Archive for the ‘Art Pulse’ Category

Art Dog Of The Month: Cody

Thursday, October 25th, 2018

Introducing this month’s Art Dog, Cody—a spunky people-loving pup from North Hollywood, CA. He is just about three and was rescued from the East Valley Shelter in LA by his humans Jenia and Chris Hauser of Carter Sexton Art Supplies. Jenia gives us the scoop on his hairdo, what he loves and his deepest, darkest fears…

The Dog With A Blue Mohawk modeling beside The Girl With A Pearl Earring

“Cody’s hair color change was a BIG surprise to his mom and his brother Zack. They went out of town for a weekend in July and came home to a blue dog with a mohawk. Chris Hauser’s creative genius in action. Needless to say they haven’t gone out of town since.

Cody loves people; he is a tail wagger and a licker. He loves his toy Llama and enjoys broccoli for a snack. He is not, however, a fan of car rides and of not being able to lick everyone who comes through the door. Which has disqualified him from being a shop dog. He came to the store regularly for the first year with our family, but gradually transitioned to staying home and lounging on the couch during the day.

Cody also, for unknown reasons, hates the green broom and the kitchen trash can.”

Artist Spotlight: Emilee Rudd

Friday, October 19th, 2018

Nominated by retailers, account managers or vendor partners, Artist Spotlights feature working artists in our industry community. We take this opportunity to explore innovative techniques, tap into the hows and whys of favorite mediums and tools, and celebrate artists who are shaping our world. To nominate an artist please email us at artdogblog (@) macphersonart.com

Emilee Rudd is a lettering artist, illustrator and graphic designer based in Sacramento, California. She is detail-oriented, strategic, whimsical, imaginative and grounded in nature; qualities that show up consistently in her artwork. We reached out to learn more about what inspires her, what it’s like to freelance and which products are essential to her practice and why.

A quintessential Emilee Rudd piece: thoughtful, incredibly detailed and based in nature

What Inspires Her

Like most creatives, Emilee can’t remember a time when art wasn’t a part of her life. “I always had a sketchbook and art was always a part of who I was. I took art courses in middle school and high school and studied Graphic Design at Cal Poly—I had great teachers who encouraged me to pursue my own style.”

As for inspiration, living in the city of trees has shaped Emile’s aesthetic.

“Nature is number one. I grew up by a river and I’ve always lived by a river. You can usually tell what season it is based on the color palettes that I use…being in nature is a big part of my design process. If I see a really interesting branch structure, leaf pattern or anything I find striking, I research it. Sometimes I’ll hold clients till certain times of the year because I know when I’ll be in tune with the season that makes the most sense for that project.”

Emilee’s lettering on the cover of Sactown Magazine

It All Begins In a Coffee Shop…

“I stumbled into lettering. Junior year in college, I loved graphic design but hadn’t quite found my voice yet. I was working at a coffee shop and during slow days I would doodle and experiment with letters when writing the special. The owner took a chance on me and asked if I could do a menu. My first ever projects is still one of the largest projects I’ve done so far, surface-wise!”

And so began Emilee’s journey. She emphasizes the importance of lettering and illustration as a foundation that works hand in hand with her background in graphic design. A recent branding project she did for the Plant Foundry, a nursery and store in Sacramento, is a good example of how graphic design and illustration come together for her from start to finish.

“I couldn’t have done it without the art supplies. All the patterns and colors were derived from watercoloring with Derwent pencils.” She then moved from illustration to create the graphic pattern accompanied by a Pantone color set and logo look book.

What It Means to Freelance

Being a freelancer is a lot like being a small business owner. You strike out on your own and build your business from the ground up. Your comfort zone is suddenly a place where you spend very little time. Big challenges, big rewards. Emilee elaborates.

“I love challenges, and working with clients. The feeling afterwards is euphoria…I know what I was meant to do.” A recent challenge Emilee accepted with open arms? “I did bullet journaling for SoFi, a finance company in the Bay Area. They wanted it in one take so it was high pressure. I couldn’t use pencil, so I couldn’t mess up. We finished at three in the morning!”


The result is a beautiful video of what it means to create a bullet journal. Will Emilee be forging a career in long-form bullet journaling performance art? No, probably not. But embracing challenges like this push her to create with confidence and grace. She also discovered that she could create for 17 hours straight (!).

Emilee’s Instagram is vibrant and frequently updated, showcasing her sketchbook, works in progress, finished signage and favorite products.

In addition to accepting challenges and risk, embracing social media as a means for community is crucial to her business. “A good portion of my clients find me through social media. It’s a great thing when you use it right… to engage with the community, to create excitement about a project, to get your style out there in the digital world. I love seeing the grid view of the Instagram, it’s very much like seeing someone’s overall style, their portfolio, all in one place.”

While Instagram makes it easier for future clients to see what she’s working on and reach out, it is also a lush stomping ground for the greater artist community. And as an artist who is acutely in tune with the seasons, Emilee looks forward to this month in particular: Inktober.

