Here's to cold emails and taking chances!

A year ago tonight (Jan 12, 2018), probably around this exact time (10:30 P.M.) and after a glass of wine (also having one now!), I decided to email one of my idols and ask for a job.

HappyAnniversaryToTakingChances.jpg

As I’ve mentioned in the previous post, listening to The Honest Designers Show was extremely influential to me making some seriously positive changes in my career. I am a dedicated listener and in one of the episodes towards the end of 2017, Lisa Glanz (www.lisaglanz.com) mentioned that she was looking for an assistant and would be interviewing after the holidays.

Should I apply?

She was probably looking for someone local (she’s in South Africa), She’s probably got so many people emailing her with their huge talent, I’m too shy to apply, she won’t hire me, I’m probably not what she’s looking for, etc. etc. etc. All the negative thoughts that discourage us from taking chances…you know the ones.

The holidays came and went. She had said “after the holidays”. Here it was January 12th. Was that too early? Was that too late?

After a glass of wine on the couch, scrolling through Instagram, Friday night…I said “Why not?” Just send her a casual email, tell her you’re a fan of the show and inquire if she is still looking for someone.

The next morning when I woke up she had replied! Yes she was looking for someone and yes I should apply. And less than a month later I was hired! It’s been almost a year now and I still can’t believe my incredible good fortune.

So here’s to taking chances! Why not put yourself out there? Have a glass of wine first if you must, but take that chance, send that email, make that call or apply for that job!! Why not???

If you like the beautiful eucalyptus watercolor in the image you can find it here:

www.lisaglanz.com/shop/eucalyptus-watercolour-leaves-mini-collection/

And if you like that font, you can find it here:

https://creativemarket.com/Nickylaatz/2271589-Belluga-Brush-Rough-Smooth

BRING IT ON 2019

I can’t help but reflect on the year that is coming to a close. So much changed for me career-wise. And it all really began when I discovered Lisa Glanz’s work. I started listening to her podcast: The Honest Designers Show. I joined Instagram. I launched my own website.

Before that, I was seriously considering giving up on graphic design altogether. This show offers so much real-world advice and inspiration. I started listening in August of 2017. By the end of 2017, I had started drawing again and sharing my work online via Instagram. I decided to get a website. Both of these things led to job opportunities and totally re-invigorated my love of design and illustration.

In March of 2018, I found a part time job with an extremely flexible schedule. Just what I needed to be able to spend more time working on freelance projects and illustrating, while also trying something totally new.

I really hope 2019 brings more of the same. All I can say is, put yourself out there, find a community of people with shared interests and don’t hold back. It’s amazing what happens when you do. Happy New Year!

DesignCuts.com has an awesome freebie font this week

I’ve discovered one way to build up your font stash is to sign up for DesignCuts and Creative Markets mailing list. They give away some pretty cool stuff for graphic resources on a weekly basis. It’s a nice way to promote the artists and it’s only offered for a short time. I really like this new one called Violetta. Comes with 4 different typefaces. Design Cuts gives you the chance to enter to win a prize by submitting a design using their freebie of the week. I think this is not only a great way to build your community but also a genius marketing tool. Those who decide to enter, not only get a little practice in but also create something that they can share on other platforms…further spreading the word about Design Cuts. Since I don’t have a lot of time to keep up on the suggested “posting” schedule, this can kill a few birds with one stone, so to speak. What are your favorite design and typography resources? Do you ever enter contests for the practice alone? I’d love to know your thoughts.

DesignCuts_comp_01.jpg

Finally started a facebook business page...

I’ve taken several skillshare classes on marketing. Researched the internet. Listened to the Honest Designers advice on social media…but I’ve been very reluctant to start a facebook business page. Part of it is because I’m super shy and rarely talk about, or boast about, my accomplishments or work I’m proud of. I’ve been working with a particular incredibly talented illustrator who asked me to set a facebook page up for her. This proved to be the little push I needed…after all, I wanted to have some actual experience doing it for myself first! What do you think? Have you had any experience with this yourself? I’d love to know your thoughts…

Blueberries for July!

