Happy Bird-Day: Owl-a-Day Turns 5

OwldaysBanner

Five?!! Can you believe it?! Five years ago, I accepted a friend’s challenge to “do something” with my owl doodles. That “something” ended up being a 365-day challenge that resulted in 385 illustrations and over 400 owls (several posts had an extra or two as part of the story). I used that challenge to help me beat burnout and escape what had become a soul-crushing day job and to move on to my next big career adventure—what I thought was my dream job: working full-time for the nonprofit I had helped to found.

Short Story: I left graphic design for 4.5 years to run a nonprofit out of my home, only to be fired at a Panera without warning or cause, replaced by a friend of a board member, and left with no chance of a full-time job (thank you “confidential conversations” among friends) and no unemployment (small nonprofits are not liable in Ohio). While I’m hurt by how this was handled, I’m not angry or looking to place blame. It’s simply time for me to learn and to move on.

Continue reading

From Owls to Cross Country

Etsy Button Designs

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…

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.

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.)

Owl Print 10 of 13: Owl Top That Tree

Image

After seeing a post by a local vintage shop, I decided to play with odd vintage Christmas Tree Toppers for print 10.

It’s now available for purchase on Atomic Owls. I’ve extended the 30% off a $20 purchase through tomorrow. Enter CYBER13 at checkout to receive your discount.

My prints are now shipping to Canada and the UK, too!

 

100’s of Patterns and Photos Stolen by DIYPatterns.com

Knot Just Yarn Blog

In the world of patterns, DIYPatterns.com has been accused of stealing patterns and photographs from websites such as ETSY and are selling them on their website. This action removes the authors and designers from being compensated for their work and completely benefiting DIYPatterns.com.

Though I have just received notice of this fraudulent act this morning, numerous complaints from many ETSY users have surfaced in The Crochet Crowd Inbox over night. Great people like Lianka Azulay, owner of BonitaPatterns.com has been directly affected as her designs and photographs were stolen. They are selling her patterns putting the money in their own pockets.

In several reports, the website was pulled offline yesterday but resurfaced by a new host today. This company is definitely in this for the cash bypassing any morals to play fair. This is the ugly face of fraud. In one complaint given to me, they are not delivering the…

View original post 129 more words

Print 1 of 13: Mid Century Modern Birch Trees & Owls

It’s a little early, but I couldn’t wait any longer. So here it is…

Print1v2

If you’d like a limited edition print, you may order it here: https://gum.co/13OwlsPrint

50 prints will be available of each and can be shipped anywhere in the US. If you happen to live elsewhere and would like a print, leave me a message.

We’ll be using the profits from these sales to send my son to China with his school band.