Digital Art & Design

For cool things to happen, you have to get out of your comfort zone.
—Rony Abovitz—

Morning sneaks up, and I open my shade to find a layer of moody fog clinging to the window. A melancholy feeling settles within. I silently work my way to making a delicious mug of coffee, bring out my laptop, and allow the slow motion of the mind to awaken… to brighten.

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Most all the postings here on my blog have been about the art created by hand. Ah, such pleasure in the moments that I get to take a tool to paper and create. But, that’s not the only way I get to work. Slowly over the past couple years I have found digital art creeping more and more into my life. It wasn’t easy to transition, and I remember the moments of the endless amounts of tears of frustration that I faced in learning how to create in Adobe Illustrator. Simple illustrations that would take moments to draw by hand took hours to figure out digitally. I was completely out of my comfort zone.

Now I eagerly await the challenge of creating step by step illustrations for children’s toy kits. Such welcoming moments when I am greeted with a new job. Such JOY in finding myself completely blessed to work with an amazing person who makes each one of the jobs 100 times more fun. Even if tears still stalk me in moments of figuring out how to make something work—  I find it all the more happy at the end of a job as the feeling of accomplishment tickles within.

Sometimes I get to create just illustrations. Sometimes I get to do just layouts. Sometimes I get to do both. Those big projects when I get to do them all… I have the most happy feelings at the final handoff. And feel even more gleeful when I spot one of the kits in stores.


The kits sold in all different stores… I somehow ALWAYS find my way to the children’s toy section to see if I can find another kit I had a little part of. So exhilarating. Funny that some of those kits decide they wanted to come home with me…

Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing
to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.
—Brain Tracy—

I had no idea the hours and labor that went into instructions. They seem so simple. Now instructions hold a deep respect. Each one brings a healthy challenge. A step of comfort and a step going out in the unknown.

I’ve learned in my life that it’s important to be able to
step outside your comfort zone and be challenged
with something you’re not familiar or accustomed to.
That challenge will allow you to see what you can do.
—J. R. Martinez—


12 thoughts on “Digital Art & Design

  1. This is so interesting! Love hearing about the work you do. I just started a few months ago drawing with a stylus on my iPad in Adobe draw and Adobe sketch. I can work in layers and then send it to Illustrator and Photoshop on the desktop. This way my digital illustrations have a hand drawn feel. Do you draw on a tablet?

      1. I like it a lot, but it’s definitely not as precise as a pencil. I’m still getting used to it. I also wish I could lean on the iPad like a skietchbook 😂. I’m a graphic designer, and for years I was drawing with the mouse creating each point in the shape. I prefer the stylus and the iPad. It allows for more of a hand drawn feel.

      2. Oh, that would be so hard not to lean the hand on the iPad. A skill to learn for sure as you take away a steady support and have to rely on your hand to be precise. But the nice part is you have options to redo when you move digitally- where the pencil doesn’t allow for that.

  2. Seeing your beautiful illustrations reminded me of what I used to do (not so very long ago!). Mine were for embroidery and craft books, and like you did battle with Illustrator till I got the hang of how to get the results I wanted. Now my time is for my own art, but just looking at your illustrations gave me a little feeling of how much I enjoyed doing them!

    1. Oh that is so neat! What a fun job to have to create illustrations for different instructions. Thank you for sharing that part of your art journey. Do you find you miss that part, or are you happy in having the time to develop the beautiful art you now create?

      1. I occasionally miss it, but I found I was getting a lot of pain in my shoulder (I originally drew using the mouse, then moved to a Wacom tablet which made it easier) so I had to stop to ease my shoulder. I did it for many years, starting with doing the illustrations by hand. The best thing about doing them in Illustrator is for corrections and changes, you don’t need to go back to the beginning and start again! I am happy to have had the experience, but am equally happy to be pleasing myself now, although of course I make far less money!

      2. What a neat experience to be able to look back on, and to share it. Thank you. I do love how using Illustrator allows for easier changes and making adjustments compared to by hand- starting over can become tearful rather quickly otherwise. Getting to create for pleasure is definitely happiness! 🙂

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