7.31.2014

Draw everyday no. 54 and what I have learned

draweveryday-54

I posted this draw everyday no. 54 on my MerryDay Page the other day and immediately got a feedback from one of my followers that she liked this drawing without colors better. Below is the drawing she talked about. I forgot to take a photo of the drawing without the bracelet. (I took this photo with the bracelet just for fun :)

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My first response to her comment was 'oh no, I shouldn't have posted this. I don't like it either'. I got a little worried as before this colored version, I got a lot of good feedbacks on the first line art drawing and someone actually asked if I had this piece for sale. I worried that she might not like this colored version. But then realizing that I was going back to be my old self who thought too much on little things, I pulled myself back and found good things from this little incident.

One is that I seem to be able to worry less about trying to be perfect. I didn't like this color combination but I posted it anyway.  By showing it in public and getting feedbacks, my doubt got confirmed. Although there were also some people who liked it, I knew in my heart that the colors were not right yet and I need to improve it.

Second is that it seems I'm getting more and more valuable feedbacks from MerryDay's followers who care enough to stop by and tell their opinions. I have been with my page since 2010 posting and getting some likes for each post and few comments from time to time. Now I'm getting more feedbacks and conversations in the page. I guess it's because of my everyday post of work in progress. While my followers are learning about how my art process is like, I'm also learning from their feedbacks. It's a kind of happy interaction :)

So, that's what I have learned from my little drawing. I'm going to work more on its color selection and will make it a greeting card and A4 print for my shop. It will be a wonderful addition to my new merry collection :)

Thanks for coming. If you have time, please drop a line and tell me how you like this drawing :)
Wish you have a merry day!

PS. If you just happen to be here for the first time and want to know me better, you can read my post of 'Artists around the World blog hop' here, or follow my 'draw everyday' on instagram or facebook :)

7.28.2014

Artists Around the World blog hop

Today is a special day as my post here is now included in a wonderful blog hop called 'Artists Around the World blog hop' where you will meet artists from different places sharing their answers to 4 questions. I was invited by Nini from Made by Nini. A wonderful artist and inspiring friend. Thanks Nini!

Now in case you just happen to be here or have been following me not very long, let me introduce myself first. My name is Pavinee. I'm a freelance graphic designer and illustrator living in Bangkok, Thailand. Right now I'm focusing on my own little stationery design and illustration brand called MerryDay. I either use MerryDay or onMerryDay for my other online presence :)

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And so here are the questions that may help you know me better :

1.Why do I do what I do?

If I were asked this question last year, I would simply reply that I loved creating and making art. It's a true joy in life. But this year, I have found the deeper meaning of how important art and creativity has been to me. I didn't realize this before but earlier this year, I suffered from some kind of unreasonable anxiety. I was afraid of everything. I worried about my parents even though they were fine. I worried that something bad would happen to my husband when he's out for daily job. I slept badly and felt bad all the time. I am an anxious person by nature but never felt this worst. Then I got back to my everyday drawing, trying to draw something every night before bedtime. The few minutes of each drawing helped me focus and calmed me and I began to feel better.

Art is really a healing tool. Now I feel more confident, less worried and be able to let go of things more easily. I want to live a happy life like this with least anxiety as possible. That's why I do what I do now:)

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

One thing is my drawing style. With years of practice, you will gain your own style. I'm always happy to hear that people can tell right away that this or that piece is my art. I am also blessed to be able to draw something merry and whimsical even when I feel most depressed. I'm not sure why but I guess it's because I want to be happy so I draw something happy. Simple as that :)

Making my art different from others is what I 'm always thinking. I love playing with composition,  stories and having a bit of element of surprise in my drawings. Right now I'm working on adding patterns and magical atmosphere into my art. It's fun to imagine things and figure out how to make it into my own style :)

3. How does my creative process work?

I generally brainstorm by writing down keywords first. Then from those keywords, I find more words related to (or unrelated to) the keywords and try to visualize a whole scene in my head before doing a pencil sketch. When I have a complete rough sketch, I scan in and trace over the sketch using pen tool or brush tool in Adobe Illustrator program.

