At long last I am releasing the first two of six Explorers Journals. It’s an idea I conceived of close to a year ago and have been intermittently working on. As my last post indicated, there have been many changes a foot in my life and it’s been a bit hectic trying to get everything back on track with my plans for the Society of Curious Creatures. So what are these Explorer Journals you ask? Well it’s another aspect of the Society that collects and catalogues photographs, drawings, notebooks and, yes, the journals of its passionate membership as they travel the globe drawing, writing and in general documenting all the “curious” things they find in their world.
It’s a glimpse into who some of these Explorers might be. We learn names and get to experience their version of the creature they have found in a mini zine format.
Now for a little process since that’s what this blog is all about. 😀
The initial concepts were gathered from my many small notes and random ideas that I collect in my sketch books. They are then turned into white paper mockups where I can work out the details of the text and images combined together.
After this I spent some time finding the various paper textures, inks, pencils and paints that I was going to use to make all these wee journals. After all, I enjoy the hunt just as much as my explorers do. I even fabricated some custom stamps for the museum archive logs. This worked out better than I thought and was great for adding more ‘history’ to the layers of the book.
Next came the actual making. The journals start out as 11 x 17 sheets of stonehenge paper and I subdivide the sheet into 8 sections. I layout and complete the covers and images within the pages first and then do the text last. Laying down all the elements onto clean paper with shiny new images is only half the fun cause then everything gets aged and dirtied so it looks like these little books have been sitting in the wet or on a dusty shelf.
An awful lot of work has gone in up to this point and the last steps are to scan and correct digitally any colour and size issues before I send the images off to be printed. Once back the paper is trimmed, folded and ready to go…except for the marketing part. Ok the last steps are actually taking some pretty pictures and getting the word out. So you know… you can see why it may have taken awhile to finish a few of these off. 😀 If your interesting in finding out more about this strange little world that I feel compelled to create, head on over to my Big Cartel Shop and shop away! Like them? Stay tuned cause there are more journals to come later this year. Thanks everyone!
Happy New Year everyone! As the title states it has been a year of many changes for me. Most have been good and there are still more to come. The biggest so far has been a move of house, and in turn, my creative space. Both have been for the better as we gained desperately needed living and home working space. If any of you have moved from a well established home, aka you’ve collected so much stuff you scarcely know where you’ve been keeping it all, you will know how much work it is. Ugh! This did however present a perfect opportunity to purge and boy was it a gooder. 🙂 What’s the saying ‘cluttered space, cluttered mind’? Well the clutter has been minimized and with it has come a burst of inspiration.
There are a number of things in the pipeline for this year and the goal is to hopefully be able to achieve most of them. Fingers crossed. By stating them out loud I’m hopefully giving it the power to keep me on track and make it all real. 🙂 So what are these things you ask? Well I have some new items in the works for the Society of Curious Creatures. There are some new dimensional objects I’m calling mini cabs ,which I posted about oh so long ago it seems, plus ones I’m calling Matchbox Curios. I’ll also have some mini zine type books called Explorer Journals that will be giving everyone some insight into these little trouble makers. Oh and stickers! I think the world needs creature stickers. 🙂
There will be some new watercolour work starting with the Year of the Rooster skull and flower painting out next month. Stay tuned. Over the latter part of last year I started doing some plein air watercolour sketching/ urban sketching. I’ll be heading to Portland for a week and plan on doing some drawing and painting there. I’m hoping to post a few so follow me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for those. At the very least I’ll be back with inspiration to work up some new paintings in the studio.
As for the now, I’ve revamped my website so head on over and have a poke around. That pretty much covers it…or at least all that I want to admit to. 🙂 I leave you with my best nine of 2016 images from Instagram. Oooo…ahhhh.
The most interesting part of creating something, for me, has to be the journey of figuring out what it is. Some ideas come out fully formed and others change and morph over time so that only a semblance of where it began remains. The Society of Curious Creatures is a project that I think more and more will have an interesting life. Just when I think I may have to abandon this project, another piece of the puzzle falls into place and things start to morph and change.
Enter the mini cab. This is a miniature version of the larger cabinets I have made in the past but with a few more elements. I’ve been struggling to figure out a way to link a lot of these ideas I have about what is part of this world and starting this “mini cab” helped me figure a lot of that out. When painter’s embark upon larger works they tend to do a lot of small paint studies or drawings that will help them figure out a number of things about the larger work. This was exactly the same thing only dimensionally for me.
Process, process, process. Here it is.
