Kelly Angelovic Illustration
Illustration + Design

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Musings about illustration, art, creativity, life, family and following the whispers of your heart.

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Posts in Artistic Process
I Have No Idea What I'm Doing

Kelly_Angelovic_February This past month in Bootcamp, the assignment was to create wall art on a piece of wood (think antique plates). We were also encouraged to work traditionally, especially if that isn't our typical approach.

There is a painter that lives in me, I'm sure of it. What began as a whisper has been getting louder, encouraging me to pick up a paintbrush. There are so many reasons why painting, at this point, doesn't make any sense...

I don't have a space where I can get messy. I don't have anywhere to store canvases. Buying all the required supplies is expensive. Editing is more difficult--you can't hit 'undo.'I have no idea what I'm doing--I don't even really know where to start.

And yet...there is this voice urging me to get my hands dirty. To mix colors by brush rather than onscreen.

For this assignment, I bought several pieces of balsa wood--six of them so that none would be too precious. I painted them brightly, then added white and gray until they had this lovely distressed look.

I created a design that I wanted to paint, and with graphite paper, transferred my sketch onto my canvas and went to work.

In my neuroses, I ended up creating both a digital and painted version, and...I don't love either.

The teapot image above is what I ended up submitting to the Bootcamp public gallery (which is now live, check it out if you are so inclined--my submission is on page 2). I'm happy with how it turned out, but it feels like a bit of a cop-out. Created digitally, there is nothing about it that pushed me outside of my comfort zone.

The image below is the digital version of my first idea, followed by the (as yet, unfinished) painted version.

EverythingWasPerfect3_Web

EverythingWasPerfectPainting

As is so often my approach (in more than just my art, ahem), I tried to control everything. Leaving little room for artistic play, I missed the whole point of painting.

So I will try again--sometime soon.

In the meantime, the amazing Christine Mason Miller has invited me to be a contributor in her upcoming e-course, The Conscious Booksmith.

The ConsciousBooksmith

"This thoughtfully created course is a guide for aspiring authors and book-makers. It is filled with tools and inspiration designed to support the creation of a comprehensive book plan reflective of your values, priorities and ideals."

If this resonates in your heart, class starts March 9. Come join us!!

 

 

Celebrating How Far We Have Come

FallTreesThis was the view from my yoga mat yesterday afternoon. Spectacular! Last week I celebrated a birthday, which always incites a bit of reflection .

As of late, I have felt a little...adrift. I have a few (exciting) licensing deals in the works, but they are still months away from launch. I know where I want to go--I just don't know exactly how to get there.

Back when I was in school for graphic design, I remember sitting in class, listening to advice from seasoned designers, and feeling in awe (and rather intimidated). They had already achieved that coveted title 'Graphic Designer.'

Fast forward a year. I finished school and took on my first real projects with real clients. But...working as a graphic designer didn't feel like I thought it would (like I had arrived).

Too often, when we finally hit the mark, we have already re-calibrated where we want to go.

There will always be something new to aspire to. It's human nature to reset the bar.

So this week, I want to recognize how far I have come in the last three years. I have only been illustrating since my daughter was born.

In just a few years, so many exciting things have happened--commissioned jobs, licensing deals, my first art show, making the semi-finals in Lilla Rogers Global Talent Search, being featured in Uppercase's Work/Life 3 illustration directory.

And my art has grown in leaps and bounds.

So instead of feeling discouraged about not quite being where I want to be with all of it, I am going to acknowledge and enjoy just how far I have come.

***

And don't forget, 10% of anything you buy from my online store will be donated to Arts Street, a local non-profit program that creates opportunities for the young people of Colorado. Their mission is to “…cultivate low-income and under-served youth into a creative and culturally competent workforce. We use the power of the arts and arts professionals to nurture leadership and engage youth in learning.”

 

Artists Around the World Blog Hop

Last week, I was honored by Croatian artist and friend Antoana Oreški-Džafić, with an invitation to participate in a blog hop featuring artists from around the world. I am very flattered--and excited to join in on the fun!

Today, I will share some of Antoana's gorgeous work, answer some questions about my own creative process, and I will introduce you to a couple of artists who truly inspire me, Jennifer Orkin Lewis and Nelleke Verhoeff.

International Inspiration

Antoana and I met in Assignment Bootcamp earlier this year. An incredibly talented illustrator, I love her lush colors and her great character design. The level of detail she adds to her pieces is truly inspiring.

Antoana created this Koala piece for Tigerprint's Cute Character competition. I enjoy so much of her work, but this is one of my favorites. The color palette, those koalas, and what a sweet message! Wish her luck. The winners will be announced next month.

