Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Monday Misery...

Follows into Tuesday, Wednesday... Thursday....

Munich City Hall Gargoyle

I'm miserable. Not only did the common cold set in, but it set in both head and chest. It's my fault entirely: I returned to the gYm (Y=YMCA) for the first time since our honeymoon and I was dazed and bewildered. All the equipment looked pretty, new, and shiny -so did the magazines- they did me in.

I'm miserable because I was enveloped by the SOS (shiny Object Syndrome) and I even brought one home with me. Ohhh, magazine Gawds forgive me for succumbing to periodical temptation.

I've been striving to get a little work done -and it's been very little- so I've attempted to enjoy a few happy classics on Netflix. Attempted is the operative word since I've never seen "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" -OMG what a, er, a, ahem, "dysfunctional" film I never want to see again. Now, I thought I'd top that off with a happy film, "Dr. Zhavigo" -another film I've never seen; both ripe with existentialism and not a happy film by any extent.

Upon Andrew's later return, we filled ourselves with salmon and DVR recorded "Daily Shows." I must say, the DeBeers Parody within the 5 Year Anniversary was a brilliant piece (it's at the very end).

Now I must drag myself to bed and hope I don't give this crap to my favorite husband.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

SCPA: Treble Clef Auction Logo

This past week, I've been wrapping up projects for charity. The newly designed logo is for Second Chance Pet Adoptions' Annual Auction.

Second Chance wanted an emblem to represent a jazz theme. Their initial idea was to include several elements of what jazz meant to them: saxaphones, piano, musical notes, mardi gras etc. While it's a challenge to get clients to understand the difference between an illustration and a logo, the idea of music needed to be strongly conveyed. Fortunately, to have a client like Second Chance who understands that bringing a myriad of ideas to the illustrator/designer and allowing the designer to rearrange and edit, strengthens dialog and trust.

My solution was to embrace both cat and dog into the shape of a treble clef. The colors currently represent the Mardi Gras but the elegant lines of the treble clef provides longevity, allowing Second Chance to implement the logo in all manners of music. In the future, SC can change their music theme from caribbean jazz, latin jazz, the blues, ragtime, big band, even classical.

Custom Suede Luxe Cover: Wheat

A while ago, I was asked to do some custom work for friends. Now they've ordered custom art for their bible covers. I created 2 different versions and couldn't decide which one I liked best, so I gave them the option; they took both!

Custom Handcrafted Luxe Suede Bible Cover Painted with Wheat

Artist Spotting: Hoppy Easter

On occasion, I hop from blog to blog to see what fellow illustrators are up to. While Shane posted this in November, I thought it rather timely. He knows it to be sad, but darn it, those bunnies are adorable.

S.T. Lewis

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Friendship Set: Limited Time

I thought it might be fun to celebrate the friends in our lives.


For a limited time, I want to offer a special gift package to celebrate friendships. I've packaged both the archival print and bezel pendant together and applied a discount.

This is a great gift for sisters, moms, aunts, and of course, best friends.

Celebrate Friendships on CalligraphyPets.

ECStewart + CalligraphyPets: FaceBook Page!

ECStewart Collections + CalligraphyPets now have our own Facebook page.

Please join us, become a fan and invite your friends! By doing so, this will allow you to post your photos of you and your favorite art from our studio!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

IF: Garden

A garden's best friend: the lucky ladybug.

You'll want her around your roses. I brought her into a pendant form so that you could summon all the luck you need.

LadyBug Luck Sterling Pendant, a fine art print.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Studio Report: Site Updates + Chat with Me!

Google has crafted a new tool: the Chat Box.

I discovered this box on an artist's site that I stalk (I'm benign, I promise!) and thought it was a very good way of keeping in touch with my clients who want instant info from me about my products and services.

Immediately, I found a way to create my own and installed it on my blog a week ago and now on my site on the collections and care page.

Status & Messages
I will do my best to change the status when I leave the studio so that you'll know my whereabouts. One can also leave a message and I'll find it in a new tab upon my return -so do make sure to leave your name and brief message so that I can be prepared to answer your queries effectively.

Additionally, I've updated a few pages on CalligraphyPets to make finding my products a bit easier. Namely, the collections page has been further enhanced with dropdown navigation and more imagery in cleaner subsections. I will be uploading new art and updating the care page as soon as I can.

I hope this helps you in your explorations and purchases. Feel free to chat with me if you find something awry.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

MAC Syndrome

I did it. I finally converted. I'm now a MAC designer.
(insert applause here)

After years of struggling -unwittingly- with low memory and immense frustration, Andrew finally made me see the light. It's amazing how time flies. I had the old Dell for 4 years and I thought I was fine with it. Sure, in the beginning, but after struggling with huge files and several windows of wait time to complete any task, I'd soon lose my interest and wander about my studio, working on other projects. Ugh!

My first small project was inserting our iSight capture into the screen of this MAC image within Photoshop. Needless to say, I had to purchase another Wacom tablet straight away so that design won't feel painfully awkward with the mouse -feels like working with a bar of soap. One can see that the light used with iSight overexposed our faces and I really didn't feel like correcting the skin tones -ala bar of soap.

Woo-hoo! This baby is gorgeous!

