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How my Animal Allies Oracle Deck emerged out of the murky + magical waters of new motherhood

On January 1, 2016 I began a daily project. The hashtag was #dailyanimalart on Instagram, where I shared them each day. Baby C was just 13 weeks old. The idea was to create an animal a day. Some days I knew I might only have 5 minutes. Other days I might get lucky and have an hour or two. Some days it would be somewhere in between. I knew I’d probably miss some days, too, but I made that an ok part of the plan, too. I tried to be gentle with myself but also to hold myself to my commitment, so I could stay in touch with my creative self while swimming through the murky, mysterious, intense waters of brand-new motherhood.

Some days were easier than others. Some days were practically impossible.

Badger welcomed in the project, in a quick 10-minute sketchbook painting, on January 1, 2016:

A longtime companion of mine, Badger helps me focus and find the space, the quiet, intense energy, and the determination I need when creating goals and commitments in my creative life. I don’t think it’s surprising that he is who emerged first in the animal series.

Just 3 days into the project, on January 3, 2016, a Fox painting emerged out of nowhere that lit me up inside in a way I hadn’t felt inspired creatively for quite some time. That’s her above. I remember I got to spend about an hour working on this one, part of it while Coen was sleeping beside me in our little rock n’ play, part of it while I held him on my lap as he watched me paint. It was fast and free and one of those magical times that a painting seemed to come through me rather than from me. I still feel a bit goose-bumpy when I look at this painting, which now sits on the mantle above the fireplace in our living room.

I consider this Fox painting the catalyst for the series as it continued for the remainder of 2016.

20 days into the project, on January 20, 2016, a Hummingbird emerged (she is so pretty that I decided to put her on the front of the deck box!) and lit the way for the rest of the project.

This was the first time I’d added the animal name underneath the painted image, and this sealed the deal for me. I continued to create animal paintings in this format for the rest of the year, and I ended up painting 164 of them in all! (There were 242 animal paintings total in 2016; I still headed to my sketchbook on some days when I didn’t have it in me to create a more robust painting.)

Hummingbird energy is all about JOY. Tapping into and appreciating the sweet nectar of life. Accomplishing the impossible. Saying YES to yourself, your life, your dreams. She teaches you to seek out and appreciate the magnificent beauty in all things.

Fox is about Invisibility, adaptability, keen senses and awareness of your surroundings. Camouflage. Cunning, charm, and magic. Shape-shifting and blending in, which will allow you to see and hear things you might otherwise not, to receive messages from Spirit, and to discover hidden truths. Fox is also a protector of family and home, always returning from her magical adventures to the warmth and safety of the den. She teaches you to follow your natural instincts.

Fox and Hummingbird. Two animal allies who’ve walked with me for some time. I didn’t actually realize until this moment that these two allies are the ones who held my hand through this project, beckoning and inspiring me to move forward, even on the days when I didn’t want to because I felt tired, lost, broken, or uninspired, depleted, or simply at the end of my rope.

I never set out to create an oracle deck. I think the oracle deck set out to find me, with the help of Fox and Hummingbird. I’m so grateful I listened, because now I hold this beautiful deck in my hands and it seems that I did accomplish something sort-of impossible. The fact that the images in this deck were created in tiny pockets of time during my baby’s first 15 months of life is magical to me. I’m feeling tearful and filled with gratitude and wonder at the parallel growth of my most magnificent creation to date – my child (who turns TWO tomorrow!) – and this deck, which is my most favorite and precious art project to date.

Everything is intertwined. We are not alone. Help and guidance are available in unexpected places if your heart is open for it (and sometimes even when it’s not open for it).

All this to say: this sweet precious deck is now available for pre-order.

The decks will be arriving here in early to mid-October, and your deck(s) will be lovingly shipped to you just as soon as I’ve got them in my eager hands.

I hope you’ll find comfort, support, beauty, magic, hope, JOY, and whatever else it is that you need in this deck. Your animal allies are waiting for you inside. I promise.

 

xo
jessica

 

 


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Introducing my Animal Allies Oracle Cards (!!)

Friends!

Today is THE DAY. I am thrilled and proud and excited and filled with joy to finally share my oracle deck with you. It’s been a long time in the making, and today I’m howling at the moon over getting to officially introduce you to my Animal Allies Oracle Cards. They’re real!!

