The Great Big Stitched Postcard Swap

The Great Big Stitched Postcard Swap

Getting ready to work on the postcard! It’s the first time I’m joining and I can’t wait to see who I’ll be sending this out to.

clocks · cuckoo clock · MATS Bootcamp · portfolio · revamping · website

The Cuckoo Clock Without A Cuckoo

Third week into the MATS Assignment Bootcamp! The last week of every month is a rest period so I’m planning to work on some much delayed projects. I’ve also been working on the website revamp although the shop has only one item so far and the portfolio page needs quite a bit of dredging. I can’t think of a better word but considering what I’m supposed to be doing with it, dredging seems to be a perfect fit.

I recently reached out to fellow children’s book illustrator Christine Tripp on LinkedIn. She alerted me to the fact that my portfolio could do with some cleaning up (she was being kind, of course) and even offered to help me choose which pieces should populate the page. The cardinal rule when showing a portfolio is to show ONLY your best and strongest work even if it means having just one or two of them. It’s a really subjective business with no room for ego.
It works the same way with surface design. In the MATS course, we’re encouraged to explore and have fun and to use our own style and voice even while working within specific guidelines. At the same time, there’s no telling if an agent or manufacturer will take a liking to your work. The important thing is to put yourself out there.
This month’s Bootcamp subject matter happens to be cuckoo clocks! I’ve avoided clocks and watches except when absolutely necessary because I don’t do very well with the “hurry-hurry-ding-ding” kind of life. Cuckoo clocks are fascinating and very story book but they’re still clocks and I’m not sure I like being reminded about the time by a mechanical bird that sings only two notes. However, I did jump right in with sketches (both in my notebook and my tablet, depending on what I was holding when the ideas hit).
I didn’t use the sketch above for the assignment but I did want to work on it. Notice there’s no cuckoo anywhere? Doesn’t make it much of a cuckoo clock and no one wants a yowling cat for sure but I was thinking that if I were to put a clock in my imaginary fancy kitchen, this is what I’d use. It might even be more fun if I removed the cars since weights won’t be necessary to wind up the clock, have a shallow platform and put a Matchbox car instead. Maybe a miniature Batmobile or a Scooby-Doo van. Or a bright orange VW bug.
Anyway, I brought the scanned image into Photoshop, added color and texture, and voila! My non-cuckoo cuckoo clock!
I still think a bright orange VW bug will be perfect for it. 
I should hunt down a clock maker.

I didn’t intend to write a blog post today but this morning, when I checked email, I found a couple of new challenges. Two separate newsletters from two separate sources but were probably linked in some way (which must be how I came to have signed up for both) were invites to a blog hop on paper and the Great Big Stitched Postcard Swap.

In the previous blog, I talked about goal setting and getting things done. These two challenges not only free me from having to think of new topics for my Paper With Everything blog, they also will help me stay on track by forcing me to be more productive. Deadlines to meet force me to stay on schedule with my MATS Bootcamp assignments as well as with the requirements for both challenges. That way, I will not only have been busy and focused, I might even gain a new friend from the postcard swap and meet more bloggers from the blog hop.

Today’s challenge, though, has to do with revamping my website yet again. The MATS Bootcamp is making me do it. Not directly, of course, but since participants will be uploading finished design assignments to the gallery and furnishing website links, I thought I’d better do some remodeling to make the site easier to navigate. It’s been on the back burner for a while. Since I finished working on the design assignment yesterday, I made a mental note to bookmark today, Friday (Valentine’s Day!), as Website Revamping Day.

I have begun the revamp and stopped when I decided to write this post. The decision to stop was actually because my audiobook came to an end (this time it was Lisa Gardner’s Hide which I think was a pretty good choice). So now I’m off to scour my town library’s list of audiobook thrillers and get on with my website. As an aside, I have to say I’ve found this downloadable audiobook service to be very useful as it saves me from spending more than my monthly credit with Audible.com. One Click Digital is a bit on the clunky side compared to the Audible app, but it’s not so bad.

Happy Valentine’s Day and if you’re up for it, do join me for blog hop if you want to write about paper or the postcard swap if you’re feeling creative! And as always do leave a comment or just a halloo!