This is for my digital work. As for my daily drawings, I try not to think much but just dive in and enjoy the process :)

4. What am I working on now?

My main project right now is to build up a whole new web site containing new collections of my MerryDay art. I used to have a portfolio web site under my own name (pavinees.com) but already cancelled it. My future will be under the name of onmerryday.com and I can't wait to welcome you to my merry world :)

I hope these answers are clear enough. If you want to know me better, you can follow my daily updates on facebook, instagram or this blog where I intend to make it the best record of my life: work, art and play :)

Next  Monday I would like to invite you to visit a lovely artist I met in Make Art That Sells class. Anais Lee is a talented and prolific artist with so many wonderful and refreshing art of illustration, graphic design, pattern design and lettering.

You can enjoy her beautiful artwork on her web site first and don't forget to come back next Monday when I update this post with the link to her answers :)

Thank you so much for coming. I love comments and feedbacks. They are really part of my improvement. So, let's connect :)


7.25.2014

draw everyday no. 51 : Mr. Penguin and the poppy

draweveryday-51-line

I just got a new pen and so in love with its smoothness. It's Pentel EnerGel Tradio gel ink. The one I used is black but they also have blue, red and purple ink. The drawing I show here is one of my draw everyday project. I have already got to drawing no. 51. All the drawings are kind of everywhere right now. I will have to put them all in a proper place soon. But you can follow my everyday drawings on instagram or facebook.

The idea for this drawing really came out of nowhere. I love drawing plants and flowers. Then I thought what if I put something totally unrelated in the flower? How about penguin? It must be fun to have him holding a lollipop with fishes flying above ( I got the flying fish idea from a children's book laying beside me at the time).

I have always wanted to draw something whimsical, magical, surreal. Full of details of patterns or background. In the past, my drawings were mostly based on reality but ever since I started my 365 days I draw project and now draw everyday project, I think my drawings have gradually broken into magical realm. I love it. Drawing's getting more fun everyday :D

And here is the color version.

draweveryday-51

I have to say white paper seems to be more intimidating than kraft paper. I was a bit nervous when choosing colors. I imagined I would have more bright and colorful colors but then I changed my mind and just wanted to have the penguin and the flower popping up from green surrounding. Love how it turns out. How about you?

I used Copic markers for this drawing :) Going to draw more tonight. I told you I was so in love with the pen! :D


7.23.2014

Find my eye : a photo walk

supermarket colors

Apart from Creative Courage class, I'm also taking some other classes. One of them is photography class by Kat Eye Studio. I learned of Kat's classes via Nini from Made by Nini who shared the news of Kat offering free one week e-course called Fuel Your Creativity. I tried the free offer and found the class valuable and with the discount of 20%, I signed up for her photography class, Find Your Eye.

The class does not focus on photographic techniques (you can also download Kat's free e-book, Digital Photography Basics here) Instead, it talks about how to find your personal photographic style, how to express yourself and connect with your art through photography.

The first lesson is about looking at my own photos. I'm not a good photographer. Most of my photos are of my artworks and work process with some closed-up shots of flowers, trees and plants. I notice that I only have a few of people shots. I guess I am just too shy to take other people's photos.

Yesterday I was not really in a mood for work. I had to go to post office anyway so it's a good excuse for going out. They says you can find inspirations everywhere, especially in the market where there is plenty of shapes and colors to explore so that's where I took my 'photo walk'. I forgot my camera so I used my old iphone to take photos of fruits, vegetable and grocery items. There were a lot of people in the market. I had to be quick in taking each photo and here are some of the shots. Sorry for the lousy photo quality. It's the best I could do with my old iphone.

supermarket colors

supermarket colors

supermarket colors

supermarket colors

It seems that I was more drawn to closed-up looks of all the shapes and colors. Different shapes and colors build up interesting patterns and I feel I can develop these photos into some kind of illustrated patterns. It will be a fun little project.

As for the class, Kat asks what I feel about photos I took. I think I have the feeling of not-so-sure. I love the colors and pattern but I need to learn more and take more photos. Practice, practice, practice :)

7.21.2014

Book Beauty Monday : Paris in Color

Paris in Color photo book

Such a beautiful coffee table book for daydreaming on gloomy day like today. I'm not particularly in love with Paris but I love overall atmosphere of european classic. Old buildings, cobbled pavements, little cute shop signs, ornamental frames of windows and doors and sweet romantic color combinations.

