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illustration

mugs

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mugs

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

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how to find fulfilling work

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how to find fulfilling work

I just saw this pop up on Lifehacker and Brain Pickings. Everyone else is sharing it so why don't I?!

Are you having trouble figuring out what your career should be? I know I struggled for a time before landing on design and illustration. It's hard to decide on your whole life's work when you're 18..21..even 40. I really dug this illustrated video about how to go about making the right choice for finding fulfilling work. 

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reflection sketching

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reflection sketching

I've started to do this thing where I read a book, then I reflect...think about it for a while...about the characters, their environments, the parts that I stick in my mind the most. I then write a little blurb about the it and do a watercolor sketch, too. It's generally a reoccurring vision that I have about the story, something that I keep thinking about whenever I reflect back on the it and it's characters. I feel like when I perform this new found ritual, I am closer to the story...that somehow, by recording and writing and sketching, it becomes a part of me and my history, my world, my story. And I really like that.

For the book that I just finished a couple weeks ago, The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, a folding chair is all I'm left thinking of. I can't tell you why, though, you'll have to find out for yourself!  

Looks for more of these little "reflection" sketches in the future. I doubt my appetite for reading and sketching will subside anytime soon! 

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new(er) watercolor sketches

I've been at it again. Practicing watercolor sketches in my studio (above) these past months. I bought myself a nice set of Schmincke watercolor half pans mid year and let me tell you, they are much better than the child's watercolor set I'd been using. But, duh.  

Maybe one day, I'll work up the courage to do a big painting. 

Look familiar...? 

This one is an old sketch with new color. The streets of Amsterdam. 

I did this one after reading the book Like Water for Chocolate. Tita and her (what I imagined to be an) amazing Mexican kitchen got me all inspired. 

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year in review

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year in review

Well, the Kuhlmann family has had quite an interesting year this time around! We thought we'd share it with our close family and friends by sending out a goofy holiday card that doubled as a year in review (info?)graphic - letting everyone know what we've been up to as of late. I think we got some pretty good laughs out of it. You can see more detailed photos of the card here!

Here's the Kuhlmann family, up close and personal. But not that crazy squirrel. How'd he get here?

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cards on a whim

I was rushing around a few days back for a holiday party and had to make a few Christmas cards on the whim. This was my favorite! 

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on creative downtime

I've had some downtime lately and I've really been trying to spend it smartly. After reading Assignments for Yourself on Design Observer this morning, I was inspired to try something new: A self assigned digital collage! Rules: None. Deadline: None. Client: None. 

With my spare time at work, I'd normally watch mind numbing software video tutorials. Which is of course good, for sure. Sometimes, though, a creative needs to just screw off and put something together that has no real purpose or that makes no sense. I feel like so much of what I do relies on purpose and/or functionality, but boy is it fun to create without it. 

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playing around

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playing around

You may have seen in a couple recent posts of mine that I've been trying my hand at (real, not digital) watercolors here lately. I even tried to illustrate my pup, Lulu. Didn't really look like her but eh, whatevs. :) 

Here are a few more I've added to the ole sketchbook...just playing around and practicing. Maybe one day when I get good enough, I'll do a really (purposefully) nice piece. The sketch above is of a drawing I did of a building downtown a couple months ago. I just recently added the color, though. I think it's an apartment building about 1.5 blocks away from my office. The one below is supposed to be the Carew tower, also downtown. The very last one is sketched after a photo I found on the internets. I love dated motel signs. So fun. 

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best feelings

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best feelings

If you've glanced at my blog before or follow me on Twitter and/or Instagram, then you probably already know that I like to draw. Buildings, people, patterns, dogs...whatever. Every once in a while, when the cosmos align just right, I get the chance to simultaneously draw and get paid. When that happens, it's really pretty much one of the best feelings in the world. It's special...like building a house with your bare hands and whole heart and then someone saying, "That's a really pretty house. Can I live there too?" That made more sense in my head, actually, but I'm not sure how else to explain it. 

So recently, one of these types of opportunities came across my path and I was, and still am, pretty psyched about it. I was asked to do a full cover illustration of Writer's Digest magazine to go along with some illustrations I had previously done for the interior feature package of the July/August issue! You can see the cover above along with some close-ups and interior shots from the feature package below. 

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tough mug

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tough mug

I tried to paint my tiny chihuahua/rat terrier, Lulu, the other day. She's got a tough mug to capture. 

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