My first podcast – Creative insights from Creative people

Excited to announce that I am Live on Kara Gott Warners Morning Cool Down Show episode 75. Creative insights from creative people.

I spoke about my journey so far in the world of art licensing and surface pattern design. If you follow along here you will know it has been a long, but very enjoyable ride.

Todays show is 45 min. long so grab a coffee and please have a listen. There is even a bit of show and tell.

It is good! I have to admit I was a bit apprehensive. I wasn’t worried about Kara – she is all voice. She is loud and clear and interesting!

I was just a wee bit worried about my performance. Would I hum and huh? Would I laugh too much? Would I provide too much or too little…

Big worries as you can see!

I am very happy to announce it all went well.

Direct link to Karas website which is full of interesting creative podcasts from all types. Great to listen to while creating away because it never hurts to get inspired by others tips and tricks.

My podcast (show notes)

Morning cool Down Podcasts 

Thanks!

Another beautiful weekend is in the forecast. Hope you enjoy it!

Lessons Learned in my Creative Life ~ 2014

Happy New Year Illustration and Greeting

Sitting here surrounded by paper.Step by step instructions on how to improve Me. Things I have accomplished.Things I want to accomplish, Things I need to change. Things I need to do..

I love this process of delving deep into my life and assessing what needs to change in order to move forward. I am very good at assessing, not so good at doing. I cannot lie..change is exhausting.

When I look back at 2014 in all its glory..and failures, I can’t help but notice that a lot of my behaviour is still the same. I still need to change my daily habits in order to move forward.

Daily Creative Life - Julie Hamilton Designs {artistically afflicted blog}

In a nutshell – I think I need to get out of my comfort zone.

Oh, how I love my comfort zone…Nothing that a few glasses of wine can’t tell you.

It will take more than one sitting to figure out my plan of action. I have been jotting things down over the past months, but a plan needs to be formulated in order to execute.

Daily sketch - flower vase

Today, instead of sharing my deepest, darkest fears, I will share some lessons learned in 2014.

Lessons learned..

1. Learning – I love learning, I love new things and I love starting. Unfortunately, while these are all positive, they sometimes lead me astray. I need to focus on one thing at a time. I have too many ideas and I want to get them all down at once. I end up doing a lot of everything. I am good at lots of things, I am not great at one thing. I need to be great at one thing.

2. Focus – explore a theme in its entirety. Make a game plan and follow it through. In art and In life.No more willy nilly half efforts trying to learn handlettering or skate skiing. A commitment is in order.

3. Art – Motifs need to be clean and concise. They need to be read well. All of your art needs to come across loud and clear. Your style, your colours and your brand. In the world of art licensing this art also needs to be commercial. So while I have my style and some quirkiness mixed in, I still need it to be sellable.

4. Opportunity – Sitting here and waiting for people to knock on my door will not have people knocking down my door. I need to be proactive, show my work and actually do some of my own door knocking.

5. Show up everyday – show up, start, create. It may not be great, but all work leads to something. No art is ever wasted. Practice makes better. recognize when rest is needed, but otherwise forge onwards.

6. Time – there is enough time in the day to do it all, it just takes some planning. Map out your day and divide your work into do-able time slots. Concentrate on one task. Prioritize what is most important – do it. Then move onto the next task with a feeling of accomplishment.

7. Uninterrupted workflow – My best work comes with no distractions. Blocks of time creating with no pings, tweets or wandering thoughts. I have tried the Pomodoro technique, tweaking it to be my own. I find these small segments of time useful for starting projects that I am feeling a bit stuck in.

8.  Personal projects – A fun, personal project, be it a daily sketch or a painting a day, with the right hash tag, can get you lots of leverage.Share your work!

9. Agent – I think this was the best decision for me this year. I love the challenge of working to a brief. I love the feedback and  love  the variety of creating from home decor down to digital greetings. They also introduced my work to a whole cast of others that I wouldn’t have had the time to search out. Art licensing is a slow process, but I have faith that it works for those who persevere.

