Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Artists Around the World Blog Hop

I was recently very humbled to be asked to take part in a blog hop of artists from around the world. One of the great benefits of having enrolled in online courses like MATS, is the chance to get to know and connect with other designers and like minded artists. The lovely and talented Antonija M. was kind enough to write a bit about me and some other great artists on her blog. Now it's my turn to go on about her! 

I had never met anyone from the country of Croatia, but if she is any indication, I would sure love to visit there some day. We have been MATS buddies since the inaugural Part A of the spring of 2013, all the way through 2 Global Talent Searches ( she was Top 50 last year!), Part B, and Bootcamp. I have come to rely on her keen and thoughtful eye throughout our shared design experiences, as have many other artists. Her designs are instantly recognizable with their clean lines, sophisticated palette and super stylized, yet super cute characters. That's an extremely difficult combination to achieve, but she excels at it, while being a complete original. Just take a look at her amazing work…

She has also designed and developed her own brand lil' ledy, which she plans to debut at the Brand Licensing Europe Show in October. Her description of the brand as "Japan meets Sweden. Kawaii merging with classic harmony" is perfect and I can easily imagine her lil' ledy character on a wide range of product. I can't wait to hear and read about her success there! Be sure to check out all her work and her blog as well.

Ok, now is the part of this blog hop format where I have to talk about myself (ugh) and answer the following set questions. 

1. What Are You Writing/Working on? Well, I've been working on some cute cards for Peaceable Kingdom, developing some little characters for a shop, getting together some pieces to submit to companies, trying to remember how to paint, unsuccessfully entering design contests ;) etc., etc. Here's a sneak peek at a baby card…

2. How Does Your Work Differ from Others in Your Genre? hmmmmm…that's the 50 million dollar question, isn't it? I'm a firm believer that there's not much out there that hasn't been done before. If you don't believe that, perhaps you haven't heard of this thing called Pinterest ;). That being said, every artist needs to develop their own approach/style to have any level of success. I'd like to think that I can put a fresh slant on the mid century illustration that I love. I always try to inject some happy-go-sweet-unabashed-cuteness into my work. Does that make me unique? No, but I hope I do it in such a way that my work is recognizable.

3. Why Do You Create?  I dunno, but I've done it since I was little. There is always something about that rush to see what you can come up with and how it will turn out. I just like to make cute stuff! How's that for an in-depth answer, haha.

4. What is your creative process?  Because my background and degree is in graphic design, I tend to take more of a problem solving approach especially if I've been given a brief. Who's the audience, the message, the best way to visually communicate this, and so on. I'm not a trained illustrator, so I don't just sit down to draw before I have an idea of where or how I'm going to solve the problem. Lilla's technique of getting her students just to sit down and draw first has been a hard road for me to follow, but it has paid off, and I now actually use a sketchbook, and I love it! Anyway, I like to think it through first (like when I'm driving or in the shower…my mind tends to wander and I can think more openly. No, it hasn't caused any accidents, but I tend to forget some turns along the way!) Then I get to any necessary research followed by pencil sketches which I usually just take a pic of with my phone, and bring into illustrator on my laptop. I usually redraw everything there (that's the super tedious part) but lately, I've been trying to incorporate some traditional media into my work. Finally, I do my favorite part, add color, followed by texture, all in AI. Just a stubborn vector girl here. That and I'm not comfortable in photoshop.

Ok, more than enough about me. Let me introduce you to two wonderfully inspiring artists that you no doubt already know about… they are that good!


Tammie is one of those people that I find inspiring on a number of levels. We met through MATS and the happy happy art collective, which I am proud to be a member of, was her brainchild. She has the guts, intelligence and tenacity to take on any task…whether it be going solo at Surtex, to designing a pattern a day for 365 days…. (yeah, you read that right), to her tiny thanks project, 50 asks, producing great pieces traditionally as well as digitally, the list goes on and on and I haven't even talked about her art. Tammie has an uncanny ability to think in terms of pattern, but it doesn't end there. Her colors are so fun, the graphics, so brilliantly joyful… it's an irresistible combination.With degrees in journalism and a law school graduate, believe it or not, she is a self taught artist! I really don't know how she does it all and continues to do new things. Be sure to check out her website and blog for more inspiration.

Tammie got our happy happy alphabet off to an awesome start with the letter A! 


Another member of the happy happy art collective is the charming Denise Holmes! Ever since I first saw her work in MATS A, I have been in awe of her innate ability to infuse pure charm and sweetness into every thing she creates. I so admire how she has developed her own instantly recognizable style. She recently illustrated her first children's book and it should be on every parent and illustrator's "must have" list it's that good! You can pick up a copy here!

I just love her distinctive line work… always just enough, always just right, and her innate use of color is a big part of her signature style. I tend to go a bit overboard when it comes to color and I know I could definitely take a pointer or two (or four or a whole lot more…) from all her work. I don't have a crystal ball, but I have no doubt there is a long line of books in her future, her style is just so sweet and clean with a fresh vintage vibe that I adore. You immediately know when you see a niseemade piece!

this letter T is one of Denise's contributions to the happy happy alphabet… how cute is this?!

Please be sure to check out her website and blog for more cuteness!

Well that concludes my officially longest post ever! It was a pleasure to share the work of these talented artists!


  1. I don't know what is happening with my comments. I tried on my phone and i tried again. well maybe you might see a flux of comments from me today. i really loved this post and your words are so sweet! thank you for including me! xoxox

    1. haha, I always have a problem with blogger on my phone! I was so happy to be able to talk about your work! My pleasure :)

  2. wow, jill! thank you for including me and for saying such nice things about me! my post will go up monday.

  3. This post will be very useful to us.I like your blog and helpful to me.nice thoughts for your great work.

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