Tag Archives: inspiration

Inspiration Wednesday: From My Sketchbook

I’ve been trying hard lately to manage my time better so I can keep sketching and doodling random ideas in my sketchbook while keeping up with my licensed art projects and graphic design clients. Here are a couple of my sketchbook pages from the past week.

sketchbook page bird in a tree

The first drawing of a bird in a tree is ready to be inked and scanned for digital fun. I still need to finish the second page by filling in a fancy scrolled frame around the illustration of critters and cattails.

sketchbook page critters cattails

I’m continuing my quest to Make More Work on advice from established designers and illustrators. Make so much work that you can’t be ignored. I love to draw so drawing more – drawing all the time – to continue to develop my illustration style is a great challenge to have.

Hope you’re on the look–out for things that inspire you.


Inspiration Wednesday: From My Sketchbook

I’ve been trying hard lately to manage my time better so I can keep sketching and doodling random ideas in my sketchbook while keeping up with my licensed art projects and graphic design clients. Here are a few of my sketchbook pages from the past week. Next up, I need to ink them so they are ready to be scanned for digital fun.

sketchbook moth

sketchbook moths

sketchbook moth dance

sketchbook owl

sketchbook forest floor

sketchbook fungus ferns

sketchbook bark

I recently read words of wisdom from established designers and illustrators to make more work. Make so much work that you can’t be ignored. So my goal is to draw more, to draw all the time, to continue to develop my illustration style.

Hope you’re on the look–out for things that inspire you.


Inspiration Wednesday: From My Own Sketchbook Pages

I love going from one big licensed art project to the next, but it’s nice to be in between illustration projects for a few days. I’ve had the time and inspiration lately to work on some random doodles in my sketchbook.

sketchbook swirls on a fretSometimes I leave the first page of my sketchbooks blank because it seems to give me a creative block, so I doodled the above random swirl and added a grid behind it, inspired by a guitar fret.

sketchbook vine leavesswirls and leaves inspired by wallpaper in the background of a music video

sketchbook swirlsrandom swirl doodling during a movie

sketchbook shore birdsThese two pages are inspired by shorelines where I love to sit and watch nature. For some reason I love drawing those little shoreline birds, beach grass and shells.

sketchbook shoreline

This next page is called Face Your Fears because I really hate flies so I drew one and then I got carried away and drew a bunch of other bugs too. Why not!

sketchbook bugs

It’s a great feeling to have a variety of ideas to explore in my sketchbook, from abstract to realistic. The next challenge is to decide if I want to pursue any of these pages into something more, such as an illustration for stationery or maybe a surface pattern for fabric. Hope you’re on the look–out for inspiration these days.


Inspiration Wednesday: Mother Nature

Instead of sharing one of my latest art crushes on an inspiring artist, I decided to share some of my pictures of flowers that are inspiring me lately. This is the time of year when Mother Nature inspires me more than anything or anyone else, since everything is back in full bloom in this part of the world.

yellow daisy





pink gerbera daisy

Some of my favorite things to draw are flowers and leaves, so this set of photos will provide reference for some great doodling and brainstorming future projects. Their petals all have similar shapes but their structures and centers are quite different.

What or who is inspiring you these days?


Summer Has Arrived

Since we passed the unofficial marker for the beginning of summer with Memorial Day weekend, and beautiful warm weather is here to stay, I am switching gears from looking for signs of spring to soaking up all the inspiration I can find this summer.




inside a tulip


inside an anemone

It’s wonderful to find so much inspiration this time of year at the garden centers, farmers markets, and right in my own backyard. Hope you’re out finding inspiration too.


Friday Quote No. 6/2014

Happy Friday! Today I’m sharing my latest quote poster to send you into the weekend with inspiration.

Find Your Passion


I read this quote by Michelle Kohanzo, Managing Director the The Land of Nod, in this inspiring article on Design Sponge’s “We Want Your Job” series this week.

Other advice from Michelle that inspired me:

  • Learn to be patient and slow down a bit.
  • Be creative – paint, sew, write.
  • Find your inspiration and understand what drives you – let that passion direct you.

Enjoy your weekend and kick–off to summer!



