Topic: Sketchbook Stories

Sketchbook Stories :: 2 more spots open for 2011

Holly Smokes!!

I’m pretty much booked out thru the new year. I have 2 more Sketchbook Story spots open for 2011!! Crazy right!! So if you want to be featured or want to recommend someone for the last 2 remaining spots drop me a line. :-)

UPDATE on Tuesday, August 16, 2011 at 2:10PM: 

How do I pick the artists I feature? Well they need to have at least two out of the three of these.

  • I absolutely love your work
  • I know and like you :-)
  • I  find what you’re doing in someway inspiring

There’s no elitism here. I want a wide variety of artist & illustrators, from the well known to the not yet discovered. Sharing different areas of specialty– Traditional editorial illustration to picture book, surface design, art licensing and even type design (hopefully soon).

There’s lots of ways to work and lots of different disciplines. I think it’s fun and inspiring to see how other folks work even if it isn’t in my niche. There’s something to be learned from everyone, don’t you think!?

Sketchbook Stories :: Dominick Saponaro

Dom and I graduated from the same illustration program at UArts. We reconnected a few years ago when he and Christy were out visiting the bay area and I’m so glad we did :-)

Dominick’s an amazing illustrator that paints with light. You would never guess, not in a million years, that he creates his art digitally!! His expressive brushstrokes and dramatic lighting creates an incredibly striking mood, well beyond the literal interpretation. It’s really that awesome!!

Dom has worked with the likes of Simon & Schuster, Holiday House, The Science Fiction Book Club, Solaris Books, and Bethlehem Books. His work has been featured in Spectrum and ImagineFX Magazine, and has been showcased in numerous galleries and illustration shows. 

Here is Dominick‘s Sketchbook Story ::

DS: I have a confession to make… I hate thumbnails! Let me rephrase that by saying, I hated thumbnails. Up until recently I have always felt my thumbnails left a lot to be desired, not only for myself but also the client. While I have never gotten a complaint as to the level they were ever at I just felt they never really showed my final intentions. I’d always be chomping at the bit to move along and get started throwing value down on the final canvas as quickly as possible.

DS: I just didn’t enjoy all the preparatory work involved with creating the final image, even though I knew it all was necessary. Recently I have forced myself to really push my thumbnails as far as possible, trying to create full blown miniature black and white paintings of the image I have in my mind. This has helped me immensely! Even though I spend more time on these sketches it saves time down the road at a later stage of the illustration. Everything is now figured out and there is no trial & error moving forward. I know what I am looking for in reference, what I have to do for the final drawing, and even know what’s happening value wise with the final painting. Best of all, I have really come to enjoy the thumbnail stage of a project now!


DS: I am influenced by many Golden Age illustrators like NC Wyeth, Dean Cornwell and Howard Pyle. I like to incorporate many of their fundamental techniques of drawing, composition and value within my own works. I strive to create works of art that transcend illustration. I am sharing with you a step by step snapshot of my digital painting technique. 


DS: I work in a very traditional way, starting with an initial line drawing.

DS: Then I build up from a mid ground underpainting by wiping out or erasing.

DS: I then begin modeling the form with heavier more opaque brushwork. 

DS: Once I have a fully realized black and white painting I do quick little tiny color studies to guide me with my palette choices. I then proceed to color on the final, building up the painting with many different transparent color glazes while still retaining the value from the black and white painting.


DS: After the painting is keyed in color wise to completion I then go in and refine the painting even further with opaque colors so as not to just have a colorized black and white.  Finally Ill go in and make any last minute hue, value, or saturation adjustments while pushing textures and refining some of the brushwork.  You can see  a step by step video progress slideshow here.

DS: Here are a few pieces on exhibit at The Philadelphia Sketch Club’s “Phillustration!” exhibition. I won first place in the institutional category with my train painting “1027” and second place in the self promotion category for my “Lincoln” portrait.

DS: I also recently received another honor when his “A Princess of Mars” painting was selected from over 300 entries for inclusion in the Frank Frazetta tribute exhibition at Gallery Provocateur. Proceeds from the show will be donated to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation for Frank’s granddaughter Jessica, who suffers from the disease.