And, they’re available for pre-order this week.

Everyone who pre-orders a deck this week will also receive a free 8.5×11″ animal totem print of your choice. 

Order two decks, receive two free prints. Three decks, three prints. You get the idea. (Perfect time to start your holiday shopping, perhaps?)

Simply put your deck(s) in the shopping cart and then let me know your free print(s) choice in the ‘notes’ section when checking out. Super easy.

The decks will be arriving in early October and I will lovingly ship them to you as soon as they are in my hands.

  

So. Today is about singing up to the sky and out to the world, announcing that the deck is HERE!!

On Wednesday I’ll tell you the sweet story of how this deck came to be (and show you some more sneak peeks of the cards, of course!)

Click here for full details about the deck and to order:

 

May you have a magic-filled week!

xo
jessica


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If you’ve been waiting for my animal totem oracle deck…

… then it’s time to get excited, because you’ll be able to pre-order one starting on Monday!

More details to come on Monday (including the big reveal of the deck’s name and box design), but just wanted to give you a heads up that you’ll be able to hold this magical deck in your hands very, very soon.

Eek!!


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Exciting fabric news!

I have incredibly EXCITING NEWS to share with you today. I’ve been quietly working away behind the scenes with a new fabric company the past couple of months, and today I can finally tell you that I’m Art Gallery Fabrics‘ newest designer! My first collection, Tallinn, will debut at Quilt Market in Houston this October (yes, in 2 months!) and will ship to stores in early 2018. I couldn’t be more thrilled to be working with the amazing people at Art Gallery Fabrics and am so grateful and excited for all the fabric adventures to come.

You can read a little interview with me over on the Art Gallery Fabrics blog, too, if you’d like to learn more about my design process, the inspiration behind my first collection with AGF, and more.

Here’s a sneak peek of the collection. I can’t wait to share the whole thing with you in a couple of months!


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surprise session of Pattern Camp this weekend

Hola!

I’m finally settled into my brand new studio, I have nothing going on this weekend, and I found myself thinking “Hey, it would be fun if Pattern Camp were happening this weekend”.

Pattern Camp, if you have no idea what I’m talking about, is my online course where I teach you how to make repeat patterns in a whirlwind 2 days. Pattern Camp weekends are always such a blast!

So guess what?

A surprise session of Pattern Camp is happening this weekend.

Yes, as in 4 days from now.
Why not!

Want to join me?

If you’ve been wanting to come to Pattern Camp to learn how to design your own repeating patterns and you don’t want to wait until the next session in October, today is your lucky day.

Sign up now to join me for Camp THIS weekend!

Saturday + Sunday August 5-6, 2017
8am PST – 4pm PST both days

You don’t have to be there live. You can pop in and out as your schedule allows. We’re easy and flexible in the world of Pattern Camp! The course lessons will be up and available during and after the weekend, so there’s no rush or worry about getting through everything in 2 days.

And if you really want to get your pattern party started and light your skills and creativity on fire, sign up for Pattern Camp + Campfire together. Pattern Camp is where you learn the technical skills, and Campfire is where you learn what to do with them and how to grow your creative career.

Plus, when you sign up for both programs together, you get year-long access to both! (The Pattern Camp classroom is available for one month after class ends when you sign up for it alone.)

This month’s Campfire topic is ART/LICENSING AGENTS. Previous months’ topics have included Art Licensing, Time Management, Goals and Intentions, and Organization. Campfire includes video interviews with creative professionals, useful articles, lice video check-in conversations, video tutorials for Illustrator, Photoshop, and the iPad Pro, templates for your own artwork, printable uplifting goodies, a lively private Facebook group, and so much more.

Come join the Pattern Camp + Campfire tribe!

xo
jessica

 

ps – since I’m springing this on you at the last minute, I figured I might go for maximum fun and give you a surprise discount code to use, too. Use code FLASHWEEKEND17 to get 20% off whatever you choose to sign up for – Pattern Camp, Campfire, or the two together. :) Yay!

Hope to see you this weekend in camp and around the fire. :)

 


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my brand new studio!

If you follow me on Instagram you probably know that we’ve had a major construction project happening at our house the past several months. A brand new garage with a studio on top for me.

