Monday, September 19, 2011

Visit with Decor8 founder Holly Becker

Holly Becker
Anthropologie hosted an in-store event with Holly Becker, the founder and editor of decor8.  I had been following the famous blog along with 45,000 other daily readers and enjoyed her interior design publishings as well as following her on Twitter.  So I went to her presentation on mood boards and got the chance to meet her in person.

Mood board
Mood boards are inspiration or concept boards for finding your personal style when decorating a room. Holly's guest bedroom mood board she created for us started with a beautiful textile she bought in Turkey.  It became the basis for coordinating colors, textures along with photos from magazines for inspiration. Holly emphasized that our homes need to reflect who we are.  Absolutely!  Take a look around your own home.  Does it tell the story of who you are?  This is your personal space to experiment and find what moves you.    

  I am inspired by the Arts & Crafts Movement in my art work and enjoy the look of past artisans like Stickley, architect Frank Lloyd Wright, and Wm. Morris but I don't want my interior designs to be recreations of styles 100 years ago, yet rather a new mix clean lines, earthy colors for a contemporary setting.

Holly was signing her book Decorate and took the time to talk to each of us.  I brought along a sample of my Roses fabric design I created and printed thru Spoonflower, a digital fabric printer.  I told her I intended to decorate with my fabric to personalize my home.  She took the swatch and started folding it and visualizing it as roman shades for a room.  Holly was warm, friendly and wished me luck.  I think observing her decorating tips in her book will help me loosen up to find ways to combine my fabric, prints and rugs in a contemporary way.  Thanks to Anthropologie for hosting a fun evening event!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Calla Lily Process

Calla reference, pencil sketches and some test print outs
 This week I'm sharing my Calla Lily card illustration and a couple pics of my process.  Sometimes people don't understand what digital art is or what the steps are involved in going from sketch to final art.  To me, the computer is a tool just as a paint brush is a tool to paint with.
Pencil drawing after redrawn on the computer

The Calla Lily is an interesting symbol because it's often used for both weddings and funerals.  In weddings, the white symbolizes purity and makes a striking floral impression, whereas at funerals it symbolizes rebirth.  I didn't plant any in my garden this Spring, so I bought some burgundy ones for reference.

Final card
The first step is to draw the Lily in pencil, quickly sketching the way the petal wraps around the yellow stigma and seeing how to simplify the shapes.  Then I use tracing paper to simplify the shapes into a single line drawing that I can scan into my computer and use as the base for my line work.

I work in Illustrator and retrace my line work with a mouse for basic shapes.  The background is the bottom layer with a color and a fat line border.  The second layer is the white flower shape also with a colored line border and the third layer is the yellow stigma and the shadow behind it.  I have to make all the decisions, not the computer.  The computer helps by creating perfectly uniform lines weights that are difficult if done by hand but the artist still has to make all the visual decisions.
Then using the computer PMS to process color palette, I experiment with color combinations.  That's the other advantage of using the computer.  When I was air brushing art back in the 80's and 90's, I was limited to the colors I could mix with acrylic paint and then try to remix later.  Now I can create and easily recreate color palettes with subtle tones and experiment with the same line art trying several different combinations before deciding which I like best.  Then I print out a test card and make a card file for the printer.