Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Snapchat, are you my answer?

I'm always trying to figure out what to do with this blog.  As you can tell I do not love writing about myself everyday.  I get too caught up in the grammar.  So I'm looking for a new format.

Snapchat is appealing because it's video but short and sweet.  As I mentioned before I really like the vlog that I tried in Periscope.  But those videos are long and don't make good blog posts.  Would Snapchat videos make for a good blog?  I don't know, but the experiment starts now.  Here is my first Snapchat story.  It's short and sweet and gives a little glimpse into my life.  Hmmm, so far, so good!

Monday, November 30, 2015

Is Periscope for you? Is it for me?

First Broadcast

Second Broadcast

Third Broadcast

Well, I tried Periscope for the first time and "WOAH" that is a crazy app.  I did some live drawing and I thought I was going to draw and talk about what I was drawing and people would watch and listen.  Not so!  People are on that app to chat.  And that is why it's so crazy cool.  It's like being at a big cocktail party chatting with new people with similar interests.  And I got really, really great feedback on my art.  That is definitely a big positive.  People are nice and really friendly.  I already have some followers and I've only done it 3 times.  The app is young so everyone on it is excited about it.

My plan was to use the app to do live drawings but now I'm not sure because here's the thing.  I've never drawn and chatted before, like ever.  And it's hard!  I did 3 scopes and my drawings were definitely sloppier than if I had drawn them in solitude.  In the third broadcast I tried drawing over what I drew on the second day but I still felt that the drawing was sloppy (see above drawings).  So that was a negative. 

But here's a very interesting positive, when listening back to my broadcast I thought I really sounded like myself.  I had a strong voice and it was exactly representative of who I am.  I'm kind of funny and make one liners and weird spontaneous subtle jokes.  I laugh at my jokes even when no one else does.  And I ask myself questions.  In addition, I have really interesting informed opinions about the field of art.  My voice definitely came out in a way it never does in my writing... well, maybe in texts to friends but never on this blog or my short descriptions on Instagram.  And it was easy and fun, it didn't feel like a chore.  I'm definitely considering more video at this point.

So the jury is out.  Will I do more periscopes or try to find a different video journaling (vlog) venue?  I'm not sure.  In the meantime, I'm trying to be more spontaneous on social media.  This blog post is an example.  I'm just writing it and tossing it out into the world.  Usually I read, re-read, cross out, and 9 out of 10 decide in the end no one will be interested and delete.  But not this time.  So if Periscope has taught me anything so far it's to be more spontaneous with social media posts because my voice is more authentic that way.  So thanks for the lesson Periscope! 

Friday, November 27, 2015

Fashion Designer List

Kenzo SS16 by Mary Beth Cryan

Here is the fashion designer list I referred to in my Periscope broadcast today.

There are so many fashion shows each season that I get overwhelmed trying to decide which to watch and in what order.  Organization is my key to combating overwhelm so I made a list of designers I must watch every season.  I start from the top and work my way down.  This year I'm illustrating the list from the top down.  I just finished Kenzo (pictured above) and I'm currently on Louis Vuitton.  I'm going to continue until I finish the list or until Couture week begins, whichever happens first.

If you'd like to see all of the illustrations as well as other illustrations please check out my instagram here:

If you'd like to see me live drawing and chat with me please check out my Periscope here:

Absolute must sees, not to be missed:
Altuzarra - NY
Anna Sui - NY
Balenciaga - P
Balmain - P
Burberry Prorsum - L
Chanel - P
Commes des Garcons - P
Dolce and Gabbanna - M
Dries Van Noten - P
Duro Olowu - NY - A
Fendi - M
Isabel Marant - P
Issey Miyake - P
Jeremy Scott - NY
Jean Paul Gaultier - P
Kenzo - P
Louis Vuitton - P
Manish Arora - P
Marc Jacobs - NY
Marchesa - NY
Mary Katrantzou - L
Miu Miu  - P
Moschino - M
Moschino Cheap and Chic - M
Paco Rabanne - P
Prabal Gurung - NY
Prada - M
Preen - NY
Proenza Schouler - NY
Rodarte - NY
Thakoon - NY
Thom Browne - NY
Tsumori Chisato P
Victor and Rolf - P

If my eyeballs aren't bleeding after watching all those shows I continue on with this bunch.

