The “Illustrated” Advent Christmas Challenge

Well it”s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas around here, if only in my head.

My imagination is full of snowflakes and twinkle lights all aglow. Walks in the winter snow and skiing through the woods. Eggnog lattes.

Unfortunately, out my window  the rain is pouring down and the weather quite balmy. Not so good when you live in a ski town.

Christmas Advent Series - Julie Hamilton Designs {artistically afflicted blog}

I am thankful for Faye Browns creation of this years #adventchallenge2014. A month-long challenge of  christmas prompts to illustrate, photograph, sketch and be inspired by.

I have been enjoying every minute and have to admit it has helped me get in the spirit of the Christmas season.

I have included a few of my favourites to date. I will admit I am already a wee bit behind, but that’s ok with me now ( I had to talk myself down the first day I missed, but now I realize it really is all Ok:)

Christmas, Illustration, vintage ornaments

I like to use these challenges to try new things. Maybe a new combination of colors or some different hand drawn textures. Anything that gets me excited to jump in and get immersed.

Christmas, Illustration, ornaments

I have found this challenge to be a good exercise for practicing my hand lettering and characters, yes….those things with eyes. Why is it always so much easier to just draw a flower?

I will be tweaking all of these  designs in the New Year and making them ready for art licensing gigs, but for now it feels good to get some new ideas down on paper. I can play around with them later and add the on trend colours and style.

Christmas, Illustration. polar bear,

 

There are loads of gorgeous designs over on Instagram under #adventhallenge2014. As Faye says herself, popping by the challenge daily is like opening up your very own advent calendar. I have been enjoying all the colour and interesting interpretations of Christmas.

Christmas, Illustration, christmas sweaters
There is still  time to join in if interested. There is no pressure to create everyday, but if you have some time and need a little christmas inspiration then this is an easy place to start. Get a head start on your Christmas designs for 2016! All info on Instagram under #adventchallenge2014

Below are links to a few of the designers creating their own  advent calendars, either as part of the challenge or own their own accord.

Groovity

Genine Delahaye

Flora Waycott

Dawn Machell

The Print Tree

Tracey English

Sally Payne

Mondaland

Lindsay Buck

Rebecca Stoner

Happy Holidays to all!

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Always Thankful…especially when pumpkin pie is involved.

Wishing our American neighbours a very Happy Thanksgiving weekend!

Be Thankfull - Julie Hamilton {artistically afflicted blog}

 

Thanksgiving is one of my favourite holidays both here in Canada (October) and the States (November). It is a symbol of Fall and the change of seasons. The farmers market is bustling and the village is buzzing with excitement as people arrive from all over to prepare for the ski season ahead.

Farmers market  -  Julie Hamilton {artistically afflicted blog}

 

It is officially “Opening” weekend here in Whistler. B.C.. Both mountains are open and the snow is starting to fall. The village is dressed up with twinkle lights, excited and ready for another great ski season (fingers crossed).

It is hard not to get caught up in the excitement of it all. It is also a nice reminder of the past when I arrived here, knapsack and skis in tow. I love that I am still here 20 years later with my own family.

Pumpkin Pie -  Julie Hamilton {artistically afflicted blog}

 

As the days become shorter and the temperature drops, there is nothing quite as special as sitting in front of the fire, tucked in, with family and friends sharing. As I get older and my family has spread out, these times have become very special.

I am feeling very Thankful for it all..

Well it is official – the holiday season is upon us. Here’s to an abundance of pumpkin pie!

Enjoy every minute of it!

Say YES to 2014!

Happy New Year to all my friends near and far!

