Here's a little peek at what my computer looks like when I'm putting a pattern collection together!

I think this new one would make a lovely fabric collection, don't you? Or bedding! Oh my goodness, can you imagine all of these coordinating prints as duvets and pillow covers and sheets? Yessss.....

Someone make that happen! Urban Outfitters? Call me!
hee hee....




I can pretty much guarantee 1000%  that the photo above will melt your heart and make you giggle.
Look at the smiling face!! And those teeth! That is a crazy cute mug if I've ever seen one. I wish I could remember who this was (I'm not very good at telling the llamas apart yet).

Speaking of cute mugs:

022314-llamas4

Those ears!! And those big black eyes!!

I spent half the day on Friday at the llama farm, where 7 of the llamas had ultrasounds to see if they were pregnant. Exciting, right? 4 out of the 7 were. It was so cool to watch, and I saw a few llama fetuses on the ultrasound screen. The poor things weren't too excited about the whole process, but they got through it ok.

These are some of the lady llamas, mid-breakfast:

022314-llamas3

They walk around with hay hanging out of their mouths all the time. It's funny.

This is Elle:

022314-llamas5

Elle was *obsessed* with another budding vet student who was there that day, Shiloh -- Elle kept sniffing Shiloh's hair, giving her kisses, watching over her shoulder as Shiloh wrote in her notebook, posing for photos with her... it was adorable. And apparently Elle is usually very cranky, according to Sherri (the owner of the llama ranch), so it was unusual to see her being so friendly! (I was secretly jealous of all that attention Shiloh was getting!)

These are some of the young male llamas:

022314-llamas

They're all less than a year old, if I'm remembering correctly. Elliott, on the right there, is one of the llamas I've taken on walks through the woods before. The young males are a bit timid with people, and they need to be taken out and shown how to walk through various obstacles, so they'll gain confidence. It's fun to lead them through thickets and trees and over logs and under low hanging branches!

My favorite thing I discovered on Friday might be this, though:

022314-llama-magazine

What in the world are these 2 doing with a llama?!

Sherri has tons of magazines and books about llamas, and I spied this one on top of a pile, from 1994. I can't really picture 2 people who look less like they should own a llama (actually, I think that's an alpaca). Why are they wearing blazers? What are those matching white things in their jacket pockets? Is that Chevy Chase? It's so weird! I'm confused. And I love it.




A big snow storm enveloped Portland last Thursday, which turned into freezing rain, which left our town encased in ice. I ventured out yesterday to take a walk with my camera, and I barely made it around the block! So slippery. It's been a fun adventure, because this type of weather is really rare in PDX -- I saw people skiing by on our street, people in snow shoes...

I, on the other hand, took the opportunity to snuggle in and read and paint and make soup all weekend. My knee has been bothering me, so as hard as it was not to get out and exercise, it was good to rest a bit. And seriously, the ice was treacherous! You should have seen me slipping and sliding around on my "walk" yesterday.

020914-ice2

I love how these plants and flowers look encased in ice -- isn't it so beautiful?

020914-ice6

020914-ice3

020914-ice1

It looks like winter+ spring.

020914-ice8

Here are a few bits of what I worked on during the snowy weather:

020914-painting2

020914-painting3

{Secret: sometimes I watch tv shows on my iPad while painting. It helps me to not get too wrapped up in judging what I'm working on and just paint!}

020914-painting1




I finished a new collection of patterns yesterday that I'd started last week, and I thought you'd like to see it all done and pretty.

I'm thinking that many of these would look great as table linens... don't you think? The one in the middle on the bottom reminds me a little bit of a table cloth that my mom has that I want to steal every time I see it at her house. Do you think she'd notice?

My mom has a great color sense, and her house is always really adorably put together. She has this terra cotta tile floor that she used a stamp on to make it patterned -- I don't know why I've never taken a photo of it. My mom's love of color and pattern definitely inspired my own love for it; I remember stacks and stacks of colorful fabric all over our house when I was growing up. Have I ever told you that she was a doll maker? She can sit down at the sewing machine and whip up the cutest projects, straight from her imagination, in like an hour. It's still fun to go in my mom's sewing room and see what she's got going on. (And it's even more fun to be able to add my own fabric to her collection!)

Anyway, we'll see where these Wild Bloom prints end up... table linens, aprons, ceramic dishes.... so many ideas!





I've put my repeat pattern design pants on lately and have been creating some fun new work here in the studio. Above are a bunch of prints that I was getting ready to put into a little collection promo square (like these). The owls!! I really want to use/license that print for something amazing. 

Here's a brand new one from Friday last week:



A little bit different for me, but I'm really digging it. Pink + navy are speaking to me lately, and my color palette seems to be shifting slightly.... more neutrals mixed with brights. I'm excited to see where my work will go in 2014!




I wanted to share some photos from my pattern-mkaing/licensing workshop last night with WeMake this morning, because oh my goodness it was SO fun!

I wasn't nearly as nervous as I expected to be; I think I'm slowly growing into the idea that I have some valuable skills and experience to offer to others. (It's taken me a long time to start getting that!) So I felt more comfortable than I have in the past; still inwardly awkward, but I'm learning to embrace the feelings of awkwardness and just go with it. ;)

012314-workshop2

I posted some prints and sketches for people to look at; the black and white sketches are how many of my patterns begin. Then I scan them into my computer and work in Illustrator to color them and create the repeats.

012314-workshop4

012314-workshop8

Part of the workshop involved me teaching everyone how to make a repeat pattern by creating a collaborative pattern from some of my designs and the designs from everyone else in the workshop. You can see the Illustrator file I was getting ready above.

