I recently did an interview with Tony Eames from nfreads.com about my books, my art, and my quirky self.
You can read the interview here.
I recently did an interview with Tony Eames from nfreads.com about my books, my art, and my quirky self.
You can read the interview here.
A trio of cute bunnies along with their stash of chocolate eggs looking all happy and also a little bit smug with themselves. A really cute and whimsical dangle design for you to use as inspiration for your own designs. I kept the dangle to just one strand to let the bunnies be the stars of this design.
The ‘with love’ sentiment was hand lettered. Yes, on the paper that is the screen of my Surface Studio using my Surface pen with a brush in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro that I’ve set up to mimic a brush pen, such as the Tombow Fudenosuke pens I’ve been using lately to draw with.
I’ve chosen soft, pastel colours, which are quite fitting for spring time I think. The textured background paper dulls and darkens them a little. However, I think that gives a bit of a vintagey, aged feeling to the design.
I did sketch the design out on Rhodia Dot Grid paper before scanning in and inking and colouring the design digitally.
My book ‘A Dangle A Day’ takes you step by step through drawing dangle designs, with plenty of helpful advice and encouragement throughout.
Yup, it’s happened again. This time on teespring.com.
One of my dragonfly designs, which incidentally has been sold to a private collector, has been used on products that someone is selling to make profit, without even bothering to search out who the artist was (me in this case) and approach them (me).
I mean, it’s not a difficult task these days. Drag and drop the image into the search bar of Google images!
I’ve emailed the company. They have a week to reply. I’m not going to hold my breath though.
How did I find out about this particular theft? The product appeared on my facebook news feed as an advert!
I left a comment on the facebook advert saying the artwork had been stolen and I was the artist who created it too. And shared the advert on facebook on my timeline and my facebook page and on my twitter account too.
Not that it’ll shame the shameless intellectual property thieves who perpetrate copyright infringement for their own financial gain.
Not that it’ll shame the company (companies) that allow this to happen.
It’s really annoying though.
It really makes me very sad, disheartened, and absolutely worthless too. The people who do this shameless theft don’t care about the effect it has on the owners of the artwork, or other intellectual property.
Yes, that’s right I feel worthless as a person, that my art is good enough for you to steal but not good enough for you to give me credit for it, to contact me about being able to use it, or to pay me for the use of it.
I’d never, ever do that to anyone. Never.
It also makes me wonder how much of my artwork that I’ve shared via deviantART, facebook, instagram, Pinterest, twitter and so on has been stolen and used without permission from myself. There’s no way I can actually tell.
Yes, it’s flattering that people like my art enough to do this. But it’s annoying that they don’t even have the decency to either state who created it and how to contact them ( that’s me in both cases here) and don’t even have the decency to contact myself about licensing the artwork, as that is the honorable, decent, law abiding thing to do, isn’t it?
I don’t have the time to go through the interwebs and find all my artwork and either delete it, complain about it being stolen, or add very distinctive watermarks and copyright notices to older work.
I will keep adding watermarks and copyright notices to all the artwork I share on the interwebs for the foreseeable future in the hope it will deter some people.
The last thing I’d want to do is to stop sharing my creations with people who just like it to look at, for a bit of ‘eye candy’, for something that makes them smile, and fascinates them, particularly with my more intricate works.
I bet even then there’ll be unscrupulous people out there who won’t give a damn anyway, but I will do my best to make it as difficult as possible for them to make a product from my art that is of good enough quality for them to make any money from. Watermarks. Background textures. Low resolution images.
Perhaps I shouldn’t let it get to me.
No, I should. If someone stole my car, my bank cards, my money, my home I’d be upset.
I make my living through my artwork.
You who steal my artwork are stealing from me as if you were reaching into my bank account with your grubby, sticky, unscrupulous, thieving fingers. How would you like it if I did that to YOU?????? Ah, that’s right. I wouldn’t happen to you as you don’t have the skills, talent to create artwork like mine do you, but the only skills you have are to steal.
This has taken me a couple of days to complete, mainly because of appointments but also a big need for some self-care.
I don’t get to create many mandalas at times. So, On Sunday, after creating the cute angel kitty dangle design, I put my creative energy into drawing and starting to colour a mandala.
I worked directly on my Surface Studio screen with the Surface pen using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro and it’s fab symmetry tool to outline the the design in black ink.
Next, I used a marker brush and a blender brush to colour the design.
