Saturday, December 29, 2012

January 2013 Desktop Calendar

The New Year is almost here, and the new Bohemian Gypsy Jane desktop calendar is here to help you get the New Year started right! Simply click on the desktop calendar image below to enlarge the image to its full size, then copy the image over to your computer to use as your desktop image! It is absolutely free for personal use!

January 2013 Desktop Calendar

Bohemian Gypsy Jane got a nice little start in 2012, and I am so excited to start off the New Year with good footing and lots of plans! I've got several artist and designer interviews lined up to share with you. I'm also working on a handful of Photoshop and Illustrator tutorials. I've been hunting down more Amazing Design Finds to share with you as well. There are lots of cool things coming up! So... artists, designers, and everyone who loves all things visually interesting—please keep an eye on Bohemian Gypsy Jane in 2013!

Coming up next will be a post all about that crazy color called Emerald that Pantone has deemed to be the color of the year for 2013, so if you're a designer trying to integrate this color into your work, you won't want to miss it!

If you enjoy this blog, please go and like my Facebook page! I always post a link when I have a new blog post, and you will find that I share even more goodies there... such as interesting statuses from other artists and designers as well as articles and such that I find that I think others may be interested in.

And...for even MORE visual interest, I've got some great boards on Pinterest that artists and designers will love! Go check them out!

Okay, shameless self-promotion is over ;)

See you guys soon...
Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Artist Interview: Kelli Murray

Photos by Erica Schneider. Photos from Kelli Murray's blog

The first time I saw Kelli's work, I totally fell in love with its whimsical, yet modern and hip feel. Kelli is truly an artist that draws from her heart. Her love of nature and animals, as well as a sense of wonder come across beautifully in her artwork.

Kelli Murray is a freelance designer and artist from Encinias, California. The biography on her website reads: "Born in 1984 and raised in San Diego, CA, Kelli was drawn towards a creative life at a very young age. Middle daughter of three, she was always the one found drawing, imagining, or creating in one form or another."

"My Heart Carries Me Through" by Kelli Murray

I came up with three questions for Kelli based on what I see in her art and what I learned about her through researching her blog and website. I wanted to get closer to the heart and soul of who Kelli is as an artist rather than skimming on the surface with boring and typical questions.

BGJ: Your bio says that you were drawn towards a creative life at a very early age. I know that children always have favorite things to draw. What were some of little Kelli Murray's favorite things to draw?

Kelli: I've always loved to draw animals. Actually, growing up, I thought I wanted to be a veterinarian! We had a cat and a those were my two favorite animals to draw.

"Stay Close" by Kelli Murray
"Fox Dreams" by Kelli Murray
BGJ: There are many artists that are "technically" good, but their work falls flat because it has no soul. I can see your soul shining through in your work. Your art isn't just something to just look at, because it speaks. Where does that rare ability to breathe life into your work come from?

Kelli: Thank you! That is such a big compliment. I didn't go to school for fine art or illustration, so everything I know has been self-taught. When I began drawing and painting, it took some time to figure out my style and the things I enjoyed illustrating. And I would say I am still evolving and changing a lot  as an artist even today. But the things that I illustrated that I found myself enjoying were the things that came from a place of wonder, or happiness, or even hope in my own life. Whether it was simple things that I loved or had a personal connection to, or attempting to convey a deeper part of my heart through what I drew.

"Be Brave" by Kelli Murray

When Kelli debuted the illustration above on her blog, All Things Inspiring, she posted this quote along with it. I thought I would share...

"We are the silver lining in any and every dark cloud we could ever find. There is no need to go looking for the light when you bring it with you." -Tyler Knott Gregson

BJG: Becoming a mother changes so many things, and I can't imagine that there are any mothers out there that haven't been changed in some way by their children. I'm sure that your daughter has changed many things about how you see the world, but specifically - how has she changed your creative perspective?

Kelli: Wow! In so many ways. It's funny to see her react to certain pieces of my art. Just as I was fascinated with animals as a child, she is too. So we love to draw animals together. But as a bigger picture, she has really pushed me in creating a sense of wonder through my art and expanding my imagination. My inspiration for my artwork used to come only from the things that I was interested in, but now, so much of what I am inspired to create comes from her.

