Looking forward to 2017: Reflect

I am a big fan of a new year. It feels like a fresh start and a new opportunity to focus on something particular in my life. I don’t really like to set resolutions, per say, but I love to set some goals as well as an overall area of focus. As the end of 2016 approached, I began to set my thoughts on what intentions I would set for the upcoming new year. I really had no idea. With a new baby on the way, that seemed all-consuming so what else would I have time for?

Being pregnant I am starting to get into a habit of doing a yoga session at home then relaxing in a bath after. It has always been a struggle for my to take the time for myself and do stuff like that. I usually put my own health, body, and self low on my priorities list, sadly. But as I get further along in my pregnancy, my body physically craves stuff like yoga and baths, so it has become impossible to ignore. Of course, as you may be able to relate, overtime I actually do stuff like that, I really do love it. I always compare things like that to eating a salad. You never really want to choose to eat a salad, but you almost always enjoy it and feel really good once you do. Same with working out or most other things that are good for you. Still it’s so hard to make the decision to do those things, for me, at least. Anyway, the point I’m really getting at is that it was a day or two before New Year’s Day and I was relaxing in my bath and I began to think again about my intentions for the coming year. Ultimately one word popped into my head: REFLECT.

It felt so right. Over the past year, I’ve gone through a whirlwind of emotions. I feel like I am finally starting to overcome certain things that have been damaging to my mental health. I’ve recognized that this really only happens when I allow myself time to really think about things and unpack whatever it is that is really going on. With myself, with my relationships. Plus this next year is going to contain SO MUCH. Our daughter will be here in only 2 months. I get to watch her grow and watch her and Bear’s relationship develop. Our family will become complete. I want to, as much as possible, allow myself time to slow down and absorb all that is happening and all that I am experiencing. I want to take in the memories that are being made. I want to look inward. I want to think about myself, and ponder the “why’s” in my life. What makes me truly happy and WHY. I want to explore the reasons I am who am, and accept them or make changes if that seems like the right thing to do.

My husband and I keep a very busy life, I don’t feel like that will change too much as time goes on. We can never seem to help it, we always find ways to squeeze in something else. But I do want to intentionally make time to do nothing. I do want to reduce the amount of time I spend mindlessly scrolling on my phone or my computer and use that toward just being alone and thinking. Letting there be quietness. Paying attention to my surroundings. Just taking deep breaths. Or spending time talking with Geoff and re-living and re-visitng what is going on in our lives. I hope this might result in more writing and journaling. Or expression though art.

The longer I lay in that bath thinking about my intention of reflection, the more at peace I felt. It really is going to be a good year.

Art Everyday: looking back

It’s 2017! Which means that my year-long “Art Everyday” project has come to a close. Now it’s time to look back on the year and what has resulted because of it. Last year on New Years Eve, I decided to set a goal to draw or paint something every day in 2016. So how did I do? I went though and made a catalogue of all the art pieces I made last year and the total came to 288 out of a possible 365. That comes out to about an 80% success rate of sticking to my goal. But saying “80% success rate” sounds really silly because I consider this project to be a huge success. This has been one of the few (if the only) long-term projects that I have actually stuck with. Granted I missed some days, but I understand why. Becoming pregnant this year may have thrown a wrench in my drawing habit, but I’m really thankful that I had my art as an outlet. I really learned some things about myself and I found a new way to connect with others. It also taught me that when I would approach the subject matter that made me most uncomfortable or when I would second guess myself about posting something, that is when I found my work to be most resonating with others. It had a lot to do with my fear of getting “too deep” and feeling stupid about it. But whenever I did share outside my comfort zone, it felt good. It really inspired me to reach a little deeper into myself and my feelings, and spend time hashing out whatever is going on in my head. Throughout this past year, I found this art-making to be my “me-time”. Something I could do everyday, or as often as possible just for me, to be whatever I wanted it to be. That was pretty wonderful.

My goals for this project were to push me to think outside the box due to the sheer volume of work I would be creating. The hardest part of sitting down to create something was always WHAT to draw or create. It’s still not easy, but I have honed my ability or absorb inspiration which is pretty rad. The gears in my brain do turn a little more quickly now when I see something that inspires me. I also wanted to develop and polish my personal style when it comes to my art. I definitely think this year has been a good start in that direction. I feel like I’m still at the stage where I am testing out completely different styles all the time, but I have noticed some things that are fairly consistent throughout my work. One of these is subject matter. Generally, I have found my favorite subjects to be as follows (in no particular order):  food, people (mainly self-portraits), animals, and plants. some motifs that showed up again and again were bananas, cactus, and pizza. No surprise, I love a lot of color in my work, and tend to stick with the more saturated hues. For the most part, I like to stylize things, meaning nothing is draw hyper-realistic, or even close to that. Also nothing uber-geometric, which had a lot to do with the medium I was drawing: by “hand” with the Apple Pencil in Procreate on the iPad pro. I squeezed a few paintings in here or there, and there are several ink drawings, but I stuck to the iPad mainly because it was the easiest and most convenient. A couple other mini-goals were to share my work weekly, which I tried my best to keep up on but, it was hard, especial in my early pregnancy. I ended up grouping a bunch of weeks together for a total of 42 posts of of a possible 52. Not too bad. I also wanted to frame some of my own art to hang in my home, which I have about two pieces up. Plus a few in my office. Still need to work on that.

