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Viewing Blog: Creative Whimsies, Most Recent at Top
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A Blog by Illustrator Laura Zarrin
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1. My latest Highlights Hidden Picture

Just popping into to show you my latest illustration in Highlights Hidden Pictures book.



It's in this issue with art by two of my favorite artists 
Priscilla Burris and Laura Huliska-Beith! Go check it out :)


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2. How I met Mary Engelbreit

I just got back from a wonderful vacation to my home town of St. Louis, Mo. It's my favorite vacation spot and the only one where I can completely relax. My kids love it and my husband gets to play golf on the cheap. Reconnecting with my cousins, aunts, uncles is the best part and why I keep coming back.

This year was even more special because I got to meet Mary Engelbreit!



Did you hear that?

THE MARY ENGELBREIT!!!!

I can't begin to tell you how excited I was. She's been an inspiration to me for so, so long, as well as being really kind and supportive to me on Instagram (how is this even possible?).

I've really wanted to meet her, so I used my 20 seconds of insane courage and asked if I could come by the studio and meet her while I was in town. Not only did she say yes, but she invited me to lunch.

LUNCH? With Mary Engelbreit? Um…YES!

Anyway, it was wonderful. I love her studio and the neighborhood it's in. Her staff is the best! Lunch was loads of fun. We talked and talked like two old friends. I felt like I'd known her forever. I got some career advice and I think I've gained a new friend. Thank you Mary!

Make sure to like her page on Facebook and follow her on Instagram. She shows lots of work in progress and sneak peaks of upcoming products that I'm sure you'll enjoy! She has something fun coming up that I'm not sure I can talk about yet, but I'll keep you posted.


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3. Summertime, summertime

This summer I've been writing, sketching, painting, playing, and learning.










And I've been attending Nerdy Chicks Rule Summer School 2014, Building Character. You can check it out here. This online class is chock full of goodness and it's FREE! Kami Kinard and Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen have put together a talented faculty and I'm learning so much. Thanks, Ladies :)

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4. Some ideas come fully formed and some show up on the fly

I get a lot of ideas while I'm doing something else. Most come while I'm on a deadline, of course. This painting came to me in the shower fully formed with the caption already written.



Text reads: Once there was a girl who made a wish.

It took a couple of tries to get the girl right.

Close up of the moon. I used old books in English, Italian, Japanese, and Latin.

Now this one came as an idea about collaging fish scales, but a friend thought it was a mermaid. 
I rotated the canvass and decided she was right!


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5. Painting, collaging, gardening, and sketching

I had a lot of deadlines lately, so I haven't been able to show many sketches of late. I'm also busy writing, which doesn't make for pretty pictures either. Sorry :) Here's my little dog friend as a consolation prize.



To recover my mojo, I signed up for an online painting class by Mati Rose McDonough. It's been so fun and the perfect excuse to just play. Here's one of the paintings I've been working on this week.


Small detail of a work in progress.

And here's some pics from my garden. Happy summer!



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6. The Worm

I'm sure you've all seen someone do The Worm, but have you ever wondered how worms really dance? I have solved the mystery.




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7. Spring!

Busy with lots of lovely deadlines right now. Can't wait to show you what I'm working on, but it will have to wait. Here's a quick little sketch to hold you over. Happy Spring!

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8. Sometimes you just have to dance


This piece was a doozy to work on, but I'm really happy with the result. I'll share details on SimplyMessingAbout.com soon.

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9. A girl and her pig


A new sketch of a girl and her pig.

And here she is in color. Pencil sketch colorized in Photoshop.


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10. Sweaters for Penguins in color

I just added this to my portfolio. I really loved the idea of penguins in sweaters!


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11. Sweaters for Penguins


The internet is all abuzz about knitting sweaters for penguins. Snopes.com first said it wasn't true, but now they're showing uncertainty. As a children's book illustrator, I can just use the story as a jumping off point for a sketch. Lucky me. What could be cuter than penguins in sweaters?

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12. Procrastipainting


A quick little gouache painting.

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13. Olympic Sketching




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14. Horse in gouache


I got this little lady painted up over the weekend. I'm really enjoying my new gouache paints.

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15. The year of the horse


A bit of silliness to celebrate the year of the horse.

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16. Pizza Making Gone Wrong


 The Superbowl wasn't much of a game yesterday. Luckily, these three had their own festivities to entertain themselves with.

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17. Sketching bits

Sorry to be so quiet, but I've been working on some things I can't share right now. It's so difficult not to share! Here are some random bits out of my sketchbook.



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18. Happy New Year!


I'm on vacation until Monday when I will be (hopefully) energetic and ready to rock 2014!

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19. SkADaMo #13 & 14 Ballet Piglet



1 Comments on SkADaMo #13 & 14 Ballet Piglet, last added: 11/18/2013
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20. Painting a Pig








5 Comments on Painting a Pig, last added: 11/30/2013
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21. Small Business Saturday


I'm participating in Small Business Saturday! I've recently reopened my Etsy shop with prints, collaged decor, and original paintings. Please stop by and check it out.



I know I'm way behind on posting for SkADaMo! I promise I've been sketching everyday, but I haven't had time to post them. Here's a little something to tide you over.











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22. November Sketching Leads to December Sketching.

I managed to sketch every day in November and posted it to my Instagram account, but not always on the blog. I also completed PiBoIdMo.



Now I'm sketching for Linda Silvestri's HoHoDooDa for December. 




2 Comments on November Sketching Leads to December Sketching., last added: 12/5/2013
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23. Mistletoe Madness

You must be cautious about when standing under the mistletoe. You may experience a very awkward moment.



4 Comments on Mistletoe Madness, last added: 12/8/2013
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24. HoHoDooDa

I've managed to squeeze some sketching in between deadlines. 
Hope to do more soon.




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25. Merry Christmas!!!

I want you all to know that I really appreciate your visits and comments on my little blog. Thank you!!!

If you follow me on Instagram, you've seen my #HoHoDooDa sketches. Here are a few of them for your viewing pleasure.

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