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Archive for August, 2011

So during the Paintapalooza from the weekend before last, I created 2 new collections for my coffee and hearts series.

While working with an agent, I’ve learned that collections are a group of 2 or 4 pieces that are very similar in theme and style yet differ slightly.  So in trying my hand at this understanding I created the following 4 coffee pieces:

I’ll still probably add paint to the coffee cups, but wanted to make sure I had the “collections” piece right!  I think these will make a fun note card set and will be adding these to my shop (but each will also be available for prints/magnets/journals, etc.)

I was also encouraged to try some new fonts/techniques, so I created this fun coffee piece (the complimentary piece is partially done, so I’ll share it later).

This is not me at the coffee shop, but I’ve been behind plenty of people who order like this.  Eh, to each their own I guess!

Here is my attempt at a heart collection:

Tomorrow I’ll show you some attempts at a new style of girl (don’t worry, not replacing my current style of girl, just may be utilized as another line for a more youthful/younger audience). 

And perhaps I’ll show you my sketchbook; it’s been getting quite a bit of use!  Signing up with an agent and being labeled a professional artist (even calling myself an artist took a long, long time) has really inspired me and I’m just going to town sketching out ideas.  I even purchased over 200 canvases, that’s how much I plan on creating in the next couple of months.

We’re working out a lot of details right now, but once we get some of these things worked out, then I’ll be on an all-time painting spree and will probably have dozens of new pieces to share weekly, so stay tuned!

Thanks for taking a peek at what I’m up to!

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Panoramic shot of Sedona (line in the middle is solar glare - I had my lil' point and shoot)

Man, we pounded the pavement this weekend and I’m beat!  But we had a great time and took in a lot of sights, including our trip to Sedona yesterday which is frankly all eye candy.  Constantly uttering, “look at that!” and “oh, this is just so beautiful!” we tried to take in as much as we could before returning to Phoenix for the day so my girlfriend could return to work today and I could catch my flight back home.

View from the visitor's center

If you’ve never been, Sedona is beautiful red rock country and is said to be the sight of many energetic vortex sites where it’s said that many can feel a healing energy.  Though we didn’t have the time to inspect too many of these spots, we did manage to ride the typical tourist route and take in the views during our quick jaunt.

So, being that it’s photo Monday, I’ll shut up now and let the pictures spell it out for you ;)

Not bad for my lil’ point-n-shoot camera (my nice camera took an unfortunate fall a while back and I need to take it in to get fixed).  But I do love my Sony cybershot!

Have a great Monday!

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I was fortunate to go to Saguaro National Park yesterday – a beautiful place just northwest of Tucson where the saguaro cactus sprout seemingly everywhere.  It was beautiful, but sad.  Sad in that it was a Saturday, we were one of two groups in the visitor center and when we returned to the park later in the day to do the highly touted sunset loop (which I’ve done twice before, once 20 years ago, the other time 12 years ago), we were the only one on the entire road save for one other vehicle.  On a Saturday.  In a national park.

It’s no wonder these parks are in trouble!  Luckily my girlfriend did her part and paid the $80 for an annual NP park.  It’s up to us to support these gems because the government certainly can’t.

Perhaps it was the heat (which admittedly I succumbed to like no way I ever have in my life – my face was purple from just being outside a couple minutes; I was extremely nauseous and had a pounding headache.  I was beyond hot.  I was feeling ill).  Luckily once I got in a cool place, I was feeling much better.  But hoo-wee, that heat is nasty!

We did get a moment to visit Mission San Xavier del bac – a Spanish-style white church that pops out of the dessert floor and a place I’ve once visited before (and wanted to share with my girlfriend).

We both share a love of old architecture and an appreciation of religious icons (though neither of us are religious) so this was the perfect place to satisfy both!

We then made our way into downtown Tucson for dinner at the suggestion of a friend who once lived there.

 

We made our way back to the park for our sunset loop before the 2 hour drive back through lightning and a light dust storm to Phoenix.  It was one heck of a scenic day.

Today we head to Sedona *fingers crossed it’s cooler*  Meanwhile David is texting me about how cool it is at the house (in the 50′s).  Though there are charming (?) elements to the desert, you’ll never catch me living here!!  I like the cold, thank you very much!

Hope you’re all having a great weekend (and that those of you on the East Coast are staying safe!)

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Sorry for the spottiness I’m actually in Phoenix!  And I’m calling it the City of the Rising Sun because yesterday it hit a new record as the hottest day every in the month of August – 117 degrees.  Good god, I’m melting!

I’m here to visit my girlfriend Jess (one of the fab 5 I’ve talked about before who recently moved here) and staying for a long weekend.  Yes it’s a dry heat, but I know it’s hot when my cheeks get fiery red in a matter of minutes with little exertion.

