work in progress : yellow is my merry color :)


The other day, I woke up with a question in my mind : is it possible to design my life? It struck me that I have been spending several years working in design field but never thought of really designing my own life.  Each day I woke up thinking of which project I had to do, which errands I was responsible of. I worried if I had been working hard enough, if I would have a bright future in my freelance career...

Then, the answer just came to me. Yes, I can design my own life. In fact, I have started doing that right after Make Art That Sells class when I decided to devote my time for MerryDay. I just didn't realize it.

It's difficult though. Although I still work alone just as I used to when I focused on my freelance jobs, it's really different. With freelance jobs, I had clients with their project schedule and feedbacks. With my own MerryDay in current production step, I am both client and designer. I have to set my own schedule and debate everything on my own. It's freedom as well as the fight with bad discipline.

I'm still behind my own schedule. Feeling bad sometimes and constantly fight with my own self-criticism. But I have to say that I feel much more creative and energized than before. I guess it is the feeling when you can design your own life, you feel much happier :)

Above is my work in progress. It's a snapshot from Illustrator program. I usually sketch rough ideas on paper first then scan it in and trace the lines and fill colors in Illustrator, my favorite program. What you see here are two layers: one of my marker sketch on brown paper and a layer on top with digital artwork. The drawing is in the theme of secret garden with fresh and colorful flowers. Can't wait to see the final artwork myself :)

I actually felt a bit lazy this morning. It's nice to end the day with some work almost done :)

Behind the Lines and Colors : Love is Being Together


Tell me how do you define 'Love'?...

This 'Love is Being Together' card is one of my Love is...collection. The illustration came from a sketching I did one Saturday afternoon. I especially love this piece as it has a bit of my personal story here.

My husband and I went out together for over 9 years before we finally got married last year, a month after our 10th year anniversary. Before I met him I lived my life reading romantic novels in which handsome guy did sweet things to his love. They met, fell in love and got married. Then when I finally found my guy, love was not just that. It's really a matter of accepting each other and maintaining the relationship. It needed some adjustment for both of us and, luckily, it didn't  take us too much effort. I guess that's another aspect of love, to be comfortable enough to be around each other 24 hours.

Then, when we finally got married, I realized even more  that Love is just really being together. It's not about gifts, sweet words or anniversary celebration, it's just being together in Saturday afternoon. Me reading quietly and him browsing the internet beside me. It's really just that :) 

merry day love is being together

I actually drew this sketch without thinking but when I looked at it again, the words came to me. It also makes me smile every time I look at it because the 'being together' doesn't just mean me and my husband. It includes our large dog and my little bear. Both are stuffed dolls :) and they are here :

my big dog and little bear
I know we are grown-ups and having dolls in the house may seem ridiculous for some. But they really are cute little (and large) things called home to me.

That is the behind the story of this card. If you are interested, it's available on my shop here :

I really enjoy talking about my work process and ideas behind my design. If you like reading it too, I plan to write about it weekly. As you might notice, I already have the name of this blog series, 'Behind the Lines and Colors'. You can read my previous posts in the series here:

These card designs are all about love. I'm curious, how do you define your love? Are there any objects or stories that make you connect to the lovely word? Please share :)

Thanks for coming  and have a merry reading!

Sunday Sketch and my gratitude


Peaceful Sunday. I have tried to leave Sundays in my planner blank for each week. It's supposed to be no-work day but some Sundays I just can't help it :) It's going to be sketch-only day though so that I won't feel drained out too early next week.

Sunday sketch today is also my work, a new drawing collection. I call it 'secret garden' at first but maybe it doesn't completely go with other keywords I set for drawing which are flowers, fruits, birds and grateful. The theme of gratitude comes from a friend's post on my facebook feed about her husband noting down three things he felt grateful for each day. It's a common idea you hear constantly but it is really an idea that we tend to take it for granted especially when we are so busy with our lives. It's also strange that people tend to focus on bad things that happen rather than good things that we have.

I'm still working on how I present the theme in different formats. A Thank you card for sure and cute little gift tags. I also want to see it in bookplates and how about letter set? People write letters less but there are those who cherish the more intimate friendship activity and it would be nice if I can make some lovely paper that someone would love to put their writing on and send to their friends. I have just got a feedback from a customer who bought my Flower Kraft letter set saying that she can't wait to write letters to her pen pals. It's just a simple feedback but it struck me that my work could be a part of someone's loving activity and I feel really happy. To be honest, I'm still struggling with my sales on Etsy but you have to know that a short line feedback like this really keeps me going. I think this can fall in the gratitude theme :)

I think I need to get going and do some more sketches. I hope you enjoy my 365 days I draw project. I'm really far behind the schedule but believe me I'm trying to draw everyday :) There are two more posts I want to talk about Make Art That Sells class too. This needs organized thoughts and as I'm writing in English which is not my native language, it will take some time :)

Thanks for coming. Hope you have a merry weekend.



FruityCute Girl and inspired doodles



I have two things to show you today. First is my most favorite character, FruityCute Girl :-D. The design is one of the first drawings I did when I started my Etsy shop. The very first version of this girl looks very different. Her face was fat and she didn't smile prettily as the latest version does. It's the same drawing but just a bit of line adjustment can make the two girls look so different. :-)

You can find my FruityCute Girl notepads on my shop now.

Second is my inspired doodles! Here are my doodles for the topic of 'library' and 'sunshine'. Click on the image to see the larger version:

inspied doodles : library01

I like the idea of mobile library although I have never seen one :-)

inspied doodles : library02

I have always wanted to publish my own book, written, illustrated and designed by me. I guess I have to start writing a complete manuscript first!

inspied doodles : sunshine01

Lollipop looks like sunshine and it makes you smile, doesn't it?

The Sunshine girl on the right page is a character I would like to be. She is always positive, energetic and she can be happy even in cloudy days :-D

Hope you enjoy my post. Have a merry, sunshine day!

Inspired Doodles : cat

inspired doodles : cat02

inspired doodles : cat01

I drew these last night. Not really thought of anything at first. Then some stories just came to me :-) I especially enjoy the top one, the nightmare of the faceless cat and sweet scene of a Victorian cat's tea time :D

Next topics are 'library' and 'sunshine'. Wondering what I will come up with ;-)

Off to take some photos of my new shop items now.

Inspired Doodles workshop


This month I'm taking an online workshop with Stephanie, an inspiring illustrator I admire. The workshop is called Inspired Doodles. I was a little worried at first wondering if I could manage my time properly. But now that I cleared up all my work and it seems that it's going to be a slow period again, I guess I will have more things to post here :-)

Above are my doodles for the workshop. I haven't drawn as much as I should have as I spent this couple of days making new design for my shop. Below are my two last items for my 10 Million Love design collection. I still love my little yellow duck girl but I guess it's about time to move on to new designs :-)

Here are links to these latest items, in case you are interested :-)

Little Yellow Duck label stickers

Baby Yellow Duck Girl label stickers