"Mother's Love" by Kelli Murray

Kelli Murray and her daughter, Rylee. Photos from Kelli Murray's blog

Find more of Kelli Murray's artwork on both Etsy and Society 6! I must admit that it was hard to choose just a few to feature here. Please go and check out the rest of her work! Also check out her very cool website along with her blog "All Things Inspiring"!

Here are all the links!

Kelli Murray's Website
Kelli Murray's Blog-All Things Inspiring
Kelli Murray on Etsy
Kelli Murray on Society 6

Photo montage from Kelli Murray's bio page
Much thanks to Kelli Murray for the interview and for access to her images!!! I am deeply honored and I hope that everyone reading this is as inspired by her as I am. She is truly an artist through and through to the deepest depths of her soul. I wish truly wish her all the best! Again, check out the links I listed above! There is much more to see!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Lovely Bones

The use of anatomical bones in modern art has been emerging for the last few years. What was once strange and disturbing is now almost mainstream. I must admit that the concept had to grow on me. But now that it has, I find the combination of the (almost) everlasting bones with the fleeting beauty of fragile elements such as flowers and butterfly wings to be very compelling. The bones that are hidden beneath remain long after the life they carried has passed on. Life is beautiful, strange, mysterious, fleeting, and yes, some things remain long after that life is gone. Here are a few lovely examples of lovely bones! Notice that all of them bring in elements and pull them together. A clock, tree roots, butterfly wings, flowers, the pattern of wood grain, delicate insects... I encourage you to look closely at each one of these and interpret their stories.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Little Time To Play...

Meet Andrew and precious kiddos. They amaze and inspire me every single day. I was able to capture a few photos of them playing yesterday in the leaves that our oak tree is dropping. It really was amazing. They can be so carefree—just look at the spark in their eyes! This is exactly what life is all about. They're not doing anything other than playing and simply being alive and it's the most wonderful thing in the world. So, I had a little epiphany. Well, maybe not quite an epiphany since that suggests that the thought had never occurred to me before...let's just say I had a reminder. The reminder was how important a little down-time really is. I'm a very goal-oriented person, and once I get something achieved I rarely stop to rest and re-fuel my creative energies. I'm off planning or working on my next project. Something I know, and often forget, is that playing, relaxing, frolicking...whatever you wish to call it is GOOD for you. And, it's good for productivity and creativity. I promise you that when you go back to your work, especially art and design work, you will be refreshed and often have a new perspective that is better than what you had before. So, I challenge you (and me) to take some time to just be in the moment and play for awhile!

Friday, November 30, 2012

December 2012 Desktop Calendar

'Tis the season to be jolly....fa la la la la la la!

The December 2012 desktop calendar is ready for you to download! Just click on the image to enlarge to its full size, then copy image over to your computer! Enjoy!

Let's all have a wonderful December!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Top 10 Holiday Card Picks for 2012!

1. Happy Hooolidays Card by Wit & Whistle

2. Abby and Sam by serpenthes

3. Bauble Thief Christmas Card by Kate Hindley

 4. Keiko Bear Card by River Luna

5. Happy Holidays Letterpress Card by Parrott Design Studio

6. Chalkboard A2 Holiday Card by Paper Source
7. Joy to the World by David Fleck

8. Peace & Joy Letterpress Trees by Eggpress

9. Flora and Fauna Letterpress Holiday Card by Darling Press & Stationers

10. Cute Robot Holiday Card by Happy Dappy Bits

Friday, November 23, 2012

Color Love-Fall Color Inspiration

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and found their hearts full of gratitude yesterday! I had a beautiful day with my family at my mom's house. I brought along my brand new camera, and I got all of the photos below from my mom's yard. Fall is such a beautiful time of year, and it's full of amazing and striking color. When it comes to color, nature always seems to get it right! This is the premiere post of "Color Love", it is going to be a regular feature of this blog in the future. I hope everyone enjoys it, and is inspired by it, and looks forward to seeing the next one!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Tutorial: How To Create An Ikat Effect In Illustrator