Photo of my mom riding her bike off-road, taken by me in Door County, Wisconsin.
Font used: Candara

Inspiration Wednesday: Spoonflower Hacks

This week, I wanted to share with you Spoonflower Hacks. Have you seen them? They offer a clever variety of DIY inspiration, from home decor projects to making your own clothing to getting organized.

Here are a couple of my favorites, with screenshots from their blog for reference and links to instructions to make these fun DIY projects:

Book Binding – I do love making books.

Spoonflower Hacks - Book Binding

Decal Calendar

Spoonflower Hacks - Decal Calendar

DIY Goodie Bag

Spoonflower Hacks - Goodie Bag

Hope you find something or someone that inspires you this week! Thanks for stopping by!


A Favorite Place for Inspiration

One of my favorite things to do is sit in our backyard and watch and listen to nature.

These days we have robins, cardinals, chickadees, yellow finches, and house finches hanging around, along with a few types of butterflies, cabbage whites, sulphurs, monarchs and swallowtails passing through.

We also have lots of chipmunks, squirrels and rabbits digging, gathering and munching.

I have a few favorite places I like to go for inspiration, including the botanical gardens, the farmers market, the lake and beach, and hiking trails, but I am lucky to have such a fabulous backyard sanctuary to relax and soak up some fresh air and fresh inspiration.

I also like to collect things along the way to save for experimenting in my sketchbook. Here’s an example of a few things I picked up over the weekend that I put together in my sketchbook:

If you’re feeling stressed or running low on fresh ideas, do you have a favorite place (or two) you like to go to relax and be inspired?

Thanks for stopping by!

Seeking Inspiration – New Magazines

I went magazine shopping recently, looking for some fresh inspiration. I found a few new magazines that spoke to me, so I wanted to share them with you.

Mollie Makes – living & loving handmade.

The issue I bought has projects for making crochet bangles (I’m actually working on making these), a professional looking iPad case, a princess doll with matching bedding, and creative inspiration from Berlin, New Zealand and Cardiff. Such a charming magazine!

Cloth – design it. make it. wear it. love it.

The issue I bought is full of inspiration, from shopping in New York City for your next sewing project, to instructions for making curtains with pockets (clever!), to instructions for making fun summer clothes.

Stitch Craft Create – celebrating a creative lifestyle.

The issue I bought has projects for making crochet mug mats, a birdie appliquéd pillow, a trio of mini quilts, and adorable buntings for summer decorating. Another wonderfully charming magazine!

Uppercase – for the creative and curious.

I actually have a subscription to this magazine. Their content is primarily based on graphic design, illustration and crafting, but they also have a wide variety of articles about artists and their creative spaces, inspiration, recipes and project ideas.

It’s always fun discovering magazines that are new to me, and full of fresh, creative people and ideas. I really liked each of these magazines, so I will definitely buy them again. I don’t make projects from patterns or featured in magazines very often, but each of these issues has a project I want to try. They are also good eye candy when I need a little boost.

Do you have any favorite magazines?

Thanks for stopping by!

My Muse: Botanical Gardens

I’ve been taking several online art classes this year from Alisa Burke, an artist famous for her sketchbooks and her art, from realistic to abstract, graffiti to patterns. One of her strongest messages is to find your own muse, places that excite you and give you inspiration to create your own art.

One of my favorite places to go for inspiration is our local botanical gardens.

It’s chock full of gorgeous paths, landscaping and planned gardens based on themes, such as wildflowers, roses, herbs, and spring bulbs.

They have such a wonderful variety of spring bulbs in bloom right now.

I saw many spring flowers I’m familiar with but not in these mini versions.

I’ve also never seen a tree with such curls like this Curly Willow.

In addition to all the beautiful flowers, the landscaping is fabulous too. This alpine path reminds me of vegetation I saw when I lived in mountain terrain, lots of evergreens, conifers, sedums and succulents.

There are lots of places to just sit and reflect on life.

I’m working on a project for Color Theory class where we have to put together  slide show of photos we’ve taken showing complementary colors, which means colors on the opposite sides of the color wheel.

I already have a big supply of photos to choose from, but I wanted to take new photos to add to the mix.

It was an exhilarating and relaxing afternoon, to feel the warm sunshine, smell the blossoms, and just be outside amongst all this natural beauty.

I definitely have to make more field trips like this. Where do you go to relax and find inspiration?

Thanks for stopping by!

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