result is Animals for People.

In a nutshell, the concept for Animals for People is relatively simple: animals, doing people things. But (and forgive me for getting all art-school-critiquey for a moment), for me the concept is slightly deeper than that. Yes, I wanted to draw animals in clothing, but I also wanted to allude to our human feelings of discomfort, inadequacy, and feeling troubled by what is expected of us. I think we can relate to the beaver who knows it’s in his nature to cut down the tree, but feels ashamed by his own destruction. We can relate to the hippopotamus who feels the pressure to “be fit” and reluctantly laces up his sneakers, despite a body type less suited for running.Refined Dog Sketch

Throughout, I struggled with balancing imagery of cute furry creatures with more serious topics. And now that the pieces are complete, there are perhaps changes I would have made here and there. But my hope is that in the end, the work reflects life: fun, playful, and humorous with just the tiiiiiiniest inkling of sadness hidden beneath.

Animals for People: A Solo Art Show by fuzzy grapefruit
Saturday October 4th, 7-10pm
Space Montrose, 1706 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77098
Free Admission & Open to the Public
Music, drinks and nibbles provided
*First 25 attendees will receive a limited edition fuzzy grapefruit print!*  Bodie Looks for a Job

Art! Puppies! Cupcakes!

Dearest art lovers,

I have been a terrible blogger lately 🙁 But sometimes, life just gets in the way. I recently had a TON of design work and custom orders to complete, then went on vacation to the United Kingdom, and now I am back and full of inspiration for new work (hooray!) Stay tuned to see some new prints and notecards inspired by the landscape across the pond.Lucky Lucy

In the meantime, you should totally check out the fantastic art submissions recently put up at Celebrity Cupcakes here in Houston. I was honored to be asked to submit a piece and I’m really happy with how my “Lucky Lucy” painting turned out. All the work is available for purchase and all proceeds benefit Corridor Rescue, a fantastic organization committed to rescuing abandoned and mistreated animals. So support local artists, help animals in need, and eat cupcakes… sounds like my kind of party.

‘tiny’ Arts Pop Up – Artists OpeningAugust 18th, 2-4 pm
Celebrity Cupcakes (Rice Village)
2343 University Blvd., Houston, Texas

Riffing on Artists

kupka_riff

Frantisek Kupka’s “The Yellow Scale” (oil), and Allison Johnston’s “Orange Scales of Justice” (pastel and chalk)

Sometimes I hear other artists complain about needing inspiration in order to produce new work. Although I find that my personal problem has more to do with an excess of thinking and a lack of doing, I can certainly relate. Every now and then I have the sneaking suspicion that the GENIUS idea I just sprouted has already been done… perhaps many times. But that brings up an interesting question: If we are all unique individuals with unique thoughts and experiences (and I believe we are), don’t we automatically infuse that uniqueness into our work, regardless of whether the concept is truly original? And let’s be honest, nothing is truly original anymore. The spark of an idea must always come from some other source of inspiration. It’s what we do with that inspiration, how we put our own spin on it, that really matters.

Yesterday was the final critique for my drawing class. The end-of-semester assignment was to create a “riff” of another artist’s work. Initially, the idea made me uncomfortable — there is a lot of bad art out there which is meant to pay tribute to the genius of an artist whose skill level is above and beyond the capabilities of most of us. In other words, no matter which artist I chose, I felt completely incapable of doing the original work any justice. But after a frank discussion with my instructor lamenting my lack of time, quality materials, and ability, she reminded me of the importance of individuality and perspective. We are all unique, therefore we all create unique work. If we embrace our own voices as artists and refrain from attempting to mimic, our work which is inspired by another can have its own unique style, its own unique point of view. Most of the great artists of the past were influenced by each other, pulling bits and pieces of inspiration from the world around them. But they always made their work their own. It’s okay to be influenced by other artists, it’s natural. But if we’re not putting our own uniqueness into our work, what’s the point?