10.27.2013

MerryDay Holiday Collection and a big sale is here :D

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My newest stationery design collection is here! The theme is merry holiday. November is coming up and also the happy season of Christmas and New Year. I initially designed this for Make Art That Sells part B first week assignment of holiday card. Then I decided to make a whole collection for my shop. The idea started from Christmas ornaments and the rest just came to me. I had so much fun creating this design set :D

You can look at each item's details in holiday/christmas section in my MerryDay shop. I hope you enjoy this bright and cheerful collection. It's something that I'm proud of :) Don't forget to look around the shop and see if there's anything you would love to have. It's special occasion and I'm having big shop sale now until November 25, 2013! Remember to use the discount code : MERRYHOLIDAY13 when check out. If you could spread the word, I would be very grateful :)

Now some of you may wonder how I have been after last post about my creative struggle. I actually got a message from a facebook friend. She's following my Page and she wondered why I had been so quiet. I was so touched and thankful that someone would care for me and my work enough to stop by and leave a message. It's one of the things that help me go through the struggle, which I think will be a helpful story to talk about.

Not today though ;) Now I just want you to go and take a look at my shop and enjoy! :D

PS. Please note that I create and ship everything from my hometown in Bangkok, Thailand. It will take about 1-3 weeks for international shipping from Thailand. You may want to order early to make it in time before Christmas :)

Remember the 10% discount code : MERRYHOLIDAY13 !

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10.02.2013

That's why it is called the present.

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I have been struggling with something inside me lately. I feel I cannot work on my art as smoothly as I used to as in months ago. I keep thinking of improving my art and shop and have a lot of sketches in my sketchbooks but somehow I cannot produce them into final artwork. I discussed my feelings with my friends and they kindly pointed out why I have become so slow.

First, I'm trapped in the attempt to be perfect. I don't think I'm a perfectionist but maybe I'm subconsciously trying to be. Strangely enough, I went through this kind of perfection struggle once already when I decided to open my shop. Now it comes back to me.

Second, I have been absorbing too much of information. I took e-courses, read a lot of creative business blogs and books. All these information are good helpful things and I'm learning a lot. But it can be a double-edged sword when I cannot organize things in my head well enough. Plus, during the process of learning, I get to know a lot of people and I can't help comparing with them. I know it's a no-no thing for those who work in creative business. Comparing doesn't help, instead, it slows you down and even paralyzes you. I know this too well but still...

I miss myself when I could draw without thinking, just drew and posted my doodles on my Page almost everyday. When I just had fun and get excited with occasional Etsy orders...

But I guess there's always a cure for a problem. Now I know my problem. Someone says that guilt and comparison are not productive. So, I'm going to let those unproductive feelings go and live with the minutes of joy when I draw and paint. Learn as much as I can but won't put too much pressure on myself. I want to be successful in creative business but not as much as to be happy with my art in the present moment, I realize :)

By the way, the drawing above I drew as a sample for a book illustration project. The idea is based on the famous quote :

Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That's why it is called the present.
---Alice Morse Earle

The illustration will look different in the final but this is already perfect for this post and my MerryDay :)

Thanks for coming. I hope you have a merry creative day :)


9.28.2013

Coralie and Me : an art collaboration From Paris to Bangkok, The First Finalized!

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Here are updates of Coralie and me collaborative art project and it is finalized! It's exciting to see one simple pink bird gradually transformed into this complete illustration.

I really enjoy working with Coralie. There was only one tiny moment that I wondered if this project would work out. As you know, everybody has his or her own ego, especially artists. In fact, we, artists need some ego. You cannot work on your art if you have low self-esteem. I was afraid that I might do something on the piece that she wouldn't agree with or vice versa. I'm so happy that the piece turns out lovely and we didn't have problem with each other's addition at all.

