Happy Holidays to you!

It is a bit of a Winter Wonderland right now in Whistler. Everything is exactly like it should be.

WHITE
Whistler Blackcomb {artistically afflicted blog}

We have had endless days of snow, the twinkly lights are all lit up and the skiers have arrived for what has proved to be the start of an epic season. So much fun hooting and hollering through the snow drifts. It restores my love for here.
Whistler Inuksuk {artistically afflicted blog}

Thankfully with all the snow has come a pile of Christmas spirit. I have been in Christmas mode over here designing and decorating. It makes such a difference doing it now, versus in April, when the sun is starting to shine and the grass and flowers are beginning to pop. My goal is to get as much created now while inspiration strikes.
 Christmas Wreath by Julie Hamilton Creative {artistically afflicted blog}

A series of wooded boughs and all things natural. I love the woodland feel of these. I am still painting and cutting daily and have enjoyed adding all of this Christmas flora and foliage to my portfolio.
Holly Balls by Julie Hamilton Creative {artistically afflicted blog}

A few colourful paper-cuts have been compiled all with a festive feel. I still like bit of traditional red and green for the holiday season.. plus it still sells well in the art licensing world!

Christmas Bunting by Julie Hamilton Creative {artistically afflicted blog}

 

Happy Holidays by Julie Hamilton Creative {artistically afflicted blog}

Wishing you a Happy Holiday season! Enjoy every minute of it.

See you in 2016!

xo

Goodbye Summer. Hello Autumn!

…..And then in the blink of an eye it was Fall…

Sketching Inspiration - Julie Hamilton Designs {artistically afflicted blog}

I am not sure how the seasons changed so quickly, but they did. I had decided to take the month of August off blogging due to a house full of children, visitors, a road trip or two and lots of work all mixed in. Here it is the end of September and I am just finding my way back here.

Creative process - Julie Hamilton Designs {artistically afflicted blog}

What can I say?

It was an awesome summer.

We did a little of this…

beach Life - Julie Hamilton Designs {artistically afflicted blog}

A little of that…

Santa Monica Pier - Julie Hamilton Designs {artistically afflicted blog}

A lot of this….

Creative space - Julie Hamilton Designs {artistically afflicted blog}

There was no shortage of adventure, sights to see and good summer fun. I already miss it.

I am sharing with you a few links to courses that kept me creatively curious this summer. All of them from Creative Bug.

Pam Garrisons Creative Sketchbooking –  A three-part series working from journal to canvas. Lots of interesting mark making techniques and exercises  – working with your non dominant hand, intuitive drawing, paper collage and lots of mixed media.

Art journal - Julie Hamilton Designs {artistically afflicted blog}

I love Pam’s use of colour and style. It was very interesting to me to see how she approaches her work. She makes it all seem so simple and random, but, wow, does she have great results. For more viewing pleasure check out #cbsketchbooking on instagram.

Art Journal - Julie Hamilton Designs {artistically afflicted blog}

Next up was Lisa Congdons Sketchbook Exploration – a four-part series working from sketchbook to canvas. Lots of line work, mixed media, collage and abstract work as well, but a totally different approach than Pam’s class. She inspired me to get out my markers and pencil crayons and I have re-discovered a whole new medium which is not only easy to use anywhere, but very satisfying in the mark making department.

 Julie Hamilton Designs {artistically afflicted blog}

I managed to take a little bit away from both courses and adapt to my own style, painting and pasting my way to a finished piece.

Finally I started Yao Chengs Watercolour class, but then life got too busy and I had to put it on hold. I am looking forward to the rainy season here in Whistler to get caught up on my learning. Rumour has it that Lisa’s Sketchbook Explorations Part Two has also gone live. I haven’t had a chance to check it out yet, but I am definitely looking forward to it.

Let the rains begin!

See you next week!

Training my Creativity

There has been a lot of this going on everyday…

illustration,art supplies, paint, paper,ink

My desk is covered with little tiny pieces of cut paper, loose leaf with sketches of Santa and all his friends, some painted spring flowers and a mood board for all things coastal.

pastel colored pencils, illustration,

Life has been busy! The beautiful, sunny, winter that wasn’t, has not helped at all. It has been way too beautiful here in Whistler for all of February. Everyone has packed away their skis and taken to the trails. I think Mother Nature is going to slap us around silly with a big winter storm soon, but we would have to have snow for days on end and cold temperatures to get winter back.

