Artist Holiday Wishlist 2015

It looks like a lot of bloggers are trying to kickstart their blogs again for the holiday season and I’m not different~ Though I am absent on here, I do read many blogs and find such enjoyable reads that I get inspired and want to write some of mine but I have been swamped with work and have been unable to ;-; I am working harder to actually sit down and write more, and now that the wedding is done with I can actually focus on other things and not feel guilty about it.

With the holidays right around the corner, I got to thinking of when I was a teenager and made my wish lists for the holidays and my birthday and never thought of the little things that I could have used! I always put the big things I wanted and never considered the small things because I always thought, I’ll get that later on my own. I think there’s something to being able to have those little things that would make a big difference in the creative flow and wanted to share possibilities with you, here! I tried to mix a few affordable and a little more expensive items.

If you're interested in buying the item, click on the image and it will take you to the website! I had to do a bit of research to make sure I found the best priced items from big sellers. On that note, anything made by artists on places like Etsy, Redbubble, Society6 and other places like that would be a great place to get gifts from. Always support artists any way you can!

1.     Desk Lamp

This is something that I HATED having to worry about. When I get in the zone I don’t like having to worry about things like lighting. Honestly it never used to cross my mind because I didn’t know what I was missing out on. Thankfully my husband (still getting used to that~) gave me this beautiful desk lamp that has saved me on many sketch sessions. Having good lighting while sketching or drawing is really important to fully enjoy what you’re doing. Colors look different and suddenly there are mistakes that you couldn’t catch in beautiful, dim lighting. It’s like when you apply makeup in the bathroom with dull lighting and suddenly step outside and you look completely different than what you thought. It’s an inexpensive gift that would make a world of difference!

 

 

2.     Wacom Intuos Tablet

This one isn’t actually as expensive as you would think! Wacom recently came out with a few new tablets for artists to get their hands on without breaking the bank. The pressure sensitivity for them is as good as the Wacom Intuos Touch tablets and they’re great for artists who would like to start getting into digital art. I have a small one to carry around to work or on trips and a bigger one I keep at home for projects. It’s been a great tool to get me drawing more!

 

 

 

 

3.     Light box

It took me a really long time to get a light box. I was drawing mainly traditionally and would come up with lots of creative ways to get clean line art but always ended up ruining the page with my eraser ;-; It wasn’t until a few years in that I went on ebay and got a cheap light box. The reason I never thought about it was because I always thought they would be expensive and at the time, they were. Now they sell really nice ones for great prices! If I had gotten this as a gift I probably would have cried from joy, haha! This one looks like a great model because it’s thin, which is great for storing. Mine is literally a huge wooden box with a lightbulb underneath it. It gets the job done! Once it goes I will probably opt for this one, though!

 

4.     Art Supply Organizer

I thought I was the only one that enjoyed seeing all her art supplies out in front of her when drawing. Unfortunately I never had anything like an organizer to keep everything together, so every time I wanted to draw I had to clean everything off my desk and take out all my markers, colored pencils and pens. Once I was done with my piece I had to put everything away again. It was satisfying cleaning up, I guess, but then I found these wonderful things called Studio/Workspace Tours on Youtube. I noticed these organizers and thought how amazing it would be to have my Copics all organized and in front of me like that… I guess this is on my wish list as well, haha! It’s a great gift and not too expensive. A perfect gift for a traditional or mixed media artist!

 

5.     Pencil Cases or Makeup Cases

Something I tend to do is use makeup cases as pencil and pen cases. I don’t know when I actually started doing it but I know I continue to do it. I love makeup cases. They are lovely and pretty and very girl-y and I love having them in my purse. Some are really great to have because they’re lined for cosmetics which means the inside of the case won’t get ruined with any marks! This can also apply for guys and toiletry cases if they want to carry around a nice amount of supplies in a protected case. I listed two of my favorite here, but you can go into Forever21 or H&M and get something cheaper and cute!

6.     Sketchbooks

I have more of these than I like to admit but I don’t have a single regret. In my experience, artists and creative people LOVE sketchbooks. I personally love having a variety because I always tend to find a them I want to have with different sketchbooks. My Moleskine ones are for sketching, my hardcover ones with nice paper are for character sketches and backgrounds, and a lot of them are used for whenever I feel like it. I like having a lot of sizes and paper types available to me as well. Perhaps the artist in your life feels the same? 

