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  • Thanksgiving is... Different

    One of our favorite holidays is here – but like all things in 2020, things are a little different this year. Many state and local governments are trying to stop the spread of Covid-19 by limiting the number of people gathering indoors. The idyllic Norman Rockwell painting "Freedom from Want" with Grandparents serving a turkey to a crowded table of family members huddled together is probably not in the cards for most of us this year. While Halloween and December festivities increasingly overshadow Thanksgiving, 2020 reminds us that it's more important than ever to take time and celebrate the friends and family that help make these trying times endurable. Being thankful and being angry have a hard time occupying the same space simultaneously. Gratitude is a state of mind that allows one to focus on the positive amidst the negative. We can all use a day like this to take a break, especially those of us who have suffered loss, feel helpless, and are losing hope. I assure you, there is treasure in the trash of 2020! Getting together might look a little different this year. Your gatherings might have a virtual component. Maybe you are taking your Thanksgiving outdoors, or maybe your table only consists of people in your immediate household. How can you embrace tradition and at the same time lean into different? If you are reading this blog, you probably consider yourself pretty artsy. We do, too! Why not channel some of that creativity and talent into making something unique? Let the special people in your life know what they mean to you. At Thanksgiving, we usually do this with food, but this year, think of ways how you might be able to do this with art. Here are some of our ideas: For those who can't be with you this year, write a letter or make a card. Whether it's a heartfelt letter to a friend or family member, or a "thinking of you" card dropped off to residents of a retirement home (or hospital patients nearby), your thoughts and talent will bring joy to others. If you've never made a tablescape, try it out this year! Even if it's just a setting for two, embellish your dinner table with invitations, handmade menus, seating cards, and artistic thank you cards. Write a thank you card to yourself while you are at it; you deserve it! If your friends and family live nearby, but you can't get together in person, consider the classic ding dong ditch. Ring the doorbell and leave dessert and a handmade card, or maybe it's the full dinner for those that are homebound. If you regularly volunteer at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter, maybe donate some of your art in the form of positive quotes in the size of an artist trading card, or donate some art supplies to your local shelter. As you already know, art can be therapeutic. Small gestures can make a difference for both the giver and the receiver. If you are one of those artistic souls that try something different to express your gratitude at Thanksgiving this year, let us know! We'd love to see your comments below. You can also show us your work by tagging us on Instagram with #kohinoorusa. From our family at Chartpak to yours, Happy Thanksgiving. We are truly grateful for the artists who use our products and inspire us every day.

  • Happy World Kindness Day!

    In the spirit of spreading kindness (because we could all use a little extra love this year), we created some kindness cards you can color in and distribute. Feel free to get the kids involved too and be sure to tag us, or our sister companies, when you share the love on social! @admarker_official @higginsinks @grumbacherart

  • The Practical Guidebook to Approaching your Art by John Kidd

    There have been some fantastic and quite moving blog posts from very interesting people with great stories to tell. I’m not one of those people. I’m a very practical person with a background in engineering and so my blog will, hopefully, take on a more practical approach. First I’d like to tackle a few of myths surrounding art that are usually voiced by people who don’t actually create anything themselves! Anything can be art No, you can find art in almost anything that appeals to you personally, but when you deliberately sign a false name onto a piece of lavatorial porcelain - it’s a con and it’s detrimental to all the creatives who put their heart and soul into their art. There are no rules to art There are hundreds of practical rules about what materials can and cannot be used together. There are gallery and social media rules about what can be shown and we all have our own personal rules about how we work. I try to treat the process of filling my Rapidographs in the same way as a Chinese artist treats the ritual of prepping and grinding their ink and centering themselves before starting to paint. If I didn’t, the temperamental nature of technical pens would drive me insane and leave me in no fit state to draw anything! You should keep sketchbooks and keep all your prep work No, you should do what’s right for you. My engineering training means that I always approach a blank piece of paper with a strong idea of what’s going to go on it. The idea of people seeing anything other than the finished product fills me with dread, that’s my way, but you have to find your own path. You should draw every day Again, no, for some that’s just not practical and for others that pressure is off putting. You should try to create as often as the urge takes you, and on the occasions when it’s just not working, don’t beat yourself up. Go and do something completely different to take your mind off it. I go and do something practical like fixing an engine, for you it could be a walk in the park or baking a cake. Next I have a few suggestions for anyone doubting their ability: Art isn’t a competition, stop comparing your work to other artists and just try to create what’s in your soul. Don’t compare the piece you’ve just finished to something you’ve seen in a gallery. They have the benefit of perfect framing and lighting and your “fresh eyes." When you’ve finished a picture, stick it on a wall where it will catch the light well and then walk away, come back a little later and see what you think. Finally, framing can make a huge difference! If you are pleased with a piece of work take the time to mount and frame it properly, you’ll be amazed at the difference that can make!