If you are familiar with my works, you may be able to tell which parts in this final are my additions.  Coralie also has her own unique style. The interesting thing is that my style and her style combined beautifully and the piece turns out to be something refreshing and unique :D

We are going to do more images.  I'm already excited to see what we will come up with next :)
You can look at how this artwork is developed from the very beginning in the slide below. :)


Created with flickr slideshow.

9.25.2013

Behind the Lines and Colors : My Peace illustration, personalized bookplate and notebook

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My merry bookplate design with illustration originally from one of my 365 days I draw sketches. The topic is PEACE.

What is peaceful to you? To me, peaceful means when I am at home with book or pencil and sketchbook in hand. When I take evening walks with my mom around my dad's garden and sit down on soft green grass when mom needs to rest. When we listen to the wind and little birds chirping in early mornings. When I do yoga to start the day and when I take my eyes from book I'm reading for a while to listen to quietness of night time.

I have been thinking about pattern in my art, meaning what I mostly have in my pieces. I guess swirly flowers may be that pattern. For this illustration, I drew the flowers first and imagined my little girl spending her time alone (with her little bear) in a tiny rowboat floating in a little pond after the rain. A book in her hand, a greeting from the butterfly and a glimpse of rainbow up in the sky. In her peace, my imaginary peace :)

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When I took this sketch to put it into design, I decided not to add anything more, just change the colors to make overall picture brighter and more refreshing. I had dark green for flower stems first but liked this purplish blue better. I hope you like it too :)

This illustration is for sale on my MerryDay Etsy shop in various kind of product-- a set of personalized bookplates as well as One and Only Limited Edition MerryDay Notebook and also art print to brighten up your place.

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I have just realized that having this shop and talking about my work process for each piece on this blog really help me in many ways. It keeps me on my track and when I look back and think of what I thought and did on each artwork, it seems that I see something new. I just hope I can carry it along and apply it to my next pieces :)

Thank you for coming and if you have just happened to be here, you can learn more about me with my post of the history of MerryDay here and other work process posts in Behind the Lines and Colors category :)

9.23.2013

Blog Parade and the history of MerryDay

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Today is Blog Parade day! It's a blog hop project initiated by Linda Tieu. The idea is for us, Make Art That Sells class fellow students, to get together and post on our blogs on the same day. Then we link to each other and kind of parade through all of them.  I get to know more people and you will get to know more wonderful artists too :D

Since, there will be new people coming here, I think it's appropriate to let them and you, my readers, learn more about me and my work. I remember writing the history of my drawings years ago. The post is about my drawing style development.  It was in year 2009 and I ended the post saying that I didn't feel like I found my obvious style yet. Now is 2013, after practicing drawing and learning, I think I have reached what I can call my own style finally. This post is about how I come to be MerryDay today.
MerryDay first drawing collection
My very first collection of MerryDay design.

So, after I wrote the the history of my drawings, I decided to open my Etsy shop a few months later,  in January 2010.  The move is a combination of my cleverness and stupidity. The clever part is that I had thought about opening a shop since 2007 but never got enough confidence to do it. To finally start something even if you were not ready is what I have been grateful for because everything needs a beginning. If I hadn't opened the shop, my art would never have got a chance to be as it is today. The stupid part is that I didn't devote enough time to create new designs and promote them. I sold a few items and decided to put the shop on hold.

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MerryDay collection in 2010

But it's always on my mind, I have a feeling that if I really put my heart on it, the shop should work. During the time I spent my time drawing and updating my work process on my facebook page. The page was set up to promote the shop at first but it gains followers by my daily drawings and especially my 365 days I draw project.

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This is the 100th drawing of my 365 days I draw project. I have managed to 130 drawings so far. You can look at the whole collection on this flickr set
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Having MerryDay Page and doing 365 days I draw are second best things I have done. I got a lot of encouragement from my page followers and I develop ways of thinking and drawing style I really enjoy through 365 days I draw. Then, from that project, I created a new drawing collection, made them into cards and stationery design and opened my etsy shop again.