“Inktober is great because of the community aspect of it: artists coming together, all inspired by the moment and the season. To produce something everyday is a marathon. You train hard, work hard and look back on your work to discover something new about yourself.”

Favorite Products & Shopping Habits

Where the magic happens on our end: art supplies. Emilee has a consistent style and a perfected method—so the supplies she has carefully chosen are essential to her everyday practice. For Inktober specifically? “I like using pigment-based pens and then dye-based pens. I use a pigment pen to lay down, let it dry. Then I go over it with the STABILO Pen 68 Markers. I use dark colors for the contrast and accent colors to play around with. I like to stay in a color palette, and STABILO has fall colors I love.”

For large scale lettering projects, Emilee relies on POSCA paint markers. “POSCA gives you both the pigment and the volume. You can trust that marker. I really like the opacity—gives a depth of color. Not too much shredding on the nib. There are also a lot of interesting, unique colors in the mix… I’ll overlay color with an impressionistic style. The tips are interesting, too – I use the whole range.”

Because she knows her supplies inside and out, she knows where to find them. Her shopping routine focuses on local shops with a few online orders for specific products she hasn’t had luck finding in her neighborhood.

“In Sacramento we are really big on hometown, so I try and shop local when I can. I order pigment pens online because I have very specific needs and online it’s easier and I know I can get exactly what I want.”

Appealing to fine artists who already have their go-to tools can be tricky—but here is where word of mouth, staff recommendations and Instagram visuals come in.

“I’m a creature of habit, but I will try something new if my art friends or personal acquaintances rave about a certain pen. Instagram is also a way to see what different products can do. I get jealous and want to try it out!”

Art Dog Artist Spotlights are also an opportunity to connect. Inspired by Emilee’s work? Conveniently located near Sacramento? Connect with her and learn more how you might collaborate.

Art Dog Of The Month: Q

Monday, September 24th, 2018
Catherine Monahon, Copywriter, MacPherson’s

 

We are pleased to feature a member of the Mac Fam for this month’s Art Dog! Q is Merchandise Manager Cathy Denny’s beloved pup. Possibly a Rottweiler of some kind, Q was in a high kill animal shelter earlier this year when Cathy and her husband discovered him. Q likes to sit in on team meetings, partake in distracting .GIFs (very silly mini-videos that loop constantly) and hang out under our desks.

Sennelier abstract paint Community Murals & BTS Promo

Tuesday, September 18th, 2018
Sennelier Art Supplies

Watch the versatility of Sennelier abstract paint in real time. In collaboration with Sennelier and Artpsan, multiple artists with very different techniques transform the blank city walls of the Salesforce building. ArtSpan is a non-profit “committed to cultivating a vibrant, accessible, and world-class art community in San Francisco and promoting the city’s unique creative energy locally and globally.”

The result: more than 80 gallons of Sennelier abstract® paint and vibrant, captivating murals. Which one is your favorite?

Art Dog of the Month: Wonton

Monday, August 27th, 2018
Catherine Monahon, MacPherson’s Copywriter

Wonton has mastered shaggy-chic – a perfect look for the beloved mascot of Raw Materials in Downtown Los Angeles! Not only is he always at the store, an employee with a knack for illustration incorporates him into promotions, sales, events and insta pics. His humans are Jim and Celia of Raw Materials.

Jesse Lane Introduces Derwent Lightfast

Saturday, June 30th, 2018
Original post can be found on the Derwent Blog

Derwent is proud to announce the launch of the Derwent Lightfast range. After being announced in January at CreativeWorld, artists and retailers were abuzz with excitement about our latest range.

Boasting 100% lightfastness, the oil-based pencils have a smooth and creamy finish with a beautiful laydown of rich colour.

To celebrate, Cindy Wider has interviewed Jesse Lane, award-winning coloured pencil artist who was commissioned to create the inspiring eye image that adorns our latest range. Find out how Jesse started out as an artist, his passion for coloured pencils and the Derwent Lightfast range in the latest Derwent Blog!

Jesse, could you tell us when you first realized that you enjoyed creating art as a child and were you supported in your decision, if so by whom?

I think I always enjoyed creating art, but I wasn’t very good at it. When I was 14, my art teacher told me I was the worst in the class. The following year, I made friends with the art kids at school and that was when I really got into coloured pencils. I started with little self-confidence.

As my dad was a former graphic artist, I gradually improved when I got him to critique my work, whereas previously I never always let him.

People refer to the ability to do art as a gift, especially when they see someone young doing it well. But the truth is, art was never a gift for me. It was something I had to work for. I did have a gift, though: people around me who encouraged me. I went to a high school with a great art department, not just a few art classes. I now have a supportive fiancee and encouraging parents, which is rare. You can control your talent with practice, but it can be much harder to control your environment.

What journey have you been on as an artist. For example when did you first begin to create art as an adult? Did you study at all and if so where? How was that experience?

