Bug Brigade: Process

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At the end of July I’ll be attending the SCBWI LA Conference, and I’m so excited! I also signed up for the Illustrator Intensive, and as part of the intensive we were given a homework assignment that will get critiqued during the event! The assignment was to revamp a piece from our current portfolio using one or more of the tools they specified which included things like: changing perspective, focusing more on setting, changing to monochromatic palette, etc. I chose a personal illustration I made about 2 years ago called Bug Brigade. This is the original illustration:

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I’ve always liked this piece, I think it has an interesting concept and alludes to a story or narrative. Why are there beetles wearing flight gear? Why are they standing in front of a plane seemingly posing for group photo? Are they a military brigade?

However, I made this piece two years ago and my skills and style has changed drastically since then. But that’s a great sign that I’m improving as time goes on! Anyways, I had a few things that bothered me about this piece now: the perspective of the plane is whack (and flat), the bugs are all wobbly and don’t seem to be standing on the same linear plane, one bug is missing a leg(!), the color palette is ok, but I tend to work in more refined 2 color palettes now, and lastly, I prefer to work with pencil now instead of paint. So, I set off making the new illustration with all those things in mind!

Here’s a GIF of my process of making the illustration:

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Here’s the pencil drawing that is the base of the final illustration:

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Here’s the final piece again:

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And here’s some close up shots of the final piece!
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Moves, Wasps, and Sea Creatures

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June has been crazy so far! We moved out of our apartment and into a house with a couple of friends of ours! We’re just 10 minutes away from where we were before, but look at our new view and new neighbors! This is practically our front yard, ha. We’re also right next to where I run with Oni, so I’m happy as can be!

 

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In other news, earlier this month my newest illustration series with Buzz Hoot Roar was published! My illustrations accompany an article titled Things That Get Under Your Skin: Parasitoids. The article, written by Chris Hedstrom, an entomologist studying biological control for the Oregon Department of Agriculture, is about parasitoids who lay their eggs in other insects, and then eat their hosts alive from the inside out! Gross! And cool. You can see the series at their full size and in context and read the article over on BuzzHootRoar! Here’s a sneak peek:

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In Etsy news: I’ve been selling more nesting dolls! Here are two sets from earlier this month.

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This set was HUGE! The biggest I’ve painted by far. The largest doll is 8 inches and the smallest doll is 1 inch.


MC-june-move-blog-1And finally, I started a daily drawing series for the month of June! I’m going to draw a different sea creature every day in June and post it on Instagram! Here’s a snippet of my favorites from the 10 so far. You can see more and follow the series here!

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And one last update! I’m going to the SCBWI Conference in LA and attending the Illustrator Intensive, so I’ve been working on our assignment! We’re given an assignment that we have to submit by late June that will get critiqued during the Intensive! Here’s an snippet of a screenshot from some early work on my piece. Gotta wrap it up soon!

Features on Entwined

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Exciting news! Popular creativity blog Brit + Co featured my book, Entwined, in a blog post they published yesterday about adult coloring books! They listed 13 of their favorite adult coloring books, with Entwined popping up at #7! I had no idea this had happened until I started noticing the influx of visits to my Etsy shop! So thank you Brit + Co for choosing my book! 😀

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And another great thing happened yesterday! Though I did know ahead of time about this one. Claire, owner of the website Colour with Claire, posted her review of Entwined! She wrote some really lovely things about the book and I’m so thrilled she took the time to review and share my book with her followers. Here’s a snippet from her review:

The tagline for this book is ‘to help you unwind and relax’ which it undoubtedly lives up to; I was absorbed with the clean lines of the mandalas and mathematical symmetry of each illustration.

The book itself is bound in a glossy cover, one side coloured and the other black and white, for you to finish if you wish. The bright-white paper is good quality, with no bleed through from water based markers, and each design is printed one one side. I would recommend this book for kids and adults of any age, as it isn’t too difficult for little hands, and neither is it too simple for the seasoned colourist. Here are my completed pages, done with Promarkers and Spectrum Noir. I decided to use a tropical palette for the sun picture, and a mixture of red and purple tones for the flower.

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Claire also colored and posted two of the designs from the coloring book! They look so wonderful colored with her beautiful colors! I particularly love the red one. You can read the rest of the review on Claire’s website!

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My final Entwined announcement is a giveaway from Tracy who runs the popular Facebook group Coloring Isn’t Just For Kids. She reviewed Entwined last week, and is running a giveaway contest this week where she will choose one follower to win a free copy of Entwined! Head over to her Facebook page to enter the contest and read the review!

I have one more review coming up with Shyla from the uber-popular Facebook group Coloring For All! This group has over 2,500 members, and Shyla was recently interviewed and featured on NBC’s Nightly News about the adult coloring craze! I’ll let you know when that review is up!

 

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Ok, that’s it for today! My next blog post will be about my most recent editorial assignment with Buzz Hoot Roar! The illustrations went live last week and were very well received! Here’s a little sneak peek of a tweet from a BHR follower! 98 retweets! Woohoo!

