HOW TO NOT BE OVERWHELMED THIS HOLIDAY SEASON

HOW TO NOT BE OVERWHELMED THIS HOLIDAY SEASON

Every year I’m stressed from October through Christmas Eve. Too many orders, letting people order well passed my deadline, saying yes to things I know I can’t fit into my schedule and just telling myself I won’t sleep. I got shingles twice in three years during Christmas Card season. My doctor told me I needed to reduce my stress...and I thought that’ll happen when I’m dead dude.

But during the holiday season last year I kept thinking…why do I do this? Why do I do this to myself? To my family? And this year I ask myself, why does anyone do this to themselves?

So I made a huge shift at the start of 2018 and one of those mind shifts was how can I not be overwhelmed by the holiday season? You don’t have to have a creative business or be a small business owner to ask yourself this question. We all have party invitations, invitations to things like cookie exchanges, shopping trips, invitations to relatives homes and gift shopping, decorating, etc. all on top of our regular lives. And it literally seems to have sucked all the joy out of the season for me and what I would have to guess is so many other people. But why? Why do we subscribe to this idea that we can’t politely decline an invitation if it means it will cause less stress? I’m sure the answer is different for everyone but for me I know it’s because I’m a people pleaser.

Well those days are gone...well I’m still a people pleaser but I will never rob myself or my family from the joy of the holidays again.

JUST SAY NO.

I gave up my stationery business on Jan. 1 to focus on my illustrations and my family, the two things that bring me joy, and I haven’t looked back. AND even more importantly I couldn’t be happier. December used to be when I’d really lose my mind but this year it’s a month that feels magical, exciting and fun and I hope it is for you as well! Take the time to slow down and enjoy it, say no to what you can’t fit in or what doesn’t serve you and take the time to do things that do.

MY 2019 DESKTOP CALENDAR IS HERE!

2019 DESKTOP CALENDAR

It's finally here! I'm launching my 2019 Desktop Calendar and it's my very first calendar. This has been a total labor of love and it features some of my favorite fashion from different seasons and holidays. Some illustrations are inspired by stylish ladies in my life and others are dream outfits I would love to wear. ⠀

2019 DESKTOP CALENDAR
2019 DESKTOP CALENDAR

Each month and girl is printed on bright white 100% cotton paper with a modern calendar to quickly reference important dates. You can choose your display style: a modern wood block, a gold easel or no display at all and feel free to tack them to the wall or bulletin board. Each month is 5x7 and will fit in a standard frame which is also a great option for displaying.⠀

And all calendar sets come boxed in a beautiful black gift box ready for gifting.⠀

A SHORT LOOK AT MY JOURNEY AS AN ARTIST

JOURNEY.jpg

When I was in third grade a drew a drawing of a women for a project in Sister Maria's class, she hung it in the hallway and for the first time in my life compliments rained in from all directions, teachers and kids a like. From that moment on people saw me as an artist and I saw myself that way too. Whenever anyone asked me what I wanted to be after that I always said "an artist." I applied to my dream art school in Brooklyn, Pratt Institute, and was nothing short of elated to be an adult, live in New York and start learning how to be a painter and get paid...that wasn't reality though, I wasn't going to just be able to paint in a rad loft studio and make money. I graduated and just looked for any job in a creative office...I worked for a famous Interior Designer who was downright awful and cried everyday at lunch. I became a preschool teacher for awhile and shortly after that the opportunity to be a high school art teacher fell in my lap and I took it. I had my kids and stayed home with them for awhile then started designing wedding invitations. For a long time I worked creating custom wedding invitation suites for design minded couples and loved it.

But last year I accepted the fact that I was totally burned out. The thing that brought me the most excitement had lost it's spark so I decided to let it go. But before I got there I had gotten so many requests for invitation suites with custom illustrations and then just custom illustrations. After a hiatus I relaunched my brand, just offering my art as prints and selling custom illustrations. The support from friends and long time clients was a blessing and I can't speak enough about how happy I am about this new part of my journey. I know it will continue to grow and evolve as I do and my family does and I'm grateful for that.

MY 2019 DESKTOP CALENDAR IS HERE!

I literally can’t express my excitement as I launch my 2019 Desktop Calendar. I have labored over these girls and these pages for months and I worked so hard to make sure it was just right. The girls have been inspired by some of my favorite fashion from each season, some by real people in my life or on the screen. They have been on my desk and hanging over it for months and I have obsessed over them so much they feel like real people to me at this point. They each have a personality and story in my head, maybe I’ll share some of those in the coming weeks but for right now I just want to introduce you to the calendar itself.

Each month is printed on bright white cotton paper with a numerical calendar and you can choose to display your calendar using your own frame, board or tack to the wall. But if you’d like a stand for displaying I’m offering a perfectly modern wooden block stained in a rich warm brown or a simple gold easel. Every month features a solo illustration of the calendar girl on the back so you can still use each month long after it’s passed. Calendars come packaged in a perfectly appointed black shiny gift box, wrapped in a bow ready for gift giving this holiday season!

