Am I an artist now?

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EXCITING NEWS! I recently entered an artwork in a local group exhibition and it was chosen! It is an 8×10 exhibition at The Corner Store Gallery here in Orange, N.S.W. The works of all the artists chosen will be exhibited at The Corner Store Gallery from Thursday 9th March 2017 to Sunday 26th March 2017. I’M SO FREAKING EXCITED! Just over half of me is excited about the fact that I will have my art hanging on a wall in an actual, really-real ART GALLERY (*HYPERVENTILATING*) but if i’m being completely honest with you all (and myself) nearly half of me is excited at the prospect of actually selling the artwork and therefore recouping the cost of entry and the frame. Don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly not in this art caper for the money, but it would be nice to be able to afford to continue to produce, you know,artworks. (*rolls eyes* I feel like I’m haemorrhaging money)

‘Self Portrait’ Giclée print of digital artwork.

So my question for my readers is this . . . (*crickets chirping*) Oh come on! SOMEONE is reading me . . . And so, single reader, my question to you is this – Does this mean I can now call myself an artist without feeling like a fraud? 

(so, its a kind of rhetorical question . . . but not really . . . )

On a fun little side note, I have had fun this week learning about the basics of drawing, mainly contour lines and gesture. I practiced these skills by drawing a group of pears but I think I may have been too gestural with them as every time I look at them I start hearing that song in my head, you know the one . .  .’I like big butts and I can not lie . . . ‘

*shakes head* Pears with big butts, my art in an exhibition . . . what is the world coming to?

Until next time nerds . . .

Naomi.

 

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A drawing for Mika

digital illustration

Just after Christmas my cousins daughter, Tomika, turned 10 . . . DOUBLE FIGURES! I remember turning 10, I remember how excited I was to be turning DOUBLE FIGURES . . . Was it just me? Was this a big deal for anyone else? Surely it was . . . wasn’t it?

I can remember so clearly when Mika was born, I remember her as a toddler, as a little girl and it is such a pleasure to watch her grow into beautiful person, inside and out. When I realised (way too late) that this birthday was ‘the big one’ I didn’t care whether she saw it that way or not,(pretty sure I was WAY more excited about it haha) I wanted to give her something special to celebrate it and remember it by. I wanted to show her how special she is to me.

So I drew a picture . . .

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Believe it or not I drew this entire image on my iPad Pro with my Apple pencil . . . Pretty sweet huh!

 

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I finally delivered the picture to her last saturday (only a month and a half late! *rolls eyes*) and she loved it . . . Im always so relieved when I find out someone loves what Ive drawn for them, I’m always so worried that they’ll hate it . . .

 

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I’m so pleased with how it turned out.

until next time nerds . . .

Naomi.

Wheels in motion . . .

Musings

Remember last week when I shared a photo of some pretty amazing ink cartridges? Well the printer that uses those pretty amazing ink cartridges arrived late last week! With the arrival of this incredibly professional and expensive printer (Parental payment plans are great – NO INTEREST!) my anxiety levels and self-doubt went through the roof. What if I wasted all this money for nothing? What if no one buys my prints? WHAT IF I CANT FIGURE OUT HOW TO WORK THE DARN THING?! The only thing for it was to set it up and test it out but of course life isn’t that simple, EVER! The printer arrived in the middle of a rather painful bout of gastritis and so I could do nothing but stare across the room at my glorious new machine for a few days before I was well enough to tackle it. Eventually I did tackle it and nailed it! It took a whole day, an anxiety filled, terror-driven day but in the end I had something to show for it. It produced the most amazingly, stunning Giclee  print that I have ever seen! The colour was so rich and the details of my drawings were so fastidiously rendered . . . Seriously, the quality is insane!

(Below: Check it out! 12 inks baby! YEAH!)

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As for my anxieties and doubts, I’m not convinced that they will ever go away, especially where money is concerned but as I am writing this I’m feeling a little better. I sat down this morning and broke down all the costs of selling my own prints in order to determine the prices I’ll place on them and I feel sure that in time, If people buy my art this little venture will subsidise itself. (Once I’ve paid my ‘loan’ off of course – I don’t want people to think I sponge off my parents. If I need a substantial amount I sit down with them, lay out all the facts and we come up with a payment plan. A plan that I stick to.) Of course it would be nice to think that one day I may actually make some ‘pocket money’ out of it but for now I’d just be stoked if it paid for itself.

