Happy 2018, everyone!
I'm slowly but surely getting back into the swing of things after taking a much needed break over the holidays. I did some planning for the new year, which included hanging a white board in my office (why have I not done this sooner?), and am already enjoying checking items off my list. I have very specific things I'd like to accomplish this year and it will be an interesting one if everything comes to fruition. I've even had a completely NEW creative endeavor placed on my heart in which I'm currently dipping my toe. If the water's fine, you'll be sure to hear about it here!
I won't give a description for each pillow design featured today but you can visit my Instagram account and search on #stewardpillows if you're curious to know a little more. I will say the Peace dove, made on December 5th, was my last design for 2017 and gaining momentum again after the break has not been easy! But I know that taking daily, consistent steps and continuing to do the work will bring it back again. 😊
After reaching the halfway point (!) of the 100 Days of Pillows project, I decided it was a good time to switch gears for the holidays. Namely, I'll be traveling and taking some rest days with family. So, the pillow project will commence again in January.
I realized recently that while I had shared my Spoonflower announcement via newsletter and social media, I had not shared it here! If you're new to Spoonflower, it's a website where you can purchase fabric by the yard, wallpaper and gift wrap with just about every artwork and pattern you can imagine. As I've been growing my pillow design portfolio, I thought Spoonflower was an excellent place to start sharing my work.
Here are samples of my designs on Spoonflower fabric! Their print quality is excellent with colors true to the artwork.
Currently there are 28 of my designs available on the website and that number is growing. I have to proof the designs before making them available for purchase and that happens in batches, but more are coming soon! Spoonflower even has a sister site called Roostery where you can have any of my designs sewn into home decor products like pillows and duvet covers.
If you're a sewing enthusiast or want to have something made for you, I invite you to head over to my shop and take a look around. You just might find something for your next sewing project. :)
Click HERE to get started.
After the Thanksgiving break I started up again with Christmas designs. It's funny, working with holiday motifs isn't something I can force myself to do (I've tried). But when the mood hits, it stays awhile.
Whimsical reindeer silhouettes using the same pink in the poinsettia pattern from Day 40.
The tiny houses from Day 31, this time, decorated on a Christmas night.
I switched gears on Day 44 and went with butterflies. They were past illustrations that I set into a repeat and changed the color palette.
Inspired by the butterflies, I illustrated my favorite insect to draw: the ladybug!
On a roll with insects, I took inspiration from another past illustration, designed a pattern and used a bold color palette. I'm calling these "royal bees" in gold and purple.
By this day I was done with bugs and went back to a winter theme. Here I used a digital gouache brush to give a painterly effect to the snowy trees.
Another fall or winter design in the same medium. I've wanted to paint pine cones for a long time but was never brave enough to try it. It wasn't as bad as I expected, especially when using tricks in the digital world 😉 and when you give yourself permission to NOT capture every detail. I used a less-is-more approach that I think turned out well. The pine cones were drawn from an actual cone picked up in the back yard.
I wonder what art will be made next week? Time will tell!
Another week of the pillow project is complete (yes!). It feels good to be approaching the midpoint. This week had more "what am I going to draw" moments that lasted longer than I liked, but my commitment to drawing something by the end of each day hasn't wavered.
The first design was inspired by a recent stay at Hotel Parq Central in Albuquerque, NM. The building was originally constructed in 1926 as the Santa Fe Hospital and was converted into a boutique hotel in 2010. It was fascinating to walk through its halls and wonder about the stories they could tell. Articles from the hospital are on display inside the hotel, including keys that belonged to the original rooms.
Where there are vintage keys...there are vintage locks.
I noticed my patterns were trending toward "tight" designs, so I intentionally went with a larger scale in this floral pattern. I wanted a simple design that made fun use of the negative space, or the empty space around the objects.
Another large scale pattern with these poinsettias. For some reason I had Christmas on my mind that day. Could it be all the Christmas commercials on TV or the decorations already in every store? Hmmmm..... ;) I adore the color palette used here. You just can't go wrong with Christmas colors.