This book is all about colors. The author/photographer divided each section by different colors. Starting from black, blue, brown, green and so on. It's full of pictures of little things, of everyday life. Simple but beautiful.

Visit this photographer's blog here and you may be interested in her other book, The Paris Journal.

Paris in Color photo book

Paris in Color photo book

Paris in Color photo book

Paris in Color photo book

Paris in Color photo book

7.20.2014

Draw everyday no. 48 and Sunday Sketches

draweveryday-48-begin

My draw everyday no. 48 and Sunday Sketches. I started this having something more mature in mind but ended up with this whimsical piece instead :P Anyway, have a merry Sunday!

draweveryday-48


7.18.2014

Hot air balloon : my creative journey

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I'm taking Creative Courage e-course again this year. This is the third session I took with Stephanie Levy. Last year I already talked about how much I gained from the class and I think I gain even more from this third session.  In this class, the core idea is still the same, to have courage to be yourself and brave enough to venture into your own creative track.  Stephanie has made it lighter with the addition of summer recipes and photo walks. What makes me think I gain even more is the participation of the fellow students. I have been following conversations in the class facebook group and just discovered that while learning about other people's experiences, I instinctively explore my own inner self too.

One of the interesting topics Stephanie talked in the class is the metaphor of hot air balloon. Being in a creative journey, we need a lot of energy and effort. Hope, love, determination and support from the ones we love are essential fuel to get the balloon fly. But the hot air balloon is not small. It's big, enormous and needs a lot of energy. We have to learn so much about what could get our balloon go up as well as what has held the balloon down. Doubt, fear, criticism are always what we can identify but cannot get rid of completely. They are sandbags that hold down the balloon. I think in this case, it's all about focus. We will be constantly held down with flashes of fear, doubt and inner critic/ people's opinions, no way to avoid that. The trick is how to get ourselves back from those distractions and focus on what we want to focus.

My practice is to check myself. Whenever I feel down, doubtful or hurt, I will ask myself if these feeling are going to get me to my goal. If it's not why do I have to waste my time? There are plenty of things to do in my life plan. Ditch it and get going!

Again, it's easier said than done :P Sometimes I just wonder why some people (like  the old me) love to dwell in sadness rather than try to be happy. No answer to that but when I cannot let bad feelings go immediately, my second method is to imagine the time when I felt joy while making art or even daydream of the day of my success like ; my Etsy sale number gets over 1,000 or my art gets featured on famous blogs or magazines or my name is on a picture book's cover, etc. This may sound silly but it definitely lifts up my spirit and the only way to make those dreams come true is to work hard. So, I work!

Yes, it's only the matter of using focus, persistence and joy of creating as fuel for your hot air balloon of creative journey. Thanks to Stephanie for teaching this valuable lesson.

I hope I can stick with my methods and hope it can be helpful for those who are in this same struggling path :) Thanks for coming. I hope you have a merry day.


7.16.2014

draw everyday and the space of freedom

draweveryday-46

Today I changed the name of my daily drawing project from ' Little brown book project' to 'draw everyday'. I named it 'little brown book' according to the small size of the book I meant to keep drawing on everyday. Then yesterday, on my artist's date, I bought a large nice A4 sketchbook on a whim and drew a large line drawing of the afternoon tea set I was having.

draweveryday-45

When I got back home, I drew more on another A4 kraft paper sketchbook. Then I realized how much I enjoyed it. I rarely drew large drawings in A4 size as most of my sketchbooks I stored are in A5. Come to think of it, I might have been unknowingly intimidated by large blank space. Today I drew another large one and while drawing I suddenly felt something like freedom.  I didn't think much of the job project I had been doing since morning. There were flashes of things in the future I was worried about but most of the time, my mind was on lines and colors that I smoothly and comfortably put on the large space. I didn't care if people would love this drawing or not. It's enough for me to feel joy with my imperfect lines and I started to truly understand why some artists never gave up their art and why some preferred working on giant canvas. I suspect they might have felt the same freedom I just experienced today :)

If you are interested in my draw everyday project, you can follow my facebook page or instagram. I hope you enjoy it :)