7.     Cabin Socks

A really big problem I have when I sketch is that I get cold really easily. I like being comfortable when I draw so I usually throw on a fleece and some comfy socks and I am ready to go. I discovered these recently discounted at Tj Max and Marshalls and I am telling you, if you see them, get them! They are SO comfortable and warm because of their fleece lining and they will last because they’re made so sturdy! I want them in every color~

 

 

 

 

8.     Merchandise from their favorite artists on Society6

One of my favorite things to do is browse my favorite artists’ Society6 stores. They’re always adding new prints and so many possibilities for new merchandise. I’m a big buyer of tote bags with huge prints of my favorite works and using them on errand days. My favorite coffee mug is one I bought from Bara-Chan on her store. They are amazing quality and are a perfect addition to a casual day. They’re always having sales, especially during the holiday season, so I highly suggest you check them out!

 

https://society6.com/

 

 

9.     Coffee or Tea Mugs

Something I love having while I’m sketching or reading blogs is a nice big mug filled with a warm drink. Sometimes it’s tea and others it’s coffee, but I love having a lot of it. It also helps that a variety of really cute mugs in my cupboard just makes me want to use them. I warm beverage really sets the mood for when I want to sit for hours and sketch. There are a lot of cute and affordable ones in TJ Max or Marshalls, but they also have really cute ones in places like Anthropologie.

 

 

 

 

10. Writer’s Notebooks

The need for a good notebook is very different from the need for a good sketchbook. Notebooks are great to just spill things on to. They’re great for ramblings or cutouts of memorable things or quotes. I don’t go anywhere without a notebook of some kind, and neither does my husband. We both love recording things in our notebooks and using them for ideas for later, and also for quick things like holiday lists, errands and reminders for the day. I love having a cute notebook in my bag for small things and a big notebook on my desk to get things done. Pay attention to things like the type of lined paper because this can make or break a notebook for someone like me. I can’t work in anything that isn’t college lined and absolutely abhor wide ruled. In the end, though, there’s nothing like a blank page in a notebook to get the creative juices flowing~

11. Spotify Subscription

Having good music for me is absolutely essential. I would have loved Spotify when I was younger. It would have been a great tool for me and anyone that just needs to have good music playing in the background. I love it for the offline listening capabilities because sometimes I just want to turn off wifi and concentrate on what I’m doing. Right now they have a special going on where you get three months for only 99 cents! If you’re a student it’s only 5 dollars a month after those three months. It’s a perfect time to try it out if you’ve been wanting to!

12. Website Subscription (Squarespace)

My website is built with Squarespace and I cannot say enough good things about it. I had been using blogger before for my blog and while I enjoyed it, I didn’t feel like it was entirely reliable (plus I heard horror stories about people’s blogs being taken down without any notice and just losing everything they had.) and they didn’t have much of any customer service. Though Wordpress is free, I didn’t like how limited my capabilities were to also have a gallery for my artwork and sketches. Squarespace  gives me the ease of writing my blog as well as a beautiful and professional way to display my work. I get unlimited storage space for my images which is great because sometimes I get very image heavy with my posts. I also have the option of adding a store but I’m not looking for that at the moment. I would highly recommend any artists who would like to have a professional look to their work and brand to Squarespace. They have reasonable prices, and you get a discount if you buy a yearly subscription. If you think your artist friends would benefit from something like this, I would give the plans a look over!

13. Headphones

This goes along with needing good music. I also need headphones that are noise cancelling and don’t have any noise leakage. I’m extremely paranoid about that and don’t want anyone listening to what I listen to (mostly because I tend to repeat a track a thousand times when I become obsessed.) Comfort is also very important when it comes to headphones, so I always prefer over the ear ones. I’m almost always working at my desk so wired or not doesn’t matter to me. You can go online and find some really great headphones for good prices right now, and I managed to snag mine when a sale was going on. I use the Audio-Technica ATH-M30x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones and can’t rave enough about them. They are comfortable and give me great audio quality. I also have a pair of Beats Solo 2 headphones I use for work and can’t rave enough about those, either. Those are more expensive and I got them on Black Friday because I needed something more portable for work. I wouldn’t pay the original high price for them but right now they’re on sale for about as much as I paid for them so I would definitely grab them for someone that needs portable and good quality headphones!