  • The Comparison Monkey by Debbie Bonner

    “The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind the scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” -Steve Furtick I started this challenge, as well, a challenge for myself, to step out of my comfort zone and do some things I’ve never done. When Pam first contacted me to be a guest artist for the month of October, I didn’t believe it and I almost turned her down. I thought why would they want me to showcase my ‘work’ and their supplies for a month?. But then, I thought it a wonderful opportunity, an opportunity to confront myself and my lack of self esteem when it comes to my creating. Oh, and the free supplies, who doesn’t like free things, 😂! I am a big self doubter and quite often have the comparison monkey on my back. I think that ape is quite heavy right now, as I see the pieces the other guest artists are doing and reading their blog posts! I don’t see how my work can even be compared to theirs. I have, unfortunately, passed this trait down to my youngest daughter, who is a photographer. She questions her work and I have to remind her that art is an opinion. Not everyone is going to like your work, just the same you may not like someone else’s. It’s not that your drawings, photos, or whatever are not good, it just may not be what an individual finds pleasing. I also have to remind myself of this and social media does not help those feelings. You can’t judge your work by 👍🏻 or comments on Instagram or Facebook. Doing that will only make you question everything about your own abilities. I do try to post on Instagram daily, or at least every other day, but I don’t do it for the likes, comments, or followers, even though that’s a plus 😉. I do it for myself, to keep myself creating and accountable in my own artwork. It’s hard to not compare my pieces to others out there, as there are so many fantastic artists on social media (and in this challenge alone, WOW!). But, my journey is my journey. I have no formal art training and had quit drawing for over 25 years and that is why I depend on Instagram to keep me accountable on my art journey, to keep me creating. I have also taken a break from social media for awhile. It really does your mind some good to do that from time to time. We all need a time away to recharge. So if you are struggling because you think so 'n so is a better artist at painting, drawing, ink, etc. than you may be, remember, this is your journey, your style, your artwork! No one can do your artwork like you. If you are enjoying what you do, and it pleases you and makes you happy, then just do it! You can’t compare your artwork to others because they may have more experience, training, or just more years of practice than you. I once heard someone say “Perfect Practice Makes Perfect”, but no one is perfect. Practice Makes Progress! “Comparison with myself brings improvement, comparison with others brings discontent.” -Betty Jamie Chung Keep creating! If interested in seeing some of my work, you can find me on Instagram at @whi.cre8ed

