Topic: Sketchbook Stories

Sketchbook Stories :: Stephen Kroninger

It’s taken me a while to write this Sketchbook Story because I wasn’t quite sure I would be able to find all the words to express my admiration for Stephen.

Stephen was my first illustrator “crush”. When I was a junior in college I had an assignment to bring in examples of living illustrators that I admired and Stephen was the first on my list (to be honest I can’t even remember who the other two folks were). At the time I was working purely in a collage style and was looking to other collage artist for inspiration, I just loved Stephen’s work and found him so inspiring. So, I was coxed by my illustration instructor to call and talk to him. I’m happy to say I was able work up the nerve to make that call. Stephen was super funny and charismatic on the phone and somehow during the conversation I managed to convince him to take me on as an intern.

So, for the rest of my junior and senior year once a week I made the 2 hour trip from Philly to NYC to go to his studio in the West Village and work for him. It was my first real NYC experience!! I swept his floors, organized his files and just got to be around while he worked.

Stephen tooked me under his wing and I tagged along whenever I could. I went to meetings, gallery and museum exhibits with him and his wife. I had the honor of meeting some of his editors, art directors and many of his talented friends, as well as, being one of the first few that held his twin baby girls when they were born.

It was an amazing experience and I tried to asorbed everything I possible could while I was with him. Stephen was the person that first introduced me to NPR, political art, ebay, George Grosz, Groucho Marx and of course Dean Martin (he has an incredible collection of memorabilia). I wanted to be just like him. Live in the West Village create meaningful art, wear only black, the whole thing!!

Stephen’s editorial illustrations have appeared in nearly every major newspaper and magazine in the United States, as well as in many publications around the world. He is a regular contributor to Time, Newsweek, The New York Times and The New Yorker.

His work was the subject of an exhibit at the MoMA. AND it was the only time the museum devoted a one-person show to an illustrator! Pretty cool, huh!? Stephen’s collage art can be found in the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian Institute and he’s also created digital animation for an exhibit at the Whitney Museum.

Stephen’s is a participant in the MoMA’s Family Education program and is a lecturer in their Conversation with Contemporary Artist series as well as a guest lecturer at universities and art schools around the country. He’s active in the NY Metro area in a wide range of education programs, from workshops in elementary schools to the Art Directors Club’s program for inner-city high school students. He has been active in Scholastic’s program, serving both as a judge for and as a keynote speaker for their National Student Art & Writing Awards.

An all around pretty amazing artist & illustrator!

Here is Stephen Kroninger Sketchbook Story ::

SK: My wife and I have been going out to hear Barbara Carroll many times over the years. First at the Oak Room in the Algonquin Hotel for Sunday brunch and later at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola at Lincoln Center. Our two daughters now attend with us and have become great fans of her music as well. This collage is of her Trio which includes Jay Leonhart (bass), Alvin Atkinson (drums) with special guest Ken Peplowski (tenor sax & clarinet).

SK: In recent years I’ve been working on a loose series of New York City images.  Scenes of people on St. Marks Place, outside Barney’s, Washington Square Park, Grace Church, Grand Central Station etc. For this work I decided to go indoors. 

SK: I began by doing a series a rapid character sketches throughout one of the Trio’s date’s at Dizzy’s. My wife took a series of 150 iPhone captures for me to use as reference.

SK: What I love about collage is that it’s largely improvisational. Ms. Carroll’s music is as well. For this piece I worked to a number of her cds including “How Long Has This Been going On” and “Something To Live For” which were both recorded at Dizzy’s Club. 

SK: All of the pieces are scissored from magazines. I glue the cuttings to a piece of white Strathmore 4 ply museum board.

