There are few things I love more than illustrated guides. They’re fun, cheeky, and often drawn with a bit of humor too. I was inspired by Lauren Friedman’s “How to Wear Your Scarf,” and started thinking about all the ways I wear my favorite accessory — my hair.
If you’ve seen me, you know about my hair — it’s big and fluffy and has a lot of personality. ”How To Be Curly” is an homage to the versatility of fluffy coils. I had a lot of fun sketching it, and even posted a quick “making of” video on Instagram.
You can purchase “How To Be Curly” as a glicee art print, greeting card or T-shirt here at RedBubble.
Flirty skirt and pumps, in watercolor, colored pencil and graphite.
Most — actually — ALL of my commercial work is done in markers, and for good reason: I LOVE THEM. Markers have been my best friends since I was small and only had those bright, chubby Crayola markers at my disposal.
Obviously, I’ve upgraded since then (Copic/Prismacolor = grown), and I’ve gotten super comfortable with my medium of choice. But there’s always room to learn something new, right?
So I’ve been dipping my toe in watercolors, playing with color mixing and technique and layering. They definitely have a different touch from my marker work, and I kinda like that. The challenge with watercolor is to let the hue and the layering do work, without over-working your image. (Otherwise it gets muddy and gross, and who wants that?)
Here are some of of my watercolor sketches. Whaddya think?!
Ralph Lauren, FW14, in watercolor and graphite.
Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong’o in watercolor and colored pencil.
So life got in the way and I didn’t get to paint all 5 of my fave Lupita Nyong’o looks like I had planned. C’est la vie. But I did watch the Oscar’s telecast and what a fun night it was! Ellen, Pharrell, the pizza, and of course Lupita’s win and amazing speech.
That dress though?! That sky blue slice of heaven by Prada? Gorgeous. I sketched it over and over again and realized — it’s the perfect material for an animation experiment!
I’ve been wanting to try animated sketches for a while, and Lupita’s look at the Academy Awards turned out to be great inspiration. Five quick watercolor sketching and some fiddling in Photoshop helped me create my first animation. Definitely will be trying more of these soon.
Ever since the arrival of my Fabulous Brown Girls cards at T.J. Maxx and Marshalls, I’ve gotten a lot of questions about how other people can start their own greeting card lines, and how they can get them into stores.
First, let me be up front: My greeting card line didn’t start with T.J. Maxx and Marshalls. In fact, I had been selling Fabulous Brown Girls online for a few years before the stores took notice. I now have a licensing agreement with a manufacturer who produces my cards for the stores, but I still sell a number of my designs independently.
Whenever someone asks me how they should get started, the advice I give them is always this:
Share and sell your work online.
The Internet makes things incredibly easy these days, and there are a variety of ways you can use it to share your work and reach potential customers.
So if you have artwork you’re ready to turn into cards, here are three ways you can do it:
Sell through “print-on-demand” sites.
Sites like Society6 and RedBubble are specifically set up to help artists sell their work, without having to worry about printing, shipping or inventory. You can turn your images into cards, posters, phone cases and even pillow covers (among other things), and when someone places an order, the website will print and ship the product on your behalf. I have portfolios on each, and RedBubble is where I still sell many of my greeting cards.
Sell through your own online shop.
Etsy, Shopify and Big Cartel are just a few of the many e-commerce sites out there set up to help small businesses start selling online. You’ll have to print your own product (either on your own, through Vistaprint or through a local printer) and you’d be responsible for keeping inventory and shipping to each customer. But you’ll also have more control over the quality of the product and the pricing.
Shop your portfolio for a licensing deal.
This of course, will take the most time, effort, and you might be met with a bit of rejection. Shopping for licensing deals is a big undertaking (in most cases, you should already have a good portfolio of artwork ready to show), but if you’re successful, it can be rewarding. Licensing is a MASSIVE industry and there are a lot of deadlines, guidelines and general best practices to be aware of, so check out blogs like Art Licensing Blog and All Art Licensing to learn more.
Again, I’m a big proponent of taking advantage of today’s technology to share your work with the world. With sites that print and ship for you and social media channels that can help you advertise, it’s easier than ever to launch your own creative business. Hope this all helps!