@mishacollins & @MissJeanLouis y’all sent me a S shirt instead of a 2XL last year. This year, the S fits. #GISHWHES

@mishacollins & @MissJeanLouis y’all sent me a S shirt instead of a 2XL last year. This year, the S fits. #GISHWHES

Beast lipstick wipe

Beast lipstick wipe

I’m just gonna leave this here…

A few years ago I joined an illustrator crit thing wherein a professional illustrator gave you an assignment, met with you while you were in progress, and then met with you (and others who were given the same assignment) for a group crit. I very luckily was assigned an extremely prominent childrens’ book illustrator…Like, if you have been in a store that sells books in the past 15 years you have seen at least 10+ examples of this guy’s work. He was/is incredibly nice and gave me very good feedback (I, by no means, had the best work at the crit. . but he was still really awesome). I didn’t stay in touch with the dude; he’s really famous (in illustrator land)…And, I chalked it up to a really cool thing wherein I got some really helpful feedback. I’ll admit that I was more than a little starstruck.

Fast forward to about six months ago when said very famous illustrator dude friends me on Facebook. I didn’t think too much of it because he’s about 10 years older than me and sometimes people (especially in that age range) join FB and then add everyone in their email contacts. Riiiggghht. But, the guy has obviously had a FB account for awhile (I checked). But, yeah, maybe he just added everyone in his email contact list to widen his contacts or something…

Except dude starts liking pictures I post on Facebook. Like, not every picture.  But, enough that I wanted to know what was up (like, is famous illustrator dude just liking everyone’s pics?). So, no. Illustrator dude selectively likes stuff on FB. Then, I thought, “well, maybe he’s just liking the pictures I post of my Art. Like he’s being supportive of other artists.”  Yeah. No. Illustrator dude is only liking my selfies. And, especially the selfies where I got myself looking all cute. 

Soooooo. Then, I think, “is illustrator dude single? Am I being checked out?”  Illustrator dude is single. 

And, I know I’m being all cryptic about who illustrator dude is. .. But, that is only because I don’t want to embarrass myself when I realize that illustrator dude has me confused with someone else or something.

Because seriously?! OMG Illustrator dude. Take me for some coffee. You are cute and your talent is hawt. 

lamujerlife:

teachercreatedmaterials:

This sums it up fairly well…

I’m familiar with this method.

lamujerlife:

teachercreatedmaterials:

This sums it up fairly well…

I’m familiar with this method.

(via youknowyougrow)

xxdeadtoastxx said: Your hair is so cute!!!!

Aw thanks!! :)

Cheesiness on my parents’ porch.

Cheesiness on my parents’ porch.

Riding the #atl skyview with @anjoki55

Riding the #atl skyview with @anjoki55

White Paper is So Overrated

During my second year of teaching, I helped to open a new school. I was given a rather large budget in order to stock and supply an art room with both consumables and equipment. This was prior to the days of heavy social media usage, and I was not well-connected to other teachers of Art. I used my wits and spent most of the budget on large items like a kiln, potter’s wheel, easels, paper-cutter, scissors, lino cutters, etc. etc. It was actually very hard to spend all of that money (oh those glorious halcyon days!), but if I didn’t spend all of it by a specific date the funds would be allocated elsewhere. So, in the end, I defaulted to what I thought was practicality and bought a wide variety of white paper.

But, ugh, white paper is overrated.

It is as if we are taught that our default way of being and creating is to start off “white.”  Consider, when someone says, “start with a blank slate” we often think of an empty sheet of white paper. But, uh, last I checked, slates are dark grey or green. There are some social discourses we could have about the fact our societal default setting seems to be white (ahem), but that is a discussion for another time.  When we were little, we were given white paper on which to create. Colored paper was for cutting and gluing; not writing or drawing. And, yeah, I get that white paper might be the best for writing - what with contrast being important for legibility…But, why the heck as artists and creatives do we default to white? Well, it is probably because we remember that little sheet of white paper we were given as kids or the white paper of our coloring books.

One of the most asked questions I get is, “How do you get the kids to color so fully?”  The short answer is that I trick them; I rarely use white paper.  In Art school my professors (and yours too) made me use colored papers and conte crayons to draw. They taught me that I could use paper as a value AND that I could also use the paper to manipulate value. I got tired of my students doing (what I call) wimpy “social studies map coloring” in my Art class. It seemed to me that they were phoning-in when it came to coloring, and I was spending a ridiculous amount of time engaged in cajoling (and explaining to them) them to color more fully. So, I just thought to myself, “Enough! Enough with wasting this time. Let’s give the kids colored paper.”

So, I did. I still do. And, their work is so much stronger for it. I find them actually thinking about how the colors they put down will interact with the color of the paper. I often give them five to six different colored paper choices and I am fascinated with what they pick and how they pick it. It brings diversity to their work…And, yes, they do color more fully which lends their work a more sophisticated polish and finish.

Now, I order more colored paper than I do white paper. In fact, I ran out of white paper in November of the last school year and I never re-ordered it. I decided to see just how far we could push the colored paper. I haven’t yet found the boundary.

What about you? Do you use colored paper for drawing? 

Reunited and it feels so good!

Reunited and it feels so good!