Shop the calendar here and see all the details!

WHY YOU SHOULD NEVER GIVE UP ON YOUR DREAMS

WHY YOU SHOULD NEVER GIVE UP ON YOUR DREAMS

When we were kids and they said you can be whatever you want when you grow up but then they changed their minds when it came to crunch time in your late teens and told you to have dreams but make sure they are realistic….they were wrong.

PERSONALIZED NOTE CARDS ARE NOW IN THE ART SHOP!

I’m so excited to dip my toes back in the stationery pond in a little way and with that in mind I’m officially announcing my newest collection….PERSONALIZED NOTE CARDS!

Each card features some of my customer’s favorite illustrations and can be customized with your name in 3 font options. They come printed on luxurious cotton card and for real paperphiles you can choose double thick cotton card.

They come in a black box tied with the perfect bow, ready for gifting to a special someone or gift yourself!

Happy shopping and keep your eyes peeled for a few more fun things coming your way next week!

THE TOP 5 ILLUSTRATORS ON INSTAGRAM

FAVORITE ILLUSTRATORS ON INSTAGRAM.jpg

It’s no secret that I’m addicted to Instagram. I LOVE IT. FREAKING. LOVE IT. Everything about it, except battling the alogortihm of course. It’s amazing that you can connect with people around the world in real time and with as little words as possible, I’m a visual person (duh) so if I had to choose only Facebook or Instagram it would be a no brainer. { Don’t ask me about Twitter because I HATE IT. It’s the worst. }

When Instagram introduced stories I was skeptical, who needs to post a picture that would disappear in 24 hours and why? And as they worked out the kinks and have made it something more useful to people posting and people watching by finally allowing you to post older pictures, add words right in the app or with a 3rd party application,I fell in love. But mostly it helped me fall in love with some of my favorite fashion illustrators on Instagram. Watching them create or just their behind the scenes was enough to have me hooked. So check out my top 5 favorites below and check them out on IG!

 
miss magpie spy.jpg

NIKI GROOM | @miss_magpie_spy

Nikki Groom is a UK fashion illustrator with a fun, loose style filled with bright colors. Her rendering of patterns captured my attention a few years ago and I have been addicted to her work ever since. She posts amazing stories of her travels and you can watch her paint live or on her story regularly which is beyond amazing. She shares her favorite tools and explains her process in such an approachable way for artists and non-artists alike.My 2 favorite things about Nikki is that she is super honest, even when things aren’t so glamorous and that she is super charitable. She is a concerned global citizen and encourages and informs her audience to give back to various causes near and dear to her and that is so refreshing.

 
 
 
FASHION ILLUSTRATORS ON INSTAGRAM.jpg

KATIE RODGERS | @paperfashion

Katie Rodgers is a true inspiration. Her work is so magical and you can often watch her create her work right on her story and if it doesn’t inspire you to make something I don’t know how to be friends with you anymore. Glittery gold, rich pastels and delicious brushstrokes are always on tap and the music she paints to is always mesmerizing (often soundtracks from movies)…it’s like she transports you to another place with her photos of NYC, bright bold flowers, tiny creatures that visit her rooftop garden and gorgeous illustrations. She is a can’t miss on Instagram, you’ll thank me.

 
 
 
david downtown.jpg

DAVID DOWNTON | @DAVIDDOWNTOWN

David Downton has been an idol of mine since I learned what fashion illustration was. He is a classic staple in the fashion illustration world and always will be. He recently posted a lot about my most beloved Antonio Lopez, a fashion illustrator who died years ago but his work still influences fashion illustration today. Downton’s style is loose but classic with modern edge. His Instagram feed is filled with his work and his inspiration but honestly one of my favorite kinds of posts from him is when shares vintage images of fashion mavens from times gone by.

 
 
 

TRACY HETZEL | @TRACYHETZEL

Tracy Hetzel is at the top of my list for her beautiful detailed illustrations that always have an air of rebellion. She is a graphic designer by day and illustrator by night. Her feed is full of her finished masterpieces and seriously brimming with personality. You can shop her work or commission a custom piece on Etsy in her store called Long Blue Straw.

 
 
 
brook lit.jpg

BROOKE HAGEL | @BROOKLIT

I had the immense pleasure of meeting NYC based Fashion Illustrator when she was a guest a Stitched Fashion Camp a few years ago in the Hamptons and she is as sweet as her drawings. Super girly and super fun, all of her work is to die for and her Instagram feed is so beautifully put together you can’t help but fall in love with all the blush pink, images in and around NYC and of course her super gorgeous girls. Her story is equally amazing…updated everyday with her adventures, live drawing gigs and videos of her at work on her desk or iPad, you’ll never be bored!

I hope you have a chance to check out all of my favorites and you might find they become one of yours too…and it would be really awesome to give them some love by following or even buying a piece of their art!

Happy scrolling!