What I’ve been working on . . . 

At the begining of the year the womens group at my church hold a breakfast for all the women of the church. Its called the ‘Womens encouragement breakfast’ and it is a great way to start the year and catch up with a bunch of great ladies after the Christmas break. Last year I was asked to design the brochure and the booklet and this year I have been asked to do it again. Due to my health issues it hasn’t been possible for me, over the last few years, to contribute much of my time or ‘talents’ to our church’s various ministries and outreach (a constant source of frustration!) so I relish the opportunity to contribute my abilities in this way. This year they also asked me to change the logo for the event which excited me probably a little to much as it allowed me to apply some of the things I have learnt in my Graphic Design course. I’ll be getting started on the booklet this week and i am a little excited about doing it again. I don’t get much of an opportunity to put my graphic design skills into practice.

(Below: Logo/ Brochure / A bookmark that will go in the booklet)

 

For the foreseeable future I will be getting ready to open my Etsy store. I wanna do it right and I wanna do it well ( and I don’t want to borrow any more money from my parents) so I’ll slowly be accumulating postage supplies, designing and getting my business cards printed and reading up on Etsy over the next month or two. My goal is to be ‘up and running’ by March. I don’t want to rush this thing. Rush=stress and stress=relapse so there ain’t gonna to be none of that rushin’ business over here, no sir!

I think I’m gonna go and print something . . .

Naomi xoxo

Happy New Year (Blah Blah Blah…)

Musings

This Blog post is NOT about New Years Resolutions!

Whenever I have attempted these resolutions in the past, part of me (perhaps on some self-sabotaging subconscious level) seems to want to do the opposite. As soon as the resolutions leave my mouth, as soon as the rules are in place, part of me wants to (AND DOES) break them.

So here is a list of things that I may or may not get done/achieve this year. Its a list of things I’m working towards, a set of goals/dreams that is by no means comprehensive. If I achieve them all, GREAT . . . If I don’t, well I’ll keep trying.

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  • As a self-taught artist/illustrator I need resources to help me get my head around the creative industries. I need helpful tips, I need practical tutorials and I need real world examples of the ones who have gone before to learn from. The Image above is of just a few books that I want to read this year. Reading isn’t easy for me, my concentration isn’t the best due to chronic illness and my eyes fatigue easily but I am determined! Other resources I find SOOOOOOOOOO useful are Blogs and of course YOUTUBE! There are HOURS of practical tutorials on youtube so I’ll definitely be watching more of those as well.

 

  • I am determined to finish my Diploma of Graphic Design this year . . . A course that should have taken me 18 months/ 2 years by distance has now been stretched out over 4 1/2 years due to my chronic illness. In February I will hopefully be picking it up again for what will HOPEFULLY be my FINAL year of study. Though I have learnt over the years you never know whats around the corner, I feel sure that I will get it done.

 

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  • A few days ago I ordered a printer. This printer prints with twelve inks and will allow me to produce gallery-quality prints (Gyclee prints for those of you in the know) of my illustrations to sell. This means that I will have complete control over the whole process of selling my work from the creation right through to the postage, effectively cutting out the ‘middle man’, cutting out the stress of finding a suitable printing house, cutting out the stress of dealing with potential difficult personalities . . . Basically, it will cut out A LOT of stress for me (My body goes on strike at the mere mention of stress). I’m still waiting for the printer to arrive but the inks arrived today . . . This is getting real people . . . The point being – I will be opening an online ETSY shop sometime in the near future (cue-stress reaction).

