It's been three months since we moved, three months since I've posted here or sent a newsletter. Time flies when you're having fun! We love our new house, and just this past weekend we had our housewarming party.
This meant I had to finish cleaning up and organizing the studio! I had most of everything in place, and it was functional, but not entirely done. Now, I can say with a huge breath of fresh air, it's done! Here is the promised update of my new art studio.
Where I like to say the magic happens. Most of the work I do happens in this spot. I really love this new set up and the view I have outside the windows. It's great to have a space filled in full circle around me with all I need. You don't see it in the pictures, but behind where I sit there are two book shelves filled with reference materials and inspiration. My adorable niece Maebry fully enjoys the studio and crayons too.
One of the spaces lacking in my old studio was a place to process orders. I had a small table in the middle of a small room to do this. Very frustrating, especially when I also needed to use the table to frame and do crafts. Now, I have a fully accessible and spacious spot smack dab in the middle of my studio. Perfect! It's easy to gather together at this table to work. My niece Miya and I now have a place to work on projects, and Brian even joins in every now and then.
It's really fantastic when your office space is separate from the creative work station. The distance has kept in me in check from rolling back and forth, taking time away from the drawing table. Again I feel blessed in now having a space for all of the office work and papers, which helps this girl who lacks in the gift of organization to stay organized!
One of the best parts about this new space is the view. Our backyard is highly active, all...the...time! It's marvelous and I must admit, keeps me from working at times. We have a huge assortment of birds, to which it feels like our yard is the hub for bird nests. Squirrels and chipmunks (which here in Iowa we call squinnies) chase, run, and roll in the grass. And a darling rabbit family with young and highly active bunnies frolicking about and rolling in the dirt. When I first started to settle into the studio I took the bird bath which was out of view and placed it right in front of my studio window...in front of where my drawing table was. This has been the best as I adore watching birds bathe, it's just too darn cute!
After I signed with my licensing agent one of the first things she told me was I had beautiful faces but not enough story. Keep the central figures but explain who they are, what's their purpose, where are they, and what's the story?
Environments, which tell the story, are hard for me, and I think God knows this. If not I've told Him enough times. When I look outside my studio windows I see His help in this matter.
My stories are about princesses and their interaction with nature; the fairytale love story engulfed with the life here on earth and in heaven, using birds, insects, garden creatures, leaves, flowers, and pattern to share the plot line.
Applying Story with Work
I never thought my work would have such a structured theme, but it does. I'm in love with birds and leaves together; butterflies and flowers; the little bumblebee humming it's way through a bush; and the bright sunlight that shows all of it!
God's creation and music, how could I not be in love? But how do I incorporate this into my work?
Originally "Quiet Time"
I haven't quite figured that out yet, but by taking existing works and adding to them has helped. For "Quiet Time" I painted sea life separate on a different sheet and photoshopped them in, adding quite a busy life around her. In "You Are the Sun, I Am the Moon" I drew and painted directly onto the existing piece to tell a story about a princess and her Prince. The story was already there, I just had to find it.
The piece above is definitely an experimentation since I was in the middle of painting it when I signed with the agent. I had the pretty face but no story...again.
Taking what I have learned about my themes and using the inspiration outside, I have decided she is a maiden being presented to her groom for the very first time. So the environment around her must be lush, enchanting, and bright.
I have a long way to go, but it's refreshing to know there's a story to be found and to know I can rest in the confidence of what I've been given to do.