Saturday, October 22, 2016

Ephemeral Art Experiments

Creating custom illustration work for technical and educational publishing has been both challenging and rewarding and my career as an illustrator/graphic designer has spanned from a pre-computer era of working with mechanical pens and pencils on a drawing table to the cloud technology software of today. Like many creative people today who are overwhelmed with working long hours in front of the computer screen, I miss my pencils and my paints and working on paper. I long to create personal artwork with hand-made techniques and have more freedom for self-expression. I have felt the need, for a long time, to explore and create this finer kind of art which can be exhibited, gifted, displayed, donated and sold for others to enjoy as well. My inspiration for this work came about when I started drawing the leaves for the trees in The Apple in the Orchard by Sonia Di Maulo. As my experience (and motivation) grew with new skills and techniques, and discovering the resources which are now available to exhibit and sell art prints in todays online markets, I began dreaming of the possibilities. Gradually I began to pay closer attention to the natural world around me and was reminded of the infinite and diverse specimens it provides as reference and inspiration and so I began planning my ideas for a new direction of personal work, botanical art. This is the meaningful work I have wanted to do and I am now finally ready to start.

To add to the motivation, I recently discovered through Uppercase Magazine and Instagram, several ephemeral artists who create somewhat abstract compositions with found specimens in nature: leaves, stones, twigs, seed pods, shells and one artist creates work from man made found objects as well.  When assembled, these artists take photographs of their work and/or glue them to surfaces and exhibit their creations. I was truly intrigued by the beauty and simplicity of this medium and I decided to give it a try. With my smartphone camera in hand, I started at first just taking photos of various trees, plants and flowers as I tried to discover what my preferences were and then I started my own Instagram account to share my joy. Eventually during our recent visit to Greece, I created my first ephemeral compositions from natural flowers, leaves and olives. This experience has been a lot of fun and it has opened up a whole new perspective on how to approach creating botanical art. It is a meditative activity which forces you to focus on spontaneous playful creativity. It is very different from traditional observation drawing and painting which focuses on botanical forms as they exist in nature. Ephemeral art gives you the freedom to make your own unique arrangements much like zen botanists who create Ikebana and I believe it will be very useful for developing my own botanical illustration art. There is much to learn and much to do!
Please visit me on Instagram in the meantime or follow my blog for more news 

Monday, September 12, 2016

A Children's Book

I have completed the illustrations for a children's educational book which I've been working on for some time, written by self-published author, Joel Abelson in the United States. This book will be released later this year and I will post more news about it here soon. It's a story about two children, Josh and Sarah and a special holiday they are celebrating. This is the first children's book I have illustrated.

This project was an opportunity for me to grow as an artist like never before and I am truly grateful to the writer for his trust and encouragement along this journey which was so demanding for me. I look forward to seeing it in print and sharing more news about it with you!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Meaningful Work

Aristotle said, "you learn by doing", I think that you also learn a lot about yourself in the process of  doing, especially doing art. What I have been doing since last year is working on illustrations for a children's educational book for a self-published author. It has been quite a journey of self-discovery as an artist/illustrator and has required a lot of time and dedication to achieve the results I wanted. This will be my first children's book and will be released later this year.

My process for developing illustrations is always evolving but now I am much more comfortable with the way I work. It's a blessing to have so much freedom when illustrating books rather than the other types of illustration assignments I did before working freelance. However too much freedom can be overwhelming and that's when decisions have to be made for focusing on the essentials: balancing the visual information needed to convey and enhance the story and the personal style and self-expression of the illustrator. That was my greatest challenge.

What helped me was to focus on keeping things simple and creating work that is meaningful. When I am in that state of mind, I work more naturally and confidently making choices of what is important to keep or not in the images I create. Focusing on simplicity and meaningfulness has also helped me think about the future. Although I look forward to more projects in children's literature and educational publications, I have also been working on ideas for personal work. I have revisited my favourite past art experiences as a child and as an art student. I loved working in black and white, collage, printmaking, and typography and recently, I have also become very interested in botanical illustration. I hope to share some thoughts and experiences about my work here as I move along this new creative journey of personal work.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Summer Reading

I usually go away with my husband to visit family + to relax in Greece at the end of summer. Although I have improved my packing habits through the years by drastically decreasing the amount of things I take with me, I still cannot go without books because I love to read a lot when I am there.  I don't own an electronic tablet yet and I still buy old-fashioned "printed" literature which will have to be light in weight.

I have given a lot of thought about what to take with me this year. I will take some fiction, some interesting cultural magazine and some inspirational/spiritual book all of which I still need to choose. I will also take books about artists and the business of art. That has already been decided and it was the easiest choice - Uppercase Magazine! A magazine for the creative and the curious. I am grateful that I have had the privelage of discovering this exceptional Canadian magazine designed, curated, edited and published by Janine Vangool. This quarterly magazine has provided me with endless hours of inspiration with it's lavish pages of articles about artists from all over the world as well as several art industry resources. The themes are always super interesting and original and as an artist, I always feel a deep sense of community when I am submersed in these pages!

Above are the covers the Summer Issue of Uppercase Magazine which I will be taking with me and as an additional treat, I ordered Work Life 2. This is a directory of illustration, showcasing 100 illustrators from around the world with articles about them. There is also a more recent volume -Work Life 3. You can visit Uppercase here

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

IF - Summer

Spring was too busy. Summer is now here and looks busier than spring but I took some time out for an Illustration Friday drawing challenge for the topic "Summer". There are many things that make me think of summer but what comes to mind first is how to cope with the heat. So I thought of WATERMELON! A chilled slice of watermelon is always a healthy way to naturally cool down on hot days. I created this illustration using both vector art and hand drawn texture.

Happy summer everyone !