Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Mon Carnet De Poche Update

 I thought I would drop a quick update on my beloved journal that many have been asking about Mon Carnet De Poche. The lovely vintage journal that seems to be taking a lot from the different mediums I am trying.

I know many were looking for it. Although I originally purchased it in a Japanese stationary store named Maido, they had since sold out. I found the exact same one at Crate & Barrel of all places. Or a version of it on JenniBick called Carnet de Croquis Poche (Pocekt Sketchbook).

It is truly a lovely sketchbook or all around nice paper if you like to use it for writing.

Music of the Day:
Sondre Lerche : Bad Law

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

In Search

Its been a few years now since I've dived back into the creative world and I must say I have learned a lot and also been bitten by the supply bug as is very apparent from my journey. During which I have played around with many different mediums and styles, and just plain played around to see what would happen.

I guess you can say I am still in the throws of searching for the elusive, "style" that is my own. The one that would make one say, hey... that looks like something Julia did haha. Now I'm not talking about fames and riches although I won't deny that would be grand. I'm just talking about how some are driven to repeat a certain type of stamp on the world or art and creativity that is uniquely their own.

Sometimes I feel the failure for not having discovered mine yet and this is aside from the fact I still need to grow my technical skills. Perhaps this in the natural evolution of feelings all artists go through I am not sure. First the blank page fright, then the fear of what other would say or think, and finally the growing desire to have "the style" that is your own.

Seems like a lot of emotional and psychological hurdles one has to go through in order to do something we as humans so innately want to do. I think that is why I am so drawn to artists like Lynda Barry. How she pulls from the ones who thought themselves the least bit creative, a load of it.

Funny... just rambling in my thoughts as I was playing with some gouache and oil pastels in my Mon Carnet de Poche today. It had occurred to me that I have not as I haven't 'arrived' so to speak, but maybe that isn't such a bad thing. Maybe I shouldn't be so concerned with 'searching' for it... as long as I am creating and having fun!

Music of the Day:
Lullatone : Growing Up

Saturday, March 28, 2015


Yeah... on my long list of things to improve ^_*. Just had to share this one. I'm always in awe of folks who have wonderful handwriting much less calligraphic handwriting. I've only just begun acquiring a few inks, fountain pens, and pens with nibs.

Of course this is a whole different rabbit hole one can go down, but I'm definitely not there yet. However, if you are interested, at Goulet Pens you can get samples of inks to try out or join their inkdrop, which is a monthly subscription in which they send you 5 samples a month to try.

I also decided to get a few books on the subject which seem fairly straight forward. The first one is called: Draw Your Own Alphabets. This one is more about drawing out different font styles. Each section has: a lesson, the alphabet completely drawn out in that particular style, and then a practice page. My only issue is I wish the sample alphabet was across from the practice page although I suppose most would practice on separate pieces of paper anyways.


The other book is more about traditional calligraphy. The ornate kind such as Celtic, Gothic, Renaissance, as well as a bit of more modern ones. This one surprised me. I thought it would be a bit dry as anything with the word "Bible of " usually is, but it is quite informative. Especially for a newbie like me I suppose.

The beginning of the book talks about the tool and techniques of the trade. Now while an average gal like me would probably not get into the stretching of vellum...(don't ask haha), there are some nice tips on the types of brushes, pens, and paints you can use.

The rest of the chapters go into a specific style, give a little background history, examples of use, and then a break down on how to draw it. 

There is also a section on modern calligraphy and I really like how they break it down by order of strokes.

Bottom line is it takes practice, practice, practice... one day you just might see something better than my chicken scratch, and when you do know that it happen because I must have practiced haha.

Oh speaking of which as a side note, you know that inspirational comic artist Richard Thompson I mentioned? I was pouring over his old blog and came upon this little beauty about nibs. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Happy Friday #43 : Where I Create

Hello and happy Friday to everyone! A few lovely folks have asked me to show more of my art room, but before I did, I decided it was time to optimize my space and went to work re-organizing my room.

