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1. The Mural Artwork is Done - Phew!



Because of World Book Day, I'm out visiting schools all this week (all over the place as usual) but, luckily, I just managed to get my mural artwork finished first. It was a skin-of-the-teeth thing - I didn't sign it off until 7pm last Friday night. 

I'm enjoying being out and about again, as I have been locked at my computer for ages. The artwork stage has taken 3 weeks, working really long days mostly, but it is finally done. Hurrah! Below are the various sections, travelling around the walls anti-clockwise (ie from right to left), viewing what will be floor-to-ceiling once it's installed (though the emptier sections will be obscured by furniture):


There were so many different jobs to do and of course much of it took longer than expected - I think it's because I underestimated just how many individual characters and little objects I could cram into the huge space. Luckily, Wakefield Libraries have been absolutely LOVELY and said they will pay me for the time I've actually spent on it, rather than what I originally quoted them.  


Every one of the new, high-res scans that John did of the various animals, books, trees etc had to be individually matched to their position on the low-res template I created earlier, re-sized to fit and then laboriously cut off the children's white, background paper in Photoshop.


Each component also had to have it's 'levels' balanced, to match the weight of the rest of the design, and then have extra colour added, so it was punchy enough. I even had to subtly go over some of the children's pencil outlines in Photoshop, thickening them up where they were too spindly. 

And that's without all the graphic elements I had to draw for the background, like the distant forest and the various kinds of grasses and bushes. 


Because I had to create the artwork in 6 sections (to keep the file sizes from blowing the brain of my computer), I also had the job of making sure the different sections joined accurately. That was a bit of a nightmare to be honest, as one millimetre's inaccuracy at each joint would obviously add up, and then the error would also be multiplied by 4, because of the artwork being 25% of the actual size. Yikes.


I was very good at remembering to 'save' all the time, not just to the computer, but also to an external hard drive, just in case any of the files decided to corrupt along the way. I got away without 'losing' anything, which is a great relief.


Then, just when I thought it was all finished, I realised I had forgotten the area of 'bleed' beneath the library's computer table! I had remembered to continue the design behind the bookshelves, so I don't know why I forgot the table. Tired I guess.

The colour boosting was the last job. I wanted to keep the mark-making from the children's colouring, so I made my final artwork translucent, then created a layer beneath the design, where I 'scribbled' half-opacity colour, so the effect was subtle and blended seamless with the children's coloured pencils. It was time consuming, but was worth it, as the boost made a huge difference. Look at the difference between the section above and part of the same section, before the extra colour:



Notice too, in some places I had to do extra tricksy things with the colour in Photoshop: look at the original colour of the desk, immediately above, then the colour it ended up.

Did you notice by the way, in the 2nd section from the beginning, I left my 'signature' on the computer screen? Sneaky huh? 
Actually, I suspect that most of this area will be obscured by book-bags, but I only really put it in as an after-thought.


The next stage is a final chat to the printer who will be transferring my design to wallpaper, ready to paste onto the walls. I'm a little concerned about how on earth we will manage to get things to line up where they are supposed to, what with crooked walls and wonky ceilings. For instance, all the creatures' feet, which need to be on the level with the tops of the bookshelves. 

I am crossing fingers it all works out okay, as there isn't much I can do about that side of things.

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2. Lorax Thursday!



Lorax Thursday!



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3. How to chose and use your art materials wisely

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If you’re anything like the thousands of creatives out there, you’ll no doubt have something called “GotToHaveEveryArtSupply-itis”and its incurable. We get so excited and enthusiastic when the glorious sound of the art supply shop opens like an unknown force pulling us in against our will (not really), to when there’s a sale online we just have to get them all.Although with this vast growing collection of art supplies, in which we think deep down will bestow upon us great creative talent, comes being practical and responsible to.

 Each art material has its advantages and disadvantages, however its actually how you use them that will help you to produce great work.So here’s a few tips to really help  you choose your creative weapons of choice wisely and wield them like a true creative warrior!