Here’s where you can find Dominick Saponaro ::

website :

Sketchbook Stories :: Katherine Dunn

I’ve been a big fan of Katherine work for quite some time. I asked Katherine if she would share her Sketchbook Story back in October when I first started the series and am so glad that she is now able to share her story with us.

Here is Katherine’s Sketchbook Story ::

KD: I started as an “illustrator” in 1996 in Minneapolis working with clients such as Neiman Marcus, Target, Charles Schwab and Marshal Field’s to name a few. I worked fast and furious and by 2001 when September 11 occurred, the world of illustration shifted greatly. Needing a major change,  I moved to Portland in 2002 and ended up meeting my husband. When we later moved to a farm, the world of Apifera was born. My work has evolved to combine writing and art in a variety of mediums all starring the many muses surrounding me. I still work on select commercial projects and galleries but I also strive to write and illustrate stories via puppet movies and painting. My first book, Creative Illustration Workshop, came out in 2010 and my illustrated memoir is being pitched to publishers.

KD: On what inspires me:: Life. Animals. Emotions. Conflict. Death. Loss. It’s all here on my farm, played out daily by a cast of characters in a continuing story via a painting, a puppet show, a felted creature or photo series. I no longer call myself “illustrator”- it never suited me well, and was too constricting because I like to work in many mediums. All those mediums allow me to share stories and feelings. Each character at Apifera Farm allows me to tap into something deep inside, explore how I feel abut it, and share it.

The farm inspires me too- as a human being nurturing the land. Nature is truly king or queen and holds no grudges against me, but always shows me I am just like a leaf- here one day, gone tomorrow, returned to the earth and cycled in with everything else. In the meantime, I have a lot of work to do, and art and writing and sharing it are part of my gift to this earth.

KD: On my process with commercial clients:: Even when I started in 1996 as an ‘illustrator”, I worked and thought in a very organic way and my sketches were always crude. If I tried to make my sketches too tight they lost energy [in my mind].  The commercial clients that allowed me to explore what I wanted to do, as a flow, and not be constricted to a tight sketch, ended up with very fresh, emotive work. Obviously, not all projects allow such freedom in the commercial art world- when I did a  children’s book for a Korean publisher, each page was sketched, first crudely as in this b/w, and then I would go to color and tweek it as I got feedback.

KD: All my work is still created traditionally, but Photoshop allows me to scan and layer, allowing me to do edits. This is not as easy as it always appears! But years of doing it have allowed me to feel comfortable with it. The sketch is the first layer of a piece about ‘green hair care”. The bottom image shows other traditionally painted layers – grabbed from other paintings- to incorporate onto the finished piece. I did have this ability in my early career.

KD: On my evolving career and process:: My color palette has matured greatly – I am after all 53 now and in a much different place in my life after so many years. When I paint now, it is more for myself or for a book idea or story I am writing. I never work from a sketch. I might have a dummy thumbnail of a book idea, and I scribble words in the spreads, but then go to paint. It evolves depending on what I see emerging from the art. I always say the painting has an inner meaning that the unconscious knows, but it takes time for the conscious mind to catch up. Years later, I can look at a piece and really see what I was trying to be told by my unconscious. To demonstrate this organic flow, the image on the top was the beginning or…something…and it later evolved into the canvas.

KD: I no longer constrict myself to just 2d or paint. I sew and working with felted creatures and hand made sock puppets. All these things are just an extension of telling my stories and exploring feelings ad ideas. Each creature on the farm develops its own voice and allows me to explore something I might have hidden or pushed aside.  I actually miss my puppets when I don’t work with them for awhile.

I too find the tempo of creating has slowed down- or I work shorter hours, but very intensely on a project. i no longer can- or desire- to paint to the wee hours like I did when I started out. I have a farm now and many organic, creative projects with the land here, so it is all part of my creative process and it all feeds off each other.

KD: Creative Illustration Workshop :: Writing is a huge part of my life now and combining that writing with my art is my path. I have an illustrated memoir being pitched [send good energy my way!] and my first book came out in 2010 called Creative Illustration Workshop  by Quarry Books. The book’s goal is to inspire the reader to see their own world as a library of images, textures and stories.