  • Avoid Perfection, Encourage Experiments: Realize Your Art

    I hope everyone is enjoying this “Inktober.” It’s always fun to see the community of artists respond to social media challenges like this. When approaching such a challenge, I try to use each media in a way I may not have used it previously. What can I do that might be unusual? What can I do that is unique to my sensibilities? With much of what inspires us, we develop and expand upon each concept, exploring ways to make such ideas individual and colorful - to make them ours. Allow yourself a space to experiment. Some of my fondest memories making art was spreading books and art supplies on the floor, sitting over rolls of paper and making a literal mess. Ink covering my fingers. Brushes, nibs, sticks and even crayons dipped in ink, creating character studies, thumbnails and designs based on classics of literature like “The Once and Future King” and “Treasure Island” (two of my favorites). One idea leads to another, each sketch leads to a different solution. Experiment with your tools and your methods, playing with the possibilities. If you do this often, you will become addicted to a feeling of fulfillment that is hard to match. When you immerse yourself in hard work, it becomes a passion. Consider this part of your training. It’s what keeps you drawing and returning night after night to your desk while permitting your imagination to run wild. Ask yourself thoughtful questions. Would such an idea be best served as an oil painting on masonite? Or would it be better as a dry brush ink drawing on cold press watercolor paper? Can you envision your concept as a series of ceramic tiles cemented along a pathway, or painted as body art for an adventurous soul? Whatever it is, give yourself permission to see where it takes you. If it becomes a book illustration, then so be it. If it becomes a series of skateboard decals, a line of t-shirts, art prints, bronze sculptures or etchings - what a great way to have found it! This Inktober, I started working in Rapidograph, a tool I haven’t used in years. I prefer a messier development tool, like a crowquill or brush dipped in India Ink, sometimes introducing dyes or watercolor paint. With Rapidograph pens, what subject would best be explored with them, especially after years of embracing messier media? I designed quite a bit of spaceships the past few years, so I collected them all in one place, ripping them out of my different sketchbooks (I have never kept organized sketchbooks). I decided to work them up using the technical quality associated with Rapidographs. A Radiograph forces me to slow down, think carefully of my design, and render each stroke with purpose. I resist the urge to scribble into the drawings, but one step at at time I am resolved to do what makes sense for each illustration. Looking at the amazing comic book illustration of Moebius, I notice his controlled line quality characterized by the Radiograph pen. I am forced to think about design, deliberately placing my negative and positive shapes, line weights, and convey image planes and distances. When it comes to far-out science fiction worldscapes, Moebius is perfect for my spaceships right now. What is a perfect technique for you to explore today? We always have time to be curious. If you find yourself asking “Why?” don’t stop there. Go the extra mile and ask “How?” You may unleash an experiment that proves the best solution and gives you lasting fulfillment as an Artist.

  • Wholly Devote Yourself to The Inner Machinations of Your Mind and Flow by DeShawn Fairbairn

    In a dying world amidst the troubling times of recessions, political failures, and big pharma trying to subdue the planet, artists might question their significance in the grand scheme of things. One might posit the question, "where does my purpose belong in this world?" Art is not one dimensional and indeed not the existentialist post-mortem reward commonly preached in history. Instead, drawing and artwork transcends the fibers of a person's soul. It is what brings light in a dark place and allows freedom of expression. In short, it is by daring to be different through your artwork that you can live. Defying the odds of being noticed or seen swirls around the microcosms of the art world. In today's social media, being "seen" is somewhat of greater importance to most than what your art means. Aesthetics of the generation often drowns out uniqueness. For many, art is freedom of expression, a term misused within political arenas and social constructs modulated to feed the system and dampen spontaneity and creativity. Dare to be different. The varying strokes of Rapidograph pens or laying a foundation with a Staedtler show once; the artist dares to continue. Life, too, is this way. Your genetics, talents, fiscal stance doesn't define life. Your persistence once you've accepted life's challenges and your courage to face each day afresh like your artwork is what provides its meaning. Drawing comes with it this defining characteristic of testing. As to life, a drawing will test your mettle with failures, successes, doubts, fears, hopes, and provision. We can reference many in life to search for a path that provides what we think success looks like in the same way, and artists look for references for beginning work. References test not your ability to copy; however, they bring together a will to continue, learn, grow, fail, capitalize, and self-motivate. Drawing allows us to cope with these life factors therapeutically and regularly provide novel experiences, unlike some therapy forms. Through our struggles with art, we can give joy to others. Once we realize this fact, we can truly live for our gift. We can navigate the other facets of our lives, knowing that by giving our gift, not only will our reward be handsome, but the impact on another is everlasting. Drawing as a means to breathe life is the beauty in every day of sketching, creating. Creations are an extension of your mind. With the mind, we fight our greatest battles and generate movements so profound that the tools we use have no choice but to bend to our wills. Score through the body and find the hands, limited in movements, near-limitless on possibilities. Like a chess champion, the artist can create moves that highlight the personality and gameplay of the mood. It's a whole mood. Wholly devote yourself to the inner machinations of your mind and flow. Flow. Continuously, streaming consciousness, steadily and fervently pursue, place, shift and grow, feel without thinking, enjoy without expecting, intensity gathers and grows culminating in an epic masterpiece.

