Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Rear end of the year.

I hope that you all had a merry holiday, whatever you celebrate! It's hard to believe that the year is nearly over. 2010 started off so promising and ended, well, like a rear end. I let my world slip out of my control, and I promise to get it not only back on track, but hopefully get myself ahead of the game. This goes way past resolution, my friend.

My holiday when by in a flash. In fact, I'm already back to the carpool and the full timeness of scheduled life. I had said that I would post my holiday card on Friday. I wish I had time, but Christmas shopping needed to be done and then I was off to Ronaldo's parent's house and from there I was in full celebration mode, and heck, I just got caught up in the fun of it. And it was indeed a very fun past days, with lots of family. Here it is, albeit a little late.

I really wanted to do an ocean theme this year, and settled on a happy mermaid and her star fish. Hope you like it!

I have some exciting posts planned for the next week, including a glimpse into my process from concept to final, plus some very exciting news. I'll also share the illustrations I worked so hard on last week that hits the newsstand on Saturday. Until then, enjoy the tail end of your year!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

'Tis the season to be jolly!

Merry Christmas to all of you! I hope that you make wonderful memories with your loved ones and have a fun, food filled day! Thank you for reading my blog, and I promise to write about lots of exciting topics in the new year!

Love, Claire

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Claire loves... illustration!

Even though I lose sleep, miss out on fun events, and my house looks like the Tasmanian devil spun through it, I love illustrating. I just finished a really challenging project that really tested my concentration abilities being able to put my head down and plow through it. At the end of the day I was really pleased with the end results! Here is a sneak peak of some progress work I did on what ended up being my favourite piece of the series:

It's for an article about being alone. To be an artist sometimes you need to spend large stretches of time in solitude so I really connected to the concept. Check out all of my hard work next Saturday January 1st.

I really can't wait until I can say that illustration is my full time job.

Oh, and by the way, Christmas eve is tomorrow. Excited much?

Monday, December 20, 2010

Just when I thought I was in the clear.

So, usually at Christmas time I will get at leastone illustration project, whether it be something Christmas related or a rush job to complete before the office clears out for the holidays. This year, I didn't think that was going to happen. I actually thought I would have ample time to complete my ambitious Christmas crafting list AND bake a few batches of cookies to boot!

I was wrong.

Thursday I had a phone call from the fine folks at the Toronto Star. I don't want to ruin any surprises, but know two things. First, pick up a copy of the Toronto Star on New Years Day, and second, I will be working every moment of the day until Christmas eve. This project is HUGE in multiple ways.

Anyhow, this was where I left off my crafty pursuits, and how I used my Gocco supplies:

Here are some pre- drawings.

Here is my messy creation centre, and Gocco machine.

End result- and ornament.

Here is my holiday card in progress.

You'll get a closer look on Friday when I can unglue my hand from paintbrush.

Have a good Monday peeps!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Go go Gocco!

I'm sorry for my short absence. I've been feeling a bit under the weather, but I'm back in almost full force and have been able to catch up on my Christmas presents. I have loads to share with you! I will start where I left off on Friday, with my mystery package from Japan. What was in this package, you ask?

It was some much needed screens, light bulbs, and ink for my Print Gocco print machine. Exciting!

I hear you- what the bleep is Print Gocco? Well, it's a portable screen printing machine from Japan invented in the 90's. The machine has not evolved much since its inception, and have stopped production on it's supplies. Up until this year I was able to find what I need to run it here in Toronto, but now I must etsy it up and have them send from a Gocco hoarder in Japan. It prints 4"x6" screens so it's great for cards. It's a little wasteful in supply consumption and can be pricy, but it's very convenient and easy for home use and the end result looks great!

I'm using mine to make my annual Christmas card and a few extra goodies. Consider the following posts a Gocco 101. I'll post links of where to find machines and such in these posts. For now, check out the save Gocco web link above for more info.

Only 9 more sleeps until Christmas, so back to work for me!

Are you pumped for the holiday too?

Friday, December 10, 2010

One down.

What a Friday!

I am succumbing to a cold- surely I will be fully infected by the end of the weekend. My wonderful carpool driver is sadly also sick, and shared her cold medication with me this morning. It was just a Buckley's tablet, but it kept me high and spaced out the whole day. It made for an interesting work day, to say the least! I'm back from my cold tablet induced trip, and have been quietly embroidering on my couch all night.

I've started on three more presents. Here is the embroidery project.

This week I had a young lady of the high school persuasion contact me and ask me to mentor her on the design process for her computer arts class. Through my many years becoming and being an artist I've been lucky enough to have some really wonderful people help me along the way and I can only hope to pass on whatever knowledge I can. Perhaps she will let me post her final project for all to see.

This weekend I plan on doing some resting, but mostly working. Tomorrow I go to pick up a special package that will help me with my Christmas cards. I will tell you about the contents in my next post.

What are you up to this weekend?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

New stitch in the arsenal.

It's snowing! I relish this time of the year as it's the only month that I enjoy snow. It really gets me in the Christmas spirit. Speaking of, I am almost finished my most ambitious present I plan on making this year. I was a little iffy about if it would turn out or not, but I'm pretty proud of it coming around the home stretch. I even learned something in the process. I found the need for a blanket stitch- I've never encountered this is my embroidery adventures. It wasn't hard and it looks great! Here's a sneak peek.

Full reveal post holiday.

Are you guys making presents this year? Love to hear about them!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Feeling friendly.

Good morning! Today I write you from carpool central, inching north on a Toronto highway on my way to my day job. What can I say- I take my moments to blog when I can get them!

As December arrives, so does the flurry of holiday gatherings. This weekend marked the beginning of the season for me. This ties in to another one of my guides to lead me to independent worker status:

Don't forget to hang out with friends and family.

Again, sounds super easy, right? I find though that when I am busy at the office and have to come straight home to work that I often spend time alone and don't make the extra effort to visit or call. It so important to do this as they keep me sane when things are nuts. It's a goal of mine to spend more time with my peeps this year. Friday night I got to hang out with my book club peeps for a festive holiday dinner sans books.

My crafty friend Julie hosted at her beautiful home (note the amazing lighting!) and we did it potluck stylie. See those potatoes? That's my contribution. I didn't cook them, but that's something to get into in another post. The dinner was delicious, and followed up with some cozy conversation.

Snuggie style, of course.

Friends rock.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Goodbye, Miss Sherlock.

Hope you are having a humping hump day. I know am! I started my corporate work day super early today and because of that I'm now sitting on a GO bus that's homeward bound. I am off to make a special delivery tonight. It actually ties into another item on my list of things to do in order to go freelance 24-7. It's actually a simple concept, but at 8 pm when you have dinner dishes to do and a load of laundry to fold and you've been up since 6 it's not easy to get motivated to do it.

Email people.

That's it. Email art directors, other illustrators, friends, family, and in the case of today, general inquiries. Someone who saw a show I put up at a Starbucks a few years ago emailed me out of the blue and asked if I still had one of the paintings and if it were for sale. Old self would read the email and tell myself I would respond later and then totally forget. New self emailed her right back, and now one of my paintings has a new home!

This is one of my favourites. Lesson learned: you never know what will come of an email.

Now here's a shot of Ramona, who helped me wrap the painting for delivery. So cute.

Keep on humping!