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MerryDay shop reopened in April 2013

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My current drawing style. MerryDay Notebook, My Peace. Also available as personalized bookplates

So, this is my MerryDay story. I'm still learning and improving my design and my shop. They say that art style constantly changes as you grow. I don't know how my work will look like next year or years to come but right now I'm enjoying my work and always feeling happy with my order packaging time :D
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Thanks for coming. Now that you have learn more about me, you may want to know more and be inspired by new artist?

Just hop over to my friend, Molly blog, won't you? :

Have a merry day!

9.20.2013

Behind the Lines and Colors : Let me tell you the story of my heart mini card

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Busy time again, with work and classes. I thought of writing some posts since Monday but when I had time to write, I was just too tired. It's not good to write something when you cannot concentrate, especially in English which is not my native language.

Yesterday I got a message from Coralie, my collaborative art project friend, From Paris to Bangkok. She wondered why I was kind of quiet around here. It suddenly occurred to me that I'm not writing this blog just for myself. One of my facebook followers once told me that she enjoyed following my work process updates. She said that it inspired her to do her own art. I think that is the best compliment :) I guess that is the same with my blog. I get inspired from so many blogs that I follow. Maybe, readers from somewhere out there might be inspired by my posts too? Whether this is true or not, I will keep it in mind and will try to write as regularly as I can :)

Enough for my rambling, Today's Behind the Lines and Colors is my most favorite MerryDay mini love card, Let Me Tell You the Story of My Heart. Again, I developed this card from one of my 365 days I draw project. The topic is TALK.

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Not sure how I got the idea of tin can phone. Maybe from some children's book I browsed while I thought about this word. I like tin can phone. It represents many things, childhood, connection, friendship, love and relationship. It also says a lot on how we talk in these modern days, how we email, send text messages and chat on Line. I'm not opposed to such technology. They are useful and convenient tools but I'm sure there are times that some of you might miss talking or sending thoughts in your own voice or hand writing :)

So, when I worked on my Love is... collection, I immediately thought of this drawing. The drawing was already lovely. I really liked how the line connected the two cans spelled out into words. But since Love was the main concept, I should have more beautiful wording for the card. Remember your period of falling in love? You talk long hours with your love even though you are not that naturally talkative just because you want to hear his or her voice? The topics can be as silly as why he or she is attracted to you and you to him(or her). This comes my wording of 'Let me tell you the story of my heart'. I tried to think of something else but the wording was just stuck in my mind :)

Now the drawing is ready, the words are perfect. Next is how I can put the whole image in a card. The problem of this design is the same as of Mr. Giraffe and Merry Girl mini love card. The drawing is horizontal and long. If I put it in standard 6x4 inch card, it would be too small and you couldn't see the details. I had to work with a better paper format. The idea of hidden design came when I thought of the phone line that could be pulled out.

So, I designed the card folding in a way that you see the boy and the girl with cute paper cup phone first (the top picture)

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Then open it and you will see the hidden big pale pink heart shape inside.

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Unfold it completely and you have the sweet message of 'Let me tell you the story of my heart' with a lined space for you to fill in your own story :)

I'm really happy with this card design. It went through some thoughts and imagination. Hope you will love it too.  The card is available for sale on my Etsy shop, you can look at the details here :

MerryDay mini love card - Boy Girl Talking Love through Tin Can Phone

If you enjoy reading my behind the scene, you can read more of other design under the category of Behind the Lines and Colors. Coralie and I also have updates for our art project, From Paris to Bangkok. I will post about it soon :) or you can just hop to Coralie's site to see the sneak peek! :D

Thanks for coming. Have a merry day :)

9.11.2013

Behind the Lines and Colors : Sweet Candies MerryDay Notebook

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What do you usually draw or doodle in your spare time? I guess most of you draw flowers. I do too. It's like a simple common theme. Another most favorite topic I love to draw is sweet things : cake, donut, cupcake and specially sweet candies.

