Pattern Camp with Jessica Swift

09/11/14

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Friends, I am so excited to tell you about a new class about learning to make repeat patterns being offered by my friend and pattern designer Jessica Swift! It’s called Pattern Camp
and it’s an online e-course that will take place on October 11-12.

If you dream of learning how to make repeat patterns but are unsure of where and how to begin, this course is for you! Throughout the 2-day online workshop you will learn to design repeat patterns in both Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, and Jessica will start from the beginning. No prior knowledge of how to use either program is necessary — beginners are absolutely welcome!

Videos, tutorials, and live Q+A’s will guide you through the tools, techniques, and tricks to get you quickly on your way to proficiency in the programs + creating your own beautiful patterns. Jessica is a fantastic teacher.

If working through the course in 2 intensive days doesn’t jive with your schedule/life/time zone, you can absolutely work through the lessons at your own pace. You’ll have access to the website and all the lessons for one full month and won’t miss a thing!

Good news: the course is only $159 through Sunday September 14 (regularly $189). Register here!

Back tomorrow with my Friday post.

 

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New Creativebug Class :: Geometric Painting

09/11/14

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Today my next class at Creativebug launches! In this new class I teach you how to paint an eight-pointed star.

Play with shape and color as you learn how to make one of my iconic star paintings. In this class, I’ll show you how to draft an eight-pointed star with a template, and then you’ll tape off sections and paint clean, crisp shapes. I’ll also demonstrate how to mix acrylic colors to create different shades for a striking final piece.

If you have a Creativebug subscription, you are all set — go ahead and watch the course! If not, you can either buy a class ala carte or sign up for a monthly subscription (a bargain at 9.99 a month!).

Learn more about the course (including the materials you need) and buy the course here.

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Have a happy Thursday, friends!

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New Holiday Card Designs with Mpix!

09/10/14

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I’m excited to let you know that I have created some holiday card templates for Mpix! You can use these templates to make your own holiday cards with your own photos. Above are the front (left) and back (right) of “Merry and Bright” which is available to add your own photo here. (In case you are wondering the images inside the cards you see here are placeholders — you place your own photos in my designs.)

Below are the fronts and backs of my other two designs, “World Peace” and “Shimmering Stars“!

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Just go to Mpix to add your own photo and purchase! Thank you for supporting my work!

Have a happy Wednesday, friends!

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Words for the Day :: No. 39

09/09/14

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Have a good Tuesday, everyone!

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In Conversation with Design*Sponge 9/17

09/08/14

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New York City friends! I’m super excited about my Art Inc. book launch party next week at Powerhouse Arena in Brooklyn on Wednesday, September 17. Come listen to Grace Bonney (aka Design*Sponge) and me talk about building a career as an artist, followed by a social hour (with wine!) and a book signing for Art Inc. You can RSVP for the event here. Hope to see you there!

Can’t come on this night? I’m also speaking the following evening at CUE Art Foundation in Manhattan. Or come to both events! Info on that event here.

Have a great Monday!

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The Great Discontent :: The Magazine

09/05/14

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By now you may be familiar with The Great Discontent — a site launched in 2011 dedicated to interviews with artists, designers, musicians and other creative folks about beginnings and risk. I was interviewed by founders Ryan and Tina for TGD back in 2012. You can read my interview here.

Now Ryan and Tina have launched a print version of The Great Discontent, also filled with interviews. Issue #1 is an absolute stunner. Vying in weight with the Vogue September Issue (it’s 9×12 inches and 272 thick matte pages), this tome is filled with interviews with some of my idols —  including Elle Luna, Aaron Draplin, Tavi Gevinson, Debbie Millman, and Lotta Nieminen and many others. The pages are designed by the very talented Frank Chimero.

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The interviews in Issue #1 are themed around “leaps” — essential (albeit) scary things we must take as creatives to propel our work & careers forward. In the words of Elle Luna (from her interview): “I believe that if you step into uncharted territory, you are also stepping into total abandonment, potential humiliation, and a space where nothing is guaranteed: there is no case study or road map. I have so much respect for anybody who will step away from what they can do in order to find what they must do.”

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Every interview in this issue is a treasure. You can purchase the Great Discontent, Issue #1 here (they even have an awesome digital version!).

Have a happy Friday, everyone!

 

CATEGORIES: For Sale | Inspiration
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Jennifer Orkin Lewis

09/04/14

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You may recall that last year — about one year ago, to be exact — I did the first in a new series on my blog called Interviews with People I Admire. I posted one more interview the following month, and then POOF! No more. You know how these things go, don’t you? You have a great idea and then somehow life gets in the way? Well, I’m back at it, and I’ve decided to pick this series up again, this time in earnest. And so today I present to you Jennifer Orkin Lewis, otherwise known as Augustwren.

