God’s Detail in the Little Things

Before going to school in Indiana and on my summer breaks I spend time back home in Kenosha, WI. Lake Michigan is about 3 miles from our house here and my mom and I often take walks at the lake to talk and collect beach glass. Another favorite item of mine to collect are fossils. Many of which are easy to find. The small plant-like fossils, (“indian beads” I’ve heard them called), are all over the beach. I also lived in Omaha, NE for six years and enjoyed doing fossil digging there. There’s something about holding something that’s from the past that is so interesting to me. Who knows, some of these fossils could be millions of years old.

These thoughts of the past also influence my artwork. I’m very interested in connecting the past to the present and incorporating that into my work more. One fossil that I have really enjoyed finding is that of a clam. At least I think it’s a clam. Not sure. I have a fossil book downstairs, I will have to investigate. On my first visit back to the beach after graduation, I was able to find another one!

I’m so excited to find little discoveries like this, it’s what keeps life interesting. As I dug this one out, I was excited to find this one had an added detail that made it all the more interesting. Each of these fossils reminded me of how much attention God pays to the little things. And how much of a wonderful creator He is. He’s the ultimate artist in the way He creates the earth around us.

Here is my collection of fossils, (minus my jar of fossils from Nebraska, which seems to have gone missing…), but mainly of the clams from the lake, and a few bigger pieces of plant-life. Also, photography really isn’t my thing, I’m trying to learn it to resource as an illustrator and that’s about it, so bear with me please.

So here is the family of “clams” I’ve found so far. I have large, medium, and small. The little ones are smaller than a dime.

Next, here’s a close-up of one of the largest “clams” I have.

And…Here is the new one! Can you tell what’s unique about it?


It has these amazing crystals. How cool is that? God’s creation and how He developed pressure and time to work together has created something fascinating for me to find many years later.

Developing Professional Paperwork

As a heads up, I’m probably going to have posts pretty frequently covering the different work from the semester. This post is focused on my promotional documents I developed.

One of my senior classes was called senior portfolio. In this class, we put together the major documents we need for our career and discussed how to work professionally. These documents included things such as:

– Invoice

– Contract

– Cover Letter

– Resume

– Contact list

– Model release form

– Budget plan

– Logo

– Business Card

– Calling Card

– Artist Interviews

– Etc. Bellow, I’ve included my logo design, Business card design, and calling card. The logo will most likely change in a short time. For now, I’m using it on things I have. I really enjoy it and feel that it fits my style. Some of you may notice that the original design was from a few posts ago. I tried it then as a logo and thought it failed, but after a few tweaks, it worked! I was super excited to find this since I really enjoyed the design. I am just starting out, however, so much of this is bound to change and it should as I develop artistically. For where I am at presently, this works.

The business cards were printed courtesy of moo.com.

The reason I’m sharing this paperwork is that the development of these items really helped me see how to make my work practical and professional and I hope that any other beginning artists out there can benefit from knowing that you need to get this paperwork together and keep it updated. Also, if any of you have other tips for getting your work out there, feel free to share.



Business Cards:

Calling Card:

Check Out Some Newly Posted Work and New Layout!

As I’m nearing the end of my undergraduate degree, I’m really working to focus-in on my style of work and showing that in an organized fashion. Also, to work on getting out of the “class project” feel the past few years of artwork have been and into a more professional line-up of pieces based on my own concepts.

It’s terrifying but exciting to be beginning to make the transition from student to the professional world. There are so many aspects to think about at once and just thinking of how to get started in the first place is intimidating. My usual inclination is to want to play things safe and I’ve been learning to step out more in faith and take risks.

Doing what you’re passionate about and fighting for that passion is always a risk, but then you’ll come to know better who you are and who you’ve been made to be. I think God has greater things for each of us to do than sit and have comfortable lives. So, I’m beginning preparation for the next big risk and will do what I can.

All of this to say, I hope you enjoy the new layout for my work and the new pieces. I’m continuing to work on more independent work and will post the results as the projects come together. Don’t forget to check out the illustration page and concept work page above. Also, for another version of my portfolio and two examples of the process behind my work, click the link just below the illustration and concept work tabs to go to my Carbonmade address as well!

Thank you all!

(You can see the development behind this piece by clicking on the link at the top of the page – Portfolio @ Carbonmade)

The Results of the Show Opening – January 20

This past Friday I had my opening for my Senior Exhibit here at Indiana Wesleyan University. Thanks to the help of friends to get things prepared and ready to go, family, and the fantastic food display provided by my mother, it came together very well. It is showing here on campus through Feb. 3. Thank you to all who turned out, family for making the drive, and those who stop by through the next 2 weeks, it has been a very encouraging experience to show you all my work. I’ll be posting a few of the pieces and process work shortly.

