Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Interview with Anne Bollman: Lovely Ink July artist

Anne Bollman, of Anne was Here, is gracing our July with the cheerful courage of this flower-maned lion. Her illustrations depict a world inhabited by quirky, friendly characters who nestle into our hearts and make us giggle and play – the perfect thing to get us into the spirit of the summer and bring out the child in us all. 

If you want to receive a free 8x10" printable and desktop wallpaper of this sweet lion and his striped-tail mouse friend, sign-up for Lovely Ink here. Every month, Lovely Ink delivers free inspirational art to your inbox.

We were lucky enough to have Anne share some of her inspiration and creative process below. Enjoy!

Take us through your creative process of making your piece for Lovely Ink?
I started with the quote and broke it down into the key words of creativity and courage. Next I brainstormed imagery that I associate with those words. One of the images that I associate with courage, from growing up watching The Wizard of Oz, is a lion. Since I love drawing animals I went with that one! Then I thought about how I could make him a creative lion and had the idea to have his mane be made up of colorful flowers. I start in my sketchbook and draw many iterations until I have one that I am happy with. Then I scan it and bring it into photoshop where I use the sketch as a template for my design. I draw right on top of it using my Wacom pen and tablet. Once I'm done with the drawing I add texture. Then I tweak the colors too many times until I need to go to bed and that's when I know I'm finished!

What drew you to the inspirational saying you used in your Lovely Ink piece?
I have always loved this quote by Matisse. I think it is especially meaningful for artists who have to have courage in so many facets of their life in order to pursue their passions. We give up financial stability and also put ourselves out there for the world to criticize in a way that many people never have to do.

Was there a moment in your life when you first fell in love with making things?
I can't remember because it's been ever since I learned to use my hands. My mom has saved all of my early creations to prove it! I once made a robot costume out of a brown paper grocery bag, an old Kleenex box and some markers. I later used a picture of myself sporting this costume for my resume and somehow got a job with it.

Where in your life do you find the most inspiration for your art?
The world around me! It took me way to long to figure this out though. You really have to open your eyes and heart to it to see. I recently went to the zoo with my two year old nephew and it was so fun and inspiring experiencing it with him. Imagine you've never seen a zebra before....seriously. It is a horse with crazy high contrast stripes all over his body, who has a mohawk that is also striped. It blew my mind seeing the zebra through my nephew's eyes. Expect an Anne Was Here collection featuring zebras soon!

What would be your absolute dream project - no limitations?
I am so new to this I'm sure my answer will become more grandiose with time, but for now, I would love to illustrate a children's book with a reputable publisher.

Who are some of your favorite artists, illustrators or surface designers?
Dr. Suess, Helen Dardik, Emily McDowell, Mike Lowerey, Lisa Congdon, Ashley Goldberg, Gemma Correll, Carolyn Gavin, Lotta Jansdotter, Nate Williams, Oliver Jeffers, Jon Klassen, Mary Blair, Muxxi, Steve Simpson and Mark Ryden - Just to name a few. ;)

What are your favorite design or art blogs that you would like to share with your fans?
Print and Pattern, Design Milk, Orange You Lucky, Today Is Going To Be Awesome, Love Print Studio, The Alison Show

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Lovely Ink Artist: Kat Kalindi Cameron Interview

inspirational art kat kalindi cameron
June Lovely Ink piece by Kat Kalindi Cameron
Welcome to the RAINBOW magic world of ultimate cuteness that is Kat Kalindi Cameron's art. She is our June Lovely Ink artist and will be proving a myriad of eye candy for us all. This month take a moment to see yourself with fresh eyes and relish all the ways you amaze yourself.

If you would like a free 8x10" printable or desktop wallpaper of the piece above, please visit my site and sign-up for Lovely Ink here.

Enjoy this interview with the lovely Kat Kalindi Cameron: licensing artist with Forest Foundry, illustrator, surface designer and maker of cuteness~

Take us through your creative process of making your piece for Lovely Ink?
Well I knew I wanted to make something fun and bright that would stand out and I really like the idea of coloured rain. I have a thing about umbrellas and rain and rainbows so I wanted to include that in one piece. I also like having cute girls with different hair colours, so this one worked well.

cat mushroom umbrella happy kawaii illustration
"I have a thing about umbrellas and rain and rainbows."
What drew you to the inspirational saying you used in your Lovely Ink piece?
I had been playing with the idea of 'I believe in you' but it didn't seem enough to me. I think quotes are inspirational and best when they are received by someone else, I thought it would be much more fun for someone to be told they are 'All KINDS of AMAZING" - so i merged the two together and came up with this! 

rainbow bird kawaii inspirational illustration
"I've always loved doodling"
Was there a moment in your life when you first fell in love with making things?
Gosh that's hard to remember, I've always loved doodling but never really took it as a sign I could make it as a career. I think I fell in love with it even more once people actually started to ask me to create art and wanted to pay me for it!! I couldn't believe my luck! 

