Tuesday, January 17, 2012

E: Easels, Envelopes, & Empowerment

I don't feel particularly inspired or motivated today, which may be why I haven't convinced myself to include an image to this post.  Although, it would probably be good of me to do so, considering this is an art blog.  And yet, here I am, not feeling up to drawing or painting or designing.  The ideas are there, but the act of bringing them out is being stifled by the little sleep I got last night and the full health that continues to elude me (Ooooo...  There's an "E" word I love the sound of: elude.  Elusive.  Eluding.  Hm... the reason for why I like this word eludes me at the moment.).

Easels... I love my table-top easel.  It was a loyal friend that accompanied me on so many sleepless, college nights in the studio.  And it continues to aid me with my small, painting projects.  I also own a few standing easels.  But, until my most recent commission, I had little use for one.  Most of my paintings are small and do not require I standing easel.  I am so glad I have both kinds on hand though.  And easel is definitely an artist's ally.

Envelopes... I really cannot tell you what it is I love about stationary, but the more I design it for weddings, the more I am amazed at the plethora of options there are.  The envelopes are my favorite part. Sizes, shapes, colors... all can be so different.  You can have outer envelopes and inner envelopes, reply envelopes, envelopes with pockets, envelopes with belly bands and wax seals and stickers... the choices are limitless.

Anyway, as far as things happening right now in my life go, I'd have to say 2012 has been rather uneventful thus far.  However, I have been excited for all the possibilities this year has to offer.  So many things going on in the world already, like National Human Trafficking Awareness Month, which I have been announcing in the streets!  And by "streets" I mean Facebook.

It is amazing to me how much your life can change when you simply know something that you didn't know before.  In my case, it started out with food.  I learned about the atrocities in the food industry and about the benefits of cooking at home and buying organic as much as possible.  That knowledge paved the way for a new lifestyle for both me and my husband, and the family we may one day start.

Then followed the knowledge of how much of our life is touched by slavery.  The food we eat, the clothes we buy (chocolate, sugar, shoes, pants, shirts, bananas, etc.).  The knowledge of such things allows us to be informed when making purchases, but knowledge like this also empowers us to do something to help those who are being exploited in the first place.

Knowledge, as they say, is power.  If we do not strive to be informed on the decisions we make, we will continue to live in the comfortable ignorance that allows those in control to decide the futures of those with a voice and those without a voice.  You do not always need to use your voice to benefit yourself.  Sometimes you just need to lend your voice to those who have none.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

D: Double Indemnity and Design

The last few months, as I've said, have included a lot of various things on my plate.  Many of which have been art-related.  The above image was a voluntary illustration I did for The Dark Pages, a bi-monthly newsletter put out by a group of film noir lovers.  I was introduced to it by one of the customers at the grocery store where I work.  He is one of the contributing writers of the newsletter.  He said that it would be wonderful to have some good talent contributing to it in the area of artwork, and that although I wouldn't be paid, it might be a way for me to get some exposure.  This illustration was the result: acrylic ink on illustration board.  It was inspired by the film, Double Indemnity, which was the newsletter group's film of choice for the issue.

While I enjoyed the film and a chance to get my name out there, after seeing the printed issue in person, I'd have to say I was not thrilled.  I just felt like the print quality of all the included images was lacking, and the overall design and layout out the newsletter itself was static and un-intriguing.  My illustration, while neat to see in a magazine-like context, was washed-out looking.  Overall, while fun to contribute to something like this, I feel it will not be truly conducive to showing the world what I'm made of as an artist.  It just didn't do my artwork justice, nor did I get the feeling that people might actually see it.  But, at least I got a nice little illustration out of all this.

Also... I've been designing wedding invitations for friends and family.  I have been developing a deeper love for design throughout the process.  The other night, I actually had some time to myself. When I didn't have the option of working on other commissions or priorities, I grabbed the laptop and started designing a sample wedding.  I want to eventually do more of this so that I can have samples to show brides and grooms.  I enjoyed picking out a theme of color and subject matter for this "playtime" of mine.  Maybe, at some point, I'll even put together a live sample of these designs in action.  Who doesn't like butterflies, anyway?