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Make Art that Sells


My Fall Sketchbook

Hello Winter! Whistler, B.C. is ready for you. The snow is falling, the lights are up around town and the mountain is open and ready for action. Mushrooms It has been a beautiful Fall. Lots of brilliant colour and crisp, clear days... interspersed with torrential downpours, low-lying cloud and very short days. I love it all. The worse the weather the less motivated I am to get outdoors and play. I feel less guilt for cozying up indoors and creating. November, you have been true to yourself. Thank you. Flowers in Fall by Julie Hamilton Creative {artistically afflicted blog} Inspired by all the fall colours - red, orange, faded greens and greys. A peek into my sketchbook proves that these are probably my most favourite colours. Flowers for Monday by Julie Hamilton Creative {artistically afflicted blog}I have been slowly updating my work around here. A new branding is in the works based on pen, paper, paint and pattern. I am updating my site to include all of my hand painted and collage work. I am loving the process of creating all new artwork in this style, but admit it is a bit of a slow process. So far I have managed to change my name from 'Artistically Afflicted" to Julie Hamilton Creative. Small steps. I will be keeping the blog all full of my afflicted ways, but will have a separate portfolio site. I am dying to get my hands on Fiona Humberstones new book How to Style your Brand  It has been sold out forever and finally just when I thought I could get my hands on it, they wouldn't deliver to Canada. Crazy. Check out her site for lots of beautiful images and helpful advice on branding You. Sketchbook Wildflowers by Julie Hamilton Creative {artistically afflicted blog}I haven't given myself an end goal date as I am trying to take this slowly and be in love with the finished product. I know what I want to create, but just want to make sure that I am representing myself the way that I would like to be perceived. Trust me, sometimes I am not even sure what that looks like. It is a start! Autumn Sketchbook by Julie Hamilton Creative {artistically afflicted blog} In the mean time my licensing work is busy.I have a new embroidery contract with Janome (Acudesign) which I will be sharing shortly.  I have another piece being published in Stampington & Co. and  I am busy creating a new concept for a dream client. It is all about forward momentum and not losing sight of the Why. Fall Sketchbook by Julie Hamilton Creative {artistically afflicted blog} Sharing with you a few things going on in and about the world-wide web: Lilla Rogers, art agent extraordinaire, is giving a video presentation this week all about embracing and selling your creative quirkiness. Have a look here for more information. There is still time to join in. Flora Bowley has started a monthly newsletter/video series, Studio Diaries. I haven't joined in yet, but I am thinking about it for the New Year. Art prompts, videos, creative lessons, questions and answers and just general Flora loveliness. More information here. I have been enjoying ( and using) Jennifer Nelsons weekly Advice for Artists.  Sign up here. She also offers a one on one consultation service if you are interested. See her website for more details. Make sure to check out her artists - all swoon worthy Finally, don't forget, it is the weekend of all sales. Black Friday and Cyber Monday. In the past I have received some outstanding discounts on online creative courses.If there is something you have your eye on then don't forget to pop by your want list and see if they are offering a discount. Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends. It is a big and busy weekend here and always brings with it a sense of celebration and the start of the holiday season. Makes me happy!