KD: Capturing the Essence:: In my book Creative Illustration Workshop I talk a lot about how to “capture the essence” of a moment, an animal or a feeling so you can translate it later into an illustration or piece of art/story. I think this is a very hard concept to teach and part of it has to start with being present with yourself, and just listening, and observing without the competition of iphones or email rings or Facebook chatter. I work alone, on a farm, and even I have many distractions, so this is not just directed at city dwellers. But spending time alone is crucial, in my mind, to learn how to listen to your inside guides that might allow you to have a more organic flow in your work.

KD: As an example of this thought process, I show this spread from the book. Observing the garden one day, the donkeys were in the distant background, I begin to see their ears as yet another organic shape of the garden . This led to many paintings with a recurring theme of donkey ears as pattern. I will also be having Workshops at the farm in September, 2011 in which we will do just this- capture the essence of time spent with the donkeys.

 KD: Sharing story:: I feel it’s my obligation to share my stories. I can keep many to myself of course, but I have always been inspired by Joseph Campbell who talks about the hunter going into the dark forest, alone, to conquer his fears and go down the winding path that leads him to the hidden jewell. But it’s when he returns to the village with that jewell, and what he does with it, that makes him a hero. Here are some pieces that tell stories from my daily interactions at the farm [these are just four from the 200 images in the Creative Illustration Workshop book].

Here’s where you can find Artist ::





       book:: “Creative Illustration Workshop”


Art Workshops at Apifera Farm 2011::

Sketchbook Stories :: Jamie Lentzner


I met Jamie a few years ago at one of the first Eastbay Art Licensing Group and totally became intrigued at how she seems to do it all – artist, small business owner, wife and mom. Jamie’s a really up-front, tell-it-like-it-is gal and she doesn’t hold back. She shares an honest account fo her life and running a small business on her blog and it’s totally eye opening.

Jamie’s background is in cartooning and animation. She spent her first few post-college years designing video games. Then she moved on to working in the educational software sector where she was the lead animator at The Learning Company. And for the past 9 years Jamie has owned her own company called Jamie’s Painting & Design, where she makes personalized ceramic wall art, keepsakes ornaments and dishes. She also creates logos and designs for local children’s sports teams so that they have an alternative to the generic typical trophy, offer instead a personalized tile or water bottle.

Jamie’s has had the amazing fortune of being featured on several TV shows and a couple of well known newspaper publications, like the Wall Street Journal. She’s even has a few A-list celebrities out there that have purchased her products. And her products sell around the country in various boutiques and websites. Pretty Cool, right!?!

Here’s is Jamie’s Sketchbook Story:

JL: When Cindy Ann asked for artists to feature in her Sketchbook Stories Series I originally jumped at the chance (in my head, not in an email to her).  When I finally got the chance to be featured she had a huge amount of very talented artists that had posted before me.  And I have to say their processes seemed very, very impressive and extensive compared to mine….oh and my camera broke.  So please bare with me as I try to piece together how I come to one of my finished products.

JL: When I started the business 9 years ago I used to hand paint each design.  It was tedious, it was exhausting and I did not enjoy it.  I enjoyed creating  art, not painting it day after day.  After some research we decided to shift the company’s focus from hand painting to Dye Sublimating.  For getting the art onto the tile or other product we use a technique called Dye Sublimation.  The hand painted design is printed out on a special printer and then taped to the blank product.  It is then placed in a special Dye Sublimation Press to almost cook the art into the tile.  The finished product will not fade or rub off.  I find the look is similar to hand painting but the time consuming factor of hand painting each product is removed.  I am able to produce hundreds of pieces (during Christmas or pre-Recession Days).

JL: When creating new designs I look to popular color combinations for nurseries and in home décor.  I often do searches online, watch HGTV, I flip through magazines, books and lastly I go shopping.  Some of my most popular designs have come from dreams, or classic favorites that I recall from my childhood. The easiest for me is to sit in front of the computer for hours, but it probably the least inspirational.


JL:My technique is not very complex, I just sketch out the designs or characters in pencil on white card stock. Then I paint with acrylic paints and use very small brushes to get the detail I want. I don’t do too many layers, but I make sure the art has some depth and that you can see the brush strokes, shadows, highlights and lots of detail. I stay away from manufactured or flat looking art.

