Sunday, April 20, 2014

Origin Story

"Weird and Wonderful Anchorage, Alaska" 

Holler if you love Anchorage! I've just submitted this map of my hometown to They Draw and Travel.  It has been really fun discussing it with all my Alaskan friends and encouraging the curiosity of those who have never visited! The concept for this challenge was to illustrate what's "creative and curious" about where you're from.  So these are things that stand out for me, but it's not intended to be a comprehensive or particularly utilitarian map.  It took me a long time to decide what the point of view of the map would be! Anchorage is much bigger than this, but I narrowed it down to this chunk based on the format size and a few things I especially wanted to mark by their physical location.  It ended up looking like this crazy sketchbook of a few landmarks and a lot of weird memories!

Special shout-outs to:
The Pack Rat Antiques, co-owned by my friend BreAnn who has a typewriter tattoo, and has written me millions of letters on typewriters, (and I still have them all), and commissioned some illustrations from me which she uses on shop gift certificates:

Available on fabric, wallpaper, and giftwrap from Spoonflower!

Fire Island Rustic Bakeshop, a delicious bakery owned by one of my high school math & science teachers and her family!  Last time I was there I ate an entire strawberry rhubarb galette myself because I figured that if it fit in my purse, it counted as a single serving.  Thank you, huge purse.

It's not really too huge but looks very majestic in the sunshine.

I drew heaps and heaps of images that didn't make the final edit! I finally concluded I'll just need to make this into a series of maps.  Possible additional Anchorage map themes: stories about my Dad, high school memories, weird tourist & celebrity incidents, places I remember from childhood that aren't there anymore, signs, all about Spenard... Such good potential for storytelling!  If you are from Anchorage I would love to hear your ideas about what YOU would put on a map!

Go visit my map, and scope out other amazing illustrated maps at They Draw and Travel!  

Update 4/21: They Draw and Travel use ImageKind to offer their maps as art prints or snazzy wrapped canvases and they've added this map by popular demand! You can order one HERE!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

They Draw and Cook

Are y'all already familiar with They Draw & Cook??  I've been lurking & admiring over the past year, and recommended it in all my lettering workshops, but I just now got around to finally submitting something.  The site is run by a brother & sister design team, and it's all illustrated recipes! Lettering. Food. Designers & illustrators from all over the world. And food. It's super awesome! Food. You can search through the collection by different design criteria or by ingredients.  Go get lost in it!

This drawing I did for a challenge they have going to illustrate one ingredient in three recipes.  I can't wait to do more!  Oh, and they have ANOTHER site called They Draw & Travel which is illustrated maps!  I'm so excited.  I've been on a major food & travel kick in various activities lately so I am ready to draw a giant pile of maps and recipes.

P.S. I'm eating pancakes with funfetti sprinkles in them right now. Don't judge me. It was a hard morning.

Monday, January 06, 2014

RAZZLELUTIONS Only Beyond This Point

Ohhhh, New Year's time.  That time when we come up with lists of things to criticize ourselves about or things we expect to change by sheer magic?  I'm going to go ahead and ban those boring, trite, guilt-laden "resolutions" and declare we should focus on RAZZLELUTIONS.  Sassy mottoes, theme songs, and bold declarations of the new flavors of awesome we are going to introduce to our lives this year!  For which there is no failure, but for which every incremental inclusion amplifies the radness by a factor of HELL YEAH!  My patron goddess of Razzlelutions up there is "Empress of Fashion" Diana Vreeland, who said, "WHATEVER YOU DO, DON'T BE BORING."  So keep that in mind, and feel free to emphasize with vigorous jazz hands.

I have a Razzlelution that is fashion related, probably something I have in common with many broads who work from home in shlubby pajamas.  This year is the year I dial my sewing discipline up to 11!  No longer will I settle for throwing fabric on the floor and cutting it out in vaguely a dress shape!  Here's the sum total of my garment skills at present date:  hemming straight lines, baggy sweatshirts that could be pajamas, and shift dresses that make me look like an overgrown toddler.

In addition to helping me dress snazzier, this plan will also assist me towards my goal of consuming less "fast food" fashion.  It's hard to resist buying cheap clothes when it's all you can really afford!  I love color, I love design, and how I dress is definitely part of how I express myself.  I am not ready to buy bespoke cashmere underpants for every day of the week, but I hope to redirect my meager budget away from things produced in sweatshops and more and more towards ethically produced garments, and my own creations! 

Step One in this plan also ties in something ELSE I wanted to explore: online classes! My fashiony dreams seemed like great inspiration for giving it a try.  I'm interested in exploring the possibilities for teaching online too, so it was high time I got on board!  When Twinkie Chan mentioned her friend, artist Mary Winkler, was teaching a fashion illustration class, it only took me about 2 seconds to sign up.  This class is being offered through Skillshare, and it's already great practice for drawing using a tablet (high on my list of professional skills I want to improve!) as well as getting stoked up about creating some clothes.  Come scope it out!  The class is brand new and will be way more fun if more people are participating and commenting!  You can even check out the projects and see what I'm doing before you sign up.  If you use this referral link to join, you can save $10 off your first Skillshare class!   Look, I'm drawing naked ladies!

I've also been checking out Craftsy for sewing classes so I can move on to things like Making Vintage Party Frocks Like A Boss once I get in full-on superhero seamstress mode.  

So what are your RAZZLELUTIONS?  Lay it on me!  Put your shiny intentions out there!  

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Latest Portrait Adventures!

Another insane holiday season has rumbled by and I'm greeting the new year with a great feeling of satisfaction with the past year and excitement over possibilities ahead!  I wanted to drop a little show and tell of some holiday portraits I did recently to plant the seed that I LOVE MAKING PORTRAITS and there's another super couple-y holiday on the horizon for which perhaps it would be A GREAT IDEA for you to commission a portrait of your own!

This is the fifth year in a row I've made a portrait of my aunt and uncle!  Each year they have new requests and ideas for themes and motifs and it's really fun to see how they develop.  This year was an 18x18 painting on a wood panel.  They called me on the phone after it was unveiled and it was the next best thing to being able to see their faces in person.

Here's a drawing I made for a fellow who found me through my Etsy shop.  He wanted a gift for his girlfriend that captured elements of the story of their relationship.  I think a storytelling portrait is such a cool idea!  It's a little bit "This is Your Life" and a little bit "My Favorite Things" (the Sound of Music version OR the Sarah Silverman version!).  I would love to create repeating patterns to tell these stories too -- OOOH! How cool would it be to make a large portrait and then create a repeat to print on wallpaper for the wall behind it?!  Whoever wants this first, call me!  Spoonflower and I are waiting to make this dream come true. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

elsewhere on teh interwebz

hi friends! i'm mostly blogging on tumblr these days, it suits my needs better for the time being.  join me!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Bake and Destroy + Betty Turbo

photo by Sean Dorgan
Hello out there!!  I'm having the best time working on some illustrations for a cookbook by my pal Natalie of Bake and Destroy!  Our shared love of food and wrestling makes us an excellent team for a project like this.  The book is currently available for pre-order from Amazon.  Natalie recently had these great portraits taken by photographer Sean Dorgan, in an awesome dress by On The Trashy Side, made out of pizza fabric I also designed!  I will be releasing some new kitchen-centric products in my own shop in conjunction with the book's release, so stay tuned!  So many exclamation points!  It's exciting!

Betty Turbo

Saturday, February 02, 2013

groundhog day

could anyone else go for some flapjacks right about now?