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A sneak peek into the Global Talent Search 2014

It's that time of  year artists everywhere are putting on their creative hat and enrolling in Lilla Rogers Global Talent Search. I enjoyed every minute of last years competition. It was the final assignment for months spent in Lillas class Make Art that Sells and a perfect way to wrap up all that I had learned during my time with her. Well,  I didn't win. In fact I didn't come in the top 50 either. I like to think I was hovering around 51st... I wasn't planning on entering this year. I love the process and brief of the competition, but my plate is full of design work and life it is just plain old busy in the summer around here. Yet, here I am! Call it a severe case of FOMO. What persuaded me in the end was this little video by Lilla herself and much discussion within my design community. I may have rolled my eyes a few times during the video but, as always, Lilla brings a smile to my face. She is truthful and straightforward. She makes you believe. Follow the link here to watch on Vimeo I made a promise to put myself out there in 2014. I am sowing seeds and, as cliche as it sounds, Lilla is on to something with her "inch by inch success is a cinch" I am also a strong believer that no art is ever wasted. So why not? I am not sure how I am going to approach this years top secret brief. I spent yesterday on the couch eating cookies and thinking long and hard about it all.I didn't have an ounce of creativity within me, but my head was swirling with ideas. Unfortunately, the theme is one that has been done before  and I am feeling a little hard pressed to come up with an original idea that is all me and my style. Something fresh..   work in progress for #globaltalentsearch on {artistically afflicted blog} A bit of research and some doodling, trying to put something together in my head and a starting point. I would like this piece to be traditional - very limited digital. I am pulling all my tricks out of the bag for this one. Sketching, painting, cutting paper...I have to trust that it will all come together, but right now I have a little bit of everything on the go.   work in progress for #globaltalentsearch on {artistically afflicted blog} Some  messy freehand dip pen work. My mind works best this way with no preconceived plan. Things are always pretty darn good at this point...then I add paint and it all goes a little sideways.. I think I will save my dip pen work for illustrator and some digital work. I don't mind the end result  below - it's not what I have in mind, but it's all about the process of discovering what exactly it is that I have going on in my mind. I hope that makes sense. work in progress for #globaltalentsearch on {artistically afflicted blog} From here I usually take elements I like and start to expand on them further.  I know what shapes and textures I like and I do love to cut and collage paper. work in progress for #globaltalentsearch on {artistically afflicted blog}   So the lingering questions remains... Do you stick with your style in a safe and easy way - a joyful way - do what you do best .. OR  do you throw it all out to the wind and create way out of your comfort zone with the possibility that it may suck. Haha..actually, that's not funny, it's plain old painful, disheartening and definitely discouraging. For example.. work in progress for #globaltalentsearch on {artistically afflicted blog}   I haven't a clue where this is going on how it even got there. It was fast and it was furious and honestly, I am a bit stuck. There is something I like about it, unfortunately I haven't figured out what that something is! It is this kind of work that takes me out of my comfort zone. I will finish it, but I am just not sure it will be in time to be submitted. The clock is ticking.... Best of luck to everyone out there! This is my community. I follow and support these people and vice versa. I will be thrilled to see any one of you win!
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Come and meet some inspiring creatives ~ a blog hop

I have been asked to join in on a blog hop by my good friend Deborah Velasquez. I have just spent the past hour drifting backwards through the hop and I still can't find its origin, but it has been well worth my time as I have stumbled upon some beautiful artists , writers and like minded souls from all over the world. One of which lives just down the mountain from me! Today I will answer a few questions about my work and then point you in the direction of a few other creative souls who inspire me - Deborah Velasquez, Margot Miller and Laura Wooten What are you working/writing on? In typical  fashion, I have many projects on the go right now. I hop about daily from one project to the next, working on what inspires me at the moment. My main focus this summer  is centered on an illustration project I have for The Whistler Survival Guide, a  directory for newcomers moving to the area. It is my first illustrating gig and while I am finding it challenging, I am in awe of how much I am learning. There will be more here on the blog in the fall when it is released. Whistler summer - Julie Hamilton designs {artistically afflicted blog}   My summer fun project  involves creating a collection of 8 by 8" mixed media pieces.  These mini works have become a a part of my daily creative practice.They are my go-to when I feel the need for a little painting, spraying and stamping in my life. They make me happy. I have recently written a post about the process here. julie hamilton designs {artistically afflicted blog} Mixed in with all of this is my art licensing work , monthly submissions for A Fresh Bunch and a new collection coming soon to Modern Yardage. Life is busy, but very enjoyable! Why do you create? One of my favourite sayings and one that provides me with daily inspiration and the desire to create. Never lose your sense of wonder Six words that allow me to travel through life with eyes wide open  Floral -  Julie Hamilton designs {artistically afflicted blog}   I am visually inspired by colour, texture and shape. My heart starts racing, I feel a little tingly all over and I can't wait to dive into my art journal  when inspiration strikes. I love all the endless possibility that creating art provides. I love immersing myself in a theme and exploring different ways of representation. Simply put ~ I love the way art makes me feel. When I am not creating I am in search of what to create next. It has become what makes me whole.  