 

Here’s where you can find Stephen Kroninger ::

web:: www.stephenkroninger.com/

sketchbook Stories :: Melanie Hall

I had the pleasure of first meeting Melanie at Surtex 2 years ago. She was helping out her friend, who I’m happy to say is now also my friend. :-) Melanie was so sweet and unassuming that I had no idea what an amazing illustrator she was until I got home and was able to look up her work. Melanie has won numerous awards and has illustrated over 30 books. She taught children’s book illustration at Pratt Institute for over ten years and currently she teaches children’s book illustration to graduate students at Marywood University in Scranton, Pa. In addition, Melanie teaches creative workshops for Wing and Clover in Rhinebeck and the Highlights Foundation in Honesdale, Pa.

In addition, Melanie’s work has been exhibited at the Society of Illustrators in New York and is in the collection of children’s book art at the Mazza Museum at the University of Findlay, Ohio. She exhibits her paintings and sculpture at the Back Room Gallery in Beacon, New York. Melanie’s latest venture is art licensing. Surtex 2010 was her debut and she is presently designing Judaica and a home and entertaining line.

Here is Melanie Hall’s Sketchbook Story ::

MH: Mark Twain has said “What a wee little part of a person’s life are his acts and his words! His real life is led in his head, and is known to none but himself.” The focus of my art is not just the outward appearance of things, but the inner life, a depiction of the joy and mystery of life. I illustrate children’s books with spiritual themes as well as folk tales and poetry. I am delighted by the playfulness inherent in day-to-day life, the quirks of synchronicity and the way things often fall into place despite my anxieties. Because I don’t always know what will happen when I combine media in different ways, a piece of my illustration or fine art takes on a life of its own, and often surprises me.

MH: This image of an owl is from my personal work. It is an 8” x 10” acrylic painting on canvas that I’ve always liked. Owls are marvelous birds that fly silently at night. My husband and I often hear them hooting in the woods near our house in upstate New York. It is rare to see them in daylight, so when I do happen to catch a glimpse of one, it is memorable. I always think it’s a good omen. 

MH: In my children’s picturebook Wintersong: A Poem by William Shakespeare (Boyds Mills Press), I’ve “recycled” the owl motif for the verse.“Then nightly sings the staring owl, Tu-who, Tu-whit, tu-who a merry note.”

  Because the poem is about winter, I drew the owl sitting on a bare branch. The crescent moon is another favorite motif I use again and again. There is a village of Tudor houses in the background. I researched what houses looked like during Shakespeare’s time. These are half-timbered with stucco. I learn something new with every project I work on, that’s one of the most enjoyable aspects of being an illustrator.

MH: The finished piece of art (before type was added) is a collage with mixed media. I like using layers this way: scanning my art and then adding more media. For this illustration I’ve used water-based pastels (my favorite is Caran D’Ache watersoluble crayons) and acrylic paint. I love the rawness of the torn edges, the visible pieces of Scotch tape and the white of the page showing through.

 

Here’s where you can find Melanie ::

    website ::  http://www.mhallillustration.com

    theispot :: http://www.theispot.com/portfolios/index.cfm?clientnumber=a3548&artistName=Melanie%20Hall

 

 

sketchbook Stories :: Christina Ortega

 

I am not exactly sure how Christina and I met, but I’m glad that we did. We were in the same children’s book critique group, that met once a month for a little over 2 years. It was an amazing resource and support group. I think both of us grew from the experience. Christina studied Illustration at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco and received her BFA in Traditional Illustration. After graduating Christina has worked on small commissions here and there. She then pursued a career in teaching art at private art schools and taught Figure Drawing, Watercolor, Sculpture, Mosaic, and Cartooning Workshops for various college programs and organizations. Now living in Austin, TX with her two kiddos and hubby, Christina is still a teacher but now Yoga is the subject. 

Here is Christina Ortega’s Sketchbook Story ::

CO: Growing up I loved to draw, paint, color, on anything and everything. When I was four or five I drew a farmyard in my mom’s Betty Crocker cookbook and though she was none too pleased at me for ruining her favorite cookbook, she noticed the detail I added to all the critters (eyelashes on the horse, wrinkles on the pig’s nose, etc.) and didn’t admonish me too much. Though my parents weren’t artists themselves, they recognized my interest ran deep and encouraged me in any way they could providing me with paint sets, drawing kits and sketchbooks. My coloring books were meticulously colored page by page (within the lines, of course)  and when I quickly graduated to “paint by numbers” I chucked the directions in favor of my own way of adding color to the mapped out pictures. I am really inspired by N.C. Wyeth, Norman Rockwell, and Alphonse Mucha. I have always enjoyed working in watercolor so I’m drawn to Charles Santore’s work as well.