I love drawing candies. Mostly because they have a sense of happiness and merriment. You can feel happy just looking at different interesting shapes, bright and beautiful colors and especially cute and fun designed wrappers.

Above is my MerryDay's Notebook : Sweet Candies. The cover design is developed from my candies doodles, one of them done for Sketchbook Project 2011. The pink and black spread below.

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I like playing with the wrappers' details, adding patterns, cute little faces and doing lettering. I thought I would design the notebook cover just like above close-up candies. But I found that the big, close-up drawings didn't go with other designs in my notebook collection, which has clean and airy feeling.

So, I made everything smaller, spread them out making it more like a pattern. I liked the overall look but was afraid that they would look too small and would not stand out. But when I tried printing it out, I really loved it!

I normally print my work at home using Epson Inkjet (affordable with great printing results). But I cannot make notebooks by myself. I sent the files to a printing service. The designs were printed digitally on nice, slightly textured white paper with blank, unlined paper sheets inside. They turned out so lovely that I almost wanted to keep them for myself :D

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I also played with the back of the notebook. You can say that it's me drawing a candy here :)

The notebook is my MerryDay limited edition. It's for sale on my Etsy, just click on the link if you are interested to see more details :

MerryDay's notebook : Sweet Candies

You can also take a look at other notebook designs in the collection here :

MerryDay's notebooks limited collection

I hope you like my behind the scene here. I'm currently working on my new drawing collection, the Secret Garden. Each artwork has its own story and I will try my best to record it and post it here when it is launched.

Thanks so much for coming. Have a merry day :)

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9.09.2013

Today is a blank board

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Today is one of those days when I don't feel like doing anything. It's not that I don't know what to do. It's the opposite. I have SO MANY things to do. Too many that I feel overwhelmed. I'd like to see my ideas, which are all over the place right now, put in organized cohesive layout. From my separate sketchbook pads to one big idea panel. So, I took all the stuffs on my mood board off. I was going to start putting new things up but then the blank board seemed to suddenly give me a feeling of calmness.

I sat down look at it feeling happy and serene somehow. I decide to leave it blank. It can wait. Tomorrow I will start filling it up again. This time it will be covered with my ideas, organized hopefully, not with inspiring things as it used to have.

Not a mood board but a planned serious one :)

9.07.2013

Coralie and me : an art collaboration from Paris to Bangkok 2

Two weeks ago I wrote about my little art project, From Paris to Bangkok, I'm doing with my new friend, Coralie. Here are what we continue from there.

Coralie & Me : an art project from Paris to Bangkok (05me-sep02)
Above is the details of what Coralie added to my previous step. The colorful bubbles and music notes really go with my bird humming expression. The origami paper behind my yellow circle looks interesting. Coralie tells me that she loves Japanese design and I tell her that I do too. Japan has a lot of interesting things in both design and culture. If you ask me what I would do if I could go back in time, I say I would take a serious study of Japanese language and do an art school in Japan :) But it's impossible right now and I'm too old to learn more languages. It took me more than ten years to manage English and Japanese language is much more difficult and complicated.

Coralie & Me : an art project from Paris to Bangkok (04coralie-aug23)

Anyway, here is my addition. It took me some days to think about what I should add to the image. We already have a suggested scene of a bird singing on a tree. So, I added a perspective of green field far below and the foreground of the tree leaves. I notice that Coralie is good at making collage so I can't wait to see what she will add to the image :)

This bird singing image may need a few more steps to finish. We are having so much fun with this little project and already agree to continue doing more images. Not sure what we are going to draw next but it would be nice to have a whole gallery of our creations. I'm sure we can develop our skill a lot from this exercise.

Since Coralie and I are from different cultures, we think it would be interesting to exchange and share our cultural ideas to add value to the project. Not sure how yet but we will figure it out :)

9.04.2013

Behind the Lines and Colors : Will you be my honey bear?

