After what felt like ages of dreary and cold weather, this week has been sunny and warm. Everyone is out in full force, enjoying the arrival of spring (and hoping it lasts!). Here's my latest playlist for April. Listen and enjoy!
I recently created a postcard as part of the the Print, Write, Mail - #Resistance series curated by Kelly Beall of Design Crush. She released the first round in February and I was so happy to be part of the second batch that came out this month. Below is a little bit about my inspiration for the artwork -
I wanted to explore the concept of resisting not just in thoughts and words but also in our physical actions – so many of us have marched lately and used our bodies and movements as a form of resistance. I love the power and community created in that way! For this artwork, I wanted to incorporate not just a visual language, but a physical one, so I chose to spell out “resist” using American Sign Language – a form of communication based on physical action.
Artists such as Sara Jensen, Adam J. Kurtz, and Natalie Shahmiri contributed and all of the postcards are fantastic. You can download, print, and use them to contact your legislators! See here!
I've also adapted the artwork into a desktop and iPhone wallpaper. You can download using the links below. Feel free to use and share. Enjoy!
DOWNLOAD - Wallpaper for Desktop
DOWNLOAD - Wallpaper for iPhone
I recently worked with Curbed New York to illustrate the feature "50 Small Ways to Make NYC a Better Place" (link here!) This is an awesome concept and list to have at any time, but even it feels even more necessary at the moment. Enjoy the illustrations and the amazing list of things you can do! Any other thoughts on how we can improve our communities together?
The weather has been so pleasant in Brooklyn over the last week or so. In the grand scheme of things this is rather unsettling as it means the only planet on which we can live is slowly starting to sizzle with all of us on it BUT in a more blissfully ignorant way, it feels nice to walk around without a jacket.
My February playlist is here! January always feels like the longest, most unrelenting chunk of winter. Once it's finally over and February arrives, I start to feel a bit more hopeful for spring! These are the songs I've been enjoying now that the sun is breaking through the blanket of gray clouds and the temperatures are rising, ever so slightly.
I will say that the playlist artwork felt a bit more appropriate yesterday, when it was 62 degrees in Brooklyn, versus now while in the middle of a snow storm! At any rate, I hope you enjoy it. Let me know what albums you're listening to at the moment, too!
My illustrated albums list is here! I chose my top ten favorite records from 2016 to illustrate and share. I didn't rank these in any specific order - they're just the releases I enjoyed the most over the last 12 months. I've compiled some of my favorite songs from each album on a Spotify playlist (below) so you can enjoy them as well.
This sort of small personal project is always fun because it's a chance to experiment and try something new. I let these illustrations be more loose and simple than usual and I'm happy with the result. I started doing this in 2015 and I think I'll continue it moving forward!
What were your favorite albums of 2016?? Let me know what you loved over the last year and Happy New Year!
December has arrived! The leaves have fallen along with the temperature here in Brooklyn. Plenty of holiday parties and travel plans are upon us and soon 2017 will be as well!
Before then, I wanted to share a holiday themed wallpaper I created for both desktop and iPhone. One of my favorite aspects of the holidays are all of the good smells that come along, too. I've illustrated a few of my favorite holiday related shrubs and trees that also smell awesome! Plus it's a little break from the typical red and green color scheme that takes over this time of year. Hopefully it will bring some cheer your way!
The November playlist is here! Enjoy it at home or during your Thanksgiving travels. I hope everyone has a lovely, restful holiday full of good food and good times.
I've put together a playlist of some of the songs I've been listening to during the month of October. It's always fun to share music and it gives me a good excuse to create a piece of artwork as the cover!
I hope you enjoy it - let me know what your favorite songs are!
Earlier this spring I began working with Curbed on a new project they launched in collaboration with State Farm - The Curbed Home Handbook. The Home Handbook is an ongoing, online resource for everything home and garden related (apartments too!). Creating the illustrations for the different chapters and stories has been a really fun process and I wanted to share some of my favorites!
New chapters will be added over the next 6 months so stay tuned for more artwork!
Last year I had the chance to work on several editorial illustration projects, all of which I really enjoyed. When I sat down to think about my goals for 2016, "more editorial work" was high up on the list. To help that along, I've recently sent out a round of postcards to art directors near and far. I'm hoping they enjoyed receiving a warm & cozy image during the cold days of winter!
If you or anyone you know has illustration needs, I'd love to chat! You can message me through my "contact" page or shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Working for yourself often means working by yourself. While this doesn't get me down (I tend to prefer it, lucky for me!), it does mean there is a lot of silence to fill and time to pass during the days and nights. When I'm not listening to WNYC or whatever podcast I most recently came across, I have to have some good tunes handy.
With that in mind, these were my top albums of 2015 - the ones that got me through long nights working late or slow afternoons when I needed some extra motivation to stay at my desk. These are in no particular order aside from how I felt like drawing them.
I've also put together a Spotify playlist of a few of my favorite tracks from each. Unfortunately "Welcome Late Bloomers" is not available on Spotify but I've linked to those tracks here, here, and here (it really is an amazing album, you won't regret the extra clicks!)
I hope you enjoy and Happy New Year!
Today I went looking for some new bodega cats but sadly, I came up empty. Since I don't have any new cats on my list, I've drawn the new beverages I've found instead.
Most the bodega cats I've drawn up until this point have been ones that I met organically. I've popped into a store for a coffee or water or gum and seen a cat on the counter or hiding under a rack of chips. It's super exciting when this happens, (1) because I love cats and (2) it means I have another subject to draw.