Senior Show Date and A Final Print

I now have a date for my senior show! It will be Friday January 20. Again, the concept is a series of 5 paintings and surrounding process work based on fear. I hope to see any family and friends there who can make it!

On  a different note, I am in the midst of my last fall semester finals week of my undergraduate study. Some artwork has developed well and other areas are still filled with experimenting to display the concepts I create. As I said in my previous printmaking post, for my final portfolio I created some prints based on time. Time is something I struggle with in our society. As American’s we have a non-stop fast paced life-style. We jump from one thing to the next constantly. This is something that doesn’t always settle well with my tendencies as a processor. My priorities often don’t lie in how quickly I can complete a task, but the process and quality given to the task. So, it’s a frustration for  me but something I realize I need to conform to in order to function in this society. Along with this theme comes another aspect of time, time lost or seemingly taken away. I lost my grandmother the first week of this semester. The realization that someone who I looked up to and valued as much as I did and who shared in so many major aspects of my life is gone, is difficult. I’m sure many of you know this experience as well. So, several of my prints focused on the aspect of that lost time and the frustration that due to time, someone you care for will not be there for your graduation, holiday’s, celebrations, etc. any longer in your life.

Here is one of my final prints, probably the strongest one in my portfolio to give an idea of the work. The print is a combination of Lithography (text) with Intaglio (etched plate – in this case zinc).

Senior Show Update – Concept: Fear

Originally I was supposed to have my senior show here at Indiana Wesleyan November 28. Due to my project becoming more elaborate than originally planned and needing more time to develop with quality, I am showing after Christmas break, most likely in January one or two weeks after we return to campus.

So, I just wanted to let friends and family interested in coming know what my show is about. My main concept, is fear. How fear affects our lives and how it has personally affected mine. The main character, a young girl, comes face to face with fear when she is out one day. In a series of 5  23” x 30” scenes, she runs from environment to environment attempting to escape fear, but to no avail. No matter where she tries to go, he is there, even if in a slightly different form. In the end, she has to come to fear on her own and make a decision on how to face it, instead of ignoring it or running away.

The images are illustrated with my own character designs for the girl and fear in all his different forms. Along with the 5 images that will be shown, I will also be displaying important pieces of my process around each of the images. Some of the character designs, photos of environments/modeling, printmaking, etc.

Below are a couple concept sketches for the scenes, some 3D modeling I created for resource, and a few of the character designs as a bit of a preview — but there’s a lot more  and more to come!


What are you most intimidated by? For me, it’s a finished project. I enjoy the process of putting the project together. The research, thumbnails, sketches, drafts and envisioning it exactly in my mind. What emotions it will invoke, tweaks to push it further, colors, action, everything that is important to the process and evaluation. But then, after all that is said and done, I suddenly…freeze. The finished product may come, but ever so slowly. Or, in most cases, a scramble near the deadline to put all my process work together.

Most of the time, it’s because of fear. I am intimidated by what the final result may come to be. Will it come out exactly as I intended and envisioned? Or be a shadow of the living image I saw in my mind? My work, begins to take the form of a visual stutter. Never quite saying what I mean or showing the truth.

This past year I realized how deeply my work had come to that point and is reflected in the same manner in my everyday life. Never quite saying what I mean or the truth behind my words.

I have been intimidated by my own way of expression.

So I set out this summer to try and conquer this fear. Although I haven’t reached a final settling with myself, I succeeded in understanding my way of expression more through viewing other artists work. Walking around small town galleries, museums, art fairs, films, literature, any form of artistic expression helped. A pivotal moment was when I visited my brother in Los Angeles. There I spent a couple hours viewing Tim Burton’s work at LACMA. Now, most people would say his perspective is…odd. I’m not saying I don’t agree, but I do appreciate his sense of expression and it opened my eyes a bit. Here is someone who has a different way of artistic expression. Rather than letting that intimidate him, he has embraced it, and is making it work in niches in our society.

No, his strength is not necessarily in the technical side of art. But, for the concepts he is expressing and his perspective on life, it WORKS.

And that is when it hit me. Another point of  intimidation in completing a final piece comes from knowing that there are those who can always create with skills more technically advanced than me. I fear that my final product won’t be up to par with those who are given that skill. But the funny thing about life, is that there is ALWAYS someone technically better at whatever skill you do. Also, technique can be learned.