I had so much fun on the sketches for this set, but when it came time to turn into vectors and colorize, I really struggled. I'm going to keep pushing it to try and get it to what I want it to be. While doing this I definitely had a moment of "This is terrible, you suck, why did you ever think you were a good illustrator, just stick with packaging and the admin work you do for more talented people, maybe go back to waitressing, etc, etc"

I know everybody - even my heroes - have moments of self doubt. I think listening to The Honest Designers Podcast - link below - has really helped me realize that this stuff isn't easy and just because you may have always thought you were a good illustrator doesn't mean you don't have to practice and work at it. All of their stories are incredibly inspiring and, well, honest. Check it out if you need some insight, inspiration and camaraderie in your creative struggles. 

https://www.designcuts.com/honest-designers/honest-designers-show-developing-your-design-style/

blueberries_branch_text_wip.jpg
blueberry_muffin_wip.jpg

happy girl reading

Having fun with brushes and sketching in Ai. Added an old paper texture as an overlay to give it a little oomph. Practicing everyday and getting better. 

Girl_Ponytail_book.jpg

baby books...

I love baby books. the simple shapes and minimal text. Usually bright colors. This is a little different technique for me. I learned this from Lisa Glanz's skill share class. Link below

https://www.skillshare.com/classes/How-to-retain-a-hand-drawn-quality-to-your-vector-drawings/872694946/classroom/discussions?via=custom-list&enrolledRedirect=1

I like a lot about this but I still not happy with how my sketch ends up looking flat. Maybe I need to add shadows?

I have to also give a shout out to Christophe Jacques who I discovered on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/atelier_la_fermette/ which led me to an article about his process and using the technique of adding scanned paper images to give depth to your work. 

Another favorite of mine is http://dawnmachell.co.uk/

I just love how not realistic her art is. I get so hung up on things not being in proportion, not looking realistic and then I remind myself of her work and how fun and playful it is. Her eyeballs are never lined up perfectly but usually very askew. And I love it!

baby-with-book.jpg

Happy Fourth of July 2018

Having a bit of fun with Ai and the blob brush. Still haven't perfected the technique of scanning in sketches and converting them to vector. I get hung up on the jaggedy bits and then get hung up on the too smooth bits. I am having fun practicing though. I'm committed to practicing everyday now. Maybe this set I'm working on will be ready for the Etsy shop in 6 months. I guess what I really should be working on is Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas to get a jump on things. But I'm inspired by summer and since I'm looking at the long game I think it's ok. Happy Fourth of July! I am proud to be an American. 

fourth-of-july-2018-sighnage_wip.jpg

more library...this time audio books

I love audio books. it's especially cool when the actual author reads their own story. My favorite one so far is Rachel Dratch's "A girl walks into a bar..." an Autobiography. She is hilarious and very relatable and down to earth. Probably not a kids book, though. :)

audio-books_final.jpg

more library/summer reading practice.

I had a really tough time with the basic shape of this one. It doesn't always turn out the way I see it in my head but I still like the result and I had fun doing it. I've always been a sucker for a thick outline.

 

 

feet-bean-bag.jpg

Fairy Day 2018

In keeping with my library themed illustrations, I wanted to have a mouse on top of a stack of books...then I realized it was Fairy Day (thank you Instagram) so I switched it to a fairy. I'm pretty happy with this but still working on turning my sketches into finished work. I took Lisa Glanz's Skillshare class on this exact subject and I learned some really cool tricks. I really like scanning everything in as separate elements and then layering them together. Almost like collage or paper dolls. 

book-stack-fairy-final-pink.jpg
book-stack-fairy-final-blue.jpg
I think this last one could make a really cute bookmark, book label (remember when those were all the rage?) or a reusable tote - perhaps from a bookstore.

I think this last one could make a really cute bookmark, book label (remember when those were all the rage?) or a reusable tote - perhaps from a bookstore.

Working on some fun book themed illustrations...

My kids always say "...got me like..." I don't know if that's a thing or not but I like it! This girl is inspired by Roald Dahl's character Matilda. I love her because she has a thirst for knowledge and reads everything she can. She rises above her family circumstances and makes a life of her own. Dahl created a heroic girl in Matilda. The movie is also great! What's your favorite Roald Dahl book? 

matilda_FINAL_TEXT.jpg

So Matilda’s strong young mind continued to grow, nurtured by the voices of all those authors who had sent their books out into the world like ships on the sea. These books gave Matilda a hopeful and comforting message: You are not alone.” 
― Roald Dahl, Matilda