Category Archives: News and Updates

Artistic Style – Do I Have One and What is It?

Style 1 Loose, delicate, light, and mostly empty

 

Recently, someone asked me a question about artistic style: do I have a style, how to develop it and what do I call my style? Perhaps you’d like to listen in on the answer.

 Do I Have an Artistic Style?

Style 2 Complex, colorful, filled, and textured

All artists have a distinct style. The analogy often used is it’s like handwriting for art.

 

And, much like handwriting, it takes some time after learning the basics for your style to emerge. During the time you’re learning the crafts of drawing and painting and understanding how to handle the materials and mediums, it may seem like you have no style at all or you jump around from one thing to another.

 How do I Develop my Art Style?

The only way to develop your individual style is by making your art – repeatedly. Your individual style will start to develop as you gain confidence and experience with each part of the process of making art. It’ll start to show in how you make your marks on the paper in preliminary drawings, the paper you choose to work on, the medium you prefer and how you apply it to the surface and every other element of the finished art. It’s the sum of all these individual choices that add up to an artist’s style.

What do I Call my Style?

I think a large part of the problem for artists trying to define their style comes from trying to pin it down with a label.  The more common descriptions, like cubism, expressionism, pop art or surrealism, are broad terms and a type of art shorthand for classifying works. While they’re helpful for broadly classifying a work and make a point of common departure to talk about a work, I think they can be restrictive and intimidating as well as corralling work into premade boxes. I like to think of artistic style in more descriptive terms (* see below)  then categorize it if necessary.

 What’s Your Style?

Individual artistic style marks a work as belonging to a particular artist and is more of a way of working and handling the materials than a label. Do you have a style? How would you describe it without using a standard classification? Drop me a note and let me know what your style is, I’d love to hear from you!


 

*Descriptive Terms

Like loose vs. tight, realistic vs. unrealistic, colorful vs. monochrome, soft vs. hard, rounded vs. angular, and so on. Here are some pairs to get you started:

Filled / Empty

Simple / Complex

Beauty / Ugly

Whole / Broken

Stability / Movement

Organized / Chaotic

Mechanical / Hand-Drawn

Large / Small

Grayscale / Color

Light / Dark

Fine / Coarse

Smooth / Rough

Sharp / Dull

Light / Heavy

Stable / Unstable

Happy Friday – Special Digital Printable Card Bundle – Alice, Shells and Florals

Happy Friday – Special Digital Printable Card Bundle – Alice, Shells and Florals

Happy Friday!

It’s time to share this week’s bundle special. I heard you saying that a weekend wasn’t long enough, so special bundles will now be available for the whole week.

This pretty bundle has all your favorites on printable cards ready to make your journal and papercraft projects special. Each one is ready to print on letter size paper, then just cut them out and embellish!

You get all three card sets for the price of two! Best of all, they are ready to download immediately – no waiting!

What’s New: My Big Kid Doodle Book – A Doodle Coloring Book – Coming Soon

Colored_0002

Isn’t this a something? It’s a colored doodle!

It’s a sample from one of the book projects that’s been on my worktable lately. One of the things I do for folks is work with authors as a sort of muse/editor/wrangler to help them get their books written and published.

This particular book is a coloring book for grownups so there wasn’t so much writing and editing as wrangling, but it’s the same creative process: idea, refine and organize, create and write, edit, refine some more, set it free in the world. That’s simplified but it’s the gist of it.

Sample Doodle_0001Small
This coloring book features the artwork of the lovely and talented Carolyn Medlin Hawkins who has been drawing these doodles for years – only in black and white; she never colors them in. Now that grownups have gotten wise to the happiness that coloring can bring, it was time for her work to have a larger audience. So, she bravely stepped forward to publish her first coloring book.

Colored_0004
I’m admittedly biased (I love all my authors and think they’re brilliant) but her designs are wonderfully organic. What I like most about her book is that each one is hand-drawn art and shows the mark of a human hand. Having colored a few myself (I did the coloring for the samples here and in the book),  they’re much more interesting and enjoyable; it’s really a way of knowing the artist a little better.

SmallDoodle Front
The book, it’s called My Big Kid Doodle Book, should be making its debut on Amazon this month – look for an update and other news on that very soon!

What’s New: Art Inspired by a Vintage Seed Catalog

 

Vintage Seed Catalog Tag Sheet EMU2

I have a definite soft spot for historic works and have spent a fair amount of time rummaging through the digital attic for books and images from the time spanning roughly the 1840’s to the early 1900’s. So many of these books have wonderful artwork and information from a different time and lifestyle that I find fascinating as well as inspiring.  I really love incorporating that look and feel into some of my current work – like this a colorful digital collection inspired by an 1899 seed catalog.

About the Collection

I ran across this Plant Seed Company Seed Catalog from 1899 and loved the colors in the cover (you can have it as ready to frame art from the print shop) as well as the detailed drawings of vegetables and flowers.

Sample2

 

With no photographs, the drawings had to sell the seeds! One thing that struck me about the vegetables was how many different kinds were on offer; so many things we don’t see in supermarkets now – like Salsify, Dandelion (as a vegetable not a flower) and Martynia (which is also known as “devil’s claw.”)

 

Sample

 

The flower section was similar to current catalogs: the newest and most tantalizing cultivars up front with the old favorites like sunflowers and pansies filling out the rest.

 

It was telling how much more important food crops were at the time because the catalog was mostly devoted to food and animal feed crops with the flower seeds having much less space.

I love seeing these vintage publications and how everyday life was both different and yet similar. Next, I’m thinking about a millinery book from the early 1900’s to bring back to life as a newly published complete book. There are also books in development/editing from two other authors in very different genres – look for updates on those soon!

Thanks so much for your encouragement and support. As always, I’d love to hear from you so drop me line with your thoughts and comments.

Cheers!
Monette

I’m Asking You to Unsubscribe: Why You Should, or Maybe Not

Multicolor Vine Resize

Yes, I’m asking you to unsubscribe from the ShinyDesigns mailing list. Why in heavens name would I do that? Because I want to make sure that you’re interested in what might be landing in your inbox and I’m not the best judge of that – you are.

What’s Up

Many of you are long-time subscribers and know that this site has gone through a few iterations; others have joined along the way and may not be interested in the jogs and turns I seem to take.

For the foreseeable future, this site will be devoted to a wide range of creative undertakings: pretty much anything that grabs my fancy. That means articles on art and painting, then maybe something on paper crafts or digital art, then onto information on writing and the creative process,  an article on sewing the old-fashioned way and maybe even a funny little story with a weird ending – who knows?

So, if that sounds not at all like what you signed up for or something that will irritate you no end, please unsubscribe – right now! Just click here to immediately and completely unsubscribe.

What to Expect, Maybe

If you’re still reading, bless your heart! I thank you and hope you find some inspiration, or at least a smile, in what you’ll find here.

I’ve done so many different things and my interests span so many topics that I can’t keep it all separate and have gotten tired of trying to put each thing in its own neat little box. That’s why it’s all going into one place now.

Some things I do for fun, some for free and some I charge money for but even that is subject to change. I make stuff – all kinds of stuff – and this is where I’ll share treasures found along the way. So, come along with me for a walk on the creative side!