Friday, January 28, 2011

when I was a little girl I loved to draw

©2011, Monika Roe

Yesterday there was an interesting article on the New York Times site (Mom, You're One Tough Art Critic) about the dilemma of saving or tossing the artwork that children seemed to be churning out nonstop at school. I recently met an elementary school teacher in the Bay Area that started a program in her district to solve this problem. What they do is scan in each child's artwork into a database so once the child moves onto junior high they have a digital portfolio of their work and parents can even make a book of the artwork. I think this is a great idea to help parents who need to cut down on clutter but feel guilty about throwing out their child's fingerpainted giraffes!

This got me thinking about what my mom did with all of the artwork I created when I was little. I don't remember her saving everything. My grandparents (her mom and dad) were the ones that held onto my work. Drawings I did in preschool were made into plates that hung in my grandmother's kitchen. Construction paper silhouettes and paintings on cheap paper decorated the wall next to my grandfather's bookcase. Once my artwork was hung on their walls it didn't get moved or come down until they were in their well into 80s and I was well into my professional career. It was only when they had to downsize and move closer to my mom that those faded pieces were packed up.

A couple years ago at Christmas my mom presented me with a calendar I had made and illustrated for her when I was in elementary school. It was a total surprise that she had saved it and we laughed until we cried looking at those drawings. Shown above is November's illustration from that calendar entitled "The Dressmakers Shope [sic]". Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

early valentine!

I couldn't wait for Carmen Reid's latest novel New York Valentine to come out so I could show off the cover illustration I did! It just released last week in the UK! This is the third book I've illustrated in the Annie Valentine personal shopper series. 

Monday, January 24, 2011

not just "purple"

©2011, Monika Roe

These aren't just purple pumps people. This is a pair of beautiful, brand new, never worn, muted aubergine suede pumps with lipstick red leather lining the interior and covering the embellishment on the toes. O...M...G... I found these at a thrift store for $5! They are waiting for better weather to make their debut...

Friday, January 21, 2011

happy birthday brian!

It's my best friend's birthday today! Happy Birthday Brian! That's his self portait above (I added the party hat and coffee). In addition to being my best friend since college, Mr. Brian Herbst is a talented graphic designer, an instructor at Woodbury University, computer guru and is about to get his masters degree at Cal State Northridge! He's awesome!

what's the message?

©2011, Monika Roe

"Every problem is an opportunity".  Don't know where I read it but it's a powerful sentence. I wrote it down on a scrap piece of paper last fall and propped it up on my desk so I would see it every day. Anyone who ever comes into my studio sees that scrap piece of paper, ink stained and scribbled on. It's not going anywhere so I thought I'd do it justice by creating an illustration for it!

I really believe what this quote says. If something isn't going according to plan in life it gives you an opportunity to look around mindfully to see what message the universe is sending you. Chances are, there's a creative solution to whatever challenge you're facing. It could be a quick solution or it could happen over time, but to see it you have to put on your best thinking hat (real or imaginary)!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

grace 4 girlz

My good friend Kristin Borden started a clothing company not too long ago called Grace 4 Girlz. She designs clothing that inspires little girls to do good in the world! Each outfit comes with a magnetic heart patch that a decorative magnetic "Do-Goodz" appliqué attaches to. The Do-Goodz decorations each stand for an inspiring message and little girls can mix them to accessorize their outfit!

I'm mentioning it today because Grace 4 Girlz just launched the shopping cart on their website!!! Congratulations G4G!

I designed the logo for G4G along with the look of the website and all sorts of collateral like tradeshow booth graphics, hangtags, look book, postcards, displays, and much more. It was a pleasure to create an image for such an inspiring company that also happens to make all of their garments in the USA!!!

Monday, January 17, 2011

american girl style

©2011, Monika Roe
I just received a sample of American Girl's new "Doll Hair Salon" kit! Throughout the booklet are my illos showing girls how to style their dolls hair in a variety of ways. A must-have for any American Girl doll fan! Such a fun project to be a part of!

Friday, January 14, 2011

whoa, pomelo!

