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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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Then there was this guy with a golden tooth...

I have to say I really enjoyed making this quick digital doodle for #doodleadayjuly. I looked at the doodle calendar earlier in the day, saw the word "golden" next to July 28th. I thought about it off and on during the day, "hmmm...golden...what can draw that is golden?"
I thought of the sun or a sunflower, I thought of a shiny gold coin, but they seemed all too common. Finally, just a few hours before bedtime the "a-ha!" moment came.

Into my mind popped this cute little guy with a golden tooth and sideburns that would have made my 20 year old dad quite jealous.He's pretty cool lookin' don't ya think? The sideburns makes me think he's got some pretty funky dance moves, and he knows it, that's why he's smiling!

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Monday, July 28, 2014

Ballerina Invitations

Finally had a chance to make some stationery out of the ballerina illustration I created a few months ago! So far I've added stickers, note cards, greeting cards and this customizable ballet recital invitation that can be turned into a birthday party or baby shower invitation just by changing out the wording.


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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Doodles and Hand Lettering

A few of my friends and I are participating in a daily doodle challenge on Instagram. The prompt for July 21st was "glow" and the first thing that came to mind was a gorgeous night sky with a big bright moon and sparkly stars. You can see the line art version on my diodoodles blog, a blog I created to record my daily doodles and give visitors a peek into my sketchbooks several times a week. While the other blog focuses on my "doodle life" here I will continue to share any studio updates, professional quality illustrations, DIY projects, post items for sale and inform you of the latest products available in my shops.
Speaking of updates, I've been very observant of hand lettering lately, an art I've always admired but didn't think I could ever master. I have come across so much inspiration on Instagram and Pinterest that it motivated me to set yet another goal for myself this year, and that is to teach myself the art of "pretty writing". And what better way to do it than yo practice, practice, practice. Hence the amateur embellished writing on the image above.

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Monday, July 7, 2014

"Palm and Florals" Framed Artwork

Remember that post a couple of weeks ago about me experimenting with Prismacolor markers? I received the markers for my birthday a little over a year ago as a gift from my hubby. I'm new to using markers and haven't been much of a painter throughout my career as an artist. I have strong graphic arts background, however in recent years I've been avoiding getting back behind the computer after a 40 hour work week. Last thing I want to do after putting in the hours at my 9-5 job is come home and sit behind a computer screen for several hours more. Instead, I've learned to unwind with my sketchbook, a Sharpie pen, and an occasional glass of wine.
So I got brave the other day and pulled out the Primacolors. I love them! It's like painting but without the messy setup and cleanup. All this time I've been afraid to use them for fear of ruining a perfectly good blank page, but if we don't overcome our fears, how else are we ever going to move forward, right?

Well, here it is - the final product! 

I added the piece to my Society6 shop as a framed print.  Phone cases, mugs, wall clocks, and totes are also available with the same pattern. Hope yo like it!

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