Yesterday I visited with previous colleagues (the company I worked for previously as a regional manager is based out of Phoenix) so it was nice to visit with old friends, but my girlfriend and I are tearing it up, trekking to Tucson today and to Sedona tomorrow…quick road trips, lots of laughter.

And because she’s such a techie, I’m writing you using her mobile hot spot on her phone.  But since my laptop is cooking on my lap and is  hard to see with the glare of the sun I’ll leave you with a couple quick pictures from our trip this a.m. to the Desert Botanic Garden before we “expired” (but I’ll be back with more pics hopefully this evening).

Have I mentioned it’s hot? ;)

*hoping all my family, friends, and readers on the East Coast are safe; thinking of you ♥

 

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Sorry to keep you all waiting on my “big news,” but it has been a crazy week and a half full of ups and downs, back and forth, and lots of changes (and the news was changing so much day to day that I’ve rewritten the draft of this very post 4 times, all with different outcomes!).  But now it’s official and I can post this.

So I’ll cut to the chase:  I got signed on as an artist with a very well respected and renowned art licensing agency and have a manufacturer interested in licensing my artwork on their gorgeous home decor products

Oh. My. God.

Now what’s art licensing, you might ask?  It’s when a manufacturer contracts you to use your artwork on products they manufacture.  Like when you walk into a Hallmark store or boutique and see cute items with fun artwork or when you’re in a Target and see fun wall art or a tin canister, stacking boxes or a home decor piece with a design or artwork on it?  It’s likely that they received the goods from a manufacturer that has licensed the artwork from an artist (and not an in-house design team).

Long time followers of this blog will recall me mentioning in the past that my goal for 2011 was to get into licensing, but it’s much harder to break into the industry than it sounds.  Since last December, I’ve sent dozens of emails to agents and manufacturers asking them to consider my artwork and have received some no’s but I mostly received no responses back (kind of like trying to find a great job in this economy!).  I knew this industry was tough to get into and takes time, persistence and a decent sized portfolio.  So I put on my big girl panties and kept plugging away at my artwork and starting creating collections.

Luck was on my side when this particular manufacturer found my artwork on Etsy.  Hallelujah!  I was always so envious of those “I was found on Etsy” stories and now I am one of them.

I had already researched art licensing quite a bit this past year, read lots of books, spent hours on blogs and websites and tried to learn as much as possible.  I knew that I couldn’t go this deal alone.  I needed an agent to broker this deal on my behalf (to help me avoid anything that would tie me in to an unfavorable legal contract) or an Intellectual Property attorney.  So I contacted both (and now that I had a potential deal on the table, I was able to prove merit/potential to an agency that I’ve been wanting to work with all year).

In the past 10 days I’ve learned so much – about the industry, how things really work, how legal contracts work, etc…but I’ve also learned that I have a LOT more to learn.  My brain is on overload.

And as you can imagine it’s been a roller-coaster week of emotions from all the information and changes, from skepticism, to elation, to confusion, back to excitement then to disappointment and finally circling back to a place of joy.

So while I’ll still be creating goods in my handmade shop, this fall will be about creating a ton of new pieces as well as refining previous pieces.  My agent’s plan is for me to perfect my portfolio in the fall so they can do a big launch of me as an artist and my lines at the Atlanta gift show – the biggest trade show in the industry.

This is something that I have been wishing and hoping for over the past year…

Something I’ve been goal-setting for, visualizing and dreaming about…

And something I’ve sent my intentions out to the universe almost a year ago…and now it has manifested.  (*thank you Law of Attraction*)  My level of gratitude is incomprehensible.

Thank you for following me on this journey, cheering me on and bearing witness to my crazy story of the past 2 years.  So, so grateful.

xo Jennifer

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That’s what Friday and Saturday were.  Although I still can’t quite reveal what I’m up to, I can say that shortly after my “I have exciting news” post, things took an unexpected detour.  You know that kind of moment where you think to yourself, “Dang, I shouldn’t have said anything, I’ve jinxed myself!”

Our dining room table was completely clear last weekend...oh, it never ends!

So while things haven’t completely folded, it did require me to create a bunch of new stuff and in two days, I created 16 new pieces.  That, folks, is a record by far.  I have paint in my hair, glue stuck to my skin and dark circles under my eyes.

I feel like I could vomit from the brain I’ve had such a steep learning curve in such a short amount of time:  tons of reading, research, consultation and understanding of legal matters

This is our kitchen island...the scanner has moved upstairs this weekend

Because of the tight timeline I’m on, everything else has gone by the wayside – it’s an absolute war zone in our home and the pics included in this post show how my paintapalooza has extended to all parts of the house (and the pics are a bit fuzzy as I took with my phone because I couldn’t find my camera under the piles of paper, paint, canvas and assorted art products!).  David has been great at offering me support, yet leaving me alone to create like a madwoman.  Wine and chocolates are my companions as of late.

