Studio Vlog #7: Back into the swing of things!

This summer felt like a blur and I ended up not doing as much as I had hoped in terms of blogging and art-making, but school coming up on Monday has been my push to figure out how to balance things again.

I filmed a quick little studio vlog from Wednesday, August 8th to Monday, August 13th as I get back into making things!

Previous Post: Sketchbook Tour 

You may also like: Studio Vlog 06 // Studio Vlog 05

signature

Sketchbook Tour Part One: February-May 2018

I’m back with a new sketchbook tour! This one is super recent, the last time I drew in it was in May of this year. I drew in this sketchbook for the majority of the spring semester, starting in early February, but I haven’t finished it yet. I’m over halfway through, with only 20 pages left to finish, but I just haven’t been sketching much on paper lately.

I thought it’d be nice to flip through it so you can see what goes through my head when I make art. Here you go!

Previous post: 12 Fun Things to do in Cincinnati

You may also like: Studio Vlog 05 || Studio Vlog 06

signature

12 Fun Things to do in Cincinnati

It’s midsummer and you might be looking for something to do, whether it be with friends, family, or just by yourself. If you live in or around Cincinnati, or you’re traveling soon, you might be on the lookout for something fun to do. Of course, there’s the Cincinnati Zoo and the Newport Aquarium, but what are some of the more unique things to do in and around Cincinnati?

  • Eden Park: Located at 950 Eden Park Dr. in Cincinnati, Eden Park has a picnic area and playground that overlooks the Ohio River and the city. This park spans 186 acres, with walking paths around the lake. There’s so much to do in the park, so this would be a great place to go and spend a whole day (or two)!
    • Krohn Conservatory: Krohn Conservatory is located in Eden Park, and this is such a beautiful place to go. Events change throughout the year, but the most popular is the butterfly show, in which butterflies are free to fly around you and the beautiful floral displays.
    • Cincinnati Art Museum: Also located in Eden Park, the Cincinnati Art Museum is one of the oldest art museums in America. General admission is always free, and CAM is such a neat place to go if you care about art in the slightest. Exhibits span thousands of years, from ancient times to contemporary art.
  • Findlay Market: You can visit Findlay Market at 1801 Race St in Cincinnati to experience the food and music. The market hosts events often, like Findlay Folk Fridays. There’s a farmer’s market, vendors outside, and street performances. Findlay Market is such a neat little adventure to go on.
  • American Sign Museum: The American Sign Museum is located at 1330 Monmouth Ave in Cincinnati. It displays signs from over 100 years of American history, including neon signs, distressed wooden signs, and more. You can go on a tour or just walk through the museum on your own, with a fun scavenger hunt to guide you through. There’s a fun, retro atmosphere and it’s so cool to see how signs have evolved through American history.
  • Smale Riverfront Park: Located at West Mehring Way in Cincinnati, you can run through the fountains, swing while overlooking the river, ride the carousel, navigate the labyrinth, and play on the Great Adventure Playground. Smale Park is stunning and fun for everyone, whether you’re 6 or 60!
  • Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum: Yes, a cemetery. Spring Grove is a historic park on 733 acres, dating back to 1844, with some of the most influential people in Cincinnati buried here. However, this cemetery is also a beautiful park with a pond, walking paths, and gardens. This is an interesting place to go to experience nature and learn some history along the way.
  • Contemporary Arts Center: The Contemporary Arts Center can be found at 44 E 6th St in Cincinnati. Covering the art of today, CAC has many beautiful and interesting exhibitions, as well as events like the Art Lab Nights to help local artists explore new mediums and create art as a community.
  • Cincinnati Museum Center: The Cincinnati Museum Center is located at 1301 Western Ave in Cincinnati at the old Union Terminal. With the Children’s Museum and the always-changing exhibits, this museum is a super great place to visit and revisit. The current exhibits are Mission Aerospace and Chocolate, the latter of which is actually opening today. The CMC is an interactive experience that you have to go see for yourself.
  • Cincinnati Observatory: Located at 3489 Observatory Pl in Cincinnati, this observatory is the oldest professional observatory in the United States, opening in 1873. They also often hold various events, like Sunday Sun-day Sundae. If you’re interested in space in the slightest, this is a great place to check out.
  • Lucky Cat Museum: This is a place that I have not gone to yet but I fully intend on visiting in the near future. The Lucky Cat Museum is located at 2511 Essex Pl in Cincinnati, and inside you’ll find hundreds, if not thousands, of lucky cat figurines. These lucky cats span from traditional figures to mechanical ones to pop culture inspired designs, and I am so excited to pay them a visit.
  • Washington Park: At 1230 Elm St in Cincinnati, Washington Park has events almost daily, sometimes even multiple times a day. There’s a playground, dog park, and interactive water park. Bands and vendors frequent the park during certain times, and hey, there’s wifi!

I hope this gives you some ideas of things to do this summer that are a little more unique to Cincinnati. Enjoy!

Previous post: How to do Faux Calligraphy 

You may also like: Studio Vlog #6: Disney! // Chicago Trip 2017

signature

Faux Calligraphy Tutorial

hello

“Faux calligraphy” is a cute and easy way to make your handwriting more interesting and fun. It’s something I’ve been practicing on and off for about a year, and it’s something I can definitely improve on, but I finally feel comfortable showing you how I do it.