 

CO: The client wanted a unique t-shirt design based on their concept of a cupid with a banner reading “I Give Great Heart.” They sent me their drawing of what they had in mind. They were going for a classical, antiquated look and sent me some pics of background textures and sculptures to consider.

 

CO: I looked up some photo references and started sketching some ideas.

 

CO: I liked the idea of the banner unfurling behind the cupid and also felt a vertical composition would work better for the layout of a t-shirt. I really wasn’t sure how to incorporate the background textures of crumbling walls they sent me and figured it would be difficult to make that texture translate onto a t-shirt so I just focused on the cupid and banner. (BTW: That’s pretty much a nice way of putting, I didn’t like their texture idea and just wanted to work on the fun stuff!) When you’re working with a new client you don’t know very well, it can be difficult to ascertain what their concept encompasses as it’s not always clear. Initially, I try to give them exactly what they described even if I don’t agree with their aesthetics. Then I’ll, respectfully, pitch some of my ideas and maybe they’ll like them or maybe they’ll hate them but at least I gave it a shot. In this case, I became really obsessed with this old school tattoo idea. I didn’t want to go the Ed Hardy route, with bad tattoo overkill, rather, I thought it might look cool if there was this classic cherub figure juxtaposed with a more campy font treatment. 

 

CO: I changed the composition of the figure to arc to the left, shortened the cupid’s neck to give it a more cherub, youthful quality and added my tattoo font idea to the banner. The client liked it (yay!) and told me to move forward. I scanned my drawing then printed it out at 50% grayscale so I could still see my first drawing. I tightened up the drawing, added more detail to the banner and wings and added a heart under the cupid to anchor the piece (and to give the little guy a place to sit!) 

CO: Once the drawing was in a good place, I took it into Photoshop, added some value contrast, more detail, and finalized the font then sent it in for review. The client changed their minds about the tattoo idea (boo!) and really wanted me to go back to a more elegant, script font. I gave them a version with a stock font but they really wanted me to recreate the font they designed in the first sketch they sent me. Sigh. So I recreated their font in Illustrator, placed it in the banner and sent them a couple of concepts. By this point, they also wanted me to add distress to the heart to see what that looked like. In the meantime, I had figured out a way to add texture into the background without a distressed wall. I found a random script image, modified it and placed it behind the cupid and banner. They really liked that idea!. The distressed heart was thrown out but now the client had really zeroed in on the final design and wanted me to lay out some different compositions on t-shirt templates. To continue the heart and arrow motif, I made some in Illustrator and used them as another background element. Taking into consideration this design would ultimately be worn by a 3-D person (one would hope), I essentially had two compositions to think about: front and back and even the sides, to some extent. 

 

CO: Surprisingly, the finished product was done on purple and brown t-shirts, instead of black but I really like how they turned out. Unfortunately, the clothing company is no longer in business but at least I have the two t-shirts they sent me with my design on them. 

Here’s where you can find Christina::

   website :: http://www.flickr.com/photos/christinaortega_art/

        blog ::  http://yogaortega.wordpress.com/

      email ::  yogaortega@gmail.com

Sketchbook Story :: Phyllis Dobbs

I met Phyllis for the first time in person at this year’s Surtex show and I was delighted when she agreed to do a Sketchbook Story. Phyllis has been in the business for years, 24 to be exact. She started out by designing counted cross stitch based on her sketches and art. Since then Phyllis has moved on to designing quilts and quilting fabric as well. It was a natural transition and married her love of art, textiles and family ancestry.

