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Big Trip Belgian Ale Label

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I love art and I love beer, so when Black Powder Brewing Company contacted me to do a label for them I was gung ho! They wanted horses in the image, too, which made it the perfect project for me to take on.

I started with a sketch, scanned it into the computer and colored in the photoshop. I also layered some photos in. Here are some images of the process:

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I can’t wait to see it on all their bottles!

Update: Here they are, in all their glory:

The Proghorn Antelope

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I have recently finished my first painting in a good 8 months or so- it is a Pronghorn Antelope and the moon. I’ve always been drawn to various types of antelope and I would even say that they are my spirit animal. I painted this to get myself started back on the path I’ve want to go down with my art, but have been avoiding for some reason. Some days I question my art career and what I should be doing with myself, as many artists do when starting out, but I’d like to be done with that. If everyone already knew what they were supposed to be doing, the world would be so boring. I’m blessed to be able to paint and I intend to start using my talents to the best of my ability and start painting from my soul again. Art school burned me out, but I’m rising from the ashes.

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Here are some in progress shots of the painting. It is acrylic on wood and I finished it off with some metallic paints and a gloss varnish to add more depth. It really looks vibrant when the light hits it! I’m proud of it. Finishing a painting really is like a journey. You have to add layer after layer to pull the image in your mind out and onto a surface. Its a feeling I’ve missed- holding a painting that you’ve just finished and are proud of, and ending a small journey. On to the next one, who knows what will be at the end of the next path I venture down!

In other news, I’ve read back through my blog and I’ve noticed some patterns. One is that I commit to blogging more pretty much every time I post anything. In general, I post a lot of goals. I haven’t accomplished most of them, but I actually am doing better than I was about it! For instance, I’m going to yoga regularly. I’m not painting as much as I’d like, but I still am painting. Getting started on all of these things really is the hardest part. Its sounds so cliche to say that, but I’ve honestly struggled to make myself do anything besides freelance work. I’m finally breaking through that. So maybe in this post I’ll avoid committing to say I’ll blog, paint, or do any other nonsense more often (even though being able to do a headstand is on my to-do list)… But I think I’m far more likely to be on top of my goals than I have been in the past couple years.

Floating through life is starting to bore me. I’m ready to do something more with myself.

Welcome to 2012!

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Howdy howdy howdy, it sure is a new year! You know what that means? Time to reevaluate and make goals! I’ve actually had a good amount of time in the past month to do a lot of reflecting- my freelance work has been slow because, as a colorist, I am at the end of the comic assembly line and the artists who draw the comics I work on have been late on their deadlines, so I’m still waiting for a growing pile of work with shorter and shorter deadlines… So I will be slammed soon, which is fine- thats just how it is when you freelance! But in the mean time I’ve had time to think about what I’ve been up to over the past year.

I spent a lot of this year being rather robotic. I had the goal of buying a new car which really drove me to put my nose the the grindstone and work as hard as I could, but when I did that I had to put aside a lot of whimsy just to get things done, hence why my blog was really sporadic and short for most of the year. I’m feeling much more social and creative now and I’m enjoying my work more now that I’ve given up the workaholic act. I have a lot of good things going on- Comics, selling art at AT Hun Gallery, teaching a bellydance class or two every week, leading trail rides at the barn, and occasionally telling ghost stories to tourists. That sounds like a lot of random jobs, but when I’ve charted the hours I spend on everything weekly I still spend the most time on art. And I love everything that I do, which is important. When I was deciding what to study in college some artist told me to do what I love, and the money will follow. I feel really lucky that I haven’t had to work any jobs that I’ve resented and I’m still making an honest living doing what I love. And this year I plan to keep doing the same things… But do them even better.

I feel very blessed. I essentially have managed to get my hands on everything I’ve ever wanted since I graduated two years ago- I have my horse, a functional car, friends and a city that I love, a career doing art, and a wonderful relationship. I’m still very much at the beginning of many things, mainly my career, but considering that I graduated at the worst possible time in the past several decades in terms of the economy, I think I’m doing really well for myself. I’m not rich or famous, but I have work and I’m doing a good job at everything I do and I’m happy. So I’d like to thank the Cosmos for the luck I’ve had.

My resolutions are to make a habit out of both updating this blog and doing yoga. Blogging really makes me feel much more mentally collected- I used to use a LiveJournal constantly and it really helped me put my thoughts together, but that was back in a much unhappier time and so I used it to complain a lot, and now that it is the opposite I’ve been at a loss for words when it comes to talking about my life. I’ve had to learn some happy vocabulary. And yoga is good for the body and soul. I grew up in a strict Christian environment and whereas I still believe in God and Christ, I have not felt comfortable in a church community, but I have found in yoga there is a spirituality amongst the people who attend- and its a rather ambiguous spirituality, which is fine by me, and it helps me to connect to what I believe. So this year I want to focus on the importance of my mind, body and spirit though yoga and blogging.

Also, I got an iPhone for Christmas so when I start some new projects I’ll be better able to document them via photos… iCloud is awesome. I was going to put more pictures in this post but I only have taken pictures of my horse and cat and friend’s baby, none of which are relevant to this post. I’ll plan better next time.