 

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  • Although I do my illustrations on my iPadpro I want to be able to produce good quality artwork the old fashioned way. I feel so much more connected to the art I’m producing if I’m doing it with paper, it means so much more. For me the difference between digital and analog art is like talking to your best friend over the phone versus catching up in real life; the phone works fine but every now and then you just really need to hang out. When it comes to creating a unique piece of art, I have never been able to settle on one medium. My stubborn thirst to conquer them all can not be quenched – Believe me, I’ve tried! (You know that saying ‘get your kids into art so they never have enough money for drugs’? WELL ITS TRUE!) Watercolours are one medium that I have yet to tame and so I requested these Winsor and Newton watercolour markers for christmas to attack the ‘problem’ from a different angle. Seriously, these things are so much fun! I am determined that this year will be the year that I develop complete mastery over Watercolours!

 

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  • Did you know you can now get water-soluble oil paints?! You know what this means don’t you?! NO MORE TURPENTINE! As someone who is sensitive to chemicals (again my damned chronic illness) I never thought my body would allow me to paint with oils – THINK AGAIN! Some glorious nerd in a secret lab someone chemically altered oil paints so they can bind with water, this means you can thin them out with water (or the water soluble mediums that you can now buy also!), you can clean your palette with water and you can wash your brushes with, you guessed it, WATER! HURRAH or glorious nerds! Now I can master oils as well! (There goes that stubborn thirst again!) I have a series of paintings that I want to do (Im not giving any more information on them yet) and I’ve envisioned doing them mostly with oil, Im not sure why, but now its possible so thats something else to work towards this year.

 

So this year is gonna go something like this . . . One foot in front of the other . . . Slow and steady wins the race . . . Practice makes perfect . . . DON’T FREAK OUT! haha

 

 

 

Count your blessings . . .

Musings

On this deliciously perfect summer Monday morning I find myself musing on the blessings that surround me. 

I had the pleasure this weekend of travelling to a place I absolutely ADORE to join in the celebrations of a dear old friends 30th birthday. It was wonderful to catch up with extended family (We stayed with cousins) and more dear friends (at the party) as though no time had passed since our last meeting = Blessing #1 – being with people around whom you feel you can be your genuine self.

I knew that I wanted to give Morgan something special so on the Monday before the party I decided to start brainstorming something that I had been wanting to do FOR YEARS!

[A bit of backstory – When I was little (primary school) I had a wonderful tight-nit group of friends in western sydney (around the Hawksbury area). My Father was in the RAAF and so inevitably we were ‘posted’ north to Ipswich, QLD when I was 10 and so I had to leave the only friends I had ever known behind. I remember putting on a pretty brave face, but deep down it was brutal. For a few years we all consistently wrote letters back and forth and I would spend my nights in bed scheming of ways to ‘escape’ from Ipswich so I could get back to where I believed I belonged. Over time though, one must grow up and so I did. The letters gradually stopped as everyone moved on with their lives, but I NEVER once stopped thinking about those girls and how much I missed them. Fast-forward to the age of Facebook and suddenly we were all able to reconnect as young adults and I was OVER THE MOON! Since I finally moved back to Gods own country (NSW) nearly five years ago we have all made the effort to keep up with each other at least once a year (I always try to tone down just how completely and utterly neurotically excited I am anytime I see them – I still can’t believe that I got them all back . . .That sounded REALLY neurotic didn’t it? lol) and every time we see each other it is like no time has passed. I feel so blessed that it was a part of God’s plan to bring us all back together in the way He has, in His perfect timing = Blessing #2 – God’s plans for us far exceeding anything we can plan for ourselves.]

So you can probably see where this is going now . . . For years the only photos that I had of any of us where the professional school photos and I always wished I had something more. Id dream of what those photos would look like and every now and then toy with the idea of just drawing some but I wanted them to be perfect and so I never started.

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Blessing #3 – How amazingly blessed am I that I now have the ability to create and draw that I always wanted!

I had a very clear picture in mind and set to work on my trusty IpadPro.

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Once I had the outlines the way I wanted them I set to work on the tartan uniform pattern = Blessing #4 – Technology . . . It would have been extremely arduous and no doubt exhausting if I had to try to paint the tartan the old fashioned way, instead, I used procreate on my iPad (one word – LAYERS! Sooooooo gooooood) and it took an hour. Once the tartan was done I added colour and shading and though I was so pleased with how it looked at this point I felt like it was missing something. The graphic designer in me wasn’t quite satisfied with these adorable girls floating in space.