I have a few minutes peace here. An hour, maybe two if I am lucky, to just sit, sip tea and think about the holidays.This is a rare moment right now. Our home and life here in Whistler is alive with the hustle and bustle of happy times. Amidst it all, I am finding a spare moment to reflect and set a few goals for the upcoming year. The chaos will continue for weeks to come, but if I can find a small sliver of quiet time daily all will be good.

julie hamilton designs {artistically afflicted blog}

At this time of year I can’t help but feel melancholic. I am so grateful for the health and happiness that we are  surrounded by right now. I am grateful to have my friends and family together.I am grateful for the supportive and positive community that I have surrounded myself with this past year.

julie hamilton designs {artistically afflicted blog}

My creative journey has been such a large part of my life these past two years. This blog and everything within – stories and work from fellow creatives, the trials and tribulations of creating,accomplishments (and a fair share of rejection too). All of these stories help make help make up the fabric of my life right now and it all makes me smile. It’s just awesome!

Thank you to each and every one of you!

julie hamilton designs {artistically afflicted blog}

Sharing my intentions for 2014! I am hoping you will all hold me accountable. I am a bit of a dreamer as you can probably tell as I doodle my way off into 2014.

Thinking of lots great things…for me and you!

julie hamilton designs {artistically afflicted blog}

If you are interested in creating your very own intentions for 2014 I really enjoyed Do What You Love’s   New Years Revolution. It is very well thought out and a great planner for the year. (it’s free!) I am a believer in pen to paper for all intentions. It has a bit of sticking power and great to review monthly. Have a go!

Wishing you all the best throughout the holidays and into 2014!

What does your creative process look like?

Do you ever wonder how other artists and designers come up with their creative ideas? I do!

I am creatively curious! I love to see the process of how one’s mind works from start to finish.

Julie Hamilton Designs, artistically afflicted blog

This week I welcome Jennie Whitham of JLW Illustration.

Jennie is a Designer/ Illustrator living in the U.K. She is a graduate of The Leeds College of Art, an active member of our Surface Pattern Design community, mother of 3 (almost 4) and produces a lot of work.She never ceases to amaze me with the beautiful patterns and illustrations she pumps out.

She can do it all! (and she does)

JLW Illustration - {artistically afflicted blog}

Creating motifs on her Wacom Tablet in Adobe Illustrator

What inspires you to create?

Pinterest is an amazing source of inspiration. Every thing from colours to textures, motifs etc, can be found there.

JLW Illustration - {artistically afflicted blog}

Creating textures for her work

What medium do you like to create in?

Adobe Illustrator. I would LOVE to be a ‘hand drawn’ illustrator/designer, but I just am not. I love nothing more than sitting at my computer, with a Cuppa tea, packet of biscuits, and my Wacom Bamboo Fun tablet. It is the best investment I ever made.

JLW Illustration - {artistically afflicted blog}

Artboards – playing with motifs, placement and pattern

Do you keep an Art Journal?

I guess my blog is an online directory of my goings on. I often head over when I need to find a design and see when it was created, and share my new designs with those who are interested enough to read my blog.

JLW Illustration - {artistically afflicted blog}

Finalizing colors and texture

Do you work on just one design…..

It depends on whether it is required of me. I get little time to just design ‘for fun’… theres always a submission to make, whether that be a competition, License opportunity, book submission etc. I like to create collections and I like to make lots of designs. The last collection is created ‘for me’ was my ‘pretty paradise’ collection, back in 2012, just after I finished ABSPD. I am currently doing #365patternchallenge, and decided to use the same colour palette throughout, So I guess come 2014 I will have a 365 pattern collection to work from. That should be fun.

JLW Illustration - {artistically afflicted blog}

Making a clipping mask

Do you prefer to design for a brief/competition or your own inspiration?

Both. I LOVE to be given a direction to work in, whether that be colour palette, theme, etc. it’s fun, not only to see how you interpreted it yourself, but how others have interpreted the same brief. On the flip side, it’s great to work freely. To just ‘let go’ and design exactly how you like to do it.

JLW Illustration - {artistically afflicted blog}

The final collection!

Ta Da! Her designs all mocked up and ready to go!
JLW Illustration - {artistically afflicted blog}

What time of the day are you most creative?

after 7pm…. I am a stay-at-home mum of 3 (soon to be 4) little rascals, and while I’d love to design full time, I manage to fit everything in between 7pm and Midnight. It works for our family dynamic.