I cannot lie. I am loving our balmy weather! Word in the village is that so is everyone else. I am hearing this daily..

best Day ever, illustrated quotes, hand lettering

A few things to share as I have been absent from here for one month. I am not really sure how that happened. I am still a bit shocked that it happened. It is the beginning of March!

I have to admit that sometimes I cannot figure out how to do it all. Find inspiration, sketch, design,think about work, run a household, feed and water my children,exercise, walk the dog, think some more about work  and breathe.

Amongst all of the above which I understand is just Life as we know it, I am finding it difficult to fit blogging in.I know it has an important place in my creative journey and I know I enjoy it, but I just haven’t figured out the recipe that works for me. Like all things in my life it demands a wee bit of creativity. Right?

sketch, sketchbook, floral, artjournal,doodle

I am convinced that we only have so much creative juice everyday. I know mine runs out after 6 hours and like coffee, it is best in the morning. I am trying hard to work at night, but it’s not the way my mind rolls. I wish it was. So I have decided to try to train it. We all know that sometimes it is just a matter of starting and doing..

So tonight I sit here typing away. I may just get this blog post out to you by morning. My other nightly creative training routine has to begin art journalling again. I am 4 days in to this training session and so far, so good. I know that habits take time to form so I will just have to give it my best shot.

art journal, work in progress, sketchbook

I have just recently discovered Creative Bug. It is an online instructional arts and craft site. It offers everything from calligraphy to sewing to jewellery making. It also has some art journalling classes offered by Lisa Congdon and Dawn Devries Sokol. At less than $5 a month to join, you can’t go wrong!

I am joining tomorrow night and plan to spend my evenings learning and doing. I will be sure to share here.

Also for your interest, The Strathmore  2015 Online Workshop series starts today. It is Free..yup, thats right! This year it includes printmaking with Traci Bautista, some loose acrylic painting with Patti Mollica and some exploration in ink with Maureen Wilson. I have been doing the series for a few years now and they are packed with new and interesting techniques. For more info go here

Do you have any tricks or routines for spurring on your creativity at night? I would love to hear them:)

See you again soon,

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!

Happy Halloween!

 

Halloween - Julie Hamilton Designs {artistically afflicted blog}

Happy Halloween from all of us here in Tapleys Farm, Whistler B.C

This neighbourhood is not for the faint of heart when Halloween rolls around. Fifty decorated homes, 500 screaming children, 20,000 pieces of candy, bonfires, mulled wine, music, fireworks…Utter chaos.

I have my tickle trunk full of costumes from naughty to nerdy all ready for last-minute costume prep. There are always the token few who don’t like to dress up, but then can’t resist getting in the spirit of it all. I guarantee my hand painted snowflake pants will be coming out to play, but I am not sure what will be accompanying them this year.

I like to leave my costume to the last-minute ~ always have, always will.

 

Halloween - Julie hamilton Design {artistically afflicted blog}

 

Halloween - Julie hamilton Design {artistically afflicted blog}

 

Halloween - Julie Hamilton Designs {artistically afflicted blog}

Sharing a few Halloween inspired sketches and artwork created for A Fresh Bunch.  Halloween is one of the top commercial holidays and I am realizing that I will be needing to create a lot more art licensing work for it. This is a start!

 

Halloween - Julie Hamilton Designs {artistically afflicted blog}

Hope your Halloween weekend is full of mini chocolate bars.

Best of luck staying out of the Halloween candy! I have failed miserably.

 

Come and meet some inspiring creatives ~ a blog hop

I have been asked to join in on a blog hop by my good friend Deborah Velasquez. I have just spent the past hour drifting backwards through the hop and I still can’t find its origin, but it has been well worth my time as I have stumbled upon some beautiful artists , writers and like minded souls from all over the world. One of which lives just down the mountain from me!

Today I will answer a few questions about my work and then point you in the direction of a few other creative souls who inspire me – Deborah Velasquez, Margot Miller and Laura Wooten

What are you working/writing on?

In typical  fashion, I have many projects on the go right now. I hop about daily from one project to the next, working on what inspires me at the moment.

My main focus this summer  is centered on an illustration project I have for The Whistler Survival Guide, a  directory for newcomers moving to the area. It is my first illustrating gig and while I am finding it challenging, I am in awe of how much I am learning. There will be more here on the blog in the fall when it is released.

Whistler summer - Julie Hamilton designs {artistically afflicted blog}

 

My summer fun project  involves creating a collection of 8 by 8″ mixed media pieces.  These mini works have become a a part of my daily creative practice.They are my go-to when I feel the need for a little painting, spraying and stamping in my life.