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One of MerryDay's card that I love. This design is originally one of my 365 days I draw challenge. The topic is SMITTEN. Not sure what came to my mind first, drawing a bear or the caption 'Will you be my honey bear?"

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I really struggled with drawing a bear here. As you can see the bear's shape looks so strange. It looks funny and reminds me of some big fat grilled turkey :( The drawing was done with marker and I could not fix it so I just left it as is. I really like the girl loving gesture though and the word 'honey bear' is kind of cute. Then, when I decided to make this drawing into a card, I kept overall idea and fixed two things : redrawing the bear (of course!) and replacing the 'o' in the word 'honey' with a little honey pot to add some dimension :)

Now, instead of the grilled turkey, I think of Winnie the pooh with his honey pot, the beloved little bear who always makes me smile :) I guess my ultimate goal in this career may be that when people look at my work, they will smile and be happy just like Pooh does to me :)

The card is available for sale on my Etsy shop here :

MerryDay's Will You Be My Honey Bear Love Card

You can read more of my work process for each artwork under the category of Behind the Lines and Colors. If you would like to learn more about MerryDay, I update my MerryDay facebook Page almost daily. The page has reached 2,500 likes today, I think I'm going to do a giveaway soon ;)

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9.02.2013

work in progress : yellow is my merry color :)

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The other day, I woke up with a question in my mind : is it possible to design my life? It struck me that I have been spending several years working in design field but never thought of really designing my own life.  Each day I woke up thinking of which project I had to do, which errands I was responsible of. I worried if I had been working hard enough, if I would have a bright future in my freelance career...

Then, the answer just came to me. Yes, I can design my own life. In fact, I have started doing that right after Make Art That Sells class when I decided to devote my time for MerryDay. I just didn't realize it.

It's difficult though. Although I still work alone just as I used to when I focused on my freelance jobs, it's really different. With freelance jobs, I had clients with their project schedule and feedbacks. With my own MerryDay in current production step, I am both client and designer. I have to set my own schedule and debate everything on my own. It's freedom as well as the fight with bad discipline.

I'm still behind my own schedule. Feeling bad sometimes and constantly fight with my own self-criticism. But I have to say that I feel much more creative and energized than before. I guess it is the feeling when you can design your own life, you feel much happier :)

Above is my work in progress. It's a snapshot from Illustrator program. I usually sketch rough ideas on paper first then scan it in and trace the lines and fill colors in Illustrator, my favorite program. What you see here are two layers: one of my marker sketch on brown paper and a layer on top with digital artwork. The drawing is in the theme of secret garden with fresh and colorful flowers. Can't wait to see the final artwork myself :)

I actually felt a bit lazy this morning. It's nice to end the day with some work almost done :)


9.01.2013

365 days I draw (day 130 : camouflage) and Inspire me Sunday

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My 365 days I draw, day 130 with the topic of CAMOUFLAGE and also my Sunday Sketch. I intended to draw 3 words this week but the word of 'unbearable' and 'striking' are just too hard for me to draw them out. Very tough :(

For today's Inspire me Sunday, I really like Nini 's comment on my previous post of MerryDay's Love is Being Together card design about getting in touch with the child in me. So, my link loves today are all about kids and what we (that means me :) would love to do and have if we could go back to be little :)

• Lovely movie about a little girl wandering in Paris, Betty in Paris
• Cute little girl illustration, Ella Bailey illustration
• I think kids will love this set of Sweet dream pastry beds
• and this too for kids (and adults) artists, Artist's palette and paintbrush cookies
• Cute and fun jellyfish necklace

Merry Sunday!

