Friday, November 29, 2013

insta-stuff

I never have any idea what to call these things... but here's a roundup of what's been up in my life!



Okay, so I bought that little toy for Odin last week, and I never see him play with it. But every morning I wake up and its in a different spot. It's adorable. So I decided I'd document it's adventures and share with you.

... it needs a name. What should I name it?

Thursday, November 28, 2013

ten things [thankful edition]

I know posts like this are all over the internet today, but I still think it's important to take a few moments to think about what I really appreciate these days. So here's this weeks ten things.


All right, It might seem like this one is just a no-brainer, but it's not just because this man just recently went from being my boyfriend to being my fiance. It's because this guy is truly awesome. He deals with me at my most weird, and even loves me for it. He's always there to help me try to figure out how to achieve my dreams, but doesn't give me that much crap when I'm just having too hard of a day to follow through with all of my plans. I could gush for a whole post, but I'm just going to leave you with my final decision: He's really a keeper. 


My family will always be there for me, no matter what. Example... one time, I found out I had to have all my stuff out of my apartment by 1pm. The problem was... I was two states over. So my mom and dad went up to my college town and packed everything into the van, all while I wasn't there. Crazy!


I know, so super cheesy. But I really can't imagine life without that annoying deaf little ball of fluff. 


Okay, so yeah the library is the reason I can eat every day, but it's different than that. It's a magical building full of all my favorite books, and some of my favorite memories. 


My home still has that new home smell. I guess you could say it and I are still in the honeymoon stage. But as I get more comfortable and figure out where I want everything to be, I find myself just falling more in love.


I love paper. To draw on, to fold, to cut, to tear... it's just one of the worlds most wonderful things.


Hours of entertainment. I'm thankful for being introduced to Commander Keen when I was a child, and everything that came after. 


My friend once asked me if I was worried about getting lonely at my new house. I responded with something along the lines of "As long as I have my books, I'm not really alone." It might be cheesy, but any bookworm can tell you it's totally true.


I'm constantly thinking about how grateful I am for these little contraptions. Even if sometimes I want to throw mine across the room. I wonder if we'll be the last generation that doesn't take things things for granted...


Netflix is constantly helping me focus on my newest art project. Or inspiring impromptu date nights. Or jointing my whole family to watch a couple of episodes of Supernatural. 


So now it's your turn. What are ten things you're thankful for?



WIP [Jane]

 This was a fun one to paint and line. Lots of hair, lots of ornate watercolor details, lots of pretty colors.


If you would like a print of the piece Jane (by me),
please check out my print shop!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

sketchy outfit twenty-seven (doctor who edition)

My sister, my fiance, and I were able to go see the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special "Day of the Doctor" in a theater this Monday. It was awesome, really a once in a life time experience. I wore the outfit that Rose Tyler wears in the episode Journey's End, my sister was dressed up as Clara, and the fiance wore a Jack Harkness coat. (LOVE that coat)


"Rose had trouble when it came to 
learning to write her name."

I also finished an illustration for a concept I've been kicking around for a while. Now I just need to gather the rest of my ideas and get this scanned in.

Monday, November 25, 2013

inspire me... Megan Lara

If you're any sort of geek you've probably already seen Megan Lara's work somewhere. And by somewhere, I mean everywhere. This girl's work is constantly featured on sites like teefury and ript apparel. And for good reason. She is another example of a person who can paint with a computer the way masters use paintbrushes. AKA someone who's skills I am totally jealous of.

Stunning colors, beautiful details, and smooth shading make up the bulk of her work. With lots of pieces representing many fandoms, she has quickly become popular. (But not so popular that she can't walk around con floors. I swear I saw her at C2E2 last year!) But her skill is what really makes her worth the fame. Her art nouveau series is my favorite, but she does many other beautiful works, so be sure to check out her gallery, and her shop!

Oh, and did I mention she can look almost exactly like Rose Tyler from Doctor Who?

http://www.redbubble.com/people/meganlara/works/9664903-allons-y?c=155388-art-nouveau


Megan Lara links:

Friday, November 22, 2013

the make list: Thankful Garland



Okay, I haven't done one of these in a REALLY long time. The last time was when I made these decorative clothespins. I also have made a papel picado banner, some t-shirt accessories, and some cute vintage looking arrows. The basic idea is I use a tutorial for something crafty that I like to make my own version, and then I post the results here. Almost... like a review. Except not.

This time I decided I wanted to make my own take on this very thankful garland from the blog cakies.