  • Everybody can drawing! - Todo mundo pode desenhar!

    Hello, stranger! I'm sure you are frowning and wondering if this is really possible, and in fact it is; all of us, when we enter the school, however simple it may be, we draw something, what differs is that some people dedicate themselves more than others, and the vast majority receive as a compliment, '' you draw so well, you have a DOM ' '. As a self-taught person, I am sure that if I just listened to this, without dedicating myself and studying art frequently, I would not have the knowledge and practice in the drawing I have. I venture in this medium for almost 10 years, and amazingly, I already tested material a lot and I already have a list of what I don't even want to see around (laughs). Colored pencils are my passion, I can't do without them and when I need to create a job without them, I feel stuck because I can't use color. In the meantime, coloring books emerged and I was enchanted by them, nowadays I am immensely grateful to have a partnership with Illustrator Johanna Basford and to be able to give life, create worlds and abuse colors in her books. Nature is my constant inspiration, so I always look for some photographic reference before starting a new job. Nankin is my second favorite material, and I confess that I didn't know the colored line, when I received my box for Inktober I was super happy. Attached you find a Buddha made in black pointillism and some drawings that were made for the October challenge. I once read in an article that "art is a more intense form of individualism than the world knows", and this phrase caught my attention because of the simple fact that art is UNIQUE. I believe that none artist can be called an artist if he is constantly using another as a base, art is fluid as well as creativity, to be creative you must be open-minded to the new; new materials, new angles, and new experiences. So common without pressure, without fear and without a final goal, the evolution will be constant according to the time you dedicate to it, we can all draw, just start! I hope I can help you start a new project or take that old draw out of the drawer! You can find me on Instagram @patrik_giacomelli Have a great day! See you later! :) Olá, desconhecido! Tenho certeza de que você está com a testa franzida e se perguntando se isso é realmente possível, e de fato é; todos nós quando entramos na escola, por mais simples que seja, desenhamos algo, o que difere é que uns se dedicam mais do que outros, e a grande maioria recebe como elogio, '' você desenha tão bem, você tem um DOM ''. Como autodidata, tenho certeza que se eu apenas tivesse ouvisse isso, sem me dedicar e estudar arte com frequência, não teria o conhecimento e a prática em desenhar que possuo. Eu me aventuro nesse meio há quase 10 anos e, pasmem, já testei material pra caramba e já tenho uma lista do que nem quero ver por perto(risos). Lápis de cor são a minha paixão, não posso ficar sem eles e quando preciso criar um trabalho sem eles me sinto preso porque não posso usar cor. Nesse caminho, surgiram os livros para colorir e fiquei encantada com eles, hoje sou imensamente grato por ter uma parceria com a ilustradora Johanna Basford e por poder dar vida, criar mundos e abusar das cores em seus livros. A natureza é minha constante inspiração, então sempre procuro alguma referência fotográfica antes de começar um novo trabalho. Nankin é meu segundo material favorito, e confesso que não conhecia a linha colorida, quando recebi meu box para a Inktober fiquei super contente. Logo abaixo você encontra um Buda feito em pontilhismo preto e alguns desenhos que foram feitos para o desafio de outubro. Certa vez li em um artigo que ''a arte é a forma mais intensa de individualismo que o mundo conhece'', e essa frase me chamou atenção pelo simples fato da arte ser ÚNICA. Acredito que nenhum artista pode ser chamado de artista se estiver constantemente usando outro como base, a arte é fluida assim como a criatividade, para ser criativo é preciso estar com a cabeça aberta ao novo; novos materiais, novos ângulos, e novas experiências. Por isso comece sem pressão, sem medo e sem objetivo final, a evolução vai ser constante de acordo com o tempo que você se dedicar a ela, todos podemos desenhar, basta começar! Espero que possa ter ajudado você a começar um novo projeto ou a tirar aquele desenho guardado da gaveta! Você pode me encontrar no Instagram @patrik_giacomelli Tenha um ótimo dia! Até breve! :)