14. Reference Books

You know those photo books that have huge pictures of flowers or desserts or pinup girls that can always be found in the discount section of Barnes and Noble? These actually make really great references because the books are large and you can have them right in front of your when drawing from realism. They’re cheap and they’re a great asset to the ever growing artist. I would find out what your artist friend is trying to learn how to draw better and go with that as a guide for a gift! I personally would love to have a library of photo books of beautiful flowers and food, huhu~ I would look for ones that have a variety of angles and takes full advantage of the large book it’s in. That means the fewer words, the better! I love The Great American Pin-Up (which I have listed below) for the variety of poses (and pretty ladies.) and refer to it when I need inspiration for a pose. Sometimes it’s nice to just have something in front of you instead of Googling every reference. Though I list examples for photo books on Amazon, I definitely recommend going to a book shop and flipping through your options! That’s the only way you’ll see which one would serve your purpose better (and they’re always cheaper there, too!)

15. Wacom Bamboo Stylus (and iTunes Gift Card)

I wanted to pack this last one into like a combined one but you can do either/or. The Wacom Bamboo stylus is really great for those who just want to doodle on their iPad using drawing apps. This isn’t to be mistaken for the other Wacom stylus that uses bluetooth to connect to the iPad. That one is nice too, but it’s also pricier and honestly I like this one better. When I wanted to try drawing more on the iPad, this is the stylus I used most often and I actually had fun with it. It’s pretty nice! The iTunes gift card would be nice for someone to buy drawing apps with. The useful ones usually cost 4 - 10 dollars and the free ones have tools that can be unlocked after you spend money. I won’t get into which apps I recommend in this post, but Procreate and Bamboo Paper are really great intro ones!

ALRIGHT this has been lengthy but boy was it fun! I also have another post coming up that’s related to this one that I know will be just as exciting to write! I hope this list gave you some inspiration on what to get your artistic friends for the holidays or for any kind of event! I didn’t include any high-end items (I think the most expensive were the Beats) but I might gather a more pricey wishlist later.


A Little Chatter: Friday

Today was definitely a ME day! All week I've been at a workshop for educators because we're starting school in about two weeks. I start at a new school this September which is so exciting! I've been really enjoying myself preparing to go back to work~ This summer has been very different for me, but when I look back I can say I really did enjoy myself. It's been a rocky one, but it was also filled with some lovely memories. 

My Bridal Shower is this weekend! Because of that I had to take this day to get some final items checked off for it and tomorrow is a bit of a glamour day in preparation for Sunday! I had to find a dress and some shoes because I don't keep things like that stocked in my closet (I know I should but hey I'm getting better at this whole glamour thing). I didn't find any shoes BUT I FOUND A REALLY LOVELY DRESS! In my quest for shoes for the dress I found these rosegold sparkle shoes that someone five years younger than me should probably wear BUT I DON'T CARE I can't get enough for sparkly shoes ok. I love what they add to a very casual outfit which is probably my most worn piece of clothing. I got to stop in Chipotle for lunch which was SO good. I was really hungry and eating Chipotle when you're starving is probably when it tastes best.

I also took a tiny stop into Staples because I found myself in need of my favorite inking pen which is the Pilot Precise V5 and V7 series. These pens have never failed me and I've used them since I started drawing so many years ago. Though awesome they are always so expensive! for 12 pens it's about 20 dollars. They last a long time so when I have to dish out I always do but it would be nice to get it on sale... ever. Well, today I go in and to my surprise, they had them on sale! It was basically get one get one free on a pack of five, so I got the V5 and the V7~ I guess I'm stocked for a good amount of time :D And Staples was also having a sale on flash drives which I thought, hey, I guess it's time to upgrade! I got a 32 GB to replace my 16 GB one and grabbed a new one for Josh as well! The super glue was also on super sale and I love that stuff so I snagged a couple of packs. I also got those headphones but ignore them because I am totally returning them. I tried them out and they are AWFUL. The search continues.