Aren't those just too cute? I don't have my own awesome kids to write adorable things, so I had to modify it a bit to fit my own life. But I really liked the overall idea of recording what you were thankful for. I didn't necessarily want everyone else to know (read as: make fun of me... I have ruthless friends) so I did them all scribbly-like and cut them to be a more abstract piece. I really like the end results. :]



ten things



I must remember this brilliant idea when I have children. Also... this is a great excuse to start collecting dinosaurs.

I've been seeing macrame wall hangings everywhere, and I really am on board with this trend. I don't have the money to drop on it, though. No fear! This tutorial is just what I need.



I love music videos by Not Literally, and this new one is no exception. The more I listened to it, the funnier it got. But that could just be because I might be sick... nah. It's awesome.

This toddler and his puppy friend napping together is the cutest thing you'll see this week. I promise.


And this gory Halloween costume idea is equal parts amazing and horrifying.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

sketchy outfit twenty-six and Hellpop

So I didn't really sketch this outfit, but I did sketch ON this outfit, so I say that counts.

This is the initial concept:
photo by Kathy Flynn, WickedGoddessPhotography.com

And I used bleach (1 part bleach, 1 part water) to paint it on a plain black shirt. If you're gonna do this, make sure to use a paint brush you don't care about. By the time I was done painting, all that was left of the brush was the handle. It's not the most elegant way to modify a shirt, but I think it has its own grungy charm.



The concert I went to was Hellpop, with All Hail the Yeti, Kyng, Motionless in White, and In This Moment. I had been thinking about getting the tickets since I saw In This Moment earlier this year, and I'm glad I finally caved. The venue was smaller, and I was able to get much closer to the stage.  They put on such a great show. Also, their set was WAY longer than Carnival of Madness, so they got to play lots of great songs, including my favorite. 


Totally worth the trip. 


the move

After eight months of deconstructing and reconstructing, my house has finally gotten to a stage that you could call "livable." I mean, there is still a back room full of construction supplies, and the upstairs hasn't even been touched, but the important parts of the house look polished and beautiful. My dad tackled this project with so much enthusiasm, and my mother was always there to talk about what color the walls should be, or to help paint the trim. I am eternally grateful. Seriously. This project couldn't have been done without them.

So the week of Halloween (before I had received the life-changing pumpkin) I decided it was time to move in. On a random Tuesday night. In the rain. Without the fan-fare that I had thought would come with me finally moving, I packed up my cat, the litter box, my computer, and what few clothes I hadn't moved in yet, and hauled it all into town. I unpacked everything by myself. The trunk closed on my head. Yay independence, right? Haha.


I love my new house. It has cheerful walls and beautiful floors and an awesome light that can slide up and down (that we found in our basement). It's full of colors and weird things, and I've already had two real parties and one pseudo-party. Odin is still adjusting, but I think when we get the cat tree in he'll realize how much this place is perfect for us.

After a little bit of tweaking (like hanging art or actually sewing my curtains) I'll post some room tours. I can't wait to show you my new space!

Monday, November 18, 2013

inspired by... Kyle Thompson

Okay, today we're talking about a photographer named Kyle Thompson. He's a 21 year old from Chicago who woke up one day and decided to try his hand at photography. 3 years later, his haunting self portraits have gained him fame in the art world.

Looking through this gallery is ridiculously inspiring. He takes all these shots that you might have been able to think of yourself, but in his hands they are pushed to a completely new level. I am still trying to wrap my head around the shot of him in a puddle by the road. His color editing also sets these above and beyond the normal. So defiantly go check out his gallery.


Kyle Thompson links:

Friday, November 15, 2013

stuff around here...



Let's see... road trip, Nine Inch Nails, spending time outdoors (gasp!), lots drawing... I mean LOTS.

ten things


I have a weakness for things that are made out of things that they aren't usually made of. Take this wooden milk crate for example. As soon as I saw it I knew I'd have to own it one day.

I love black. Like, really love it. Especially when it's used for lovely gothic clothes. But right now I'm kinda having a love affair with white, and I blame this beautiful outfit.


This blogger did some makeup inspired by the Horde symbol (World of Warcraft). It sounds silly, but it's absolutely divine. I think I'll be doing this sometime. 

You could totally use this method to make a tie dye cake. I think I'll be trying this with a batch of cupcakes sometime!

This Thanksgiving garland idea from Cakies is perfect for my living room.