JL: After creating an original painting I scan at a high resolution to ensure that the paint strokes are visible in the final outcome of my product design. Once it is into the computer and start manipulating it in Photoshop.  I first remove the background so that I can use the art almost like a sticker and move it around the screen.  I then tighten the black lines (the black line dot outline is one of my signature styles and one that usually defines a piece by me).  Next I play around with the colors and make sure they are the colors on the screen match my painting.  Sometimes after opening up the art scan I completely shift my direction and change the colors.  Or since most of my products have a coordinating ribbon, I have to make sure the ribbon I imagined exists and that I can get it in bulk.

JL: Next I start to play around with the placement of my art.  I don’t always go into each design with the location of each piece. I tend to layer them, cut them into pieces, delete pieces and try to create either a pleasant pattern or an image that stands on its own. In the back of my mind I also have to think of how I could use this on another product or for licensing (I license artwork with Stupell Industries also).

JL: Once the design is complete I either have the product photographed or I manipulate it in Photoshop, using the large inventory of photographed tiles I have. If it is a standard flat tile (Name Plaques, Name Tiles or Birth Announcements) I can do the work myself.  Other products, like plates and water bottles can be more difficult, as I am still pretty much a novice in Photoshop.

JL: Since my products are personalized with a child’s name or birth information I have created original fonts for my different designs. Instead of hand painting each design I place the information or create the name in Photoshop.

Here’s where you can find Jamie:

website ::

    blog :: – Where Jamie blogs about running a small business and raising a family.

Sketchbook Stories :: Dawn Gonzales

Dawn is an absolutely amazing, fun and wonderfully quirky lady that I had the pleasure of working with when I was at Old Navy. Her never-ending creativity and excitement is totally contagious! And just you watch out when she gets super excited about a project. There’s no holding her back. I’m am so grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to work her and am even more grateful that we are friends!!

Dawn was raised in the American west (Wyoming, Colorado, Arizona and California) and attended the University of Arizona where she studied painting, printmaking and sculpture, and graduated with a BFA in 1993. Two weeks later, with $800 in her pocket and two overstuffed suitcases, she moved to San Francisco to be an “artist.” She has been in the Bay Area ever since doing marketing in various capacities for companies such at Isda and Co., Zia Natural Skincare, The Beauty Store (now called Pure Beauty) and Gap, Inc.

Dawn has been drawing, painting and crafting since she was a little girl and she is SUPER LUCK that in her current position as Manager for Creative Services for Old Navy she gets to do all of these things!! Dawn designs Flagship Store window displays, seasonal interiors and Old Navy’s PR showroom in New York City, the latter of which is detailed in the sketchbook story that she is sharing with us today.

Here’s Dawn’s Sketchbook Story:

DG: I get inspired by a little bit of everything: Of course my adorable English bulldog, Cookie. She is the light of my life and keeps me happy from sunup to sundown.

DG: Other artists inspire me, especially Koko the gorilla. (I own three pieces of Gorilla art!) My favorite weekend jaunt is Mendocino, where everything seems to move at a slower, more relaxed pace. I think it is simply paradise on earth. My favorite local weekend place to hang is in my beautiful backyard where I can lay on the deck, gaze at the California native plants and listen to the chickens cluck next door.

DG: A few small factoids about myself: I have a twin sister living in Seattle who is an artist as well. I love hula hooping and roller-skating. I have seen Barry Manilow in concert twice and know almost all of his songs by heart. I am a crazy wedding dancer. I own a gorilla suit just for fun. I don’t have a drivers’ license by choice – and you should thank me for that.

Old Navy Public Relations Showroom process:

DG: Since the purpose of our PR showroom is to present our upcoming lines to magazine editors, the first step is to familiarize myself with the items of the season that we want to be featured in the media. This might be an elevated and trendy skinny cargo-pant, a beautifully detailed sweater or a great new yoga-pant with a technologically forward fabrication. The hero products for the season always inform what the showroom design will look like because, essentially, we want to present our product as best as possible so that editors will want to feature the items in their fashion magazines.