New Class: Drawing Geometric Designs

An Online Skillshare Class by Christine Fleming

My newest Skillshare class just went live this week! This class is possibly my best one yet because I took all the feedback on my previous classes and applied it to this class! New microphone for better video quality, new camera skillzzz for better video angles, and a combo of talking head/screencast/live demos. Plus, this class is only 30 minutes, so it’s not quite as big of a commitment for you as the student!

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Here’s the description of the class from Skillshare:

Learn how illustrator Christine Fleming creates her playful geometric patterns. In Christine’s eyes, a geometric pattern explores repeating lines and shapes and focuses on the relation between points, lines, and shapes.

In this 30-minute class, you’ll learn her step-by-step process for transforming a wobbly pencil sketch into a clean, symmetrical vector line drawing—the process behind her newly released adult coloring book, Entwined—as well as a range of tips on coming up with the initial pattern design and specific techniques and shortcuts to create a symmetrical vector design in Adobe Illustrator. Plus, the class comes with an exclusive, step-by-step Project Guide so you can create your own pattern.

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This class is perfect for illustrators, designers, and everyone who loves to draw and tinker. No prior knowledge of drawing, Adobe Illustrator, OR MATH SKILLS required!

By the end, you’ll have everything you need to draw, refine, and clean up your own geometric pattern.

This project is a great introduction to Adobe Illustrator, and once you have your geometric pattern, it can be applied to t-shirts, phone cases, art prints, or coloring pages!

I hope you’ll check out the class! 😀

Viral Animals!

Yesterday I noticed an increase of traffic on my website, and was delighted when I found the source! Someone collected my illustrations from the What’s the Difference blog post on Buzz Hoot Roar, popped a Kevin Hart meme on top, and posted it on Imgur and Reddit! Amazing!

The post currently has 962,599 (1,004,971!!) views and 5,153 up votes on Reddit! Plus, the lovely internet people credited myself as the artist with my website URL, and linked to the original Buzz Hoot Roar article. Go internet—you’re awesome! I’m so thrilled people are still enjoying this illustration series, and am so happy it’s being shared around!

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Psst… I also have news that I’m announcing here tomorrow! This screenshot may give you a hint:

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See ya tomorrow! 😀

 

Entwined: A Coloring Book for Adults

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**UPDATE: I’ve upped my game and am now producing this coloring book with a printing vendor! Entwined is now a self-published perfect-bound book printed on 60# paper, wrapped in a thick, glossy cover, and even has its own ISBN number! Oh you fancy, huh?! **

Big news! I’ve been working on this big baby for the past two months, and can finally show it to you! I’ve created a coloring book for adults, called Entwined! It’s available for sale in my Etsy shop and I’m so excited about it! You may have noticed some of the drawings on my Instagram photos or previous blog posts. Here’s the description from the Etsy listing, sprinkled with some photos of the book:

FACT: Coloring is not just for kids. Immersing yourself in a creative activity is good for your brain, and coloring gives you some much needed me-time to crawl inside your head and spend some time up there.

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This coloring book contains 20 illustrations made specifically for coloring, and each page is printed one-sided to avoid bleeding between pages. The book is 8.5 x 11 inches, and is professionally printed and perfect-bound with a thick, glossy cover.

The artwork was all drawn by me on paper first, and then recreated digitally, and was inspired by vintage lace and hand-painted Turkish tiles.

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The book is printed on thick 60# paper and can be used with a variety of coloring materials, though my personal favorite is Prismacolor coloring pencils!

Whether you’re an adult or a kid, a woman or a man, an artist or an engineer—whoever you are, I hope this coloring book brings you some relaxation and a creative outlet in a sometimes stressful life. So chill out, unwind, and relax with a coloring book!

If you’d like to share your work with me and your fellow colorists, post your snapshots on Instagram and include @might_could and the hashtag #entwinedcolor.

I hope you get a chance to check it out, and I’d love to send you one if you enjoy coloring or know someone who does! Each pattern in the book was first drawn freehand with pencil on paper, and then vectorized digitally in Illustrator for clean, crisp lines, and perfect symmetry. Here are a few of the original pencil pattern drawings:

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And here’s a process shot of my artboards when I was redrawing the patterns digitally—you can see the paper sketches underlaid under some of the linework:

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Once all the patterns were completed, I printed one of my favorites, and colored it in with Prismacolor colored pencils. Here’s that page that I used for the cover of the coloring book:
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And that was the process! I’ll let you in on a teeny tiny secret… my next class is going to be on exactly how I made these patterns, from the initial pencil sketch, to specific Illustrator techniques for using geometry and angles to create symmetry. It sounds a little boring but BOY did it save me a lot of time and wasted effort once I figured these techniques out. And they can be applied to any type of illustration, not just patterns! I think it will be super helpful to anyone interested. Look for that in to come in May!

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Until then, happy coloring!

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