Blog Hop around the World

It is my turn today for the “blog hop around the world” that has been going around online! Thank you to the lovely Danielle McDonald who has invited me to participate. Danielle is an accomplished artist from New South Wales with a colourful portfolio of art that includes many published book illustrations. Here are some of my favourites by her:

      

Aren’t these beautiful?

You can view more of Danielle’s work on her blog “Red Dog & Jude”.

These are the questions Danielle has posed to me:

Why do I do what I do?

I have loved to draw my whole life – as a child my favourite gifts included pens. Around age 9, I had a phase of drawing pages full of patterned clothes. I actually sent a letter to my favourite clothing company back then, asking what I’d need to do to one day work for them. They did reply but I found the response discouraging, causing me to abandon that dream. Today I find that creating illustrations is such an enjoyable task (but can also be hard work) that I think I understand where the concept of art therapy comes from, hahah!

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Without claiming that nobody else does these things, I tend to draw a lot of detail and try to avoid repetition within a design. I try to minimize gender clichés (trucks, dinosaurs and blue for boys; flowers, fairies and pink for girls etc.). I also aim to be careful with how I portray animals in my illustrations.

How does my creative process work?

Ideally, I am in a ‘visualizing state’ as much as possible. My creativity thrives on having enough time to myself to let ideas evolve. The best ideas and palettes come to me just before falling asleep.

When presented with a theme, it usually takes me just a minute or so to come up with a concrete plan. The hardest part is getting started. Because my plans can be complex and detailed, it can feel a little overwhelming to put down the first drawings. It helps to sketch some of them first before getting serious on the computer. Then, the more I draw, the more everything flows and the easier it gets. I work best sitting at a drawing for a good 8 hours or more per day – that’s when I’m completely absorbed by my task and in that ‘world’ that I’m creating. I need to be in a certain head space to convey in a drawing what I intend to – and no, there are definitely no drugs involved! :)

What am I working on now?

Often I’m working on the next Spoonflower contest. I do try to skip some contests but usually find myself unable to resist. Even the themes I’m least interested in somehow always manage to get me involved.

Enough about me – let me introduce another talented artist, Nicole Piar, who like Danielle I met in Lilla Rogers’ MATS course. Nicole is an experienced surface designer and illustrator whose work has been featured in stores ranging in size from small to very large.

Here are some of my favourite examples of Nicole’s work:

             

If you’d like to see more of Nicole’s work, please visit her blog and website! Nicole will continue the blog hop next Monday, October 6.

Mid-Century Geometrics collection

For Spoonflower’s contest of the week – theme “marching bands” – I drew a mid-century, Mary-Blair-inspired design with instruments typical of marching bands. I entered my first and favourite version, the yellow-orangey colourway. I ended up making a collection with 3 colourways: one ‘instrumental’ version, one without instruments but with lots of flowers instead, and one floral-only version. I also added some matching scallops, e.g. this one. As all this is currently on order (in a sampler collection), I can’t link to the actual collection, but my shop pages show everything.

Which colourway do you prefer?