While we were scanning people's drawings and getting the file ready to work on, everyone was happily carving away on their rubber block stamps. This was one of my faves:

012314-workshop6

Such a beautiful feather!

012314-workshop

No one really needed much help at this point -- they were all such naturals. A room full of artists is a fun place to be!

012314-workshop3

It was fun to see how different everyone's stamps were. Elephants, hamburger and fries, hearts, diamonds...

012314-workshop9

We projected the pattern making fun onto a big white wall, and while the color wasn't the greatest, it was cool to see what was happening all blown up:

012314-workshop5

And here's the finished product:


We combined it with one of my favorite quotes and turned it into a print. :) As I tend to do.

Now I have people online asking me to come to their cities to teach workshops.... oh my goodness, I don't know if I'm ready for that yet, but never say never I guess, right? (Pattern-making in exotic places does sound pretty fun...!)




I'm not exhibiting at Surtex this year, but I've decided to treat my art-making like I am -- usually what happens is I create tons of new patterns in the first half of the year to get ready for Surtex, and then the second half of the year I hardly create any! It's a funny cycle I get in.

This year, since I'm not exhibiting, I don't want to fall into a rut of not creating any new patterns at all -- so I'm trying to set up a new cycle for myself of just creating new patterns all year long. I think it's going to be great, because pattern-making is my very favorite thing!

Here's a peek at a new one I created yesterday, called 'Nocturna'.

You can see above where I first started coloring in one owl, and here, below, is after I've created a repeat out of it:


It's my favorite print I've created in a while. Isn't it fun? I'm digging that sea green color.

Here's a peek at the beginning of a painted background:


I've been creating painted backgrounds on paper lately, which I then use for my inspirational images.

Here's a shot of a bunch of them in the process of being matted:


In addition to being matted up all nice like, you can also find these collage-y, painted background inspirational images in my 100 Days of Color. I also post a lot of them on pinterest. They're good pinning fodder. ;)

I love documenting my art-making process like this -- I don't always remember to take photos, and I think that will be one of my intentions for the new year. Take more photos!





Last month I mentioned that I'd be teaching a couple of workshops, and I wanted to give you guys some more details about them today. One of them is right around the corner!

First up:

Next week, Thursday January 23, I'm teaching a surface design workshop right here in Portland with WeMake. The cost is just $25 -- I'll be teaching participants how to hand-carve rubber block stamps (which I use in the backgrounds of my paintings), and then we'll print on paper with our stamps, scan them into the computer, and then I'll be demonstrating how to create a digital repeat pattern. The pattern will be comprised of all the stamps that are carved throughout the evening! It should be a good time. Sign up if you're in or near Portland -- I'd love to meet you!



Secondly:

I'm teaching 3 days of workshops in Denver this September during the first-annual Art Makers Denver event. The early bird registration opens tomorrow, January 15th, and it's a sweet deal for 3 days of workshops, lunch, and an end-of-the-day soiree each day --- just $495. You can sign up for a workshop with me, and there are lots of other artists teaching as well. Check out the website for more info! I'd love to meet you there as well. We'll be getting our paint on!

Let me know if you have any q's about either of these workshops. They're going to be fun fun fun!



Goodness, what a whirlwind of a weekend I just had, you guys. I got home from Atlanta last night, where I was checking out the gift show and my brand new Christmas 2014 line with Midwest-CBK

O.M.G.

Do I even need to say anything else? The display was beyond. I think it pretty much sums up my work, don't you think? Color color color, sparkle, and happiness! I absolutely cannot wait to see this stuff in stores once Christmas rolls around again.

011214-midwestshowroom11

I got to do my first-ever artist signings while at the show -- Midwest made bags with my art on them to give away, and they were the talk of the show! I got to see people walking all around the show carrying them. So fun. Here are the bags:

011214-midwestshowroom2

I couldn't get over the glittery suitcase and that fantastic tree they created:

011214-midwestshowroom9

WANT! There's a selection of patterned paper lanterns and fun banners in the line:

011214-midwestshowroom8

011214-midwestshowroom7

And so many ornaments! There are more, but some of my photos were blurry. Below are a chunk of them:

011214-midwestshowroom12

011214-midwestshowroom6

And the deer head. I DIE.

011214-midwestshowroom10

011214-midwestshowroom5

Plus a glossy tray and glossy, glittery wall art, above and below.

011214-midwestshowroom4

I love this fuzzy shot for some reason:

011214-midwestshowroom3

And of course I had to snap a few pics of Atlanta, my old home turf. It was fun to be back for a few days:

011214-atlanta1

011214-atlanta2

I'm sorry to tease you with these images in January, right after Christmas -- but look what we all have to look forward to for Christmas this year! I'm so very excited. 

If you're a retailer and would like to order some stuff from this line for the holidays, you can contact Midwest-CBK directly here.

Hope you love it all!





You guyyyyyys! I have been waiting for this day for MONTHS. Months!

My brand new spiral journals and inspirational frame magnets are finally here.
I could not be more excited about and proud of them. The journals have lovely printed inner pages as well as very sturdy hardboard covers, printed on both sides.

Take a peek!

This is the 'Believe' journal:




This is the 'Be Luminous' journal










And this is the 'Possibility' journal:




And the magnets! These are pretty awesome, too, and will make your fridge look so happy and fun:














I hope you love them! I love starting a new notebook at the beginning of a new year... I'm working on finishing up my current notebook, and I'm trying to choose which of these 4 will be my first 2014 notebook. Maybe the 'Possibility' one... it's hard to decide!





© 2014 jessica swift, LLC / website coded by emily thompson