Ikat, or Ikkat, is a dyeing technique used to pattern textiles that employs a resist dyeing process similar to tie-dye on either the warp or weft fibers prior to dyeing. The word ikat derives from the Indonesian word mengikat, meaning "to tie". Ikat is one of the oldest forms of textile decoration. There is a long and varied history for the technique, and no one is certain where, exactly, the technique originates from. But one thing is for certain, the look of ikat is very popular right now, and many designers are busy trying to figure how to re-create the look digitally. There isn't a specific shape for ikat designs. What they all have in common is the irregularity along the edges of the pattern design that causes a "streaky" look. So, if you are a designer and you haven't figured this out yet...good news! It's actually quite easy.

So, let's dive right in! I'm going to show you, step by step, how I made the diamond ikat pattern shown above.

*NOTE-This tutorial assumes that you already have a basic working knowledge of Adobe Illustrator.*

1.  The first thing I did was change the corner radius settings in Illustrator. Go to Illustrator---Preferences---General---Corner Radius. Set your corner Radius to 1 inch. The reason for this is because we are going to be using the Scribble effect, and this effect doesn't work well on pointy edges. A 1 inch corner radius will get a much better result.

2. Make a square using the Rounded Rectangle tool. Hold the shift key down as you drag the mouse to keep the shape a perfect square. After you draw the square, rotate it 45°. You should now have something of a diamond shape that looks like this...

3. Now you are ready to apply the Scribble Effect. Go to Effect---Stylize---Scribble. You will most likely need to make some adjustments in the pop-up dialog box. You will find the settings that I used in the image below. Turn the angle dial to get the desired angle of your effect. I chose 90° to get a straight up-and-down effect for mine. Adjust your "Path Overlap" and variation until you get a good length on the scribble lines. "Stroke Width" will adjust how thick or thin your lines are. Set "Curviness" and its variation very low or your lines will end up looking like loops. Also, keep the "Spacing" setting low as well to keep the ikat look. Every shape will end up with different results, so play around in this dialog box for awhile until you are satisfied. You probably won't get an absolutely perfect result on most shapes, but remember that you can always outline the effect and adjust the individual points later to get a fine-tuned result.

The diamond should now look like this...

4. Now to create the shapes inside the shape, just duplicate your shape on top of itself and then reduce the size of the top shape while holding shift+option to keep it proportional. If your scaling settings are set to scale strokes and effects you will need to go into your preferences and turn that off in order to keep the ikat "streaks" the same size. Go to Illustrator---Preferences---General---then uncheck "Scale Strokes and Effects".  After duplicating the shape, change the fill color to something different. Then just repeat this step a couple of times until you have something like this...

5. Now, just make a repeating pattern and add a background color!

The Scribble effect will work on many different shapes. Chevron style zig-zags are very popular right now too, and you can create a "zikat" (zig-zag + ikat) effect on those as well.

Here is an example...

Tip: If you have a complicated shape that isn't getting a good result, try this: Take the shape that you want the effect on and duplicate it on top of itself. Now, take the shape that's on top and remove the fill and add a stroke instead. Leave the shape on bottom as it is. Now, apply the effect to the shape on top that has only a stroke. Adjust the settings to get your desired look. I have found that this works quite well, although it won't work for everything. Your best bet is to just give it a try and see what happens!

I hope this tutorial has been helpful!

Monday, November 12, 2012

10 Amazing Dinnerware Designs

1. Hand Painted Dotted Dinnerware - West Elm

2. Margate Plates - Serena & Lily

3. Reata Dinnerware Set - Crow's Nest Trading Co.

4. Navy Ikat Dinnerware - C. Wonder

5. Chestnut Dinnerware - Neiman Marcus

6. Curious Deciduous Dinnerware - Anthropologie

7. Reactive Stoneware - Pottery Barn

8. Threshold an Dinnerware - Target
9. Potter's Workshop Tableware-Yellow - West Elm

10. Dotkat Dinnerware Set - Echo Design