Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Yay! Four new images on the website

There are now 4 new images on the website: 3 colored pencil illustrations and one watercolor piece. The watercolor piece is one from last year that finally got scanned. I found someone in Glendale who does large-format scanning with about what I expected for prices. (I would always like less expensive, but it is still decent pricing)

The first colored pencil illustration is my namesake and one of my oldest acceptable drawings redone in my new style. It is a mechanical nightingale based on the oriental fairy tale "The Nightingale." I really didn't like any of the other illustrations I did for that project, but I always loved the mechanical bird. I decided to wait until my skill level caught up with what I wanted the bird to look like. I might work on one of the more dynamic poses I had for the bird at a later date, but for now I'm pleased with the one that I did.

The last two drawings are for an online baby store that will be opening up soon: I had a lot of fun working on these illustrations, and working with the owner of the online store. The site is not live yet, but there is a nice placeholder page with a vaguely familiar image on it.... :)

I have a number of sketches that i'll be turning into illustrations at some later date, but I have two projects that I plan on working on next...I better get to them!

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Monday, June 18, 2007


Although I do have an art desk (and a computer desk, I have taken to working on my current illustration in the guest/computer room. Around me are all the necessities of a good colored pencil illustrator: my trays of colored pencils, and all the pencils I've been using (the ones that are on the bed, and not in the cases) an electric eraser, and refill erasers, pencil sharpener, an iPod with an audiobook (currently Flyte by Angie Sage), a back pillow, and of course (most importantly) jelly beans for a snack!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

When good stuffed animals get schnockered

This is what happens when your stuck on a sketch revision. You start drawing very inappropriate, but none-the-less amusing, images. I think i'll work on the other illustration for a bit and then come back to this one. Ok, not THIS one specifically, but the actual revisions I'm supposed to be making. I think the drawing of the animals may be about an inch or so high, at the most.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

So this is what the workforce feels like....

Where does all my time go these days?! It feels like it has been ages since I've posted an update on the blog. And it has. The last blog I remember posting is a reflective commentary on post graduation/entering the working world. Oh, for the freedom of school and surfing the net at every available instance. (yes, I LIKE school....if i could get rid of finals, I'd LOVE school!) But I guess we all have to grow up some time. (but i don't want to...)

I'm slowly learning to find a balance between fun and illustration in my off hours. My newest favorite thing is the Secret World Chronicle, a pod cast created in part by one of my favorite authors of all time: Mercedes Lackey. heh...I just happened to look on the website again while linking to it and I noticed a little blurb at the bottom right side of the header: "Illustration by Larry Dixon." For those who aren't familiar with Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon, they're married. It helps to be married to the illustrator of your project.

...a little of topic, but that's ok. Anyway, my newest favorite thing is the podcast, because I can listen to a wonderfully written story and draw at the same time. All the fun things i want to do together!

I have one small illustration job that's in the works. I'm not divulging much, other than it's going to be the identity for an online store! So far the project has been a lot of fun and right up my alley with the cuteness factor.. I think me and my client are both experts at writing novel length emails! She's fun to chat with and has lots of good ideas. Other than that, I have illustrations for friends and family that are LONG overdue.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Babies R Us

I've been overwhelmed by babies recently. Every where I turn there are babies. Maybe not literally, but it sure feels that way. With Bella, and another baby Buschman (the OTHER Buschmans, that is) that is on the way our immediate family is starting to develop their next generation. Two of my other cousins just had little girls, my boss just had a little boy, and one of our closest friends is going to have a baby boy in May. I have 5 gifts for babies/children sitting behind me at the moment, waiting to be delivered to their recipients.

I've been asked, particularly by Jessica, when is it going to be my turn. Unless by accident, not any time soon. As much as I love babies, I really enjoy the lifestyle that my husband and I have. I'm sure people look in askance when we go out to dinner and sit there reading the whole time, and not saying one word to each other, but we are both extremely happy to be doing that. I also REALLY like not having stinky diapers and spit up to deal with. Furthermore, I don't need a baby to mess up my house. I am quite capable of that, thank you.

