#SpoonChallenge · #Spoonflower · challenges · sketches · vision boards

Still Lagging Behind

In my Paper With Everything blog, I mentioned a discovery about myself that really shouldn’t have been a discovery. Considering the trouble I have with routines, it shouldn’t have come as a surprise to me that a 30-day Challenge would be a major challenge. But, here I am and happy to report that I’m still at it in spite of the fact that I scrunched up three prompts together in one sketch and as it’s already Thursday, am now still two prompts behind.

However, I did finish my entries for GTS as well as another design for the MIID Summer School. There’s also the tear sheet that’s been updated and I’m just trying to gather up enough courage to send it off to publishing houses and design companies. My cork board has bits of paper with ideas that I’ve lined up along with magazine pages I’ve collaged into a vision board of sorts.

These were originally on some of the pages of a large sketchpad that was the designated vision book. But then a gust of wind sent the blinds inwards knocking the vase of flowers on my table over. Unfortunately, the sketchpad was on the table and as I wasn’t in the room when it happened, some of the pages got wet. The good thing about wet paper is that it dries pretty quickly so I didn’t lose any of my pages. I just moved them to a binder with protector sheets! 
As I was reconfiguring them to fit into the binder, I decided that some of them should be on the cork board within plain sight instead of tucked away in pages I barely have time to look at. I’m particularly proud of the biggest one that practically shouts NO MORE BILLS.
As for the art for this post, here’s the platypus I sketched on my iPad (this time using Sketchbook Pro). The video option was a recent discovery so I couldn’t resist using it. By the way, the Blogger default includes a YouTube link but it’s not posted there.

The Spoonflower 30-Day Challenge

I just proved it to myself. I’m not great at keeping up with things like 30-day challenges. The whole idea of the Spoonflower challenge was to do a sketch or illustration a day for 30 days. My hesitation had me a day late the first week it began, but catching up seemed easy.

Then this week I realized there were a couple of deadlines to beat so while it’s now Thursday, I’ve only managed to do Monday’s prompt. Last night. While watching the last half of a Criminal Minds rerun and the first half of Extant.

Am I giving up? Probably not. I remember years and years ago when I spent most of my time in a dance studio, one of my friends asked how I managed to do a particularly excruciating ab workout without pausing or giving up as almost everyone did. My answer? Pride. And it’s the same reason I have for not giving up on the challenge no matter how far behind I am.

Besides, it always fun to be able to create something that’s different from whatever it is I happen to be “seriously” working on at the moment. So far, I’ve done some stamping, stenciling, cut paper and collage, and even digital illustrations for the challenges. At first I wanted to do everything with just paper but some, like the River prompt, didn’t manifest on paper. In my head it did. The hands refused. And last night, I used the Paper by 53 app on my tablet because I didn’t want to bring my pens and sketchpad along.

If all goes well today, I may be able to churn out the rest of week’s prompts that I’ve missed then get to work on the Make It In Design Summer School‘s second brief.

This was made with stencils cut out of freezer paper.
This was on the Spoonflower blog as one of their favorites though it was grouped with the Tree prompt. This was actually for the Mountain prompt!
This was my work for the Tree prompt. It got quite a bit of Likes on Instagram. The trunk is from a brown paper bag and the leaves are from a few of National Geographic Kids subscription insert in magazines. The tire is from the styrofoam sheet that covered a box of chalk pastels.
Couldn’t think of what to do for River until I remembered Wynken, Blynken, and Nod sailing off in a wooden shoe.
I know you’re supposed to make lemonade but I happen to love lemon bars! Created via Paper by 53.

#SpoonChallenge · #Spoonflower · art · artwork · Beth Kempton · cactus · challenges · deadlines · freezer paper · Global Talent Search · Lilla Rogers · Make It In Design · Montessori · Rachael Taylor · summer school

August Challenges

August is proving to be an exciting month. Or maybe “exciting” isn’t the right word.

At the heels of completing the MATS Bootcamp, I signed up for the free summer school offered by Make It In Design run by Rachael Taylor and Beth Kempton.

Then I entered the Lilla Rogers Studio Global Talent Search contest. I was hedging with that one because it meant having to pay a fee but in the end (I mean that in a literal sense because I signed up at the last minute), it seemed to be a worthwhile endeavor.

Then two days ago, I also joined the 30-Day drawing challenge at Spoonflower. Add to those several notes pinned onto my cork board to remind me of other deadlines for other contests.

So maybe “exciting” isn’t the word I’m supposed to use. Maybe insane is better. Or manic. But here’s the thing. When I joined the MATS Bootcamp, I found that being given a brief and a deadline worked for me. I could focus on creating a particular piece of artwork with rules that gave freedom within limits (sounds very Montessori, doesn’t it?). Five months later, when Bootcamp came to a close, I was sorry to see it end. I was armed with newfound knowledge in both art and design techniques as well as how to approach and determine subject matter. Lilla shared resources and tips and gave encouragement. The other participants’ support and critiques were priceless. Because much of the work I do happens in the confines of my workspace at home, the interaction with fellow boot campers allowed for the kind of enrichment that happens when you surround yourself with other artists (works the same with my writing group!).

That’s why when I received the invite to join the MIID’s summer school, I decided to go for it. The format was the same in that a design brief is assigned at the beginning of the week. There is a theme, inspiration links, a deadline. There is also a Facebook group where you can ask for or give help.

Now for the other contests. I got wind of the Spoonflower 30-Day challenge a bit late so I joined on the third day. This one is easier because all you have to do is to make a sketch based on the daily prompts that come in your email. You’re free to share your work or to just keep it to yourself. The point is to get you drawing every single day. I hopped on to this one because I felt it was a great way to warm-up for the summer school assignments as well as for the Global Talent Search artwork. If not a warm-up, it can also serve as a “break” when I need to walk away. The same goes for the other contests tacked up on my cork board. Sometimes I get ideas for them while working on the assigned brief. Sometimes I come up with a design that doesn’t work for the assignment but has possibilities for something else.

I haven’t felt this fired up about doing artwork for quite some time. Designs and ideas float around my head even when I’m trying to whip up dinner. When it’s time to wind down at night, I sit in front of the TV with my husband but I’m sliding through magazines on issuu.com for more inspiration.

So this is where August finds me. It will be a month of making art. Contests notwithstanding, by the 31st, I will have made 30 pieces of artwork. If you care to follow my progress with the 30 pieces, I’ll be posting each one as I finish them on Instagram. You’ll also be able to see everyone else’s work here.

Here is the first one. The prompt was Cactus. I used freezer paper to make the stencils and used acrylic paint on Strathmore Mixed Media paper. Audiobook I had on was Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness (I had The Book of Life but forgot what the previous one was about so had to do a relisten first).

Prompt #1 Cactus