10. Website/blog – keep it updated. I cringe when I look up and know that mine is so out of date. It is YOU! It is your story. Keep it current. (sorry…promise to prioritize this one..)

So, here I sit mapping out my game plan. I have my fingers crossed that I am working in the right direction and doing the right thing. Feeling a wee bit nervous, but knowing in my heart that it is time to move up and onwards.

I have included a few online resources which I pop in to help me on my way. I take what works for me from both and combine them to make it my own.

Christine Kane   Word Of The Year

Do What You Love  New Years Revolution

Write everything down. Share it with your friends and creative partners. Shout it out loud!

Nothing like the world holding you accountable for it all.

Be honest. Have fun.

Thank you Artful Blogging!

I have some exciting news that I have been looking forward to sharing with you! I was a little hesitant to share it with anyone at first, I didn’t want to jinx it, but here it is in all of its glory. Ta da!

Artful Blogging ~ {artistically afflicted blog}

Thats right! I have been featured in the summer issue of  Stampingtons Artful Blogging magazine. It is a publication I have been admiring for some time now and am thrilled to be a part of it!

It is a little hard to come by in my neck of the woods, which makes it very special when I do get my hands on a copy. I have many a Stampington publication all lined up nicely under my coffee table. Their magazines cover many topics – art jornaling, photography, jewellery and lots of other topics all to do with handcrafted goodness. They do a wonderful job offering inspiration to artists everywhere.

Artful Blogging ~ {artistically afflicted blog}

I  would love to share the entire issue with you! This is just a  little sneak peek.

It is a beautiful, visually inspiring, look into the creative life of a global bunch of bloggers.It is filled with beautiful art, photography and written words all about their journey.
Artful Blogging ~ {artistically afflicted blog}

 

There is something quite wonderful about seeing your creative journey in print. I have been blogging now for almost 3 years and they did a wonderful job of pulling together pictures that capture the essence of what my blog is all about ~ the creative process, all the different medium used to tell your story , and the never ending  work in progress.

Artful Blogging ~ {artistically afflicted blog}

 

Along with my excitement and happiness, I have to admit to a feeling of nostalgia . I couldn’t help but  spent some time going back and re-discovering old  blog posts, laughing at my first attempts at art and remembering the butterflies the very first time I posted pictures of my art.Oh, the many paths I have followed to where I am now! It covers all the courses I have taken and most important the community I have surrounded myself with.

Way back in July of 2011, I remember thinking to myself  “what are you up to?” I really didn’t know at that time, but I had a faint idea of where all of this was supposed to lead.

I wanted to meet a group of like-minded creative souls (check). I wanted to become an artist (check).  I wanted to document my journey to gauge my accomplishments…and failures (check). I wanted to make a living as an artist (half-check) There is still lots to be accomplished!
Artful Blogging ~ {artistically afflicted blog}

 

Thank you very much Stampington & Company! I am honoured. Thank you for my moment!

To everyone here ~ Thanks for being part of the journey!

Top tips from Surface Pattern Designers!

A little shout out goes to Ali Benyon of Ali Benyon Designs for her Top tips and tricks for Surface Pattern Designers!

Recently Ali has created  2 blogposts with tips and tricks from a global bunch of surface pattern designers from all stages of their careers. I was fortunate to be included and shared a few of my own pearls of wisdom.

I found that all of the tips and tricks were applicable to anyone in the creative field from artists to start up entrepeneurs.

Inspirational quote {artistically afflicted blog}

There was lots of good advice. I walked away with a sense of comfort knowing that it’s not just me ~ this creative business is hard work! It demands that you show up everyday, you practice, and you believe. March forward, head up!

It…is….a….long…..process… (I am always in need of a reminder about this)

Deborah Velasquez, quote, authenticity

Art by Deborah Velasquez

It was interesting to read everyone’s take on being unique and staying true to yourself and your style. It seems that this is a little something that all of us struggle with. It doesn’t surprise me ~ we are visual artists, we love to look at art and more often than not we are inspired by it. I think it’s normal to want to try different tricks and techniques in a style not your own. It’s a great way to learn BUT realize that you have to make it your own. You have to add your very own signature style to it before you call it your own.
artistically afflicted blog

There was lots of advice about practice, patience and perseverance, a  few tips about color AND a great reminder of all the routes you can take in this profession. I often forget all of the endless avenues for your art so thank you for that!