8.31.2013

Painted Pages workshop , the joy of painting

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Last month I took a painting class called Painted Pages workshop with Sarah Ahearn Bellemare. I was so in love with Sarah's book that I signed up for the class right away when she launched her first online class. The class is really in different and more relaxing pace compared with the intensive course of Make Art That Sells I took previously. It should be like that. I don't think there should be a word 'rush' in traditional painting and Sarah did a good job of leading us to a relaxing and fun atmosphere :)

While I was taking this class, a friend who worked mainly in digital illustration also worked on her painting project. She said that she struggled so much as this was not in her field. She was amazed to see me so relaxed with the painting. This is because I know I have never been good at traditional painting. I took a lot of classes in college, colored pencil, water color and acrylic and finished all of them with some mediocre pieces. I enjoyed it but I don't think I have any potential in this art field.

I didn't do any more painting until I took Make Art That Sells class and had to do wall painting. I was so frustrated with this painting at first. But when I finally let go the feeling of wanting to be perfect, I found that I really enjoyed the process.

To me, painting turns out to be not just art, it is a method of meditation and self-exploration. When I am in front of a blank canvas, I feel calm and focused. Like designing, painting is about problem-solving. The difference is, in design, mostly you solve problems to send out a clear, visualized message while in painting you don't need to do that exactly. There is a vast space for imagination for both painter and viewer. I guess that makes me feel more relaxed :)

Below is my painting process I did for the class. I had light green color in mind when I first started and tried to work through it.

painted pages workshop process

Then I used my favorite coffee filter paper. Cut out shapes and played with them.

painted pages workshop process

And here my final. I confess that I don't like this final much and plan to start it over. I enjoy the time though and already excited to be in front of a blank white canvas again :)

painted pages workshop process

I dream of having a nice lovely paintings for my MerryDay shop one day but for now, as I'm still learning and improving, I think I will have it just for my 'play time' :)

Thanks for coming. I hope you have a merry colorful day today :)

painted pages workshop process

8.28.2013

Behind the Lines and Colors : Love is Being Together

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Tell me how do you define 'Love'?...

This 'Love is Being Together' card is one of my Love is...collection. The illustration came from a sketching I did one Saturday afternoon. I especially love this piece as it has a bit of my personal story here.

My husband and I went out together for over 9 years before we finally got married last year, a month after our 10th year anniversary. Before I met him I lived my life reading romantic novels in which handsome guy did sweet things to his love. They met, fell in love and got married. Then when I finally found my guy, love was not just that. It's really a matter of accepting each other and maintaining the relationship. It needed some adjustment for both of us and, luckily, it didn't  take us too much effort. I guess that's another aspect of love, to be comfortable enough to be around each other 24 hours.

Then, when we finally got married, I realized even more  that Love is just really being together. It's not about gifts, sweet words or anniversary celebration, it's just being together in Saturday afternoon. Me reading quietly and him browsing the internet beside me. It's really just that :) 

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I actually drew this sketch without thinking but when I looked at it again, the words came to me. It also makes me smile every time I look at it because the 'being together' doesn't just mean me and my husband. It includes our large dog and my little bear. Both are stuffed dolls :) and they are here :

my big dog and little bear
I know we are grown-ups and having dolls in the house may seem ridiculous for some. But they really are cute little (and large) things called home to me.

That is the behind the story of this card. If you are interested, it's available on my shop here :


I really enjoy talking about my work process and ideas behind my design. If you like reading it too, I plan to write about it weekly. As you might notice, I already have the name of this blog series, 'Behind the Lines and Colors'. You can read my previous posts in the series here:






These card designs are all about love. I'm curious, how do you define your love? Are there any objects or stories that make you connect to the lovely word? Please share :)

Thanks for coming  and have a merry reading!


8.26.2013

Fruit Sketching and a story in magazine

Sketches of my new drawing collection. Today I work on the keywords of fruit, orchard, flowers and birds. When I sketch or brainstorm, I usually have some books or magazine beside me. Colors, layout design, shapes on printed pages always inspire me to find new fresh ideas. Sometimes text and stories help me too.


