All About October

“Draw every day.”

It’s probably the number one piece of advice given to artists, particularly those who draw I suppose. It’s also something I struggle with. No matter how much I enjoy drawing, I don’t do it every day. Sometimes I’m focusing on other business issues, sometimes I don’t really have an idea (I’m not big on just doodling), and sometimes I’m just too busy. Yup.

But it’s October!

So I’m finally going to challenge myself and draw every day this month, as a part of Inktober. I’ve considered it in years past, but not early enough to plan ahead and/or other lists of things to draw wouldn’t really resonate with me. So this year I’ve planned ahead. I bought a designated sketchbook, rounded up my favorite pens, and created my own list of drawing prompts. Yay!

I decided my Inktober should have a theme, and it’s something I actually am pretty good at doing everyday: being lazy — I mean, cozy! Since that might be a bit too narrow on it’s own, it’s technically “A Cozy Fall” because they go together so naturally. So think big fluffy blankets, and… well, that’s about it. 31 days of drawing blankets! …Just kidding, but you get the idea. (Oh goodness, what have I signed myself up for??)

It doesn’t hurt either that this super chill drawing theme for Inktober coincides with my husband’s October tradition — watch as many scary movies as possible. I’ve grown to appreciate this tradition, but admittedly horror is not my favorite genre. So to counter-balance it, spending time every day drawing chill “hygge” stuff seemed like a good idea. (Oh goodness, what have I signed up for??)

If you would like to keep up with my Inktober drawings, I’ll be posting them weekly on Instagram (great time to start following if you aren’t already)!

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Last but not least, October is also the 2nd anniversary of Summer Child Designs! So to celebrate, I’m offering 20% off select items in my Etsy shop for the month of October. Yay!

 

October: One Year Later

October

“October, baptize me with leaves! Swaddle me in corduroy and nurse me with split pea soup. October, tuck tiny candy bars in my pockets and carve my smile into a thousand pumpkins. O autumn! O teakettle! O grace!”
― Rainbow Rowell, Attachments

Hello!

I’m not quite sure when I started Summer Child Designs last year. It was a blurry transition from idle brainstorm to actively working with purpose. But I do know that despite the name, Summer Child Designs was official by October in 2016.

And now it’s one year later.

Part of me isn’t really ready to celebrate. And I think it is largely because I know I have a ways to go. It’s a journey, right? …While it certainly feels like I’m constantly winging it (sometimes I definitely am), in reality, I’m usually pretty good about doing my research and setting somewhat reasonable goals for what I can accomplish… and really, I know the work hasn’t changed and there is a lot more that needs doing (but good news, I still enjoy it! *whew!*)

But then again, part of me wants to celebrate anyway. I mean, it’s one year later! And I’m still here! I don’t usually condemn quitting, but I think I still deserve to be proud of not giving up, right?! Right.

For this last year my primary goal has been to open my Etsy shop…which I obviously did. So for the rest of the month — from today until midnight (central time) on Halloween, I’m going to host a ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY SALE.

20% off everything in Etsy my shop! Including even my latest piece, The Autumn Tree!

The Autumn Tree
The Autumn Tree

Whether I feel like celebrating or not, I am so grateful that I have this wonderful opportunity, and experience — and that I still enjoy it so much! I’m definitely back to work, feeling motivated, and I can’t wait to see what the next year brings!

-Belinda

Now on Etsy!

Hello!

The Etsy shop is officially open!

I added a couple digital items — from the “Go & See” series — to get started. And I’m hoping to start offering physical versions as well, very soon!

In the meantime, I’m excited to unveil my latest series, “Meritless Badges”! I’ve been reading A Woman’s Guide to the Wild: Your Complete Outdoor Handbook by Ruby McConnell. It’s been super informational and inspiring! I can’t wait to get started with the summer camping season!

For whatever reason, I thought it would be fun to make scouting “patches” for adults! Not really patches (they’re stickers!), and not really for scouts…and not really for anything of merit. Mostly in jest as the the grown-up equivalents of all the outdoorsy, social or educational badges we all tried miserably to earn as children.

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Float Trip, complete with beer in cooler.

It’s since expanded into other mundane or trivial “bragging rights” that come with being an adult. Like, “Ice Cream for Dinner,” no longer a childish dream, but a reality — often when I’ve put off going to the grocery store for too long. And while I take politics fairly seriously, in general, felt the traditional “I voted” sticker wasn’t honest enough for the local election ballot.

Right now, “Float Trip” is the only one available in the Etsy store, but the others will be added soon too. And I definitely have plans to make many more!

