Updates and hellos

Hello my dear blog friends,

It's been a while since I last wrote you. And I'm missing you and our Simply Neutrals gatherings! And my stash of yummy fabrics and laces, the needles and threads, the papers and glues, making mixed media books... But alas, no time at the moment... Alsn alas no time yet to have another Simply Neutrals party, I'm really sorry.

At the moment I'm over my head in illustration work (as in work I do for study purposes, not for paid jobs yet unfortunately). I hardly have time or energy left to be social besides family time and the social media side of following an intensive year long online study and trying to set up my illustration business. But I thought you might like to get an update on what's going on here and why I am so silent :)

So here it is.

Recently I worked hard on the children's book part of the year course at Make Art That Sells. This is for a story written by art director Zoƫ Tucker (she wrote it especially for class) about a pack of wolves and a little girl. The wolves are really naugthy and destroying the forest by their reckless behavior. They also eat way too much and grow bigger and bigger and bigger... And that's where this page spread comes in. I took that sentence a little further and imagined that the wolves were getting so big that they took up all the forest, nay, they become the forest themselves! :)

And here is the cover I created for this story.

There is a whole lot more work I did for this class, but I'll keep it at these two.

These last two years I have learned so much, it's crazy! I love experimenting with all kinds of art supplies and techniques and love to explore the internet, searching for how-tos and style/art inspiration. The MATS classes are not these kind of classes, it's not about learning the drawing and painting skills in itself. It's more about what is needed to improve your art in such a way that it will sell in specific industries where they need illustrations. Like kidlit, home decor, editorial, the gift market, etc.

Here is something I did for an edittorial assignment.

It was the first time I was really experimenting with a more neutral palette and with drawing techniques. Up till then my work was full of colour (every colour under the sun) and I had been working mostly digitally in the months before. I didn't like what I was creating digitally, so I swapped the digital pen for the real stuff and experimented with pastels, pencils, charcoals, crayons, paints, etc.

What I learned these last couple of months is to create so called icons, loose elements, and textures, and combine them in a piece digitally later on. So for example, the elements you see in the picture above (the red pepper, the pepper pieces, the soy bottle, the dish and spoon, I created seperately. And then I use photoshop to create a picture with them.

This is also how I created the work for the children's book class. It's layers and layers of textures and icons that I drew and painted and then created those illustrations with in photoshop. I could create a whole online course with this topic. May be some day I will :)

It's my background in mixed media that helps me work this way. I'm really grateful for all the generous peeps out there that shared their mixed media and art journaling tips and tricks!

Right now I'm busy creating for home decor class and this is how my floor looks...

So these are all loose elements and some textures (but usually I fill a whole page with one texture, created in paints and or pencils or other materials). Not all of these will make it to the work I'm doing for home decor class at the moment. Most of them won't. But I scan all these and grow my library of icons which I can use at a later time.

Oh gosh, I find this such a fascinating topic, I'm really getting inspired to create a class about it! I love teaching these kind of things and get asked in class about my work process... but I don't have time at the moment to create an online class, let alone host it! Aaarrrgghhh :) And I'd also love to create things for art journaling, mixed media, and scrapbooking. Like stamps and other usable goodies. There is seriously not enough time in a day!

Anyway, that was a lot of info for this update. Once I start talking....

I hope all is well with you! I'm really sorry I've been so MIA on your blogs... I really hope I'll be able to do Simply Neutral parties again. I'll keep you updated, once in a while :)

For now, wishing you a happy day and sending you big hugs!

xx Wen


  1. I love your illustrations. Keep it up. The recipe illustration reminds me of They draw and cook book I have. AriadnefromGreece!

  2. Oh how exciting your pages and cover looks great, you are doing a wonderful job and sounds like you are really enjoying it, that is just great, very happy for you! Good to hear what you have been up to

  3. Hugs back to you, Wen! It is nice to hear from you and learn about the work you are doing. The Girl Who Said "NO!" illustrations are so charming. You have a sweet artistic touch.

    Don't worry about your absence on the blog. You are doing important work right now for your artistic development and that is essential for your creativity and for your future work. All in good time, dearie. Be patient, enjoy what the present holds and the future will take care of itself. No matter how long between updates we will all be happy to hear from you when you have a moment.

    And don't forget to recoup from your work regularly. Do those things that refresh your soul and your body. And when the next issue of Simply Neutrals appears it will be an especially exciting day! Meanwhile we can all create our own Simply Neutrals!

    Best wishes with your present endeavors, Wen! And thanks for bringing us up to date.

  4. Hello dear Wen~
    It was so good to hear your news! And so nice to 'see' what you have been busy with. : ) Beautiful artwork; worthy of illustration my friend! It's so unique, creative and fascinating- draws me right into the story; love your art! And I am waiting to see it gracing books and such one day soon : ) Thank you for the update. Wishing you blessings Wen! Hugs, karen o

  5. Wow Wen - you're creating some amazing art! I wonder if there might be a career in book illustrations in your future. Don't worry about 'Neutrals' - it's a joy to see what inspires you now.

  6. Dear Wen so fascinating to read about your new illustration studies and see what you have been drawing and creating. This is an area which must be so fascinating to explore, research and expand. I love your first illustration and the front cover of your new book. I wish you every success with this new direction and we shall see how it grows and expands!
    Much love and take care to save a little energy for yourself!
    Suzy xoxox

  7. Dear Wen,
    You are really growing and an amazing artist , also with your wonderful drawings,- I so love your wolf forest , it is beautiful, and also the other two drawings speaks so much to me,- and I can see how busy you are, learning and creating , my friend. I hope your life is beautiful as your illustrations, and send you loving hugs. Dorthe xoxoxo

  8. Wen it is enlightening to see and read that your are enjoying your creative adventure, what an amazing journey you are on. Illustration was where I wanted to be when I left school but life and love got in the way which is something I would never change but it has nibbled away at much of my life so when I get a moment to create I feel I am young again.
    It's wonderful to see how you create with a delicate touch and tone. You are a magnificent artist and it's something I would immediately be drawn to if I saw it on sale.
    I am so with you on working with pen and paper, within this digital world nothing can compare to using the foundations of our trade.
    Keep up the marvellous work and sharing with us when ever time allows, it's a breath of fresh air to us all.
    Wishing you well Wen, take good care. Creative Hugs Tracey xx

  9. Your illustrations are really Gorgeous, I love them. You are very talented and creative, children and adults can enjoy your fantastic creations. Thanks so much for sharing.
    Wish you a very nice weekend, big hugs,

  10. You have a gift, a talent that is wonderful,
    It will be a gift for the children that get read to them

  11. Wow, Wen, It's so inspiring to see you following your heart and your dreams here, experimenting with how to extend your talents. Your pictures are full of life and personality, and I wish you success in your new directions. Warmest Hugs,
    Jesse XX

  12. So lovely to catch up with your wonderful journey in illustration. The Girl Who Said No looks ready to go to me - what intricate images so full of storytelling, and those wonderful details which would keep me poring over illustrated story books as a child. Fascinating to hear about the ways you are combining real world drawing with digital manipulation, and I loved all the design sheets spread right across your floor... I hope you don't need the room for anything else!

    There's no need to apologise for taking this time away from Simply Neutrals to develop your art - it's a joy to share in the journey.
    Alison x

  13. Oh wow....You are busy...Just stopped to say I am glad you are well....Michelle


Thank you so much for leaving me a sweet message, I love reading your comments. Hugs and happy day to you! xx Wen