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sketch & draw

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light

Yesterday, I went to the Taft Museum of Art for the first time. I was so inspired by the beautiful works within that I sketched this real quick just outside of the museum. It started as a 10 minute pen sketch and then when I got home, I added the watercolor. I liked the way the light rested on the building, and tried to capture a bit of that. I am still trying to master the art of light and it's relationship with others. One day. One day.  

 

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a bit of sketching in Indy

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a bit of sketching in Indy

It's been a while since I've done a watercolor sketch. Too long of a while.

Yesterday, in between coffees, I decided to take a little time out for ol' sketchy. I came across this abstract drawing I did a few weeks ago while in Indy for work. While waiting for clients (in between stage rehearsals), I sketched this out mostly as a means of keeping myself awake. There can be a lot of sitting and waiting when working corporate events, so it's always good to bring something to keep your brain going when needed. I'm glad I had my trusty sketchbook that day, because I really like how this abstract piece turned out. Also, I successfully kept myself awake. :)

I had a little bit of downtime to explore Indy, too. I even got to hang out with my best friend from childhood, which was a lot of fun. Actually, every time I go to Indy, I end up having a lot of fun. What a great city.  

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stage design: pampered chef national conference

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stage design: pampered chef national conference

What a crazy, incredible year! I've been lucky enough to have had quite a few opportunities to do work for some really cool clients. And so, naturally, I'm super excited to share this new work with everyone - as it was months in the making! 

Just to give you a little background here, Pampered Chef held its annual National Conference at the Rosemont Theater just outside of Chicago, Illinois this past July. Every year, their consultants come together for this event to share their love for everything Pampered Chef. To help make this event be as super awesome as it could be, I worked closely with the Strategy, Staging and Design teams at my company to develop the initial stage concepts/looks for each general session. In additional to working with those (internal) teams, I also simultaneously worked with creatives from the Pampered Chef team to develop set looks that suited their specific needs. And the result is what you see below!

The overall theme for this year's event was Gather 'Round. Each day used similar colors (pinks, glitter(s) and gray) and materials but the graphic and scenic elements were designed differently to create a robust, unique look for each general session. This helps create a fine distinction between each session for the attendees.  

General Session 1 was largely inspired by chevron shapes. A combination of hard and soft pieces were used in harmony to create a layered effect. Bogo lighting can be seen on the stage sides and top center to further carry the look of the day. The speaker support (screen graphics) also reflect the inspiration of the day.

Geometric circle shapes and patterns are what drove the look of General Session 2. Varying sizes of Chinese lanterns covered in glitter dangle from the stage ceiling. Circular patterned hard panels line the legs of the stage with semi-transparent fabric draped behind to create textural contrast. The speaker support uses similar elements graphically to enhance the circular, geometric theme.

For the Awards Session, glitz and glam were the driving themes. The butterflies are symbolic of blooming/achievement. Lush swags of gold and silver fabrics are used in the background and foreground to create a rich, dimensional space for attendees and presenters to stand, enter and exit. Balloons, although not visible in the 3D render, are netted against the ceiling above the theater seating; these are to be used as a finale to the evening. 

General Session 4 is inspired by hexagon shapes. Floor and ceiling supported hex clusters are used to create visual interest in space and aesthetic. Each cluster is made up of colored, semi-transparent and opaque shapes. Soft fabric columns are use on stage right and a large sheer fabric is used on stage left; both work together to create an asymmetrical tone.    

*Although these weren't the final set or speaker support looks the client landed on for the actual show, they were a great start/foundation to the 2015 final event look! I'll be sure to post some photos from the show at a later time! It was there that I was the lead on-site Grpahics Operator, which is a whole other ballgame compared to the set design stuff! Fun times! 

Ciao!    

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breathe

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breathe

Sometimes, there is a lot going on in life. I feel stressed. Overwhelmed. Scared.

Friday, I met a stranger in the park who was kind and who was warm. I spoke. She smiled, and I realized the world is much bigger than me. I am not my own universe. Everyone struggles. Everyone is struggling with something.

I've been looking down, but I need to look up. 

And breathe. 

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world's best art

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world's best art

My super talented nephew, Ethan, made this for me recently! It's the Incredible Hulk standing in front of some seriously big buildings. Notice the one on the far right says, "World's Best Art." Love!