  • Art is Bigger Than I Imagined

    When I started drawing I didn´t think I would embark so many projects, all so different from one another! And it has been awesome. I don´t even remember when I started drawing. I think we all are born with at least a spark of curiosity and a desire to express ourselves through scribbling and doodling. In that way, it is a need inherent in human nature and if nurtured, it may be developed in a more profound and conscious way. That is why I think drawing is, at it's root, a deeply intimate and personal tool for shaping yourself. I grew up in a very common and safe environment, but with no exposure to creative and artistic fields other than what is shown on the mainstream media or public art exhibitions. In that regard, I did not have a specialized upbringing. No one in my family was dedicated to the art field. I think we participate within the cultural channels that are available to us from the moment we define ourselves, within a cultural identity and a social context. Some of us choose to focus on developing our careers according to our interests. For me, that became a true challenge, I´ve always felt the need to know more and expand my capacities and knowledge from that initial spark of curiosity. Now I feel grateful for the sense of fulfillment in completing a task and viewing each project as a developing chain of complexity that participates in the world around you. I really believe that the greatest gift that you can let yourself have is not allowing you to think that you know enough. Drawing is a language with which you learn how to describe things in your world, then you may even create new concepts by mixing and adding components from your experience. As Wittgenstein spoke about language shaping the mind, we shape our world as we erase away it´s boundaries and all things we can tell from one another through our senses. You don´t only draw from what you see, but what you think and know about those things, and that way you describe yourself, as your knowledge and character functions as a lens of sorts, projecting itself through the process of creation. I truly believe I have shaped my life around art, but the basic tasks that are needed to complete a drawing or painting can be learned within a couple of sessions and those may be mastered along the way, until your last breath, and still, it will seem to you that you´ve never reached that ultimate mastery that you imagined. Once I got to a certain level of expertise, I would just produce the images that I imagined, first trying out different materials and themes, trying out lots of different styles and enjoying the differences and similarities that each language could provide. That is why I never compromised to being defined as a “conceptual,” “abstract,” “figurative” or any description that would limit myself from the freedom of changing and starting over the process over and over again. Once I started being commissioned by clients I tried to embark on every project disregarding if I knew enough of what they were about, trying to learn along the way the particularities of every field, especially when there was a chance on collaborating with other fields of expertise. I've always had a preference for endeavors that allow discussion with professionals of very different perspectives, that led me to writing about visual arts through blogs, having podcasts about the things I liked. The more you repeatedly make something, the more you will get better at it. I became a radio host and producer, I organized events and that shape your knowledge and abilities to becoming a curator, and a strategic planner for a big company, even becoming a civil servant at one point! It all came from learning how to draw, and even if every task required it´s own set of abilities and knowledge, I always pictured things being constructed form the same principles. Drawing has allowed me to connect with a lot of people, knowing other artists has helped me keep my language malleable and it has allowed me to travel and learn other cultures. It has given me not only a means of survival but also a sense of purpose. I don´t think it has to do with talent or any kind of privilege, but the one thing I have convinced myself is that you surrender yourself to it, you get used to frustration, to the sense of not “winning” because you grew up with all these expectations from others. Drawing is in that way, a never ending path that connects yourself to the world, and in drawing you shape yourself and thus the world itself changes as you shape the perspective of others.