Something else in the back of my head throughout this project, was “What will I do with all of this?” Meaning, where will I take these skills, what kind of shifts in my career might this lead to? I still don’t really know. I love what I have been doing, so, so much but don’t know what that means career-wise. Will I try to become an illustrator, or take commissions, or try to sell prints, or look into surface design, apply my designs to baby clothes, illustrate books or something else? I still don’t really know. Illustrating children’s books is probably the most enticing right now, but I know I still have a long ways to go skill-wise to make that a reality. I have tried a couple different ways to make a little money from my developing skills. In June I opened up a shop through Society6 selling my art as prints and on various fashion and household items. I only made a few sales, and honestly the margins are not great. That felt like a bit of a flop, but it also required very little effort so, I guess you get what you put in. The other thing I did was begin selling my very own Procreate Brush sets on Creative Market. Over the year I developed my own tools to create the looks that I wanted, especially because there was really not very much available on the market. I spent months getting them perfect, making them something I was truly proud of, and was so excited to release them. I love the idea of other people creating things using something I created. In the past two moths since I made the brush sets available, I have had 58 sales between the three products I offer, which is pretty amazing in my book. I’m super thankful for the people that decided to give my brush sets a try. I’d love to develop more products like that to put out there on the market. I would also love to develop some tutorials and things like that too, so keep posted to the blog!

Looking back overall, I’m so, so glad I started this project. It has really been a highlight of my year personally and creatively. Developing these skills has always been a “dream” of mine, and actually committing to something big was the push I needed to go for it. Now that it is 2017, I have decided not to commit to “art everyday” for another year, but I know that I won’t be stopping the habit. It is too much a part of me now and I can’t wait to see where it leads me.

Below are all 288 pieces that I created in 2016 as a part of my “Art Everyday” project.

Each image is clickable to enlarge

Art Everyday: weeks 46-52

Happy New Year! So excited that 2017 is here. This is my last Art Everyday post! Well, for 2016 at least. I’m grouping all of the rest of the year into one post. The last half of November and all of December were not the most fruitful in the art department. It was a combination of being crazy busy (will it ever slow down?) and really tired. All year for the most part, I have been doing my art-making at night after my son goes to bed. But of course this is the time of day that I am the most tired. So the last 7 weeks produced a total of 20 pieces (out of 49 days). Not bad, not great. But I’m glad I kept at it as much as I could. Most of the time the tiredness would manifest itself as, not the lack of desire to draw, but as the total cluelessness as to WHAT to draw. That really is the hard part. In this set there is a bunch (pun intended) of banana art, some doodles, a dinosaur I’m particularly fond of, and then in the last couple days, I started experimenting with a new illustration style that resulted in a new portrait for my little family. I’ve done a few of these and I know it will be fun to see how my artistic style changes along with how my family grows and changes.

“Five Banana Styles

Parctice Bananas by Lisa Bardot

“Alligators”

Alligators by Lisa Bardot

“Random Things”

Random Things by Lisa Bardot

“Some Clouds”

Some Clouds by Lisa Bardot

“It’s the Moon

It s the moon by Lisa Bardot

“Pink Dino”

Pink Dino by Lisa Bardot

“Mermaids”

Mermaids by Lisa Bardot

“Color Wheel”

Color Wheel by Lisa Bardot

“Banana Pattern”

Banana Pattern by Lisa Bardot

“December Doodles”

December Doodles by Lisa Bardot

“Banana Pattern 2″

Banana Pattern 2 by Lisa Bardot

“Palm Springs Lettering”

Palm Springs Lettering by Lisa Bardot

“Bacon and Waffles”

Bacon and Waffles Pattern by Lisa Bardot

“Optimistic Sun”

Optimistic Sun by Lisa Bardot

“Winter Aria”

Winter Aria by Lisa Bardot

 

“Worried”

Worried by Lisa Bardot

“Cactus Pattern (unfinished)”

Untitled Artwork 6

“Dancing Lady”

Dancing Lady by Lisa Bardot

“New Girls”

New Girls by Lisa Bardot

“The Bardots Dec 2016″

The Bardots Dec 2016 by Lisa Bardot

Art Everyday: week forty-five

The week started out with some drawings I made to illustrate the capability of my Procreate Brushes I released that week. (“Green Eyes, Blue Eyes” and “Yellow Rain Boots”)  I haven’t really posted much about them here, but did you know that I developed three different sets of brushes for the Procreate app on iPad Pro? Ever since I started making art with Procreate on the iPad, I’ve been expertmenting with creating my own brushes to produce the types of effects I’d see in real-life mediums. For the past several months, I’ve been developing my own premium sets of Procreate brushes, which are now for sale on Creative Market. Check out the brush sets here! They have been pretty successful so far (in my book) and it has made me really proud to produce something that enables other people to be creative. 

