SEARCH RESULT : drawing month

30 Day Drawing Challenge: Day 30!

May 30
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The 30 Day Drawing Challenge is officially over! It was definitely more difficult than I thought it would be. Life, obviously, gets in the way of drawing/scanning/blogging but I gained so much from the challenge. I learned that you all are seriously talented (even if you don’t consider yourself an artist or work in a creative job environment). I also really got into the groove of pulling out my sketchbook and drawing daily. It’s a habit that I just have to force myself into. Anyways, I hope you all enjoyed and feel free to take on the challenge if you didn’t this month! My banner was to play on the fact that I technically didn’t do all 30 days:

Here’s Steven‘s congratulatory drawing:

And Carley‘s!


30 Day Drawing Challenge: Day 3

May 3

Cookies? Pizza? Pad Thai? What’s your favorite food? Mine’s sushi. Any kind really, I’m not picky. I decided that I really loved the boldness of Steven’s drawings so I used my handy dandy Sharpie (no bleed) marker. See? I’m learning already.

Steven went with nachos. Yum!

And I’d like to introduce Benji and Shari! They submitted their drawings last night. Benji went with sushi vs pizza.

And Shari went with sushi too! Looks like sushi is a crowd favorite.

Love seeing more people taking on the challenge as the first few days go by. Tomorrow’s challenge: favorite place. For a list of the full month, click here. If you want your drawing to be featured on my blog tomorrow, just email me at by midnight EST tonight!

Hello Adulthood: Small Business Tools

September 12

I’m a little over a month into freelancing full-time (although I’ve owned my own business since early 2010) and I thought I’d share some of my favorite tools so far. While I love sharing advice + tips to my blog readers, you all must know that I often sit at my desk and think, “Oh my gosh I have so much to learn.” So while I am suggesting some small business tools today…I may change my methods next month or next year!

Finances, Taxes and Bookkeeping:

This is probably my least favorite part of owning my own business. I’m thankful that I’m extremely organized (in my own, weird way) but it’s just not fun to pay bills, taxes and saving. When you’re billing a client, you need to keep in mind that you’ll immediately be losing about 30% of that fee upfront due to taxes. This entire concept has changed my process of pricing now that we depend on 100% of my freelance income. Before, I had my full-time day job to cover personal expenses and all of my freelance income was extra! Here are a few tools that I’ve used over the years:

  • CurdBee: I used this the first two years to invoice. It only costs $5 a month and you can customize the template.
  • Freshbooks: Extremely easy to use for invoicing and bookkeeping. I used the $30/mo package and it worked really well.
  • Upsourced Accounting: These guys are phenomenal and I currently use them for invoicing, bookkeeping and they help me file my quarterly taxes. If you’re a small business owner, I would highly recommend them.

Design Tools:

I work exclusively in Adobe Creative Suite 6 and subscribe to their monthly cloud service. For $30/month, I can access the entire suite and access InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, Premiere Pro, and After Effects daily. It’s been such a great experience and don’t mind paying the monthly fee (versus the $1,500 fee to upgrade all at once from CS3). Some other tools that I use daily are:

  • Wacom Intuos 4 tablet: This has taken me awhile to get familiar with (compared to drawing by hand and scanning it in) but I love it.
  • Canon T2i: I just upgrade to this camera from the basic Canon DSLR and am excited to increase the quality of my photos here on my blog + create video content with clients.
  • Moleskine notebook (x-large, soft cover): I have one notebook for ideas and another for drawing. Perfect size.
  • Meeting notebook: I use this notebook for when I meet with clients. It keeps everything organized and I can establish action items that need to happen.


I am trying to constantly learn and as I learn…I realize how much I still don’t know! I recently joined and spend a few hours a day watching tutorials for CS6 programs. It is phenomenal and know that it’s one of the best investments that I could make. Some other great resources that I’d recommend to designers:


I don’t like to call this networking because really it’s all about relationships. If you treat people like people and meet your deadlines…you will do well. I use Contactually to keep in contact with people that I’ve connected with over the years. I would also suggest looking up Matthew Kimberley’s 5 Things You Need To Do Every Morning To Get More Clients in 60 Days. It changed the way that I approach social media and professional relationships.

Any resources or tips that you would recommend? Like I said…I still have lots to learn!

