Behind the Lines and Colors : My Peace illustration, personalized bookplate and notebook

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My merry bookplate design with illustration originally from one of my 365 days I draw sketches. The topic is PEACE.

What is peaceful to you? To me, peaceful means when I am at home with book or pencil and sketchbook in hand. When I take evening walks with my mom around my dad's garden and sit down on soft green grass when mom needs to rest. When we listen to the wind and little birds chirping in early mornings. When I do yoga to start the day and when I take my eyes from book I'm reading for a while to listen to quietness of night time.

I have been thinking about pattern in my art, meaning what I mostly have in my pieces. I guess swirly flowers may be that pattern. For this illustration, I drew the flowers first and imagined my little girl spending her time alone (with her little bear) in a tiny rowboat floating in a little pond after the rain. A book in her hand, a greeting from the butterfly and a glimpse of rainbow up in the sky. In her peace, my imaginary peace :)

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When I took this sketch to put it into design, I decided not to add anything more, just change the colors to make overall picture brighter and more refreshing. I had dark green for flower stems first but liked this purplish blue better. I hope you like it too :)

This illustration is for sale on my MerryDay Etsy shop in various kind of product-- a set of personalized bookplates as well as One and Only Limited Edition MerryDay Notebook and also art print to brighten up your place.

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I have just realized that having this shop and talking about my work process for each piece on this blog really help me in many ways. It keeps me on my track and when I look back and think of what I thought and did on each artwork, it seems that I see something new. I just hope I can carry it along and apply it to my next pieces :)

Thank you for coming and if you have just happened to be here, you can learn more about me with my post of the history of MerryDay here and other work process posts in Behind the Lines and Colors category :)

Behind the Lines and Colors : Sweet Candies MerryDay Notebook

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What do you usually draw or doodle in your spare time? I guess most of you draw flowers. I do too. It's like a simple common theme. Another most favorite topic I love to draw is sweet things : cake, donut, cupcake and specially sweet candies.

I love drawing candies. Mostly because they have a sense of happiness and merriment. You can feel happy just looking at different interesting shapes, bright and beautiful colors and especially cute and fun designed wrappers.

Above is my MerryDay's Notebook : Sweet Candies. The cover design is developed from my candies doodles, one of them done for Sketchbook Project 2011. The pink and black spread below.

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I like playing with the wrappers' details, adding patterns, cute little faces and doing lettering. I thought I would design the notebook cover just like above close-up candies. But I found that the big, close-up drawings didn't go with other designs in my notebook collection, which has clean and airy feeling.

So, I made everything smaller, spread them out making it more like a pattern. I liked the overall look but was afraid that they would look too small and would not stand out. But when I tried printing it out, I really loved it!

I normally print my work at home using Epson Inkjet (affordable with great printing results). But I cannot make notebooks by myself. I sent the files to a printing service. The designs were printed digitally on nice, slightly textured white paper with blank, unlined paper sheets inside. They turned out so lovely that I almost wanted to keep them for myself :D

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I also played with the back of the notebook. You can say that it's me drawing a candy here :)

The notebook is my MerryDay limited edition. It's for sale on my Etsy, just click on the link if you are interested to see more details :

MerryDay's notebook : Sweet Candies

You can also take a look at other notebook designs in the collection here :

MerryDay's notebooks limited collection

I hope you like my behind the scene here. I'm currently working on my new drawing collection, the Secret Garden. Each artwork has its own story and I will try my best to record it and post it here when it is launched.

Thanks so much for coming. Have a merry day :)

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Work in progress : Bird sketches and letter set design

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Further sketches for my current design project 'the secret garden' I already posted bird study on this blog. Now I'm adding characters and story. I'm thinking about a whole set of stationery design and already have a rough comp of letter set. The hardest part for me right now is that I was hardly at home last week and this week will be quite busy too. I'm always wondering how those artists with children could produce their art regularly. I don't have any kids and I seem to have a hard time finding a long proper hour to work on my creation each day. I think it will be something I have to figure out everyday.

Here a sneak peek of the letter set. I'm thinking I need to share more of my work in progress. It should be another way to push me to work harder to keep this blog going the same pace with my work and the other way around--posting work process may help push me to get the work finalized more quickly :)

Have a merry Monday!

work in progress : secret garden

MerryDay Goes to School : Gift (pouch design)

Two more posts plus an extra one about Make Art That Sells Class. I wish I could be more disciplined in both writing and reading other lovely blogs. But here I am trying as best I can...

Make Art That Sells class's last week is about Gift. Everyone in the class has his or her own favorite topic they had expected to learn more. Most of them including me said it's children book week we eagerly waited. It was a fun and challenging week but after class ended, I found that the Gift week is related to what I have always wanted to do most.

My MerryDay on etsy is focusing on stationery design and illustration items which can be produced at home by myself as I want to start it small first. But I have always imagined it in my head that, in the future, I would have a range of various kind of products--coffee mugs, tote bags,  pouches... anything in gift shops.  This class helps direct me to focus on what to do to reach that goal :)

We had done pattern, plate design, children's book, wall art and in this Gift week, we got to do a pouch.  As usual, we started with a mini exercise first : to gather things you love to collect.

