Oct 30, 2009

Autumn Mornin'

This is Fargo, my new identity.
{ winter 2009 business card design }

I can already tell its going to be one of those mornings where I can't seem to warm up and thus won't entirely wake up. Ugh, but hey, at least I got a full six/seven hours of sleep! That was nice.

So last night I worked on my identity. It's hard, just sentimentally, to go from Butcher to Burrier. In a way I feel like I'm disowning my dad and family...but I know that's not what I'm doing. I also feel like I might loose some of my following. I hope I've done enough that it won't make too much of a difference. I Googled Sara Burrier and pretty much all of the same stuff comes up. That's a plus.

Back to my identity. I've only sent out one postcard mailing, last year, so I know I can approach the publishers with my married name. Switching over the website and email has proven to be tricky. I've purchased two other domain names out of uncertainty and confusion. And now I'm about to buy more business cards on top of the 500 I have sitting in my studio sporting "Sara Butcher" and "http://www.sarabutcher.com".

Isn't there a handbook of some type for women who get married and are in this field? If not there should be! I don't have the mental capacity to figure it all out on my own. I mean I have, but not without using A LOT more time and mistakes to get there. It needs to be a smooth transition, which I think is why I find it so frustrating.

Oct 29, 2009

Fast Fargo (IF)

"He ran as fast as a rabbit! He was late!"
{ watercolor | 2009 }

I was updating my website this morning and decided to place up my links once again. I know why I took them down, I just don't know why I listened to poor advice. I can see where maybe having links on your site could distract or tarnish your online portfolio. But I can't get over the fact that we as artists, illustrators, creators, and directors all need to link together and support one another. I know personally I gotta have a network of friends who will give me honest feedback and support when times are rough. Whether it's art related or not. As artists we tend to understand one another maybe a bit more than those who do not make it their living.

all you childrens book illustrators out there. Listen up!
I have lots of room on my links page...Let's exchange links and make this community bigger and stronger!

Just comment to this post with:
your full name
web portfolio link
url where I can find my link

Next I'll add you onto my links page. If you post my link on your blog, I will do the same. :) Then, return the favor! Word of mouth people...it works!

Oct 28, 2009

New Day

Just finished this piece, which created struggle and challenge for me. I wanted to place a fresher and newer spread in my portfolio, and one that showed an interesting perspective. This, I don't feel, is present in my portfolio at this moment. It took several sketches but finally got to this. I was struggling with letting go of the ice skaters and all of the interaction I had going on in the bkgr behind the girl. I learned, though, that you can't control what the image is asking. I didn't need all of that interaction, and although it was interesting, it wasn't interesting enough to create a strong visual story. I am very pleased with how this turned out and a HUGE thank you to my crit group. You guys rock!

I feel refreshed and so motivated to work! Yesterday my Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market book for 2010 came in the mail. There are already bookmarkers swamping the pages, and that's just for magazines. I'm excited to start sending out promo postcards and getting a schedule down for submissions.

I also got a beloved favorite from my childhood in the mail. I LOVED loved the book Rumpelstiltskin, retold and illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky. Oh man....it's De Vinici meets today. Classic oil painting but has a splash of expression and freshness only children's books provide today. LOVE IT! I used to have it in hardback, and when I ordered this one I thought it was too. Oh well, it wasn't. But that doesn't matter. I forgot how rich and beautiful the illustrations where. I'm definitely going to invest in buying more of Zelinsky's books. I know he did a few others...I'm sure there's more than that even!

Another book I purchased last week was "Ignis" illustrated by P.J. Lynch. I saw Matt Phelan mention him and checked him out. The book "Ignis" was perfect for my full page spread project. The entire book is spreads. How awesome is that? It's a very large format book filled with lush color illos and beautiful expressions. Exactly what you'd expect from P.J. Lynch.

The market book I purchased has an article in it from an agent about steps to take in becoming an illustrator. The first ones are one...know your market. Know what books are coming out, what books are winning awards, who's publishing who, etc. The other is know your children's books illustration history. Reading up on the masters (i.e. Maurice Sendak Where the Wild Things Are), and start building a library full of books that you like. It's very helpful, as I've noticed just having P.J.'s book here by my side as I went through this project, inspired me and kept me motivated. I could see what perspectives were interesting and being used. I'm jazzed about the Rumpelstiltskin book because the perspectives in that book are just gorgeous!

Like I said before, I'm highly motivated and truly ready to continue on with this adventure. :)

Oct 23, 2009

Life Drawing

I was looking at a good oldie of a book yesterday, preparing for a lesson to teach on balance and rhythm. I have two old George B. Bridgman books on anatomy. The one I was referencing to for this lesson was "Bridgman's Life Drawing". He looks at the two, balance and rhythm, separately. I was so moved by what I saw and read I thought I would give his methods a try. It's great when I get taught a lesson through what I am about to teach!