It’s finally here! The second edition of my creature card series is finished and ready to go out into the world to find new homes. Thank you to everyone who bought cards in series one. It was fantastic to be able to sellout the first series at this years ArtWalk and I’m very pleased to be making another set.
This time around I’ve increased the number of images in the set from 3 to 5 and I’ve made the edition slightly larger at 30. For those of you that may not know this is a limited edition 4″x 6″ card set. Once all thirty are sold I’m not printing anymore. Each set is signed and numbered and comes with a small info card about the creatures featured. The new set introduces three new creatures that some may have already met this summer and fall when my work was on display at the Whyte Ave ArtWalk or the Kaleido Family Arts Festival.
Please say hello to the Fuzefly. An odd looking insect that seems to be morphing into the trash it collects. The Nudilichen. A tiny species both colourful and cute that lives in mosses and lichen across the globe and finally the Orchesia fish. A skittish fish often referred to as the orchid of the sea.
I’m Alive! Earlier this month I decided to embark upon a new adventure in the world of what to do with my Curious Creature characters. So I took them to the street! 🙂 It was an long thought about idea to do a booth at the Whyte Avenue Art Walk and I’m happy to say it was a good one. It was a super scary idea to go stand out there and let people see what I’ve been up to, but it was a really positive experience. I never expected to enjoy the look on peoples faces as much as I did when they would be walking by and then stop and do a double take as if to wonder “what the heck is this?” Other than all the feedback, I sold a few of my larger peices to people who I think are really gonna enjoy these odd little guys starring back at them everyday. I also sold out my Series 1 Creature Card Series so now I get to embark on Series 2! What more could I really hope for?
What’s this about “new things”. Well after a much needed week of decompressing from the event I am full of ideas of what to get up to next. To start, I’m trying out a new online shop to sell some of my easier to ship pieces. It’s with Big Cartel and I’m pretty excited to see how it all works out. Best part is I can list my items in Canadian dollars! I’m listing some of the coloured pencil creature drawings that didn’t sell from Art Walk first. It’s not many so I’m going to rotate them about. This week it’s all about the Hifishcus.
What is the Hifishcus? Well it’s thought to be a hibiscus jellyfish hybrid. Rarely seen, they are thought to live down in the depths of the ocean. Once a year you can maybe catch a glimpse of them as they all float to the surface to find mates. Glowing in the dark waters off the coast. As quickly as the sun sets so too is their brief appearance on the surface. Then back down they go hiding themselves away in the dark from prying eyes.
Ooo, ahh. In a couple weeks their enemy the Heliconia is hot on their trail. 🙂 I’ve started out with a small account to see how this will be received but my hope is to post a new drawing ever other week or so to add some new work to the mix. Click here and check it out.
Save the Date! Come on out to the Whyte Avenue Art Walk July10-12th and see new work in my Society of Curious Creatures Project. There will be items big and small for purchase, or come say hello and have a chat. I’ll be doing previews of some of the new work for the next two weeks on my social media sites.
Last of the bunch.
More of the 4×4 creature drawings.
As I figure out what my goals will be for this year, I have been doing some small 4″ x 4″ drawings with my Curious Creature characters. I’ve been playing with paper types and colour combos. One thing I do know is that I’m ready to expand and add a few creatures to the world. Here are some of the experiments.
I’m really drawn to these one off art things for some reason. Maybe because their random and allow me to procrastinate from things I “should be doing”.
Enter Light Grey Art Lab. They had an artist art swap taking place before Christmas. Thinking this would be a great way to connect with a random artist in another city, into the hat my name was entered. A few days later an email appeared with a listing of all the partnered up people.
It work out that I was paired up with another Canadian woman. Her name is Jill Bogart and she does some really lovely illustrations. I especially love her Spoonflower patterns. Do check her out if you have a chance.
Now to the exchange! I have been itching to make some movable art pieces for awhile now and inspiration struck. My little Ave Paradisus character that I love to draw is always up to mischief so why not a trip across Canada to deliver a message. 🙂 Below is the work in it’s “closed” state and then after you run the tab with the starfish on it up…behold a holiday message 🙂 It was really too much fun.
So what did she send me you ask? Well… a whole lot of awesome that’s what.
She had been making felt ornaments as gifts for people and she made me my very own felted Curious Creature! The same critter that I sent to her. Coincidence? YES, because neither of us new what we were sending each other. They came with a couple of great “backgrounds” that are prints of some of the patterns she sells in her Spoonflower shop. Check out the stuff she sent below.
This was a super fun swap. Hoping I get to do it again next year.