1.  Combine materials that compliment each other – Just because you have an artbox filled with yummy supplies, doesn’t mean you have to throw everything into the mix to make the perfect receipe. Experimenting is key to know what works for you and your style to build your creative process. Look closely at the textures, contrasts and effects each material gives you and which would compliment each other nicely to create the perfect creative dish.  For example watercolours and coloured pencil work great together to create colour washes with beautiful tone work.

2. He’s got it so I need to have it to - No doubt you’ve done this to where your inspirational creative idol uses a specific art supply and  you feel the urge to possess it to achieve greatness. Although this isn’t to say its not the quality of product that gives them great results, bear in mind they’ve been honing their skills and processes with it for countless hours through “practice“. Not every art supply works the same with every creatives style and process, but experiment with different materials to see if introducing it to your creative making steps will benefit the pieces you create.

3. Invest within your budget- Last but not least investing and budgeting, understandably art supplies often aren’t cheap as they come in so many different brands, qualities and quantities at different prices. There’s also artist and student grade materials, however the key is be wise and stick to your budget. Test materials out and if you feel they have a permanent place in how you make your art then this gives you the option to invest in them further.

Good luck creatives and have fun wielding those art supplies!

Featured image by Amy Van Luijk  you can find out more about her work here.

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4. Mel Crawford, Little Golden Books Illustrator, RIP

Mel Crawford spent decades drawing the world's most famous cartoon characters, but he didn't do it at any animation studio.

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5. DESIGNER - kelly angelovic

Kelly Angelovic is an illustrator and graphic designer based in Boulder, Colorado. Kelly specialises in digital illustration, surface pattern design, typography, branding poster design, packaging and children's books. She studied business at University before going on to study graphic design at the School of Visual Concepts in Seattle. You can see some examples of Kelly's portfolio online here

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6. Babies, BaBieS, BABIES!









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7. Artist :: Kate Forrester

Post by JeanineKateForrester_IF_01

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I fell completely in love with the gorgeous work of illustrator and hand-lettering artist Kate Forrester as soon as I stumbled upon it. Her striking and versatile style has earned her an extensive list of international clients and diverse projects, including book jackets, packaging, greeting cards, advertisements, billboards, and much more. Kate combines dynamic hand-lettering with lovely illustrations to create flowing, organic images and often explores new & exciting mediums including wood, chocolates, tattoos, laser-cut paper illustrations—and even wedding cake!

Kate is based in the UK and her impressive list of clients includes Tiffany NYC, Victoria’s Secret, Random House, Penguin Books, Crate and Barrel, The Guardian, Little Brown, Walker Books, Moonstruck Chocolates and many more.

See more of Kate’s work here: Portfolio | Blog

 

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8. Some Legend of Korra for your afternoon.



Some Legend of Korra for your afternoon.



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9. A fine blend of non-sense engineering and cats. #sketch #pencil...

0 Comments on A fine blend of non-sense engineering and cats. #sketch #pencil... as of 2/27/2015 9:08:00 PM
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10. 3x3 annual

Here is my illustration in the 3x3 Annual 11

They have the annual online as well


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11. New MB Artists Catalog

Check out my agency's newest catalog, themed "Hobby"!  So many fun illustrations by some great artists!

http://files.flipsnack.com/iframe/embed.html?hash=ftiyvif9r&wmode=window&bgcolor=EEEEEE&t=14226326691422632716

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12. An exercise in perspective, not one but two steam turbines and a...

0 Comments on An exercise in perspective, not one but two steam turbines and a... as of 2/26/2015 9:20:00 PM
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13. Shamrock Pixies

New Art!
Created for Creative Design Outlet and Crafts and Me digital stamps. Coming soon!




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14. Celtic Cross

Hi everyone! Here is my latest drawing. As you can see I really enjoy drawing these Celtic crosses.

This particular drawing has significantly more detail than any other cross I have drawn so far. I added more Christian symbolism this time; the alpha and omega on either side of the globe, and the seven roses. The gears represent the intricate workings of God's creation. The distressed quality on the gears is meant to reflect the fallen nature of our world.

