The “Illustrated” Advent Christmas Challenge

Well it”s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas around here, if only in my head.

My imagination is full of snowflakes and twinkle lights all aglow. Walks in the winter snow and skiing through the woods. Eggnog lattes.

Unfortunately, out my window  the rain is pouring down and the weather quite balmy. Not so good when you live in a ski town.

Christmas Advent Series - Julie Hamilton Designs {artistically afflicted blog}

I am thankful for Faye Browns creation of this years #adventchallenge2014. A month-long challenge of  christmas prompts to illustrate, photograph, sketch and be inspired by.

I have been enjoying every minute and have to admit it has helped me get in the spirit of the Christmas season.

I have included a few of my favourites to date. I will admit I am already a wee bit behind, but that’s ok with me now ( I had to talk myself down the first day I missed, but now I realize it really is all Ok:)

Christmas, Illustration, vintage ornaments

I like to use these challenges to try new things. Maybe a new combination of colors or some different hand drawn textures. Anything that gets me excited to jump in and get immersed.

Christmas, Illustration, ornaments

I have found this challenge to be a good exercise for practicing my hand lettering and characters, yes….those things with eyes. Why is it always so much easier to just draw a flower?

I will be tweaking all of these  designs in the New Year and making them ready for art licensing gigs, but for now it feels good to get some new ideas down on paper. I can play around with them later and add the on trend colours and style.

Christmas, Illustration. polar bear,


There are loads of gorgeous designs over on Instagram under #adventhallenge2014. As Faye says herself, popping by the challenge daily is like opening up your very own advent calendar. I have been enjoying all the colour and interesting interpretations of Christmas.

Christmas, Illustration, christmas sweaters
There is still  time to join in if interested. There is no pressure to create everyday, but if you have some time and need a little christmas inspiration then this is an easy place to start. Get a head start on your Christmas designs for 2016! All info on Instagram under #adventchallenge2014

Below are links to a few of the designers creating their own  advent calendars, either as part of the challenge or own their own accord.


Genine Delahaye

Flora Waycott

Dawn Machell

The Print Tree

Tracey English

Sally Payne


Lindsay Buck

Rebecca Stoner

Happy Holidays to all!

Inspired by print & pattern – geometrics

Have you heard the latest, greatest news?

Marie Perkins of the infamous Print & Pattern blog is publishing yet another book to add to her ever-growing, wonderful ,collection of print & pattern books!

This one is all about geometrics!

julie hamilton designs {artistically afflicted blog}

Time to get out your pens and paint! Lots of time left to get working and submit. Due date is September 7th, 2013.

“We will be using the term ‘geometrics’ loosely with all kinds of abstract shapes, motifs and patterns (and not just those using exact mathematical style geometry) being included. “

I am not sure if these are considered geometrics, but once I started it was hard to stop! I like to think of it as the zen of doodling.

julie hamilton designs  {artistically afflicted blog}

I have started a few patterns because that’s how I like to work, but thinking I may submit some collage art as well.

“We are looking for patterns, illustrations and prints that use circles, squares, triangles, chevrons, stripes, dots and dashes, polygons, facets, and all other kinds of imaginative shapes”

I am liking “imaginative shapes”..snowflakes?

julie hamilton designs {artistically afflicted blog}

Not really sure if these are considered “geometrics”. I may have to get a second and third opinion before I submit.What do you think?

I did enjoy the process and I can see adapting these towards Christmas. No work is ever wasted!

julie hamilton designs {artistically afflicted blog}

A little more on the geometric side of things…

julie hamilton designs {artistically afflicted blog}

How about some paper collage turned pattern? Lots of opportunity to play around with ideas for this one!

julie hamilton designs {artistically afflicted blog}

I really like the idea of pulling these out again and re-working them. They have always been one of my favorites because they remind me so much of the paper collage work I love to do. I think these have some directional issues, but once worked out would fit quite nicely into the category.

julie hamilton designs {artistically afflicted blog}

I am sure you also have some old geometric prints or pattern that could be renewed!

Need some Inspiration? Try these Pinterest boards,mark,texture

For more information on all of the Print & Pattern books , have a look at the Print & Pattern bookstore on Amazon.  Be very, very careful – it is highly addictive. Lots of visual eye candy! Don’t forget to visit her blog too for daily doses of inspiration!

Well, the summer is quickly coming to a close here in Whistler. The days are definitely getting shorter and the blankets and fireplace have come out for patio entertaining. I am a bit sad, but also a little excited. I like to treat Sept 1st as my second chance. A chance to re-assess my direction for 2013. A chance to accomplish all the goals I set out to achieve at the beginning of the year.

I am happy to say that I think things are running along tikkity-boo!

See you next week!

A gift from Petra Kern Designs

Look what I received in my mailbox!

Petra Kern, artistically afflicted blog

Thank you so much Petra Kern!

I was fortunate to win this beautiful, handmade journal on Petra’s blog  just a few weeks ago. I have been excited, patiently waiting for its arrive all the way from Slovenia.

Petra Kern designs, artistically afflicted blog

Who doesn’t love a notebook? The perfect place to record thoughts, jot down a favorite recipe or doodle a beautiful motif for a future pattern. I am very impressed with the quality and I admit to setting a high standard for my notebooks. The paper is smooth with a good weight.Perfect for use with black ink, my tool of preference.

Petra Kern journal, artistically afflicted blog

I really enjoy looking at all of Petra’s design work. Her work is hand drawn with ink, watercolor  and acrylic paint. She leans towards florals that are feminine and intricate. I love her attention to detail.