Throughout her career Phyllis has designed over 2000 designs and patterns for the likes of just about everything –books, magazines, kits, fabric, gift and garden products, home decor, table runners, place mats, pillows, aprons, you name it. In 2003, Phyllis was awarded the prestigious Plaid New Horizons Award, which in case you didn’t know is a really BIG Deal! And recently she just finished up a new quilt book that will be due out early next year.

Here is Phyllis’ Sketchbook Story ::

PD: My sister-in-law Lyn rescues animals she finds in distress. She found KittyKat coming out of some woods when he was small. I met him a couple months later and it was pure adoration, so I took him home with me. Just watching his antics and haughty moods, inspired me to create an art collection all about these attitudes, resulting in “Meow Meow” a collection of 10 cats. Just drawing these kept me in stitches, the laughing kind.

PD: My art is inspired by everyday things in my life from florals and garden, pets and animals, inspiration and holidays. Everything I sketch and paint has a touch of whimsy. That’s just me! I love humor and am frequently told by people I meet that my art makes them smile. That, to me, is the best compliment I can receive.  

 

PD: I start with a mental image of what I want to create, then work with a sketch to get get the personality or flavor I want to give the image. When I’m satisfied, I go over it with a marker, scan it into my computer and use Adobe Illustrator to redraw the lines to add detail and give me a smooth vector line.  

PD: I used to paint everything by hand, then scan it to create the outline in Illustrator. But because so many companies want the art in digital format and on layers, I now paint my sketches in Photoshop. When I wet paint, I love to use gouache, acrylic and markers. I worked it into a fabric collection for the fabric company I license to, Quilting Treasures. (Just to let you know, to be fair, I later created another art and fabric collection “Its a Dog’s Life”.) When my fabrics come out, I like to create patterns to go with them. With “Meow Meow” I created an apron and tote bag with the free patterns available on my blog. The Chick Power garden flag for Evergreen was painted by hand starting with a pencil sketch. 

 

PD: I wasn’t born with a needle or paintbrush in my hand, but that came soon after. I swallowed a needle when I was a toddler, so I must have been attempting needlework at a very early age. And I remember my first grade teacher scolding me for drawing on my assignment after I had finished. I didn’t let all that discourage me and continued stitching and drawing from then on, just not on school work. 

PD: I love to experiment and am working in some mixed media techniques, combining both textiles and paint and anything else that fits in. My studio is filled with all sorts of things I have saved and collected. I’m looking forward to some exciting results. I have new fabrics being launched next year as well as several collections of kitchen textiles and stationery. My garden flags are with Evergreen.

 

Here’s where you can find Phyllis ::

   website :: www.phyllisdobbs.com

        blog :: www.phyllisdobbs.info

 facebook :: www.facebook.com/phyllisdobbs 

 LinkedIn :: www.linkedin.com/in/phyllisdobbs

    twitter :: www.twitter.com/#!/phyllisdobbs

    zazzale :: www.zazzle.com/phyllisdobbs

product mockup templates for artists :: http://www.phyllisdobbs.com/Store%20pages/Create-product-mockups.htm

Sketchbook Story :: Laura Dro

 

Laura and I were neighbors at Surtex this year and it was a joy to be next to her. She has a rich background of working as an Art Consultant, Art Teacher, and Art Director. Laura first became interested in textile design when she started freelance designing wedding invitations and one year later, she launched her company.

Here is Laura Dro’s Story ::

LD: I am still so new and have so much to learn about this business. So, as a first time exhibitor at Surtex this past year, Cindy Ann was my neighbor and I was so lucky to be in the position to meet her and the other girls in our nook! Everyone was so nice and it was an experience I will never regret. I dove right into the art licensing world, I guess you could say that Surtex was my debut!

LD: Unique color palettes are what inspire me and are what motivate me to start something. I love fresh, vibrant and unique color palettes with simple, but artistic designs. 

 

LD: My main process is first sketching until I discover something that excites me. Next, depending on the feel of the sketch, I will either use watercolors to recreate it or scan the sketch into Illustrator or Photoshop. 

