and then I got on etsy… (with a Dastardly shout out)

Being at my dad’s has given me a lot of free time.  My sisters aren’t really allowed to watch TV, which means I can’t either since at least one of them is always in the living room too.  I also don’t have my tv set up in my room yet — which wouldn’t have cable, but I’d have my Wii & dvd player.  However, the basement is extremely cold and I’ve made really good friends with the wood-burning stove upstairs.  Thus.  Free time.  Lots of it.

So, I made good on one of my goals.  I opened an etsy shop.

I only have a few 8×10 Tweet. prints listed — and I’ve already had my first sale!  I plan on posting more, some 5x7s as well as new designs.  But for now, you can totally buy my stuff.  And I completely have this diluted vision that I’ll be able to completely support myself from my etsy sales and I’m going to be this amazing artist and get to finally live this unconventional life I’m almost sick of reading about.  It’s totally going to happen.

I also want to give a quick shout out to a band, but not just any band.  (And no, it’s actually not Mucca…)  I’ve really been enjoying the music by a Chicago group called Dastardly.  The lead singer, Gabe, happened to be my first kiss of the New Year… followed by their drummer, who happens to be one of my friends & bandmates, Andy T.  (The night was filled with Happy New Years kisses by musicians.)  Anyway, I’ve been enjoying them quite a bit and think you should check them out.  (and then go buy my stuff.)

for the birds (where yes, I get a little peacocky…)

Taking a quick break from the Reverb10 prompts for a bit.

In the past few days I have decided to reacquaint myself with Adobe Illustrator.  I generally find I’m really comfortable with Photoshop and InDesign, but Illustrator was just that forgotten middle child of design for me.  I was never certain quite what to do with it.  Then I remembered the magic of the pen tool — and well, I’ve been having fun ever since.

It all started with a little … Tweet…

Well after that I wanted to do another.  Something a little brighter…

And then I had so much fun with that one I wanted to try something a little more… exotic… maybe a bit more challenging…

And that by far, as been one my favorite pieces that I’ve created.  In fact, I liked this crane so much, I decided to do another…

His hair got a little weird, but overall I like it.

It was at this point, after 4 completed birds, that I decided to take some requests.  And first up is the last of the completed birds thus far…

A hummingbird. I’m still adjusting to whether I like the contrast between the wings and the rest of the body, but I’m happy with it.  Of course, the next thing shouted out to me across the interwebs has been for me to complete a peacock.  Which I’ve toyed with the idea, but wasn’t sure I’d be up to it.  However, I am going to go a head and try it.  Worse case? I waste a few hours and delete the file.  (Have you seen a white peacock?  They’re sort of amazing, and I kind of want one to bring out for special occasions and all… well, minus the whole “owning a peacock” thing.)

Anyway.  The point of this is — I’m happy.  I’m creating again.  I’d put off most of my artistic and creative endeavors (at least my personal ones) for a while now and I’m extremely happy to be creating again.  Now, I’m not looking forward to the possibility of losing my trusty MacBook this week (it’s the company’s computer) — because with it goes my only functioning copy of Creative Suite 5.  (My iMac is still dead… I could survive with CS3 if that thing would work.)

I’m still taking requests for more birds.  And maybe I’ll step out and do some other animals too.  But I’ve got some awesome looking vultures, a shoe bill (possibly one of my favorite birds now), and some owls lined up… but I’d love to get some more ideas.  The goal is by January 1 to have a shop opened on Etsy with prints from this series available for sale.  For those of you who requested birds here or via twitter before January 1st, I’ll set up a little discount for you as a way of saying thanks.  (Even if I haven’t created your bird yet.)

#reverb10: create every day. (even turquoise pancakes)

I signed up for this thing called #reverb10. A month full of prompts guided to help me reflect on this past year and focus on goals for the next.

December 6: Make.
What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it? (Author: Gretchen Rubin)

I’ve been pretty fortunate that my job — and even my past jobs, to some extent — allows me to create, every day.

The last thing that I’ve made? Graphics for my freelance design business.  Hooks to hold holiday stockings.  Turquoise Pancakes.  Lots of graphics.  Flyers.  Brochures.  Business cards.  Outside of the pancakes, they’ve all been things I’ve created with a computer.  I love graphic design.  Working with pixels.  It’s fun and awesome and there’s so much more you can do with pixels.

I do miss physically creating.  I miss cooking.  I miss book and paper crafts — I’d love to make another popup book.  I miss ceramics and painting.  It’s more than arts and crafts to me.  Creating is an adventure.

I want to make more time to create offline — real, physical, non-pixel things.  I’d love to spend more time enhancing my sewing skills.  To make more unique things with cutouts.  To have a home filled with these amazing creations.

However, as much as I hope and hope and want for this, I don’t make the time for it that I need.  But.  I am making some time for creating.  I’m returning to freelance work — being a bit more serious about it.  In fact, hopefully by the end of today, I should have my design site up.  (So if you’re looking for some awesome graphics for your blog, you should check it out.)

2011, I’m looking to you for more time to create.  Maybe even a creative space/studio in whatever home I have next year.  Whether it’s with pixels, or paper, scissors and glue (really an exact-o knife and PVA adhesive), or yarn, or food stuffs, or.. or well anything.  I want to make more time to create.

In the words of one of my favorite stores, Paper Source, “Do something creative every day.”

what I've been doing with myself…

We all get busy.  Life gets crazy.  Yadda yadda.  We’ve heard this story before.  I’m still putting in about 45-50 hours a week at the toy store.  I’m still working on plans for starting my school (er, community education center).  I’m still attempting a social life and that whole dating thing.

But this is something that’s gotten me excited again.  A little bit of fun that’s come back into my life.  I’m reacquainting myself with my sketch books.

You already know about my Sketch-A-Day project… which well, was a massive load of FAIL for June.  But I’m back on it again.  But outside of that sketch, I’ve been doodling away in other books.  Here’s a couple things that have come from that:

And I’ve also been drawing with a knife, which results in things like this:

So yeah.  Crafty crafty.  I’ve been debating another attempt at my comic-blog-thing, Fledgling Adult.  I’ve also just been debating flooding this blog with sketches, doodles, and other creative ventures.  Or, well, there’s tumblr too.  What are your thoughts?  Dedicated blog/site for my creative stuffs or just put it on here?