Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Around the World Artsy Blog Hop - Part 1

My first blog hop! Sniff, sniff, my little blog is growing up. 

I have the privilege and honor of being invited to participate in a blog hop, by the fabulous Tara McGuire over at Live, Love, Art Journal. You can visit her beautiful blog here and see her answers to the same questions I answered below. A special thank you to Tara for this invitation, so please stop by her blog and show her some love for including me in her hop.

The above art for this hop was made by Minerva Levinston

Question 1: How does my creative process work?

Prior to teaching my first workshop in May, this is something in which I didn't put much thought. As I was preparing for the class, I tried to break down where ideas can come from, like how you can take, say, a flower, and pull colors, or shapes, or a memory from it, and then translate that into original work. I think inspiration should be derived from ones own experiences; the art I get the best feedback on, are things I thought of myself, because they are genuine to me. That being said, some days you just gotta make something, original or not. 

By keeping sketchbook (okay, several sketchbooks; they are all over the house) that I work in everyday, even if its just for five minutes. Anything goes in those things: writing about my day, words of inspiration, making lists, practice sketching, record color combinations, experimenting with layouts, etc. Often times, I'll turn back to my sketchbooks to finish out rough ideas from there. When I am stumped for ideas, just getting my creative muscles moving helps, whether by playing with materials, experimenting with color, or working on a good ol' doodle. 

Question 2: How does my art work differ from others of its genre?

Hmm, that is kinda a tough one. I primarily work in watercolor, but I ignore most of the rules. It took me a while to stop stressing about how I was supposed to use my tools. Once I stopped caring if my art looked like what someone else made, I really started to develop my own style. My art definitely goes through phases, depending on what's inspiring me at the moment and I often see a heavy influence from an instructor after I take an art class. After I finished Alisa Burke's Flower Power class, so I saw a huge increase in the amount of floral detail in my journals for the next few weeks. After taking Lori Vliegen Letter Lab, I was on a lettering kick for a while. Once the new techniques become more familiar, they become an organic part of the process, and the finished product starts to feel more "me". To circle back, I guess I'm not sure my art even fits in a genre, let lone how it is different from others. I make whatever feels good at the moment and like to think each piece is reflective of something going on in my life.

Question 3: What am I working on now?

I am ALWAYS working in my sketchbooks, whether it is gathering, organizing or playing with ideas. When an idea starts coming on, I try to drop everything until I can get enough of it on paper that I'll have something to come back to later. That being said, I primarily take on commissions, so I have several of those underway, including a logo and some gifts. There are a few art swap groups to which I belong, so I have several projects for them underway. Another thing I am doing, that is just for me, is the Documented Life Project. Here is the link to the founders' (Art to the 5th) page, but you can see my take on weeks 1-27 here. For those of you interested, I share more everyday photos from my sketchbook at my Instagram.

Question 4: Why do you do what you do?

Art is just a part of me. I have tried several times to pack away my supplies, but they always find their way back out. There is a need in me to make things, and I am my most happy self when I am creating. My job is a very structured, analytical one, so my sketchbooks give me an outlet work the right side of my brain. 

Well, I hope you enjoyed finding out a bit more about me and my art! Check back next week for part two of the hop, where I will be highlighting some other lovely artists!


*Update* click here for part two!


  1. I stopped by your wonderful blog today, Thanks for all the lovely inspiration. I am following your blog, Feel free to follow mine. http://tamieispreservingmemories.blogspot.com/

    Hugs and Happiness, Tamie

    1. Thanks Tamie! I am so glad you visited and enjoyed what you saw. I added your to my list and am now a follower!

  2. Your art is always very inspirational, Melissa and you have considerable talent. Drawing is something that does not come easily for me, so practice is something I do frequently. Keep on sharing your great work! I wanna be just like you when I grow up!

    1. Betty, you are too sweet. Thank you for stopping by. Fortunately its easy to practice art when we love it, right? and a ton of fun, too!

  3. beautiful blog Melissa !! i've fallen in love with your pencil sketches..! very inspirational :))
    P.S. thank you so much for including my blog-hop girly...she is very excited to be here :D

    1. Thank you for stopping by Minerva, as well as your sweet words. I'm so happy you saw somethings you like. And thank you again for making the wonderful blog-hop girl. She is welcome here any time! *grins*

  4. hi melissa! wow…..your sketches are gorgeous! and i remember seeing your cute crossword piggie over at DLP…..it's one of my favorites! thank you SO much for the linky love with my letterLAB class! you're an absolute sweetheart! xox

    1. Hey Lori! Thank you so much for the super sweet words. And thank YOU for having made such a great class!