Childrens Books - now available for pre-order

For the past many months I have been working on illustrating a series of Bible Story books for children. The writing is amazing! It is written in rhyme but in a really smart, unique way... a bit similar to "The House that Jack Built". And now 2 of the 4 books "The Beautiful Garden of Eden" and "A Patch on the peak of Ararat" are available for pre-order on Amazon. (HERE and HERE). So exciting!!!

 It was great to work with Tyndale. I can't wait to get my copies and see the book in full. And show more images from it.

birds + a poem

i guess i have a thing for birds... and poems by ee cummings. (i first learned of him in graduate school when i was studying book arts + printmaking at the university of the arts, in philadelphia.)

the thing I love about creating art is you never know where its going to take you...

west elm pop-up!

Hooray! My West Elm Pop-up (in Philadelphia) was such a great day! I had my talented friend Aliza of Aliza Schlabach Photography (see her website here) stop by to take some photos and they came out amazing! I'm excited to share them here below. 

Thank you to all my friends and gamily who came by to say hello, and to shop! I feel like I had another thesis show - or wedding - but I believe it was totally worth it. The store employees were super helpful and to have my products in a store that I am enamored with was pretty much a dream come true. 

Some of my best sellers were my studio-m flower planters, my pouches from DENY, my new spiral notebooks, my little reclaimed wood blocks, and I even sold one of my large whale canvases. I did bring quite a bit of merchandise (some of which I will soon put into an online shop) but my husband always says "go big or go home..." so thats what I did. And, I think it paid off! :)

holiday houses

My Kindred Art Collective just made some lovely downloadable + printable holiday houses. They really are a lovely set! View them all here. 

Here is my winter woods inspired house. Feel free to print, cut out, fold, fill with a treat or hang.

Shown below is my in progress house - made quickly with regular paper... The graphic designer in me just HAD to do this...

house.jpg

cricket cringle - 2015

This past weekend I participated in the 2nd Annual Cricket Cringle - a holiday pop-up outdoor market in Ardmore, PA. There were over 30 merchants and the event was held on a Friday night (5-9) and the following day (10-6). I do not sell at many art/craft shows, but i can say this one was so much FUN to be a participant in. (And to help plan.) I do wish I had been able to walk around a bit more. There were many entertainment options, food trucks, restaurant samples (mmm... pumpkin beer), kids crafts, and even Santa popped by. 

At the market, I sold prints, cards, mugs, tote bags and even a few pillows. I will be adding inventory to my online shop and you can also find my things at Pucci Manuli

Aliza of Aliza Schlabach Photography took some AMAZING photos of my booth at the event. You can see more of the event photos at the Cricket Cringle event page

introducing... kindred art collective!

Some fun news today! Five very non-local friends and I are announcing our new artists collective - named Kindred Art Collective. See our pretty website here.

The six of us gals met online within the last 2 years through the Make Art that Sells course offered by the art agent Lilla Rogers. The fabulously talented Jan Avellana (along with the superstar illustrator Lucy Banaji) & I all roomed together in May 2014 when we went to Surtex. (Surtex stands for Surface Textile and is an annual ginormous tradeshow in NYC where artists show art, meet new and potential clients, and sell and/or license their art to manufacturers, retailers, etc..) The idea of a collective was first floated around then, and thanks to Jan, her vision, her reaching out to some like minded artists, and a lot of Facebook interaction, finally it has come to fruition. Some of us are plan to exhibit at the next Surtex in 2016. (But, more on that in the new few months...)

Here are links to the individual websites of my co-collective mates: Sara BrezziMalu LenziKelly AngelovicJan Avellana, & Antoana Oreski. We literally live ALL over the world. (Philly, Italy, Brazil, Colorado, Croatia, Hawaii). I think we might even represent all the time zones. 

Here is our facebook banner doodle which we all participated in drawing on. (Be sure to visit and like our page if you are so inclined...) Can you tell which ones are mine?

We will each be introducing ourselves daily on our blog/website.

For our first collective project, we each did a Halloween piece. Shown below are the first 2 pieces in my collection. And the rest you can find on the Kindred Art Collective Gallery site here

Wouldn't it be FAB to see this artwork incorporated onto a table cloth for a large home decor manufacturer? Well - OK - now you know one of my dreams + goals.

Thank you for reading this, and do have a wonderful Monday. Let's all have a productive week!

first friday on saturday

In September I participated in a local event called First Friday on Saturday, in Ardmore, PA. It was a beautiful day outside where the community had the opportunity to meet 6 local artists and learn some techniques. I also did the poster design for the event (shown in the gallery below.)