Bridgman's method with balance is a straight line of gravity from the nape of the neck down. Wherever that lands is the center of balance. Just a straight line. Simple enough.

This section fascinated me! But this is what he said specifically to rhythm and the human figure:
So to express rhythm in drawing a figure we have in the balance of masses a subordination of the passive or inactive side to the more forceful and angular side in action, keeping constantly in mind the hidden, subtle flow of symmetry throughout.

That totally opened a new window for me when drawing the figure. And to think I just always opened the book to look at the pretty pictures. Glad I finally matured enough to read it!

Oct 22, 2009


Okay, so they might not be on the top of your list, but when I was younger I always envied those who rocked their keychains will beautiful images or cartoons. When I was finally old enough to buy my own it wasn't cool anymore. At least no one made me feel cool because of them.


Anyways, these will always be cool because their mature yet snazzy and full of beauty. Only $3.50 each, and the more you buy the cheaper they become. Great stocking stuffs or little blessing gifts to friends to say how much you care about them.

Random blessing gifts are just that, huge blessings!

Oct 20, 2009


{ Thankful Fairy Blessing | watercolor | 2009 }
Original painting for sale on Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=32957396

I am thankful I have a God that loves me.
I am thankful I am His daughter.
I am thankful for my husband.
I am thankful for my mom and dad.
I am thankful for my sister.
I am thankful for my friends.
I am thankful for my families.
I am thankful for the food I have.
I am thankful for the roof over my head.
I am thankful for this computer.
I am thankful for my gift as an artist.
I am thankful I get to teach art.
I am thankful for having a car that runs.
I am thankful for not having cancer.
I am thankful for not being deathly ill.
I am thankful I can walk.
I am thankful I can breathe.
I am thankful for my five senses.
I am thankful for the clothes I have.
I am thankful for the troubles in my life.
I am thankful for the lessons in my life.
I am thankful for the sun.
I am thankful for my cat Madie.
I am thankful...so very thankful for this life.

What are you thankful for?

Oct 19, 2009

IF - Frozen (sketch)

Working on more interesting perspectives...it's not that big of a stretch, but a start. Also wanted to add more people doing things to hold the viewer's interest. I'm pretty pleased with how the girl turned out in the foreground. Curious to see what happens once color is added. :)

Something New, Something Old

Let's start with old first. I've been wanting to hone in and focus just on children's book illustration. I recall being directed to just do that...but felt I still had to take control and make enough money to live. Who doesn't? But now with things changing, being married, and re-evaluating my business life, it has been agreed upon to do what I was meant to do in the first place.

So my energies will be placed in networking, zazzle shop, etsy shop (sales of prints and paintings), marketing with mail-outs to publishers, and illustrating. Thats it. Nothing else. I have spent so many years running around doing every little thing possible to make a cent...which um, I don't believe is my true purpose in life as an artist. Plus I truly hope this brings less stress to my business and I'll actually enjoy it to the fullest! Huge thanks to my hubby for all of his support, love, and encouragement.

Something new...I have new products that I created today on my zazzle shop. The purpose of the shop is for women of all ages, especially those between 4-15 years of age. :) So take a peak and see if there isn't something at the shop that would fit the little girl in your life this year for Christmas.

Oct 16, 2009

Attack of the Cold!

It's that time of year every body! Yay!!!! Cold season!!! Not to mention flu season. Boy, has the cold really taken over this time. First my mom, then my sister, then our friend Liz, then our friend Erica, then me, then, then, then....it never ends. Thankfully Brian has not caught it being around me. He puts on the vitamin C armor along with bananas and all other vitamins. He's definitely a soldier when it comes to cold defense. I was doing the same (not the bananas), but still got it. Not too terribly bad tho, my mom and sister got hit really hard. By day four I'm feeling pretty great...day four for them? Well, still on the couch sniffling and feeling miserable. :(

Unfortunately when one has a cold, one does not feel like doing anything. That's bad. I have a lot of great things to work on..but had no motivation to do it. Colds give you that whimsy up in the clouds feeling...light headiness. But not everything was in vane. I didn't have the energy to actually paint but I could click a mouse and type little sentences. So I created a Zazzle account. I used to have a cafepress account out there...and if you searched real hard you may still be able to find it. I stopped placing energy into it years ago. The part of Zazzle that interests it me is the customization I am able to do and the products they offer. Like the shoes, I think they're freakin' adorable and awesome!