This series is really about people who are doing (making, painting, writing, designing, drawing) things that I think are super cool. And Jennifer Orkin Lewis is doing something really cool. She has a sketchbook project which is really unique and pretty much blows my socks off most days. I discovered her work (and her sketchbook) several months back on Instagram, and I am so glad it happened.

Jennifer is an artist and illustrator who lives outside New York City, and last year in 2013 she decided to paint in her sketchbook every day for the month of April. That project eventually led to painting in her sketchbook every day, with a few self imposed parameters (more about those in our interview). You know how I love a good daily project, right? Well Jennifer’s is destined to become legendary if she keeps it up. I’ve since befriended Jennifer on the Internet, and I’ve also found her to be incredibly kind and humble (two qualities I also admire); and I’m also excited to meet her when I am in New York City in a couple of weeks. Now for our interview!

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Lisa: Jennifer, I discovered your work on Instagram, and then the following day I saw your work in Uppercase Magazine. You post daily photos of paintings you make in your sketch book, which are so beautiful, by the way! I am so impressed by your discipline and the diversity of what you paint. How and when did this daily practice begin for you? Was it intentional (like you got up one day and decided to start painting in a blank book every day) or something that evolved more organically over time?

Jennifer: Thank you so much, Lisa, I’m so honored to be interviewed by you! I actually have wanted to do a daily project for many years but never quite figured out what that project would be. In April 2013, I decided to do a painting a day for the month. I didn’t put any restrictions on myself and I ended up spending hours each day on them. I finished out the month, but it was stressful. In May I did it again but my rules were that I would limit it to 1 hour and I would only paint food. I finished that challenge as well but I felt too tied down to that theme and I didn’t experiment enough. I picked up the sketchbook I’m using now last October and I started painting in it. Something clicked and I really liked how the paint went onto the paper, its size, the fact that it wasn’t a gorgeous sketchbook. I kept painting in it so when January came it just flowed that this would be my daily project. I decided to post them all on Instagram to hold myself accountable to painting everyday.

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Lisa: Since you began your daily paintings, how has your art practice changed? What do the daily paintings do for your creative practice and discipline?

Jennifer: I’ve definitely gained confidence, just knowing I can get up every day and produce something new. I’ve never really thought of myself as particularly disciplined, so I have surprised myself. I have loads of 1/2 finished sketchbooks on my shelves.  A great result from the practice is I now have hundreds of pages of personal reference material. I’ve gone into it to look for color combinations for projects, for the shape of a flower,  a technique.
I also have to say that all the amazing followers on Instagram and Facebook have been totally encouraging and that helps me keep the discipline up.

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Lisa: How long do they normally take? How much time do you spend each day painting in your sketchbooks? How many books have you painted in so far?

Jennifer: It is a 30 minute painting daily. That said, when I start the 30 minutes I usually know what I’m painting, my paints are out and ready and I’ve done a really quick pencil sketch.  (3 minutes tops) I usually finish the page in 20-30 minutes, using a timer. When it goes off I’m finished no matter how done I think it is. This is the first sketchbook I’ve ever even come close to finishing. I don’t ever want to stop now, I’m making up for lost time!

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Lisa:  I am so intrigued by your subject matter, and I love how sometimes you share next to your sketchbook what you used for reference. How do you decide what to paint each day?

Jennifer: This is by far the hardest part. Sometimes I wake up knowing exactly what I’m going to paint, a bouquet of flowers I just bought, a self portrait, a stylized face, bugs. It could be anything. Sometimes I sit down and pull out a book that inspires me and I look at it for a little while and I get an idea that feels right. I might pull out an old photo or a post card of a piece of art and I’m inspired to paint from that. I definitely have days though where I feel like I’ll never come up with an idea. Then I might pick 2 or 3 oddball colors and just paint flowers. The worst days are the ones where I feel I’m making a mess and I’m frustrated the whole time. I really look at the sketchbook as a place to experiment. It’s not meant to be perfect so I try not to worry about it too much.

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Lisa: In addition to sharing your reference, you often also share the materials you use alongside the sketchbook, which helps to how people how little you need to create a rich painting. What mediums and materials do you use in your daily paintings?

Jennifer: I primarily use gouache, but I’ll add acrylic, craft paints, pencil, gel pens. I paint directly onto the paper. Sometimes the painting bleeds through so I’ll just paint the next page a solid color and paint or draw over that. About 1/4 way through I started spraying them with fixative because they were rubbing off on one another. Now they stay pretty clean. The sketchbook is a $4.00 book from the Japanese store Muji. I want to start playing with other materials soon to mix it up a bit.

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Lisa: Tell us about how else you spend your days? You went to school for textile design. Do you still do that kind of work? What other illustration projects do you do?

Jennifer: This summer I was very busy illustrating a cake cookbook for Abrams books. It’s really fun, called Sitting in Bars with Cake. The publication date is next March. I’ve also been doing Lilla Rogers Bootcamp and just finished a terrarium piece of art for her Global Talent Search. I also license art for greeting cards and other products. My work tends to be very patterny, not surprising coming from my textile background but I’m not doing any actual fabric at this moment.

