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NEW Kiss-cut Stickers from Zazzle

This week I’ve been having fun creating new kiss-cut vinyl stickers from Zazzle. Kiss-cut stickers are cut following the outline of the design, which makes them so much nicer than Zazzle’s other stickers–which are still very nice, but limited to basic geometric shapes (i.e., hearts, stars, circles, squares, etc). I wanted to share them with

Yes, I’m An Art Critic

Yes, I’m an art critic. You probably are one too!

What makes me an art critic? What makes YOU an art critic?

Maybe…it’s an eye for a great design or a beautiful painting, or that perfect pillow or card. Maybe it’s that unerring ability to pick out the perfect necktie or shirt or pair of shoes. You like some designs and not others. Maybe you love abstract designs or floral, or coastal and shabby chic, or farmhouse style. Maybe your style embraces lots of bling or understated elegance.

What makes me an art critic is simple: I want to improve my own artwork, so I seek inspiration from examples of artwork that I like where the composition is excellent and the colors all work together in harmony–or at least with no eye-searing clashing. I can, however, handle a little dissonance… I like a wide range of art and artistic styles. I’ve fallen in love with abstract patterns, with impressionist florals, even with stark modern lines.

Can Elephants Dance the Hula?

Can elephants dance the hula? I wondered as I considered options for new artwork to submit to the Bohemian Paradise Challenge on Spoonflower.

My last effort at a good Bohemian Paradise entry took a hairpin turn into so baby elephant cute, I felt it lost the Bohemian feel altogether.

I really needed to try again. Hmmm… Elephants are tropical, pop a lei and a wrap on one, and it might even look Bohemian. Bohemian elephants dancing…

Shop for cute hula elephants fabric and craft supplies on Zazzle

Shop for cute hula elephants fabric and craft supplies on Zazzle

Momma and baby elephant

The Sweetest Momma and Baby Elephant

Check out this momma and baby elephant! Isn’t this the sweetest momma and baby elephant you’ve ever seen?

Where did they come from? Oh yeah…

Click through to shop my Sweet Elephants Fabric Collection on Zazzle

Click through to shop my Sweet Elephants Fabric Collection on Zazzle.

I’ve been working on designs for fabrics, wallpaper, and wrapping paper on Spoonflower. I got inspired to create a design to enter in the Bohemian Paradise contest.

At least, that’s where this whole thing started this week. I was just sure I had the right sketch to use for this…

How I create–my design process

Another designer asked what my design process was today–how I create my designs–and I realized that my answer was so good, I had to share it with you.

My design process: from sketch to finish media

My answer: it depends on the design and the technical difficulty of what I’m trying to create. For instance, take the illustration above. I wanted to draw cartoon character girls in astronaut suits with princess crowns.

Jackrabbits Trot

Jackrabbits don’t hop like little bunnies. No, jackrabbits lope and trot. They also gallop. I discovered this for the first time when I was six.

Jackrabbit trot limited palette design

Purchase this design on Spoonflower

One of the things I really love about western Nebraska–besides the wonderful and amazing people in my family who live there–is the beauty of all those wide open spaces. There’s something extra special about the clean purity of the air sweeping over the high plateau (when California isn’t trying to burn to a charred crisp). I love the blue of the sky out west, and the sunflowers in the autumn, and…the jackrabbits year-round.

Zazzle’s New Acrylic Tumblers

Zazzle has added an exciting new line of products: acrylic tumblers with colorful lids and straws in your choice of blue, green, pink, purple, red, or black.

NEW custom acrylic tumblers from Zazzle - buy now

Click here to buy a custom acrylic tumbler.

You’re going to love these tumblers!

Why?

Because they’re great for using at work, at the gym, in school, and at daycare. They’re also great for hanging out at the beach with a book or for grabbing a quick sip between phone calls. Take one along to your neighbor’s…

Organizing my artwork

One of the issues I’ve encountered as a creative person is an issue with organizing my artwork so that other people can easily find and enjoy it.

I admit it: I’m a “messy.”

I tend to file things in vertical piles. Stacks. Heaps. Whatever!

When I was younger, this wasn’t a problem. I knew exactly which stack and where in that stack the thing I needed was stored. Usually. My memory carried the load for me. I also was better about cleaning up those piles more frequently and putting them away.

Fast-forward to now: I’m realizing more and more that my creative, anything goes form of organizing is not only inconveniencing me (I’ve got too many stacks and I’ve forgotten what’s in them), but it’s also inconveniencing other people.

New York City and London artwork: I found my artwork - and posted it for sale in my "Famous Cities" collection on Spoonflower. Click through to purchase.

I found my artwork and posted it for sale in my “Famous Cities” collection on Spoonflower. Click through to purchase.

I’ve been trying harder to organize my artwork especially–because how are my customers going to find what they love if I can’t even find it to share it with them?

Lately, I’ve tackled several organizing issues online and on my computer related to this problem. I think I’m getting a handle on them, at least for now.

Organizing my artwork on my computer

Organizing my artwork on my computer has been a real challenge. For one thing, I’ve gone through four or five different computers since the Compaq that first spurred many of my creative efforts.

There are files I’m never going to be able to open again, files that have become corrupted or I’ve lost because computers have changed so much since then and the old formats are no longer readable. And frankly, when you’re saving files on flash drives and other media, it’s easy to lose track of where they are.

Recently I became aware that some of my favorite artwork was missing, and I didn’t know where it was. I had files filed under separate folders for more than one reason. Files transferred from other computers, folders that were labeled and forgotten, and of course, a number of flash drives.

Iris Garden at Mahoney State Park

Have you ever seen the iris garden at Eugene T. Mahoney State Park? I might never have even seen the irises if it hadn’t been for… but I’m getting ahead of myself! Have you ever been to Mahoney State Park? Mahoney State Park is located just off I-80 between Lincoln and Omaha at Exit 426.

Her Photos Inspired Me

Where do you get your inspiration from? My friend and mentor, Jan Verhoeff recently sent me photos taken on a drive around the Spanish Peaks region of Colorado.¬†She knows I’m an artist and I love to create. She asked me to create some unique artwork for her featuring these photos. Her photos inspired me. Photos

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