Happy Easter Sunday, to those of you who celebrate it! I'll be spending my time with chocolate eggs and shooting my studio with Christina for an upcoming project. Woohoo!
Photograph from Elle, March 2013.
Did you ever watch Pushing Daisies? I got obsessed with it long after it was on - too bad it only lasted two seasons because Charlotte Charles had the best wardrobe. She wore a lot of monochromatic color and it walked the line between fairy tale and cheeky - the perfect combo in my mind. So this week's color study is inspired by Chuck Charles!
Over the weekend, along with creating a new portfolio, I also made a new pattern. My Twitter background needed updating from my peony pattern, so I switched to this polka dot pattern for spring. Feels amazing that it's finally spring, isn't it?
You can also use it for personal use only (i.e. as your wallpaper) by downloading it here.
Kicking off this week with the launch of my new portfolio site! Check out a bunch of new work I did last year, including pieces for the New York Times and Huffington Post. I'm also pretty chuffed about the new About Me image (above) featuring most of my tools of the trade. Also glad to say I bit the bullet and switched to Cargo Collective, so I can quickly and easily update new projects. Hooray!
Check it out here and let me know what you think.
Lately I've been keeping it neutral color palette-wise. Love the impact of black and white together. Can stripes be a neutral? And how amazing is that David Koma dress?
Running a late pulling this list together this month, but here's what I've been reading:
Obviously, I'm really into inspiration and business guidance this month - and a healthy dose of fiction. I agreed to read Ryan's favorite book growing up, The Hobbit, since I'm marrying the guy and all.
Update on last month's reading list:
Finished Gone Girl and it was thoroughly entertaining though slow to get started. The writing and plot was so good though, that I made Ryan read it after I did so that I could talk about it with someone - and then I made everyone in the office read it. It's a great thriller, and I need more fiction recommendations like this.
Let me know if you've read any of these or if you have any recommendations for me next month!
Recently I've been pretty into baking mini donuts. Kind of a manageable addiction really, since I'm using a recipe based on a vegan one from VeganYumYum. Also, the mini size makes it not as bad to eat three at a time...right?
Mini Baked Donuts
Adapted from VeganYumYum.
Makes 20 donuts
Note: I use this mini donut pan, and it works like a dream.
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp (scant) nutmeg
1 tiny pinch of cinnamon
1/2 cup almond milk
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
4 Tbs Earth Balance
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Whisk together dry ingredients in standing mixer (or in a bowl with hand mixer). Then put all wet ingredients except for the egg in one pot and put it on the stove at low heat to melt the Earth Balance. The mixture should not be hot - just barely warm to touch.
Mix in egg to the flour, and then combine in the rest of the wet ingredients. Using a tablespoon, spoon a level amount into the ungreased donut pan. Tap the pan on the counter to even out the batter, and pop in the oven for 12 minutes.
The donuts are done when a toothpick comes out clean, and they are nice and golden. Empty them out on a rack or parchment paper lined cutting board to allow cooling. Completely cool before frosting/sugaring.
Bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips (or your choice)
Rainbow sprinkles/chopped walnuts/shredded coconut/etc. topping
Melt chocolate chips in a double broiler situation. Remove from heat, and dip just the tops of the donuts into the chocolate. Sprinkle immediately while it's still wet - it hardens fast.
4 Tbs Earth Balance
1 cup sugar (superfine can be made by running plain sugar through a food processor)
1 tsp cinnamon
Melt Earth Balance in a bowl, set aside. Combine sugar and cinnamon in a bowl or food processor, and set aside in another bow. Dip donuts in melted Earth Balance, then roll immediately in cinnamon sugar. You'll want to eat this one immediately.
Here's a dragon illustration that is part of a larger personal project I'm working on right now. I'm forcing myself to get back into the routine of illustrating every day; prodded along by this mantra from Mike Yamada:
Improvement is easy - just try to do a little bit better than the day before - Discipline is hard.
It's what I needed to hear to pull myself out of the creative funk I've been in since the beginning of the year. I was totally overwhelmed by all the projects I wanted to do, so much so that I just wanted to lay down as soon as I got home at the end of the day. This was a plan of attack. I'm tackling one personal project at a time and try to do it a little bit better than I did the day before - every day, even on days like yesterday when I just wanted to eat mac and cheese and go to bed at eight.
Felt like practicing my digital painting skills, but didn't want to commit to starting a full on project, so I decided to do a little portrait of one of my favorite singers - Billie Holiday.
While working on this, I did a some reading up on Ms. Holiday — what a rough life she had. She really turned pain into gold, long before Adele did.
So last fall I got this spark of an idea while I was driving (when I get the best ideas) to make an animated film for our Save The Date. Ryan and I are both artists, and we have long wanted to collaborate together and build a little studio making animated videos.
The timing hadn't been right until I got this story in my head. It was the perfect occasion to debut our work as a team - both in life (cheeseball!) and for our studio.
Now that it's been shared with our family and friends whom have (hopefully) already seen it on our wedding website, I'm excited to share our film here with you. Hope you enjoy it!
Tim Walker is one of my favorite photographers. He shoots the most amazing sets, works with the best stylists, and creates a true visual wonderland. I want to create work that feels like this.
Photographer: Tim Walker, Set Designer: Rhea Thierstein, Published in British Vogue, found via.
Here's a new food illustration for Freutcake: chocolate lavender truffles! I personally really like lavender in my sweets - I made some chocolate dipped lavender shortbread over Christmas - and so does Ryan's mom, so this might be a perfect Mother's Day treat.
Happy March & Happy Friday! Make sure to check back here on Monday, I have a really exciting project to share with you!