I hope you don't mind this random entry, I just like writing about my day on here when I can get one like this~

What's In My Bag (Summer Work Edition)

I LOVE THESE KINDS OF POSTS which is why I also love making them. I've had work on an off all summer and because of that I don't take a whole lot of what I usually take to work. I have a lighter amount to take around!

Though I don't have much to take around, I love love LOVE having a big bag! Josh was the sweetest and surprised me with this beautiful bag as a "Congratulations for the new job!" gift!!! It is the PERFECT big leather bag and has comfy straps and finding a bag like this is so hard for me because I'm tall and my arms don't like to agree with most tote bag sizes ;-; It is leather with gold hardware and even has little feet!

My bag is pretty big and doesn't has one tiny pocket where I keep my phone and iPod. I am keeping a lot of my tinier things in bags inside of my bag! Here I have my laptop, my Daily Planner, my Moleskine notebook, my iPod Touch and my pencil case. I love my page markers which are dachshunds! One of them even looks like Hershel! THAT'S EXCITING. My Daily Planner has all my appointments and things like grocery lists, events, notes and dinner items. My Moleskine is mostly for blogging and writing.

I've had this pencil case for years! I love how tiny and cute it is and usually use it to store pens that I always use. I love pens with a more fine point for writing and brush tips for drawing and sketching.

My Louis Vuitton wallet *swoon* <3 I'm still very delicate with it and treat it like a delicate flower. The other day I found these Sailor Moon charms at Barnes and Noble and I just couldn't resist. I never got over the fact that it's tougher to add charms to your phone, but I thought this would be a cute way of personalizing my wallet! I thought I would get weird looks but I've gotten nothing but compliments on it! 

Ok so getting into the tinier bags! This is my makeup bag. I've had it for two years and I absolutely love it. I have so many different types of makeup bags and I can't seem to budge from this one and one other one Josh got me. This one is my tiniest one. I have to admit that I don't really use my makeup at work over the summer, but I always need these just in case. That ONE day I don't bring this I'm going to need it. I have a tinted lip balm from Etude House, a Nars lipstick in a nude, a perfume, Moroccan oil for my hair if it gets too frizzy or dry, hand sanitizer, my natural Nars lipstick, Mac Studio powder, a powder brush, Nars concealer and a tiny deodorant (JUST IN CASE BECAUSE IT'S SO HOT.) I haven't used any of these yet but you know. Just in case. It's sad too because I wish I could just leave it in the car but if I did that everything would melt and explode.

I really, really love this bag. It's very big and it really should be used as a travel makeup bag but I use it for my technology bag and my other little things that would get lost if I just threw them in the bag. Inside I keep my laptop charger, a lightning cable, my crappy Apple headphones (they are so bad I need to replace the ones that broke ;-; ) a mini USB cable, a power adapter, a micro SD adapter, an SD card, a USB flash drive, Japanese berry hand cream, gum, an Energy Shot and some Advil. I always keep more cords than I use because maybe I'll run into someone that will need it and I find no greater pleasure than being able to help people with their technology needs!

So that's what's in my bag Summer Work Edition! Maybe I'll do a more every day What's In My Bag Summer Edition but maybe I'll schedule that for more towards the end of the summer. I hope you enjoyed! Here is my Workbag from 2014 and What's in my Bag 2013!

Digital Art Manga and Anime Class

Funny thing when you have a nice amount of time set aside you don't really want to get a lot done, but when you're pressed for time you find that you want to do a lot more? That's where I'm at, right now! This week I start attending workshops for the upcoming school year and I'm very excited for it! So, naturally, I also have a bunch of blog posts I want to upload and talk about things I've been doing so here we go!

I've had the pleasure of planning and conducting a Digital Art Manga and Anime class with a company over the summer. Those who know my history know that I've been wanting to teach a class like this since I was in high school. I've always had to dodge specifics and not directly say that it was a "manga style" class because people don't tend to react well to that, but I figured that I had time this summer and if people didn't want to come, they didn't have to. Imagine my surprise when I pitched the idea and not only got an offer to host the class, but a record breaking amount of students wanting to sign up and join within the company! 