They make me happy.

I have recently written a post about the process here.

julie hamilton designs {artistically afflicted blog}

Mixed in with all of this is my art licensing work , monthly submissions for A Fresh Bunch and a new collection coming soon to Modern Yardage.

Life is busy, but very enjoyable!

Why do you create?

One of my favourite sayings and one that provides me with daily inspiration and the desire to create.

Never lose your sense of wonder

Six words that allow me to travel through life with eyes wide open

 Floral -  Julie Hamilton designs {artistically afflicted blog}

 

I am visually inspired by colour, texture and shape. My heart starts racing, I feel a little tingly all over and I can’t wait to dive into my art journal  when inspiration strikes. I love all the endless possibility that creating art provides. I love immersing myself in a theme and exploring different ways of representation. Simply put ~ I love the way art makes me feel.

When I am not creating I am in search of what to create next. It has become what makes me whole.

 Floral -  Julie Hamilton designs {artistically afflicted blog}

How does your creative process work?

I work best in short bursts of creative chaos. My paintings and mix media work are all intuitive. I start with marks and gradually move into texture and colour. I observe my mood and what is happening before me on the paper to dictate the direction the piece will take.

I can often be found lying on the couch, my artwork propped up before me, with eyes squinted as I turn my piece this way and that, hoping that something…anything.. will materialize before me.

 

Julie Hamilton Designs {artistically afflicted blog)

My surface pattern work is a little more structured and usually focused around a collection of motifs.I love to doodle and my sketchbook and pen are never far from my side. Life here becomes a little more computer oriented as I have to scan my work in and pattern in Illustrator.

julie hamilton designs {artistically afflicted blog}

I love the combination of both the structured and unstructured. It allows me to play and experiment with new techniques.

Oh how  I look forward to the day when I have mastered all of the Adobe programs so I can express myself in all mediums..

Ahhh… big sigh..that was a lot of writing in one sitting.

Now, onto the women in my life that inspire and motivate me. Some I know well and others I am in the process of getting to know.I chose to reach out to them in hopes that they would share and  learn a little bit more about what makes them tick.

Deborah Velasquez

I first met Deborah through Kelly Rae Roberts Flying Lessons. I believe we  originally connected based on a similar love for seeds and pods . Our friendship grew as we continued on a similar  journey with The Art & Business of Surface Pattern Design and then onto Make Art That Sells. She is my go-to girl in times of  creative need, both good and bad. She brings a smile to my face.

Please pop back to her blogpost here to learn all about her work and creative process.

Deborah Velasquez - artist on the {artistically afflicted blog}

Her work is modern, sophisticated, graphic and bold with a unique colour sense and reflects her simplicity for the love of line.

Deborah Velasquez - artist on the {artistically afflicted blog}

Deborah loves the mixture of design, words, art and craft. She has a very unique way of combining them all together. Watch out for this one!

Deborah Velasquez - artist on the {artistically afflicted blog}

Margot Miller

I joyfully came across Margots work in Make Art that Sells. I now follow her daily on Instagram at  @margot531 (#scenesfrommyscreen)  This woman is  multi-talented and funny too.

Meet Margot  ~ a collage illustrator from N.Y. She is a bit of a tweetaholic and likes her coffee too.. I think we could be friends.

Margot miller - artist selfie on {artistically afflicted blog}

Check out her website! I wish she would give tutorials on how she creates her lovely work…

 

Margot Miller -artist on {artistically afflicted blog}

Beautiful colours, shapes and texture! I love this piece she made for Make Art that Sells. Below is a hand lettering piece she  did for a friends book launch blog hop.

Pretty awesome.

Margot Miller -artist on {artistically afflicted blog}

 

Laura Wooten

Next up is Laura Wooten. Laura has been on a similar path with continued studies in both the Art & Business of Surface Pattern Design and Make Art that Sells. I was thrilled when I reached out to her to be a part of the bloghop and she said Yes! I love her  52 collage project – creating a collage each week.This has inspired me to no end and makes me want to try.

Laura Wooten -artist on {artistically afflicted blog}

I admire her beautiful hand drawn sketches and prints. The colours are just beautiful –  I love the vintage feel.

Her website is full of lots of painting and pattern goodness.