But sometimes I'll also go on mini-pilgrimages (like I did today) to look for new cats . Which means I need a bit of cash and a lot of luck. In 80% of the stores I go into, I don't find a cat. It's tough to determine whether they truly don't have one or whether it may be napping or hiding. Asking works sometimes, but store owners can be weary of (or irritated by) me coming into their store and immediately asking about cats.
It's my "policy" to always buy something in each store I go into when I look for cats. It gives me a chance to scope the place out but it also means I'm not being (totally) annoying by coming into a shop, lurking around, and leaving empty handed.
Today was a bust in terms of cats but at least I got a fridge full of drinks out of it.
Not much can be said about the internet that hasn't be said before, but I'll go ahead and add one more bit of commentary. I really like it. While it can sometimes feel like a strange periscope that shows only people who are more happy, popular, successful or talented than you, it's more often than not an incredibly powerful and surprising vehicle to meet, connect, and collaborate with people that you'd otherwise not have the chance to know. Most recently, it brought me together with Muriel Vega, an Atlanta based writer and developer.
I don't remember when or how Muriel and I started following each other on Instagram. Never having met in real life and living over 800 miles away from each other, it's one of the fun coincidences made possible by social media. Through whatever digital happenstance connected us, I was able to watch her progress on something she dubbed Muriel's 50 Pies.
Earlier this year she set a goal to bake 50 pies. She wasn't much of a pie baker before she started her quest (although she would come to be one, just check out her Instagram!) but rather she wanted to challenge herself to learn something new, get better at it, and have patience throughout the process. It was a very cool and inspiring project, which you can read more about here.
A few months ago, Muriel reached out to me about the next iteration of the project, which was a zine that would combine the recipes, memories, and emotions about pie that people had begun to spontaneously reach out to her with. See? This is why I really like the internet. She was pulling everything together and asked if I'd like to illustrate the cover for the zine, which I gladly accepted.
I just received my copy of the zine over the weekend and it's truly such a lovely piece. The limited edition of 50 (which are now sold out) were available online and in select shops around Atlanta. Even better, Muriel donated the proceeds to the Atlanta Community Food Bank!
I was so happy to be part of the project and to have the opportunity to work with someone as kind and driven as Muriel. It's so inspiring to see what people can accomplish when they set their minds and hearts to it. It's also so exciting what people can do together when they're able to connect over common goals and interests.
In November I was very luck to be a part of Curated 48 - a Brooklyn based pop up shop that was chock full of great stuff from talented people. There was jewelry and leather goods, vintage clothing, beautiful furniture, plus much more - all from super talented Brooklyn makers. I was very pleased to be able to contribute my paper goods to the shop, which was in the beautiful neighborhood of Brooklyn Heights.
Abbie of Made in Rye was the mastermind behind the idea and did a wonderful job organizing and executing it. The space looked beautiful and was a huge success for the two weekends it ran for.
It was such a pleasure to see my work among so many other beautiful products made by smart and driven people. The support was amazing as well, whether from people purchasing my work, stopping by the shop, or just sharing the flyer on social media. A big thank you to everyone who stopped by and shopped local. Thanks as well to the other vendors who participated - Made in Rye, Awesome Boxes, Throne Watches, Butternut Brooklyn, Blue Collar Goods, Round About Botanicals, Tooth + Nail Designs, White Rabbit, and La Poubelle Vintage.
I'll be sure to keep you posted on any future dates or pop shops that are coming up!
Thank you as well to Matthew Lettini who nabbed some great photographs.
The last few weeks have been non-stop work for me. The first two weekends of Curated 48, a lovely Brooklyn based pop up shop that I was lucky enough to be a part of, just concluded. It was such a great experience and very exciting to have my work alongside so many other talented makers. Tons of time went into the design, printing, and prep to have everything ready. It was quite a few late nights and busy weekends, all well worth it.
This weekend has been the first that I was able to relax a bit and not focus 100% on work and it was a great one! In an effort to always be working on my illustration skills, I drew a few bits and pieces from Saturday and Sunday which included...
spin class, fancy beers, mulled wine, Jeffrey getting new pants that look really good, Scrabble, a visit to the Museum of Morbid Anatomy where we heard a lecture on ectoplasm, finally finishing Five Days at Memorial, lots of delicious coffee, a slice of pie from Four and Twenty Blackbirds, and a ride home from Whole Foods in a Car2Go (I love those things!)
I hope you all had a wonderful weekend as well!
An important but simple lesson that I've learned having been out of college for a few years and having moved on from my first job is to not neglect your website, no matter how busy and/or content you may be with your current job. Much easier said than done!
When I decided to start job hunting last fall, I realized I hadn't touched my website in at least two years. The domain had expired, the work was outdated, and the task was going to be big one. Which is the last thing you want to focus on when you decide you're ready to move on and make a change. I need to show prospective employers my work and had no convenient way to do so (weh!)
Now, I'm no longer job hunting and I try to maintain my website for a different reason - freelance opportunities and the pursuit of maybe possibly one day being self employed who knows we'll see okay? When you have a job, freelance work, and some semblance of a personal life, it's easy for the website to fall behind and feel out of date almost immediately. Which is why I'm finally arriving very, very late to the blog party. It's probably not even cool anymore, huh?
I've had Tumblrs, Blogspots, Wordpresses, etc etc that I inevitably let wither and die, but alas, I keep the dream alive. The goal is to keep this space up to date with current projects and happenings related to White Elk. Hopefully this will give people a sense of what's going on with me and know that I'm alive, despite my shiny new website that's already falling behind.
Wish me luck and thanks for reading (god I'm so lame.)