I won’t give anymore away. I could spend hours discussing the ins and outs and how and whys of the creative process, but then that would take away from hours that could be spent just… Making Art!

Make Art – Make more Art – Enjoy the process = your time will come!

Part one is here

Part two is here

A big Thanks to Ali for bringing us all together!

Enjoy!

Finding inspiration in the spirit of aloha

julie hamilton designs

Very happy to be spending time in one of my favorite places, the Big Island of Hawaii.The moment my feet hit the ground here I feel a sense of coming home.

artistically afflicted blog

Lush tropical flora and fauna,dark streaks of lava rock, sun, sand, a warm breeze and the neverending sound of birds and crashing waves all come together to feed  the senses and the soul. The Big Island is charged with tradition and culture that reaches deep. This island holds a very special place in our hearts.

artistically afflicted blog

I always love to do a post or two from Hawaii. Its a lovely place to share. Lots of inspiration and color.

Mother nature also has a very good sense of humour here. The shapes, color and texture of the flora and fauna are so unusual.I am constantly in awe of some of the crazy things I find.

julie hamilton designs-artistically afflicted blog

My goal for this trip ~ lots of computer free time. Time spent observing, drawing and feeling present.

julie hamilton designs-artistically afflicted blog
My sense of urgency to do it all ~ designing, blogging #365 patterns ~ slowly takes a back seat to simply living life.

I  will admit I find it very difficult to switch off and it takes more than a few days. I continue to feel like I am missing out on something, but with time I come to my senses and realize that everything I need is right here ~ family, friends, love and life.
julie hamilton designs-artistically afflicted blog

Most believe Aloha is just a greeting, but the word is a way of life for most living here on the islands. Here, Aloha is an attitude, guidance towards living  a certain way of life ~ the Aloha spirit.

A, ala, watchful, alertness
L, lokahi, working with unity
O, oia’i’o, truthful honesty
H, ha’aha’a, humility
A, ahonui, patient perseverance

Inspired by ~ a handcrafted envelope

Efuto ~ e=picture,  futo=envelope

How nice would it be to find a colorful, hand crafted, envelope tucked in amongst all the other plain, old white bills? Very nice! I know I would be quite pleased.

julie hamilton, artistically afflicted, surface pattern design

Efuto’s are just that ~ colorful, artfully created, envelopes designed especially to send to one happy recipient.

julie hamilton, artistically afflicted, surface pattern design

I was recently introduced to this concept by a fellow creative, Gill Eggleston of Pattern Addict. She has thoughtfully put together a group of participants each partnered up with another member somewhere in the big wide world. We are to create an envelope for this person and mail it off.My efuto is heading off to France and I am to receive one from Germany.Something lovely to look forward to!

julie hamilton, artistically afflicted, surface pattern design

Her idea  gets even better as she is currently putting together a directory of surface pattern designers The Little White Book of Surface Pattern Designers with envelopes created by us.

Here is my entry.

julie hamilton, surface pattern design, artistically afflicted

I have had a peek at the work in progress and it is looking great. I will be sure to share it with you when it is finished.Until then you can follow its progress here.

This is not the first time I have sat down to paint envelopes. A few years ago our family took a half year off life and travelled through Europe.To keep my creative juices flowing and to mark the occasion I thought it would be nice to have a stack of mail, from all the places we visited along the way, to greet me on my return home. The kids filled each envelope with notes and goodies from the area. I now keep them pinned up on my inspiration board ~ they make me smile.

julie hamilton, artistically afflicted, surface pattern design

Would you like to receive a bit of color in your mailbox? If so, then please leave me a comment. I have a few extra lying around and if I draw your lucky name I will mail one your way. It will be a fun way to connect!

I have a feeling these wont be the last. I am finding them the perfect, go-to, for shorts bursts of creativity. My little fix!

