Archive for the ‘ Illustration ’ Category

3, 2, 1…DRAW

More years ago than I care to recount (mainly because I have no idea) I acquired and subsequently lost my only USB cable. Every now and then when I need to transfer files from here to there I search for this minuscule MIA cable. Today marks my 93rd search, I’d say, but this sly cable still eludes me. I find this mildly infuriating. On my search and retrieve attempt this evening, though, I stumbled upon some stuff that (almost) makes up for the fact that what I actually set out to find still appears to be totally outside my grasp.

For as long as I can remember I’ve been drawing. Nothing in particular, just drawing. It’s just what I did. This particular creative drive is what led me to decide to earn my degree for graphic design (which had an ironic yet delightful conclusion that I won’t get into now, but it’s kind of awesome I swear). A lot of the stuff that I used to draw when I was a kid was lost, but teenage me hardly ever threw her drawings away (unless they sucked, if I’m being honest) so I still have a bunch. I kept them in my purple, plastic folder, in two categories: “Don’t like,” kept in one pocket, and “Damn I’m amazing at this” in the other (there really was no in between for me, now that I think about it). I also managed to hang on to a handful of the stuff I did on assignment for my various high school and college classes. I wish I had had the patience to actually make my work look as great as I thought it could be. But I still like some of the stuff that managed to tumble out of the tumult in my head and through my shaky hands. Here’s a handful of my inadvertent findings:

Childhood drawing ea1701 Karissa C

I don’t draw nearly as much as I used to. It’s kind of sad when I think about it. But every once in a great while I get some kind of idea that I’m able to see through. And sometimes, actually, I do get commisioned for something. Back in September I was asked to make an inspirational-type poster for a local school. I sketched it all out by hand first:

Dream BIG Sketch

I’ve got this thing about sketching in my math notebooks for some reason… This is what I ended up with:

Dream Big Poster by Karissa C 2014

Dream Big Closeup

Closeup of the poster. The blond girl is my favorite of the chibis :)

 

It was a big hit. Can’t say I wasn’t a little pleased :)

And recently I was hired to make a few posters for some kids’ bedrooms. This is one of them:

Giraffe poster by Karissa C 2014

A giraffe was requested for this one, so I first sketched it out on paper. (I did this right before bed one night and I’m blaming the horrendous sketch on the exhaustion I must have been suffering from.) A little tweaking in Photoshop the next day and things were much better. The next poster in the series is a couple of penguins. Hopefully I can work on that this weekend. (Penguins are so bodacious.)

I definitely don’t draw anywhere near as much as I used to, and not in the same way. One of the nasty side-effects of being an adult. Time was never an issue when I was younger; I never didn’t have enough of it. Wish that were the case these days. But I guess that’s the way it goes. Just trying to make the best of the time I do have. There are just so many awesome things out there to do. Sometimes I think that’s why I don’t spend a lot of extra time polishing my stuff; I always want to be off on my next creative idea :)

 

all images copyright Karissa Cole 2014 | contact

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Paperwork

I love my job. I really do. I get to spend my days guiding people, and I think there is nothing more purely satisfying than being part of helping someone understand something that had before eluded them. And getting paid to get lost in math equations? Doesn’t get much better than that. It really is an awesome job, and every day I feel lucky to have it. There is, of course, one downside to this ideal job of mine: paperwork. Every two weeks I have to submit a few dozen forms detailing work completed with students for the particular period. This is not something I especially enjoy. Earlier this week I had the perfect opportunity to get a jump on the papers that would be due in by noon today. But, instead of trudging through the seemingly endless forms and check boxes, I grabbed a dull no.2 pencil from my bag and started scribbling in the corner of my math book. With paperwork on the brain it seemed only natural that that ended up being the subject of my doodling attempt.

The original the sketch as it was in my battered and beaten notebook:

Original Sketch 1

(I had been working on graphing circles with a student earlier in the morning…)

The finished Photoshop-altered illustration:

the Joy of Paper work by Karissa Cole 2014

It’s a fairly simple thing. I’m still not settled on the colors I chose, so I might end up changing that at some point (along with the way-too-small hand I only just noticed…) Nevermind that. Today (3/1) I decided to fuss with the original a bit. Version two:

the Joy of Paper work by Karissa Cole 2014 v2

Still subject to change I suppose. But all in all it’s not too bad. I used to draw all the time. I wish it came that easy to me now. It’s been a few years since I’ve really done any drawing. Those were good days, less complicated. I miss them, and remember them well. Anyway, this is the first thing I’ve really drawn since my Super Lazy picture. Despite being a bit rusty I’m a might pleased with the way this came out. It feels good to at least try to draw again.