I start by writing a word in cursive. In this example, I’ll use my name.

cursivenh

Then, add a line next to the downstrokes (all the times you pull your pen down the page).

downstrokenh

You’ll be adding a thicker stroke on top of these strokes. This will create the look of using a brush pen or calligraphy pen, without needing those supplies. Make sure the lines connect and there are no weird angles, so the writing looks smooth. Take your time on this step, because this will really sell the illusion.

fauxcalnh

That’s it! You can try out using different writing styles, like print, bounce lettering, block lettering, etc. Remember that practice means improvement, so don’t give up on it!

Let me know if you try this and how it works for you!

Previous post: Mixed Media Painting Process

You may also like: Time Management with a Crazy Schedule // 50 Bullet Journal Page Ideas

signature

Mixed Media Paintings Process: Mini Originals for Sale!

I’ve been having so much fun making these little mixed media paintings these past few weeks, and I want to share my process with you and show off some of my favorites!

For these pieces, I use old dictionary pages, acrylic paint, and ink. I like using these because it’s a lot less daunting than using a blank white page, and it gives the piece some texture and creates interest.

I decide on a color pallete next. I’ve been using only the primary colors, sometimes mixing them with white for a more pastel look.

The next step really depends on how I’m feeling and the look I’m going for. Sometimes I will apply the paint directly to the page and use a palette knife or old gift card to spread the paint, and sometimes I’ll just use the palette knife to apply the paint to the page.

IMG_0934

I let the paint dry completely before I cut them to whatever size I choose. One dictionary page can make anywhere from 1-4 pieces by the time they’re trimmed and cut.

Then, I break out the Micron pens and white gel pen and start drawing. Sometimes I’ll use a reference, like if I want to draw a specific flower or animal, but other times I just start with doodling lines and faces.

12both

Once I’m happy with what I’ve done, I let the ink dry and then seal it with a couple coats of Mod Podge.

When that’s fully dry, I use either Mac Tac or double sided tape to create a sort of “sticker” that I then mount on Bristol board, which completes the piece!

IMG_9377

I hope you enjoyed seeing my process for this type of work! All of the pieces shown here are still available for sale, and I am discounting the price on them for a limited time. You can see more of these pieces and my work on my Instagram!

Previous post: Studio Vlog #6: Disney!

You may also like: Primary Colors Minimalist Drawing Process // The Making of Cute Merms Art Zine

signature

Studio Vlog #6: Disney!

My family and I just got back from Orlando, Florida, and I vlogged a good bit of it! I decided to post it as a “Studio Vlog,” even though I didn’t do anything art-wise. We’ll call it a break?

Anyway, here it is! Enjoy!

I will resume my usual posting schedule through these next few weeks. I just finished with this semester of school, so I’ll have more free time! Yay!

Previous post: Studio Vlog #5

You may also like: Studio Vlog #4 // Chicago Trip 2017

signature

Primary Colors Minimalist Drawing Speedpaint

Today, I was doodling and came up with a pretty cute sketch I was very excited to do something fun with.

sketch

I initally wanted her hair to be solid black, with a red top and a denim skirt. I changed my mind, deciding on a more dynamic color palette and eventually on just the primary colors and a dark grey.

Screen Shot 2018-03-25 at 6.30.11 PM

I’m so thrilled with how this little doodle turned out. You can click here to see the piece on RedBubble! I think she looks pretty cute on stickers, phone cases, and t-shirts especially!

Here’s the final illustration:

primaryconfetti copy

 

Previous Post: Time Management with a Crazy Schedule

You may also like: Flip Through my First Sketchbook! // The Making of Cute Merms Artzine: Speedpaint and Announcement

signature

Time Management with a Crazy Schedule

In recent years, I have been known to be terrible with my time and a serial procrastinator. While the latter is still true, I’ve been making a huge effort to spend my time wisely. I’ve developed a system over the last six or so months that has worked for me and it has, at the very least, made me feel like I have my life together. It’s pretty simple and easy to keep up with.

I’ve always been a huge planner nerd, and I use this system alongside my planner, but this way is digital and much more forgiving. I use the calendar app on my phone/Mac, but you can easily use Google Calendar or another similar service if that’s what you prefer.

Block Out Time

I start by blocking out time that I know I’ll be away or doing other things, like work, school, appointments, vacations, and other events. Everything is color-coded: my colors are green for work, blue for school, orange for appointments, and purple for personal events.(I’m going to make a mock-up schedule for the purposes of this post.)

Screen Shot 2018-03-13 at 9.53.07 PM

For important things like bills or assignments for school being due, I make them an “all-day” event so they stick out to me.

Schedule Your To-Do List

I write a list of everything I need to do that week, and I “schedule” time for those things. This not only makes it much less scary, because you’re not seeing a huge list, just little chunks of time, but it helps you prioritize. You can figure out what’s coming up the soonest or what’s the most important thing to get done and make that something to do today instead of something to ignore until the last minute.

It also holds you accountable. If you know you should be working on an essay from 5-6pm and you end up watching Netflix during that time, you sort of shame yourself by rescheduling that task. I find it so easy to dismiss reminders on my phone, so this forces me to reconsider what I’m really doing.

Screen Shot 2018-03-13 at 10.14.16 PM

A Realistic Schedule

This schedule is so much more simple-looking than what a real week for me looks like, so I thought I’d include this as well just so you can see how this would actually look in practice:

Screen Shot 2018-03-13 at 10.18.30 PM

I am very meticulous when it comes to my personal schedule, so you don’t have to be this detailed and crazy when it comes to yours, or you can go into even further detail if you want to. I hope this helps you in your journey to becoming a more productive person!

Previous Post: Flip Through My First Sketchbook!

You may also like: How I Plan: A Realistic Bullet Journal // Studio Vlog #3

signature