Hope for 2017

All in all, my 2016 wasn’t so bad, but I know it really stunk for a lot of people—and the national and international news/events didn’t help. I’m hopeful for 2017. I also find much of the artist community to be hopeful. I think artists are apt to see what is good and beautiful in the world, and in doing so, they stir up hope where none can be found. Here’s just a tiny roundup of the light that some artists I follow are bringing to 2017, as shared on Instagram:

Andy J. Miller: Illustrator & Creator of the “Creative Pep Talk” Podcast

I can’t get enough of the “Creative Pep Talk” podcast right now. It is helpful, encouraging, and entertaining all at the same time. I also enjoy Andy’s outlook on the world.

I get worried when I hear everyone already writing off 2017. . In fact, I’ve watched my own enthusiasm for going back to work in 2017 start to dwindle. . At first I thought maybe I was just burnt out from hustling and juggling with the class, the podcast and illustration. . Then I realized it’s nothing to do with burn out or exhaustion. It’s all wrapped up in hope. When my hope for growth, change and progress dwindles, so does my drive. . YOUR HOPE = YOUR DRIVE . This morning, I kind of just pepped myself up. I don’t care whether it’s false hope or what, all I know is, the more hopeful I am, the more I’ll be driven to make 2017 count. . If you thought 2016 sucked, don’t give yourself over to hopelessness. If we do give up, you can count on this: 2017 will be no better! . I really believe it’s those who can find hope in tough times that become the leaders who bring us to the other side. Cook up a vision of the future that inspires you and others to make next year a great one. 😘

A photo posted by Andy J. Miller (@andyjpizza) on

Honeyberry Studios: Illustrations by Yuko Miki

I was introduced to Yuko’s work when we both took Jen Hewett’s “Design, Carve, Print” online class and it’s been a pleasure to follow her work ever since. This was a part of her beautiful “Mindfulness” 2017 calendar, which has already sold out, but they are coming as greeting cards soon!

Lisa Congdon: Talented Artist, Illustrator, Author & More…

I’ve followed Lisa’s work for a few years and her Instagram is a never-ending feed of creativity. I find her work to be full of hope and truth.

Artists Take Action

This is a group that started after the 2016 election. They have an Instagram account to sell artists’ work and donate all proceeds to a chosen (rotating) nonprofit.

Jessica Swift: Surface Pattern Designer, Painter, & Creator of Pattern Camp

I took Jessica’s Pattern Camp class this fall and found her to be one of the most encouraging people I’ve ever met. Her artwork and patterns are full of light & color. I’m excited about her new email series for 2017.

You guys, LOTS of you have signed up for this already and I’m so happy!! I wanted to share it here again, in case you might like to sign up today and start your 100 Uplifting Days of emails tomorrow, a very potent day indeed: January 1, 2017. The series is 100 emails, 100 days in a row. Artwork and words to go with it, all by me. And it’s FREE! Your first email in the series will arrive the day after you sign up. My hope is that this will become your favorite email to open each day. Want in? (I hope so!) You can learn more, see some sample images, and sign up on my website (link in profile above 👆🏼) Oh, and HAPPY NEW YEAR’S EVE!! #100upliftingdays #positivity #positivityquotes #upliftingquotes #2017 #newyear2017

A photo posted by Jessica Swift (@jessicaswift) on

May everyone’s 2017 be full of hope, light, peace and joy. And when hope seems impossible, look to art.

Footnote: the image for this post is a quick sketch I did on New Year’s Day, photographed quickly between chasing my toddler (seen in the background) around the house. Nothing says “hope” like seeing the world through the eyes of an 18-month-old.

Out to Sea: A Pattern & Album

I made this pattern, “Out to Sea”, for my husband’s Indiegogo campaign to fund his first album.

My husband, Rigel, decided to pursue music full time a year ago. He has spent the past year preparing to produce his first album, and is fundraising for it now. Some of the perks include notecards or socks with this pattern on them. Visit his Indiegogo campaign to contribute now.

I’ve also made this pattern available as a wallpaper for your computer or phone. Enjoy!

Out to Sea Widescreen Wallpaper
Colorful sailboats on a blue background
Out to Sea Laptop Wallpaper
Colorful sailboats on a blue background
Out to Sea Phone Wallpaper

Winter Trees Pattern & Wallpaper

I made this pattern about a week ago, but haven’t had time to post because of, you know, a sick and teething toddler. I am enjoying the process of learning how to make more complex repeat patterns and transforming my sketches into finished projects. I always waffle on color choices, though. I tend to choose very bright colors for everything (you should see our house). Whenever I experiment with more neutral or non-primary colors, I squirm in my seat.  Originally, this pattern had a softer blue and a darker green, but I ended up liking the brighter versions more. I also think it would look awesome in red and white (I’d make everything red if I could).

I hope you enjoy this as a desktop background too; it’s a nice winter wonderland for me to look at while I’m at work. This is the most snow I’ll probably see in Texas this year ;).

Happy Holidays!

Pattern of green fir trees and white snowflakes on a blue background
Winter Trees Widescreen Desktop Wallpaper
Winter Trees Laptop Wallpaper
Pattern of fir trees and snowflakes on a blue background
Winter Trees Phone Wallpaper

Tulip Pattern & Wallpaper

Last week was a bit crazy (understatement) in our household with a stomach bug. I was supposed to be at the CreativeMornings Summit conference for 3 days, but instead was only able to attend one half of one day.

Just before the shit hit the fan, I managed to sneak in a quick pattern for the Pattern Camp weekly challenge: black + white + one color. This tulip pattern started out months ago as a doodle in my moleskine:

Black and white tulips drawn in a notebook, with fingers holding the page openI scanned it, added some color created the pattern below for your digital downloading pleasure. It’s available in widescreen, laptop and phone sizes. Hope you enjoy!

White and pink/red tulips on a black background
Tulip widescreen wallpaper
White and pink/red tulips on a black background
Tulip laptop wallpaper
White and pink/red tulips on a black background
Tulip phone wallpaper

Ghosts Desktop Background

Last weekend I participated in Jessica Swift’s Pattern Camp. I learned how to make patterns out of all of the things.

Every week there is a new pattern challenge in the Pattern Camp group. This week’s was “Ghosts” so I played along to practice my skills.

Here are a couple of desktop backgrounds for your downloading pleasure using my quick and dirty Ghosts pattern:

Tiny white ghosts on orange background
Ghosts: Standard Desktop Background
White ghosts on orange background
Ghosts: Widescreen Desktop Background

It Matters How We Talk About Women

It matters how we talk about women. Girls and boys are watching and listening.

It matters how we talk about women. Girls hear words and see images that tell them they are most valuable as a sexual object. They feel pressure to perform sexual acts—even if they are not ready for it.

It matters how we talk about women. Boys hear words and see images that tell them women are only there to please, and that it is okay to touch someone sexually without consent.

It matters how we talk about women. Someday these girls and boys will have their own relationships. They will explore their own sexuality. We want our children to grow up to have safe and loving sexual relationships.

It matters how we talk about women. Each of us came into this world via a woman. Ideally, you were conceived and born into this world in a safe and loving space. How can we expect to create safe, loving spaces for new children to enter this world, if the women who carry them don’t feel safe?

It matters how we talk about women.