  • Introducing the Koh-I-Noor October Drawing Team

    These talented artists have joined our drawing team to celebrate a month-long drawing challenge. Whether you are looking for inspiration, motivation, or a fresh take on traditional ink, you'll find it with us this October! Here are the stars in our cosmos this October. DeShawn Fairbairn Engaging in medical sciences and artwork from 12 years old, DeShawn views the human body as a beautiful piece of artwork. His most recent endeavors have led him to write and illustrate his latest work called the Legend of the Fire King alongside Digital Art Professor Benedick Bana. His artwork ranges from human anatomy to dark characters as concept art. He attributes his love for art from predecessors such as Takehiko Inoue, Burne Hogarth, Todd Lockwood, Stan Lee, and Tim Burton. DeShawn is a student at Tufts Medical School with a passion for bodybuilding, music, and art. Instagram: @iamdflex_ Katarzyna Blaz Katarzyna is a fifth-year student of biotechnology at the Rzeszów University of Technology in Poland. She has also been developing her passion for realistic drawing. She is self-taught and believes that the beauty of art lies in the fact that you can discover it yourself. She spends every free moment learning new techniques and improving her skills. The focus of her work is on portraits of people and animals. Traditional graphite pencil is her favorite medium. However, she also draws with colored pencils, dry pastels, and charcoal. Katarzyna feels the most important aspect of pursuing art is technique development. She believes in having a lifelong dedication to improving your skills as an artist. Instagram: Gina Leone Gina is an award winning artist whose interest in animal art developed naturally from her early involvement with dogs. She is a graduate of Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY with high honors and a BFA in Illustration. She has completed commissions for the Dachshund Club of America, Dog Fancy Magazine, The AKC Gazette and many private collectors. Her work has recently been published in Colored Pencil Magazine's 2020 Look Book and Ann Kullberg's CP Hidden Treasures, Vol. 6. Gina believes that understanding the structural and individual differences between each animal continues to make drawing them a rewarding experience. Instagram: @ginaleonefineart Urvee Jethwa Urvee is a self-trained artist from India. She started exploring art at the age of 19. Soon her doodles grew into more complex art as she invested time developing her skills. Art was just a hobby until people started showing interest in her work and offering commissions. Her work consists of high contrast layouts that use bold, saturated color and are often inspired by nature. Urvee works in watercolor, and acrylics on various types of paper, wood, and wall murals. Instagram: @the.aeliusstudio Debbie Bonner Debbie is a 52-year-old wife, mother, and grandmother. She confesses that it feels like yesterday when she married her high school sweetheart, 33 1/2 years ago! Debbie recently started drawing again after taking years off to raise her children. She takes a carefree, easy approach to her art. Self-taught, Debbie enjoys exploring different techniques through trial and error. She is very excited to be part of the Koh-I-Noor Drawing team, and we are happy to have her! Instagram: @whi.cre8ed Patrik Giacomelli Nineteen-year-old Brazilian artist, Patrik Giacomelli, is studying Architecture and Urbanism. When it comes to art, he is self-taught. He describes his approach as "one who seeks constant evolution and inspiration in nature." He has been "breathing" art for almost ten years, allowing himself to discover and test various techniques and mediums. He especially enjoys creating mandalas via pointillism using colored pencils. Instagram: @patrik_giacomelli John Kidd John is a 53-year-old self-taught artist from London, England and a single parent to three wonderful kids. He has been drawing for as long as he can remember but never really thought of it as a career path until recently. He was originally trained as an engineer and first discovered technical pens at the age of 13 while studying Engineering Drawing. Aside from pen and ink, he also works in pencil, charcoal, watercolor, mixed media, and digital. He has challenged himself to learn a new medium every few months to see how he can expand his skills and to explore where it will take his artwork. Instagram: @military_pinups Aga Mleczek Aga is a Polish artist based in UK. She moved there after graduation from the Academy of Fine Arts. She dreamed she would make an animated movies or be a book illustration, but in the end, she applied for graphic design, (thought it's more convenient). She enjoys doing all kind of illustrations and animal portraits using different mediums and techniques. She loves working with crayons and markers as well with oil paint and sprays. She also paint cars and motorbikes using airbrush and mixed media. Instagram: @lazzzyfox Katie Hudnall Katie Hudnall received her BFA from the Corcoran College of Art & Design and her MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University in Furniture Design/Woodworking. Her published work and exhibitions include Crafting A Continuum: Rethinking Contemporary Craft, Making A Seat at the Table: Women Transform Woodworking, and in American Craft Magazine’s February/March 2017 issue. Hudnall, an assistant professor, runs the Wood Program at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where she lives, teaches, and makes tools for problems both real and imagined. Though her practice is primarily based in woodworking, Hudnall’s first love is drawing, and all of her pieces start as sketches. She is never without her sketchbook and almost always drawing. Instagram: @katiehudnall Jacob Daley Jacob earned his BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2015. His favorite materials are pigment pens and acrylic ink. Jacob's art is focused on Pointillism and the use of thousands of dots to create a single image. Through the layering of four key values ( Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black), he can achieve the full spectrum of colors. This process is very similar to print-making and the printing method. He creates these pieces as a means to alleviate and process chronic anxiety and mild depression. The repetition of the pen hitting the paper and the slow process creates a meditative state in which he can process emotions in a healthy, mindful manner. Art heals in mysterious ways. Instagram: @daley.dots Luis Sanchez Luis Sánchez was born and raised in Queretaro, México. He is a visual artist, specializing in both traditional and digital painting and illustration. He has dedicated himself to the arts since he was very young. He had his first solo show after dropping out of the local university and hasn't stopped since. He has spent the last 15 years in creative endeavors as an independent artist and also as a radio host, gallery curator and as a freelance illustrator for videogames, books, movies and painting street murals. Instagram: @luissanchezartmx Tony Santo Since 2009 Tony has been designing storyboards for History Channel (Vikings), WWE (Wrestlemania), Cartoon Network (Ben 10: Omniverse),, Humira, Carnival Cruise Lines, Sun Trust, Microsoft, and others. In addition to storyboards, he provides animatics, cinematics, video editing, illustration, and concept art for advertising, stage, film, TV, games, and websites. Tony has worked as a Clean-Up Animator on Disney films like Mulan, Tarzan, Lilo and Stitch, Brother Bear and The Emperor's New Groove. He's served as Art Director on multiple iterations of the award-winning EA Sports games Madden NFL and NCAA Football. As an Art Ambassador for Chartpak Artist Supplies he offers demos to schools and art stores, as well as on social media. He resides in the Bronx, but his home is where his work takes him. Instagram: @tonysantocreative

