Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Recycled Wine Corks Holiday Wreath

Came home from work today feeling crafty, so I pulled out a bunch of corks from my stash and made a Christmas wreath - yay me!
Here's a glimpse of the creative stages. I'm letting this baby dry overnight, then tomorrow I'll finish it up with a nice big bow and hang it on my door. Will share pictures of the final product, promise!

In case you too are feeling crafty and happen to be looking for some wine corks to work with, you've come to the right place. I have more corks than I can ever use, so I've listed a few hundred for sale on my website. Check it out - while supplies last.

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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Working With Crayons

I've been especially obsessed with new marking tools lately. I've been buying pens like there's no tomorrow. I guess it keeps me excited about drawing, but one thing I've learned is that no matter how pricy or inexpensive your marking tools are, you can create beautiful art with just about anything.
Earlier in the year, we were packing up to move when I came across a basket full of my daughter's broken crayons. I really hate being wasteful, so in order to justify keeping them, I decided to use them in my sketchbook. Here's a peek of one my favorite pieces. 
First I doodled a bunch of flowers in the background. Then, still using crayons, I drew shapes on different color pieces of card stock, cut out the shapes, assembled them into the shape of a fairy and attached them onto my floral background using a glue stick. Last, I added the lettering above the fairy. Turned out cute! I think this would make a nice piece to frame and display in a little girl's bedroom. Too bad my daughter is running out of wall space in her room.

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Joy of a New Marking Tool

So I spotted a new marker at Michael's the other day. I got a hold of 50% off coupon this week, which I took as a sign from the heavens that I must get it. Last night after work, as my family waited for me at home to have dinner, I made them wait a bit longer because mama had some shopping to do. I mean, Michael's is only 1 block away from where I work, so it wasn't much of a detour. I marched right in, grabbed this neon pink Molotow marker as images of beautiful pink and black doodles flashed through my mind. Then at home after dinner, the magic began. Here it is, my work in progress. 
Looking forward to finishing this piece tonight, 'cause it's Friday Art Night at the Perez residence!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!

Wishing everyone a very happy Halloween! Have fun, stay safe and save some candy for tomorrow. ~ Xo, Ms. Dio

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

My favorite time of the year

Yay - my favorite time of the year has just begun! I'm so ready for boots, scarves and sweaters, accompanied by my favorite drinks of the season: pumpkin spice latte, chocolate abuelita, and pumpkin cheesecake. Yum!

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

This is how the universe doodles

I'm one of those people that see shapes everywhere I go and in everything I encounter. I see shapes in the clouds, on the texture on the wall, in my food - everywhere! It's pretty cool, actually. If you ask me, I think that's how the universe doodles. Sneaking up shapes here in there, just for fun, same way I do on every piece of scrap paper I encounter or while on the phone. So the other day walking into the office building where I work I noticed a water stain where a planter once stood, that looked like a bear wearing a beret hat. I pointed it out to a couple of coworkers, they laughed and agreed in amusement. Then there was the one person who thought the stain looked like Elvis. Ha, ha. Well...unless Elvis looked like a bear wearing a beret, maybe yes, otherwise no. Right?

~ Dio

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Thursday, August 7, 2014

Creative Process - From Doodles to Illustration

For many years I have admired gorgeous patterns printed on home goods and textiles and wondered how in the world do people do that? Is it really PEOPLE who do that, or machines? But machines aren't creative! I had no clue. I've been a graphic artist for 18 years now, living on deadlines, producing one marketing piece after another, relying on stock photography and clipart to obtain those images/illustrations that I don't have time to make from scratch. I do the corporate thing because I'm good at it, it pays the bills and I like my employer and coworkers (BIG plus). My passion however, is in all things CUTE! Oh, what I wouldn't give to land a job creating graphics for children's apparel! 

As I follow the beat of my heart, I realize it's time to work in that direction, so I spend every chance I get researching designers and online courses. That is how I came across Lilla Rogers' Make Art That Sells online course which I took last fall, and the Make It In Design Free Summer School Course which I'm currently taking.

When it comes to graphic design, I am pretty quick at visualizing a concept in my head, and I rarely sketch anything before I begin working on a layout. I can't say the same about illustration, though. Illustration and pattern design takes me HOURS to complete, mostly because I'm still pretty new at it. The more I do it the faster I'll get, I'm sure. Every artist has their own way of working, but here is my individual process broken down in three easy steps.

The topic for my Summer School (Beginner Track) assignment was Tropical Paradise. I spent some time online looking for pictures and illustrations of tropical plants and birds. I studied the features  and details of of toucans, flamingos, surfboards, plants, etc. Then I shut my browser, took out a few pieces of plain white card stock, my favorite black pen and began to doodle over and over again all things that felt tropical and beachy to me. It is important NOT to copy anything you have seen. Just absorb, be inspired, and draw while the images are fresh in your mind. Let your individual style shine through.

I'm not too confident in my hand drawing and painting abilities, so after filling a few pages with doodles, I recreate them (from scratch) in Illustrator. I don't have a Wacom tablet, but sometimes I will use Adobe Ideas on my iPad to recreate my doodles digitally, then I download them to Illustrator where they can be fine-tuned. I don't worry too much about staying true to my original sketches and changing up the characters. The way I see it, if I find a way to improve as I move along in the process, I will.

Once in Illustrator, I focus on the details and complete my illustration. I'm not very experienced in creating  patterns. I've used Illustrator to create a simple repeat a few times, but I haven't mastered it yet. The image below was created simply by copying and pasting my birds and florals, changing up the size and colors, flipping them vertically or horizontally, placing them manually throughout the designated space and adding a background.

And that's how this piece was born. I'm sure in a few years I'll look back and cringe, but for now, I am embracing the moment. It's the beginning of a new path in my career as an artist, and as with anything, only time and practice make perfect.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Doodle Enclosures for My Medical Bills

I've had a couple of medical bills on my desk I had been avoiding since the beginning of the week. I finally decided to tackle them today before the mail man arrived. I glanced over them and thought "Blagh! I'd much rather be using this money to..." then I paused. The bill I was looking at was from my dentist. I actually happen to like my dentist and my smile. Thanks to him, I still have a nice set of pearly whites...a few fillings, a couple of root canals and crowns, but I still have all my teeth and for that, I am very thankful. I noticed how my energy shifted by looking at things positively, and I felt inclined to share the joy. Instead feeling resistant, I was now feeling grateful and creative so I decided to include a little doodle with my payment to brighten their day.

I used a sheet of yellow paper that I found on my desk, cut it in half and began to doodle. Once I was done, (I snapped a picture of course) I folded it in thirds, placed the check in the center, folded the flaps inwards, and enclosed it in an envelope along with the invoice. I did the same for the second bill from the radiologist.
I'm sure it'll surprise whoever processes the payments. I mean, how often do people include little notes of joy with their payables? Not many, I would think. I hope my little dose of positive energy makes them smile, the same way I smiled when I realized how blessed I am to have the money to care for my health, and how blessed I am to have a dental provider like Dr. Moya and his very caring staff.

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