This is our coffee table...note the wine glass ;)

And if things completely unfold and this opportunity goes away, at the very least:

  • I have gained incredible knowledge that will suit me well as an artist going forward
  • I have learned to push beyond my creative boundaries and create utilizing new styles/techniques
  • I have lots of new material for my shop!

Gotta look at the silver lining, right?  Gratitude at all levels.

Thanks for following along ;)

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Whirlwind

It has been one of the most overwhelming weeks of my life…in a good way!

I can’t really discuss just yet what’s going on, but hoping to share with you very soon.  I’ve had to research and learn so much in a week’s time and the fact that there’s a lot at stake and my future can totally be rocketed in a new direction has been stressful.  I’ve been spinning this week and so focused on the tasks at hand that I’m forgetting to eat meals (which is VERY unusual for me, ha!), so as you can imagine, blogging is just not part of the equation at the immediate moment.  So thanks for putting up with a little bit of spottiness until things settle (which should be by next week).

So much so quick, but all very exciting.

Feeling very grateful and wishing good things your way…

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It’s been 2-3 weeks since I’ve done any artwork and I’m always reminded how good I feel when I do make time for it.

Must make time for artwork, must make time for artwork…

I was in my usual all-out or none-at-all mood and to cover my previous drought (from lack of time, not inspiration!), I created a lot.  9 vintage ladies and a new girl.  Wishful Girl is up top (paying homage to all the red-heads out there!); and here are my vintage ladies.

Part of me really wants to add captions to them, but another part of me likes keeping them as is.

I just love old photos of women in the early 1900′s.  These originals and images will be coming to my shop soon, but let me know if anything piques your interest as it takes me time to get all the different options/merchandise listed when I create a new piece of artwork.

I have two other girls in the works, so stay tuned.  Thanks for checking out my latest creations!

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Whew.  That was a long title.

So today I’m going to show you a super simple and fun way to add excitement to your boring ol’  corkboard.

First, do you remember this frame?  The ornate, antique one I got for free from the person selling me the antique doors from her 1907 bungalow?  *thank you universe*  The one I painted white and distressed and placed on my dresser with other white frames?

Well, I changed my mind and have decided to use it to jazz up the corkboard I have in my studio instead (now it’ll be decorative and functional).  You know how most corkboards come from an office supplies store with a plain wooden border around it?  Well, I determined that if I took off that wooden border that the cork panel would fit in my ornate frame (with a little sawing off of extra cork, that is).

I glue-gunned it together and voila…a new exciting corkboard!

Okay, but you probably came here for the pushpin tutorial.  It really couldn’t be easier and took me all of 10 minutes maybe?

First I got those relatively flat silver thumbtacks (I say relatively flat because they do have some curvature – couldn’t find anything flatter).  Because of this curve, I found that it was best to use buttons that had an inner curve in the middle – even if it meant I had to use the button upside down so that it could fit relatively flush to the metal.  And remember that the first button is the bottom button if you’re stacking, so most won’t be able to even tell if it’s upside down as you’ll have other buttons stacked on top.

I added a drop of hot glue from my glue gun to the larger, bottom button, then put the tack on top (with sharp end pointing up…just till it bonds which is typically less than a minute).

Then I flipped upright and added more glue, another button and repeated one more time until I had 3 buttons glued on top of the thumb tack.  I told you this was easy.

Hues of blue and aqua have been my latest obsession so I stuck with this color palette for my board.  And now my board not only has a new frame, but fun, customized, even personal pushpins (as these buttons were from my grandmother’s old stash).

Of course you don’t have to use vintage buttons; you can use whatever you have on hand, find funky ones at the flea market or even buy new (but you know me, I’m always trying to reuse before buying new).  And if you plan on selling these, I’d suggest skipping hot glue and going to a heavy-duty adhesive like E6000 as glue from hot glue guns can sometimes break off (no biggie if it happens in my home, but doesn’t look good to a customer!).

Have fun!

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This past Saturday, I was fortunate to be able to spend the entire day (I’m talking 10am to 9pm) with my girlfriends.  Ah…talk about a recharge to this girl’s batteries!  We dined on sushi, gorged on ice cream, took in a great movie (The Help) and also went to the fabulous and well-known Farmer’s Market in Boulder, CO.

It was packed but oh the eye candy!  So I’m sharing it with you…try not to get too hungry!

Have a great week everyone!

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