And yes, those are little white snowflakes you see slowly falling down your screen. Its December and wordpress likes to add snowflakes. I tried once or twice to rub them off my screen until I remembered that ’tis the season.

Have a great weekend and please feel free to leave a comment saying hello!

Inspired by…adventures in art journaling

creative process, visual journal, art

No mistakes. No judgement. No plan. That’s what art journaling is all about.

creative process, visual journal, art

Do you have an art journal? You should!

I am always amazed at the number of artists I come across who do not partake in this creatively inspiring process. Where do these people store all of their beautiful, inspiring ideas for up and coming work? My head is not big enough for all of the ideas I have. I need to store them somewhere and over the years I have found my art journal to be the perfect place.

creative process, visual journal, art

A place to store ideas and plans for future work

A place where I can just be. A place where I can comfortably, and in small-scale, push past my personal creative boundaries. It’s all about practicing your mark making, trying new mediums, color mixing and even playing with different styles.

It’s a process and all part of the creative journey.

I love looking back through my journals. They are filled with lots of inspirational quotes, crazy ideas, colors, magazine cuttings and lots of bad, and not so bad artwork. It is a picture in time.

creative process, art journal, visual journal, acrylic paint

My abstract phase. A phase I am not finished with. Just love all the marks and texture.

creative process, visual journal, art, abstract

Your art journal is a place you can spend as little or as much time as you please. It is the perfect go-to spot when you only have a half hour. I find it the perfect place to go when I am just having troubles starting. Sometimes it is, oh, so difficult to get those creative juices flowing and feel creative. Give me 5 minutes splashing paint around and I am usually hooked for longer.

creative process, visual journal, art

playing with color and form

I like to think of it as a thumbprint for something bigger. A place to try new techniques and see what transpires. It is never finished. Every mark is a learning experience. I can’t begin to tell you how many happy accidents I have produced in my journal. Or snippets of work I have started only to come back to and see in a new light.
creative process, visual journal, art, mark making

Art journaling is therapeutic and relaxing too.It could save you thousands in therapy.

That’s what I keep telling my husband everytime I need new material. I almost have him believing it. I have myself believing it.
creative process, visual journal, art, watercolor

I was very surprised to come across this page in a journal from 2 years ago. I don’t do faces. If I start to see eyes emerge from my work I usually get a brush and some paint out real quick! Obviously some repressed subconscious glitch that I should deal with.

I am not sure where this image came from , but I obviously had a moment and felt the need to create her. I may have even copied her from another artist. GASP.. That is OK! Thats what your journal is for. Practice replicating work from others that inspires you. Try making their marks and using their colors but just dont dare go out into the real world and try to pass it off as your own!

Art journal = Anything goes.

creative journey, surface pattern design, art journal

This is what my art journal looks like these days since starting my Surface pattern design course with Rachael Taylor. Definitely not as colorful, but part of the process I am going through now.I am even amazed at my progression with these pages. A gentle reminder that every mark is a part of the learning process.

Summer is the perfect time to grab a book and your favorite medium to create. The time is now!

For lots more art journaling inspiration check out my Pinterest page~ art journal know how here. I have pinned some great links and lots of eye candy.

Hope you enjoy!

Inspired by…a work in progress

I may have a wee bit too much time on my hands today. To give you a little insight into my day…the theme, header and background have been changing hourly over here on my blog.

I have a bit of spring fever…I want fresh, clean, colorful…NEW! I want something a little more current and in keeping with what I am up to these days.

Well that definitely opened a can of worms so to speak…Now I want to customize the entire site!

I want  artsy,hand sketched social icons(my own!) some new, bigger, fonts, a gallery..or two, maybe a static page…I want my very own site. I have the domain “artistically afflicted” and I am itching to use it. So hold on and watch for changes coming this way….My techie brother is on speed dial these days.

