Monday, 29 October 2012

Artist Sketchbooks Show and Tell

Hey all! A new week has started. To me, it's usually a good time to sit down and organize my weekly work agenda, setting priorities and goals so I can pretty much work less chaotically. Believe me, when you have three kids and a heap of deadlines to finish, this is quite crucial. Other than that, I also like to flip through the ideas I've gathered over the previous week and see if I could hopefully get some extra time to work on them. Now, I don't know about you, but I always find it interesting to see the raw ideas that artists come up with and put down in their sketchbooks. It's amazing to see how an idea is born and later on transformed into a piece of art through their thought process.

So to inspire you, here are some of my wonderful artist friends, showing us peeks into their sketchbooks and sharing a little bit about how it all begins...

"OK the first image is a little fairy that I did last year. This was a sketch done after taking a pic of my daughter... & just too cute I had to add wings :) I've always been so afraid of color. This piece was (or perhaps may be) one of my very first plays with watercolor. I've always enjoyed drawing the sweet & innocent.. I suppose this explains my art taking off shortly after having my daughter ;) She's a huge inspiration :)

The second image, is a work in progress & my most current piece. I've obviously become obsessed now with color after being afraid of it for my whole life! I've yet to do a girl using watercolor in the eyes. I've always felt that I could just get so much more detail using pencils. So I don't know if I've achieved perfection here, but wanted to give it go." :) ~ 
Joanna Haber, A Bit of Whimsy

"Generally my paintings are done on the fly without any forward planning but I have so many ideas in my head at any one time that I keep a little doodle book for over-spill ideas which I use in those awkward times when my brain flow is running flat. The 2 pages here are a basic idea of how I doodle, a general idea of a character and a few words to jog my memory when painting time comes, nothing fancy just a bit of fun." ~ Micki Wilde, The Secret Hermit

"I love drawing in my sketchbook, it's where my ideas start to grow with just a few lines of a pen and a sprinkle of imagination. In these pages I am exploring characters and through sketching and have a play around on paper the characters come to life." ~ Heidi M. McDonald, Little Nore

"I do have a strange practice of reaching for the nearest piece of paper to doodle down my ideas. I don't regularly sketch, in fact, I usually just sketch right on the paper or canvas....but, every now and then, when I want to get down a concept or idea, I grab the closest paper at hand and draw a quickie sketch. I have saved these...all loose and haphazard...a bit like me...haha!" ~ Cameron S. Reutzel, Paint Myself Pretty

"Sketching is a wonderful way to let my imagination flow and express the spirit of life. Recently I find pleasure in exploring characters in playful stances, almost dancing, telling some sort of story." ~ Tammie Lee, Beauty Flows

I hope you're feeling inspired and all ready to create! Have an awesome Monday, everyone...Here's to plenty of good vibes for the week ahead! :)


Thursday, 25 October 2012

Drawing Memories

Hello there. First of all, let me just thank you for your wonderful comments on my last post. I had no idea that many of you share my fear, it's really comforting to know that I'm not just being "silly", as people have often told me.

So anyway, how have you been? It's already Thursday here and Friday is waiting eagerly for its appearance (well, at least I am). This week has been pretty stressful for me, especially because I've been pushing myself to finish a few deadlines and some custom orders too. Not that I'm complaining. In case you haven't noticed, I love my work. No matter how tough and tiring things can be. Custom portraits, in particular, could be a huge source of stress because they are personal and any personally related work is usually the toughest kind. Some have suggested that I should stop accepting them, but to be honest, they actually give me quite a satisfaction of their own.

Just think of it. To create the portraits above, I had to learn quite a bit about the girls. Their characters, what their hobbies and interests are, and not to mention their mother's (in some cases even the father's) taste! Because they are personal, I have to approach it in a more personal way too. It's such a wonderful feeling to imagine that these portraits will be hanging in their bedrooms and may even be cherished until they have grown up. Somehow it makes all the stress and sweat worthwhile. :)

I must say, though, that I am at the moment working on a portrait that has opened up my eyes and put a new meaning to life. All this time, I have been drawing cheerful faces, thinking that they all belong to these happy and lively people somewhere in other parts of the world. Never once have I drawn a portrait of someone who has passed away. And a child too, at that. At first I only thought of it as a new kind of challenge, but I never thought his story (which I can't reveal right now) would affect me so much, that I think it has somehow broken my heart. It makes me think about my children constantly, and the overwhelming sadness that the parents must feel to lose a child. If there is one project that has affected me so much emotionally, I say that this would be it. I just hope that I will do a good enough job to preserve the beautiful memories they have of their lost loved one.