30 Day Photo Challenge FINAL UPDATE!

August 25

You guys! ONE WEEK until the 30 Day Photo Challenge kicks off. I’m beyond excited. If you haven’t seen the list of photo challenges, click here (also displayed below this post). For those that will be sharing their photos here on my blog, below are the guidelines:

  • Please upload them through my blog. See the handy dandy uploader icon over on the right?
  • Make sure they are in JPG format, 600 px wide
  • Feel free to edit as you like
  • No nudity or weird crap. Sorry, my mom reads my blog…I think.
  • No pressure to submit your photo every day. Perhaps just your favorites.
  • Please save the photo under the following format: FIRSTNAME_DAY#.jpg (ie: ALLIE_DAY1.jpg)
  • Submit them by 9am EST the morning of!
  • If you’re tweeting about the challenge, use the hashtag #30dayphoto so we can all see!
A few of you have also asked questions and I’m answering them below:
  • Can I use my cell phone to take photos? Yes of course! I ain’t no camera snob.
  • Since we have to upload them by 9am EST the morning of, that doesn’t really give me any time to take the photo. This is very true. The only suggestion that I have is to START the challenge on August 31st. So, the first challenge is to take a photo of yourself. Do that on August 31st and upload it to my blog by 9am EST on September 1st. Don’t worry, you’re still taking the challenge even if you have to start a day earlier.
  • If I don’t upload them to your blog or have a blog of my own, where should I post them? HERE! I’ve created an open Flickr group so if you want to join and upload, feel free! I will be posting my photos there too.
  • Will there be prizes for the best photo? No, we’re all winners. But for future challenges, this would be fun!
Well, that’s probably the most I’ve ever written in a blog post! I’ll shush now and let you all get to work. Maybe even utilize this weekend to get a head start? The key here is to be using your cameras every day so don’t let the structure of the month freak you out (says the type-A personality).
PS: If you’re NOT interested in participating in this challenge, check out my 30 Day Drawing Challenge that I participated in earlier this year. Maybe something like that suites you better!

Meet : Ashely Peifer

April 13
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This week on MEET, I am able to share the amazing work of Ashely Peifer! I was able to see Ashely paint throughout a semester at college and it was such a treat. Her work is phenomenal and I hope to place a piece of her work in my home in the near future. I started this series about two months ago and it is definitely starting to evolve. From this point on, you’ll see more specific questions being asked to bring a greater understanding of what these incredible artists do! Enjoy this interview!

1. You’re an extraordinary painter. Have you always painted? When did you start? My mom would say I was painting faces when I was three, but I didn’t start seriously painting until junior year of college. I had a really discouraging art teacher when I was in sixth grade, so I lost my childhood dreams of becoming an artist until I was a sophomore in high school. I remember drawing a bird with Prismacolor colored pencils, and it looked just like the picture. That was probably the moment when I got my confidence back.

2. I know you, at one point, studied graphic design in college. What made you switch to fine arts? Well, two reasons. One: to get out of the Dreamweaver class that I needed to complete to graduate; Two: because I found something that I was so happy doing.

3. Do you still enjoy graphic design? What types of design projects do you still work with? I do love graphic design! I usually just help my friends and family with logos and business cards, but I still occasionally take on a client. I really appreciate good design, but it’s so nice to sit back and be on the other side of it sometimes.

4. What is your favorite type of paint to work with? I love watercolors, acrylics, oils…basically all of them. I love experimenting so my pieces usually end up being mixed media. If I don’t like the way a painting is going, I usually just cover it in gesso. That’s where my most interesting pieces come from, I think.

5. Do you have any other favorite types of materials? YES. I love collage, so I am always on the lookout for really cool old books to tear apart, antique stamps, and plenty of mechanical pencils for some nice line quality.

6. Your collages are some of the best I’ve ever seen, what does your process look like when you’re creating a new collage? There’s a lot of layering, tearing, sanding,painting, and strategic placement of items. It looks like a disaster zone when I’m collaging!

7. Who are your biggest influences? For inspiration, I study a lot of Cy Twombly’s scribbly paintings, Terry Winter’s collage-like paintings, Robert Rauschenberg’s collages, and the minimalist drawings and paintings of Richard Tuttle. Also, whether it’s subconscious or not, my best friend (Kayla Plosz) and favorite professor (Bruce Campbell) influence my style quite a bit.

8. Do you have goals for 2010 as an artist? What are they? YES. I’m trying to find balance between working 60 hours a week and still making time to paint and build frames. Also, I’ll be applying to grad school for my MFA in the fall, so I need to get everything together and write a killer purpose statement.