For Fall 2011, our public relations coordinator knew that these patterned blouses were going to be big and we had a fabulous leather jacket in the line that she wanted to speak to. So, we knew the focus would be on these items for the overall look of the showroom.

DG: But, before I start designing the space itself, I work on the invitation that will act as a teaser for all the invitees. Spending some time with this idea usually sparks bigger ideas for the showroom concept. My first idea was to marry the soft florals with the edgier leather for a “leather and lace” sort of statement. Here is my initial hand drawn sketch for the invitation done during our team kickoff meeting.

DG: The next step is to refine the drawing in Illustrator. I prefer to flesh out my ideas on the computer for speed and convenience (must be the fast paced retail environment that I’m used to!)

DG: Then, I work with our product design department, if necessary, to acquire the actual digital textile assets to drop into my design. Voila! The finished invitation!


DG: And now onto the showroom. The first thing I do is lay out everything to scale on an overheard template. Once I am happy with the final design, I create individual mechanicals for our external print/production vendors.

DG: Since there were so many lovely patterns in our fall line, I decided to keep the walls clean and white, focusing on vignettes of pattern as backdrops for the mannequins.

DG: To evoke fall, we focused on a center statement (the dimensional tree and birds). I tend to use a lot of birds and trees in my work. In these pictures you can see that I appropriated the textile patterns into the backdrops and also for the cutout bird silhouettes hanging on the tree.

DG: The engineers who created the tree did an excellent of job of translating my original tear sheets and sketches into the dimensional plywood tree that you see here. It is my favorite part of this showroom design.

DG: The patterned wall backdrops are 96“ x 96” and are created from stretch frames and canvas. On one panel, we actually used brown pleather to resemble the cool jacket I mentioned earlier.

DG: Of course, I leveraged the invitation art for our hallway announcement. Since Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy all present their clothing lines in the same building, we need to have some sort of navigation for our attendees at the launch party.

DG: After the event is over, the showroom and the product is professionally photographed for our online press kit so that the editors and stylists can refer back to what they have seen. It’s a very exciting process to be a part of design-wise, but what is even better is that I also get to visit New York to work in the showroom 4 times a year.

Here’s where you can find Dawn:

    old navy::


cookie’s fb ::

dawn’s fb ::



Sketchbook Stories :: Stephanie Ryan

I met Stephanie online, thru Holly Becker’s Blogging Your Way class. I started a group for artists to chat on the class message board, and her and I because fast friends. We were chatting so much on the forum, that we actually became some of the the top posters in our class along side Ms. Monica :-) It was an amazing learning experience. And I’m so grateful that I was able to find a group of ladies that I was able to connect with. I totally found my tribe and was super sad when the e-course ended and the forum closed. Steph and I knew we needed to stay in contact, so we now schedule a chat once a month on the phone. And I was lucky to have her drive down and help me at my Surtex booth this year.

A little bit about Stephanie. Her true creative journey began after a fire destroyed Little Souls, Inc. the doll company where she worked for 11 years. She had started there working as a doll maker and was steadily promoted from designer to buyer, to product manager. After the fire, Stephanie was faced with the fact that she had to start over and she decided to go back to school. Stephanie decided to enroll at Moore College of Art & Design where she studied graphic design and discovered her love for fabrics and patterns. Stephanie now freelances as a designer, specializing in tabletop, surface, and product design. My fingers are crossed that she’ll decide to take the leap to exhibit at Surtex next year, and of course be in my “neighborhood”!!


Here is Stephanie’s Sketchbook Story::

SR: When Cindy Ann asked me to submit my sketchbook story I was really excited to participate, I thought it would be fun to share my process. The more I thought about it however, the more I realized that I don’t sketch all that much!

SR: My process is more intuitive, I find that when I sketch I tighten up too much and my work loses some of it’s magic. I also try not to look at reference, I like to work from my imagination when painting my flowers, it gives them a whimsical look that I can’t replicate when looking at reference.

My painting process is simple. I work with watercolors and ink and I use my imagination and intuition to guide me. I start with a blank watercolor block and fill my brush up with color and start painting shapes, the shapes turn into flowers in unexpected ways and I add details at the end with a micron pen.  I try to fill up the paper with a variety of flowers and elements like swirls, dots and leaves to use in my finished pieces. At this stage, I never know what the finished piece is going to look like.