How about you? Have you ever worked on anything that affected you tremendously? Well, whatever project you're working on right now, I hope it will give you a whole new positive experience and brighter perspective on life.

Peace to you,

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Botanical Dreams

Do you like to spend time gardening? Do you work hard to keep it beautiful and thriving every season? If you do, then you are quite a lucky one. Because I don't. Or maybe can't is the more precise word. Well, if you remembered, I have this huge fear of insects. Nothing I'm proud of, but to those of you sharing the same kind of fear, it's really not a laughing matter. To me, being in the garden means staying in constant alert for bugs, and to have one flying close enough would also mean seeing me in an instant panic. It's really quite an unfortunate thing, because I love gardens and you have no idea how many times I wish I didn't have this blasted fear of insects.

I think one thing I have always wanted to do is to sit in a garden and just be at peace. Even when a bee came buzzing nearby or when a butterfly fluttered its wings on a flower next to me. It just seems like a wonderful thing to experience. Many of you probably think nothing of it and do this everyday, but to me it's always been a far fetched dream. And these new pieces I've drawn were inspired by that dream.

Believe me, sometimes I wish I lived in world where there's no such thing as fears and phobias. :)

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Sponsor Love ♥ Halloween All the Way

Wow. Do you realize that Halloween is practically creeping around the corner? I'll bet many of you are already decorating your homes with spooky fun decoration. But if you haven't, no need to worry because this post is to help you do just that! Just watch how this lovely October sponsor inspired me to create the perfect moods for Halloween. :)

The Baker's Daughter

Nancy Andrews is a featured seller on She named her business The Baker's Daughter in honor of her dad, who in fact was a baker for over 30 years. After plenty of experience working in the graphic design field, she ventured into the world of handmade crafts and began her exploration in creating seasonal decorative elements for the home. Her love for colors is obviously one of the strengths that she uses to make her designs stand out from the rest. And with attention paid to the details, Nancy makes each of them special, unique and fun. 

Here are a couple of moods I created using her designs to make your Halloween special too!

Into the Cauldron We Go

Links: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7

A Vintage Halloween

Links: 7

Now wasn't that fun? It sure was for me! I absolutely love mixing and matching stuff, and The Baker's Daughter is just full of inspirations. To see more of Nancy's wonderful products, visit her shop now!

Happy decorating, everyone! :)

Read more details here

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Evoking Emotions

Thank you. Those two words seem to keep popping up a lot here lately. I suppose when I have wonderful caring friends and followers like all of you, it's no surprise that they will become very popular in this little space of mine. So again and again, thank you for all your kind words and support whenever I'm feeling down. I know that I would post lovely happy things here for everyone to see and then suddenly out of the blue I would share my sentimental side too. I guess now it's safe to say (and confirm) that I am a soft melancholic girl that most people say in real life. :)

Well, yes. If there is one thing people think of me, is that I dote on emotions. Although I'm not the kind that would easily share my true feelings with anyone, I do however crave on showing mine through my art. It's the one way I'm totally comfortable with. It's the only way I know people would truly understand. After all, art is a universal language, right? So to celebrate our true emotions... here is Amy Sol, one of my all time favorite artists, showing her emotions through undeniably beautiful pieces of art...

I don't know about you, but I think even the word "amazing" is not enough to describe her work. To me, she's one of the very rare people that can translate beauty and feelings in one complete piece of art, where every aspect and element seems perfectly composed. You don't believe me? Try listening to a soft soothing tune while you watch her work, and you'll hear it whispering to you. :)

If you'd like to see more of her work, visit her website and prepare to be whisked away into an unknown world of enchantment...

With love,

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Memories of Gold

Today is my late best friend's birthday. She would have been 36 years old if she were still with us now. For those who have followed my journal here since the very beginning, you may notice that I celebrate her birthday every year. It's just something I like to do to remember all the wonderful memories we shared together for over 10 years. They say that true friendships last forever, and I couldn't agree more . I think I will always look back on our days together just the way they were, as if those days were only yesterday and tomorrow everything would stay the same. As vivid and fresh as they are in my mind.

I must admit that losing her was one of the hardest things I've ever had to face in my life. I have gone through the lowest points where all I could feel was anger and disappointment at life. Wondering how someone so wonderful and loving could be taken so soon, away from those who loved and needed her. But they also say that time heals all wounds, and mine has left a giant scar that will never vanish. Always a reminder of how bittersweet life can be.