But to think. Really think about what you’re expressing, the concept, emotion, and purpose is something else entirely. To embrace your perspective and expression is something that no one else can top. No one else can see, feel and express the exact way you do. Embrace how you were created to express and overcome the intimidation.

This is my struggle both in my everyday life and my life as an artist.

Stress Solution: A Quick Sketch Book Piece

This is a quick sketch I did near the end of the school year. I’ve been finding that the best way for me to deal with anxiety or stress of situations has been to write it out as if it’s part of a story, (and then usually crumple it up and toss it like it’s old news), or to create something that is more, “out of this world”. A mental escape, I guess. So, with the stress growing toward the end of my junior year of college, I sat down and did some sketches like this to de-stress. Some of my most interesting thoughts grow out of these situations.

Any artist’s out there care to share when some of their best ideas come about?

Jelly Flight

End of Another College Year – 3 things I’ve Learned

Since I’ve just completed my third year of college, here are 3 things that really hit me this year…

#1 Technology used as art is no longer an enemy to me, but still be wary –

I have really enjoyed working on the computer this past semester for computer illustration. Never thought I would say that one. Now, I do not mean that I don’t still prefer the traditional work, I do. However, I have finally accepted computer generated art as another medium of expression that I enjoy. And just like any other medium,  the computer provides new freedoms, as well as many limitations. The biggest thing I have found to constantly remind oneself when working with this medium is one that applies to all mediums: don’t get too caught up in it. I think it can be very dangerous for an artist to stay too tied to one medium for too long. It can be dangerous for an artist to stay locked in the computer, digital side of art just as it can be dangerous for an artist to only work in oils. Another is the freedom of ‘command (+) z’ or  ‘undo’. This ability can be fantastic in giving one the freedom to express without the fear of “messing something up” and having to spend a lengthy amount of time fixing it. It can generate an energy and boldness in your work. However, the danger is turning this gift into a crutch. When you return to your traditional work, you realize that the ‘undo’ safety net is gone, and one can become overly cautious in their work. Before you didn’t have undo, so if you messed something up, you just took the time to problem solve how to fix it. (This is a powerful element of working traditionally). Now, after working digitally, you realize how quickly you can fix something and redo it and in some cases, (maybe this only applies to me), you can become less willing to take the time to fix traditional work after viewing the quick process of the digital. This can be a dangerous place to be in. Yes, it is great to be able to work quickly, (and if you really want to you can digital correct traditional work), but the traditional work often teaches us vital problem solving tools to develop our pieces and take them further.

Other than these two major and a few other minor glitches in my viewpoint of the computer, I really have enjoyed adding it as another medium to my list to grow and develop in and continue to practice. Alongside the traditional of course…

#2 An Image can be a powerful thing –

When I first decided to pursue art as a career, I began with a mentality that probably many do, “I’m going to make this a cool image,” or more commonly, “a pretty picture”. As I’ve been developing, studying, learning, and creating, I’ve been learning the true power and emotion that an image can invoke. There is certainly a time and a place to create “pretty” or “cool” pictures. It can be fun, relaxing, and creative to do, and an escape. However, now I have come to see that taken more seriously, your work can embrace a bigger picture, so to say. Your work can capture a moment that invokes emotion, lifts the spirits, makes someone aware of an issue, or really challenge someone to think or to think deeply about a powerful theme that applies to all of us who walk this earth. I’m not saying that my work is at that point yet. I still really enjoy images that look “cool” and will continue to create them when I need that release. But, the challenge I have learned to apply to myself and all artists should apply, is “how can my work make an impact?” As artists, we weren’t given this gift of creativity to enjoy it for ourselves. There is so much to do with our art if we only, well…be creative. Apply it. This is my new challenge I have learned this year to put into practice, (many artists have already embraced this and learned it earlier in their lives),and I hope to challenge any artists who have not already embraced it to do so as well.

#3 Simplicity –

The third thing I learned does not really apply to just one thing and doesn’t necessarily derive or apply to art, (although like everything in life, it always could apply). I am someone who worries and constantly wants to try to control a scenario so that I don’t have to worry. The hard thing for me to learn this year is that no one can really control anything, and when I try to I end up more stressed. For me, this was a sign that I have to put my trust and let go of my worry and give it to God, who is in control of everything in my life since I have given it up to Him. When I do this, life is simpler. It doesn’t make it easy, but the anxiety is lifted and I feel more confident in the things that I do and need to face. It also helps one to refocus on the bigger picture, which is always important. Giving those things up takes your focus off of yourself and all the little the things in your bubble world we all create in our heads, (whether consciously or not). You begin to see other things that are much bigger than you, and much more important than you. And this is an empowering thing to learn. It has been for me.