I wish I could say the same for myself! I would love to be able to create at night, but I am a morning person through and through!
To find out more about Jennie please pop over to her social media hangouts.

Website :: www.jlwillustration.com
Facebook ::www.facebook.com/jlwillustration
Etsy ::www.etsy.com/shop/jlwillustration
Twitter Handle ::@JLWIllustration

Enjoy the rest of your week!  I can’t believe school is out in 2 weeks. Needless to say, but they are going to be the busiest two weeks of the year!

Inspired by creative momentum

The month of May has turned out to be a bit of a whirlwind taking me from Surtex 2013 in the heart of NYC to the wilderness of Vancouver Island B.C. for a week of camping.Its been busy and it’s been fun.

julie hamilton designs-artistically afflicted blog
I am really enjoying the app PicCal.( A big thank you to Sam Osborne and her Month in the life of a designer series for introducing it to me)

I often get a bit to caught up in my creative life and have that crazy feeling that I am one step behind and  not accomplishing all that I have set out to do. By arranging a visual diary of my month, I realize that I actually have been super productive and on track!   Below are some of the bits and pieces I would like to share with you.

julie hamilton designs, artistically afflicted blog

The making of my handmade business cards is slowly coming together. How much fun is it to create your very own, one of a kind, business cards?People love them. It’s like giving a tiny piece of your art to someone.

I will post more pics when they are finished.
julie hamilton designs, artistically afflicted blog
Coming soon online and to a store near you! Keka Case  are developing a beautiful line of Ipad and Kindle cases for all your fashion needs. I am very pleased that my designs will be gracing the cover of these.I will keep you posted !
julie hamilton designs, artistically afflicted blog
I had a super opportunity to spend the day with David Olson, storyteller extraordinaire and Community Director at Hoot Suite. I sat and listened to him tell stories all day long! He is animated and fun~ a joy to learn from. I thought I would share some of my notes with you.Speaking of social media…
julie hamilton designs, artistically afflicted blog
A little reminder that social media is free. Please use it to your best advantage. I did!

Stay tuned for more..

julie hamilton designs, artistically afflicted blog
My #365patterns  project continues.I thought this pattern was kind of fun and perfect for a summer BBQ!  I have to admit that due to the circumstances I didn’t create a pattern every day for the month of May, however, I did make an effort to at least sketch a motif daily. Lots more over on Instagram.
julie hamilton designs, artistically afflicted blog
Finally, a little something I had fun with while camping in the rain in the wilderness of B.C. A reminder to just get inspired by whatever the circumstances. Create daily! Keep the creative juices flowing.

Its been a busy and very productive month! I feel a sense of accomplishment~ a good motivator to just keep at it.

Thanks for dropping by!

Inspired by Surtex 2013

Well NYC has officially beat me! I have escaped to Central Park for the afternoon. Sitting here on a rock under the trees,I can still hear the dull roar of the city behind me. It’s mayhem out there! I love the energy and inspiration NYC provides but,after 3 days, my thoughts drift back to a more peaceful way of living.
julie hamilton designs, artistically afflicted blog
My trip here to visit Surtex 2013 has been a great one. I have  been on a roller coaster ride of emotions-super excited,starstruck,overwhelmed,relieved,anxious – just a few emotions that have swept over me the past few days of Surtex. All of this accompanied by some very sore feet from all the walking!

I am thrilled that I had the opportunity to walk the show for my first time this year. I followed all the rules of etiquette but discovered quickly that they are just guidelines. Everyone is super friendly and very helpful. I took pictures with permission, spoke to many of the artists, handed out a few business cards and generally made connections with others within my community.

I had the opportunity to meet up with many of my virtual-world designer friends.  I loved spending time with them, they are always full of enthusiasm and good advice! Many exhibitors I spoke with during the show commented on the importance of working within a community. Many of us sit at home daily designing and need to have designer friends to reach out to in times of need. These are your people!

julie hamilton designs, artistically afflicted blog

Some of the girls from our love of print & pattern group
Kim Andersson,Suzie Tremel,Julie Hamilton,Deborah Velasquez,Mary Tanana, Maeve Parker

I still don’t have enough trade show knowledge  to answer the question that everyone keeps asking ” Are you going to show next year?”  Many thoughts are running through my head and they may be off kilter. All I do know is that Surtex isn’t something one takes lightly!

