Watercolor Wednesday

I’m pretty pumped about this week’s project. It combines work on the computer and working with my own two hands, and I’m pretty happy with the results!

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From the close up of this, you’ll see that this peice involved quite a bit of layering. I essentially took a black and white picture of myself and Kyle that I love, ran it through a couple programs to reduce it to six shades of gray (insert literary joke here) and then painted it in layers, with the lightest layer coming first, the later layers adding to the darkness. Each was was about the same color and opacity, but because it built on existing color, it got progressively darker.

process document

I’m pretty enthusiastic about this and looking for my next photo to do! And contemplating how I could start incorporating more color.

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Sending out positivity

Hello there! Firstly, thank you to the sweet people who reached out to me yesterday after I posted a somewhat cryptic message about having a tough weekend. You guys are so sweet and it really meant a lot to me.

This weekend, I had a fair share of negativity thrown my way, mostly in the form of hurtful, destructive opinions toward some of my work from an unsolicited source. Now, working in a creative field, I like to think I have pretty thick skin when it comes to critiques. I’m used to constantly being asked to alter, modify and start from scratch in the name of a project- and I love that part of my job! The intersection of creative collaboration and constructive criticism is where great things come together.

This, however, was not that. This was more of an attack, without any constructive points. It was needlessly personal in nature, and frankly just mean for mean’s sake.

Luckily my clients have been incredibly supportive and have encouraged me to ignore the negative feedback (and keep in mind it was one opinion and a very biased one at that), but I had a difficult time with it. I take my work very seriously, and naturally this kind of feedback really makes me examine my work and my process to see where the kernel of truth may be. Some of their points I took to heart, storing away to revisit on future projects. Other points were obviously the kind of negative comments you should just ignore- but I couldn’t seem to. I kept circling around the issue, trying to figure out what exactly bothered me so much about it, and it came down to this: I can’t understand people who put out such negativity without provocation.

I guess I’d call these people haters. For some reason they are unhappy in themselves, and decide to inflict this on others. I’ve seen what negativity can do to a person. Negativity wears down those around you, and corrodes your own happiness. It feeds on itself, and is hard to shake. I don’t like seeing this in myself, and could see it growing as I continued to stew on Sunday.

Then I decided to stop and focus on the lovers. These are the people who are fountains of positivity, constantly sending out affirmations into the universe- whether it’s a kind word, a smile or simply living in such an awesome way that they inspire you to be a better person. These people are my clients, friends, family, coworkers and loved ones, and I won’t let another day go by where I’m too busy focusing on the Negative Nancy’s of the world to give them their due. You guys rock.

With that in mind, I’m doing my darndest to put out the positivity this week. And how fitting, considering it’s also Valentine’s Day! In honor of both these facts, I’ve decided to create a few designs- conveniently sized to fit a Facebook Timeline, should you desire to put out the vibe yourself! Just click below to download.

Love Love erinmaydesign CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD-01

::download spread the love::

Love Love erinmaydesign CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD-02

::download positive energy::

Love Love erinmaydesign CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD-03

::download love love:

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Manic Monday

I’m skipping today’s Manic Monday to concentrate just a bit more on some pressing work items. This weekend was a toughie, with a few bright spots mixed in. Here’s one picture from my Friday that’s helping me concentrate on the good:

Let the sun shine

Expect an extra long list of cool links next week!

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Friday night’s alright for fighting….

So I wanted to name this post something musical, and remembered this song, but after watching it I realized it’s actually called “Saturday night’s alright (for fighting)” and that mislabeling it Friday actually comes from my addiction to Gilmore Girls, as one of the episodes was named after Friday night because those were the days the Gilmores had their family dinners. Whew. And if you followed that, you deserve a little happy music for your Friday:

On Wednesday, I was invited to go see Ellie Goulding at the Crystal Ballroom, and it was a blast. Happy times music.

Also, tonight I get to go to ANOTHER CONCERT, and I’m seeing the Wood Brothers with my family at the Aladdin.

So as you can imagine, I’m listening to a lot of music in the meantime, which is always a great concentration point for my Fridays.

And just because I love this song and the video was filmed about 6 blocks from my house, here is this:

Happy Happy Friday, my friends!

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The Vision Board

I’ve been ruminating on how to write about this topic for a while. A couple weeks ago, I attended an event with the Portland chapter of Young Women’s Social Entrepreneurs. The event was “a creative vision workshop: usher in 2013 with vision and purpose.”

Aside from the lovely ladies in attendance, a few of them dear friends and incredibly inspiring to me as professional women, I really took to heart one particular lesson from our workshop, and that was to take time for introspection. I enjoyed thinking purposefully about my last year, my goals, my successes and what’s driving my motivations in 2013. It was nice to take the time to really put some answers out there, and to set intentions through artistic expression. Because we did- through collage!

Basically, we came up with a phrase and image to define our goals and intentions, and then illustrated it through found printed materials. I got a good start during our meeting, and have found myself slowly coming back to this project periodically ever since. Here it is, in progress:

afterglow (13)

And here are a few details:

afterglow (14)

Being “happy” (even though I know this is Doc.)

afterglow (15)

Working hard, working out. 

My phrase for this year actually comes from a card a sweet friend gave to me during a transitional time last year. It said “This is Our Adventure”, overset on a sunrise. I’ve always kept this card near my workspace, and drawn energy from the idea that this life is a shared, unpredictable experience- and that’s a wonderful thing.

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The card that inspired my board. 

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Watercolor Wednesday

Hey there! Still playing with watercolors- check out this dot pattern I made by wetting the page, then adding color in a grid form:

watercolor drops

Also, I found this old watercolor that has given me a few ideas….

watercolors

I’ve been getting over a nasty bout of illness – the 24 hour bug bites hard! Be safe out there, and wash your hands regularly!!

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