Floral -  Julie Hamilton designs {artistically afflicted blog} How does your creative process work? I work best in short bursts of creative chaos. My paintings and mix media work are all intuitive. I start with marks and gradually move into texture and colour. I observe my mood and what is happening before me on the paper to dictate the direction the piece will take. I can often be found lying on the couch, my artwork propped up before me, with eyes squinted as I turn my piece this way and that, hoping that something...anything.. will materialize before me.   Julie Hamilton Designs {artistically afflicted blog) My surface pattern work is a little more structured and usually focused around a collection of motifs.I love to doodle and my sketchbook and pen are never far from my side. Life here becomes a little more computer oriented as I have to scan my work in and pattern in Illustrator. julie hamilton designs {artistically afflicted blog} I love the combination of both the structured and unstructured. It allows me to play and experiment with new techniques. Oh how  I look forward to the day when I have mastered all of the Adobe programs so I can express myself in all mediums.. Ahhh... big sigh..that was a lot of writing in one sitting. Now, onto the women in my life that inspire and motivate me. Some I know well and others I am in the process of getting to know.I chose to reach out to them in hopes that they would share and  learn a little bit more about what makes them tick. Deborah Velasquez I first met Deborah through Kelly Rae Roberts Flying Lessons. I believe we  originally connected based on a similar love for seeds and pods . Our friendship grew as we continued on a similar  journey with The Art & Business of Surface Pattern Design and then onto Make Art That Sells. She is my go-to girl in times of  creative need, both good and bad. She brings a smile to my face. Please pop back to her blogpost here to learn all about her work and creative process. Deborah Velasquez - artist on the {artistically afflicted blog} Her work is modern, sophisticated, graphic and bold with a unique colour sense and reflects her simplicity for the love of line. Deborah Velasquez - artist on the {artistically afflicted blog} Deborah loves the mixture of design, words, art and craft. She has a very unique way of combining them all together. Watch out for this one! Deborah Velasquez - artist on the {artistically afflicted blog} Margot Miller I joyfully came across Margots work in Make Art that Sells. I now follow her daily on Instagram at  @margot531 (#scenesfrommyscreen)  This woman is  multi-talented and funny too. Meet Margot  ~ a collage illustrator from N.Y. She is a bit of a tweetaholic and likes her coffee too.. I think we could be friends. Margot miller - artist selfie on {artistically afflicted blog} Check out her website! I wish she would give tutorials on how she creates her lovely work...   Margot Miller -artist on {artistically afflicted blog} Beautiful colours, shapes and texture! I love this piece she made for Make Art that Sells. Below is a hand lettering piece she  did for a friends book launch blog hop. Pretty awesome. Margot Miller -artist on {artistically afflicted blog}   Laura Wooten Next up is Laura Wooten. Laura has been on a similar path with continued studies in both the Art & Business of Surface Pattern Design and Make Art that Sells. I was thrilled when I reached out to her to be a part of the bloghop and she said Yes! I love her  52 collage project - creating a collage each week.This has inspired me to no end and makes me want to try. Laura Wooten -artist on {artistically afflicted blog} I admire her beautiful hand drawn sketches and prints. The colours are just beautiful -  I love the vintage feel. Her website is full of lots of painting and pattern goodness. Laura Wooten -artist on {artistically afflicted blog} Laura also instagrams  daily. I have been enjoying her daily sketch project. You can visit her here on Instagram Laura Wooten -artist on {artistically afflicted blog} These women will be blogging about their creative lives next Saturday and introducing you to other creatives that inspire them. You just never know who you may meet so be sure to drop by!
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Top tips from Surface Pattern Designers!

A little shout out goes to Ali Benyon of Ali Benyon Designs for her Top tips and tricks for Surface Pattern Designers! Recently Ali has created  2 blogposts with tips and tricks from a global bunch of surface pattern designers from all stages of their careers. I was fortunate to be included and shared a few of my own pearls of wisdom. I found that all of the tips and tricks were applicable to anyone in the creative field from artists to start up entrepeneurs. Inspirational quote {artistically afflicted blog} There was lots of good advice. I walked away with a sense of comfort knowing that it's not just me ~ this creative business is hard work! It demands that you show up everyday, you practice, and you believe. March forward, head up! It...is....a....long.....process... (I am always in need of a reminder about this) [caption id="attachment_2689" align="aligncenter" width="558"]Deborah Velasquez, quote, authenticity Art by Deborah Velasquez[/caption] It was interesting to read everyone's take on being unique and staying true to yourself and your style. It seems that this is a little something that all of us struggle with. It doesn't surprise me ~ we are visual artists, we love to look at art and more often than not we are inspired by it. I think it's normal to want to try different tricks and techniques in a style not your own. It's a great way to learn BUT realize that you have to make it your own. You have to add your very own signature style to it before you call it your own. artistically afflicted blog There was lots of advice about practice, patience and perseverance, a  few tips about color AND a great reminder of all the routes you can take in this profession. I often forget all of the endless avenues for your art so thank you for that! I won't give anymore away. I could spend hours discussing the ins and outs and how and whys of the creative process, but then that would take away from hours that could be spent just... Making Art! Make Art - Make more Art - Enjoy the process = your time will come! Part one is here Part two is here A big Thanks to Ali for bringing us all together! Enjoy!