I originally used the white desk you see here as my main hub for my computer. This in turn became my default place where I also did my art. On this one cramped desk! So silly after my hubby and the kids spent so much time refinishing my standing desk and the surface along the wall. What a waste and how unhealthy!

So I went to work... for now I think this will suit me fine. I will be using the standing desk more and the surface along the wall and the white desk the kid's digital corner. Currently little man is into programming games and editing effects into his mini movies. And little miss is into drawing digitally and using her light board via the computer.

Here are a few pictures of my beloved supplies. I will go over my current favorites in a future date I promise ^_^.

All-in-all I think this layout is more open and conducive to the utilization of my space. Any who I'm a bit of a nut for seeing where people create so if you have something posted online, drop a comment and a link. Would love to see where you create!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A Quiet Evening with Flow Magazine

Just got my first copy of Flow with my new subscription. This Dutch magazine quickly became my favorite magazine find of 2012. It was always this game however, to see if I could get the latest issue as only the Barnes and Nobles would carry them in my area. Thank goodness they started the subscription process this year ^_^.


So tonight it will be some music, my magazine, and perhaps some art inspired by both.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Inspiration : Richard Thompson

Today's little inspiration nugget comes in the form of a fantastic illustrator / cartoonist named Richard Thompson. I happened upon his work recently and saw this little documentary about him.

Although he has done many illustrative work, he is best known for his comic strip called, 'Cul De Sac' and his cartoon series, 'Richard's Poor Almanac'.

Image from : Cul De Sac

Sketch from : Illustration Art

Richard's Poor Almanac
Image from : Richard's Poor Almanac

Although I must admit I was not familiar with his work prior to happenstance and this documentary, from what I've seen so far he has a fantastic sense of humor in his writing and his eye for caricature is amazing. I adore learning about creatives. Everything from their life stories to their actual processes.

For me the world of comics, the finite nuances of the line was unknown to me until my visit last year to the Charles Shultz Museum. The day I sat down and mistakenly thought Woodstock would be one of the easiest characters to draw since he had few lines.

Haha.. I still remember how I was rudely awoken to the knowledge... just a tiny bit off in one direction and Woodstock just did not look right! This experience brought a whole knew level of awareness, interest, and respect for me when I read comics now.

And with that I found a little clip of Richard Thompson drawing one of his beloved, 'Cul De Sac,' characters. You can also, go to Cul De Sac to purchase signed copies of the comic strip or the recent book about the artist.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Happy Friday #42 : I'm Back....

Hello everyone! I'm back... Life... both the good and the bad pulled me into the vortex of the creative void this past month. So to shake things up, I picked up a little membership to Creative Bug at the request of my bb Girl. We took up the watercolor class and a little Lisa Condron module. Very nice and I will have to admit at their current prices... very affordable. We were doing a bit of testing of our watercolors when we decided those lovely bit's of color shouldn't go to waste. So A little pen and off we went making little critters. 

This really helped me wake up and start playing so to speak. I cracked open both my Mon Carnet De Poche and my Hobonichi A6. In terms of my daily drawing, I had been keeping pencil sketches of my day inside my Hobo, with the idea I would come back and color them, but ended up coloring bits and pieces randomly. That was until these last few days. I've been pretty busy coloring and having fun playing with my various gouaches.

A few days ago, I also celebrated a hallmark birthday. I'll leave it up in the air as to which decade I entered into, but suffice it to say I am still mildly surprised by the number now and again haha. That being said, I had a wonderful day that was orchestrated by my hubby.

My day began with presents, flowers, cards, and home made strawberry shortcake pancakes by chef BB and Hubby. Then a trip over to San Fran for tea at the Japanese Gardens. A little walk through the park to take a look at some locale artist's work.

Then a little trip over to the Dogpatch district of SF. A very interesting industrial area that has many little docs. and is part industrial and part residential. Being from Chicago, it reminds me of the South Loop area. Here we went to the Crafts and Design Museum and then tried some BBQ for lunch.


My night ended with home cooked Korean meal by my hubby and a delish cake. All-in-all it wasn't a bad start to a new decade ^_^.