Friday, March 07, 2008

Quiet Reflections

Too much to do and so very little time. I'm supposed to be working on my taxes, alas, this rainy day has propelled me to create.

I can't help it.

This photo was taken in Edinburgh as we were walking back from Dogmanay. Around the new parliament building, along the Dynamic Earth Museum it continued to rain. My Canon caught a building's reflection in a raindrop hanging on a bud!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Ladies Night at the Wine Merchant

The Wine Merchant last night had a great night for their first premiere of Ladies Night.

My 'wine themed' work was well received after working hard on getting it prepared for the event. In case you missed it, I revealed some surprises last night and in a few days, I will have it uploaded to CalligraphyPets site for you to purchase as well.

The event was interesting. As I watched women walk in as singles, pairs, or even a group, they all had that hunt and gather mentality. If you've ever read our entries on SAVANTBlog on how women are the market, you might want to brief yourself.

A couple of things to remember when selling to women:

Women are different from men, period.
Men are transactional, women form relationships. By this I mean that men buy the product and leave while women form relationships with experts in the stores they purchase.

Women Gather. Women gather everything from information, items, to lists... Women don't like to feel like they've overlooked a product as part of their consideration set; men just move on. The ladies last evening wanted to walk out with a bottle or two of wine, as if those bottles were the coveted personal prize. I watched them immediately gather around the bar to taste the evening's array, as a matter of course. They commenced pacing up and down the aisles to examine each and every bottle, above and beyond the few that were available for tasting.

In some cases, we answered questions or recommended some new bottles as we stood by my art work. Someone asked me about layered cake... I'm not sure what dimension she was coming from, but it was almost like someone in an online forum asking the whereabouts of their hat.

Mid evening, I counted the women, then I counted the men. In addition to the 3 men working, there were 2, including Andrew. It was amazing to see the turn out and I could see my new friend, Kurt, up to his eyeballs in estrogen.

They Came to Buy Wine
While I did get a great reception to my work, I didn't sell a piece -and I didn't expect to. That's indicative of women and purchasing. When people see my work for the first time, but it wasn't part of the consideration set, they dismiss it. They came to buy wine. That's okay, that's how human beings work. Sure, my name was included in the advertising, but it was about: wine, not art about wine.

Andrew and I tried explaining this to Cory later that evening and I expressed how I hope they consider bringing me in again for their next event. Because if I know anything about women, it's also about expectation. While I wasn't part of the consideration set this time, they'll be looking for me next time.

Sure, I felt mildly disappointed, I'm not going to lie. Having been one of the easiest shows I participated in, I almost wanted to equate my effort with sales. Then again, I won't since some of the major shows I've exhibited, I've had rotten luck.

Oh, by the way, I just got a call from the Wine Merchant. Evidently, Andrew had submitted my name into a raffle and now I've won something. I hope they guys down at the store aren't taking pity on me -then again, if it's a bottle of wine, I'll take it.

Amidst the March madness, I will be working hard on the next generation of wine themed work. I'm not going to say much but I can reveal the new series name: Cosmopolitan.

I'm looking forward to participating the next time they decide to host it again.

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

March Madness

So, I've been working like a mad woman to get the second half of a postcard campaign complete this week for licensing manufacturers. It's important to make sure one's name is on one's art, otherwise, it gets lost. Because ADs pin work to their bulletin boards, it's best to have contact info on the front, too, for quick reference.

Here is a sneak peak of my first quarter design.

Meanwhile, had to visit Dr. Eric yesterday to get my Invisalign project reviewed and resumed wine themed art preparations for the Raleigh Wine Merchant premiere of Ladies Night.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Celebrating Us!

We've not been able to say much the past few weeks, but March is becoming our official month of celebration!

Andrew and I are quickly approaching the day of our first date -7 years! Additionally, Andrew no longer has to walk around like a Cheshire Cat as he'll be orchestrating brand programs for a global company, leaving his former employer behind. Yay!

Celebrating Us! Collage

To celebrate, we got pedicures and enjoyed port out of our favorite sippers!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Between the Shows

This past week has been cyclical in terms of work and venues. Suddenly, I find myself with not 2 shows, but now invited to a 3rd mid-March.

Andrew and I returned home Friday evening and collapsed from exhibiting at the Chapel Hill Women's Benefit. We noshed on the 2nd half of his delish pizza he made for us the previous night and gorged ourselves on our chocolate delights we purchased at A Southern Season in Chapel Hill during our exhibit recess between lunch and cocktails.

Now, it's been a beautiful weekend and I plan to...

Stay inside and create new imagery;
Corral donations for select charities;
Finish collating tax stuff + send off to CPA;
Cut backing board for my prints;
Prepare Necklines & WinterIce for shipments

But instead, Andrew pulled me outdoors and we resumed our Sunday afternoon open house tour to see new McMansions and renovations in our area. At least I absorbed a bit of vitamin D.

Now, I'm striving to upload the rest of my WinterIce pendants & create a fun label for our foodie gift for our friends this evening, but it's 6:05 and Bacchus is now walking all over my keyboard to let me know that it's past his Splash Time. Heh! More on that later.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

IF: Leap

My submission for Illustration Friday: Leap

"Jumper" being a synonym for leap, I thought that that this former piece of mine would fit the theme.