And lastly, I reused the cream colored poinsettias from the previous design to create a wreath. My sister-in-law commented how she could see a large "JOY" or "NOEL" on the previous pattern, so I took inspiration from that and hand lettered the word "Joy" inside the wreath. I quite like it!
Since next week is Thanksgiving, this project will be put on hold for 2-3 days. But no fear, I'll get right back into it after the holiday!
Happy Thanksgiving to you & yours. ❤
It was a great week creatively-speaking. I feel like something has clicked in the past couple of weeks and my work is getting better. I can now look back at some of my earlier pillow designs in this project and see where I was struggling to find my way.
While I didn't have a set theme again this week, I think it's one of the most consistent weeks I've had. It started with a white peacock feather pattern that was just calling to be incorporated with gold.
A companion peacock pattern immediately followed and by that time, I was in the groove of using white lines within my designs.
The oil lamp illustration was drawn from an actual lamp my mom gave to me, handed down from my grandparents. I was inspired by the beautiful pattern etched into the glass.
Lastly, a terrarium pattern that started with an illustration I made earlier in the year...that also used white lines to represent glass. Today I drew the plants for the 2nd terrarium, the one with the flowering cacti, and created the repeat.
2 months from now I may look back at these and again say I was trying to find my way. Even if so, I see real progress happening!
Well, there was no planned theme this week as I thought I might have. Coming up with a theme I'm willing to commit to for a week is challenging! In many ways I like being able to draw whatever subject I feel like drawing for the day. On the flip side that leaves too many options available. Nonetheless, the week ended well and I feel like I'm finding my stride.
Days 28 (Halloween) and 29 were especially fun since I used digital watercolor. Painting the pumpkins felt so much like using real watercolor, or even ink, that I wanted to break out the real thing. Just having that extra bit of texture in my artwork is nice.
The tiny house design for Day 31 feels very much like "me". It's modern and illustrative. I can see expanding the pattern at some point by adding additional motifs, or maybe creating a companion pattern for it.
Ah, it feels good to have another week of pillow designs behind me. This one wasn't without artistic struggle, but seeing the results after pushing through was completely worth it. ❤
Since last week I unintentionally designed mostly geometric patterns, I decided at the beginning of this week to intentionally set a theme. I chose a floral one, thinking it would be a good exercise to determine if I really enjoy making floral prints.
The conclusion? I enjoy it. I wouldn't want to make only floral designs for the rest of my life, but they definitely have a place in my heart.
The designs for Days 22-25 were all made using a similar technique: they began as pencil drawings on paper before being inked and then converted to digital art in Illustrator. The one for today, Day 26, is different in that I started "painting" it digitally from the start, using Photoshop. It has a more painterly, textured appearance that I like. Painting using my Wacom tablet still doesn't feel 100% natural, so I think for that reason I shy away from it, but it really does produce beautiful results.
I liked having a theme this week to help focus my thoughts. I may do the same again next week.
This week of the 100 Days of Pillows project felt a little more challenging than the last, but I finished with 3 more designs I'm happy with and 2 that I absolutely love.
Lesson learned: I favor patterns that have breathing space. But if they are fairly busy, including neutrals is required to give the eye a place to rest. Case in point is the paisley pattern. While I love the pattern itself, I'd like to revisit the color palette. It's super close to where I think it should be but maybe a more neutral background will make me love the entire palette as well.
I've also realized that I can more easily envision some designs in outdoor spaces vs. indoors. To use the paisley example again, as-is I can picture the pillow on a chair on the back porch or even poolside. But that just might be my personal preference talking, since I'm fairly conservative with the colors I choose for my own indoor spaces.
If I change the colors on that one, I'll post the new version here for comparison. :)
11% complete with the 100 Days of Pillows project! It's fun to see how, in most cases, one design naturally leads to the next. Colors used one day get repeated the next, or a floral print results in another floral print, or dots on one design lead to dots on the next.
The concept for Day 9 (3rd pillow down) unexpectedly flashed into my mind while I was winding down the night before. I literally ran into the next room to grab my sketchbook and start drawing so I could work it out on paper before the idea faded. I didn't know the color palette I was going to use at the time, but it turned into a light, airy pattern that reminds me of clam shells and would look great in a beach house. I think it's my favorite from this week. :)