I was thinking about fruit ideas while browsing pages in Frankie magazine and came across an article about a woman who collected photo shots of roadside produce stands signage. One sign said 'Please pay here. Your honesty is appreciated' and another one said 'If you choose to steal my produce, I hope you choke'. It's quite funny but really made me think...

I'm trying to create a set of design based on Thankful theme with keywords of fruit and flowers. Somehow the story above intrigues me but I'm not quite sure how to translate what I feel inside into a drawing yet.

This may be too difficult, too abstract to work on or I may come up with some great ideas tomorrow. We will see.

I love when I have constant focus on my work. Hope I can keep it on :)

8.25.2013

Sunday Sketch, 365 days I draw (day 128-129) and Inspire Me Sunday (stationery!)

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My Sunday Sketches today are also for 365 days I draw as usual. The topic of day 128 is order for the top and day 129, refer for the bottom. The drawings done on my newly-bought sketchbook from Chronicle called One Sketch a Day : a visual journal. I saw this book from my most favorite artist's blog, Stephanie Fizer and immediately wanted to own one.

one sketch a day sketchbook

Sometimes I feel really silly to buy things on a whim, especially stationery stuffs. I already have a dozen of sketchbooks waiting for me to fill in but it seems that every time I see ones on shop shelf I still want more and they are just plain black-cover ones. This blue sketchbook does look fancier than my usual sketchbooks and it definitely has value added with the inviting title of 'One Sketch a Day : a visual journal'. But it's really just the outer look. Although I find that the paper is quite thin and not as in good quality as in my usual sketchbooks, I love it anyway. I guess it's not just the beautiful cover, it has something to do with the feeling of owning it. It's like when you are always drawn to stationery shop and want to buy something even when you already have everything at home.

The other day I came across this article about Why I love Stationery and thought I would share some of my stationery inspire today. Hope you like the links here :)

• Just got this beautiful issue of Uppercase magazine. This one focuses on stationery love :)

• I think I have known this beautiful stationery shop for a long time but somehow it just slipped from my mind until now :) Lagom design

• Always love Present and Correct and have just read an interesting interview --Neal Whittington of Preasent & Correct on The Design Files.

• My favorite Quill and Fox

• I still have a dozen of Canson sketchbooks for spare but beginning to love more-expensive Derwent hard back sketchbook too

• Latest found Mr. Boddington's Studio

By the way, have you seen my little art project From Paris to Bangkok yet? I'm quite excited with this project and hope it can inspire something in you too :)

Thanks for coming and have a merry drawing day :D


8.24.2013

Coralie and me : from Paris to Bangkok 1, an art collaboration

Last month I got a message from Coralie, a French girl who loves illustration and design. I was happy to hear that she had been following my work for some time and even more excited when asked if I would be interested to do an art collaboration with her. I was actually having a good time with my art-swap group I was lucky to connect with a few months ago and so eager to connect with more people who have the same art interest. A lot of artists I follow all said that to be always creatively energized you have to be among those who are like minded and have the same passion. My chance to join in Make Art That Sells class student group, my art-swap friends and to meet Coralie really proves that.

Coralie and I didn't know what we would do at first. Then since we both work in graphic design and could draw digitally, we agreed to try a digital drawing project. The idea came from a book called Photoshop Secrets of the Pros I found years ago. I was not really a fan of Photoshop but the term 'Photoshop Tennis' in the book quite intrigued me. To put it simple, photoshop tennis is like digital art game. One artist creates an image file and sends to the other artist who will edit the file and send back to the first artist who will edit it again. They will send and edit back and forth until they are satisfied with the work. This could be played by only two people or in a group.

So, we borrow the tennis idea and started with a very simple drawing of my bird here :

01me-july27

Then Coralie added a cute setting of a tree branch.

