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 :)

NB-merrywholeset


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!
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