Why I love Illustration #2 of 5

Sharing Ideas, Questions, and Perspectives –

I know this is a very common, (due to its obviousness), and an overdone reason people say they enjoy art. But, it seems to be commonplace due to the truth it holds and the fact that it is the core reason so many people choose to create visual work. When you create a piece of art, whether you’ve had years of training or none at all, you share your distinct perspective.

Simple and pretty fascinating when you see all the potential in the various forms of art. When I start seeing my illustration work as an opportunity to share my own thoughts and ideas instead of just what looks ‘cool’ or ‘commercial’, I have much more freedom and enjoyment in creating the work that I do.


Salvador Dalí

Ramon Pla – http://www.ramonpla.com/

Kai Carpenter – http://kaicarpenter.carbonmade.com/

Roland Tamayo – http://rolandtamayo.com/

Claude Monet

Did you miss “Why I Love Illustration #1 of 5”? – Click Here 

Why I Love Illustration #1 of 5

The other day I was thinking about careers. I was thinking about why I chose illustration and why I am willing to put up with all its difficulties. One day you’re feeling confident about where your work is heading and on top of things, the next you’re realizing just how far behind you are and how much harder to push.

So, in a series of five installments, I’m going to give five out of the many reasons why I love illustration. Also, I’m going to include a few artists, (both recent and past), at the bottom of every posting. Each artist has work that inspires or fascinates me.

Why I Love Illustration #1 – I am Constantly Learning

As someone who loves to learn about new things and be frequently taking in new information, illustration has shown itself to be the ideal field. Why? Because I get to develop and be inspired by interesting concepts and then think to myself, “Great! Now how do I do that?”, which leads me to do research on a wide variety of subject matter that I otherwise may not have looked into.

I also learn from failures in my work. I find that many lessons/skills in the art world are learned by simply doing something and seeing what works and what doesn’t.

And of course, I learn from other artists and mentors. Having other artists or experienced mentors has proved to be imperative. Experienced artists as mentors constantly remind me of areas to improve in my work and help keep me updated on the ever changing technology of the art world.


Henri De Toulouse-Lautrec

John Hendrix  http://johnhendrix.com/portfolio/ 

René Magritte

Cory Godbey  http://corygodbey.com/

A Time at the Art Fair

Two weekends ago I was invited to have a booth at one of our town’s larger Arts and Crafts Fairs. The purpose for displaying my work was to get my information out to those around the area. I brought along most of my work from my senior show at Indiana Wesleyan and a few more traditional pieces. I was extremely nervous to show my work initially, especially since most people who attend art and craft fairs are looking for artwork featuring things like bowls of fruit, landscapes, etc. But as an illustrator and with my style of work, bowls of fruit are not aligned with my common subjects.

My anxiety was quickly calmed as many people came by who really loved the work and gave fantastic feedback. The experience was exciting as I was able to meet the wide variety of ages who enjoy my work.  By the end of the day I had received great feedback, talked to some great people including galleries, businesses, and other artists and this opened some new opportunities.

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.