02coralie-aug5

Then I added the bird's details and a little yellow dot :)

03me-aug13

These are what we have done so far. Since this little project is supposed to be fun and should not be a labour in our busy days, we agree to spend only 30 minutes max on each layer. Try to be spontaneous and have fun with it :)

While I'm writing this, Coralie just sent me the latest layer and I can't wait to open the file and see what beauty she added. This is a really fun project. I have always been thankful for whoever invented the internet. Without it, it's really impossible to create art between Paris and Bangkok and you would never know me, Coralie and this project :)

Coralie has also put up a page especially for this little project called From Paris to Bangkok. She has got a slide on and it looks quite exciting :D Don't forget to walk around and see her drawings and graphic works too.

I'm really curious to see how a simple pink bird image will look at the end. If you are curious like me, I'll update the progress on this blog from time to time and hope you will come back to see our creative journey :)

Thanks for dropping by, have a merry day :)

8.22.2013

Behind the Lines and Colors : Mr. Giraffe and the Merry Girl mini love card

giraffe-love-card-design

I have noticed lately that my 'I'll be with you, no matter how far' mini card gets more favorite on Etsy and I have already shipped out some of them to new customers. This really heartens my spirit as, although I have been working on my Etsy for a couple of years already, I'm still really a newbie in selling my art.

I am especially excited with this card sales because it means that my idea behind the design is working.

MerryDay-giraffe-sketch-drawing

This drawing of little Merry girl having a date with Mr. Giraffe is one of my Love is... drawing collection which focuses on animals, something that I needed to practice drawing. The idea was to simply practice drawing a giraffe at first and then I wanted to have something to play with the height of the animal.  Then I thought of the ladder and the girl climbing up to kiss the giraffe. The idea was similar to what I had drawn for my 365 days I draw project here.

365-days-I-draw-giraffe-pavinee

So, I put a different story to this design. I made up a scene of Merry Girl having a glass of soda pop with her date, Mr. Giraffe. How could she be with her tall boyfriend? She needed a ladder so I drew one. Then the design still looked too blank. How about some lettering? This was when the concept of long distance relationship popped in my head. I thought of the phase 'no matter how far' and tried different fonts and ended up hand lettering it myself. I incorporated the lettering to the ladder making it as one of the ladder's steps. The black cat and the '...or how hard' was then added to make it cuter. I thought I finished.

But not yet. The illustration was in portrait format which would look too small in a standard 4x6 greeting card. Since I printed all cards by myself using a nice Epson ink jet, I had to figure how to make things fit in A4 paper sheet. I thought of long card 4 by 11 inches but the image looked awkward and didn't really fit in. Different folding might be key. I tried cutting A4 sheet in half and folding it down in accordion way. It looked nice but I didn't want to have too many folding creases on my image. So I moved the image to the lower part of the paper and added the final touch of 'I'll be with you' in the blue bubble to complete the story of long distance relationship :)

I really enjoyed the creative juice that flowing during the process. It really gave myself more confidence when I launched it out on facebook and got good feedbacks on this piece. It also made me realize that the design format, the size and shape of paper were also important in making a successful work.

Hope you enjoy my work process. This card is available on my MerryDay shop. You can look at the details of this card here :

Mini love card - I'll be with you no matter how far

8.19.2013

Work in progress : Bird sketches and letter set design

work in progress : secret garden

Further sketches for my current design project 'the secret garden' I already posted bird study on this blog. Now I'm adding characters and story. I'm thinking about a whole set of stationery design and already have a rough comp of letter set. The hardest part for me right now is that I was hardly at home last week and this week will be quite busy too. I'm always wondering how those artists with children could produce their art regularly. I don't have any kids and I seem to have a hard time finding a long proper hour to work on my creation each day. I think it will be something I have to figure out everyday.

Here a sneak peek of the letter set. I'm thinking I need to share more of my work in progress. It should be another way to push me to work harder to keep this blog going the same pace with my work and the other way around--posting work process may help push me to get the work finalized more quickly :)

Have a merry Monday!

work in progress : secret garden
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