I know I'm sounding like a baby is all negative things, and I am aware of what a joy a baby can be. I personally like being the Auntie and spoiling them, and having fun with them, then sending them home to mom. All the perks, none of the negatives. I think I'll let DeAnna have the third Walton grandchild. At this time, all I'm looking for is a happy medium of work, illustration, games and books, but for now, 3 out of 4 isn't bad.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

My thoughts on design

I've been working at PrintFellas for approximately a month now and I've been enjoying it a lot. I've been expanding my knowledge base in computer graphics, learning many tricks of the trade and time-saving techniques. I still feel slow, but I think I'm getting faster. Well...except when I'm trying out new tutorials at home. Then I'll follow the steps provided and try out 10 other things to see what would happen if I changed something. I've been learning more and more that layers are my friend and there's never such thing as too many layers.

Would I have learned more than what I left school with if I had focused solely on graphic design instead of graphic design and illustration? Undoubtedly, but illustration has been an ongoing pleasure (albeit a sometimes pain as well) that I wouldn't trade for anything. Also, I am not dependent on the computer alone to create my artwork. I love working on my colored pencil illustrations, even if I don't get as much time to work on them these days then when I was in school.

Should I have learned the majority of the things that I'm learning now while I was in school? Probably. One can argue that there are so many facets in trying to teach someone graphic design that teachers are required to pick and choose what to pass on to students in a 14-16 week period. First, training someone to have an eye/skill for good design, including what makes design good or bad. Second, typography and learning how to use it effectively to hone your design/message. Third, color and color theory: what meanings the correct hue, shade and tint/tone a color can bring to your design; anyone who says there's no more than 10 shades of blue (or any other color) has never designed before. Fourth, learning the medium that your designing: if it is web, understanding how RGB and web pages work/function; if it is print, then understanding how cmyk, printing processes, and types of paper interact with each other to create the finished product; if it's packaging, then understanding everything for print as well as how things are assembled three-dimensionally; if it's environmental graphics, then having an understanding of ALL three of the prior processes, since it is likely they all will be used on a job.

There is a fifth area of training that teachers must teach their students, the one that started this rant/postulation initially: teaching the students how to USE the design programs. The main problem with teaching the design programs is that there are students at every level of education when they start schooling, and unfortunately teachers have to go at the speed of the slowest student. In the lower level classes, the teachers must assume that you've never worked with the programs before. This frustrates students like me, familiar with the computer and with most of the basic workings of the program. To further compound the issue, the initial computer training classes are often taught by grad students and then the students learning are confined to the knowledge of the grad students, which may be limited. Granted, upper level classes, such as packaging design, expect you to have a working knowledge of all the programs necessary to complete your assignments, but students can make it to those classes without having learned the necessary skills. I went through half of my graphic design classes without learning something new from the teacher. Mind you, I only had 6, but I still took more graphic design classes then the MINIMUM needed to graduate with an emphasis in graphic design.

I don't have an answer to the problem of how to teach graphic design efficiently, but I will mention my most useful class. I took Magdy Rizk's Graphic Design Production class, and he spent at least half of all the classes on lectures, including technique/process demonstrations, showing samples of good design and what to look for, and showing us the printing processes and teaching about paper, ink, etc. He even took us to a printer to see the printing process in action. That class is the one I learned the most from in all my graphic design classes at CSUN.

Monday, February 19, 2007

New website up and running!

Welcome to v0.7 of the new The layout I kept simple and clean for a starter website, but I have ideas in the works to integrate my illustration and the website layout. The links page should be operational soon, and the home page might change a bit, but we're pleased with the website so far.

Please let me know what you think, and if there are any glitches or suggestions, tell me.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Interviews and more

I've been sending out resumes like crazy and working on my website, in hopes of getting it up and running. Been going on a few interviews and have a few more scheduled for this week and next.

The new website is coming along well. At this point we're making minor changes to the appearance, and tweaking details. Version 0.1 should be up and running within two weeks, but hopefully sooner.

