Merry Friday : working on a diy project


It's a bit cool this morning. A nice weather to begin a cute project. I am working on a diy project for a small book reading campaign. The concept is 'give books as gifts'. Going to have a little live workshop at a university next week too. A little nervous but I'm focusing and enjoying the project preparation right now :)

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Digital work in progress : make art that sells part B camping theme

work in progress : happy camping

It's the first of July already. I remember saying it out loud in my previous post that I would try to finish all the Make Art That Sells class' 5 assignments by the end of June. Sadly, I cannot complete it all but I'm happy to say that I can at least manage to finish all the 5 assignments in the sketching stage. That means I now have all ideas sketched and planned out. I only have to use my time wisely to transform all the pencil sketches into final artworks.

I have started working digitally on week 2 assignment of Make Art That Sells class camping theme today. Above are initial sketches. The assignment is to design an illustration piece that suits baby apparel product. The theme is camping. I love the hand-lettering and going to use it as my main piece. Limited color palette of teal, orange and brown was what I thought at first but then I could add more colors up to 8-10 colors. Working on colors and layout is the hardest part but I'm working on it and absolutely enjoying it. I have to remind myself not to spend too much time on it though. Just can't wait to see the final piece myself :)

work in progress : happy camping

Vintage typewriter and camera sketches


Sketches for Make Art That Sells part B week 3 : Scrapbook. Keywords for this assignment are vintage camera and typewriter. I enjoyed drawing both items but a bit nervous as there seems to be a lot of gorgeous work out there in this theme. The challenge is how to create a unique design, something fresh, different and truly represents my style. One way to find out is to just keep working. We'll see soon if I can pull this off :)

The hardest part of working on personal project is that you have to struggle through self-doubt and self-criticism everyday. I have to constantly remind myself that art is really a matter of opinion. You cannot satisfy the whole world anyway. The best I can do is to focus on the process, keep working, practicing and ignoring whatever that may discourage me. Easier said than done... but how else can we do? 

So, keep calm and keep working :D

sweet celebration work in progress and I'm setting my goal!


I'm still working on Make Art That Sells part B class assignments. As I mentioned in the previous posts, week 1 assignment is to design a holiday card with candies and ornaments as keywords. Since I'm working on this on my own (the class already ended last year) and there is no deadline, I decided to do a set of design for each week's topic. I have done a couple of illustrations and this one above is the third. The overall design is not yet completely finished. I need to make the pieces look more cohesive.

My goal for this year is to create a new portfolio website containing works done from this MATS class. It's going to be a big step for me as I determine to improve my overall design work, make it more presentable and professional. My work so far has been mainly book deign. I want to expand my career to illustration field now. So, I think I'm going to have to set a specific timeframe for this whole class assignment. There are 5 weeks assignments and I hope... I think I should use stronger word now... I MUST complete all 5 week assignments by the end of June! And then doing the website will be next.

So there I said it! It's quite scary to say it out loud. I'm not even sure I can make it. Although I don't think people will care much if I'm going to make it or not, making it publicly may help pushing me forward.

My problem right now is thinking too much. There always seems to be something that doesn't look right and I just keep changing and moving things around. I have to constantly remind myself not to spend too much time trying to be perfect. It's never going to happen. Finish this and move on!

Work in progress : candies forest


Work in progress after a week of not working. I had a terrible headache for several days. I realized I'm getting old now, not so young anymore. My body needs good nutrition and regular exercise. Yoga seems to be the best choice but I have neglected it for so long...

Just as I said earlier that this year was going to be the year of being offline. I was not quite so sure that I could be away from Facebook and the internet in general. Now I guess I could make it :D The world seems more peaceful and I could concentrate more on reading and making art.

I think I like myself better :)

This drawing is part of Make Art That Sells part B 2013 homework. It's still in progress and I guess it would be some time before it's all complete. I will write about my design process then :)

alphabet book work in progress

alphabet book work in progress

alphabet book work in progress

I'm working on a Thai alphabet book project. These are what I have done so far,
taking care of little details. This is my very first picture book. I'm quite excited
and hope it will turn out ok ;)

Life is getting into the direction I have always wanted it to be, to work mainly on illustration.
Right now I have only small projects but I determine to make it bigger in time :)
And I'm still learning, always learning. Make Art That Sells part B was already over.
I didn't have time to take the class when it's in session but I'm taking the class at my own pace
now and will start doing homework next week hopefully. Already have some sketches
for the first assignment :)

I'm also taking Year of the Fairy Tale online class with Carla Sonheim. Love, love the class.
So wonderful. It's a lovely way to nourish your creativity all through the year. I really
recommend it.

I realize how much I have missed blogging. I will try to write something, post my
daily work progress maybe, at the end of each day. It will be wonderful if I can do it.

Thanks for coming. Have a merry day :D

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 :)

Fruit Sketching and a story in magazine

Sketches of my new drawing collection. Today I work on the keywords of fruit, orchard, flowers and birds. When I sketch or brainstorm, I usually have some books or magazine beside me. Colors, layout design, shapes on printed pages always inspire me to find new fresh ideas. Sometimes text and stories help me too.

I was thinking about fruit ideas while browsing pages in Frankie magazine and came across an article about a woman who collected photo shots of roadside produce stands signage. One sign said 'Please pay here. Your honesty is appreciated' and another one said 'If you choose to steal my produce, I hope you choke'. It's quite funny but really made me think...

I'm trying to create a set of design based on Thankful theme with keywords of fruit and flowers. Somehow the story above intrigues me but I'm not quite sure how to translate what I feel inside into a drawing yet.

This may be too difficult, too abstract to work on or I may come up with some great ideas tomorrow. We will see.

I love when I have constant focus on my work. Hope I can keep it on :)

Work in progress : Bird sketches and letter set design

work in progress : secret garden

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