Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Mouth Watering Recipes and Eye-Popping Art

Soo you like to cook do ya, so do I. There’s just something relaxing, almost meditative at times I find when I cook. I get in that “Zone” doing the prep work of washing, cutting, slicing, dicing, mixing ok you get the picture. Then turning on da burners and pulling out the pots and pans, adding water to some, oil to others. Then the magic happens all the spices and seasonings start to jell with the vegs and meat or what every it is your cooking at the moment. The aroma builds and tingles your senses of smell and taste. You just can’t wait to dig in and chow down on your latest creation, even if it is only eggs and bacon with toast.

Well, what if I told you that there was a site out there that did just that, tingled your senses of sight, smell, and taste. Its call They Draw and Cook, which is run by Salli Swindle and her brother Nate Padavik. Not only are the recipes delish but the artwork depicting them is even better. As you sit there in front of your screen scrolling through the recipes, reading the ingredients, you eyes are assaulted by the wonderful colorful art that brings them to life. Just as there is an array of recipes to choose from, there’s even more of one in illustrative styles. It's a feast to behold.

So next time you're hungry and in need of a recipe or just looking for some great art to enjoy, stop on over at They Draw and Cook. Even better if you have a recipe that you’d like to draw and submit I’m sure Salli and Nate would be more than happy to post it right along with all the others. Submission details are on the site, so be sure to read and follow them before you start.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

How I Generate Ideas for My Drawings

Every once and a while I draw a blank when I sit in front of my computer with Wacom tablet in hand. It seems no matter how hard I try to conjure up an image none appear in my mind. At times like these I use a few different techniques that help me be creative again. Hopefully, they will help you if you ever find yourself staring a blank sheet of paper without a clue as to what to draw on it.

I. I pick a subject, say woman’s fashion, then I’ll surf the net for as many images that I can find that have possibilities. After I gather my selections I go through them and decide which ones I can seriously use as a springboard for new images. I usually find a certain pose or look in the picture that draws my attention to it, but I see it in a whole different context that I want to explore.

2. Other times I use songs, I once did a spin off series from the Kinks song “Celluloid Heros” about Hollywood Starlets of the Silver Screen. I have all so done drawings of Superman and Captain America based off Kinks songs. Seems I must have been on a Kinks fixation.

3.And of course, some ideas just seem to pop up inside my head. These I write down no matter how stupid they may seem at first and return to them later when I’m at a lost as to what to draw. I find that after a little sketching and playing around with the idea I can usually find something I like to draw.

If you’d like to share some of your methods on how you generate ideas for drawings please do so in the comments area, I’d love to read ‘em.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Have you checked out Jazz and Draw

If your in to Jazz or just interested in learning about Jazz greats and their songs, then you need to stop by at Jazz and Draw. Jazz and Draw is the creative idea of Philipe Debongnie, who started the site back in January 2011, because he loves Jazz. The main purpose of the site is to connect people through art and introduce them to Jazz Musicians and new artists. Anyone can submit their art as long as it adheres to the guidelines, which are to render your favorite musician and and tell which of their songs you like best. If you can find a link to the song send it along, so others can be exposed to the music. By doing this it gives ALL a chance to share not just in great music but in artwork as well. The more people submit their favorite jazz musician the larger the Jazz collection grows, enabling this site to become a visual and audio archive for people about Jazz Musicians and their music in the future.

So if you find yourself with nothing to do someday, pick up a pencil, pen or other drawing tool and render your favorite person of Jazz and send it in to You say you cant draw but still like jazz, then tweet it at Twitter or like it at Facebook

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Webinars the Modern Day Seminar

You may be asking yourself the question, what is a webinar or you might already know and have taken one. In either case, there is a little something here for both groups. For those who do not know, webinars are like seminars, except the speaker comes to you by way of a video feed over the internet, instead of you having to go to a physical place to hear them speak on a certain subject. It saves you and the speaker travel time and expenses, not to mention the hassle of having to schedule one around the other busy activities in your life. With a webinar, you can attend it in the comfort of your own home, and the best thing is you do not need to worry about making an impression on anyone or about your appearance. You get to kick back and relax in your PJ’s and just click on the link the Host of the event has provided. What could be easier than that?

Recently, I took one sponsored by the site Modern Thrive, which is owned and operated by the wonderful leadership of Cassie Boorn, who organizes these events. She gets quality people in the field for which they are offering the event in, mine happened to deal with the field of Illustration. The speakers were a sister-brother team Salli Swindle and Nate Padavik who run and operate the great sites of They Draw and Cook and They Draw and Travel, as well as running their own very successful illustration business.