  • Art in a World Powered by Anxiety

    Unlike anything else in the world, art is equally healing for both the consumer and the creator. Whether intentional, or by coincidence, we bring about change, joy and understanding to the world. Being a part of that is the driving force and why I work, continuously at creating and being an artist. I create as a means to combat chronic anxiety and depression. With my process of stippling I am able to find a safe place in which I can work through what brings about these – sometimes debilitating – feelings. The repetitive, methodical nature of stippling creates an almost meditative state that eases the mind. Despite the cliché, I would be remiss not to say that stippling, and by extension art, saved my life. The stippling process I have developed takes it's influences from the methods of Maxfield Parrish, Seurat, Van Gogh, and more broadly; the process used for high-quality printing and screen-printing. My pieces are created using only four colors: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black (more commonly known as CMYK). I gravitate to this process because it helps the creator and viewer gain a thorough understanding of the fundamentals of color, value, and hue. One key point that I try to remember when life seems too much, or the anxiety/depression comes back, comes directly from my art style: Our problems, our negative thoughts, our physical existence is just one or two in a vast sea of many others that ultimately make a much bigger, often beautiful picture. Creating comes so easily to me because I have an ocular disorder that impedes my vision in a myriad of ways (Ocular Albinism). I always remember that my visual acuity is temporary and to get the most of it while I can still take in all the beauty around me. Ultimately my journey leads me to these key points that may expedite your journey: · If you have it; Listen to the call to create. It’s there for a reason. · Money and income are important, but if you work hard enough at something and truly believe in yourself, the money will show up eventually. · Don’t give up because others are better than you. · Enjoy the process and journey, don’t focus on the end product. · Don’t give up because there is some, seemingly undefeatable hurdle. · Before anyone else, create for yourself. · Know your worth. · Every style and process has their own set of difficulties. If you find one you really love; stick with it! Over time you will navigate those difficulties and be an expert. And finally, don’t you dare forget that being an artist and owning who you are is the bravest thing you can do. To see more about my process, how pieces come together, and to talk more you can visit my TikTok @daleydots , my Facebook @DaleyDots, or my Instagram @daley.dots. To see more portfolio and learn more about me and my process you can visit my website