Petra Kern, artistically afflicted blog

Petra Kern, artisticallyafflicted blog

I admire her use of color. She has a wonderful way of combining colors that just make me feel happy! Petra has a lovely portfolio on her website. Pop over for some more beautiful examples of her work. Make sure to check out her mixed media paintings too.

Petra Kern, artistically afflicted blog

Petra Kern, artistically afflicted blog

I am very happy to have met Petra through The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design course. Since graduating she has started her own creative business and is actively pursuing her dreams as a full time surface pattern designer. She is an inspiration.

To find out more Petra, please drop by her website and facebook page.

To purchase your own lovely journal, please drop by her etsy store.

Petra Kern Designs

Petra Kern Design ~ Etsy 

Petra Kern Designs ~ Facebook

I cant believe it is March already! Enjoy every minute.

Inspired by…surface pattern everywhere!

My head is in the clouds these days. I am very deep into my Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design course (module 1)  and loving every minute of it. Designing stationary,logos, womans clothing.. even small,smiling creatures ~ there is a need for surface pattern design everywhere. I am so overwhelmed by it all, but in such a good way.

Photoshop, surface pattern design,daisy, flowers

I love learning. If I can teach my children one thing ~ it is to never stop being fascinated. Never give up the enthusiasm for newness, for the unknown.

I have been so impressed with the ABSPD course to date. It is jammed packed with all sorts of goodness. I find inspiration in it everyday. It has also allowed me the opportunity to meet a whole new crew of like-minded individuals, all willing to share, support…and commisserate when the going gets tough. That makes me very happy…

Illustration, sketch, surface pattern design

I have spent the past couple of weeks concentrating on the digital aspect of design. It is a creative facet I have played around with, mostly for photography. It fascinates me…and infuriates me. Hence, my blog neglect. I can only spend so many hours a day on the computer. I have actually had to start wearing my glasses!
I laughed when I caught a glance of my study sheet the other day…full of doodles, mind wandering….
Slight ADD perhaps..or maybe I should say AA.
cheap sheet, Illustrator, doodle. Where my mind is at..

I should be vacuuming. Why is the dog looking at me that way? What am I doing this all for? Coffeee…I need an assistant …who knows Illustrator!What should I make for dinner?Bang head on counter. I just want to paint. If I draw one more daisy…

daisy, sketch, doodle, illustration

The digital aspect has added a whole new load of possibility to my artwork. Nothing like having to choose from a thousand different shades of blue. I almost miss painting and my limited knowledge of color mixing.

digital, photoshop, surface pattern design, daisy I am also loving the opportunity to add my very own handwork to the digital world.All of my sewing, stamping, sticking and spraying has served me well. All of it can be scanned and added in some dimension. My hand painted dragonfly with a collaged background….what color would you like it in? This one needs more texture, but no problem. Will add it in later (when I learn how:). Lots of possibility in the digital world….

Photoshop, surface pattern design, dragonfly, artwork

My fav to date though….sketching. I forgot how much I loved sitting down, pen in hand, going for it. So much freedom. I am always a bit hesitant with paintbrush in hand, but give me some ink and ahh…I can just let it all roll.

flower sketch, illustration, surface pattern design
Have found lots of goodness lately that I would like to share ~

First off. Monica Lee and her smart creative women series.Twice weekly interviews of, well, smart, creative women. Awesome. I love listening to her interviews. Making dinner has never been so inspiring. She also makes me laugh.

Secondly… Lynda Weinman and her software tutorial site This site is chock-a-block full of tutorials geared towards the digital world. Photoshop, Illustrator, Aperature…endless learning opportunities. The beauty of this site though is that they charge you a  minimal monthly fee for unlimited usage. I like a good deal and this is definitely one!

Very busy, but  a great couple of weeks. Spring has sprung, the days are long and life is busy. School is out in a month! The time to get all of this done is…NOW!

I will try to blog, but if you don’t hear from me, send me a quick hello on my facebook page. A quick hello and a smile, always makes me happy. Comment with your fan page so I can like you….if I havent already. I am loving having all of my creative connections in one place. I like to know what you are up to at all times!

Have a great weekend!

Inspired by…surface pattern design

Kind of where I am at right now….

inspiration, quote,

Patiently waiting for April to roll around, bringing with it the  start of my new online class

The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design.

I am asked by many who are willing to listen to me….  The what??

This will give you an idea…

print, pattern, surface pattern design

Wallpaper, clothing, home accessories, my favorite coffee cup from Anthropologie….if you look around you will start to notice print and pattern everywhere!

Someone has to design it…. I am ready to learn.

Heres a little blurb  about Rachel Taylor and her course. Maybe it is something that would interest you too?

Thriving surface pattern designer Rachael Taylor will guide you along this exciting path from developing your signature style to putting a collection together, and from protecting your work to monetising your designs. With a rich combination of design inspiration, practical advice, demonstrations, creative exercises, resources and interviews with leading industry practitioners, this is the go-to guide for anyone wanting to develop their design skills and break into the industry.

Module 1: Designing your way (5 weeks Apr 23-May 26)

Module 2: Creating your professional identity (5 weeks June 18-July 21)

Module 3: Monetizing your designs (5 weeks September 3- October 6)*

You can do one or all three modules. I signed up for the whole meal deal. I like to jump in…

Truth be told I am a perpetual student, happiest when learning.  I love the daily inspiration it provides. The challenge it presents. The barrage of new ideas and dreams it creates.

Ahh more sleepless nights to come~ too much excitement  ….It is very hard being me.

So until my time arrives, I have started sketching in my journal, collecting inspirational color combinations and playing with design on my computer. My inspiration board is filling up!

For now that is all I have…

Have a fabulous weekend!