Related Posts:

Baby Dinosaur by Karissa Cole 2012 - all rights reservedSuper Lazy 5 by Karissa Cole 2013 all rights reservedBaby Yeti - Karissa Cole 2013 - All rights reserved

Super Lazy

"Today I will be super lazy. It's just like being regular lazy, only, I will also be wearing a cape." Illustration © Karissa Cole 2013 all rights reserved. Do not reproduce.

“Today I will be super lazy. It’s just like being regular lazy, only, I will also be wearing a cape.” Illustration © Karissa Cole 2013 all rights reserved. Do not reproduce.

I think this is probably pretty self-explanatory.

It started off yesterday as a sketch in my math book (heh heh). I then took a quick picture of it and opened in up in Photoshop, using the photo as my guide. I relied mainly on the pen tool for the outlining, and the brush for the coloring.

Pretty standard tools of the trade I think.

I should really spend more time on these things. But as Super Lazy Girl, I figure I just can’t afford to. I mean, I have important lazy things to attend to.

Sometimes Pineapples Are Boring

I was taking a picture of a pineapple- “the perfect pineapple” I was assured by the seller- but I just couldn’t really get into it, a photo-shoot kind of mood. Still, I snapped a few anyway, opened up Photoshop and started to mess around with the vague pineapple-esque idea that had been floating around in my head.

But it was boring.

So, after shoving that aside, and somewhere between flipping through recommended pages on StumbleUpon and munching on my much loved Junior Mints, I opened up a photo of myself in Photoshop. I had been trying to take a new self-portrait the other day, as I have no good ones past a year ago. Most of the photos came out terrible. The one I opened was no exception. I’m really better off behind the camera. But, for some reason that I honestly can’t remember now, probably boredom, I started messing around with the picture. Before I realized what I was doing or had time to question my intentions or reasoning, I had this:

Digital Girl by Karissa Cole 2013

Adobe Photoshop CS4. Soft round brush + mouse.

I think I kind of have crazy eyes going on here. I warned you, I’m not photogenic.

No great piece of art, admittedly. But it is a self-portrait/digital painting of me. So there we go, a face to go with the rambling posts I do so love to write! Now when you read something silly or creative or funny or annoying or cute or weird, well, you’ll know what the clearly mentally unbalanced writer looks like. Granted, there are photos of me floating around this site and my deviantART gallery, but this is the first one from this year. More important than that, this is the first painting I’ve ever done like this. I’m a bit proud. Of course, when I look at all the amazing artists out there I feel like a little girl showing off her sloppy finger painting. But finger painting is lots of fun and a good way to experiment. So that’s something.

For the painting, I opted to keep the soft kind of style. Actually, it’s probably pretty darn clear that realism was not something I had in mind. I had made the image a bit sharper, but I couldn’t help but prefer the softer, limited detail look. Not sure why, really.

Working in Photoshop when the mood hits is almost always really enjoyable. But trying something new and getting a feeling of success makes things even better. I’m still trying to keep myself busy, keep my mind away from the melancholy that sets in when I think too much. I want to try painting some more. Already have a few ideas in mind. Of course, sometimes it feels like I have so many ideas I just can’t get them all out and done and in an orderly manner like I’d like. You know what they say: So much to do, so little attention span.

Baby Yeti

Baby Yeti - © Karissa Cole 2013 - All rights reserved

Baby Yeti – © Karissa Cole 2013 – All rights reserved

Sometime last week I think I was thinking about yetis. This is probably because of all the monster snowstorms that’ve been hitting my hometown lately. Well, today, I was all by my lonesome so thought I’d drag out my tablet and doodle something up. With abominable snowmen already on the brain this little sketch is what I came up with.

______________________

Illustration specs:
• Drawn in Adobe Photoshop – Sketched on paper, traced with Wacom.
• Font: “Earth’s Mightiest Bold Expanded”
• 03/02/2013

Please do not reproduce this design. If you share just be sure to link back here. T.Y. from the artist.