Bring it on, 2012! I’m on a bright path.

A Late Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays!

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Firstly, here is my tacky Christmas card for this year. Clearly, King is as excited about the holidays as I was.

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I had a good Christmas- my favorite gift was a roll of toilet paper wrapped up in a gift bag from my Grandmother. She couldn’t think of anything to get me, she said. But in a seriousness, a roll of toilet paper is a lot more useful than many gifts I’ve gotten in the past, hahaha! At least it will get used, right?

I managed to get several paintings done as gifts!

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A gypsy for the love of my life. You know who you are.

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And trees for a few of the many people I care about.

It was a nice feeling to get back to painting with real paints, as always. All of the paintings are on extra canvas boards that I had laying around after taking a portrait painting class. One thing thats actually prevented me from painting anything in a long time is the fear of ruining canvases, because I like the ones on thick stretcher bars and they are SO expensive! I need to reread Art & Fear and get over it. I must also remind myself that Jack London was right when he said “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.”

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One a completely different note, I made this crazy design which is to be printed on t-shirts for Beats Per Minute Clothing Co, based out of North Carolina. It was fun to work with imagery that I don’t generally use. Hopefully I’ll get to design more stuff for them in the future!

Anyway, New Years is right around the corner and I think I’ll have some good resolutions up my sleeves for 2012. Its looking to be a good year for life changes. Too bad the apocalypse is coming before the year will be over, right? …But in all seriousness, who decided the Mayans are so credible all of a sudden? Think about that one.

Old car, new car

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Alright. Anyone who has known me… ever, really, has known this or one of the other Saab 900s that I grew up with. My Dad loved them and for ages they were all we had in the garage. Naturally, as the cars began to age, they were passed down to me and my siblings. I called the Saab ‘Little Black Car’ for as long as I had it, and we had a love hate relationship. I’d decide I liked the car one day, and put new seat covers on it or buy new tires, and it’d break down within 24 hours. If I let it get dirty and ignore it, it’d run fine. You know how old cars are. And by old, I think I mean classic. Like, its THAT old now. People who like cars started trying to chat me up- I don’t do the classic car thing, I’ve just had the same one forever.

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The Saab finally began to wear on me this year… It started a habit of breaking down frequently and that combined with the Savannah summer heat and no AC really got to me. I worked my butt off all year to save up money, found the Saab a new home via craigslist (Sorry little car… but it was bought by some college age brothers who like old cars, so I think it found an appreciative home!), and bought me a 2012 Orange Honda Fit Sport! Yeeeeeehaw! I love the everything about it, except that I can’t fit my lazy horse in the back. Guess he will have to walk. My plan is to drive this car until it is also a classic, and then I will buy a spaceship. I think its a solid plan.

My brain is full of colors, not thoughts.

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Since I’ve graduated from SCAD, I’ve had a hard time doing my own projects and really… well, feeling like myself in the creativity department. I used to write stories, journal, sketch constantly and read books and find inspiration everywhere, and for the past few years I’ve felt very much like that part of me had gone to sleep. I’ve had a hard time updating this blog because I haven’t felt like I had anything very interesting to say. And that confused me.

I lead an interesting life- not to sound vain, but how many other people spend their days coloring comics, teaching bellydance classes, dressing up in colonial costume and telling ghost stories to tourists, and working with horses? Thats my everyday life. Totally awesome and weird. But because I’ve felt creatively stifled, my life- my brain, really- has been feeling rather mundane. I haven’t wanted to do any paintings, which for most of my life has been something I just do. Like breathing or sleeping. I paint. I create.

I had a hilarious revelation the other day- I announced sassily to my friends: “My brain is full of colors, not thoughts.” It really took me aback- I said it without thinking, and when I heard it, it really made a lot of sense. My way of thinking has changed a lot over the past few years- for one, I am the happiest I have ever been- and I think because of these changes I haven’t really had a good sense of who I am anymore. And whether or not my brain really is full of colors, I am no longer wallowing in a sea of angst which used to be the creative power behind my art. I’m glad I’ve moved past that, but it was a powerful drive and its had to replace that. Regardless, I’d rather be happy and not really know what to paint or get on a soap box about than to spend my days sulking under piles of paintings.

So here is to change, getting over creative blocks, and reinventing yourself- and then getting to know yourself once again. It is almost Christmas and I’ve been painting pictures for gifts, which makes me feel good on friendship and creative levels, and I am remembering once again why I became an artist. I will have some great resolutions this new year. Cheers!

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My Etsy Store is Restocked!

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So I’ve been slacking on my Etsy store, and since I’ve had a lull in my work this week I buckled down and listed 62 items. SIXTY TWO. It took forever. And I did it just so that you can buy my art. You’re welcome! I pulled out a lot of old art that no one has seen in ages, so check it out. All prints around the size of 12″x16″ are $10! And I’ll autograph upon request.

I also listed some hand bound books and a cuuuuute pair of vintage heels.

P.S. Art always makes a great, thoughtful gift. Wink! Happy Holidays!

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