Kat Kalindi Cameron art cat butterfly flowers cute
A unique blend of kawaii, mid-century flavor, and a playful, colorful whimsy
Where in your life do you find the most inspiration for your art?
I do love japanese culture - mostly the cute and quirky. Also i love mid century design and vintage childrens illustrators. Although I do find since having my kids they make up cute stories and have the most amazing ideas, they seem pretty trivial, but to me I think 'oh that's gold', i have to draw that or make something inspired by that! 

children's illustration girl playground bunny

What would be your absolute dream project - no limitations?

Dream project? hmmm having someone that would bank roll my own collection of products. I would create an entire collection of bedding, homewares, stationery and knick knacks. It would be full of cute icons, glitter, bright colours, quirky quotes, rainbows, clouds, animals and lots of love! 

angel cute mid-century christmas illustration

Who are some of your favorite artists, illustrators or surface designers?
I love the work of Mary Blair, Junko Mizuno, Sanna Annukka, Orla Kiely, Hello Kitty

cuckoo clock illustration art cute kawaii

What are your favorite design or art blogs that you would like to share with your fans?
I used to check out blogs daily, no hourly, but now with all the social business going on, i find everything in about 2 places, either through facebook and pinterest! I have liked so many of my favorite blogs on there, that I get it all in one place! BUT some places i like to frequent around the blogosphere are http://www.meetmeatmikes.com

cute little girl kawaii bunny art illustration
cute girl flower illustration

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Magical Cats and Dreamers

fairytale illustration dreamy

There is something magical about taking a brush to a blank piece of paper with no concept of what will image and finding these lovely friends emerge from the intersection of serendipity and the subconscious. 

Each day, I spend some time painting in this way as a meditation and a way to unwind and play. I often post images of these spontaneous paintings to my instagram. Follow me there to watch these explorations unfold. 

Today I have added these 3 paintings to my etsy shop. There have also been lots of kittens and cats full of mischief and dreams popping up so stay tuned for more of those as well.

Kawaii Dreamy Cat Kitten Sleeping Watercolor

Kawaii Dreamy Cat Kitten Sleeping Watercolor

Monday, May 12, 2014

Lovely Ink Artists Licensing their Art

Many of the contributing artists for Lovely Ink, our monthly free inspirational art project, will be exhibiting their beautiful prints and patterns at Surtex this year. Their amazing art is available for licensing across all categories – home decor, textiles, stationery, gift, and more. Below you will see their lovely Surtex promo postcards with their booth numbers. Please visit these artists' booths and peruse their portfolios to find patterns, paintings, illustrations and designs that would elevate any everyday object to a work of art.

Dari Design Studio
Victoria Johnson
Karma Voce
Alex Colombo
Kat Kalindi Cameron
Rachael Taylor
Lizzie MacKay

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Lovely Ink Artist: Lizzie MacKay Interview

This month's Lovely Ink, by the amazing illustrator and surface designer Lizzie MacKay, is a gentle whisper, as soft as a bunny and as uplifting as a birdsong. Dream a Little Dream. Don't be afraid. Just start with something small and sweet that tugs at your heart. Give it air. Give it light. Nourish those little dreams and let them grow this Spring.

To get a free desktop wallpaper and 8x10"printable of this piece, sign up for Lovely Ink.

I was so delighted to be able to interview Lizzie Mackay and hear the story behind her artwork. Enjoy!

Lizzie MacKay beaming :)
Take us through your creative process of making your piece for Lovely Ink?
I always start by doodling in pen, then I love to play around in Illustrator with texture and colour and seeing where it takes me. My favorite way of working is to sort of digitally collage and play with no big idea in mind. I like a surprise! Having said that, I knew I wanted to do something that would fit just as well as a desktop wallpaper or a bedroom wall.

Lizzie starts doodling in pen and then adds color and texture digitally
What drew you to the inspirational saying you used in your Lovely Ink piece?
I’m a big believer of having dreams, little or big, and never giving up on them. They inspire you, drive you forward and keep you positive. Good things start with a little dream. Plus, I love the song of the same name too, I sang it to my children when they were tiny. "‘Sweet dreams till sunbeams find you.’" Perfect. 

Anything IS possible. Even Elephants can fly.
Was there a moment in your life when you first fell in love with making things? 
I can’t remember not drawing. I’d draw all sorts, little worlds for mice and fashion designs. My dad was a graphic design lecturer and when I was little, I’d go up to the university with him and sit with his students and draw all day. I loved it. I loved the fashion department too but I sadly realized I’m not patient enough for precision sewing! 

Lizzie's shelf of inspiration and cuteness

Where in your life do you find the most inspiration for your art?

Anywhere and anything. It can be the tiniest thing… a leaf in the garden, the pattern on an old plate or interiors in a magazine. On a larger scale, the colours, patterns and shapes of nature and animals inspire me the most. We live in a beautiful world.

Doodles from nature evolve into graphic cuteness

What would be your absolute dream project - no limitations?