Burst of Floral - fabric design

Trying to get some last minute designs done before SURTEX & my trip to NYC next week. (Wee! SO excited!!)

On a separate note, I've decided to put this out there... I would really LOVE to see my work printed on fabric & have a fabric collection... IN stores.

Here is a recent design I created which I think would look extremely fun on fabric. I could see a tablecloth, a tea towel - or, even a fun flowy skirt!

Oopsy Daisy + Greenbox art!

I am extremely please to announce my new collections which are now available for purchase now over at Oopsy Daisy, Greenbox Art & Wheatpaste. And - theres a sale for 15% off NEW ART till January 21.

View or Purchase GROW + FLOURISH here 

Art for Greenbox Art - created by Barb Chotiner


Art for Oopsy Daisy + Greenbox Art - created by Barb Chotiner

Lastly you can read my little bio on their website right here.

GTS - cultivating creativity

Well the 2014 GTS finalists have been revealed. A "top 50" were chosen from 999 entries. Unfortunately this was not the year for me - but that's cool as I still need time to grow (cultivate) my portfolio. :) (And I happen to be swamped with work at the moment - which is always a good thing!)

I'm very excited to see many familiar names and friends who are in the top 50 moving forward - including my 2 roommates from Surtex this past May. (Jan and Lucy - fabulous work by both of them!!) I can't wait to see what everyone creates for round 2.

 GTS 2014 - artwork by Barbara Chotiner - bzdesignstuff.com

GTS 2014 - artwork by Barbara Chotiner - bzdesignstuff.com

My final piece was a combination of printmaking & drawing and there is even a iPhone photo of one of my yard plants in there too! I was away on vacation for the majority of the time that we had to work on this assignment, so I did not have as much time as I had wanted (+ needed) to add some additional final drawing details + make this piece even more lush and fabulous. In hindsight, I may have been a tad too literal about the wall art assignment. I did not add any characters and ended up keeping it more like an overgrown magical forrest/terrarium bursting with color and life. (I had drawn some birds & even a deer, but at the end of the day they just did not mesh in well with the rest of the canvas. It never even occurred to me to put in gnomes or woodland animals - but they are rather cute in some of the finals.) Maybe I'll have to make another (less serious) one.

My final touch was to create the vine on the upper right which is reaching up and breaking free from the garden. In the end I am happy with the work I created. And in my mind at least, It is leaps and bounds better than my last years submission.

If interested - you can puchase the print right here at my (small but growing) Society 6 shop. :)

ooh - its a blog parade!

So, the Making Art that Sells  class I took back in July and part B which starts up again in a few short weeks (yay!) has made me do all sorts of things...

First it made me make CRAZY amounts of awesome artwork in 6 short weeks...

MATSReview.jpg

Aftwewards, I purchased some video seminars from Surtex, as Lillas class made me realize I would like to build up a portfolio for licensing and surface pattern design.

Then to keep the creative juices flowing, I signed up for a fabulous and fun painting e course (currently in progress) called Daring Adventures in Paint. Here are a few of my favorite in progress paintings.

 untitled acrylic paintings, 10" x 10"  4 of my in progress paintings for the class - Daring Adventures in Paint - taught by Mati Rose McDonough 

untitled acrylic paintings, 10" x 10"
4 of my in progress paintings for the class - Daring Adventures in Paint - taught by Mati Rose McDonough 

Then I entered a surface pattern design competition

Then I ran my first half-marathon.  (Wait - that's not related... but I wanted to share!) 

And today I am in a blog parade... It's all due to a wonderful (and private - sorry!) group which exists only online, and has emerged from the Making Art the Sell / Lilla Rogers' e-course. This international group of like minded artists has provided wonderful feedback and support and has been a valuable resource during and since the course. I have friends & supporters from all around the globe and it is a wonderful and vibrant - and ÜBER ÜBER ÜBER TALENTED - community.

I thought I would use this post as an opportunity to share here a few things I've been working on. 

Some recent design projects include: a few small brochure projects for Haverford College, a logo refresh for a NY law firm, a brochure for a company which specializes in home renovations, a poster for a public art project celebrating Mental Health recovery, a brochure for the awesome Fairmount & Queen Village Art Centers (in Philly) and last but my NO means least, a super fun illustration project! 

 Map of Media, PA for Main Line Parent Magazine  |  illustrated by Barb Chotiner

Map of Media, PA for Main Line Parent Magazine  |  illustrated by Barb Chotiner

This family fun guide / map of Media, PA was something I Illustrated for the new issue of Main Line Parent magazine. That was a pretty fun job, as well as a labor of love!