 

LD: My paintings usually come from having several pages of good sketches that I try to combine into one. I try to use similar elements through out my artwork to make it cohesive. I go through so many sketchbooks and I wouldn’t dare throw them away! I’m also an avid “clipper” of pictures from home design magazines; they always have color schemes that are so creative.

LD: I have several exciting opportunities that are developing from my contacts I met at Surtex. I can’t wait until it’s all official and I can spread the word about my new products. For all the artists out there thinking of getting involved in licensing, my advice is be patient, have several other jobs on the side, and keep creating, it will pay off eventually!

Here’s where you can find Laura ::

website :: www.lauradrodesigns.com

Sketchbook Story :: Caroline Simas

I met Caroline for the first time in-person at this year’s Surtex show. We had chatted on the phone prior to the show and I was thrilled to find out that we were in the same row and were booth neighbors. Caroline is one of the sweetest ladies you’ll ever meet, and I was so glad that I had a chance to hang with her while we were in New York AND again in Atlanta.

Caroline started her career teaching elementary school, and then transitioned into running her own decorative painting business. This extremely talented lady was hand-painting everything from children’s furniture to baby linens and lamps. Her business was booming, but the demands for keeping up with continually creating custom work was just too difficult. It was just about this time, that she was struggling to find a unique birth announcement for her soon-to-be-born twin girls. And from those experiences grew a collection of inspirational greeting cards and gifts. She’s been licensing her art ever since.

Caroline is best known for her colorful, inspiring and uplifting art. Her distinctive style and passion for her family and faith truly comes across in all that she creates. It’s a great reminder, to all of us, to do what you love and follow your passion.

Her brand Multiple Blessings by Caroline Simas is really starting to be recognized in the marketplace. AND in January 2012 she will be launching over 50 skus of inspirational gifts for DEMDACO AND in June 2012 she’ll be launching a variety of home decor goods and furniture for Creative Co-Op. YAY, Caroline!!!!!

Keep your eyes out ’cause you’re going to be seeing this ladies work EVERYWHERE!! :-)

 

Here is Caroline Simas Sketchbook Story ::

CS: I was blessed to inherit my grandfather’s artistic talent and knew it from a very young age. I dabbled in everything I could get my hands on…watercolors, oil, acrylic, charcoal, clay, jewelry making, cartooning classes, and I even remember searching through Mom’s fabric scraps trying to create clever outfits for my Barbies.

 

CS: Our two sons and twin daughters were the inspiration behind the name Multiple Blessings. And because the greeting cards and gifts contained scripture and messages of inspiration, joy and blessings were multiplied as they were sent all over the country.

CS: I am most inspired by God’s creation. I notice details in nature’s smallest places…water droplets on flower petals, the color palette of a sunset, the chartreuse green of a granny smith apple, the intricate pattern on a monarch butterfly.

CS: I don’t have one specific process. Sometimes I sketch and plan ahead and sometimes I don’t.  I use watercolors, gouache, acrylic, pen and ink, watercolor pencils, paper, and even twigs and lichen. I am constantly trying new ways of creating art…to me that’s one of the best parts about being an artist..the freedom to explore and create without boundaries. I also create mixed media pieces. These originals are sold at local galleries here in Charlotte but they are also for clients who use the designs on other products. Double exciting!

CS: My 7 year old girls trying to sketch like me…. :)

CS: My fabric collections for Robert Kaufman “Finally Free.”  (You can find out why I named it that here.)

CS: Some of my products :-)

CS: And some of my designs for Skinit . New ones with scripture coming out in the 4th quarter of 2011.

 

 Here’s where you can find Caroline Simas ::

   website :: http://www.multipleblessings.net

        blog :: http://carolinesimas.blogspot.com/  

      fabric ::  Robert Kaufman and here

  coasters :: Coasterstone

 tumblers :: Tervis

    invites :: Tiny Prints

      skins :: Skinnit

Sketchbook Story :: Mary Beth Cryan

Mary Beth a.k.a. “The Princess of Pop-up” is an amazing paper engineer and illustrator to boot. Her career path is quite serendipitous. She studied illustration at Syracuse and after graduating she worked at a few different companies designing products in the home goods and children’s toys market.