Most students had large collections of various kinds of things, buttons, miniature dolls, stones, stamps etc. As for me, I don't collect anything seriously except children's picture books which I have started collecting recently. I have also just moved from my parent's big house to live with my husband in a small apartment. So, I had really limited collection here.

my little things

my little things

my little things

The reason Lilla wanted us to collect things as much as possible was that we had to do a hyper-lush pouch for the main assignment.  I heard the word hyper-lush for the first time but it didn't take me long to picture how the pouch would be with such style as Lilla had tons of examples to show us.  If you wonder what exactly is the 'hyper-lush' style, you can get a general idea from these google images.

Basically, the style involves around vivid colors, a lot of large and small flowers or photo objects overlapped or crammed in. This was quite a challenge for me as I usually work in simple graphic style and when there's too much going on I tend to lose my grip on overall design. Lilla said we didn't need to do the hyper-lush, she just showed us the current trend in fashion which could be done in gift product line too. I was quite sure that I couldn't do it but it never hurt to try :) So I started by sketching things from my little collection.

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I tried doing photo collage and failed so I went back to something I was more familiar with, digital illustration. I still want to have a look of the hyper-lush with my own illustration style and here is my initial pencil sketch of the pouch.

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I found that it was much easier to do the digital work when I had the pencil sketch. The sketch was quite complete and I could imagine how it would turn out so I didn't have problem to visualize it into this digital form.

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Before I started this drawing, the idea of this color palette, mint, magenta and taupe, suddenly came to me when I saw a mini-cooper car in cute mint color drove pass me one day and I thought 'oh, I'm going to have a mint pouch!' and magenta and taupe sort of come along after that. You have to love the moment when inspiring things happen while you are doing something else :)

Above is the hyper-lush pouch in my style. I tried imagining this design in various kind of products and it's very exciting to see that there are so many possibilities from only one theme, one design!

So, this is the end of the Make Art That Sells class part A. I'm going to join in part B this October. I still feel the energy and inspirations going on in me and I think I have more focus on my goal too. I will wrap it up about how I feel and what I have learned from this class in the next post.

Thanks for coming and have a merry day :D

my inspiration board

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I never had this kind of inspiration board before. I usually kept cards, stickers, pretty brochures, etc. in boxes. It's fun to pin up some cute things to see and think further. I especially like the flowers, which even when they are dry, they still maintain their beauty.

The center piece, some of you may be able to tell, is my floral design. I printed it out, pinned it up to see how it would look like when up on the wall. Looking at the design from this angle, I saw right away which part I would have to adjust to make it better. This suddenly reminds me that when you have problems you can't figure out, it helps to step back and see things in different angles, you will find the solutions more quickly.

Now, my problem is the board itself. There are too many things on it and I feel dizzy looking at it :p. Need to take some things off and rearrange the whole thing.

It's a good start though :)

MerryDay's Christmas design set

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So, It's December already. The month of celebration, the month of thinking about the past and planning for the future. It seems to me though that December is actually a pause period for working. Everybody is busy thinking about parties, gifts and family reunion. I especially love the cool breeze in the morning and the sky looks clearer and more beautiful than in other seasons :)

And good weather really affects my mood for art :D Above is a gift card designed for MerryDay's Christmas card set. The illustration is actually a blown-up version of my Christmas Girl's hat which I drew last year.

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Last year I did this girl as an e-card and postcards for my friends, didn't make it for sale but this year I'm still in love with her, so how about making her a small gift card ? and since I cannot find small envelope, I also make its envelope by hand with kraft paper :)

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I love making things in set, making Christmas Girl gift tags seems like a good idea :) I love the red wine and pumpkin orange ribbon, don't you?

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As if it's not enough... sometimes designing stationery set is like a game for me, I can keep on thinking about it, make it big, make it grow... Here another tag design, Red M and snowman Christmas gift tags :) Just love the red Christmas color! My friend told me that the letter M looked cute and reminded her of cookies. it's just like a compliment somehow :D

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All of these Christmas items are available now on  my shop. I enjoy making this design set. Hope you love them too!

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New on Etsy : Ice Cream Girl to-do list notepads


My shop, MerryDay, has been quiet for a while. Today I have added a new item Ice Cream Girl to-do list Notepads.

To-do list pad design has been on my mind for some time. I'm glad I have finally made it. Last week the weather here in Bangkok was so hot that I felt I had a fever all the time. So drawing this little Ice Cream Girl seemed to cool me down :)

I'm still lousy at getting things done. Hope this little girl can help me :)

Check things off! and get yourself a scoop of sweet ice cream.:D

By the way, I'm on Google Plus now. Anyone want to add me? :)

a colorful sneak peek

What I'm working on

What I'm working on


What I'm working on...at a very very slow pace :(
I'm beginning to feel annoyed with myself.

Maybe I need to be more careful. When you try too hard to make things perfect. More likely, they will end up mediocre.