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Monday, December 31, 2012

Inspiration Post: Mermaids!

Hey Everyone!! It is the end of December and the end of the hustle and bustle of the Holiday season, which means it's also time for another INSPIRATION post; my personal picks of striking pieces with a common theme in hopes to inspire YOU each month!! It's been almost day in, day out ice and snow here in the state of Pennsylvania and all I can think of is warm weather, the ocean and of course mermaids!


Mermaids, as I am sure you know, are those fantastical creatures that live underwater possessing the body of a fair maiden and the tail of a fish! They could be good or evil and sometimes even beautiful or ugly. I've always been a fan of fairytale creatures since I was a little girl so I'm bringing in the New Year with a set of five fabulous finned ladies to kick your imagination into gear for 2013!!

This illustration was actually the catalyst of this month's inspiration post! There is so much I love about this piece!! It depicts an allusive mermaid perched upon a rock in a beautiful lagoon staring at a flower that was dropped into the water by a pirate admirer! The color scheme and style the artist uses is almost is reminiscent of a "Golden Books" story. It's a 7" x 17" print and is available for sale in britsketch's Etsy shop. Be sure to check out her other pieces as well!!

Time for something sweet!! It's almost a law that it isn't an official post on my blog unless I involve food somehow so I had to add these Mermaid Cookies to the list. The simplistic and cute sea creatures are more my speed when it comes to artistic style. I love the simple color pallet and fun embellishments on the cookies!! Even though this photo shows brunette mermaids, the cookies can be customized for your liking when purchased in dozens. They seem to be a big seller and are a re-occuring listing in the Truly Scrumptious Etsy shop at

When I was growing up the Disney classic the Little Mermaid had just came out. What 90s girl didn't want to be the beautiful voiced and rebellious mermaid Princess Ariel? She dreamed of a day she could be a part of the human world and basically became an undersea hoarder, collecting whatever she could find from the surface. In this stunning digital painting, artist sakimichan on deviantart has Ariel finding a pair of modern day headphones!! I love her look of wonder and surprise and the entire underwater feel of the illustration as Ariel's hair flows freely through the ocean!

Next up we have a old fashioned mermaid plaque! These plaques were another common thing when I was growing up. We had a set that depicted a family of cartoon fish, (a mother, father and baby), up in our bathroom. I love this mermaid's shinning gold accents and blinged-out hair piece of jeweled flowers. If you also love this piece, Pinterest user FABRICK BLOCKS MERMAIDS has a ton more on her board  dedicated to retro molded mermaid plaques called "The Vintage Mermaid" found at

 And last but not least, a very beautiful water color painting by Liana Hee of a Silver Koi mermaid. I love the color choices and splashes of silver paint!! There a lot of things that make this mermaid unique, like her scales and her long ebony hair; a refreshing change from all those blond and redhead mermaids! I found it on her blog "The Art of Liana Hee" which includes the original pencil sketch and information about it's gallery showing date back in February!

And that about wraps it up for this month, as well as the year 2012!! I hope my picks inspire you to create beautiful things! Or at the very least gotten your mind off all the ice, snow and sleet that may be outside!! Hope everyone has a SAFE New Years and stay tuned for next month's inspiration post! 

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Hedgehog Waffle Cone Illustration

Hey everyone just wanted to update the blog with a silly little doodle I created yesterday. I drew a picture of a hedgehog long ago and put it in my portfolio. The drawing I created is probably over 2 years old. I figured it was time to update it with a new hedgehog.

Hedgehogs are such cute little balls of spikes! I wanted to combine a hedgehog and an ice cream cone because well, they have the same shape as a scoop of ice cream. I put the little guy in a waffle cone covered with sprinkles, my ice cream cone of choice. And I couldn't forget a cherry on top!!

It won't stop snowing here in Pennsylvania so I am stuck indoors again so expect more drawings coming! I also picked my topic for the inspiration post, just need to narrow it down to 5 pieces of art! I hope this little guy brightens up your weekend and be sure to stay safe everyone!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Artistic Fitness: Athletic Seahorse!

Hey everyone!! Hope everyone is having a great weekend. I have currently caught a cold somehow so all my visions of gingerbread house making, baking, and Holiday cooking have been shattered. But that doesn't stop me from passing the time by doodling.

I made it to Exercise #6 in the Artistic Fitness book. In this exercise we practiced drawing Seahorses. I've been stuck in the house for what seems to be ions and miss being able to go outside for a nice and healthy walk so I channeled my urge to exercise into my drawing. My seahorse is ready to hit the gym in his work out clothes to burn off all the Holiday goodies he's consumed.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Artistic Fitness: My cat Samus!