…AND then everything changed, when she happened upon a book about designing pop-up cards. From that point on the entire direction of her career changed course. She spend the next year learning the craft and mustering up enough freelance work to quit her toy designing job. Mary Beth has been working as a freelance illustrator with a specialty in paper engineering ever since!! 6 years and counting :-)

Mary Beth has engineered and illustrated pop-up cards, books, and paper craft kits for many companies including the MoMA, American Girl, Barnes and Noble, Ladybug Magazine, Highlights High Five, and many, many more :-)

Here is Mary Beth’s Sketchbook Story ::

MC: Art has always been a passion of mine. I am very lucky to have supportive parents who are also in the field of art (my mom was as an elementary school art teacher and my dad is a professional photographer) .  As a child I would ask for and receive many various types of craft kits every year for my birthday and Christmas. I’ve done almost every craft that exists from mosaics, to tissue paper flowers, to pot holder loops, to crochet, to rubber stamps, and origami. Illustrated papercraft is the perfect mix of my training as an illustrator, my love of crafting, and my business experience as a toy/product designer.

 MC: I’m very inspired by fashion. My favorite designers use a lot of bright unusual color combinations, interesting shapes and bold patterns. They include Marc Jacobs, Viktor and Rolf, Miuccia Prada, and Dries Van Noten. I love bright colors from growing up in the 80′s. :)   I like very clean design so I am naturally drawn towards the patterns of Scandinavian design.  I include a lot of patterns in my work.

 MC: Here are some of my initial sketches:

MC: Then I built the shapes out of cardstock and drew directly onto the models.  Here I’ve scanned them in.

MC: I then draw them again in Adobe Illustrator right into the dielines.

MC: And here is the final product.  You can buy them here!! Here’s where you can find Marybeth Cryan ::

   website :: www.marybethcryan.com

        blog :: www.everythingmarybeth.com

Sketchbook Story :: Marisa Anne

I was first introduced to Marisa thru her blog, Creative Thrusday. It was years ago when the online daily painter’s movement first started and you still had to explain to folks what a blog was.

Marisa initially started blogging because she was advised that “every business should have a blog” and that coupled with the intention to be more creative one day a week while working a 9 to 5 job has turned into so much more!! Creative Thursday, has become Marisa’s full time business, a home for her paintings, podcast and blog, where she chronicles the best parts of her life.  

It’s totally inspiring to see someone navigate with their heart, follow their dreams and live a truly creative life. Marisa’s art sells worldwide and can be found in her own online boutique as well as select galleries and shops including Urban Outfitters, Land of Nod and Papyrus.

Here is Marisa’s Sketchbook Story ::

MA: Growing up I also collected miniatures, and I think this early love for all things tiny and cute is exactly what inspired my present style. They’ve stood by and cheered me on, these little fellows, during a very delicate time in the development of my career and life as an artist, the time when I finally learned to trust my own creative voice. My hope in sharing them, especially through the fabric, is that they do exactly the same for you, support, inspire and cheer you on in your creativity.

MA: When I first started painting as a kid, I replicated exactly what I saw, either from photos or still life. Over time that realistic process transitioned into a more impressionistic style. Always colorful. I’ve always loved color!  It was really through the committed practice of daily painting that I began to challenge myself with inventing characters. For a while there, I was really loving the color orange. {and still do} ;)

 

MA: It was just before Halloween when I first sketched these characters which also inspired the little ghostie fellow. That sketch became the first version of my character Ruby and the ghostie was named ‘Imaginary Friend’, also the title of this daily painting from October 2006.


MA: In the second painting “The Gang Celebrates” you can see the evolution of Ruby, and her expanding group of friends, in her follow up appearance in March 2007. Pulling this project together and actually putting these images next to one another is the first time I’m seeing the transformation so clearly. It’s so amazing to see how one tiny sketch evolved into an entire fabric line in just five years. A lot can happen when we decide to commit to ourselves and our creativity. Ruby and my cast of characters are now the designs and inspiration for my first fabric line launching this fall 2011 and right now, this very moment I am writing my first book! to be released in September 2012.