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farewell friend

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farewell friend

One of the most talented illustrators I've had the pleasure of working with is retiring from my workplace at the end of this month. His name is Gary Kramig, and he will surely be missed by all. As a send-off gift for his retirement party, a co-worker had the brilliant idea of putting together a booklet that contains drawings and blurbs from all of us. This was is my contribution...a really awkward digital collage. I think it fits him, though. Ha!

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mugs

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mugs

Messin' around at the house with a friend. The drawings were inspired by microorganisms.

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nola

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nola

I'm back from New Orleans. What a crazy, great city that place is. Seriously. Although I was only there for 2 full days, I managed to see some pretty cool things. There are definitely a few places I'll have to hit up the next time around.

Since Mardi Gras is next week (Tuesday), I was in town at just the right time to see some super sweet parades. Let me preface this experience by saying that I've been to a few parades before and let me tell you, they don't compare to the ones you'll see down there in NOLA. Oh my gosh - pure craziness! Tons of people crowd around the streets, screaming for beads and other trinkets that people on the floats are throwing into the crowds. I didn't know what was going on at first but after all of the hype, I started screaming too! In fact, I did enough screaming and waving to land myself at least 20 strands of beads, some tokens, a stuffed animal and a little bouncy ball. It was awesome. I will never, however, wear flip flops to another parade like that again. That was super stupid. 

New Orleans Museum of Art

While there, I also went to NOMA (New Orleans Museum of Art). There was an exhibit on display with works from Joseph Cornell. I learned about him years ago but had never seen his art in person, so that was a pleasant surprise.

Park City

Before hitting up NOMA, I stopped off at Park City and ate my grocery store lunch. It was gorgeous and the weather was absolutely perfect that day. Not a cloud in the sky and it felt like it was about 80 degrees in the sun. I sat there in the grass for nearly 2 hours...eating, drawing, and soaking up the sun. It was amazing. We are in the dead of winter right now in Cincinnati and so the experience, I think, was that much sweeter. Here is a sketch of a Dueling Oak tree; they're everywhere in Park City. I think they're also called Live Oaks, too. 

Dueling Oak tree / Live Oak tree watercolor sketch

And of course, the French Quarter. You can't go to New Orleans without spending at least 1 day there, right?! It was there that I saw the original Cafe Du Monde! This place is famously known for it's beignets and chicory infused coffee. Yum! I didn't get a photo of the original one but here is a picture I took of another location in Metairie, a town just outside of New Orleans. 

While in the French Quarter, I also went to the Audubon museum. Saw lots of bugs and weird insects. The different types of beatles on display were especially pretty. 

Here are some photos I took of some buildings and other sites in the French Quarter on my last day there!  

Street performer (in the green hat).

The St. Louis Cathedral at Jackson Square

I actually forgot to go check out the inside of the St. Louis Cathedral...so I only got a few captures of the outside! Woops! It sure was pretty from the outside, though. There were lots of people there at Jackson Square, just lounging around and hanging out. Street performers, musicians, other tourists and pick pocketers too, I'm sure! I made sure to use my favorite Victorinox Swiss Army day pack. It has a special pocket on the strap that lays across the front of my body and that's where I store my moneys. I never go on a trip without it!

After doing some site seeing in New Orleans, I flew over to Dallas for an extra long layover that was spent visiting with my in-laws and nieces and nephews. I was only there for a day but was happy to see everyone. I got to go to some estate sales with my Mother-in-law and afterwards, we ate some delicious Lebanese food (first time ever)! After that, I watched my first sports game in over 10 years. It was a full day!

Today, I'm happy to be back in Cincinnati despite the freezing weather! It was a fun but exhausting trip...they always are. Ha!

Enjoy your Sunday, everyone. 

Dallas, aerial view. 

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reflection sketch: the miniaturist

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reflection sketch: the miniaturist

I finished another book about a week ago, titled The Miniaturist! It was a great historical fiction story that took place in Amsterdam in the 1600's. I'm terrible at describing the books I read, so you can read the synopsis here.

This book left me thinking of the beautiful historical architecture and buildings, shops and homes that my Husband, Fred, and I saw on our honeymoon trip to Amsterdam almost 3 years ago. I remember thinking I had never seen buildings and detail like that before. Amazing.

I've just started reading All the Light We Cannot See for a book club that I recently joined. I'm interested to see what kind of sketch comes out of me for that one... 

Cheers!

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