I'm also spotlighting my Blessed Fairies giving them a copyright, and a logo. Brian just loves them and I created them for licensing specifically. Hopefully by the time I'm finished with creating products they will have their own line of clothing and shoes. :) There are already quite a few products up featuring them.
Check out their little part of my zazzle shop Fairy Blessings©

Visit my site for great holiday greeting cards with matching postage, the Mermaid Club, and more!

make custom gifts at Zazzle

Oct 8, 2009


Ikarian Mice - Julio, Raymond, and Evie | sketchbook 2009

Know when you're on a high for life, happy as can be, at peace, and everything just falls into place? Ya, that's how I've been since this weekend...now...it's rainy, coooooold, and really kinda icky outside. Typically I would enjoy a day like this, there's always a sense of serenity with it. But not today. I'm at peace, but going REALLY slow. Not motivated and spiritually... seeing other people moving forward, getting their newsletters out (which I'm like MONTHS behind on), getting licensed products, finishing projects, etc...has been attacking me. :( I feel just...blah. blah blah blah. Physically my body feels fine...hungry...but fine.

I lost my motivation and that motivates me even less. I worked and worked on a new blog for a group of artists here in Des Moines that I'm a part of. It was more than I estimated, yet finally got it finished. I think after all of that I'm just now in a state of napping, staring off into space, and going "eh, I'm resting." I don't think that's what God had planned when He told me to slow down and rest. In my head I say I'll get to it tomorrow...but that means I'm not fulfilling my day today as if it was my last day on earth!

I don't think I even know how to do that...it's such a distant concept for me. But since this weekend it's been MUCH easier to enjoy every day and be silly. Maybe after all the hyper activity you have a day where you just zone. I guess we'll find out tomorrow.

Oct 5, 2009


You stopped and looked at me.

This past weekend I journeyed through a small women's treat, and I am so blessed and grateful that I had that opportunity. My faith is no secret to those who know me and those who follow my work online. It's the place all of my work stems from. My ministry are the paintings and drawings I create, whether it's a mouse shivering in the cold waiting to enter a warm home, a child laughing, or a fairy flying through some leaves. They all come from God and I fully claim that.

With reorganizing my business I've been praying again for guidance and direction. I have felt like I'm in limbo with what I am doing. I want it to do more, to glorify the Lord and give back for all that He has given me! I mentioned this to a fellow Christian woman, one who is seasoned and wise. She said that I am, even tho the commission I might be working on at the time isn't clearly evident it's for God, it is. I can claim it, I can create the piece while saying thanks and create it for Him. It doesn't matter the subject matter, it doesn't matter the business surrounding it. What matters is the person it is going to, how it alters their life, feelings, or home. Love, hope, light, and peace goes to them. This is God, and He is in each piece of my work.

This became clear to me on this retreat, among many other things. I paint beauty, it's an addiction, but view myself very low on the beautiful scale. God said He created the earth, which is full of beauty, and created me. How can I be any less beautiful? No matter our appearance we are all beautiful inside and out. Regardless of our past, our scars, or mold (which isn't meant to fit a cookie cutter). I paint beauty because it is how God sees us. It's through His eyes.

So today I ask that you take a moment and do what I did. Rest. Take a deep breath, know that if you don't make that phone call right now, or email that person this very instant, that life will continue. Life isn't about our to do lists or our accomplishments, tho our society says that it is. Life is about relationships with others, love, finding peace, and joy in every little thing around us. Exhale that deep breath, close your eyes, and thank He who created the wind, water, earth, and sky for such a beautiful day.

Believe me, it's worth that moment.

Oct 2, 2009

Detail Makes It

Oh boy, has this been a strung out week! But a good one, I'm not complaining. I achieved something I didn't think I had in me, a highly detailed body of armor and wings. My hand, wrist, and eyes have gone out on me at least twice! Well, that might be an exaggeration, but they've been pretty sore. The piece is an 8x10 custom request from my etsy shop. The development of this piece comes from many manga/anime style characters. Way cool to see and admire, but to draw their kind of armor is intense. I highly respct those that can draw it, but man, I don't know how they do it over and over and over again. Or course, they're awfully darn smart...I on the other hand know very little engineering.

Nonetheless, the hard part is over. He's drawn fully on tracing paper. Inking is going to take a good amount of time, but at least it's only tracing. Color, that's going to be interesting and I'm anxious to see how it pans out. One reason I did the shadows in photoshop is I don't want to have to think about it when I'm thinking about color. There's a light above his head, but it's at night time. Then you have the sword of fire. Very strong, but unique sources of light.

But, the rest of the week I'm off to a womans retreat, much needed, and will get to inking/color of this fine lad on Monday. :)