Alexander Wang - NY
Alexander McQueen - L
Alice and Olivia - NY
Costume National - P
Creatures of the Wind - NY
Elie Saab - P
Emilio Pucci - M
Emporio Armani - M
Giorgio Armani - M
Givenchy - P
Gucci - M
Helmut Lang - NY
ICB Prabal Gurung - NY
Just Cavalli - M
Lanvin - P
Marc by Mark Jacobs - NY
Meadham Kirchhoff - L
Missoni - M
Oscar De La Renta -NY
Robert Cavalli - M
Stella McCartney -P
Thakoon Addition - NY
Tibi - NY
Valentino - P
Vivienne Westwood - P
Versace - M
The Row - NY
Diesel - NY
Helmet Lang - NY
Badgley Mischka - NY
Dior - P
Donna Karan - NY
Vera Wang - NY
Stella McCartney-P

Friday, September 18, 2015

Fashion Illustration is back and so am I

 Betsey Johnson

It's an exciting time for fashion illustration.  Thanks to Instagram, the genre is making a huge comeback. As you know I LOOOOOOOOOOOVE fashion and may know I used to do quite a bit of fashion illustrating on the side years ago.  So I am for sure, throwing my hat into the ring.

You may be expecting my old vector art style however, I'm back with a colorful, kooky, and hopefully clever colored pencil interpretation of fashion.  I'm adding my own personal spin to the genre with a bit of a newly acquired cavalier attitude.  The illustrations you see here are some of the art I created during New York Fashion Week. If you'd like to see my newest art, minutes after its creation please follow me on Instagram at @marybethcryan.

Speaking of New York Fashion Week did you follow the coverage?  It was an illustration extravaganza! Fashion Illustrators were live drawing at shows, live drawing at parties, live drawing at stores, live drawing backstage, drawing from home, drawing from New York, drawing on the other side of the earth, drawing, drawing, and more DRAWING!!  And people were paying attention.  Here's a list of pretty impressive press from this year to prove it:

Harper's Bazaar 12 Fashion Illustrators To Follow on Instagram
Instyle 10 Fashion Illustrators to Follow on Instagram Right Now
Vanity Fair 5 Must-Follow Illustrators on Instagram
New York Times  Seeing Fashion With a Sketchpad and Markers
Man Repeller Are Illustrators the New Fashion Bloggers?
Who What Wear 5 Mind-Blowing Fashion Illustrators to Follow on Instagram
Fashionista How to Make it as a Fashion Illustrator in 2015

This is crazy people!  When was the last time illustrators got press like this?  It's all very exciting.  I hope this trend picks up steam and continues because I am hoping to hop aboard the wild ride. 
Tommy Hilfiger

Prabal Gurung

Friday, August 21, 2015

An apology to children artists

Dear Child Artists of the World,

I apologize.  On May 5, 2015 I shared my love of art made by children on this blog.  But then I completely belittled the genre by expressing my embarrassment about my love.  I realized my mistake this week while reading "Drawing for Older Children & Teens" by Mona Brookes.

In the book, Brookes sets artists up for success in the first chapter by explaining that many people need to let go of their preconceptions about judging art because their criteria in most cases is irrelevant.  Whoa! I have been using absurd comparisons to judge art and never realized it before.

For example, back when I created solely vector art I used to say, "I wish I was an oil painter instead of a vector artist because the best vector art will never be as good as the best oil painting."  I see now that comparison is completely absurd and led to unnecessary feelings of inferiority.  It's like saying the best apple will never be as good as the best orange.  Or the best football player will never be as good as the best baseball player.  You can't compare and so you shouldn't.  When these comparisons are made genre's of art, sports, fruit, etc. are disregarded.  I am guilty of disregarding the medium of vector art and children's art in this way.

This book is really good so far.  I've only read the first 11 pages but already a huge weight of judgement has been been lifted off my shoulders and I have a new appreciation of all art genres.  This is definitely going to help me be more realistic in judging my own work and keep me from backing myself into a judgement corner where no art is good enough. 

