Saturday, April 27, 2013

Talent doesn't guarantee success

It seems like natural artistic talent can somehow be more of a curse than a gift some days. I've often heard: "Wow you are so talented!" and "You could design that." Yes, indeed, I could, but I'm not... and why's that? It is a very competitive market out there: so talent doesn't necessarily guarantee success. Well nobody said that worthwhile things came easy, did they? :)

Here's my latest poster illustration (please like it here)

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Up Close and Personal

There are very few artists out there that share my passion of water. Robert Wyland happens to be one of these artists (and he's also associated with Princess cruises! Coincidence? I think not!)

He is one of the world's most famous marine life artists alive today. A celebrated painter, muralist, sculptor, writer, filmmaker, photographer, and scuba diver; he is one of the most prolific artists in the world (not to mention a bit of an overachiever, wouldn't you say?). Wyland not only expresses his passion for the undersea world through his artwork, but has also created a non-profit foundation supporting numerous conservation programs around the world. Wyland is well known for his large whale murals. I've actually had the privilege of seeing some of these paintings in person near my hometown in White Rock, British Columbia (pictured here). Wyland established a goal of painting one hundred whaling walls by 2011. He exceeded his goal by a few years, and reached his goal in 2008 by creating his 100th whaling wall in Beijing, China. His work can be found worldwide, and Wyland has also been associated with Princess Cruises since 1997. He has created bronze fountains and murals for the pool areas of our Princess ships and he frequently cruises with us for special art events.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Time to be Inspired...

The rain clouds have parted, the sun has come out, and Spring has arrived here in Vancouver. Sure, just wait ten minutes and the weather might change, but I can't help but love this time of year... it means we are one season closer to summer! Plus it's a time for new beginnings, new inspiration, AND the seemingly perfect time to launch my new Etsy shop! Enjoy this sneak peak:

 Also be sure to check out the latest design work that I've done for my clients (now available on my website as well as my fb page). I love working with new and budding entrepreneurs like myself; and with telecommuting being my specialty – I've done work for people on the other side of the country! Hoping to reach a global community in the near future. 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

A morning spent in the Loafing Shed Glass Studio

This morning I had the pleasure of being a guest in the Loafing Shed Glass Studio — watching Robert Gary Parkes create some amazing sculptures out of glass. I have to admit that this process is completely mesmerizing: I could have stayed there all day (no joke).

Upon arriving at the The Loafing Shed Glass Studio, my eyes were met by glass blown objects that adorn the property gates,  as well as some glass little hippos and other animals hiding out in the garden. I love the laid back feel of the property — an obvious oasis for this artist. As you walk past the house and the chicken coop you come to the shed. It may not like much from the outside, but inside it's every artist's dream of what a studio workshop could be.

To the right is a gallery room filled with lights and glass blown ornaments, vases, etc. Each one seems to be more breathtaking than the other. I was especially drawn to the sea-foam coloured fish bowls that had hints of coral and other colours that reminded me of the beach. The far wall is a display of amazing concoctions of fresh jams that Robert's wife, Jeanette cans herself. I will have to go back and buy some Carrot Cake Jam - I hear it tastes amazing on toast with cream cheese... I can just imagine.

The first room that you step into is the welcome room where more glass blown objects are displayed as well as a table full of home baked cupcakes and brownies. There is also a table full of refreshments along one wall: tea, coffee and punch. There is no reason to feel unwelcome in this studio space! After gathering up all the refreshments and baking that one can gather, the next room is the real studio space. For this weekend's customer appreciation event — three rows of chairs were set up for us to watch Master Glossblower, Robert Parkes at work (along with his apprentice).

Looking around at the space, I can see why Parkes loves to spend his time in the Studio Hot Shop. The room feels warm (from the heat of the furnaces) and tropical - with plants basking in the sunlight streaming in from the skylights above. Parkes is entertaining to watch. Not only is he amazingly talented — but he also knows how to keep his audience engaged: explaining steps along the way, and throwing in humorous antidotes as well!

I was especially interested in Parkes creation of paperweights that look as though they were plucked from the bottom of the ocean floor. He said he happened upon this by accident, but has been perfecting it ever since. It's really amazing how these glass balls seem to contain life within them: complete with coral and anemones. I was fortunate enough to see Parkes create one of these this morning. I think we share a fascination of the ocean. Like Parkes, I love to spend time at the Vancouver Aquarium just taking in all the colour and absorbing inspiration for future work.

If you have time this weekend, I would recommend going to tomorrow's open house from 10am to 3pm. If not, be sure to check out their website:

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Art Vibe in New Zealand...

It's good to be home! But it does take some adjusting after spending two months in summer and then coming back to rainy, wintery, Vancouver :) Not to mention the jet-lag after 24 hours of travel time.

I've had the amazing opportunity to work abroad in New Zealand and the South Pacific for the last two months. I've enjoyed taking in all the sights, all the cafes (of course - I'm a coffee addict), as well as all of the artwork. There's something about coastal towns/cities that I just feel like I have an infinity for. I love the artwork that they are producing and the entire "feel" of the place.

Here's a few of the brochures/pictures that I've picked up along my journey. I'm looking forward to incorporating some of those bright coastal colours into more of my artwork (and maybe taking some inspiration from the surf/coastal lifestyle of New Zealand, Australia and the South Pacific Islands).

Monday, November 19, 2012

Why create at all?

If someone came up to you on the street today and asked you why you do what you do for a living — what would your response be?
I've had a few clients ask me how I ever got into art in the first place, since it seems to be an unlikely career pursuit. Was it to get attention? A way to excel where others were not so gifted? Well that's a hard question to answer because it's been a while since I thought like a five year old *wink." I do however remember being in awe of my cousin who could draw Disney princesses and I vowed that if I worked hard enough on my drawing skills, one day I could be as good as she was. I suppose that was the start of honing in on my craft. Since then it's been a bit more of a complicated path to follow. Do I paint for myself? Or do I paint for my audience?

I think it becomes apparent when an artist starts to paint exclusively for the audience — and in turn, for the end profit; something in the artwork becomes lost. Call it soul or artistic passion, but I can always tell when my heart isn't in a piece. Which is why I was so delighted to get a commission job for a painting that involved water! (pictures to be posted on my facebook page after Christmas).

So the question has become — how can I successfully paint for myself and for my audience? I'm still learning how to marry the two. Perhaps the answer lies in getting a Rep? More on that later.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Thinking small... the key to happiness

I'm not sure how I got this lucky in life. When I left Australia 4.5 years ago—I didn't think I'd be back. Certainly I didn't want to be presumptuous and assume that I would.  People told me it was a once in a lifetime opportunity—and it sure felt like it. When I find myself in such beautiful locations (I never dreamed I could see on a artist budget), all I want to do is drink it all in: the atmosphere, the culture, the art - and especially the BEACH! (Well you knew that was coming, I wouldn't be honest if I left that important part out :) So it's humbling to be sitting here thinking that I'll have the opportunity to go back in a month.
It's easy for people on the outside to look in on my life and think that I am actually lacking. Sure there are school loans looming, and there isn't much material wealth in my name. But I do feel truly happy — which in this day & age is hard to find; or rather, society seems to do its best to convince us that we're not happy... cause we need the latest gadget, or we need more money, or we need more social network friends or whatever. A wise cousin once said that in order to be happy: think small. Start seeing the world like a child. Be amazed by the small things: how a bumblebee can fly despite its size, how the sun rises every morning... just the little things in life. True wisdom I think, and something I take with me no matter where I go.