  • Just Draw

    I went to art school a million bazillion years ago (in 1998) because I could draw, and I was the best draw-er that I knew at the time and I was pretty terrible at everything else, and I wanted, more than anything, to be good at something. When I got to school, I realized that I was surrounded by all the other kids that had been like me in their hometowns, and it turns out that I was the slowest, most mediocre draw-er in the group. My drawings weren't realistic enough, and they were too small and stiff, and I hated charcoal and all the other squishy soft drawing materials because I craved perfect, clean lines even though I didn't know what to do with them when I had them. I quit drawing, or hid my drawings, and took a sculpture class, and then a woodworking class, and I fell in love with building things. When I got out of school, I didn’t have a studio or tools anymore, and I was traveling around a lot, trying to figure out how to make a space for myself in the world. I had a sketchbook and pens, and I started drawing again. I let my drawings be funny, wonky, silly and sweet, full of pirates, monsters and strange buildings. I let them be bad. I kept grocery lists, numbers, and notes in my sketchbooks. The sketchbook became my studio. It became the space I made for myself in the world, or at least the start of it. I have been keeping the same size and style of book since 2003, and I love looking back and seeing how much I have grown, and what hasn't changed (I still keep grocery lists in it). My sketchbook is an honest record of where I am in my life, and some of the pages just get to be ugly and that’s ok. I love my Koh-I-Noor pens, but if I am stuck and all I have is a pen I seem to have nabbed from a bank for unknown and possibly nefarious reasons, that’s what I’ll use. Some of my favorite pages are the ones where I was stuck somewhere and wound up using crayons at a restaurant or drawing something random and great because I was deeply bored and had NOTHING ELSE TO DO. So, my advice to young draw-ers, new-to-drawing draw-ers, and anyone else taking up the Inktober challenge is: Just. Draw. Keep a sketchbook, keep it with you. Let it be what it becomes without trying to make it something it’s not. Make your own rules. Don’t worry about prompts if they’re uninspiring, heck, use the same prompt over and over if you love it! Don’t worry about posting a picture everyday - share when you want and can. Don’t let missing a day or two defeat you. You are building a space for yourself in the world, and that takes time. Love from me and the Monsters, Katie Hudnall

  • How to Harness Your Creative Energy

    We are now more than half way through the Koh-I-Noor October Drawing Challenge. I wanted take this time to offer some suggestions that may help you harness your creative energy. Here are my top tips on how to make creating a priority over all the other things that demand our attention on a daily basis. Find Your Why When you know your purpose for wanting to draw, it can make your drawings more meaningful. When your drawings are more meaningful it creates motivation. Drawing on a daily basis will help you see the world around you as shapes and shadows. It will also help to create a mind and hand connection that can make drawing easier the next time you pick up a pencil. We have all heard the saying, “practice makes perfect”. I much prefer to say, “practice makes progress”. Drawing has been instilled in me since art school. We were encouraged to carry a sketch book everywhere and to draw daily. While it is not always an easy thing to do, it really is a good way to improve your skills. Have a Plan Set yourself up for success by writing down a plan. Create a daily schedule and break your plan down into easy steps. Pick a time of day that you are most productive and schedule your drawing sessions for the same time each day. Your plan can include the prompt that you are following, what materials you will be using and a rough idea what you plan to draw. Having a well thought out plan will save you time because you will be able to focus on the drawing. Don’t wait for motivation to find you. Stick to your schedule so you can move forward with a positive mindset. Build Your Tribe Look around you for support and motivation. Creating art can be a lonely process, but if you can find others to learn from and encourage you it can make a big difference. Perhaps you have a like-minded friend or family member you can turn to. If not, there are many art groups on social media that can provide support. Consider joining an online art community or take a look at some of the many talented artists sharing tips on YouTube. You can also sign up to follow a creative you admire on the Patreon learning channel. There are many resources available right at your fingertips. Visualize Success When we visualize a successful outcome with good thoughts we create motivation. This will increase the likelihood of reaching your goals. A good mindset will attract a positive outcome and can help you move in the direction that you want to go. When you reach your goal by completing the October Drawing Challenge, don’t forget to reward yourself! If you would like to follow my artistic journey look for Gina Leone Fine Art on Instagram and Facebook.

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