Here’s where you can find Marisa ::

       blog: http://creativethursday.typepad.com/

etsy shop: http://www.creativethursday.etsy.com/

  web site: http://www.creativethursday.com

    twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/creativethurs

 

Sketchbook Stories :: Andy Robert Davies

Andy is an illustrator based in the UK. He also sometimes goes by ARD (those are his initials). Andy has a great sense for interpreting natural forms into very appealing graphic shapes And I just absolutely love the way he sometimes incorporates type and lettering into his illustrations. Andy’s worked for clients around the world including the BBC, The Guardian, The Independent on Sunday, Charlesbridge Publishing, The Reader’s Digest Magazine and Vodafone. His first children’s book ‘Truck Stuck’ has won a number of awards and has even been published in South Korea!

 

Here is Andy’s Sketchbook Story::

 

ARD: Travel is a very important aspect of my life and my artwork. I use my sketchbook and camera to capture interesting compositions, colour and people.

ARD: Sometimes I use my drawings as a direct plan for the digital artwork like this Little Brewster project.

ARD: Other times I take aspects of different drawings and arrange them in a less literal composition like this Nepal project I did.

ARD: Nearly all my projects go via a digital and mark making process, as I like how I am able to constantly revisit and change elements of the work.

 

Here’s where you can find Andy ::

website :: http://www.ardillustration.com/

     blog :: http://ardillustration.blogspot.com/

Sketchbook Stories :: Caitlin Shearer

I fell in love with Caitlin’s ladies the minute I saw them. They have a 50′s throwback feel with a modern edge. So simple, yet very refined. Can you believe that such a young artist is creating such amazing and sophisticated work. I can definitely tell you that When I was in my twenties I didn’t have it as together as Caitlin does.

Here is Caitlin’s Sketchbook Story :: 

CS: I’ve just turned 22 and have been working as an illustrator for about three years now. I’ve been obsessed with drawing and painting since about age 16 (and always enjoyed it as a child) and so it seemed a natural path to take after graduating high school and dropping out of art school. I’m currently living in Sydney, Australia and I enjoy watching my work evolve as my life changes and as I learn more about who I am. 

CS: I work primarily in watercolors and lead pencil and like to create a delicate world of my own – Vicariously living through my art is something I have a tendency to do and I like to think that i’ve built up a little neighborhood of people who will always be able to keep me company. I’m obsessed with 1950′s dresses, ferragamo shoes, the golden age of hollywood, autobiographies, David Lynch, Mulder and Scully, Muesli, Fred Astaire, cats, bed, gin and dancing. My plans for the future are to find a home and be a domestic goddess like Nigella Lawson. Oh, and to have some picture books published! And work as a textile designer too. CS: This piece is entitled “How does your garden grow” and was created in April 2011 for an exhibition called “This Little Teapot” Held at Paper Plane gallery, Rozelle, Sydney. I had recently bought a huge bag of pressed flowers and was dying to put them to good use, so this is why it’s a bit different to my usual watercolor works – I don’t usually do much collage but change is necessary.

CS: I guess this one turned into a self portrait and was created during a time of solitude when living at my parents house on the coast. I wanted to get to know myself but that’s entirely difficult when living far away from the world and I think that’s what was bugging me when I made this work. Things like that seem to seep into my work and then it’s only in retrospect that I can figure it all out.

CS: I also made an accompanying artwork that was exhibited next to this piece, and that one was called “The Gardener”- also incorporating a cut out silhouette and pressed flowers. I kinda hope that the rosebuds don’t end up deteriorating! I covered them with varnish, so fingers crossed they don’t go stale!

 Here’s where you can find Caitlin Shearer ::

   website :: www.caitlinquiet.blogspot.com

   Etsy :: www.CaitlinShearer.etsy.com