Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Lee Lee's Valise is Hot Stuff

A while ago I posted about a new client I have been working with to create a line of fuller figured illustrations. After a bit of a struggle and a lot of development work I must say I am tickled with the result. My client, Lisa Dolan, owner of 'Lee Lee's Valise,' the hit new boutique that's creating a stir everywhere, was a dream to work with. I didn't design the antique cameo logo, which has been with Lee Lee's Valise since it's grand opening last Spring. It was important that we work the logo into the illustration in a flattering way since it's integral to the store's branding and name recognition. Lisa's store has been on 'What Not to Wear' multiple times. She's always getting new girls who come running to the boutique after an episode airs looking for the store's cameo and chandeliers which that she's known by. I think that they add the perfect touch of class to this sassy, sexy sweet campaign.
Here's the very final sketch of this illustration that I carried away from a meeting with Lisa. Most of the sketching happens in my art studio, the notes all happen during our face to face consultations. I'm afraid I'm going to get spoiled by the novelty of actually sketching in front of a client where we can discuss details and make everything perfectly clear in person. Another exciting part of this campaign is that the silhouettes and many of the accessories in the illustrations are based off of clothes that Lisa actually has in the store! The particular temptress you see above is wearing Tadashi, this line of gowns is in the store now, so run, don't walk! Now that it's pretty obvious that I'm stoked on this gig I'm going to go back to sketching.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

This is a sneak peek at a new signature line I'm unveiling this May at the Javitz center here in New York. I'm pleased as punch about it. I wanted to give my lovely ittle blog stalkers a tiny looksee. My liscensing artwork has been under pretty tight wraps so this post is kind of a big deal :) These kiddies and their friends will be taking their place in the 'Sweet Spot' of my 'Sassy, Sexy, Sweet' booth on May 18th.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Naked Time

Sometimes when I'm in the midst of paying my student loans I wonder, 'Why oh why did I insist that I HAD to go to a private art school?!' Then something like the Twentieth Annual Pratt Institute Draw-A-Thon happens and I thank my lucky stars I'm a Pratt alumni. This was my seventh year at the Draw-A-Thon. The Draw-A-Thon is not for the faint of heart. It takes place on Pratt's beautiful campus every spring between the hours of 7pm to 7am - we're talking twelve consecutive hours of life drawing, people!

Most of these were done in the 5 to 10 minute room. IRL they're full sized on 11x14" 50lb paper or 10x12" cotton rag, dual-surface watercolor paper, cold pressed of course. I use Copic Sketch markers, Speedball Ink, Windsor Newton watercolor, my trusty water brush pen, Col-Erase and Prismacolor pencils, gauche, graphite and a lot of shear excitement in my life drawing :) I just did a grand total and over the course of one evening I raked in just under 200 of these babies.

After everything was said and done these were my favorites:

This was my seventh consecutive Draw-A-Thon. If you're thinking of attending next year let me know and I'll get you your tickets. I've learned a lot over the years. For starters, the key to success is hydration! Don't be fooled into downing that six pack of red bull, you're going to go cross eyed at 4am if you do that. Another thing, go running or cross training or salsa dancing or SOMETHING the day of. You're going to be sitting on artist benches, or the floor for half a day. At five am you're going to want the memory of using your legs.
Bring a ton of medium and a lot of different drawing surfaces, I bring an over sized sketchbook and a watercolor block. I stuff a Chinese Laundry shoe box (a great excuse to buy sexy pumps) full of art supplies. Gone are the days of stacks of newsprint and charcoal. . . sigh. . . The freshmen at this thing are so cute, dirty, covered with soot, but cute.

Get there on time! If you get there on time you'll get your money's worth. $15 for 18 models for twelve hours is cheaper by the minute if you get there in time to warm up in the gesture room before everyone else gets there. It also gives you a chance to stake out some prime territory.

I always go with my friend Sandra, it's our thing. It's best to take a close friend so when you have a model's nekid bum in your face at 3am you have someone to cross your eyes at. I kind of feel bad for anyone reading this because they probably won't be able to go with Sandra. You'll be hard pressed to find a better life drawing partner. Life drawing's funny for me. It's like going to the gym, or cooking, I really LOVE it, but only after I start doing it. I'm always the happiest person on earth at Pratt's Draw-a-Thon. One reason Sandra's the perfect friend to take a long is that she's vying for first place in the happiest girl on earth contest too, so we keep each other going on ecstatic vibes until dawn. Don't go with a sour puss or a jerk face who is going to wimp out and want to pack up at midnight. How often do you have a chance to catch up on a year's worth of life drawing in one sweet evening!?