As usual this drawing was done with a mechanical pencil. This time I used a paper with a much smoother tooth, which allowed for more detail. I hope you enjoy it, as always feel free to leave a comment.

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15. Originally a Valentine, but finished a little late. Yay for...



Originally a Valentine, but finished a little late. Yay for MegaMan!



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16. Robin Hood

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“Underneath this little stone
Lies Robert Earl of Huntington;
No other archer was so good -
And people called him Robin Hood.
Such outlaws as he and his men
Will England never see again.” 

_Roger Lancelyn Green

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17. The Month of Love weekly art challenge

Post by Jeanine

The Month of Love is a weekly art challenge started by illustrator Kristina Carroll. Every week in February, there’s a new challenge related to the subject of “Love”. Participating artists respond by creating a new piece and posting throughout the week. There’s an impressive roster of core artists, but the challenges are also open to anyone who wants to submit a piece by posting to Tumblr with the hashtag #monthoflove. The month is coming to an end and there’s some fabulous work up on the site, including the three images below, by Kristina Carroll, Lee Moyer, and Michael Marsicano.

Be sure to check it out and follow along at monthofloveart.comMuch of the work is available as prints through Society6 and you can also see the past two years’ worth of challenges and art here.  Also, keep an eye out in October for another monthly challenge called Month of Fear.

MonthofLove_KristinaCarroll_IFblog

© Kristina Carroll

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© Lee Moyer

MonthofLove_MichaelMarsicano_IFblog

© Michael Marsicano

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18. DESIGNER - matti pikkujämsä

Also new in at Artsy Modern is this beautiful tray design by Matti Pikkujämsä for Kauniste. I thought this would be a good excuse for showing some more of Matti's work. Matti is an illustrator and textile designer based in Helsinki, Finland who has designed for Marimekko as well as Kauniste and illustrates for magazines, children's books and more. Matti doesn't appear to have website but you

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19. We are starting early, and we’re starting with cookies....





We are starting early, and we’re starting with cookies. #LifeIsShort #studio (at 17th Avenue Studios)




Original post by Brian Bowes via Emergent Ideas: http://ift.tt/1A10Sme


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20. Turning cat videos into cat comics… What a life! #sketch #pencil...

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21. We all know what happens to the curious cat, right?! #pencil...

0 Comments on We all know what happens to the curious cat, right?! #pencil... as of 2/23/2015 4:47:00 PM
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22. Christmas Bear Sketches

A very small and sweet story unfolded as I drew these.





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23.

I Love You, Blankie.
By Sheryl Haft

 Click on images to enlarge.
I Love You, Blankie, beautifully written by Sheryl Haft and published by Little, Brown and Company goes on sale in the USA today! It will be available in the UK shortly.


I Love You, Blankie is a great bedtime story for little ones. 'A flowing sail, a hot air balloon, a fluffy cloud, a glowing moon. With a little imagination a blankie can be anything!'


I'd like to thank Sheryl for all her input on the visuals for the book. It was very much a joint project. I'd also like to thank the team at Little Brown for all their support.

One that got away!
A favourite sketch.

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24. Camilo Bejarano has a super awesome project: create your own...



Camilo Bejarano has a super awesome project: create your own planet! Check out Betamori on Le Supernova:http://lesupernova.com/betamori-2/

Betamori was discovered in the Beta Tolis star cluster after one of Earth’s vessels veered off course attracted by the beautiful triangle clusters surrounding the planet. At first Betamorians welcomed the humans with their kind demeanour, but eventually kept the crew as pets. It is not recommended as a planet to visit unless you mind sleeping on the floor.



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25. This sketch was originally done a couple of weeks ago, but I...



This sketch was originally done a couple of weeks ago, but I liked the mood so much I put some finish on it finally. Edith is one of my favourite Downton characters and she’s always getting the crappy ending of the stick. Hopefully season 6 will bring her up and she’ll get to stop wearing such mopey hats.



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