This was also the week of the 2016 Presidential Election. Oy. There is so much I could say, but I really don’t want to delve into too much anymore. I drew “Election Night” on (big surprise) the night of the election. I started doodling last night as the election results were coming in to help “distract myself”. I started drawing on the left side what I was feeling with the hopes that things would turn around and the art would shown a change in subject matter as I filled the page. Eventually I got to a point where I just couldn’t draw anymore. And this is what I am left with. Emptiness, hopelessness, numbness, nothing. I went to bed that night crying and woke up feeling the same. So worried for the future, especially with one young child I’ve brought into this world and another on the way. “Today I Feel” is not so much a drawing, but a collection of words I wrote to capture all the many emotions I was feeling in the days post-election.

“Green Eyes, Blue Eyes”

Green Eyes Blue Eyes by Lisa Bardot

“Yellow Rain Boots”

Yellow Rain Boots by Lisa Bardot

“Rain with Bear”

Rain with Bear by Lisa Bardot

“Election Night”

Election Night by Lisa Bardot

“Today I Feel”

Today I feel by Lisa Bardot

Art Everyday: week forty-four

This was a heavy week, of both highs and lows. It was the week we found out we were going to be having girl! Yay! It was also a time of turbulence in our country as the election was going on. I made “Violated” in response to certain infamous comments made by then-presidential hopeful, now president elect (sighhhhh), Donald Trump. I posted it to social media with this message: “As a woman, it has been so saddening to realize there are so many people out there willing to turn a blind eye to this type of behavior. I have been groped by a stranger in public myself, and was quick to dismiss it, because “these things just happen”. That’s not the world I want my kids to grow up in. That’s not the kind of man I want my son to be.” And now I can say, that’s not the type of treatment I want my daughter to be subjected to. Visual style of that piece inspired by the great Tuesday Bassen. And then there are some animals thrown in there. These were representations of our family Halloween costumes.

“It’s a Girl!”

It s a girl by Lisa Bardot“Violated”Violated by Lisa Bardot

“Zebra, Giraffe, Lion (Mommy, Bear, Daddy)”

Zebra giraffe lion by Lisa Bardot

Baby #2 is a…

Spoiler alert: It’s a Girl! A few days before Halloween, we finally got to find out what the sex of our baby was. Ever since we told Bear about the baby, he has been convinced that it was a sister. Like, he would not even entertain the possibility that it could be a brother. And he never wavered on his conviction. Geoff and I were both hopeful, we both really wanted to have a daughter. Her name has been picked out for literally years. So of course I had built up the whole gender reveal in my head A LOT. And it did not go exactly to plan. I’ll give you the condensed version of the story, but I came up with idea to do donuts for the reveal, mainly for Bear because, as you can see above, kid is obsessed with donuts. Not gonna lie, I am too. So I set it all up with the donut place, dropped off the envelope to them in the evening for pickup the next day. In the morning, I called to see if it was ready and the conversation went something like this:

Me: “Hi, I have a special order for Lisa Bardot. Is it ready to pick up?”
Them: “What was it?”
Me: “They were the gender reveal donuts.”
Them: Pause….”Oh, the girl ones?”
Me: “Uhhhhhhh….”

So yeah, that’s how I found out. From the donut person, over the phone. Not quite the moment I had anticipated to say the least. And honestly, I’m really playing down my disappoint here. I was crazy emotional. There was a lot of other stuff going on at the time that contributed to this, but I don’t really want to get into that. Geoff came in the room and immediately noticed something was wrong in my face. I told him “It’s a girl”. Then started crying, and not the tears of joy I would have if the situation happened differently. I told him I still wanted to go get the donuts and do the reveal for Bear. So we did. Then we rushed off to our midwife appointment where Bear was being a crazy person and pooped his pants (yeah, and I forgot a change of clothes, awesome). After we got home we put him down for nap and I decided to edit together the video of the reveal. That truly was my saving grace. Re-living his excitement made everything “okay”. At least sort of. As we got to share the video with family and friends, my anger and frustrations slowly faded to happiness and excitement. I really am grateful. Whenever I imagined having kids when I was younger, I always said I wanted at least one of each, a boy first, then a girl, and I am getting exactly what I have always wanted. I seriously cannot wait to meet her. It’s crazy how much more excited I am to have the actual baby than I was the first time around. I guess knowing all the great things about having a kid will do that to you.

girl-005

Art Everyday: week forty

Some stuff in here I’m really digging. Namely, “Noodle Eating Monster” inspired by my pregnancy and it’s obsession with carbs. Doodling this week was fun. I also drew “Neon Banana” inspired the awesome products by Electric Confetti. I want that neon banana so bad.

 

“Noodle Eating Monster”

Noodle Eating Monster by Lisa Bardot

“October Doodles”

October Doodles by Lisa Bardot

“House”

House by Lisa Bardot

“Tree Face”

Tree Face by Lisa Bardot

“I Want the Neon Banana”

I want the neon banana by Lisa Bardot

“Prickly Cactus”

Prickly Cactus by Lisa Bardot

“Dry Brush Bear”

Dry Brush Bear by Lisa Bardot

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