Friday, May 22, 2015

Inspired by a chef and reality tv

Oh wow, I just watched a REALLY good reality show.  Anyone who knows me is probably like, "Oh no not again, last time it was the Vanderpump Rules finale what is it this time?"  But I'm serious this time.  I saw a really great show about following your path as an artist through unacceptance into total and complete success.

If you have Netflix you must, must, must watch the first episode of "Chef's Table."  It's the story of an Italian Chef Massimo Bottura and his restaurant Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy.  I found it very inspiring.  He and his wife tell the story of how he graduated from culinary school, started a restaurant, realized he was doing what everyone else was doing, found a new path, met resistance, contemplated giving up, and finally had an encounter that was totally happenstance which led to his acceptance by the world.

As a visual artist I can totally relate.  I feel like I just passed the realizing that I don't want to do what everyone else is doing part of my career.  I'm currently getting a glimpse of my new path, bracing myself for the resistance part, and hoping the acceptance comes around sooner rather than later because, like Bottura, giving up is NOT an option.

I usually learn a lot more about the artist process when I study the work of an artist that is very far from my own discipline.  This is why I like to watch shows about chefs, musicians, and others in creative disciplines other than illustration or art licensing.  I can more clearly hear their message and story.  If I listen to another illustrator's road to success I get too caught up in the details.  I hear, "I am successful because I draw lighthouses."  When they are really trying to say, "I am successful because I draw something near and dear to my heart."  I get all confused and start thinking, "Should I draw lighthouses too?"  And I totally miss the point.  I'm a good example of can't see the forest for the trees in that case.

Anyway, thanks for the great lesson Chef Bottura. These experimental eggplants are for you.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Please don't be frightened by my spot on trend predicting

About 2 months ago I noticed that I was starting to find children's drawings very inspiring.  "That's weird'" I thought to myself.  It kept happening over and over again.  I would see a child's drawing on a blog or Instagram and proclaim, "Oh my gosh, this is genius.  Who is the artist?"  And then I would feel a little embarrassed when I saw that the caption read, "a drawing by my daughter."

Fast forward to today, I am catching up on my Fall 2015 fashion shows and my jaw hits the floor when I see Dolce & Gabbana's Mamma inspired collection.  They have eight beautiful dresses in the collection covered in children's drawings.  So, thank goodness it's not just me!"  If you'd like to see for yourself you can check out the Dolce & Gabbana collection here: Dolce &Gabbana Fall 2015. 

Friday, April 24, 2015

Hot art hashtags on Instagram right now

I am a huge fan of blogs and I always have been, especially those written by the makers, manufacturers, and distributors of product with art on it.  I use Feedly to organize and read all of the blogs I follow (well over 100).

Sometime last year my Feedly feed started getting really sparse and some regular bloggers started disappearing all together.  It was a mystery to me.  Where was everyone going?  Was everyone at a party that I hadn't been invited to?  YES!  Everyone is at a different party and that party is Instagram.  Holy jackpot of fresh and beautiful art.  I can't stop scrolling through art, art, and more art.

I discovered this week that the HOTTEST spots at the party are the hashtags #nss2015, #surtex, and #surtex2015.  The National Stationery/Surtex show is coming up next month. Hundreds of artists and manufacturers are toiling away making their best art and posting it on Instagram.  The above screenshot is the last 16 images posted on #nss2015.

I actually decided not to attend the show this year because I'm going to watch the whole thing unfold on Instagram.  I'm already spotting a lot of fun new trends.

So go check out those hashtags.  Your eyeballs will thank you!


Sunday, March 8, 2015

LOUIE Award finalist!!

I am jumping up and down right now because the "Santa Train" card I conceptualized, illustrated, and engineered for the Museum of Modern Art is a LOUIE Award finalist in the category Christmas/Seasonal Boxed Set Above $2.  Hooray, hooray!  If you aren't familiar with the LOUIE it's the highest honor in the greeting card industry.  This is the third time I've been a finalist and I even won once before.  Soooooo exciting!  Okay, I think you get the picture that I'm excited.  If you would like to see all the finalists you can view them here:  27th Annual LOUIE Awards Gallery.  It is quite a remarkable display of greeting card excellence!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Follow me on Instagram

I took the plunge and started an Instagram feed.  I am fully committed to posting fresh, original content for your enjoyment.  The plan is to post a lot of sketches of my art experimentation in hopes that this will inspire others to sketch and grow their style too.  Here are the first three pictures I've posted.  If you enjoy them I hope you will follow along with me.  My Instagram feed is https://instagram.com/marybethcryanartist/ . If you are more of a Facebook person I am going to post all of my Instagram photos there too.  Here is my Facebook feed https://www.facebook.com/marybethcryanartist .  Thank you in advance for following!!



Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Exploration of a creative idea

I am a little behind on my fashion show watching lately so I just saw the photos of Viktor and Rolf's Spring 2015 couture show.  Wow, wow, wow!  These guys know how to take a concept all the way.  I love how their shows always have a clear, concise idea.  My mind is officially blown for this week.  They start out with a cute dress, a cute straw hat, and some flip flops and go on a journey to a mind blowing dress, a mind blowing straw hat, and some flip flops.  You need to see the progression for yourself.  They are genius.  You can see the whole thing unfold here Style.com.  I think this piece is my favorite:
Photo from Style.com

This reminds me of sketchbook exploration.  When I sketch in my sketchbook, I keep my eye out for a tiny glimmer of an idea.  Then I try to stretch it and stretch it until it takes me somewhere really special.  This is when the best art is created.  Watching this fashion show feels like watching Victor and Rolf's idea evolve in the same way.  It's a great example of where you can go if you persist on a creative journey until you reach something amazing.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Do your research!

I was just reading the book "Cardboard Design Now" by Black Dog Publishing and I'm shocked to read their excerpt about Charles Eames.  It reads, "Charles Eames, along with his brother Ray...".  How on earth could a designer not know Charles and Ray Eames was a husband/wife team?  They were only the most famous designers ever.  That is pretty bad!

What can we learn from this?  Always do your research!