SR: When I am finished with painting, I scan everything into the computer and start cleaning it up in photoshop. Once I have all of the elements together, I start playing.

SR: I never have an idea in mind of the finished art before this stage in my process. This is the fun part for me. I start moving elements around, add textures, play with color and sometimes words to complete the piece. Once I have my central image finished, I try to pull together a supporting pattern collection to compliment it.

SR: Life is very exciting these days.



Steph’s Painting Demo

Stephanie Ryan Painting Demo 1

Here’s where you can find Stephanie ::


       blog:: Small Sweet Steps ::


    twitter:: @SmallSweetSteps


Sketchbook Stories :: 4th of July Sparklers

For this weeks Sketchbook Story we’re going to give you some sparkling highlights, since it is the 4th of July and everyone should take a vacations every once in a while. Holly, one of my new interns, has pulled together her a list of some of her favoriotes. So enjoy!!


1. Kathy Weller - Love her whimsy take on animals. Her drawings dance with life and fun.



2. Lianne & Paul Swirley Designs – I have followed their blog for over a year. Their sketchbook is a gorgeous piece of art in itself.

3. Heather Davulcu – Very cool wall mural ideas. LOVE her fox. 


4. Kate Pitner – I like her technique. Looks like colored pencils in layers of color.


5. Nate Williams – The simplicity of his art and where he is color blind and uses such pop of color that just grabs you and pulls you into his story just amazes me that that is instinct. 

Sketchbook Stories :: Alisha Wilson

I got connected with Alisha thru my husband Jay. He’s on the board of AIGA SF and Alisha is a super active local member and networker to boot. You can almost guarantee that she’ll be holding court at all of the major design events in the city. But, we really got to know each other when we would grab lunch together and just sit and chat.

Alisha was born and raised in Vermont, and attended Massachusetts College of Art and Design, but her sights were set on the west cost.  She pick up and moved to San Francisco only 5 days after graduation and started her own freelance Illustration Business.

Alisha has worked at Gladstone as their Sr. Designer, Flip Video as Graphic Designer and online Merchandiser, and now works for Recurly as their Manager of Design and Creative Goodness. Alisha’s has been working on an art licensing portfolio for many years and writes about her journeys in her blog Sweetooth.

Here is Alisha’s Sketchbook Story::

AW: This year I set an art licensing goal. My goal is to create a collection every month, with the hopes of having 12 complete collections by the end of  2011. So far, I am on track and I wanted to share the process on how I made my collection “Cherry Nice”.

AW: I love sweets, candy and mostly anything girly. I am always snapping pictures of nice looking treats. A lot of the work I make is images of goodies. I call this set of licensing collections “Snacks and Treats”. I had a life drawing professor in college who would always say “go get your snacks and treats” when it was break time. This phrase always cracked me up, so I have claimed it for my own and used it ever sense.

AW: I have an incredible sweetooth and my love for sweet images started in high school where I did my AP art portfolio on candy. I sculpted, painted, photographed and ate a lot of candy. When I moved to San Francisco and was done with college and free to paint whatever I wanted, I once again returned to painting sweets.

AW:I visit a lot of bakeries in search of the cutest cupcakes, or cookies and take them to my art studio and get started. My most recent cupcake collection “Cherry Nice” incorporates cherries and cupcakes. So I picked up a bag of cherries and an amazing red velvet cupcake from Baked my local cupcake shop.

AW: I first set up the individual objects I am going to paint and shoot many photographs of the items from all angles with lots of different lighting.

AW: Then in Photoshop I merge and arrange the images how I want them. I make color and saturation changes to my images, then print them out.

AW: I transfer the images to watercolor paper and looking at the original items (the cherries and cupcakes) I start to paint. It is important to me to actually see the objects so that I can get cues on textures and make them look as luscious as possible. For this collection I also painted a few background textures to incorporate into my designs. I don’t over plan how these textures will actually work with the food objects. I just know they come in handy when trying to make wrapping papers and greeting cards and such.