The course ran for three nights and was attended by people from all over the globe. There were people from Australia, many parts of Europe and, the States. That is the great thing about these webinars they bring like minded people, from all over the world into one place, not only to learn from very knowledgeable people but to connect with, share ideas and learn from each other. Modern Thrive also set up a private group page on the internet, so that this group could stay in touch with each other going forward, and could continue to share and learn from each others experiences. How awesome is that?

Next time, you find yourself needing to broaden your knowledge on a topic, try a webinar there just a click away.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Finding Art in the Wild

Recently I had the chance to go hiking with several friends, at Pisgah Nation Forest, which is located in the western mountains of North Caroline. Since we got a late start we decided to check out some sites closer to the trail head that we usually pass by on our way to trails deeper in the forest. In doing so, we got to spend the night sleeping next to this waterfall. It was just a small waterfall that we had passed by dozens of times but had never stopped at, but had always said someday we would. I don’t know about you but to me there is something special about waterfalls, almost magical. I’m not sure if it's the sound they make or the power you feel of the rushing water as it cascades over the edge, or the quiet pool of water they make, that you find at the bottom. On this day, none of those things drew my attention quite like what I noticed a few feet away from the shore.

There on a big flat rock which was just below the water's surface was a curious sight. Someone had stacked rocks, not just randomly placing them there, but arranging them with great care and thought as to how they would fit one on top of the other to create a miniature monolithic rock sculpture. As you can see it had to have taken some trail and error to get the rocks to balance just right. I thought of the person having to stand in the still chilly mountain water contemplating just how they wanted to go about placing each rock after they had picked it up of the bottom of the creek bed. It made me wonder what their selection process was as to what stones to pick up and which ones to pass by as the combed through the various rocks in the stream.

Then I thought humans since time began have always found ways in nature to tell of our passing through it, whether it is the monolithic boulders at Stonehedge, the cave paintings that can be found throughout the world, or this little pile of rocks stack so carefully. We all want to make a mark on the world. Leave behind a little piece of ourselves so that others may know of our passing. On this trip I got to witness one such passing, deep in a forest, along a small creek I was touched by another human that wasn’t even there, in ways that neither of us could have imagined.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

To Blog or not To Blog

To be or not to be, it could be said that if Shakespeare had coined the phase today, he would have used the word blog instead. Be that as it may, there is no denying blogging has taken off. The question is whether or not to do it. Personally I tried to jump in on the craze and started a blog a couple of years ago. It failed and so did I. There were lots of reasons, but here are the top 5.

• Lack of Topics - Don't get me wrong there are more topics to write about then one could ever imagine but ones that I felt knowledgeable enough to add my two sense to ….uhmmmmmmmm none.

• Terrible Writer and Bad Speller - Best ever grade in English was a C average. I mean who remembers the difference between a dangling participle and a ……..actually what is a dangling participle, see my dilemma.

• Feeling No One Would Read It - Feeling inadequate in my basic english skills and compounded by the fact I had nothing to say on any given topic you can see why I would feel like no one would read it. (This is where you shake your head yes.)

• Procrastination - After a few post over a couple of months lets just say I did everything I could, not to blog. I always had an excuse as to why not, I always had something needing to be done of way greater importance. Eventually, I grew lazy.

• Laziness - We ALL know what happens when laziness sets in, nothing gets done. That's exactly what happened to my blog nothing. no new post no new nothing. The blog was dead pretty much dead before it ever got started.

5 Reasons You Should.

• You Make Connections - Connections. That's what we ALL want. In order to prosper in the art business or any business, you need them. The internet has busted the door on your limitations as to who you can connect to. The whole world is open to you. Make a connection, trust me, you'll be glad you did.

• Shows A Side of You That Most May Not See - Think of your blog as picture window (with blinds on it) into you and what you do. You can decide just how much you want to reveal to your readers. You get to pick which subjects are covered, which pics get shown, even who gets to see it.

• Keeps Your Viewers Updated About You - An excellent way to quickly keep your views in touch with what is going on. You may update you website one year, once every six months, or every quarter, some may do it more often, but I bet none do it every week.Your blog is like an instant shout out to all your viewers as to what you are up to that week. It fills them in on what is new or important to you and makes them feel like one of the gang because you are willing to share it.

• Helps Your Branding and Marketing of Yourself - Your blog should show you in a positive light that reflects the kind of person and business you run. In turn, this will position your brand and market positively in the minds of the people you are trying to reach, such as Art Directors, Book Publishers, Magazine Editors, gallery owners and the list goes on.

• Helps Expand Your Email Marketing - Now then if you have provided your viewers with useful intel, made them feel at home, they might just wanna come back to visit again. If they want to and can't for some reason, what better way to keep in touch then by emailing them. Of course get their permission first. Never ever be rude and just email your newsletter or blog posts with asking.

Feel free to post your top 5 Do's and Don'ts of why to blog or not to blog in the comments section below.

Need more inspiration check out: