Fairy Tale Print – The Process

For my One Eye Two Eyes Three Eyes print, I created it by etching a copper plate. I will take you through the process:


I start with the drawing and also used tracing paper to try the leaves around the border, to figure out my composition. I started my copper plate with soft ground because I wanted a pencil look to my linework. Soft ground is very sensitive. I etched my finger prints by accident!


After etching the pencil lines, I covered my plate with hard ground and drew the leaves around the border.


After etching those lines, I did aquatint on the tree top and eyes, and the shadows on the goat innards. I proofed my plate and decided I wanted some tone on the tree trunk and leaves.


I used a roulette to create tone on the tree trunk. I used the egg-shaped roulette to create random texture marks on the leaves around the border.


Once I was happy with the proof, I printed the edition. I then added watercolor to the prints in certain areas, as a way to add color.


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Fairy Tale Print – The Story

I have an art show coming up in November at Dundarave. The theme is “Points of View”. My interpretation of the theme is narrative points of view. First person, third person, etc. I am taking one story (a fairy tale) and creating different images, each focusing on different parts of the story. The fairy tale I am working with is a Brothers Grimm story, called One Eye, Two Eyes, and Three Eyes. In the story there are three sisters, one with one eye, one with two eyes, and one with three eyes. One Eye and Three Eyes treat Two Eyes poorly and don’t feed her, because she is a “freak” and has two eyes like everyone else. Two Eyes meets a wise woman who tells her a magic spell to make a table of food appear, while she is caring for her goat. Her sisters find out about the magic spell and kill her goat. The wise woman tells Two Eyes to plant the goat entrails in the ground. A tree with golden fruit grows from the spot where the entrails are buried.

The first image I created is of the tree that grows from the goat entrails. I drew the tree with the goat intestines wrapped around the trunk, and the stomach and innards at the bottom. Two eyes are on either side of the tree to represent Two Eyes.


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Day in the Life

Thought it might be fun to do a “Day in the life” blog post. I enjoy watching vlogs on YouTube of illustrator’s day to day activities. So this is my version. Usually on Tuesdays and Wednesdays I do freelance related work stuff.

Wednesday July 18

9:05 am Wake up and get ready for the day

9:30 am Head to Max’s Deli on the corner and grab a coffee and cinnamon bun

9:50 am Check my e-mail. Got a notification that the notebooks I ordered from Awesome Merchandise have been printed!

10:00 am Do some admin work. Send follow-up e-mails to publications that I mailed a postcard mailer to.

11:15 am Head to Granville Island to Dundarave Print Workshop

12:15 pm Register for a Monotype class at Dundarave. I have never done monoprinting before, but it sounds like fun, more of a painterly process. The class starts in October. While at Dundarave, I work on some sketches for prints to go in my November show. I am creating illustrations of fairy tales; this one is called One Eye, Two Eyes and Three Eyes.


1:45 pm Take a break for a veggie and fruit smoothie from the market. Spend some time browsing in the shops.

3:00 pm Stop for lunch at Vancouver Fish Company. Also do some more sketching at the restaurant.


4:45 pm Stop at Staples on the way home to do some photocopying. Enlarging the drawing I did, to prep it for transfering to a copper plate.

5:10 pm Arrive home. Check e-mail again, received some replies from my morning e-mail follow ups! Type out this blog post.

5:45 pm Call it a day for work stuff. Time to relax!

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Doing work you believe in

I think as an editorial illustrator it is important to do work that aligns with your beliefs. Any assignment you get, you can look at the subject matter and see if you support that viewpoint. I think it would make me uncomfortable to illustrate on a topic I didn’t agree with; it would be a conflict of morals. When you work on an assignment that the subject matter is important to you, you are more enthusiastic about the concept, and are willing to work a little harder to come up with a good concept. An example of this is illustrator Holly Exley. Recently Holly decided to stop illustrating meat. Holly is a vegan, and cares about animal rights. By refusing jobs that involve illustrating meat, Holly is making sure she creates work that she believes in. I find this a good reminder to think critically about the assignments you are offered, and decide if you are comfortable illustrating that topic.

Also announcing this week that I am launching a new product in my Etsy shop! My Summer Reading notebooks are hot off the press. Head on over to my shop to check them out!


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Inspirational quotes for writers

Here are a few inspirational quotes I found online; you can use them in your journal to inspire you, or post them wherever you like. I think they apply to both writing and making art in general. Most of these ideas apply to the creative process.

These quotes are from Writer’s Digest.

It’s perfectly okay to write garbage – as long as you edit brilliantly. – C.J. Cherryh

If you have other things in your life – family, friends, good productive day work – these can interact with your writing and the sum will be all the richer. – David Brin

Words are a lens to focus one’s mind. – Ayn Rand

Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer. – Barbara Kingsolver

The work never matches the dream of perfection the artist has to start with. – William Faulkner

The last quote I really relate to; my artwork never lives up to the idea I have in my head to start with. In your mind you see what you want it to look like, but the final artwork never quite matches what’s in your mind.

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Writing prompts for journaling

When journalling, it can be difficult to think of topics to write about. You can use writing prompts to jumpstart your brain and get you going. Here are some writing prompts I gathered from a couple websites.

These prompts are gathered from thejohnfox.com and freelance writing.

Choose a location that you’ve come to know as an adult. Compare how you interact with this setting now to how you interacted with similar settings when you were a child. How has your perspective changed?

Describe a time in which you expected or wanted to find a religious or spiritual moment, but couldn’t. What were you hoping would happen? How do you choose to interpret that?

Think of a lesson you learned recently and apply it to a memory. How would your behavior have changed if you had applied the lesson back then?

Describe your favorite smell or sound. What does it smell / sound like? Why is it your favorite? What associations does it evoke? How does it make you feel emotionally and physically?

Use words to describe any work of art, such as a painting or a sculpture. Describe the colors and images. Who is the artist? Talk about the artist’s style or work. What emotions does the work evoke? What does it mean to you? Do you like it? Do you dislike it? Why? Is it art? What makes it art or why does it not represent a work of art?

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How I use notebooks and why they are important

My notebooks contain my business life.

I use notebooks to write down goals, plans, ideas, to do lists, blog posts, the occasional personal journal. Notebooks are a catch-all for me. If I have a business idea, I write it down in my notebook. My weekly to do list is in my notebook. My monthly goals are in my notebook. I like using notebooks because I can easily flip back a few pages and see what I was thinking and doing a week ago, or a month ago. I also like notebooks because they are portable. I carry one around with me to coffee shops, or meetings with business mentors or fellow entrepeneurs. I carry around a small notebook with me in my purse so I always have something to write down a thought or idea in. You never know when creative inspiration will hit.

According to EliteDaily.com, a notebook is a place where ideas are turned into action. Writing an idea down is the first step to action. An example of this is my idea for a notebook design. I had created a promo postcard image, and it got good response on social media. I thought, hmmm, I wonder if this would make a good notebook cover? I wrote down in my notebook “postcard image – notebook cover?” That was step one. I then asked my newsletter readers if they would be interested in a notebook with this image. I got a positive response, so I took action and am ordering a notebook with my book kites image for my Etsy shop. But my first step in the product creation was Writing It Down. Writing commits the idea to memory and creates a record of the idea so you can look back at your notes and go “oh yeah, I was going to look into that”.