AW: After everything is painted, I scan the finished paintings back into Photoshop and go to work on deleting all of the background textures so each item is isolated. This is absolutely my most un-favorite part of this whole process. I have many collections waiting to have their backgrounds deleted, but alas.

AW: I use these isolated objects to create repeat patterns. I make many patterns in all different colors so that I have many surface patterns to choose from when mocking up the repeats on products.  I try to think who would the end user be for these products and what products would  be appropriate for these images.

AW: For this collection I made 2 different apron collections and a tableware collection. 

AW: Some of my “Cherry Nice” collection is being licensed by Flip Video. I hope you enjoyed my story. I had fun telling it.


Here’s where you can find Alisha ::



  twitter:: @alishawilson

linked in::

Sketchbook Stories :: Another Page :: Paige Pooler

This week Paige is sharing with us another page in her Sketchbook Story. You’ll get to see an inside view into her process. And I do have to say it’s pretty amusing the way she faces her hurdles. I think most of us can relate to the procrastination that sometime comes with the fear of starting a new project. If you’d like to read Paige’s first debut stop by here.

Here another page from Paige’s Sketchbook Story ::

PP: When Cindy Ann and I discussed my posting here several months ago, I was excited and happy about the prospect working on some of my own ideas. I thought this deadline would be a great incentive for me to get a whole collection of designs drawn. HAHAHAA!!!  I also had delusions that I might even develop something spectacular…something that would eventually take off like wildfire and pay my bills for the next forty years. Okay, so that did NOT happen.

Actually, and the good news is, paying work came in and that’s even better because the bills I have NOW will get paid. Eventually. (Hey man, where is one that check anyway?!) Unfortunately, for the purpose of this post, my most recent work has either been work-for-hire or has not yet published.  And even if I was able to share, the majority of this work would still be too similar to my previous posting in January . This means, that absolutely, something else had to be done…and quick too…because, when I got Cindy Ann’s email reminder on Wednesday, not a thing had been started!! Oh no!

So, here it is THE PROCESS…from concept to final…with lots and lots of panic and (ridiculous amounts of) procrastination thrown in for good measure.

It just so happens a dear friend of mine is putting together a silent art auction for Japan.  This presented a great opportunity for me to both get the art made and get the word out to other artists who might be able to donate as well!! OK!  So at least I knew what the project was for….now, I just needed to figure everything else out.

So, I hemmed and hawed. I walked the dogs. I made a smoothie. I thought about the earthquake and following aftermath and knew I didn’t want to focus on the destruction. Besides being an optimist and always trying to find the bright side, I think a happy image is more likely to sell. Initially, I thought about Godzilla and Hello Kitty sitting in a jacuzzi but, I sort of did this before, just with a different creature, Nessie.

I mention that I’m having a hard time knowing where to start with this painting to a friend and she just gave me a gem….”cherry blossoms” she said.  That’s all I really needed. Now I had something to work around, I had my muse!! *Special shout out to Cari for the save!!


PP: Cherry blossoms are so pretty and delicate and hopeful. And it turns out, they symbolize (according to “the arrival of Spring. End of winter. End of difficulty period. Start of prosperity. Joy. Beautiful Nature. Freshness. New generation. Life cycle.” I rather like that. It’s hopeful.

Even though my online reference was awesome, I still didn’t know my angle. I perused my bookshelves for anything Japanese.  I’ve always loved Japanese culture and have lots of little trinkets…lots of gifts from friends who have gone and brought me back a cute little toy or something.  I’m definitely inspired by these on some level.

PP: Still, my own stash wasn’t quite enough to get me going.   It was time for some Research and Development! Honestly,  I probably should have stayed home and hunkered down to draw something…or..anything for that matter but I was in full-blown procrasti-mode. Living so close, there was no way I wasn’t going to pop on over to Little Tokyo for some inspiration (and more trinkets). I bought myself a back massager type thing, sushi boxes, pens, notepads, cards, a mug, change purse, a toy, mochi and ponzu sauce. All in the name of research!!  That includes the sweet potato danish at the Japanese bakery. Interesting and kind of delicious.

