Thursday, May 31, 2012


"I just want it to come out, to be a surprise, a magical experience. I liked standing in line for a couple of hours trying to get 'Blonde on Blonde' and having no idea what was going to be on it. I liked standing in line to see Psycho, having no idea what's going to happen except for the poster. That's the way I like it, and I try my best, even in the present culture, to present our work like that." 

-Patti Smith, on her new album

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Top 10 Best iPhone Apps for Artists and Creative Types

I am obsessed with taking photos on my iPhone, and today I wanted to share some of the best apps out there with you!

1. Instagram (Free): This is my favorite app by far!  Not only can you share your photos immediately with friends, but it's also got a ton of great filters you can use on your pictures.  Below is my sketchbook drawing, "Eyeliner Gone Wild," taken with the X-Pro II filter on Instagram.

2. Hipstamatic ($1.99):  I love Hipstamatic for taking artsy photos.  You can change the film and lens on your virtual camera, and that means you can come up with some pretty great combinations!  I used the lens "Americana" and the film "Kodot XGrizzled" for the photo below taken of one of my sketchbook drawings...

3. Retro Camera (Free): This is another app that lets you switch up your virtual camera.  It even has a virtual pinhole camera!  I took the photo below of baby Ruby Roo with the Little Orange Box camera.

4. Vintage Cam (Free):  I love the rainbow filter on this app!  I took a quick shot of part of my living room with this filter, and I love how it came out.

5. Lo-Mob ($1.99): This is another great app that makes mini-previews of all of your photo possibilities.  I used the 35mmMF Overlapp 1 to take a photo of my watercolor pencils.

6. PopBooth (Free): PopBooth takes photo booth style pictures that you can then put filters on, share with friends, or have printed out and mailed to you for a small fee.  I took this one a while ago with my friends Melia and Kristina.  We used the vintage filter.

7. Pixlromatic (Free): There are so many great options for your photos with this app!  You can choose from a ton of different films, filters, and borders.  I took a picture of my Moleskine sketchbook using the Aladin film, Scratches filter, and Rustic border.

8. 100Cameras ($1.99): I love this app, which is full of creatively named filters.  For this photo of my needlepoint throw pillow, I used a filter called, "The Dark Feelings Inside Around Midnight."

9. PostalPix (Free):  PostalPix is a service that prints out your iPhone photos for you then mails them to you for a small fee.  I've used them before and loved the results!

10. TiltShift ($0.99): This app just makes everything look awesome and miniature!  It blurs out pieces of the photograph to let you focus in on one specific aspect of the photo, like the deer planter in the shot below from my living room.

What are some iPhone photo apps you are currently loving?  Leave a comment below and tell me! :)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

My Best Drawing Advice + My Own Drawing Habits


A few of you have asked me to tell you a little bit more about my drawing habits, so here goes!

Now that I am a working for myself and no longer have a dreaded day job, I really do draw all the time.  At the very least, even when I have a lot of other projects happening during the day, I will draw for about half an hour at night.  It kind of winds me down at the end of the day.  At the most, I draw literally all day long.  (Those are my favorite days!)  If I am doing an illustration assignment or something of that nature, sometimes I will draw the same thing over and over again until I get it right.  Other times, if I can’t get the whole thing to work, I will use bits of each of the drawings and mesh them together using my copy machine + glue the old fashioned way, or else I will scan everything into Photoshop and mash up several sketches that way.  

I get my ideas mostly just out of my own imagination, but sometimes I will also draw from portrait photographs that I find online or in magazines.  I try to use the photos as a basis for shading and proportion, then I make the image my own by customizing it and using things from my imagination.  Often I will write down whatever I was thinking about next to the drawing, or else I will jot down some song lyrics if I am listening to music.  I love doing this because it reminds me what I was thinking about when I drew each particular image.

My best advice for people who want to find their own style and improve their drawing skills is to focus on quantity over quality.  If you try too hard to make every drawing perfect and put a ton of pressure on yourself to come up with a quality piece, you are almost always setting yourself up for disappointment.  I find that if I am very focused on making the perfect piece of art, it never goes so well... But if I change my mindset and say, "I'm going to sit down and draw 20 people for fun and not worry about perfection," I will yield better results.  Maybe I will only love 2 out of 20 of the drawings, but I definitely draw much better when I am drawing for fun/quantity instead of perfection. 

They say everyone has 1,000 bad drawings in them and that we just need to work really hard to get all of those out before we start getting to our "good drawings."  So let's draw as much as possible and get rid of some of those bad ones!!

What have you been drawing in your sketchbooks lately?  Leave a comment below, and let me know!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Sketch Party!

I have been drawing like a madwoman lately!  Here is a little selection of the drawings from my sketchbooks recently... I hope you like them. :)

What kinds of art have you been working on lately?  Leave a comment below and tell me; I'd love to hear!!

Friday, May 04, 2012

Life is Perfect "As Is."

I think that we spend a lot of our lives striving.  

We want to have a cleaner house.

We want more happiness.

We want more love.

We want this.

We want that.

Something I have been thinking about lately is this: What if your house was sparkling clean?  What if you were always happy?  What if you had all the love you needed and everything else you desired?

Picture yourself in your immaculate house with endless amounts of time.  You are happy, centered, and everything is great.  Your family is close by, but for now, it's just you alone at home.  No chores, no obligations, nothing but freedom.

Then what?

What would you do with your time? 

I think the answer to that question is truly what we want to be doing in our hearts.  

Is it possible that you could pretend, just for a few hours each week or maybe on the weekend, that everything is good "as is" and there is no more striving to be done?  

Is it possible that you could allow yourself to taste that freedom and let yourself do what your heart desires?

Maybe you want to read a book for hours on end, maybe you want to draw or scrapbook or write in a journal, maybe you want to knit, or maybe you just want to sit and think...

Carve out some time for yourself this weekend.  Do what you really want to do...

I am going to do this today...

I have been wanting to make a big, long piece of art - visual poetry - for awhile.  

I think I am going to do just that.

What are you going to do this weekend that is just for yourself?  Please leave a comment below and tell me!  I'd love to hear.