My art on a t-shirt!

I got to be a part of something so special on Monday night. My long time friend, Dani Kerry, worked really hard and is super talented, and she released an EP of original music! About a month ago, she asked me to design a shirt for her release party! I want to tell you about it!

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the final shirt!

Her album (EP) release party was on Monday at the House of Blues in Downtown Disney (which is like, hello, a big deal). Because I designed the shirts, I worked the merch table for her show. It was so insanely busy! Non-stop people buying shirts & CDs! I had to have my sister & mom help me toward at the end! It was a ridiculously huge success, and it was crazy to see so many people buying my art on a shirt! I’ve never done anything like that before. It was amazing. Dani performed her music and some cover songs, and I watched from the back at the merch table like a proud mom. She is a natural performer and sounded so good, and it was just so cool to see a friend I’ve known for over 10 years doing something she loves, in front of so many people.

(It was all very inspirational as a different kind of artist. I saw so many ties to what makes someone successful in a creative field: obviously talent, but also a lot of practice, some business sense,  tons of hard work, a passion for it, and a drive/determination/gusto to make it happen. You have to really want it. There are so many talented people, but to actually make things happen is a whole other challenge.)

So here are some concept sketches and the final t-shirt design I made! I really loved doing this because before I decided to create Mary & Luna, I wanted to do cover art for musicians’ albums. So this was right up my alley!

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Dani’s music is very lyrical and emotional. I gathered inspiration from her lyrics and her photoshoot for the album, but mostly just from the feeling I got when I listened to her sing. I actually started sketching this design before I even saw her photoshoot, so when I saw her beachy/gloomy photos, I knew I was on the right track!

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Here’s what the merchandise table looked like. Dani told me to set up my artwork so I could get more exposure.

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And lastly, here’s Dani up on stage:

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I’m so glad I was a part of making Dani’s dream happen. I love being involved in bigger creative projects.

Go follow Dani Kerry’s Facebook page  :)

xoxo, Michelle

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The importance of sketching.

I try to post here regularly, I really do. But I’ve been struck with a bad cold again (one of the joys of working with kids!) and my productivity has taken a giant smack in the face. I’m trying to stay patient as my body heals.

I wanted to write out some thoughts I was having about sketching. I have a habit of thinking my sketches have to be perfect the moment my pencil hits the paper. I think I do this for a few reasons: 1) I hate repetition and I don’t want to draw something over and over again, 2) I can never seem to duplicate the sketch when it’s time to transfer it onto whatever medium I need it on, 3) I’m a perfectionist & I want it right the first time, and 4) I have a habit of sketching only for something I am going to follow through with as a full art piece.

But by doing this perfectionistic sketching, I put myself in a cage where I’m not allowed to make mistakes. I’m depriving myself of a major part of the creative process: experimenting. Last night, I forced myself to just start drawing, letting go of preconceived notions of what I wanted it to look like. I just let my pencil move in an attempt to make something. I only had a concept in my head. It felt much better. It’s not perfect, and I wasn’t entirely pleased with the outcome, but the process felt so much better, so much more free. I’m going to make a conscious effort to do this more, because it feels necessary to keep my creative thoughts coming out instead of trapped in my head. I cannot, realistically, only sketch final pieces. That’s not how it works, I know that from experience. I don’t know how I got into that mindset. So I’m trying to break that pattern. Just sketch and see what happens.

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xo, Michelle