It’s the colouring that takes a lot of time.
I wanted to keep the colour scheme fairly simple, so I chose some vibrant shades of blue, green, yellow, orange and red.
Finally, I added a beautiful blue background and texture to the finished artwork.
On the whole, I’m quite pleased with it. The bright colours have been needed today as it’s a rather grey and damp day here in the Valleys of South Wales. Someone has a bonfire burning on the hillside opposite my home and the smoke is floating down the valley. There’s a temperature inversion that’s trapping the smoke quite low.
Add to that all the smoke and particulates from the plethora of fireworks that have been set off in the past few days and the air is rather fuggy, hazy.
However, the golden hues of the autumn trees glow all the more brightly against the grey skies, especially with a dusting of rain on them.
What I absolutely love to see are the dark trunks and branches becoming more visible as the leaves fall from the trees. The architectural contrast fascinates me; it’s being able to clearly see the skeleton that gives the tree form.
I didn’t have autumn in my mind when I was drawing or coloring this mandala, even though autumn is my favourite season. However, the jewel tones and the gradual predominance of the autumnal golds, oranges and reds on the outside of the mandala give it that kind of autumnal feel. The greens gradually change from blue-greens to more yellow-greens from the centre out, adding to that sense of a seasonal progression.
The coloured mandala also has a feeling of stained glass. I love stained glass windows and this one would make a very interesting ‘rose’ window! That I adhere to using black lines to delineate my design only reinforces the suggestion of stained glass.
What I haven’t done is add detailed patterns to the mandala. I don’t think this one needs it, though the leaves may need a bit of shadow and highlight to make them feel less ‘flat’.
On the whole, I’m quite pleased with this one. I think I’ve manged to get enough contrast from dark to light in each section to give that sense of dimension – something else I like to incorporate into my artwork.
I’ve been rather emotional over the past few days. The post about remembrance and my Dad tapped into some grief, a door that had never opened before I had to say goodbye to my beautiful white cat Cuffs back in May.
I took time out of things to watch some Harry Potter films. I do get emotional when I watch them (or read the books) even though I know what’s going to happen. However, this weekend I was more emotional than I’ve been before.
Yesterday, was EMDR therapy day, and various memories had cropped up and one we worked with yesterday. That left me absolutely pole-axed, emotionally that is.
Part of my mental health – the CPTSD – is that I avoid emotions and when I get emotional I have shoved it aside and locked the emotions in a box, symbolically. I also shove the memories away, something referred to as dissociation.
I have very few memories of my childhood, adolescence or even adulthood. That’s because many of them are painful in some way or another and they have been locked away.
Locking them away means I have never worked through, processed, them and the trauma or emotions that go with them. The trauma is still there and is still hurting my emotional and mental health.
EMDR is helping to unlock memories, sometimes very painful memories I don’t want to believe happened or believe certain things about people. I always want to see the best and believe the best in people, except when it comes to myself; then, it’s always the worst possible.
I’ve been experiencing some cognitive dissonance and some very uncomfortable times as I try to come to terms with various realisations.
Add into the mix a busy week or so with appointments and events and I’m emotionally tired. Oh, not to mention the constant jumpiness with all the fireworks going off.
So, self-care is important. I watch films. Knit. Drink lots of tea. Snuggle up under a cosy throw. Nap if I need to. Eat healthily, when I can. Create art that I want to create rather than any that I feel I have to to meet a contract or some deadline or other, either real or self-imposed. Have some alone time – being an introvert beneath the face I present to the world I need alone time to recharge.
I know I’m on a jolly tomorrow with my pal Liz, so it’s even more important I recharge before that day out.
So, that’s why I’ve needed some self-care time.
Yesterday, I had an enjoyable couple of hours drawing fairly cute designs that are 6cm x 6cm (approx. 2½” x 2½”).
I drew my little designs (twelve of them in total, and not all of them I’m all that fussed on at the moment) on Rhodia dot grid paper with a Uniball Unipin 05 pen. Then, I scanned them into the computer and did my usual magic to remove the dot grid and create a transparent background.
Finally, I used Autodesk Sketchbook Pro and a Microsoft Surface Pen, along with my Microsoft Surface Studio to colour the image.
I used various brushes and brush textures to achieve the colouring.
It’s really small, for me. A 6cm x 6cm size would look darling on a small greetings card or note card. I also think they’d make a lovely addition to a BuJo, Planner or Scrapbook page.