Thanks for reading my words & please now get your little mouse or wacom pen & head on over to Julia's blog (aka MOOGBEE)! Julia is a super nice and super talented artist who also lives in the fine state of Pennsylvania. 

A final notes... thank you Linda for setting this BLOG PARADE up. And - a long overdue thank you to Ashley @ the Smash Works for including me in her showcase of Global Talent Search submissions.

Happy Monday Everybody!

gts - it's a process!

The finalists for the Lila Rogers Global Talent Search were announced yesterday. 50 were chosen from 1500+ submissions. (yowsers!) Unfortunately, I did not make the final cut. However, I was pleased that so many of my fellow MATS classmates did. (More than half I think!) Way to go you talented gals (& guy)!

I wanted to share my process and my entry in hopes to get some feedback. As you can see... where I started and where I ended are very different. This tends to happen and I feel now (as I have in the past) that something gets lost when I do my "finals." 

I had a blast with my initial sketching for the assignment. (Which was a 5x7 journal, for Paperchase (a fun & fab UK paper goods company) with the theme: vintage playground.) Phase 1 shows my favorite developed sketches of the bunch.

 Phase 1 - sketching concepts

Phase 1 - sketching concepts

Then I started tightening up once of the sketches & added color: (phase 2).

I loved the dynamic composition but wasnt sure about such a large character being front and center, and you couldnt see the playground images. I also know her hair & eyes needed work! So... I revisited some of my phase 1 ideas.

 Phase 2 - coloring

Phase 2 - coloring

Somehow I got very into the vintage metal playground spring animals & in one of those happy and delirious post midnight art-making moments, I created the art in phase 3. (In hindsight, perhaps I should have taken a chance and explored my new loose "smooshy texture + line drawing" style further and sent my final in this method.) It was done with printmaking, collage & hand drawing.

 Phase 3 - a new direction

Phase 3 - a new direction

However, instead I did a bunch of drawings inspired by this above piece, and ended up with my final design submission: phase 4, shown below. I really focused on color, composition and character development. I wanted to make sure it read well small and kept your eye interested.

 Phase 4 - the final

Phase 4 - the final

I was initially confident in my submission however, soon after I began to have my doubts. I could have pushed the coloring further. I could have perhaps cleaned up the subtle details. (i.e. eggs in the design for the rooster saddle, clouds for the toucan, carrots for the rabbit etc.) After a disappointing morning yesterday, I reread the post regarding the chosen few. It seemed very logical that one of the main factors for the narrowing down to the 50 was "a strong, evolved style."  I can freely admit that I am still trying to develop & find my own unique illustration style. While it is evolv-ING it is not yet evolv-ED, And, as I have been doing graphic design and art direction for 15+ years it is only recently that I am delving deep into the world of illustration, surface pattern design and art licensing.

And now with a good night sleep behind me - I find I am actually quite happy to be freed up to make some new art and take all the things I have learned in the past few months and put them into play. And so with this... I will more forward and draw some more. I will make more art. More prints. More projects. And joyfully still run my design business. And I will eagerly await October and Part B of MATS.  

And on a final note... in a non related email that also got yesterday morning (from my local hair salon which I love btw...) this quote was randomly mentioned. It was very apropos for the day and I'm pretty sure I have never quoted a president before! :)

"I will prepare and some day my chance will come." – Abraham Lincoln

I welcome any feedback & comments whether here below, or via email

Oh and thank you for reading my longest blog post ever. :)

 

lushy drawings

Hi - so on the final weeks of MATS class, we were to be inspired by our collections. I decided to raid the buddy bins of my 2 & 4 year olds and draw their plush little (stuffed animal) buddies. I can't tell you how excited they were to see "peaches", "flamingo", "seal" & others. Unfortunately I forgot to draw "Bora Bora" (he's a shark) but i'm sure he will make it into the next mock up! :)

I also decided this week to purely draw and not use my monoprints as I have been in doing previous weeks...

Be sure to click on the photo to see the detailed & process drawings.

the Snail and the Rose Tree

Book cover illustration for Hans Christian Andersen's The Snail and the Rose Tree. (Read the not so happy fairy tail here.) Created in conjunction with Making Art that Sells.

I'm not sure where this "smooshy texture + line drawing style" has come from - but i am totally digging it and going with it. I have an inside spread I have yet to finish but i hope to soon.

barbara_chotiner_theSandtheRT_week3.jpg