These two house images might be the most beautiful things I've seen all week.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

WIP Wednesday

This girl never got a name. I was working with a deadline while I was creating her, so I was focused more on speed than anything. She was for a contest that's theme was "Call of the Wild." I entered because I though my feral girls were a perfect fit for this theme. She didn't win, but I'm glad I made her anyways. It's been a looong time since I have used acrylics, and I was overdue for a huge painting.

While I love the concept of this, there are a few things I would like to change. Placement, her hair... but that's the great thing about art, I can always go back and try again. For now, I'm satisfied. It was a good jump back into the world of acrylics, and a great challenge. A new medium, a new painting surface, and working with color, all three contributed to me thoroughly enjoying working on this. Even if I had to paint a billion strands of hair. 
Overall, this piece took about two to three weeks to complete, working whenever I had long gaps of free time.


If you are interested in buying this piece, 
please email me at
jalesemann@gmail.com

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Best. Halloween. Ever.

aka "The Pumpkin that Changed My Life"

The last week of October was a crazy week. And the craziest day, by far, was Halloween. I had some serious drama going on that day, and I couldn't focus for the life of me. It was one of those days where you're getting your work done, but only barely because your head is in a totally different place. It helped that in the middle of the day my boyfriend texted me and told me that he had left two carved pumpkins on my porch. It was my first Halloween in the new house, and with my crazy schedule I hadn't had time to carve any pumpkins, so I really appreciated it.

My day brightened up when it came time to hand out candy. I've been living in the country since I was 6, so I've never really gotten to do the whole "porch light on" thing. I took advantage of having a house on a great street, and left my light on for the whole two hours. There were so many adorable costumes! And when it was raining I gave the kids two boxes of nerds, because you know those were the hard core trick-or-treaters.

But back to the pumpkins. I tried to light them my boyfriend dropped off during the day to see what the carvings were, but I couldn't figure it out. So I left it until it was darker, then lit them again. This time, I instantly understood.



You see, while we were up in Minnesota I found a book called Boris and Bella that I had never seen that was illustrated by my favorite illustrator Gris Grimly. I bought it on a whim, and after reading through it I had to show my boyfriend. It was a story about a grotesquely grimy girl, and a meticulously clean man. Pretty much the story of me and his life. (Yeah, I'm grimy. Wanna make something of it?)
So yeah, I was pretty excited about those pumpkins. 

Then when my boyfriend got off work (at about 11:30) he came in holding another pumpkin...


Before he even showed me the front I knew what it said, and I started laughing because it had been a crazy day, and I couldn't believe it was actually happening. I was so happy. Poor guy. Eventually I got it together and said yes. Later, I even carved my answer for him.


It was fun to go to his house the next day and see all of the work he put into the proposal. I was so impressed. Heck, I still can't believe he put this much thought and care into it. I was blown out of the water. (So was everyone on my facebook, haha!) We had fun baking up the pumpkin seeds to give to our parents. And we even saved some back. So maybe next year we'll have engagement pumpkins!

So that's the story of how a pumpkin changed my life. It was the most creative proposal I've seen in a long time, and just perfect for us.

Oh and PS.... Gris Grimly totally retweeted a pic of the pumpkins. How super awesome is that?

Monday, November 11, 2013

inspire me... Gris Grimly

Gris Grimly has been one of my favorite illustrators since I was introduced to his work back in 2005. I can't believe I haven't written a post about him yet, to be honest.

The thing I love most about Grimly's work is the lines. They are long, imperfect and curling, reminding me of a doodle that has grown wonderfully out of control. I love how thin and elegant they are, while retaining an overall sloppiness. This man is my line hero.
The second most thing I love is the way he colors. Watercolors painted in such a way that is gritty but soft, sloppy but well thought out. And the textures shine through in every one of his images.

These are two of my favorite images from him, but I'm in love with many of his illustrations. One is a picture of Darth Vader during battle, and the other is an illustration for a Poe story.





Gris Grimly Links:

Monday, November 4, 2013

Inspire me.... Dennis Calvert

Today I want to show you the work of Dennis Calvert. I've got an example of my favorite photo in this post, but I really think you should go take a look at his gallery before I start proclaiming my love.
... Did you do it? Good.
Right, so how amazing were those photos? You would almost think superpowers exist, because these are far too good to be created on a computer... and that's because they weren't. This photos were painstakingly created with a long exposure time, glow sticks, and a heck of a lot of talent.


Dennis Calvert links:



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