Laura Wooten -artist on {artistically afflicted blog}

Laura also instagrams  daily. I have been enjoying her daily sketch project. You can visit her here on Instagram

Laura Wooten -artist on {artistically afflicted blog}

These women will be blogging about their creative lives next Saturday and introducing you to other creatives that inspire them. You just never know who you may meet so be sure to drop by!

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 creative scissorhands

Life continues to be very happy here in sunny, Whistler, B.C. Canada. We dream of snow,but instead have been given many beautiful sunny days for this time of the year.No complaints, the skiing is still good, but  do I dare think that winter is almost over?
I continue to juggle an endless stream of fun loving guests,work on “my brand” and website and my goal to create a pattern a day.I am very happy to say that I am (almost) accomplishing it all! Big pat on the back.

I am also managing to find time a bit of time to papercut.
julie hamilton, artistically afflicted blog
I have been meaning to post about my new found love for papercutting for some time now. The honeymoon period has worn off and I am now fully committed to it. I find it the perfect escape from the computer. I also love that I can sit,chat and have a glass of wine all while papercutting. No injuries yet.

I have not ventured into the very small and intricate form of papercutting yet. A trip to the city and definitely a smaller blade may help me on my way.
julie hamilton, artistically afflicted blog
I have done a bit of research on the web and have found some beautiful  work that I would like to share with you.

I absolutely love this piece by Peter Callesen. He has transformed a flat piece of paper into a dimensional piece of work with the actual papercut expanding into the outlying space. I am very intrigued by this.I love the fragility of it.
artistically afflicted blog

Jeannette Kuvin Oren is extremely talented and,if I might say, a bit artistically afflicted.Her work ranges from mosaics and stained glass to wall hangings  and graphic design. Oh, and she likes to cut paper too!
artistically afflicted blog

I feel like I should do a separate blog post on the next artist Elsa Mora.She has created  a wonderful website, art is a way~about imagination and creativity in the spirit of personal growth and collective wellness.

artistically afflicted blog, julie hamilton

It is full of all sorts of wonderful.A visual treat. Have a look~ Art is a way

Elsa will be in Portland this summer teaching a three day workshop with ACE camps. I have my eye on it.

Elsa, Portland, Ace camps and papercutting ~ it all sounds pretty spectacular.

I would love to discover some more artists working with this medium so if you know of any, please share!

Have a sweet, artfully inspired, week.

Inspired by…april showers,may flowers and a little skunk

April showers bring May flowers. Well one can only hope..

Around here all my flowers are painted…not planted. Forecast calling for snow flurries tomorrow. I smile only because it’s almost funny. I dare Mother nature…

acrylic painting, poppy and pods, art

In our neck of the woods April showers also brings Skunk Cabbage! A sure sign that more spring is right around the corner..followed by more spring like weather. Lots of spring around here.

skunk cabbage, whistler Pretty~ Pretty smelly.

Western skunk cabbage is also known as swamp lantern. How pretty is that name?  Want to take a guess as to why its called skunk cabbage? Thats right…for the skunky odor it emits. A favorite saying around our town

You know you’re a local when….when you actually love the smell of skunk cabbage swamp lantern.

I do! For me its Whistler…its spring. A sign of summer to come.

I went for a dog walk yesterday to take pictures of things inspiring me. I knew that once I was out in the fresh air all thoughts of warm breezes,sunny days, bluebird sky would dissipate. Because, truth be told, I am actually quite inspired by death and decay.

I don’t know why..I love the antique, distressed feel, the organic shapes formed?? Maybe its just the experience of getting out there in the rain, at one with nature (insert eye roll).
Soft smelling skunk, a light mist rolling over the mountains and lake, many shades of gray, the anticipation of summer, my goofy dog…..or maybe it’s just my rose-colored glasses. Whatever it is ~ it makes me smile.

photography, spring,whistler

photography, spring buds, whistler
photography, whistler, nature, birch Whenever I need a hit of inspiration I get out my camera and start with my birch. I love my birch. They have been the subject of many a photo shoot. Look at all the lovely layers of paper…which of course have made their way into my daily collage.
photography, whistler, nature, birch
photography, whistler, nature, dead leaf
photography, whistler, nature, red canoe
It’s all good. I don’t know if I could imagine a life without seasons.

Thanks today goes out to Lori Moon. I started this blog post to participate in her May Flower challenge. Look where it led me…to a fine, appreciation of this gloomy rainy day!
If you would like to play along or just need a dose of prettiness, go on over to her blog and have a look!
I hope you have on your rose-colored glasses today! (especially if you live in the pacific northwest:)