Plant Dreams – 2014 Global Talent Search

When I met Lilla Rogers at Printsource this Spring, she encouraged me to enter 2014 Global Talent Search. I was gonna enter it last year but I signed with an agent right before GTS began. When I saw what my MATS friends created for GTS– super fun playground journal covers, Autumn farm tote bags, etc., I felt I’ve been left out and missed all the fun!

So no second thought needed this time, I want to be in the party.

The first round we were asked to create an artwork inspired by “Little Terrarium”. I love this theme but, when I read the brief suggested using “paint”, and for “wall art” market, I screamed, “Oh No!”

I remember how I struggled to do my assignment in the week of Wall Art when I took MATS A courses. Now I went through the same fear again. I came up with a several concepts and sketches, but I didn’t feel right with them. Finally I decided forgetting about “paint” and “wall art”, just make the art I enjoy. I am developing my hand-lettering portfolio, and the brief asked us to include a word or phrase in our entries. So I went ahead to take the lettering approach. 

Skecthes

Skecthes

I drew everything with pen and ink on paper, then colored it in Illustrator. I also experimented some new techniques to add more painterly textures. The result is a big improvement for my style. 

Although I didn’t make the cut to the semi-finalists, I am still happy for an invaluable experience, a piece of artwork I love for my portfolio, and being part of this super talented artist group. 

All the entries this year are published on Lilla Rogers Studio website. There are so many beautiful artwork that definitely worth the time to look through the entire gallery. It’s an art feast.

Here is the link for the 999 entries. http://lillarogers.com/gts-2013-round-1/
And here is the 50 semi-finalists. http://lillarogers.com/global-talent-search-semi-finalists-revealed/

Artists Around the World – the blog hop

Today’s post is for a blog hop called “Artists Around the World”. It’s a fun project that connects people who work in creative fields – artists, designers, writers, illustrators, crafters, and more – from all over the world. Artists are asked 4 questions and post their answers on their blogs. Then link to 1 to 3 other artists to continue the blog hop…

I am honored to be invited by my artist friend and MATS classmate Pavinee Sripaisal from MerryDay. Please check out her lovely illustrations and “draw everyday” project here.

In case you don’t already know me, I’d like to introduce myself a bit first. 

I am a Taiwanese illustrator and graphic designer living in New York with my dog Punchy. I create illustrations for children’s books, greeting cards, stationery, and various products. Now I am getting into surface pattern design and planning to write/illustrate my own graphic novel about my dog. I also run an online magazine “Illustration Today” (written in Chinese) where I interview illustrators and write about illustration business. (I was a reporter when I was in Taiwan).

Take Me to the Sea - Wall Art assignment for MATS Bootcamp

Take Me to the Sea - Wall Art assignment for MATS Bootcamp

Here is the Q&As.

1. Why do I do what I do?

I love to create ever since my childhood. Like all artists, creating is just something that I NEED to do. If I didn’t draw or write or do anything creative that day, I felt restless and lost. Creativity is fulfilling and joyful to me.

I feel very fortunate that I am able to do what I am passionate about everyday.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

My work is “sweet” and “adorable” as people often describe, but sometimes I like to infuse a bit of whimsy and humor to it. The twist in my naive-style illustrations makes my work “mine” and differ from others. 

The use of unexpected color palates also makes my art unique. 

3. How does my creative process work?

I usually start with writing down keywords that associated with the topic, then do researches online or look through my sketchbooks for inspirations. After getting familiar with the subjects, next step is to draw a lot of small icons/motifs. I use pencils and cheap printer paper to sketch, refine them on tracing paper, retrace and ink the pencil drawing onto translucent layout paper or other smoother paper using pen and ink. Then I bring the inked drawing into Illustrator, finish layout, color, and textures there.

For book, editorial, greeting card, and lettering-style illustrations, I will sketch many thumbnails to figure out the layout before inking and coloring.

When I draw with colored pencil and traditional mediums, I will do pencil sketches on paper, scan them into Photoshop to resize and reposition single elements, print it out, cut and paste the pieces to rearrange the layout if needed. Once the sketch is finalized, I trace it onto a nice drawing paper using the light box or the glass door of my balcony. Then I draw or paint to make the final artwork. 

4. What am I working on now?

I have a long list of "wanna do projects"! Developing my hand lettering-style illustrations is one of them. I am also working on a project for my Illustration Today website, but can't say too much about it right now.

The next big thing is entering Lilla Rogers "Global Talent Search", which starts tomorrow! 

I hope you enjoy reading my answers. Next week I'd like to invite you to visit my good friend Feng Liang. She's a great Taiwanese surface designer living in New York. I met her four years ago at Surtex. You may check out her beautiful pattern designs on her website and blog

New Pattern: Summer Delight

AnaisLee_SHSD14201.jpg

Since June, I changed my daily schedule and way of working. I would get up early, take Punchy for a walk, come home to make a smoothie and coffee for breakfast, then start drawing. I resist the temptation to check email or Facebook before I create something.

I used to wait until the evening, stayed up late to do my own art projects; then I realized that I often got so tired and didn't have much creative energy left by the end of a day. Working in the morning makes me feel good. I feel that I accomplish something I really love and I can move on to do other "obligations" that day.  

Although it's hard to keep up with my daily morning drawing plan when I have other pressing projects/jobs going on. I would still like to draw whenever I can (and sometimes I write instead). 

All the "mini" drawings from my sketchbook will eventually become inspirations or design elements when I create a new pattern or illustration. Here is the new pattern I designed by using the "minis" from the daily drawing a few weeks ago. 

P.S. I take pictures of my sketchbook and post them on Instagram. If you are interested, please follow me at http://instagram.com/anaislee 

Daily drawing #3 vintage cameras

image.jpg

I've been (obsessively) watching "Mad Man" lately and am fascinated by the design from '60s. I love women's fashion style, the furniture in their home, the colors, the patterns on the fabrics etc. from that era (and the show). Although that design style is from 50 years ago, but it has a very modern and timeless look.

Speaking of MOD style, this is my morning drawing of today. Not sure what year these camera were made but I think they are much more beautiful than the cameras we have today.