Personal Project: Holiday Madness

It’s January 9th and the holidays are officially over. It’s been one month since my last project post, and I’m just now finally getting some time to post again. Part of the problem was that I didn’t want to put up any images of gifts until I had given them. The other part of the problem was that I was just extremely busy.

Never fear, lovely readers, for I am back with news from the distant past – aka December 2016. So distant, yet it feels like it was just yesterday. In this blog, I’ll be talking about all of the projects that I took on this season, and how they’ve lead me down new and different artistic paths.


I had 9 people to make hand drawn and hand lettered gifts for this season. These ranged from quotes in wreathes to chibi portraits to water color silhouettes. No two picture was the same, yet they all had a very similar stylistic vibe. I’ve been posting these on my Instagram, so there’s probably a good chance that you’ve seen them already, but here are the 9 pictures that I created over the past 3 weeks.

In order: Gift for my friend’s baby shower, group picture of my “Prayer Bear” friends, Sora silhouette for my boyfriend, hand lettered quote and bible verse for my grandma and aunt (respectively), picture of my sister and Baymax, hand lettered quote for my friend Ann, and picture of my mom with a pusheen cat.

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve already seen 90% of these pictures. (and if you don’t follow me, what are you waiting for?!) I decided to go crazy with art this year and delve into the world of Chibis, hand lettering, water colors, inking, and colored pencils – all things that I’ve been playing around with for the past couple of months.

I learned a few things from doing this.

  1. 01. I really enjoy spending my time doing this (even if it does end up hurting my neck).
  2. 02. This requires a steady hand – something that I’m still working on acquiring
  3. 03. Reference pictures really help – especially when trying to decide on poses and anatomy. (even if they’re non-realistic cartoons)
  4. 04. Baymax, being 95% white, is extremely hard to shade.
  5. 05. Watercolor is beautiful and fun to work with.
  6. 06. I want to get into brush lettering more instead of just doing faux-ligraphy all the time.
  7. 07. When applying a liquid mask, make sure you cover enough area. I just outlined the Sora silhouette in most places, and there were a few areas where the color went past the masking fluid. Oops. Thank goodness water color lifts.
  8. 08. Practice makes perfect.
  9. 09. I work better with goals and specific projects in mind. Perhaps why I haven’t done any hand lettering since – even though I constantly want to.
  10. 10. Dollar Tree has $1 frames. The quality is crap, but you can’t beat the price.

Giving art as a gift is rewarding in so many ways. If you’re ever stuck on gift ideas, people really appreciate handmade art. Before you go and say “I’m not artistic”, let me tell you that you don’t have to be specifically artistic to create nice watercolor pieces. Granted, to be brilliant at it, you’ll need practice. Generally speaking though, watercolor does its thing practically on its own, so even a beginner following a tutorial can make something beautiful. At least that’s what I’ve gathered from my experience with it thus far.

This holiday season went quickly for me. I thought I would share a few other things that happened (besides just the art stuff). I spent a lot of time with family and friends. Once you hit your mid-twenties (what. am I really in my “mid-twenties” already?) most of your friends have either moved away, are still away at college, or are friends you met at college and never lived near you in the first place (or maybe you are that friend that moved away). The holiday season is so great because it’s the one time of year that everyone comes home at the same time. This also happens to mean that I’m ridiculous busy for that month-month and a half, but it’s entirely worth it.

Christmas Eve was spent with my sister doing one of our favorite traditions (the wine was a new addition this year, since she just turned 21). I also got to see 4 of my most beautiful friends and spend some much needed time with them.

This Christmas I asked for the 72 pack of Prisma colored pencils (among other things) and was not disappointed when I opened my gift from my parents and that’s what it was. However, by the next weekend I had accumulated 2 more 72 packs (one from my grandparents and one from my best friend) and a Prisma art set – and really, one just does not need that many colored pencils. I am beyond grateful that so many people know me so well, but maybe I’m just a little too predictable? It was funny all the same. And now I’ll be able to get those Tombows that I’ve been wanting to try out.

This year I plan on hand lettering more and really updating my Instagram with it. I hope to continue on with this blog and not let it fall to the wayside (even if I’m only really writing for myself). My biggest goal is to become a full time graphic/web designer and be able to move in with my boyfriend so we can officially start our lives together. We’ll have been together for 4 years in May, and we’re both ready to take that next step. With any luck, I’ll accomplish all of these goals. I hope you’re able to accomplish yours as well!

Until next time, I hope your 2017 is treating you right! Make goals. Make Changes. Stick to them! You got this.


9.Jan.1712:00 pm