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That’s kinda…fishy

I know, I know…I was supposed to post this on Illustration Friday, aka Black Friday. Better late than never, right? Even better than late…it’s a freebie!

I spent my Illustration Friday playing with fish. I created quite a few…some good and some really bad. See the best of them in my new Hungry Jpeg shop.

And, of course, I had to make something with these fish (and a few friends from Illustration Fridays past)…and it’s your freebie. Download the full PDF here.

Happy Illustration Friday!calendar_2016_2up2

 

 

 
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Posted by on December 8, 2015 in Freebie, Illustration

 

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Illustration Friday

Happy Illustration Friday! I’m skipping the chaos of Black Friday and jumping back into illustration for the entire day. Stay tuned to see how it unfolds!

 
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Posted by on November 27, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

From Owls to Cross Country

From Owls to Cross Country

While I still love everything Mid Century Modern and plan to continue to create more retro illustrations, my designs have taken a turn for the trail. Are you surprised?

To make a long story short, I purchased a button maker and got an idea to help cover the cost of my son’s Eagle Scout project that happens to be for his cross country team. Cross Country buttons! So on a super long bus ride to a meet (I’m a coach too), I sketched out 3 pages of designs. Some appropriate for high school–others that are more appropriate for us older runners. Then, I asked the portion of the team that was on my bus what they would want to see on a button, leaving me with a grand total of 62 designs!

With two weeks to go until our big home meet–the Federal League Championships–I made over 700 buttons to sell as a fundraiser. It was a fun project and the first time I really felt confident in my designs for runners. Of course, each of these designs will soon be available on my Society 6 pages on t-shirts, sweatshirts & mugs. Custom pinback buttons are also available on my Etsy page, too.

Of course, what post would be worth your time without photos? So here they are!

Etsy Button DesignsFinished Buttons

I still have several pages of designs, so stay tuned for the next batch…

 
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Posted by on October 20, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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A giraffe? What’s next?

A fun little illustration. More to come at random times. Life is crazy busy and illustration has taken a backseat for a bit.

RetroGiraffe

Be sure to check back on Black Friday, too. I’ll have free download for those of you who choose not to shop on Thanksgiving.

 
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Posted by on November 24, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Because Design Saved Me

I started this blog to battle what felt like an intense case of burnout. It was a fun and successful adventure. I found my style and I survived my soul crushing day job long enough to take on my dream job.

It’s been quiet around here for some time. I try to get back to illustrating and making things, but something always seems to come up. And for a while, I have to admit, I was lost. I tried to keep it hidden away (and I fooled many people), but learning that my grandmother was fighting a horrifying battle against pancreatic cancer was tearing me up. It wasn’t fair that a woman who had done nothing but try her best to what was right and care for everyone around her had to face this demon. She was one of the last of my childhood heroes.

She was the inspiration for my “artsy” side. From the time I was 5, she encouraged me to sing duets with her in church and act with her in Sunday School plays. (I was painfully shy.) She encouraged me to keep drawing and writing when others saw it as a waste of time and criticized my work. And even shared some of her own writings and drawings with me.

I got the call in late September that they didn’t think she’d make it much longer. I packed up my stuff and raced back home to Zeeland. It was the longest drive I have ever taken (despite being the shortest drive home, ever), but I felt like I was in a race against death. If I could just get there first, she wouldn’t be so scared. It was my turn to protect her.

I made it there in time to see her and spend a few days with her. She was in and out of consciousness, and I was able to talk to her a bit. I knew her time was nearing the end, so each night I stayed at her side. I rarely left her side and in her last moments, I held her hand. It was the hardest thing I have ever done, but I wasn’t going to let her leave alone.

The pain of losing her is still quite fresh, but I’ve started to feel like me again over the last few days. I’ve started each day off with at least 1 hour of design time. It’s crazy how much I’ve missed illustrating, and how much better I feel when I am locked in trying to make my idea appear on the paper (or screen). Design saved me from burnout, so I’m hoping it will save me from the darkness.

So today’s illustration is one for my grandma, Jean Lucille Dykema.

ForGrandma

Grandma was furious when holiday shopping started to take over Thanksgiving. So, I’ll be working on a special holiday treat for those of you who choose to skip the Thanksgiving day sales and spend time with your friends and family. (Details to come.)

 
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Posted by on November 15, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Design School: Lessons Outside My Comfort Zone

My adventures in Make It In Design Summer School continues with an attempt at animal print. It’s no secret that I have always hated animal print anything. Another “style” that makes my stomach turn. No joke. So when I received creative brief #2, I was not excited, but I jumped in.

Since I really can’t stand animal print, I thought I’d look at rare or endangered animals. After hours of stomach-turning research, I found the Clouded Leopard. I love the variations in spot sizes and in the shading within each of the spots. So I played with it. The results were so horrid that will not scar you with an image…actually, I can’t because after I was done with my pity party (yeah, it was so bad that I couldn’t even laugh at it), I deleted the file…and emptied the trash.

Feeling hopelessly design-challenged, I started my search for inspiration once again. That’s when I found the Burmese Star Tortoise. My heroes of the day! In less than an hour, I cranked out this fun design.

Star Tortoise Pattern

Next up: Another adventure in tribal designs. This should be interesting…

 
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Posted by on August 21, 2014 in Illustration

 

Summer School for Designers

It’s been ages since I’ve done much of anything related to illustration, and I don’t like it one bit! So, I signed up to take the Make It In Design Summer School courses…all three. Crazy? Yep, but I’m so hungry to design again that I just couldn’t help myself!

Round 1 was a little rocky, as I was only able to complete one of three assignments:

MIID Summer School pattern design, round 1

This time around, I’ve decided to complete all three assignments. The first theme is tribal shapes. I am the first to admit that the tribal geometric designs just don’t sit well with me (okay, so they kinda make my stomach flop).

I started with a shape you may recognize from one of my owls:

MIID Summer School begins

I never really liked this design, so I thought why not make myself like it more. I reworked the colors to a more vibrant tribal color palette and came up with this…

Almost tribal?

Not quite tribal. So I went back to my sketch pad to try for something more tribal. A few adjustments and I made it to my final design:

That's as tribal as I get!

It reminds me of the irritating patterns I had to deal with as a preteen in the 80s. I think it works, but it’s definitely not my style.

So, have you guessed the next step in my design adventure? Yep, I’ll be creating fabric patterns with all of the bits and pieces of my owls. I’ll use these courses to challenge my skills and build a base of designs. The best will be available through my Spoonflower site.

 
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Posted by on August 16, 2014 in Illustration

 

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