Challenge 46: Series of Three: RuPaul’s Drag Race

Like Casey said earlier, we chose to pay homage to our favorite looks from this season of RuPaul’s Drag Race! Admittedly it was super hard to narrow down my picks since this season was filled with tons of sickening looks, but I finally settled on these 3 jaw dropping outfits. 

Adore Delano : “Dripping in Jewels Eleganza” 

Bianca Del Rio:  “Slay the runway”

MILK: “Toga Party”

Elizabeth B.

P.S. Sorry it’s a bit late. Really wanted to have these up for the Finale but was having some INSANE computer issues.

Lots and lots of goodies!

Hello all!
I know, I know. I’m back so soon! Well, my lovely followers, I have so much wonderful news to share!
First of all, here is some new work (I have been very busy!):

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“Trees in the Grove,” Gouache, 2011.

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“Picking Pears,” Gouache, 2011.

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“Harold Carries, Rosie Counts,” Gouache, 2011.

These pieces are from an imaginary children’s book I came up with. Theoretically, it would be titled, “Pears, Peaches, Apples,” and would be about counting and seeing differences in objects (fruit specifically). I haven’t added any text here for two reasons: first of all, I haven’t written any text, and secondly, placement would likely be a designer’s job, not mine. I had a lot of fun working on this, because of the challenge of a semi-limited color palette, as well as keeping my characters consistent.

Exciting bit number two:
The reason I was motivated to create these spreads was because I received a couple thrilling emails! First was the blog feature I have already mentioned on here. Annie Ericsson, an art assistant at Penguin/Putnam, loved my postcard mailer enough to post it on her website, and suggested that I create some spreads that show consistent characters to push my portfolio further. I have emailed her all of my most recent work.
And now, the Art Director of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has emailed me as well, saying that she loved my postcard and wants me to keep her updated with new work. How exciting is that?! So, I sent her my recent pieces also. Obviously, I will be letting you know if something happens!

And here’s the BIGGEST NEWS OF ALL:

Our last Square Carousel challenge was to create a map for the wonderful website “They Draw and Travel,” where illustrators around the globe create beautiful and geographically informative artwork. They often create books and calendars from hand-selected pieces, and are widely followed by the creative community. Here was my map (of my lovely home, Austin, Texas!):

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“Austin Map,” Gouache and Digital, 2011.

This project took a long time, and was pretty difficult for me because I don’t usually work with such intricate details and backgrounds, but the struggle was so, so, so worth it! As soon as I uploaded my map to the TDAT (They Draw and Travel) site, I was contacted by the creators, Nate and Salli, saying that they had completely fallen in love with my work (I’m blushing!) and after searching around on my site and blog, they discovered Square Carousel. It was so exciting to them that our group of diverse (and talented!) illustrators had devoted our collective challenge to TDAT, and because of that, they offered to us the incredible opportunity to be heavily promoted by their network.
TDAT then did us the biggest compliment possible by telling every single person they could about our group. They featured our maps at the same time on the website (currently mine sits as the homepage!), with an amazingly large header that links to the Square Carousel page. Also on the They Draw and Travel site, Nate and Salli wrote a lovely blogpost about our collective. Then they took to Facebook and Twitter, repeatedly updating their hundreds of followers on our work. (Please check these links out for yourself, too!) The most exciting of all, however, might just be that Nate and Salli emailed all their subscribers (about 500 people, I believe) with an image-packed update of all Square Carousel’s maps. This email also went, with a personal note, to the amazing Lilla Rogers, an artist representative who has corralled some of the most fresh illustrators to date. Even if none of us see immediate feedback from this networking extravaganza, it is such an honor and compliment to be promoted so heavily by one of the best creative websites around! THANK YOU, TDAT!

This made me so excited, so inspired, and so motivated that I decided to submit to TDAT’s sister site (also run by Nate and Salli) called “They Draw and Cook.” They are currently running a competition called “Cooking 4 Kids,” so I did a quick, easy, and fun way to get children to eat their veggies: “Zippy Zucchini” (an allrecipes.com creation). This is the link to my submission and it’s comments, but here’s the image itself:

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“Zippy Zucchini,” Gouache and Digital, 2011.

And that would conclude all the exciting news I have for you right now! Stay tuned though, because I have a new Square Carousel challenge that I’m pretty close to posting…

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Challenge 77: 5th Anniversary: Daisy, The Flower Collector

Over this past year, much of my personal work has involved creating imaginary worlds of strange girls at night.  For the 5th Anniversary Challenge, I went with the theme of Daisies, and decided to use this opprotunity to finalize an old doodle from my sketchbook.  So happy to be able to contribute again!  It so fun to see how everyone’s work has evolved over the years.  Keep up all the wonderful work! 

-Mai Ly 


instagram/twitter: @mailydegnan

Here is mine and Jill’s piece!  We chose to go with a spacey future approach, inspired by the idea of exploration and meeting of different life forms.  I did the astronaut on the left, Jill did the being on the right, and we worked together on the background using watercolor textures and photoshop.  We really enjoyed doing this together and personally, I can’t wait to do more collaboration with other artists in the future!