(I feel like, if anything, I should make a “Resolution Complete: Finally Opening an Etsy Shop” badge for myself! Yay!)

You can visit the store at Etsy.com/Shop/SummerChildDesigns

YAY!

-Belinda

P.S. – If you haven’t already, you can now also follow Summer Child Designs on Instagram!

Better Late than Never

Hello!

I realize that I have “somehow” lost track of time. It’s been about two weeks since I’ve had anything to say. And I’m not a big fan of rambling, if I can help it (and when I’m writing, I can…usually). It’s been a weird and busy two weeks — the kind where you know you’ve been moving around and doing stuff, but you aren’t really sure you’ve accomplished anything all the same. That’s where I’ve been.

And I know it’s a Monday, not a Friday, when I usually try to write. I’m so painfully aware it’s Monday. The ice storm that wasn’t has melted(?) and left everything just cold and dreary. My car wouldn’t start this morning and I had to call out of work today. So, I decided in the meantime I could pretend for one day that this job is my day job, and see how that feels. (Spoiler alert: I love it.)

I think the hardest part in a creative business like this is being creative. Originally I would have suspected it was the business side, but mostly that’s just been tedious. Being creative on the other hand is a challenge. I have no problem coming up with ideas and being inspired by my surroundings, but turning them into something tangible takes time and I’m having to learn how to be patient with the process.

On the flip side, I’ve been learning a lot about design and art from other artists and designers and I think in a way that can mess up your head where creativity is concerned. Sometimes it seems to affect the style of your work, but also the way you present it. In the pattern class that I so fully adored, everything was presented in the context of creating a “collection” of work. Not a portfolio, a collection — everything had to go together and fit a theme, because that makes sense in the context of patterns and fabrics, etc. But I think I was going overboard because I felt like everything had to be sorted and organized and presented in these easily digestible and cohesive collections. I’m learning that’s not really my style…because I think my personal style is so much more important to reflecting who I am and what I am trying to do.

Also, and this was equally if not more important, it was giving me an excuse to procrastinate. I was making the work, but wouldn’t finish it because “it didn’t go with anything.” So what? …My desk currently has a stack of linocuts to run so I can finally open my Etsy shop too, and again I was determined that it wasn’t ready until I had hit some magic number of pieces ready to go. Good grief. That’s got to end or I’ll never get started!

I realize now that I’m starting to ramble a bit… I guess what I’m trying to say is that being here today, I’ve decided officially to shake things up. I’m done sitting on my work forever, letting fear and the need for stuff to “make sense” keep me from sharing it. As of this morning, I have published two more pieces on Society6 that are now available as art prints! And as I continue to design stuff, I will continue to share it with you!

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Grapevine
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Stemless Bouquet

I’m sure I’ve got much more to learn about the business of art, and the work of being creative. Thank you for being patient with me and supporting me along the way!

-Belinda

 

The Prologue Collection

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Hello again!

Today I’m so excited to announce my first big project. The above is a surface pattern collection, which I designed in the last month. It’s 6 patterns, with two different color-varieties of each, for a total of 12 prints. What started out as a side project to simply learn to use Illustrator, has turned into a source of excitement and enthusiasm for a whole new type of design for me. If you know me personally, you already know I’m not a “go-getter” by any means. I’m more of a “sit on the couch and ask the Xbox to feed me nachos” person. But I’ve had so much fun learning, and creating, that I haven’t wanted to stop. It’s been awesome (and exhausting)!

Anyway, the above slideshow has all the patterns available to preview. I didn’t really have like a single objective for this collection– no unified theme, alas. There is a single color palette involved that I think helps make it feel more like a collection versus a pile of random stuff. But mostly I just wanted to have fun with it, since it is my first attempt at surface pattern design. Not every pattern I made so far was included, so I’ll definitely be sharing additional collections in the future.

Should you like what you see, I’m also excited to announce that I’ve opened an online shop to offer these patterns on various goods (e.g., coffee mugs, throw pillows, tote bags, art prints, etc.). Even better? Right now there is a sale! Consider it a grand opening event! Visit Society6.com/SummerChildDesigns to check it out.

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**The sale is good through October 9th (11:59 pm PST). I do not control the sale, so I can’t extend it if you miss out, and the link above is the only way to access the sale.**

-Belinda

P.S. – for a bit more backstory… it was CreativeLive.com’s Design Surface Patterns from Scratch course that has taught me everything I now know about pattern design. The instructor, Bonnie Christine, is an inspiration. So I would be remiss if I didn’t mention her awesomeness… after all, I didn’t even know what surface pattern design was just a month ago. A month!!

P.S.S.- I’m going to go take a nap now.