©2011, Monika Roe

Last weekend I stopped by the big fruit and vegetable stand in Moss Landing (that's just south of Santa Cruz). What caught my eye that day were the many crates overflowing with gigantic electric green pomelos. I didn't know what they were but I picked up a few to try. I'm so glad I did because WOW they are delicious! A pomelo is a kind of grapefruit from Southeast Asia that has a very thick spongy white rind around it. The ones I bought were so much better than ordinary grapefruit, they were really sweet and the sections were huge. I like my citrus supremed and the membrane on these just fell away from the fruit. Very yummy!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

think pink, um, I mean honeysuckle!

©2011, Monika Roe

One of my favorite parts in the movie Funny Face is when Maggie, the editor of Quality magazine, sings "Think Pink!" It's such a decadent thought and visual, especially when she is dancing around waving a bolt of delicious pink satin. Of course the only thing that isn't pink by the end of the song is her. She is in her chic grey suit with elbow length white gloves throughout the entire number! I think that is typical of a lot of creatives, myself included. We indulge our senses in color on a daily basis, rolling our brains around in luscious hues, but dress ourselves in a neutral palette. And when I say "neutral" I mean black!

More about my closet later, what I really wanted to talk about was Pantone's 2011 Color of the Year. Last year it was a rich tropical Turquoise. This year it's Honeysuckle. When I heard the name "Honeysuckle" I assumed the color was some sort of yellow or a sunny variation on cream. Nope, it's pink!

And why shouldn't it be?! According to the New York Times, pink is the hot color for bathrooms. They devoted an entire article to the phenomenon of the pink bathroom (Bathrooms: Pretty in Pink, Again). I'm all for a pink bathroom. Especially if it's an original '50s job with pink porcelain tub, sink, toilet and tile. 

I lived in a beautiful '50s ranch-style house for a few years that had a baby blue guest bathroom. It was cheerful and original in a time when everyone was obsessed with latte beige, white trim and brushed nickel finishes. There's something about color in a bathroom that's uplifting. My current master bath needs to be repainted and my first thought was a soft pink because it's so flattering to skintones. Add some candles to a pink bathroom and there might not be a reason to leave it!

Last year I painted my dressing area pink. Not just plain pink but a bright, shocking, fuschia pink. And you know what? I still love it! So if it's time to "Think Honeysuckle" in 2011, you can count me and my master bath in.

Monday, January 10, 2011

my girl on the t.t. blues vehicles

Here is one of the girls I illustrated for T.t. blues (a super popular fashion retailer in Mexico specializing in denim) on their transport vehicles! :)

(See the billboard here!)

studio pug

I think every creative studio needs a mascot. This is mine, Ladybug the studio pug! I must admit she's more into sound effects than illustration. She's a genius with snorts and snores when she throws down freestyle!

Friday, January 7, 2011

one of my illos on a billboard

This is one of my illos on the side of Edificio Morelos in Monterrey, Mexico! It features one of the girls I illustrated for T.t. blues, a retailer specializing in denim. They have 52 stores currently and their customers are stylishly devoted teen and 20 somethings. A WONDERFUL company!!! Love them!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

my illos in American Girl magazine

If you are a subscriber to American Girl magazine, this month you can see my illos in the January/February issue! AG magazine always has really fun craft ideas like how to make graham cracker gingerbread houses and the gumdrop forest I illustrated for them last month. For this issue I illustrated the steps to making cute valentine cards with spirals of construction paper.

Also in this issue is a fiction story I illustrated called "Like It or Not" by Carolyn Mackler. It's about a girl named Lara who moves to a new town and loses her cat (I hope I don't ruin it for you when I say there is a happy ending with a twist!). The story features 10 of my illos. Drawing the pleasantly plump character of Butterball the cat made me smile!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

happy new year!

©2011, Monika Roe

Hope everyone had a great New Year's Eve! Thanks for reading my blog! I feel very inspired for 2011 and am excited to create a lot of new and interesting things to show you as the year moves on...

This is an illo I did for Ideal Home's January issue. The article is about having the right furniture to use on special occasions to accomodate your guests. I love to play with expressions on faces. Making everyone on the couch look uncomfortable was great fun!