With all of my newfound digital skills,there is lots of fun (and hairpulling) to be had.My blog reconstruction sign =1hr. When I actually figured out how to do it, it only took me about 5 minutes.But, that’s how things roll when you are learning.Right now I am tabs deep trying to figure out how to make my very own badge.It may take me a day or two, but you know what? Secretly…I love this stuff…I will take a an Illustrator tutorial over T.V anyday…

Another little nugget of wisdom from artist Robert Genn that arrived in my inbox tonight.I always find his words very timely…

We are drawn to our labour of love because it fills our cups like no other nourishment. The making of art is a private puzzle and working out the puzzle is beguiling. Let the folks who don’t love their work look forward to their retirement from it. We creative folks have a different mind-set. “Work cures everything,” said Henri Matisse. “I need to work to feel well,” said Edouard Manet. “Work is more fun than fun,” said Noel Coward. “Work is the ultimate seduction,” said Pablo Picasso. “I work day and night without sleep,” said Jules Olitski, “The paintings keep me fired up.”

I am also questioning content.I havent had the mojo to write these days.I blame it on too much computer time.

Up until now I have been writing about my creative journey and sharing my discoveries with all medium. It’s easy to snap pictures of art and discuss happy accidents, cool textures and great color combinations. Unfortunately, most of my work these days has been Adobe related while I learn the ins and outs of the digital world. Not as much fun to share the process.I guess I could take screen shots, but not as captivating as beautiful, messy,paint dripping down a canvas….mingling. My painting days are by no means over, but they are on hold until I get my head around this flow of work.So please bear with me, I promise you I will be throwing paint around in no time.

I would like to share how I am trying to marry the two…

A journal page…

journal page,acrylic painting,art, collage
I scanned and photoshopped the dragonflys out.I ripped up a perfectly good dictionary and made a collage out of it. Scanned it and added it to the background. The swirly background? Hand stitched. (Thank you dad..your sewing machine will be home soon.)I may have to work on the stitching. I know I can do it digitally, but it’s just not the same.

art, surface pattern design, collage

Its getting there…every exercise is a lesson learned.

surface pattern design,collage, acrylic paint,mixed media

Typical of my process, I am trying to explore all avenues. Trust me, you will be seeing these dragonflys pop up in all my work!

This post has already been way too long, but I had to stop there for a brief moment and think about “my process”…I wont write about it now, but its interesting to me how I have developed a way of working.

Thats a conversation to be had over a cup of coffee or two…

Have a fantastic warm and sunny weekend!

Here in the mountains, it is still cold and damp and calling for snow!! Summer will arrive here with a bang as it always does…hopefully sooner, than later.(my plants and flowers are sitting in the garage patiently waiting)

Inspired by…making mistakes.

My brain is fried. You know that feeling..eyes strained, mind foggy, head woozy…

Paint fumes? I wish!

No, I have been sitting in front of a computer for 4 hours… I know for some of you that is nothing, but for a gal like me that spends maybe a couple of hours a day max, flipping through tabs, surfing pinterest,catching up on the latest blog…  todays mental thought process was exhausting.

Welcome to my new life in the surface pattern design world….Today,I was digi deep into Illustrator and Photoshop.I had two computers, a camera and a scanner on the go. I felt like quite the techie. I also felt way out of my element with many a thought about the futility of it all….

My happy place…

The art and business of surface pattern design, color collage

The art and business of surface pattern design

Color collage, magazine clippings,The art and business of surface pattern design

I am 3 weeks in to The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design. I have been sketching, stitching, sticking and stamping up a storm. I have been deep into discovery playing with different mediums and marks. I  have been very happy covered in glue and paint.

leaf motiv, ink sketch,The art and business of surface pattern design

But, who’s kidding who. This is just a form of procrastination for what I really should be doing now. Tackling Photoshop and Illustrator…the digi world that I have felt lurking in the background.

I need to get all of this hands on goodness into the computer…

 ink sketch,The art and business of surface pattern design
Wouldnt he just look so much better full of color?

Our ABSPD Flicker pool is becoming full of digital goodness.I have been quite a good contributor, posting all of my sketching and such, but at week 3 we are a little beyond that now. As a  perpetual student I don’t like to fall behind.. I like to be at the front of the class, hand waving in the air.