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Pammy Kay Saves A Penny A Day

Here's a illo from a new Pammy Kay book I've been plugging away at.
I have this little Pammy emblazoned on my checks. I love the freak out I sometimes get from the people I hand a paycheck off to when they realize that the copyright is in my name. I thought this little lady was perfect for this week's illustration friday prompt.

If you're here from Illustration Friday, take a peek at my other stuff:

Precarious Places

When I read the SFG challenge last Thursday, I grabbed a Starbucks' receipt (my preferred drawing surface as of late) and did a quick scrawl. As the week progressed I found myself liking it more and more. This morning as luck would have it I woke up with the sun and decided to go at it. So here he is, in all his dragon-y glory:

Monday, April 07, 2008

Fashion Sketches and Looming Deadlines

I'm really excited about this project, because it's pushing me out of my normal zone. I'm creating a line of characters with fuller, luscious figures. My girls tend to be glorified sweethearts of the toothpick variety. These new illustrations are different. Here are a few of the very early development sketches I did a month or so ago. As I've been sketching it's become clear that the end result will be very serious. I like bubbly and happy, but it's a seriously sexy world. My client wants a clean pout. I guess it's OK to be brooding and cute at the same time, right?

I'm learning about myself on this project. One of the main things I've learned is that I'm totally a deadline oriented kind of girl. If something is due on Saturday morning I'll stay up Thursday and Friday night and work myself into the ground in order to deliver on time. This client is by far the most laid back of any I've ever had. Surprisingly it's thrown me off! I've always known that I'm comfortable with deadlines and high stress situations, but I didn't think that working without them would be so hard! I thought working without them would be nice! Instead of relaxing I fell off the wagon. I'm back on track now. I hadn't made a date sheet for this client, now that I have one everything can keep rolling smoothly. I keep date sheets for my own good. I have one for each gig or client and I put them all on the wall in my studio next to my computers. Here's a peek at an old one I created for a client that I had last winter-
For starters I block out any vacation I'm giving myself. In December I scheduled a week off from the 21st to the 26th for days that I would in no way lift a pencil. Of course I lifted a pencil for my own projects, but that's because I can't go a day without doodling. I get to be selfish with that time. I color code the boxes with the start date, the sketch deadline and the box with the final line art deadline so they all work together. Sometimes I actually deliver calendars to my clients. Other times I only use date sheets for myself. When they're only for me I make them a few days ahead of the delivery date. That's the most comfortable way for me to work. That way when I've promised something it's already sitting in a clean pile in my outbox and I'm not sweating trying to get it finished. I create a date sheet for every client who has a deadline. I have a template I've created for every month of the year. The deadline calendars live in a comfy place on my desktop. As things change or bulk up I print out a current HC of a client calendar to replace the other. I have these great little square document hangers on my wall that I picked up at the Container Store.
check them out here:
Cute Little Document Hangers
I'm working with six clients in a month, I have six calendars in a vertical row next to my computer. If a client's project bleeds into the next month I place that date sheet behind the month we're in and hang them together, one on top of the other, that way I can just lift a page to see where I'm going. The color coding helps me extremely, if I see a blue preliminary box and can't find the blue final art box, I know that I've got to think ahead. I also try to hang the most recent version of the artwork up near the calendar it belongs to, that way my brain keeps thinking about it, even if a final deadline isn't coming up for a week or two.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Happy Spring!

It's that time of year. . . insert deep and satisfied sigh. . . . I woke up this morning with the sun shining in my face. I jumped out of bed and threw open the window. My face was hit by a bitter cold wind.... That can't change the fact that something has changed outside. It's freezing, but it's definitely not winter, so in my book it's spring! I belong to the very lucky school of childlike people who find whatever season is just beginning is my favorite! I'm excited for Tulips and Gerber Daisies. I can't wait to wear my pink coat and dance in the rain. Pretty soon kids will be out by the dozens, running and playing in the park. As you all know my friends, that's when this blog really gets hopping. XO and Happy Spring!


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