During the first few years I practised rendering ability. Then I tried to create a style for my work using lighting and colour. I studied animation at Texas A&M University, but quickly decided that wasn’t what I wanted as a career. I began taking more drawing classes and trying to turn animation assignments into drawing ones.

At the time it was frustrating, but it got me thinking for myself instead of sticking to class assignments. Many artists can render well, but don’t know how to think originally.

You were commissioned to create the artwork on Derwent Lightfast tins. What makes Derwent Lightfast Pencils a tool you enjoy using?

As a coloured pencil artist, I applaud Derwent for making an entire range of 100% lightfast coloured pencils.  Lightfastness has traditionally been a concern for both artists and art collectors alike. It’s testament to them that they’ve listened to and understood the needs of creatives.

The Lightfast range is the brand’s first fully oil-based pencils. A good balance is struck between soft and hard meaning that I can create a fine point without worrying about the pencil snapping but still maintaining the smoothness of a creamy, soft pencil.

The pencils themselves have a classy appearance with a varnished, bare wood.  The neutral tone allows the coloured ends to stand out, making it easier to quickly locate colours while working – a bit help especially when you’re working on a piece of art at the size I am!

How do you manage to create such detailed texture with a coloured pencil?

People are most interested in my technique for drawing skin-tones.  I work from general to specific.  This is quicker and much simpler than trying to draw details from the start.

I begin by applying large blocks of colour.  I work in shades of tans, beige, creams and browns.  This establishes the values of my subject.

Next I begin to work in colour — adding pink, purple and yellow, or a brown that has a hint of red in it.  These patches of colour are often smaller but create a basic texture..

Lastly, I capture the tiny details. Even if skin lacks wrinkles, it’s always splotchy.  I add tiny splotches of colour to create an organic appearance.  With these splotches, my colours get more saturated.  I find the previous layers help mute the intensity of the later colours and keep the skin unified, while providing variety.

 

For artists just starting out on their creative journey, what are your top tips?

  1. Be intentional with your time and have a schedule. You can’t always expect others to fit into your schedule, but it helps if you establish one for yourself.
  2. I have gone back and forth with the idea that I should draw more and sleep less. While there have been times I’ve had to embark on drawing marathons (once, for 61 hours straight), it’s not a good idea. I would rather have less time and be able to think clearly, than more time when I can’t perform well.
  3. Quantity doesn’t make a successful fine artist. Quality does. Show up at your best and give your full attention to the art with the time you have. No distractions.
  4. Treat every piece like it’s your next best piece. You grow most when you challenge yourself, like in the gym. While you do want every piece to be your next best, it doesn’t mean it will be. But there’s a positive correlation.
  5. We all have that one piece that we don’t like very much, but everyone else seems to enjoy. So make the best of every piece, because while you may not value it, others might and it could greatly help you.
  6. Accept critique, it helps you know where to focus. You learn more with mistakes than successes.
  7. Stay Inspired! When I was young, there were people who had much more talent than me… but I stayed inspired, kept on the same path with colored pencil and eventually reached beyond them.
  8. Use the full range of contrast. Don’t be afraid of black or using the white of the paper.
  9. The more you can plan ahead, the more time you’ll save and the better your work will be.

Is there anything else that you would like to tell me about your art journey so far and your inspiration to create art, that I could include in your interview to inspire others?

It’s not a story of triumph, but more of an empowering realization when something terrible happened in my art career.

In December of 2016, I had my first solo show, Face Reality, at RJD Gallery. The morning after the exhibit closed, the gallery was destroyed by a fire. I was devastated. I lost five major pieces that together, took over 1,000 hours to create. I had to start over. I literally had to Face Reality.

I felt small and the challenges seemed overwhelming. But as much as the fire upset me, every day I still had the option to go into my studio and create new work. I think it was important for me to acknowledge the loss and draw inspiration. Sometimes triumph isn’t having some sort of amazing comeback, but pushing through unfortunate situations and getting through to the other side. Sometimes stubbornly persisting is the most important thing someone can do.

The silver lining is: the gallery and my work were fully insured. RJD reopened in a larger and more beautiful space, and last year was its best year ever.

Derwent would like to thank Cindy Wider for her collaboration on this interview.

You can find more about Jesse at:
Website: jesselaneart.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jesselaneart/
Instagram: @jesselaneart

You can find more about Cindy at:

Website: drawpj.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/CindyAWider
Twitter: www.twitter.com/CindyWider
Instagram: @cindywider

Jackson the Art Dog

Saturday, June 30th, 2018

Meet Jackson, this month’s Art Dog! His human is Susan Smith from the Art Coop in Champaign, IL. A pup with an appreciation for the arts, Jackson is rocking an official Art Coop t-shirt while strutting his stuff at a recent store gallery opening. The in-store gallery showcases local artists and non-profit groups throughout the year; this most recent show featured longtime employee and fine artist Jason Patterson, who has his last day with Art Coop in the coming weeks. He uses dry media on canvas and, until his departure, they are having a 20% off sale on “Things Jason Patterson Loves” – pastels, pencils, charcoal, spray fix and canvas.