6 Ways to Marry Minimalism and Maximalism (for Interiors or Visual Art)

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Both of these illustrations are by Adriana Vawdrey (me). The simpler collage on the left was an sketchbook / Photoshop experiment, and the very detailed tiger image on the right was a camouflage experiment I did earlier this year. The tiger, called “I Spy,” is available to purchase as a print here.

When it comes to planning the design of anything — (a painting, an outfit, a room, etc.) —  do you normally focus on achieving simple elegance and efficiency? Or do you prefer details, layers, and eclectic mismatched combinations? I have been thinking about this a lot! What are the definitions of “minimalism” and “maximalism”, and how can creative people meet in the middle?  Continue reading “6 Ways to Marry Minimalism and Maximalism (for Interiors or Visual Art)”

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My Absolute Favorite Coloring Trick in Photoshop

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In college, one of my illustration professors gave some advice that stuck with me:

“You can do anything with a really good drawing.”

That could not be more true! With an awesome drawing you could make a fantastic painting, a well-designed screen print, thorough plans for an amazing sculpture… and the list goes on and on.  There are even more possibilities to build upon a beautiful drawing after scanning it and making playful adjustments with digital tools.

Continue reading “My Absolute Favorite Coloring Trick in Photoshop”

DIY: (Part 2) How to Shade and Highlight a Human Facial Profile

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Progress animation of Part 2 in my David drawing tutorial. Look for the step-by-step video below!

You can do WAY more than “barely draw a stick figure.”

I really believe that any person can surprise themselves with the creative ability that exists inside them, and we need glimpses of that in ourselves. You know how just about every mom makes their kids take piano lessons as a kid? Like many kids, I often dreaded it… because it took time and practice, and I wasn’t what you’d call a prodigy. But after most lessons I realized I did better than I originally thought I would, and that made me feel good. If you try this project, and you work along with my video, I promise you’ll come out with a much better drawing than you expected. Drawing is SO good for the brain, and nobody would do it if it wasn’t so rewarding. Give yourself a chance!  Continue reading “DIY: (Part 2) How to Shade and Highlight a Human Facial Profile”

Coping with Anxiety & Depression as an Artist and Mom

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“Victory” and “Taste Your Reward” by Adriana Vawdrey

“…’You can have it all, but not all at the same time.’ How important it is to take very good care of yourself, of your mental and physical and spiritual wellbeing; it’s hard to do. It’s easier to be a workaholic than to have a truly balanced life.”

-Dame Quentin Bryce

I need to tell you about the year I completely sacrificed my health for a passion project.

It is common for dedicated people to refer to themselves as “workaholics. ” The term is sometimes used in a silly way, but there is a difference between working with ambition and immersing yourself in impulsive project after project to escape other anxieties. From 2013 to 2016, I invented, and obsessed over never-ending piles of work in order to escape the fears and frustrations that came with a big life change. The problems which followed, and solutions that eventually pulled me out of that pattern, taught me a lot about the purpose of passion, the importance of balance, and the real possibility of feeling good again after a mental health scare.  Continue reading “Coping with Anxiety & Depression as an Artist and Mom”

22 Perfectly Modern Art Prints for the Kitchen

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Above illustration and photo by Louise Lockhart. Find her shop here.

Did you know that colorful kitchens can promote a better appetite? Even if you are striving for that super sleek minimalist look that many love these days, you can add a charming pop of color by hanging art prints in the areas where you cook and eat.

Continue reading “22 Perfectly Modern Art Prints for the Kitchen”

DIY: How to Draw & Color a Tree with Personality

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Trunk of an Old Yew Tree (1888) by Vincent van Gogh

All trees grow in unique directions, so if you want to draw a certain tree accurately, it is helpful to look closely at the way branches split, where the leaves or needles grow, the shape and movement of the branches, etc. Today I’m going to teach you how to draw an oak tree like the one you see below. This lesson is basic but definitely not age specific. The project can be simplified or made more complex to match any skill level.

Continue reading “DIY: How to Draw & Color a Tree with Personality”

DIY: 5 Ways to Compose a Sketchbook that Rocks

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Creativity is something we all possess, and when we invest in it, it grows bigger and we become more capable. Working in a sketchbook is amazing because you can explore topics no one else in the world would capture in the same way. Your ideas and perspective are important!

Continue reading “DIY: 5 Ways to Compose a Sketchbook that Rocks”