Hey everyone!! I have been so busy with my Holiday projects I haven't been keeping up with my "Artistic Fitness." Which means I am getting rusty at drawing which is NEVER good! Today's Exercise, #5 to be precise was all about drawing a simple housecat.

I have a housecat and his name is Samus Aran, (yes after the Metroid character). My family found him outside one day and rescued him and brought him into our home. He is definitely a big part of my life and I have been raising him since I was a teenager, he's like my son!! So I just drew a little cartoon "Sammy" instead closely guarding a red velvet cupcake, mmmm!

Hope everyone is having a great week!! Stay tuned for more Artistic Fitness this month!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Gingerbread Cocoa Christmas Card!

Hey everyone!! Just wanted to update the blog with another Holiday design / illustration project I completed this month!! Just like any other family my family sends out Christmas cards! But why would they just run down to Wal-Mart and buy some when they were blessed with such a wonderful, talented and artistic

I pitched them some thumbnails just like I would any other client and they decided on a cup of hot cocoa with a candy cane stirrer jammed in the top of a mound of whipped cream. They decided on a green mug over clear glass or other colors and I added a little gingerbread guy to the front. Here is the final design:

Cute right??? I created the background lattice with some fancy Illustrator brushes over a gradient background. The design was then all pulled together in Photoshop and sent to a printer. We also added a graphic to the inside as well: 

They were printed as 5"x7" cards with a glossy finish on the front. They just arrived today and everyone is overjoyed with how they came out!! Hope everyone had a great weekend!!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Holiday Helper 2012 Cover Design

Hey everyone just wanted to update the blog with another Holiday themed post! Back in November, Thanksgiving Day in the states to be exact, the newspaper distributed a full cover Holiday magazine inserted in their Thanksgiving issue. I got the opportunity to design the cover for it.

I created about 8 different sketches and the publisher decided on a Christmas theme with two children gazing into a snow globe. The amount of time I got to spend creating it wasn't a lot but being the master artist and multitask-er that I am I cranked it out before the deadline. Full color illustration, title design AND ALL! Whew!


Sadly this was the last thing I had worked on for the newspaper. Due to circumstances out of my control, changes were made to the ad design process that no longer included room for in-house designers. I appreciate the opportunity I had though and hope to find another full time Graphic Design position soon :) Here are some detailed closeups of Holiday Helper:

Hope everyone enjoys their weekend!! I will be baking and crafting for the Holidays!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Happy Ice Cream Day!!

Hey everyone!! Man I am still REALLY busy with all the Holiday projects I am working on but I couldn't forget about an important moment in history. Back in 1903 on this day the Ice Cream cone was patented making it officially ICE CREAM DAY!

I know it may be a little chilly outside but who can say no to an ice cream cone?? (besides lactose intolerant people). Our little chocolate ice cream cone is wrapped up in a cozy little pom pom hat and scarf to stay toasty!! So while you're busy wrapping, shopping, caroling or gazing at Christmas lights, don't forget to stop for some ice cream!!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Batman the Animated Series Gift Tags!

Hey everyone!! Hope everyone is having a merry AND safe Holiday this season! The Christmas season is a busy time for me creating gifts, cards and other printed goodies. Some things I even have to WAIT to post until after the Holidays since they are gifts for my friends and family and I can't ruin the surprise :)

For the past couple of years I have been creating free Holiday gift tags for all my friends and fans and posting them on my blog. This year's tags are finally done!! Since this was a GREAT year for Batman might as well have my favorite comic hero "wrap up" the Holiday season on his own gifttags! Last year I had Batman wrapping paper and this year I picked up some general DC wrapping paper and couldn't find any Batman gift tags to go with them :( So I drew my own interpretations of some of my six FAVORITE Batman characters from the Animated Series I and added some Holiday cheer to each of them!!

Here are just a few samples:

The full set is available to download from the Violet Ink Design website by clicking this link: Be sure to make sure your printer is set on "Landscape" mode to print them. And be sure to share them with all your friends and family!! Although I did design the tags and create the illustrations I do not claim ownership of Batman the Animated Series, the characters, etc those are all © DC COMICS.

Not into Batman? We also have "Jersey Shore" Gift Tags and Cupcake Holiday Gift Tags from previous years. Hope everyone has a great Holiday and stay tuned for more blog updates :)

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