You need to have your style and your brand down and it needs to be different and uniquely you.You need to stand out – even before you get to the show. I believe a lot of your connections have to be made beforehand. They need to know you are out there. I also believe you have to commit to the show for a few years and slowly develop your connections. You need to have a 3-5 year plan of  surtex attack. As with any brand you need to be consistent and present. Lastly- Know your market.

julie hamilton designs, artistically afflicted blog

Sarah Watts of Wattsalot – my favorite booth! http://www.wattsalot.com

I do believe that it is a great community and place to make connections.The show is super organized and well presented.Everyone is happy, helpful and supportive.If you need a little break from pattern then you have The National Stationary Show and International Contemporary Furniture Fair right next door. I spent hours walking the aisles in awe.Home furnishings, paper, pattern,typography – it was my little piece of heaven.

Some delightful designers I had the opportunity to meet and chat with.

julie hamilton designs, artistically afflicted blog

Cindy Lindgren – http://www.cindylindgren.com

Unfortunately, I didn’t get pictures of some of my other favorites – Jessica Swift, Elizabeth Olwen, Alex Columbo, Monica Lee, Pink Light Studios, but they were all there. I felt like a bit of a surface pattern design groupie!

I was very fortunate to have some chat time with Lilla Rogers of Lilla Rogers Studio. Lilla is a leader in the art and illustration industry.My first impression was wow-now that’s a teacher!

julie hamilton designs, artistically afflicted blog

Lilla Rogers, Deborah Velasquez, Julie Hamilton

Lilla is a teacher and it becomes most apparent when in discussion with her. She loves to talk and her enthusiasm for art and willingness to share is limitless. I was lucky enough to bump into her on three separate occasions (I may have been stalking her just a wee bit…) and each time she was engaging and fully present, asking all the right  thought-provoking questions of me and providing me with thoughtful answers of her own.

I still haven’t signed up for her course. Make Art that Sells, which she thought was quite funny, but I really want to now. Fingers crossed!

If you have any questions about Surtex please don’t hesitate to email me at jules@bollah.com.

Goodbye NYC! Next week this time I will be camping ,with no power or running water, in the middle of Vancouver Island in B.C.. Talk about extremes!

Have a great weekend!

Seed and Pod Inspiration

Looking for a little seed and pod inspiration? I have some for you!
These are courtesy of the Big Island of Hawaii.

artistically afflicted/julie hamilton designs

Interesting shapes and shapes within shapes. Great texture. Lovely ,earthy colors. I wish I knew the names of some of these as I am very intrigued by them and curious to know more.

artistically afflicted/julie hamilton designs

For more seed and pod inspiration you can visit Pinterest. I have started a board Inspired by Nature where I pin my images of objects found, in real life and in my virtual one too.Lots to see there!

artistically afflicted/julie hamilton designs

Sketching ~ my take on seeds and pods. I have my most fun drawing objects found in nature. I love playing with organic shapes and adding in my own textures. I have no patterns made with these to date, but they have found their way into alot of my paintings and collage work.
artistically afflicted/julie hamilton designs

I look forward to seeing what you come up with! If you would like to share, post to #shareyoursketch on Instagram.

I am heading off to NYC to walk Surtex this weekend. I still can’t believe I am going.

I have been hearing about this show for the past year and am super curious as to what it is all about. I get the added bonus of a trip to NYC and the chance to meet up with lots of art and design friends that I have met over the years.Will keep you posted on my adventures there!

Have a great weekend!

Inspired by mark making

Some weeks are just harder than others to create. Last week was one of those weeks.

Some weeks I just get brain overload ~ I want to draw and create too many things. This usually happens when I am pressed for time and have other priorities looming. A definite form of procrastination. I call it productive procrastination no time is left wasted.