7.14.2014

Book Beauty Monday : I am a Bunny by Richard Scarry

I am a Bunny

Books are my main source of inspirations, especially those with beautiful covers and lovely illustrations. I have been updating (on and off) on this blog and my other facebook page about beautiful books I collect since I discovered the joy of looking at beautiful book blogs like Books-by-its-cover and Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast. Now that I decided to make this blog a better recorder of my creative life, I'm going to include my book collection here too. Besides, it 's much easier to search old posts here on blog than in facebook :)

And this is my latest update, I am a Bunny by Richard Scarry. It seems that Scarry's works are childhood favorite for a lot of people but I have to confess that I have just learned of his name a few years ago when there were suddenly many books of his works republished and for sale in my local bookshop. Love his sweet character, how he used colors and play with composition. Beautiful, beautiful book :)

I am a Bunny

I am a Bunny

I am a Bunny

I am a Bunny

I am a Bunny

I am a Bunny

I am a Bunny

I am a Bunny

I am a Bunny

I am a Bunny


7.13.2014

Inspire me Sunday : today's reminder

perfection is the form of procrastination

Today's reminder :)

It took me several years before I actually learned this truth but it seems that I still have to remind myself from time to time. I guess it's because we, human, always want to be perfect. It's in our nature, an impossible need that brings us great suffer. As Salvador Dali said, "Have no fear of perfection, you will never reach it!."

Note to self : Don't seek for perfection, seek for joy of creating.
Have a merry Sunday :)


7.04.2014

Art swap : Merry Girl in the flower garden

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Last year I had a chance to meet wonderful ladies through Creative Courage facebook group. One day the idea of having a sketchbook swap group was posted and I immediately asked if I could join. It's quite strange for my timid self to ask something like that and it was going to be an international activity too. But then I was in the course talking about courage and creativity, I guess that's why I surprised myself :)

I have to say it's really one of my best decisions in life. We finally formed a small group around May 2013 and now is July 2014, the group project is done. Since we're still figuring out how to reveal the whole project, I'm going to go into details later when we are ready. For now, I guess it's ok to talk about my very first contribution to the project.

I remember posting above picture on my facebook page last year. It's the first stage of the page I was doing for the project. I didn't think much at first what I would do. I just sat down and drew flowers (my usual subject when doodling). Then a picture of a field of flowers started forming in my head and I kept drawing more.

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I wanted to play with depth so I tried cutting out the flowers. (I hesitated for a second but this was supposed to be playing and fun so pick up the scissors!)

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At this point, I knew how I would like the whole image to turn out. I traced the outline of the first cut-out paper on another sheet, lightly with pencil. This became a guideline for drawing another set of flowers. Then my character, Merry Girl, came in on the stage. I cut her out of another sheet of paper too.

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I also cut out the second flower set then tried layering the pieces. The idea was to make it look like my Merry Girl was admiring flowers in the garden.

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The last step was to add the big smiley sun and little fluffy clouds in the background. I was thinking about adding something more but I already learned how to stop when it's enough. I just didn't want to ruin the whole scene ;)

You may have a glimpse of adjacent page on the right. It's another member's contribution in this sketchbook and I can't wait to show them all!

Thanks for coming. I hope this bright drawing can make you feel merry :)


7.01.2014

Digital work in progress : make art that sells part B camping theme

work in progress : happy camping

It's the first of July already. I remember saying it out loud in my previous post that I would try to finish all the Make Art That Sells class' 5 assignments by the end of June. Sadly, I cannot complete it all but I'm happy to say that I can at least manage to finish all the 5 assignments in the sketching stage. That means I now have all ideas sketched and planned out. I only have to use my time wisely to transform all the pencil sketches into final artworks.

I have started working digitally on week 2 assignment of Make Art That Sells class camping theme today. Above are initial sketches. The assignment is to design an illustration piece that suits baby apparel product. The theme is camping. I love the hand-lettering and going to use it as my main piece. Limited color palette of teal, orange and brown was what I thought at first but then I could add more colors up to 8-10 colors. Working on colors and layout is the hardest part but I'm working on it and absolutely enjoying it. I have to remind myself not to spend too much time on it though. Just can't wait to see the final piece myself :)

work in progress : happy camping


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