______________________

Okay, now, I don’t want to be a tease or anything, as nothing is a sure deal (especially when I’m involved), but I’m gonna go ahead and say it anyway: My short story and/or amigurumi pattern followers can consider this a sort of a preview for my next story-crochet project. Actually, as it so happens, I’m off to work on this project right now. So wish me luck! I’ve been pattern blocked lately. But hopefully baby yeti will fix that for me.

Oh, and just remember, even baby yetis can get cold sometimes. Always lend them your scarf if you can. They will be most grateful, and may even invite you over for tea.

2012

I’m typically not one to get hyped up about the dawn of a new year. I don’t give much contemplation to the year beginning and I don’t do much reminiscing about the one ending. Every day’s just another day to me. Before you think jeepers what a dull outlook, let me expound upon my viewpoint: The way I see it, each day -whether it’s at the beginning of the year, the end, or somewhere in the middle- brings with it the possibility for change, for excellence and for new things. I don’t need a specific date to show up on my calendar for these things.

But for once something’s got me thinking about this past year, and everything that’s happened. For some reason I sort of want to send this year off right. I think because 2012 was full of so much more than I think I had expected: craziness and creativity, innovations and irritations, new patterns and old ideas, silly stories and celestial exploration; colorful photos and cute cats, random designs and ridiculous posters; deadlines, new jobs and old jobs,calculations, learning and teaching, trying and thinking, figuring, slacking, sneaking, illustrating, living and loving, laughing and growing.

Needless to say not everything this year had been great, but I think I’ll manage to come out of it with plenty of good things. In honor of all those good things, or at least the art and design related good things, I made up a 2012 project collage (click to view larger):

a look at 2012 on the ea1701 blog 6

Here’s to 2012; you really weren’t the greatest of years, but we sure had some good times together. Thanks go out to all those who shared the year with me, too; You’ve made the bad times tolerable and the good times even better.

Get ready for more craziness, creativity, and who knows what else to come in 2013. Because I’m just getting started.

___________________________________

Make sure you haven’t missed any of the good stuff! Check out some of the biggest projects of the year:

Fall in love with free amigurumi patterns such as Melvin the Misunderstood Monster; Purploids, Pinkloids and Bloops (Oh My!); and Counting Sheep

Get splashes of color in the indoor/outdoor photo shoots like Of Course, Naturally; Water Colors; and Sun Stretched Arms

Boldly go where no one has gone before without having to leave your seat: explore space in these celestial artworks.

Paint your world with the help of the very first tutorial posted to the ea1701 art and design blog.

It’s very simple. . .

I’ve never been much into now. I pretty much stopped paying attention to the world after 1994 when it comes to trends, social standards, and culturally accepted norms.

So put simply, I’m not a big fan of most modern anything, either ignoring it or readily ridiculing any inherit stupidity. I’m a bit like an old grumpy 78-year-old spinster hiding in a 22-year-old’s body, completely stuck in her ways. Occasionally, however, I stumble across some product of the 21st century that doesn’t make me weep and mourn the loss of all good entertainment. Usually, of course, whatever it is falls into either the science fiction T.V. show or soundtrack categories.

I have recently made a “discovery,” though. I suppose it’s hardly new for most people since it’s a T.V. show that’s been on for years.  I vaguely remember hearing about this show before, like most new things I ignored it. But my curiosity was irreversibly peaked when I saw a clip of it a couple weeks ago, so I watched a bit of it and fell in love. Granted, I’m not a big fan of the episodes flaunting characters displaying the common but altogether inglorious low moral standards (I’m very “Dick Van Dyke Show”). But there are some really great episodes. And more often than not I find myself  laughing like crazy, especially when a geeky reference is made that I completely get. I refer of course, to The Big Bang Theory. I won’t go on too much about how hysterical it can be and how awesome the scifi references are for a geek-girl like me. I completely realize how very behind in the times I am regarding this.

The whole point of this post is actually just to say that even something as simple as a sitcom can lead to a nice exercise in graphic design.

From the get-go Sheldon has by far been my absolute favorite character. So, naturally, I decided to make this 11 x 17 poster inspired by and sort of in honor of Dr. Cooper. It was a nice way to work some fun stuff into my graphic design portfolio.

Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock playing guide by Karissa Cole 2012

I shall never play rock-paper-scissors the same again.

Bazinga.

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