So here are my first attempts at digital. For prosperity sake…

Ta da! My first ever digital pattern. I am laughing now as I could have at least scattered them around…but then, I didnt know how…I do now! Practice

A little color…..

photoshop color paletteMy first ever color palette..on photoshop.. made from one of my photos. Ok, I know I have done something wrong as the colors are way too bright. I think I am suppose to change them to RGB for the web.Patience

See what I mean?  Hours of learning to be had…Perseverance

I have so many colorful ideas going on in my head…now to get them into this world.

Practice~ Patience~ Perseverance

Keep reminding me…..

Inspired by….playing with color, a tutorial!

What a week! If I had have known what the past week had in store for me I may have increased my caffeine levels a bit.

life changes,5 yr plan,Lots of very big changes are happening here around our household. All plans in the making up until now, all talk and dreaming rather than action ~ until this past weekend ~ I am not sure what lit the spark, but trust me when I say it has been ignited.  Its go time. The next 6 months will be full of lots of positive change for us as a family.

Pick up the phone and start dialing…

I wont share too many details right now, but they include lots of moving parts. Moving homes, moving lives, moving ~ a 5 year plan is in place. Lots of balls in the air, now just a matter of timing and making sure they all fall in the right places.

Ah.. the ball in the air metaphor. A favorite around this household..

My husband thrives with all his balls in the air. I like mine lined up in a row, preferably color coded and all the same size. The only similarities between us being that we both like momentum and lots of it….

Enough about me. Oh,wait, this blog is about me…it may be the only thing that’s all about me. The rest of me has somehow become all divvied up between life and family.

Today, in my world, my issue is with color. This is not a new issue, but one that I am slowly discovering needs to be addressed. I have the books, the links and all the information I need to be a master colorist. Now is the time to actually absorb all that I have read and instead of haphazardly throwing color around, placing it where it is supposed to be so that my paintings start to SING. Oh goodness…

golden fluid acrylics, paint, color

Somehow it just seems easier to go out and buy the perfect shade!

But, no,I have been told, many times, I only need 12 colors ~ with a bit of black and white mixed in.

color mixing, acrylic paint, tutorial

Taking that in mind I set out on an exercise to understand just how many colors can be mixed with 12 colors, a bit of titanium white, titan buff and black. This lesson was a little something I picked up from Julie Pritchard. Check out her site for some great online art courses!

All you need here is some white paper, a few transparencies, paintbrush and paint.

On the top of your white paper and transparencies write out your colors and a dark line

acrylic paint, color chart, color mixing

Along the side of your transparency and white paper write the following…

pure, white, white++, titan buff, titan buff ++, black, white +, titan buff+

color mixing, acrylic paint,color chart

Grab your paints, paintbrush and palette.I used 24 colors because I am not very good at following directions. I laid out my paints according to the color wheel, starting with my yellows and working clockwise to green, blues..and so forth.

Using the example above with Quin Magenta

First square = paint a square of pure color.

Square below= add quin magenta with a bit of white mixed in.

Square below = added the quin magenta+ white + a bit more white. ( ++ white)

Square below = add quin magenta+ titan buff

Square below = add quin magenta + white + a bit more white ( ++titan buff)

Square below = add quin magenta + black

Square below = add quin magenta + black + white

Final square = add quin magenta+ black + titan buff

mixing paint, mixing color, acrylic, paint, art tutorial

Proceed on..complete above exercise with all colors. It takes time, but you will be very happy with the results!

1 color + white, titan buff + black = 8 colors

I completed this exercise using 24 colors I had on hand which  = 192 colors.

THIS is before I even began to mix colors…which I wont be doing, but will definitely take into consideration the next time I dive deep into my pocket to buy yet another tube of the perfect shade of green!

Imagine the possibilities!

Why the transparency you ask?

color mixing,acrylic paint, tutorial

Ever feeling a little lost wondering what color to add to your painting, maybe a little stuck wondering what color to use for glazing, or simply wondering how transparent/opaque your color really is??

The transparent color chart is your friend!

Well friends, that’s all I have to share today. Come back soon for more color info over the next few weeks. Don’t hesitate to comment if you need further explanation!

Off to hit “publish” and wait for the phone to start ringing…..