PP: I could spend forever looking at Japanese packaging, I just loooooooove it.  They’re not afraid to have a little fun with their designs. I still didn’t have my “idea” fleshed out but I had such a great day exploring.  I knew I’d get my answer. The next day was Saturday and time was a tickin’!!!  I needed to get this all done and out on Sunday. So naturally, I head off to Macy’s one day sale!! Honestly, this is extreme procrastination happening, I’m not normally so awful. I wondered why I was doing all this and the answer I came up with was fear.  I was working thru my fear of actual paint (all my work is digital these days and they haven’t invented an undo button for my paint brushes or color changes, easy tweaks, etc.) Plus, I could NOT afford to NOT use the extra coupons my mother gave me for the sale!! Come on! You’da done the same thing!!! (*BTW, I got a really cute dress!)PP: Sigh. Finally, I come home.  I scratch my head. I go back out to the art store for supplies since I can’t find everything from my recent move.  Then I totally fall off the vegan train and get a slice of NY style cheese pizza.  Get home…sit at computer. Sigh again. Audibly.  Shockingly, a sketch or two I do come together.  I am pleased, choose one and go!!! 

PP: From there…I just sat at my desk for an extended amount of time until I couldn’t feel my legs anymore…

 PP: I did add a little bunny at the very end and I think it perks things up a bit more.  Now, I can’t promise not to fuss over this painting over the next few days…but here’s the final art.

Art Party for Japan – Call for Donations!!/event.php?eid=123466927736358

Sketchbook Stories :: Heather Davulco

Heather has always had a passion for painting and drawing. After graduating from The University of Texas with a degree in Textiles and Apparel she decided to pick up her paintbrushes and begin painting again! And in the true spirit of a creative soul she started building her own life as a independent residential and commercial mural artist. In addition to creating murals, Heather also teaches faux finish classes to adults and summer art camp to local school age children. Her work has been featured in Delaware Today and Better Homes and Gardens Home Plans Edition. Heather resides in Bucks County Pennsylvania, with her husband, who just happens to be her college sweetheart, and their two girls.

Here is Heather’s Sketchbook Story ::

HD: I spent about 2 years working for a company called Muralisticks, which creates removable murals for children’s rooms. I have done 6 collections for them: Cape Cod Beach Buddies, AlphaFUN, Country Nursery Rhymes, Pond Frogs, Dancing Frogs, and Dress Up. You can check it out here:

HD: This is the process for creating the collection “Cape Cod Beach Buddies” for Muralistick.

HD: I gather lots and lots of imagery and I like to pin them up everywhere. I take pics whenever possible, and my client sent me photos of her daughters and dog. We also mapped out the walls and what images we wanted for which space. We planned this for her own nursery but also to offer to clients as well through Muralistick. We wanted the room to feel like Cape Cod.

HD: I usually do some rough sketches and send those to the client, then I take their suggestions/ideas and make final sketches.

HD: Once those are okayed then I use my opaque projector to size the image correctly. If the painting will be printed a particular size the client will often need me to paint the image in a certain specific measurement.  Using the projector allows me to get it exactly the correct size. My set up is in the basement where I can get it nice and dark!

HD: The first photo is what the room looked like when it was base coated two different colors of blue-sky and sea. This is a totally removable mural! Isn’t that cool!?

HD: The whales are my FAVORITE! I also really love the way Jerimiah the brown beach poodle came out.

HD: Also I am currently creating my third licensing collection for Dish and Spoon Productions which makes art and accessories for upscale nurseries. 

HD: My work with Dish and Spoon will debut at the ABC Kid’s Expo in September (hasn’t been released yet)

HD: Country Nursery Rhymes collection–the baby basket inspiration and the process of painting it hanging from the tree, and also the fox. I like his expression so I included him.

HD: In addition to the licensing work I am doing now I also spent a couple of years creating migraine inspired art which was widely published (two pieces in medical journals) and was on the cover of a beautiful book entitled Migraine Expression, by Betsey Blondin. One piece was also shown at a gallery.

I keep up with my blog about once a week and try to show current and past projects. I also have been anecdotally telling some stories about how I first started my mural biz in Austin in 1994 (I included a pic taken around that time too) 

Here’s where you can find Heather ::

   blog ::