So wherever you are, my friend, I love you, and I miss you terribly. Nothing can ever replace you in my heart, but I'm thankful that the memories I have of us stay alive within me.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

A Birthday and a Giveaway

First of all, I'd like to express huge, huge thanks to all of my wonderful, sweet friends for the wise words and kind comments you have left me on my last post. I'm overwhelmed and deeply touched by your heartfelt response, each was like a swift of cool wind in a much needed time under the sun. Reading them made me see my quest more clearly and I'm more determined than ever to carry on with my plans. I'm just so lucky to have all of you! :)


Yesterday, my youngest baby son turned one. I can't believe how much this little bird has grown since the first time I held him in my arms. So let me share with you some of  the lovely things off my (very long) wish list, all dedicated to Little Rayyan's 1st birthday! Remember to click on the image if you'd like to visit the link...

Aren't they all adorable??? I was tempted to throw my baby a birthday party when I gathered all these fantastic finds for inspiration, but I'm kind off swamped with work at the moment (surprise, surprise), so that idea would have to be put on hold for now...

But it doesn't mean we can't still celebrate right? How about a little giveaway? Because I have one running at the moment over at The Art & Tree Chatter of Aquariann, hosted by the lovely Kristin. You can join now and get your chance of winning not one, but TWO fine art prints of your choice!! All you need to do is hop on over there and follow Kristin's instructions.

The Wish Forest Giveaway

So anyway, thank you for always finding time to visit me and adding colors to this special space with all your thoughts and comments. I hope this weekend will be a wonderful one for everyone!


Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Letting it Out of My Chest

Hello! How's your day? I hope you're up for a little heart to heart talk, because I'm in need of some wisdom and objective point of views. What I'm about to share with you is probably one of the most classical dilemmas many bloggers have been debating about for years and something that would probably stay as an open topic for more years to come. If you are an avid blog hopper like myself, I'm sure you've noticed that more and more blogs are now opting to become for profit blogs by making advertising and sponsorship available on their blogs. While some feel there's absolutely nothing wrong with this, many have also expressed their uneasiness of receiving money by "renting" out spaces for businesses or fellow bloggers. Me personally? I say do what you want with your blog in the best possible ways, because it's yours and you know what's best for yourself.


What brought this up? Well, it's actually something someone said to me a few days ago. This person asked if I have finally succumbed to the power of money and converted my blog to a commercial one simply because I now offer sponsorship. All I could say to her was that she shouldn't judge people if she doesn't have all the facts. Yes, I do offer sponsorship now. Yes, I do promote people here and on my other social sites. But I don't request payment for any type of advertising, be it ad spots, features, interviews, sponsored giveaways or any other kind of promotions there are in blogland. I have however, sent invites to friends and art related businesses that I think are in line with my blog's theme who may benefit from getting advertised here. For more intensive and active promotional support, I do welcome any amount of donation that they are comfortable with, only to be put toward advertising this blog, so we could all gain more traffic together.  

I hope this post is not starting to sound like a rant, because it's not. I'm not angry or fuming with smoke coming out of my ears. Just disappointed, and at lost at how some people would judge and label others without asking for more information before they do. If you remember my post on why I started the whole sponsorship thing, I'm sure you'll see that my real goal is to reach out to other artists and craftspeople so we could all grow together as a strong group. I've always dreamed of building a support system for all artists, whatever their backgrounds, for them to at least be introduced and recognized within the online world. Something I desperately needed the first time I decided to expose my work to the world, something I wish someone had offered me while I crawled my way up the steep hill.

So anyway, I just want everything to be crystal clear. If you are an artist, or own an art/craft related business, you are more than welcome to apply for a free sponsorship and have a badge advertised on the spots I have available here. However, I do have the rights to filter all requests and decide whether your application is in line with my blog. Also, if you're in need of a more intensive support through my social sites (which in fact helps generate higher traffic), please bear in mind that I will have to dedicate my time and energy to do this, so I think it's quite reasonable for me to ask for a little donation in turn to help support this blog.

Wow. I sure had a lot to say on that one. LOL. Better out of my chest than locked up inside, right? If you have any feedback or experience based on this topic, please, please share it with us here! I always love reading your point of views. :)



Note: The amazing ocean storm photography above is provided by my lovely friend and sponsor, Sylwia Urbaniak. Visit her shop to see more of her stunning work!