Well, as of a couple weeks ago the building is finished, and OMG YOU GUYS!!! My new studio!!! I am beyond in love. What a dream.

Here are a few photos. I’ve got a ways to go as far as organizing goes – my husband is building me some custom wooden shelves, and that white table in the center there will be replaced by a hand-build wooden table (also made by my husband) – but it’s getting there. I’ll be sure to share more pics once it’s fully complete. :)

I’ve never had a studio with good light before, so this feels almost too good to be true. Over 2 years in the making (from dreaming up the idea, to convincing my husband it would be a good idea, to figuring out how we could best finance it, to finding a contractor, to getting through the actual process of building it), it’s finally done and it feels AMAZING.

The babe loves it, too. He loves drawing and painting! This is our big collaborative painting that we’ve been working on. I can’t wait to find a spot in the house for it when it’s done.

I hope he loves making stuff with me for many, many years to come.

See the kiln in the corner there? That was a sweet find on Craigslist a few weeks ago that I just couldn’t pass up. I have no idea how to use it but I signed myself up for a ‘how to fire your kiln’ class at an amazing place here in Portland called Georgie’s, where I took a few pottery classes before baby C was born (almost 2 years ago!). And the class is on my birthday, so that’ll be really fun.

Also, if you’re in Portland I’m thinking I’ll have a big studio sale sometime in early December, so stay tuned for details about that in the coming months. It’ll be so fun to invite people in to my new space!

 

 


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new iPhone cases for summer, now in the shop

I designed some new iPhone cases, and they’re now available in my shop. Fresh new patterns for a fresh new season.

Shop all the designs right here.

This is Azurra:

And Bees:

And Serena:

And Prairie:

And Fox and Skunk:

Hope you love them! (I’m currently using the Bees case on my phone. A honey bee followed + harassed me for a while yesterday as I was walking down the sidewalk with the phone in my hand, so be warned that the bees seem to like the case if that’s the one you choose!) ;)

 

 


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Big sale next Thursday May 11th!

Hola!

This post is a heads up that I’m having a big online moving sale next week, on Thursday May 11, 2017. One week from today!

We’re building a brand new garage/studio in our backyard right now (garage on bottom, studio on top – such a dream!!), and I’ll be moving in later this month. I can hardly wait! But holy moly, I’ve created and accumulated so much stuff and it’s time to let some of it go in order to make room for creating lots of new artwork.

So, lucky you – my cleaning and purging means a great big sale with amazingly low prices on everything from original paintings to journals, paperweights to thank you cards, and more. Yes!

I’ll post here again next week with details, but for now just mark your calendar for May 11th and get your shopping fingers ready!

 


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100 days of patterns: mission accomplished

Yesterday was the final day in my 100 Days of Patterns project. I did it! Mission accomplished!

Some days it was not easy. Some days I didn’t want to do it. Some days I didn’t create a pattern that I liked at all. Some days I surprised myself and created a pattern that I loved that sparked ideas for future patterns and collections of patterns.

All in all, I’m SO glad I embarked on this daily project, and I think I’ll probably do it again at some point in the future! For now, though, a break from the daily stuff. Between this and my daily animal painting project that I worked on in 2016, I’ve been working on a daily project for the past 465 days! It’s time to let myself off the hook for a little while… until I’m inspired to start up another project of some sort. ;)

This video is all 100 patterns that I created, in order. I love seeing them all together. I hope you do, too!


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I’m a guest on the Creative Biz Rebellion podcast

I’m the guest over on the Creative Biz Rebellion podcast today, talking all about inspiration (and what to do when you just….. don’t have it). I had such a great time chatting with the podcast creators Kelly Parker Smith and Caroline Hull – I feel like inspiration and causing it to come (rather than waiting for it to come) is something I could talk about for hours. I mean, if I just waited for inspiration to strike I would make art maybe once a month. If even that. I’m not kidding!

But seriously. Give this episode of the podcast a listen if you’re looking for a little…. inspiration. ;) ha!

And listen to the other episodes of the podcast, too, because they are really good. These two ladies are lighting up the podcast world with this one!

You can find my episode right here or by searching for Creative Biz Rebellion on iTunes.

Enjoy!


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©2016 JESSICA SWIFT