Andy Boy's Broccoli Rabe Packaging

andy boy broccoli rabe

I watched a few more Skillshare tutorials on how to make repeat patterns in Photoshop. The half-drop repeat is pretty popular and is usually taught via the offset filter. Bari Ackerman’s class is different in that she creates repeats manually with guides and grids. This is awesome because it allows flexibility to mirror certain tiles while giving the design a less rigid and grid-like appearance. I followed Bari’s tutorial to create the repeat above — without mirroring. I wanted to use it, but since I have text in the repeat, I thought the words would look weird backwards and all.

I ate broccoli rabe for the first time this week. I’ve been buying veggies of all kinds in the hopes of fostering a good gut biome. I read that it’s healthy to rotate vegetables daily (our bugs sure are picky). Timing can get tricky though. Variety is great, but freshness is also important. For example, Swiss chard tends to go limp rather quickly. I guess a menu plan would maximize variety and freshness.

Food Holidays Week 2

Hello hello! Here’s week #2 for my Food Holidays project:

January 6 - shortbread
January 9 - cassoulet
January 12 - cheesecake

Notes: Shortbread technically wasn’t on my food holidays reference list. For that day, rather than checking Wikipedia (which I will from now on), I asked Google and it answered with shortbread. Doh. It’s all good though because shortbread was hard to draw, so I got a lot of practice. On January 9, the celebrated food holiday was a cassoulet, a hearty meat dish slow-cooked with sausages, vegetables, and white beans. Sounds divine, no?

My Very First Half Drop Repeat

pomegranates and avocados

I first watched Mel Armstrong’s Skillshare class on how to do a half-drop repeat in Photoshop about a month ago. The steps looked simple enough and encouraging, and I just knew I’d be able to learn it pretty fast, like in an hour or two at most. To my surprise, it took me a lot longer than expected — about two days to feel comfortable with the steps on my own without errors. Kelly Kratzing’s videos helped a lot. She, too, learned the half-drop repeat from Mel, but Kelly elaborated on the steps a bit more, which was immensely helpful. Many thanks to both for sharing the wealth! Anyhoo, here’s my first half-drop repeat pattern, an ode to pomegranates and avocados.

half-drop repeat pattern

Coming Out as an Artist

lucky cats

I’m in the process of changing careers. Well, I’ve actually already switched careers, but only three people know it. My plans are to illustrate my own picture books, design patterns, and license my designs — all on print-on-demand markets. I’ve been doing this for about a year under another business name, and to be totally honest with you, my earnings for 2018 were underwhelming and sporadic. Despite my dismal finances, I’m optimistic... most of the time. I do get overwhelmed with impostor-ish feelings. Nevertheless, I’m grateful for every sale, and feel thankful to my husband for believing in our plans even during those moments when I don’t (he’s going through a similar transition from programmer to illustrator, as well). He reminds me (and it feels really great to hear) that most people in creative careers go through the same stuff, financial difficulties and all, especially in the beginning.

So, armed with this bit of inspiration, I called my favorite uncle last night. Uncle A is trained in fine art. He paints in oil and has a fine eye for photography. I told him about my new gig as a print-on-demand “illustrator”. I don’t know if he’s familiar with the sites I mentioned like Zazzle, Red Bubble, or Society6. I don’t know if he was just being nice when he encouraged me to keep on keeping on, but I do feel happy for coming out and letting him know the truth about me. There’s something to be said about the statement that begins with I am ____. After we hung up, I felt a little less like an impostor.

Anyhoo, I drew these cats while on the phone with my uncle last night. The left cat was drawn with my DaVinci sable travel brush and the right kitty was drawn with my beloved, wet and wild Yasutomo Niji waterbrush. Can you guess which cat I prefer?

Food Holidays Week 1

I’m happy that I actually completed the first 5 days without time troubles, and I was surprised that it was actually fun. Real real fun in fact! I even have day 6 all done and ready to go, but I’m going to save it for next time. Here are days 1-5:

January 1 - bloody mary cocktail
January 2 - creampuffs
January 3 - chocolate-covered cherries
January 4 - spaghetti (Filipino-style with hotdogs)
January 5 - strawberries (Japan holiday)

By the way, I’m using the Wikipedia as my guide.

Cover of a Cover

bon appétit summer like an italian

I have a ton of magazines that I have yet to read. When I buy these guys, I have every good intention of reading the magazines from cover to cover. But what happens most of the time is that they make their way onto a stack of other magazines that I have yet to read and as life happens, they just sit there. While doing the laundry today, I figured I’d finally start hacking my fat-ass pile of lovely mags.

This issue of Bon Appetit was the travel issue from May 2018. Beautiful food, photos, and writing all around, of course, and before I could even finish the cover story, so inspired by the article, I whipped out my travel palette and water brush and began drawing the cover, and I really like how it turned out. The things I like were all unintended, and I have my water brush to thank for all of it, really.

So, I finished the drawing and I finished the laundry, but as far as finishing the rest of the issue, I forgot about it until now, which leads me to my new resolution:

Until my all of current magazines are read and appreciated, no new magazines!

Food Holidays 2019

food holidays 2019

These are the rules of engagement for my Food Holidays project, effective today:

1. Daily max time: one hour of drawing.
2. If the drawing is incomplete by the end of the hour, finish it the following day.
3. Continue any unfinished work from the previous day and start the next.
4. Post drawings on this blog once a week on Sundays.
4. Tools will be limited to these guys:

gouache equipment

Umm, that’s it I guess. By the way: Happy 2019!