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Jennifer: What are your dream projects?

Lisa: Hmmm, I’d love to work with Anthropologie, I want to illustrate more books, and do some lifestyle editorial. I’d also love to have a gallery show. There are so many dreams. I also have always wanted to paint on ceramics. I don’t know where I can do that, I need to look into it!

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Thank you, Jennifer (aka Augustwren), for the lovely interview and for sharing your work & process! You can find Jennifer’s work here on her wesbite; you can follow her on Instagram (that’s the best place to follow her daily paintings); and you can follow her Facebook fan page here.

Next interview in this series coming soon: designer & photographer Troy Litten!

Have a great Thursday!

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Portland, I’m Coming for You!

09/03/14

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Portland friends! I’m headed your way October 10!

I’ll be giving a talk and signing books as part of Design Week Portland at The Leftbank Annex. My talk is part of WeMake Portland’s monthly sketchXchange (I’ll be discussing how I approach my sketchbooks), and will be followed by a book signing for my new book Art Inc, the closing party for Design Week (which includes tons of fun activities & live music) AND the Put a Bird in It Show!

My talk is at 5 pm sharp, so get there early for a seat. Oh, and I’ll be giving away a pack or two of Micron pens to a lucky winner or two (from the audience)! I’ve also designed a 5×7 inch notebook which Scout Books is generously donating to everyone who attends.

You can purchase the ticket for the entire event here.

Hope to see you there, Portland friends! It’s going to be super fun.

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New Online Class: Become a Working Artist

09/02/14

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Friends, I am so excited to announce a new online class I’ll be teaching through CreativeLive starting September 30. It’s called Become a Working Artist. In the two-day class we’ll cover:

+Embracing yourself as an artist and mapping your future

+Setting actionable goals

+Understanding the fine art world

+Developing your business’s personality

+Promoting your work successfully

+Making money selling your own work

+Understanding the worlds of illustration and licensing

+Preparing for and managing success

The class is FREE if you watch live on September 30 and October 1 between 9-4 pm. It will also be available for purchase after the live taping for $79.

Want to participate in the live class as part of the studio audience? We are still taking applications. You can apply here.

The class text book is Art Inc. (order that now if you plan to participate) and you’ll also receive a workbook with extra tools and information.

Hope to see you in class! RSVP today!

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Words for the Day :: No. 38

09/01/14

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Have a great Monday, friends!

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iPhone5 Cases Now in My Etsy Shop!

08/29/14

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Friends, I’ve got a limited number of iPhone 5 cases in my Etsy shop! You can get them here.

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Words for the Day :: No. 37

08/28/14

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Have a great Thursday, friends!

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New Podcast: Accidental Creative

08/27/14

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I am so thrilled today to let you know that I was interviewed by Todd Henry for his podcast over at The Accidental Creative. We chatted about several things, most notably the “U” curve in the creative process. You can listen here. Enjoy!

CATEGORIES: Art Inc | Podcasts
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2014 :: A Sewing Odyssey :: #6

08/26/14

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This past Friday I ventured over to my friend Sonya Philip’s sewing studio in San Francisco to make a dress. You may remember that I am working hard this year to not purchase new clothing. My goal is to either sew for myself or buy vintage (for the most part I’ve been successful at this, except for buying a few pairs of pants and one new dress). You can see all of my 2014 sewing projects here.

I have realized the more I sew that I actually have no idea what I am doing half the time! So I’ve decided to take classes and learn as much as possible about sewing techniques. My friend Sonya is a sewing master, and I arranged two one-on-one classes with her. I had my first on Friday, and she guided me as I made the dress pictured above. I learned how to make a proper neckline with bias tape and also got to finish the edges with her serger (and promptly bought a serger of my own — they are magical).

You may also remember that last month I took a block printing class and printed the linen pictured below, which we used to make the dress.

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It felt a little scary to cut up this linen that I spent hours printing, but I am so pleased with the result! The back of the dress is plain grey (we used the remaining fabric that I did not print for the back).

If you’ve been a reader of my blog for awhile you may remember that Sonya made me this dress back in 2012 as part of her 100 Acts of Sewing Project. Since I love this dress so much (and wear it all the time), we used the same pattern (designed specially for me by Sonya) to make the block printed dress this past Friday.

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I plan to make another of this same dress next week out of some Nani Iro Japanese double gauze fabric I bought recently. Stay tuned for that. I’m on a sewing roll again.

Have a great Tuesday, friends.

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I’m Giving a Talk in New York City

08/25/14

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New York & NY Area friends: I’m giving a talk in Manhattan on September 18th at 6:30 pm called I Am An Artist: On Ownership & Other Enterprising Acts. This talk at CUE Art Foundation (on West 25th Street) will be followed by a book signing of Art Inc & cocktails. Space is limited and you can purchase tickets here (free to CUE members!).

Hope to see you there!

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