It’s Friday, so that means it’s #dangleday!
A simple, elegant design with a sweet sentiment for this week’s dangle design. I like the symmetrical nature of the dangles.
I did sketch the design out in pencil on dot grid paper which I scanned in to ink in digitally and make use of the symmetry tool in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro. I also coloured and added texture with various brushes in Sketchbook. Naturally, I made use of a Microsoft Surface Pen and Microsoft Surface Studio to do this.
I kept to a really simple colour scheme, using just one pink, golden, blue and green colour gradient for the design, with the exception of the rainbow beads in the central dangle.
It would be really easy to put a different sentiment or greeting in the box, but I like this one.
A different colour scheme, of course, would result in a very different ‘feel’ to the card, matching all kinds of seasons and occasions.
This would make a lovely greetings card or note card. I think I’d like to use it for the beginning of each month in a BuJo, planner or diary, changing the colour scheme as appropriate for that month. I do like playing with themes for my BuJo, but there’s something in me that likes a cohesiveness in design/style.
What would you do with this design? Let me know by leaving a comment.
Of course, I could print the uncoloured version out and colour with different media. It would be no great chore to re-draw the design on paper more suitable for, say, watercolours, where my printer doesn’t cope with decent quality watercolour paper.
Just a little reminder that my book ‘A Dangle A Day’ is available for pre-order, just click on this link. In the book I give help, guidance and advice on creating your own dangle designs, as well as providing many examples of monogram dangles and dangle designs that you can use for your own projects.
It’s a lovely, sunny late summer morning here in the UK and it’s been a perfect time to finish this design off.
Yes, it’s another abstract, zentangly, entangled botanical design, which seems to be my signature style of art, though I do dabble in other styles, as you know, particularly my kind of dangle designs.
This one, like many of my previous ones, was completed in these stages:
It takes a day or more to create a piece of art like this. The drawing of the design alone can take anywhere from 2 to 10 hours, depending on the intricacy and size. This one was A4 in size and isn’t very detailed; I let the colour and texture add details to the design in this instance. I want the colours to shine. The colouring etc. has taken a few hours to do.
It takes me at least as long to create a piece of digital mixed media art as it does to draw and colour the design using traditional methods such as Chameleon markers or Inktense pencils.
What I love about working digitally is the ability to change the colours I use for the elements, and then being able to add texture and highlights/shadows. I can see where I need to go back to the image and add or deepen shadows to increase the sense of depth in the design. A drop shadow on the background isn’t really needed as I think the background is like a sunset sky or alien sea.
The other thing about digital work, is the ability to use the black and white outline to re-work the design using a different colour palette, different textures. I also have the option to print the design out and colour using other media, such as marker pens, perhaps changing the size of the image so that I can create, say, a greetings card or note card, or even a page for my BuJo.
I spent some time on Monday playing with Repper Pro and had some fun creating repeating patterns using the last couple of abstract botanical images. Just from a couple of artworks, I have more than a hundred seamless tiles for patterns; it’s just sorting through them and working out which are the best. I may post some of the best ones later today or tomorrow, and maybe create some based on today’s art above too.
I actually think some of the tiles would, with a border, make amazing patterns for square cushions/pillows worked in tapestry, canvaswork, cross-stitch or similar. You can decide for yourselves when I post them.
Another abstract botanical. Here are the steps I took in creating it.
It took a couple of hours to draw the design and several hours to colour and so on.
My digital tools are a Microsoft Surface Pen and Microsoft Surface Studio.
I love the way many of the elements seem to glow against the dark green-blue background.
Many of my latest works like this seem to have an ocean, watery background going on. So, in the one I have on the go at the moment I’ve done a kind of sunset background. I’ll see how that turns out. Working digitally means I can alter my backgrounds really easily for sure.
I’ve been creating backgrounds digitally, but I want to create some on paper with Distress Inks and scan them in to use instead of the digital backgrounds.
I also made use of a more limited colour palette in this work – going for a more cohesive look/feel. These aren’t colours I’d normally choose to go together, but they seem to work fine.
I now have a fair few of these images and so now really need to try to work out what to do with them. I may try to import them into Repper and create repeating patterns from parts of them; that could be an interesting exercise for sure, but a fun one!
If you have any ideas of how my artwork could be used, leave a comment – I’d love to hear!