I took about a week to prepare and knew that I wanted to cover my favorite artists online and offline as well as techniques that I've learned on my own on my journey to becoming an illustrator as well as from a few teachers that have helped along the way. I drew this image during a workshop that students could stop by and join in. Fun fact: This was the first drawing on a tablet that I have done in a very, very long time. Like, an actual drawing instead of a doodle that played around with brushes and backgrounds.

Layers
No Layers

The first class was pretty basic and covered some essential topics such as working with the tablets as well as layers. The first picture was drawn with layers and the second without. I was afraid that I would confuse them because an ice cream cone isn't exactly manga or anime BUT it was simple enough for them to understand this skill. I also prepared presentations for everyone to follow along but after the first class I saw that they wanted much more complicated subjects so... I changed up my whole plan.

I completely designed my class around my experiences. I took from my experiences as a teacher as well as my experience as an Illustrator. Something I found that students respond well to is watching me draw and drawing what I do. I had only ever done this on paper but with the tablet and the projector I knew it would be easier and better for everyone to follow along. I use something called "Follow My Sketch" where I draw using the big screen and the students follow along either by completely copying me or using what I was doing as a guide. Some of the students drew in their free time and a few didn't so I wanted to make sure that even the students with the most basic of skills would be able to keep up.

We started with chibis because it put focus on coloring and eyes. I used Princess Sally as my model and I think that was so cool because no one could tell me boo! And no one knew who she was >_> BUT my inner 15 year old was pretty excited. I didn't get to finish the drawings but I think it's really cool to show the progress! Here are some examples of original and more copied work from what I showed the students. You can see how some used what I gave them and did their own thing completely and how some copied me for the most part. I snagged these in the process stages and they kept their final pieces! I'm so sad I wasn't able to grab the finished pieces T-T

The classes are three hours long and I take an hour to set everything up before hand. I liked being in the middle of a drawing every time the students came in so they could see what we were focusing on that day. One of my favorite moments was when the students would come in they would immediately stop talking to watch me work. Once I stopped they would all ask me what we were working on that day. IT WAS VERY NICE ;-; I've always been tied to what others wanted me to teach, and have to teach things like the software and spend a lot of time on that, but I didn't have to do that this time around! 

The next "Follow My Sketch" was more around an anime character. I had to pick Serena because she's the main reason I started drawing! I made my own original characters and fanart of Sailor Moon when I was 12 and it really was how I started this all. Again, it felt good to use her as a model and not have anyone say anything~ We focused on anatomy and coloring with this one and the students LOVED it! Again, I was only able to snag process pictures and not the finished pieces, so I can at least show those:

The final day was a skill I really wanted them to walk away with. We had gone over sketching, inking, coloring, anatomy, poses, and a few other basics, but I really wanted them to remember this one. Sometimes drawing with a tablet is tedious and you can't really get the feel you need from a drawing done completely on the computer. I've always preferred sketching off the computer and then coloring, editing and putting the finishing touches on the piece on the computer with Photoshop and Paint Tool Sai. I asked them to bring in a drawing they wanted to color and edit on the computer and they really loved that. 

Along the way, I taught them about things that I worried about growing up. What does it mean to copy someone's artwork? What is your responsibility with that? Should you credit an artist and re post their work? I taught them about listening to music while they draw and how important it was to take a sketchbook with them wherever they went. I taught them about Copic markers and Speedpaints and how useful they are to watch. I didn't want to follow a manual with my class. As long as it was appropriate to share, I told them about it. I exposed them to my favorite artists and my own techniques they can use themselves. 

The last hour of every class I let them do what they wanted. They could draw on the computer or in their sketchbook. A lot of them chose to finish the drawings we started in class which gave me so much pride! I was also really happy to find that none of them had tried listening to music while they drew and got to do it in my class. A lot of them said they couldn't go back! 

This class was everything I didn't know I wanted to do. I LOVED teaching what I am passionate about. I don't think I could teach this as part of a curriculum during the day, but I think it is a wonderful hobby to learn and have as a creative individual. I feel very fortunate that I got to share what I know with students that were interested and passionate about drawing as well. I'm also very happy to be able to share this experience on my blog! I am going to continue giving classes during the year so I'll be able to continue to do this for, hopefully, a while.