I'm going to keep reading and I'll let you know if I have any more epiphanies. 

Below is a drawing I did as a child.  I LOVE this drawing FYI. 

Here is a scribble project (the first project in the above mentioned book) completed by me this week.  It is really relaxing to put medium to paper and not be concerned one iota what the outcome will look like.  And as far as scribbles go I think it's pretty cool.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Pencil Sharpener!

Woo hoo!  I just bought a new pencil sharpener and I'm really excited.  Whew, I've never said that before but I really am excited.  I really wanted the Panasonic kp4A because everyone recommends it but I think it's discontinued.  Actually I think it's been discontinued since like 2009 because that was the most recent discussion of pencil sharpeners for colored pencils I could find on the internet.  I guess it's not a hot topic of discussion, surprisingly.  Or not.  Anyway, I found A LOT of reviews on Dick Blick and decided to go with the Bostitch QuietSharp6 Classroom Pencil Sharpener.  People love this thing!  Like sleep with it on their pillow love.  Okay, maybe not but they did give it 4.5 stars and that was good enough for me.  I'll let you know if I like it or not.  And if you see me in public with pencil shavings squashed on my face, now you'll know why.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

How having two art styles is like having two medium piles of dirt

Is it possible to build an art career and have two art styles? This is a question I hear asked a lot by students and people starting in the industry.  I've come up with a clear cut answer as to why you should strive to only have one style.  It's because having two art styles is like having two medium piles of dirt.

When talking about art it is easy to get bogged down with words like talent and who-you-know and agents and luck and right-time-right-place and location.  It seems impossible to compare the careers of two artists  So when answering questions about art I like to break it down, way down.  Instead of saying "creating art" say "digging a pile of dirt."  You will be surprised how quickly the truth becomes clear.  So let's try it with having two styles.

I want to have a wonderful flourishing art career.  I want to be one of the best in my industry.  I want lots of people to notice my work.  Should I have two art styles or concentrate on one?  Okay, here we go: I want to dig a giant pile of dirt.  I want to have the biggest pile of dirt in the my industry.  I want lots of people to notice my giant pile of dirt.  Should I dig two piles of dirt or concentrate on one?  Well now it's obvious.  Clearly if you want to get noticed and be recognized in your industry you want to have one giant pile of dirt not two medium piles of dirt. 

Let's say you spend the rest of your life shoveling two piles of dirt.  Let's assume you just got out of college and you are going to work until the day you die.  Let's say you spend all your working hours for 80 years shoveling equal amounts of dirt into two piles.  You are going to have two big whopping piles of art, I mean dirt.  But now your buddy, who also graduated the same day, spent the same amount of time over the same 80 years shoveling all his dirt into one pile.  Think of how ginormously gigantic his pile of dirt is going to be compared to your two piles.  It will probably be so big people will come from miles around to see it.  And everyone will talk about it and blog about it and share it on Facebook and he will be really famous and revered.  Everyone will say, "Wow, he is the best dirt digger in his industry.  Look at what he has accomplished in his career."  And you will be like, "Hey, I shoveled the same amount of dirt as he did.  Why is he getting all the attention?"  It's because no one cares about two medium piles of dirt.  In fact, your buddies one pile of dirt was as big as your two piles 40 years ago. 

If 80 years is too large to conceptualize, let's break it down to 4.  If you spend 4 years developing two styles your two styles will only be as good as if you spent 2 years on each.  But your buddy will have 4 years experience in one style and be 2 whole years ahead of you in his career.  And it only grows from there.  In 6 years he will be 3 years ahead of you.  In 8 he will be 4.  See how this goes?

So my point is, if you spend your time spread over two illustration styles, the best you can ever hope for is two styles that are only half as good as the styles of the people in your industry who only have one style.  And in the end you will never be able to come close to their accomplishments because you didn't have enough time to adequately hone two styles.  So how do you meld your two or three or six styles into one?  I'm going to work on that and get back to you. 

In the meantime, I dug out my first website from 2005.  Below is a sampling of the four art styles I was working in at the time.  And yes, this art is making me cringe (as all old work should).  If you want to see my current pile of dirt please check out my Instagram feed.