I started seashells,sailboats and surfboards..but nothing was catching.Not even flowers which are always my go to.

So,in search of simplicity, I finally decided to do just that ~ keep it simple. I lay my journal and black pen out on the kitchen counter and dedicated the week to mark making. Whenever inspiration hit I doodled some marks…Drive by doodling.

julie hamilton designs, artistically afflicted blog

I often find myself needing texture and backgrounds in my work. This applies to both drawing and painting. I find it quite handy having a reference list of marks that I can refer to in times when my mind goes blank.I also need more coordinates for my patterns. Interesting marks and textures make great coordinates. They also make great geometric patterns.

julie hamilton designs, artistically afflicted blog

I love black and white. There are no restrictions, no complementary colors to think about and absolutely no worries if they go well together. If your design doesn’t look good in black and white then there is a very good chance color is not going to be able to save it!

julie hamilton design

This is not the first time I have done this! I like to doodle and love my black pens.I am still waiting for my Sharpie pen sponsorship…
Remember to come and #shareyoursketch with me over on Instagram.
julie hamilton design

We have been hit hard with long, glorious summer-like days. We always like to say that we have our own little piece of heaven here in Whistler, B.C. and right now it’s definitely feeling that way.The mountains are full of snow, the sky bluebird and the flip-flops are out!Very unusual weather for this time of year and not to be missed.

Next week I am heading off to NYC to Surtex. Eek! I will be walking the show and just trying to get a feel for this industry that I have thrown myself into it. I am expecting to be overwhelmed.I am ready for it! Will keep you posted!

Have a great week everyone!

Inspired by…a little friendly competition.

There is nothing like a bit of friendly competition to give you a little shove out of your comfort zone.I have discovered the process to be quite fun, if not a little nerve-wracking.  Just a little though ~ I am happy to say, I am getting use to it.

I had to enter this months Tigerprint Competition as I love black and white. I would do everything in black and white if I could (and as I write this I am thinking..well, why not!). Working with color is working out of my comfort zone!

Surface pattern design, artistically afflicted

I believe these competitions are a healthy way to get the creative juices flowing. They can help you to push past your limits, try new design ideas, experiment with motifs and colors you may not normally use, learn new digital tricks – anything to get your work to stand out in the crowd!

Competitions can also be a little bit discouraging! There were hundreds,600 or so, of entries for this one. These competitions make you realize just how many talented designers/artists are out there playing the same game.While I have not won- yet:)- I am hopeful that one day, my time will come. My design will be the right one at the right time. Until then I will continue to push along and dream. It’s all part of the dream.

You can check all the entries out here because, really, they were all very well done. Beware, it’s alot of black and white and you may start to see double after the first or second page.

And the winner is ~ tada~

surface pattern design, artistically afflicted blog

Louise Harrison of Loulalo. Absolutely love her take on stripes. Swoon…

We were very fortunate to have quite a few of our surface pattern design students in the top 25. I have to be honest, it is kind of fun to live vicariously through their victories.It is very inspiring to get a sneak peek into their process from start to finish. Their excitement and enthusiasm is felt widespread throughout our little community.

Here is their work~

surface pattern design, artistically afflicted blog

Runner up ~ Alik Arzoumanian

surface pattern design, artistically afflicted blog, emily ann studio

Runner up ~ Emily Ann Truong of Emily Ann Studio

surface pattern design, artistically afflicted blog, patternjots studio

Maike Thoma  of Patternjots

surface pattern design, artistically afflicted blog, pattern addict

Gill Eggleston of Pattern Addict

surface pattern design, artistically afflicted blog

Jennie Louise Whitham of JLWillustration

Up next ~hand drawn typography. I am very excited about this one as I have been meaning to explore it in more depth. I love to art journal and it adds the perfect personal touch to a page. I am also curious to see how it translates from my scanner to the digital world. More information can be found here on the Tigerprint Competitions blog

Enjoy the rest of your week. The snow is already flying here and slowly creeping own the mountain and into the valley.