August 5th, 2015

Today is my birthday! I won't waste any time about how I should have updated more and I'm sorry for going missing ;-; Things have been a bit hectic and I do hope to write about it in future posts, but today I wanted to summarize a bit about some stuff going on as well as my birthday!

I was fortunate enough to have the summer off and I could finally have a bit of a break from constantly working! Most of my summer has consisted of staying on top of the Tech world in Education by reading blogs and news sites so I'm ready to go back in September. A big focus was updating my resume and preparing for interviews which was probably the hardest part. There has been a lot of organization going on and I guess it's a good thing, it was just a difficult time. To balance out the work I've been spending time taking walks and taking care of myself health wise. Something I really missed being able to do while I was working was being with my puppy.

I've also been able to spend some time with my step-puppy at the house and that little guy... well he's not so little anymore! I bring Hershel to the house so he can play with the cousins I would say about once a week, on average. I know he likes going and playing with them and I honestly love sitting and watching them play, but I'm very happy to know he also really loves coming home. He's become a very independent puppy. He has his times where he would rather be on his own, lounge on the bed and the sofa or just sunbathe. Sometimes he seeks us out for cuddle time which we indulge him with. I'm very proud of my pups. Axel is still very much a baby (he's 3 months younger than Hershel) and he is much more attached to all of us. Though I'm not at the house as often as everyone else, he knows who I am and he gets very excited when I come home! Especially with Hershel. My two old timers are doing wonderfully! Miles is still my baby (old baby) who needs cuddle time and attention and loves to play with the pups. Nena is more like Hershel and needs her own time and doesn't let the pups take advantage of her. It's a very loving household, ours <3 

I am very much keeping up with my Fauxbonichi! I am not so much with my Youtube channel ;-; I'm just very shy! I have a lot of ideas for videos but I almost would rather them just be blog posts because I appreciate those more. Especially when people are at work, they can read posts instead of being on Youtube where everyone can hear your business. But in the end I think too much about everything and then nothing happens >-< BUT BUT I have fallen into a routine with my entries and love writing in my Fauxbonichi and designing pages around my day. I do have a lot to say in respect to that so I hope to decide soon on a video or a blog post. I've become a Washi Tape QUEEN and I am obsessed. I have a big tin can filled with them and I love looking at them *strokes* I can't wait to share what I've done with it!

So my birthday is today. This year is very unique because every year I have been with my family or Josh most of the day and I always have off. One of the benefits of having a Summer birthday is not having to worry about a heavy work load because it's in the middle of Summer. This year I am working! I have been working part time as an Illustration and Digital Media teacher at a company in Princeton! I hold a class teaching students techniques and the basics of digital illustration. I in no way see myself as an expert in the field, but I have been working in it for over ten years so I think

I can share a bit of my experience. It's been going really lovely so far. The students are very engaged and always eager to learn something new. I was very scared in the beginning because I was like WHAT IF THEY SEE RIGHT THROUGH ME AND ARE LIKE WHO ARE YOU TO TEACH THIS but that irrational fear washed away after the first class. Though I have been teaching Technology and have a lot of experience teaching both kids and adults and speaking in front of them, I always feel very humbled by the whole thing. I think teaching is such an honor, and being able to do it and do it well is very difficult. I try to put everything I have into it and prepare well in advance for my students and their skill sets and I still feel a bit nervous! So yes, that is what I am doing today. I'll get more in depth with this in another entry as well!

I want to end this entry with something really exciting for me <3 My parents went on a trip to London, Spain and France and they brought me back a beautiful souvenir. I have wanted a Louis Vuitton for a long time, but it just was something I could never justify in buying. I always thought I should put my money in savings and maybe ONE day I could afford to go in and just slap down 1,000+ dollars on a purse or a leather good from them. Mom and Dad got me this wonderful gift and I'm still like... shaking about it! I can't believe I own such a fine piece of craftsmanship and it's sitting in my purse right now! It is truly beautiful and very sentimental. They made sure that it was made in Spain because of the memories Josh and I made there when we lived there a few years ago. I'm so giddy about it! Ok ok so I hope to expand on everything later but I just wanted to drop a cute note here on what's been going on with me!