An insightful conversation

I want to let you know about a really good conversation I recently had with Ronnie Walter. If you don’t know Ronnie, she’s an art biz coach, online teacher, and art licensor, plus a bunch of other stuff. When I first met Ronnie, she was a successful and well-respected art licensing agent. In fact, at my very first trade show, her booth was diagonally across from mine! She recently invited me to come on her Coffee With Ronnie show, and I was thrilled to oblige. We talk the twists and turns and up’s and down’s of my art career, and how the two have intersected and brought me to where I am today. We also talk about print-on-demand: the different ways to do it… and some “deep thoughts” on it. If any of this interests you, definitely check it out. Watch here.

Book Sleeve Design for Shelf Love Reads December 2018 Subscription Box

Project report! This is a book sleeve I designed for the December 2018 @shelflovereads subscription box.

(Scroll to the bottom of this page to see some Instagram photos from box subscribers!)

Shelf Love Reads, the YA books for adult readers subscription box, reached out to me to share their goals for a project: A padded book sleeve featuring a selection of quotes from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.

The decorative theme and palette would be inspired by the Five Feet Apart book cover, the featured book in the December 2018 box.
So, I took some general ornamental elements from that cover design (leaves, flowers) and reinterpreted them in my own way, in & around the lettering.

As initial lettering inspiration, they cited my Non-Existent Words mug.

 For the type design, a linear design was requested, like the mug.

I also had another concept that I thought might work well: a “puzzle piece” type of quote arrangement, which is a style I do in my sketchbook sometimes. This design would allow for a more organic inclusion of ornamental design elements in and around the quotes, which I thought would work well to marry with the Five Feet Apart theme.  The rough idea is shown in Design Concept #2 sketch.

I delivered two options:  One in a linear design as was requested like the mug art Design Concept #1 sketch, and the second one I just described.

They selected design 2! (Yippee!)

There were some limitations I needed to work within, considering the final application: The background had to stay white. The colors would be flat (no gradients). And the palette would be limited. These decisions were made based on the production of the sleeve, the fabric, and trying to optimize the clarity, boldness and readability of so much small hand lettering printed on the larger-weave fabric.

See the final sleeve! It came out great!

The sleeve has been very well-received by the @shelflovereads Community. I’m so happy that THEY love it, and YIPPEE ’cause I love it, too! I would love to do more projects like this! If there’s any cool subscription boxes I should know about, put a link in the comments! If they’re a good fit, maybe I’ll pitch them an idea! 😀

XO, Kathy

*All user photos are used with permission from user.

Fine art prints: A saga

A couple of years ago, my art printer died. I decided not to replace it, opting instead to take a break from making art prints altogether.

So, why take a break? 
As any artist can attest to, hand-done prints can be nerve-wracking to consistently produce. We all want them to be PERFECTION, understandably so… and yet there is QUITE a bit of technical know-how or understanding, in order to get the best prints possible (not to mention moody printers to contend with). It’s all quite left-brainy— and, if you are an artist and you haven’t been through the wringer yet with making fine art prints at home, maybe you are a wiser soul than me!

So, I hung up the art prints. During that time, when people would request prints, I outsourced using one of my on-demand partners for fulfillment.

But ironically, outsourcing my art prints just wasn’t fulfilling to ME.
Because, for all of the precision and technicality that goes into getting a great print, there is ALSO the intense satisfaction and joy of being able to offer others such a pure expression of your art and creativity, in such a direct and personable way.

(All those years of printer drama have also taught me a few things about getting good prints, or I never would have decided to jump back in!)

If you have any questions about my process, tools, materials or anything else, comment here, or hit me up on Instagram

Want to VOTE on which pieces will be in my next print release?  Please head over to my Instagram Story poll.