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 !

Friday, February 7, 2014

Fleuve (River) by René Derouin

Today I went to see an exhibit of work by Canadian multi-discipinary artist and engraver René Derouin at the art gallery of the BANQ (Bibliotheque et archives nationales du Quebec) in Montreal.

He is an artist born in 1936 in Montreal and has created an enormous body of work throughout his life, some of which I had the opportunity to see today. Woodcut prints, linocut prints, paper collage with stencil cut-out by hand, and relief sculptures of wood combined with ceramics all mostly large scale. The exhibition is enhanced by short video clips displayed on screens in the different sections of exhibit that provide insight to his projects and is entitled Fleuve (river) because his artistic and life journey begins with his childhood experience of growing up by the St. Lawrence river and is portrayed as a theme in much of his work.

I have just discovered this artist and I would like to find out more
about him and his art. Printmaking was my favorite discipline in art
school and I am very inspired by the art I saw today. 

You can see more of René Derouin's art here 
brief biography here, and information about the exhibition here + here

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Snow Shadows

Some very cold days this winter and a lot of snow but when the sun comes out after the storm, it is a feast for the eyes. The sun illuminates dorment trees and branches in shades of gold and amber and casts shadows in the snow in several tones of cool greyish blue together in perfect harmony as complementary colors.

2013 was a difficult year for me. I had to say good-bye to some special people. Looking to nature, I find a lot of comfort and enlightenment. I am reminded by the seasons that life is constantly evolving and that we can find beauty in everything no matter what changes life brings, sad or happy when we have gratitude. I am grateful for having known the people I lost, I am grateful for all that I have in my life and I am grateful for nature's beauty that exists just around the corner when I want to take a walk. It calms me, fulfills me and inspires my art.