Illustrated Journal / A-Drawing-A-Day

Hi friends! I started a new project yesterday I want to share! I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my job and about what path I hope for my career to take eventually. I really like what I do, but one thing I continuously come back to is the struggle I have with the fact that my day job has no creative aspect. I work in a purely administrative position that involves pretty much zero creativity. I do make up for that by using nearly all my time outside of work creating. However, there are times when it does get to me that my work day is void of artistic expression. I’m an artist at heart, there’s always going to be a part of me that wants to be creating. I realize that these feelings are something I need to consider as I continue my career path. Especially since I notice as time goes on they become stronger and stronger and my longing to work in a more creative atmosphere/role continues to intensify. In the mean time, I think it’s important for my own well being to find a way to nurture my need for some creativity during my work days.

So! I’ve come up with an idea of something I’m hoping I can incorporate into my work day that will give me a small creative outlet to tide me over throughout the day.  Yesterday when I got to work I was looking at some artwork on my phone since I was there early.  Of course after that I had an unavoidable urge to draw something as the morning went on. So when i had a few minutes for a break, I grabbed a notebook and sketched a quick little drawing. Here it is:

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a simple sketch of something funny that a friend had just told me about. I thought the main idea would make a cute drawing, so that’s what I sketched – a girl wearing white socks with red lips on them! Doing quick, cute, simple little drawings like this makes me so happy, it’s like it gives me a boost of energy when I do it.  I thought about how doing one little drawing affected me throughout the rest of the day, and couldn’t help but come up with other cute ideas as I saw things and as conversations happened.  So I decided I want to start a daily illustration journal. Every day I will do one simple sketch, and that will be my journal entry for the day. No rules, it can be anything – something going on that day, something I’m thinking about, a conversation I had, something that just makes me happy, or an idea for embroidering. I have a feeling that a lot of the drawings will turn into ideas for embroidering since that is my main medium and focus.  Not only will this be a creative outlet for me, but my hope is that the practice will also make me a better illustrator. I draw all of my designs before I embroider them, so that is a big part of what I do and I am always longing to improve my drawing skills. I plan for them to be very simple little sketches, sometimes these are the best kind to learn from!

This project is about self care for me and about feeling like I’m working at growing as an artist every day. I’m really excited about doing this. Also, about having a journal that I’ll be able to look back on one day and see what my thoughts and ideas were and what was going on in life!

I will try to share my favorite sketches here on the blog as often as possible! Thanks so much for reading XO

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Always turning a new leaf

Hello! Today I want to share my latest embroidery piece:

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I put quite a bit of time and work into this one, and I am happy to say I am satisfied with the end result!! I really wanted to work on something with a little more detail, depth, and density, and this leaf project that I’ve had in my sketchbook for a while seemed like the perfect opportunity to do that. I used a fish bone stitch on most of the leaves, which was really fun. It’s not a stitch I have used often, but I love the look of it. I also used a lot of satin stitch and stem stitch in this piece. My original idea was to use all different shades of green, but once I got started I felt it needed a contrasting color to add some interest. I added the purple and instantly loved the dimension it added to the work. I am always learning in my work and want to always continue learning. I like to think theses leaves represent how every project turns a new leaf and teaches me something as an artist.

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You can see more of my work in my Etsy shop http://www.ceestitchery.etsy.com

A little bit more on my wanting to get into some projects with a little more detail: I recently joined the Embroidery Association of Canada. Basically this is a nation wide association devoted to “preserving traditional techniques and promoting new challenges in the art of embroidery”. I was really excited when I found out that an organization such as this exists, and joined right away. It’s really exciting to be part of a community that is as passionate about this form of art as I am. I am inspired to start trying more traditional techniques and incorporate them into my work. This is something I’ve always been interested in, but I think now more so than ever! I usually focus on quite small scale projects. This type of work seems to suit me the best for some reason. Mainly because when I get a new idea I tend to get really excited about it and want to start on it right away. If I’m working on a large time consuming project, this often results in me abandoning it to start the new idea. However when I work on small pieces I find it easier to finish them before starting on the next one. So, I don’t plan on changing that, but I am making it a new goal for myself to start adding more detail to my work, and to continue experimenting with different techniques and stitches that i haven’t used as extensively before!

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Any Canadians out there interested in the Embroiderers’ Association of Canada you can find out more here http://www.eac.ca/

Something else I want to mention quickly: I have noticed recently that a lot more people are recognizing needlework as art. It IS art, and I can’t even tell you how much this fills me up with joy and pride that more people are seeing that. Over the years needlework somehow developed this reputation of being a pass time hobby for well, your Grandma. And while there is nothing wrong with that (at all!), It can be difficult to feel like you are taken seriously as an artist when people have only that in mind and won’t see past it. The hand made movement is changing that in a huge way and I just want to say – that. is. amazing. I didn’t feel like a true artist until I discovered needlework as my medium, and I’m a true believer that all art is just that – art. Just because you’re not a painter or sculptor doesn’t make your work any less beautiful and important. And with the end of that rant/rave I will leave you with a quote from a VERY talented textile artist:

“Many people disregard embroidery as just a hobby. As an artist you have that extra battle to make people see it’s potential.” – Karen Nicol

Challenge accepted. 😉 Read more about Karen Nicol and her work here http://www.etsy.com/blog/en/2012/embroidery/

Thanks for reading!! XO