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Indigo,Paris 2014 is live!

Indigo 2014, the creative textile and surface design show, is now live in Paris! This is what the past 6 weeks of my life have looked like in preparation. Creative chaos at its finest. Sketching, sketching and more sketching. Reviewing all my old notes for Make Art that Sells. Driving to the store to pick up more Sharpies! julie hamilton designs, artistically afflicted blog Dozens of  children's motifs all waiting to be patterned. I am amazed at the amount that just didn't make the cut. They will all have their time though. No art work is ever wasted, it will always find its place somewhere. I completed 20 mini collections in total for Believe Creative Studio. It look me quite a few tries to start, but I finally fell into my groove and the style that is mine and a style that worked well with the Believe Creative Studio style. There were definitely moments. Many moments. Moments of doubt, insecurity, and creative exhaustion. The belief that I didn't have another creative drop left in me.That frantic moment of "I got nothing!" Those were the times the music got cranked and  fun times were had playing in the snow. Anything to clear the mind. I have to admit that despite the highs and lows~ I loved every moment of it. I loved the challenge of following a brief. I loved stretching my imagination and trying to think like a child. [caption id="attachment_5235" align="aligncenter" width="560"]julie hamilton designs, artistically afflicted blog Still waiting for my Sharpie sponsorship....[/caption] As this was my first experience designing with a studio, with an end goal in mind, there were many lessons learned. A few of these I thought I would share with you. 1. Work around a theme and stick with it.Explore a subject and immerse yourself in it. I made the mistake of jumping around from brief to brief and had a few moments of confusion. 2. Finish one piece of work before you start another. This is a matter of personal preference of course, but I found I would sometimes get stuck and instead of working through it, I would just start fresh with a new pattern. As a result I have many pieces of unfinished work. I know that I can work through them, but I won't. I love a big, blank page of possibility. I like starting. 3. Turn off all social media. Learn what distracts you and get rid of it. Many people made comments about my lack of participation in my social media world this past month. (which also included blogging...sorry)  I just found that at the end of the day I was mentally exhausted.  Now, however I feel like I can whip off pattern after pattern. I have upped my pattern making stamina. 4.Explore your favourite kids store and see what they are doing. This definitely helped me with my playfulness and use of colour. It also helped me with the sizing of my motifs. Rosie also made a great suggestion - borrow a  piece of children's clothing to give you a sense of sizing. Your motif has to read well small. 5. Stop in moments of frustration. Don't push yourself to create. Walk away. I found that once I cleared my mind and relaxed, inspiration came flowing back. 6. Play happy music. Invite young friends over to draw. I was lucky enough to get to spend an afternoon babysitting Thomas,a young friend of mine. He was very quick to give advice and show me how a dinosaur is really done. He was also a little put out that I didn't have one light sabre in my collection...or a narwhal (a what?). I would have liked to post his drawings, but the smarty pants took them with him after I threatened to use them (with commission of course:) julie hamilton designs, artistically afflicted blog One thing is for sure - designing for children makes you happy. I often caught myself with a smile on my face. Unfortunately, I cannot share any of the  designs until after the show, they are top secret! A big thank you to Rosie and Vincent of Believe Creative Studio for all of their hard work ~ critiquing, organizing and for being supportive and enthusiastic. I would also like to thank all of the guest designers who were very quick to offer support and answer questions.It is always nice to meet others from all over the globe. I wish everyone of you the best of luck! Thanks for the fun!
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