-Steph (and Jill)

Challenge 45: Get Your Gif On: Sailor Moon

Was so very excited for this challenge! I’ve only made a handful of super simple Gifs before and was thrilled at the idea of trying something a bit more complex. The elements got ‘dumbed’ down but I’m pretty jazzed about the end result. I’ll definitely be dipping my toes a little deeper the next time I play in the Gif/ animation pool :3

A big thanks to my buddy Steven for helping me out with it too!

Elizabeth B.

“If you were an ice cream flavor, you would be my favorite one ♫ ♪ 

This month's challenge at Square CarouseI is “lyrical inspiration” so I  chose to illustrate the line of the lyrics “It’s all about your heart" by Mindy Gledhill.   I love the pureness of the emotion she delivers though this song a lot a lot.  And I love ice cream a lot a lot, too. ;-p

Listen to the song:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCPdNWQqVyc 

[All About Your Heart]   Mindy Gledhill, Kendra Lowe

I don’t mind your odd behavior
It’s the very thing I love
If you were an ice cream flavor
You would be my favorite one

My imagination sees you
Like a painting by Van Gogh
Starry nights and bright sunflowers
Follow you where you may go

Oh, I’ve loved you from the start
In every single way
And more each passing day
You are brighter than the stars
Believe me when I say
It’s not about your scars
It’s all about your heart

You’re a butterfly held captive
Small and safe in your cocoon
Go on you can take your time
Time is said to heal all wounds

Like a lock without a key
Like a mystery without a clue
There is no me if I cannot have you

“Light Bulb Debate,” Gouache and Digital, 2012.

Hello all!

Just a very brief post to show you my latest piece for Square Carousel.  The challenge was “Sh*t Politicians Say,” which I was so excited about!  I never illustrate politics, or specific people, so this really pushed me to go outside of my comfort zone.  Head over to Square Carousel to see more crazy quotes, and to read more about the Light Bulb Debate!

Challenge 75: Freebie: Batgirl of Burnside!

Issue 50 of Batgirl came out today and it’s the last issue that  @babsdraws, @cameron-stewart, and @brendenfletcher worked on as a team! I wanted to create a little tribute piece to thank them for their all around awesomeness and for getting tons of new readers, myself included, into the Batgirl franchise! ☺️

Oddly enough I’ve had this sketch lying around since they announced the series but never finished it! I figured it was the perfect time to revisit it and wrap it all up!

Elizabeth B.

P.S. Just saw the MOTOR CRUSH announcement, sign me up for that!! 💜

Summer Limbo Land

Well, this has been a very interesting period of time so far for me. It really is difficult to describe. I feel free, in some regards, and more bound in others. I have yet to start a job, although I have been hired part-time by Urban Outfitters (starting the 26th), and am in between interviews with another store for a second job. Kellan and I have an apartment pre-leased for August. Although I’ve worked hard to take care of my responsibilities as a budding freelancer, it feels a bit like I’m living in the Groundhog Day movie! Every day is very similar to the last.

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Regardless, I’ve made some significant progress with my illustration. At the end of June, I mailed out my roughly 650 postcards. That was an all-day ordeal, putting on stamps and addressing that many postcards takes a great deal longer than you’d expect. Toting them all in a shoebox to the post office certainly got me some strange looks! I also forgot to mention in my last post that the illustration department at SCAD offered to pay me for my portfolio book, to keep as a sample, but I declined. I couldn’t give away my baby! So, instead I mailed them a disc copy of the PDF files. I’ve also prepared my tear sheet packets to be mailed as soon as we move into our apartment.

A couple weeks ago I received an email from one of my cards. I shouldn’t name the company, since they haven’t given me any work, but they were impressed by my portfolio and are asking for me to submit additional work soon (they need something slightly more specific in purpose than I have just yet). I’ll let you know if this goes anywhere, but even if it doesn’t, it was a very nice surprise, since I wasn’t expecting to get any responses from my first mailers!

The biggest and best news of all though is several months in the making! Today I can officially announce my involvement with the Square Carousel Illustration Collective! It is a group of ten illustrators who met at SCAD and graduated this year. Josh Heinsz organized the group in a bout of complete genius, carefully selecting artists whose styles and personas mesh well together. I see our aesthetics as a gradient– one person’s work may be similar to another, who is similar to another, who is similar to another… The group will have bi-weekly challenges, and will act as a self-promotional tool, also giving us an opportunity to share advice and contacts with ease, now that we are spread across the country (and Canada!) The first challenge was to create our carousel animal, which will be synonymous with our name on the site. Here’s mine:

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“Happy Carousel Raccoon,” Gouache, 2011.

Click here to check out our website! And here for our Twitter. Aaaaaand here for our Facebook page! Please like it, if you’re on Facebook!

That’s all I have for you at the moment. Check back soon!


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My Illustration collective’s challenge this week was to create a piece for a calendar-zine which we plan on printing and distributing. I chose the month of July. When I think of this month I envision everyone vacationing and enjoying some time off from work. Here, travel is made easier by simply folding a map and crossing the seas with ease. 

Check out the rest of my group’s work here: http://squarecarousel.tumblr.com