Illustration by Antoana  for Tigerprint's "Cute Character" competition

This was Antoana's Global Talent Search entry. The little girl riding on top of that fabulous elephant is my favorite part--oh my, that hair!!

ANTOANA_ORESKI_Dreamland Terrarium

Antoana's patterns are magical as well.

Exotic

Balancing work with family, Antoana is a dedicated mother of two. As I muddle through, trying to strike a balance between work and parenthood, I'm inspired by fellow mamas working as artists as well.

To see more of Antoana's work, check out her website and her blog.


How I Work

Next up, a few questions about my creative process:

What are you working/writing on?

Right now, I'm building out a wall art collection for an exciting licensing deal that's in the works. I'm finalizing another wall art deal (details coming soon!), and waiting to hear on a couple of other pending collections as well (eek--fingers crossed).

I'm also trying to make a decision about Surtex next spring, and whether to just walk, or to go for it and try to exhibit. Oh, and overhauling my website too. I tend to work best with a lot of irons in the fire.

How does your work differ from others in your genre?  

As many artists have said, this is a hard question to answer about yourself. If I were to sum up what I do, I would say my work is whimsical, layered, and sophisticated. Color is one of my very favorite things. And I enjoy creating depth and interest with a variety of textures.

How does your creative process work?

I love an assignment. Please don't tell me I can do whatever I want, however I want--I will freeze like a deer in headlights.

When I do start a new project, I'm usually super charged up and excited. Lately, I have also been trying to set an intention at the outset--a kind of prayer to my cosmic muse--that the project will be successful. Then I begin to draw. Without thinking too much about where it's all going, I fill pages of my sketchbook. Usually just pencil on paper. Then I go back and I look for what's working (it's a gut feeling). I scan those drawings and start to play with elements digitally.

At some point in the process, more often than not, I hit a wall. I get stuck. Nothing is working. My excitement morphs into anxiety. And it talks,'You're not good enough. What were you thinking? Why you?' When this happens, I need to walk away.

One of the things about working while being at home with my daughter (3) and my son (8 months), is that I spend a lot of time thinking about different approaches, compositions, and solutions in my head. All this thinking time usually means when I actually sit down to work, I make real progress. Not always, but usually.

Once I have the composition dialed in, I start to play with color. Like I said, this is one of my very favorite steps. I adore color.

Happy with my palette, I take the whole thing into Photoshop and rebuild it, adding texture until I'm happy and the piece is finished.

Why do you create?

From an interview I did last year for Uppercase's Work/Life 3 Illustration directory:

"When working on a project that I’m really excited about, I get this buzz...an electric current of excitement that lights me up from head to toe. I am an illustrator because it makes my soul sparkle."

 


Two Artists You Should Know

Enough about me. Now I want share the work of two incredible artists who inspire me.

I met both of these women through Lilla Rogers' classes (one of the best parts of class is connecting with a community of talented and supportive artists), and I am truly honored and excited to share their immense talent with you.

First up is the fabulous Jennifer Orkin Lewis, whose work was recently featured in Uppercase magazine.

Jennifer, who works under the studio name August Wren, maintains a 30-minute-a-day sketchbook practice. Below are some excerpts. I am inspired on a daily basis by her creations (check out her Facebook page to follow along).

Blue Lady illustration

Jennifer Orking Lewis_Daily Sketchbook

Jennifer Orkin Lewis Uppercase Spread

Jennifer is also one of the semi-finalists in this year's Global Talent Search!! This was her Terrarium entry.

Terrarium_GTS_AugustWren

I'm so excited to see what Jennifer creates for the second round.

For more of Jennifer's work, check out her website and her blog .


Next, I present to you the lovely Nelleke Verhoeff. Creating work that is whimsical and fun, yet incredibly sophisticated, Nelleke works under the studio name Red Cheeks Factory, which (from her bio) "...stands for enthusiasm, but also for shyness and excitement." What I adore most about her work is her loose style and her wonderful people.

"Puzzled," available for purchase here.

Puzzled

"Ma Cherie," available for purchase here.

Ma Cherie

Trio Umbrella available for purchase here.

TrioUmbrella

Her patterns are top-notch as well--and I love how she mocks them up.

Dancing_Feathers_Nelleke_Verhoeff

You can see more of Nelleke's work on her website and blog, and in her online shop.

This has been so much fun! Thank you for following along. These women will be talking about their own creative process,' and sharing a few artists who inspire them next week. I hope you'll follow along.