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[above: The finished piece]

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I just had to show you a picture of it in the frame, I’m so proud of how it turned out. Seriously folks, you have NO IDEA the amount of emotion, love and joy went into drawing this piece, it is so special to me.

On the journey home, at the end of this wonderful weekend I found myself feeling so satisfied, so happy and I started counting my blessings so here are some more :

Blessing #5 – That we live in a country that offers such amazing healthcare (One of my friends has a son who is profoundly deaf but with the aid of cochlear implants is thriving.)

Blessing #6 – Family – We stayed with mum’s cousins family over the weekend and they are seriously one of the most loving, hilarious and God-centered familys you’ll ever meet.

Blessing #7 – Those who have gone before – I was marvelling at the roads through the blue mountains and the foresight and engineering that went into the blasting of the rock and the building of the roads that allow us to travel so effortlessly though them in safety.

Blessing #8 – That we have roads at all! Roads that are maintained, roads that are safe, roads that don’t have bomb craters in them . . .

Blessing #9 – Mum – That I have an amazing mother who is willing to drive me the three hours east to see my friends so I can conserve my energy. My mum, who is willing to drive me to a party and come and pick me up a few hours later (thats 2 x a 40minute round trip), my mum, who is so proactive when it comes to my health has figured out and currently in the process of brewing Kombucha for me . . . I could go on and on and on and on . . .

I could go on and on and on and on . . . As I sit here and start listing them like this I keep coming up with more and more  . . . The point is folks that it is so easy to sit back and complain about every little thing in life that goes wrong and annoys you, believe me, i know! But you have a choice to not let those things get to you, to consciously look around you for the good. To look around and see all of the things you have to be grateful for. Trust me, its a good habit to get into. Thats what this weekend has taught me.

Until next time nerds, try looking on the bright side . . .

Naomi.

 

 

 

W.I.P Wednesday: Digital Painting

WIP Wednesday

I have been struggling to get out of bed all week and this morning wasn’t any different. Once up and about I realised that my mood wasn’t going to improve on it’s own so I took a ‘mental health day’. In other words, instead of sitting at my desk working on the few projects I have at the moment, I sat outside in a beautiful cane rocking chair with my Marley-puppy on my lap and drank large cups of tea.

I scanned Instagram every now and then ’cause somedays it helps just to sit back and look at pretty things. I came across the work of Australian artist Sandra Eterovic (whom I ADORE – Her artwork is gracing my banner for this post) and found myself scrolling through her work on pinterest and then . . .

WHAMMO!

INSPIRATION!

For the first time in DAYS I found myself actually wanting to create something, to try something, to learn something . . . So I got right onto it!

I went to my iPad and brought up an illustration I did last week. I love the line work and the placement but after I tried (and failed) to add colour with my polychromos (I wasn’t happy with the saturation of colour or the texture) I decided to tackle it digitally in the style of Eterovic. She uses actual paints for her artworks and I would eventually like to be able to achieve what she does with paints also so as I worked on this piece today I tried to layer and use colours as though I were painting on paper.

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I made sure the ‘outline’ layer was at the top so I could see where I needed to be working but I also wanted to be able to take away the line work and still see a well formed, familiar face. I thoroughly enjoyed the process, It was soothing . . .

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I’ll hopefully finish the rest of the ‘painting’ over the next few days, but I am so happy with it so far.

People around me tell me I should be happy with the illustrations and art that I create digitally, and I am, but there always seems to be this part of me that wants to prove to the world that I can do ‘real’ art too. That’s crazy . . . Right? Maybe I feel this way because doing art digitally comes so naturally to me (its downright easy sometimes) and isn’t art meant to be hard? Or maybe its because I’m a sucker for a good challenge, I love to challenge myself . . . Or maybe its my ‘inner critic’ telling me I can do more, spurring me on to greater things . . . 

I’m waiting on some water-soluble oil paints to arrive by post so I guess once I have them I’ll give this oil painting caper a go.

Until next time nerds xoxo

Naomi.