I’ve had some really dream projects lately that I’ve been so lucky to work on, with some wonderful clients. Really, a year ago, they were on my wish list so I’ve been so lucky. Great direction but lots of freedom, that’s a dream brief. Secretly, in another life, I’d love to style kids bedrooms…. I just love combining bits together… vintage patterns, designs and colour….a pop of neon. That would be amazing, Or... move to the states and work for Rifle Paper Co. I’d love that! 

From Lizzie's colorful bookshelf
Who are some of your favorite artists, illustrators or surface designers?
I’m not sure. I like little parts about lots of peoples depending on what I’m into that week. A few favourites include Dahlov Ipcar’s book illustrations. Colourist Leslie Shrewring and Stylist Selina Lake. Libby Mcmullin is an all time favourite. Rosie Harbottle.. I love her drawings. And Lovemae is one of my favorite surface pattern companies. 
Lizzie's sweet characters always seem so peaceful
What are your favorite design or art blogs that you would like to share with your fans?
I have many of them too! Some of my daily go-to’s are Bloesem kids, loveprintstudio, Mermag, Beebambi and Boheme Circus. They’re great for tea break inspiration.

Adorable spring-themed pattern by Lizzie MacKay

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Into the Sun: My Painting for the Doggie Wonderland Show

Into the Sun by Nicole Piar media: digital painting 
I was so delighted to be invited by Hana Kim of Suphacute to be part of the Doggie Wonderland show at Leanna Lin's Wonderland. However, I was presented with the challenge of drawing a dog. I have drawn many many cats, birds, fish, and owls but very few dogs. I just didn't know how to connect with them. Then, I thought of the absolute sense of freedom, exhilaration, and contentment of a dog running full throttle. Now that is a feeling that speaks to me and I wanted to capture it in my piece for the show.

Here is the original pencil sketch that I drew and then scanned in. It was a loose sketch to give me the feel of characters.
I don't often paint digitally because I love the way real paint feels. The tactile and sensory experience of painting is so seductive to me but I was feeling called to try something new. Some fellow artists suggested these amazing photoshop brushes from Kyle T Webster. These brushes have a very natural feel. They are very pressure-sensitive giving you beautiful thick/thin lines and some of them have lovely organic textures. It was so much fun to experiment.

Work-in-Progress Here I begin to paint digitally right over the pencil sketch.
I decided to move the dark decorative shapes and branches to the bottom in the final piece to create a more open composition. I really wanted the girl to feel like she was traveling swiftly into the light without any obstacles. Another great thing about digital work is that you can make changes like this super fast. Sometimes, I will even work out a composition and color study in photoshop before going to my paints. 

Doggie Wonderland Show: Postcard Art by Joey Chou
My piece Into the Sun will be available as a framed Archival Fine Art Print in the Doggie Wonderland show for $30. This is an art benefit for the Ken-Mar Rescue. So you can get some really lovely, playful, and fun art and help a sweet abandoned doggie. After the show, I will also be selling prints of this piece in my Etsy Shop. If you would like to buy this piece, please inquire at Leanna Lin's Wonderland

Doggie Wonderland opens on May 10 (reception 6-9pm) and runs until June 29th. If you are in the Los Angeles area, come by for a visit. Here are some more lovely pieces by my fellow artists that will be in this show.

Yumiko Kayukawa
Allison Koberstein

Andrea Kang

Luli Bunny

Ann Shen

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

For Artists, Healers, Writers, Bloggers, Teachers, and Creative Entrepreneurs

Wow! The Right-Brainers in Business Video Summit has been incredible so far. So much juicy insights and inspiration for independent creatives. I feel honored to have been a part of it.

Check out this video of highlights from Week 1.

I had so much fun sharing my spotlight interview last Tuesday during the live chat. This fun recap video features excerpts from inspiring and informative interviews with host award-winning author Jennifer Lee, and her guests New York Times Bestselling Author Michael Port, Lilla Rogers, ME, Alicia Forest, Megan Auman, Sarah Stevenson, Vivienne McMaster, and Bindi Shah.

Like what you see?

Join me and the thousands of other creative entrepreneurs from around the world to catch the final days of the summit April 14th-18th. Grab your no-cost ticket here 

If you want to watch all 10 interviews and video summit sessions, you can get unlimited access to replays for only $67 at the Booster level. The price goes up to $97 next week, April 23rd, so upgrade now to get this super affordable rate.

If you're ready to really take your creative business seriously, you can upgrade to the Premium Pass that includes 3 group coaching calls (the first call is this Wednesday April 16th at 5pm PDT, a private Facebook group facilitated by Jenn, transcripts of all the video summit sessions, left-brain checklists and more! The Premium Pass is $137 (and you get nearly $500 in bonuses), but the early-bird rate ends on April 23rd. I did this last year and it literally changed my entire perception of business. It became fun, creative, and so much more rich and authentic. It really helped me find my own voice and share that with the world.

Get access to this incredible multimedia resource here

Looking forward to seeing you in the live chats! 


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