This weekend I have my niece's baptism to attend. I am one of her two godmothers, and am very happy to be one. I'm looking forward to playing with her and spending time with my sister.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

I am sick...blah

Everyone's been getting sick except me, and I was happy that all I had was a sore throat and stuffy nose. But yesterday I managed to get more than that and now I'm not happy...this is when I wish I had a working bathtub.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Portfolio rework

Today I started really reworking my portfolio, and I got 9 pages in it done. I still have 2 major projects that I need to fix up and then a few additional projects that I'm going to start from scratch and create to add to my portfolio. I've been printing and reprinting pages to make sure they're up to my standards of acceptability. The image I'm posting is one of the best pages in my portfolio (according to Eric) because I've made the layout look all three-dimensional. I've also been using many tutorials and guide books to learn more and more tricks and techniques to the programs I've been using to get the most out of them.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Postcards Finito!

After good feedback from my illustration group today, I have finished the final version of the first postcard mailers. Although only one front illustration is show, I have designed fronts for all the colored pencil illustrations I've done so far. I won't order them all at once, but space them out in hopes of attracting attention to my artwork. Now as far as illustration stuff goes, I need to do a quick redesign of my website (just so my artwork could be on the main page) and update my portfolio. But before that, more graphic design in preparation for my interview on Wednesday.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Friday work

I think i'm fairly happy with my design I came up with on friday for my postcards. I used the layout that I've been using for my illustration portfolio, which I enjoy the look of. This will keep all my work cohesive looking until I work with my friend Stephanie on redesigning our logo/stationary package. I didn't get a chance to post last night as I was working on installing Photoshop CS3 Beta (thank you Eric!) and also cleaning up my files, since I had at one point less then 1 GB space on an 80 GB harddrive. Today, I'm at Connie's house, so the updates are probably going to be only text until I get back home.

I'm going to Carol's house for the monthly illustration meeting on Monday, and I'll be bringing samples of my postcards to get feedback from everyone there before it goes to print.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Postcard A

Postcard B

Postcard C

Here are three options for my illustration mailer postcards. Three fronts are given, and three backs. Let me know which ones you're liking more, the first of each being A, the second B, and the third C. Two things to note about these postcards: 1. They are NOT done. as a work in progress, there are some good things happening, and some crap still remains. 2. The text design at this point remains simple to match the font I've chosen for my portfolio/resume. I am supposed to be teaming up with my friend, and we're going to design each others stationary packages, so until then, I just keep it simple.

Errand day

Today I drove all over the valley running errands. The good things that came from these errands: more copies of the illustrated holiday card I did, and I filed the paperwork for my DBA. The announcement will be published in a little valley paper called Warner Center News, and I can now put NightenGail Art on my postcards, business cards and mailers. yay! Hopefully I can get some work on those postcards done tonight so I can have a visual to post as well tonight. But until then, this will do.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


Today besides more diet prep-work I finished all but one of the letters and about half of the titles for the workbook. I didn't finish letter "R" (or for that matter, X and Z, but I don't think they'll be used). The post is kind of late tonight, but we also slept in late (until 10:30) so I didn't get a full work day during the day.

I also have an interview set up for next Wednesday! It's not for a full-time position, but for possible freelance graphic design jobs. Anything that will be work for me will be nice. I'm sure I'll be more nervous next week, but I'm just kind of excited about it now.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Resumes and Letters

Today was good and bad. I didn't get the outlined letters for the layout I'm working on totally done. What is posted is the start of the lettering. I drew my own alphabet freehand, and I'm now tracing it on the computer so I can make all the titles for the children's workbook. I did, however, update my resume, prep all the food for the week for the new diet, and start work on updating my portfolio for graphic design. I also sent out two resumes for potential job opportunities for graphic design.

For those providing me feedback, i'm emailing my resume for review.

New Years Resolutions

I have created two New Years Resolutions for 2007. One pertains to my personal life, one pertains to my artwork/career.

The first is to follow a budget we established a couple of months ago. While I was in school, we didn't follow the budget very well, opting for convenience and time savers over money savers. Now we HAVE to follow the budget (and the fact that we're also going to follow the South Beach Diet for Eric will probably help, since we have certain foods we shouldn't be buying.)

The second is posting every day to this blog showing something I've worked on for art/career. It doesn't have to be a finished piece by any means, but any progress is good for me. This will also help me get feedback I would normally get in a classroom setting, especially when I'm stuck on a project and don't know what to do. A new perspective is always useful.