Thursday, December 31, 2009

HAPPY NEW YEAR!


I recently completed a commissioned illustration which was to represent 2009 in the world of business. I used a slightly different style to make it more editorial.

For many companies this year, business was like pulling a boat through the desert. Let's hope that 2010 is smooth sailing for most of us! Good luck and I wish you all a happy, healthy and very CREATIVE 2010!!!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

IF: PIONEER


Little did Timmy know that he was the first kid to ever hop on a dragon! He was a pioneer!

This is an idea that I've had for a while, and with this week's IF prompt I thought it would be appropriate. I wasn't sure if to dress up the boy with a different outfit as if he was part of dragon land or to make it obvious that this is his imagination, therefore he is in PJ's. What do you think?
I'll be coloring this soon and re-posting.

Congrats to Vanessa for winning a signed print of my work!

Happy New Year to all! and may 2010 bring you health, happiness and success! I cannot complaint about 2009 as it was very good to me and my family.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

STORIES FOR CHILDREN MAGAZINE


I have some bittersweet news. I had my first illustration published on an online magazine http://storiesforchildrenmagazine.org/InThisIssue.aspx which is pretty exciting. However, the Magazine has just announced that they are closing and their last issue will be in March.

Friday, December 11, 2009

IF:CRUNCH and 200th POST!!!


I thought I was going to have the time to post this before today, but time flew by this week. I decided to post it anyway since I thought the bunny was cute. It's not a great illustration overall, but it was good to hold a pencil and draw for fun away from all the deadlines and commotion of the holidays.

This is my 200th post and I've been thinking about doing something special to celebrate this post and to thank all of you for your support and friendship. I've connected with some great people through this blog and in the spirit of giving, I've decided to give away 1 signed 8 1/2" x 11" print of my work or smaller depending on what piece you pick to one lucky winner. You get to choose which one, from my web site or from work I've posted here. All you have to do is leave a comment from now until Christmas Eve...and I will draw a winner on Christmas Day and post it here on the 26th.

I hope you are enjoying the holidays.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

WHAT I'VE BEEN UP TO...

I finally get to share some of the things I've been working on...

This is a logo I recently designed for an upcoming Auction Gala event at my kid's school. I will be designing the invite to the event as well, so I'll be posting that later on as well.




On a previous post I had shown the invite and place cards for a Baptism. Here's the rest of that project; table numbers and Baptismal programs. I designed and printed the programs and assembled the 7 page booklet which goes inserted in pocket folder (from envelopperinc.com). I was able to add another of my illustrations to this piece, and I was quite happy with the outcome.




The table numbers:


These are the post cards for the white elephant party I have every year. These turned out really cute. One of my favorites.


I haven't had much time to draw this week, but I hope to get back into it soon. I'm still debating whether or no to go to the NY conference. Any ideas??

Have a great week!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

IF: ENTANGLED


Pearl's mane would get entangled with the wind every time Jena went galloping down the open field.

Wishing you all a safe and happy holiday season!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

IF: UNBALANCED


The opposite of unbalanced is balanced!

This week's word is a real challenge for me. I'm am very particular about having balance in all my compositions. It really bother's me if something is off balance or 'unbalanced'. Not that I make everything symmetrical, but it needs to have a counter element. I could have illustrated something unbalanced, but I was already having fun with this illustration, so I decided to share it here. I really like the elephant.
Oh, and what is a White Elephant doing in the snow? Well, this is for a White Elephant party...yes! The holiday fun is just beginning!

Have a great week!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Event Stationary




I've been doing a lot of cutting and pasting for a project. A good friend asked me to design all of the stationary for her event and I couldn't say no to a fun project! I had full creative license, so I was able to incorporate one of my illustrations.
The names are a 'blur' on the place card, just so I could tie this in with Illustration Friday!!! --I know!, but I have been so busy lately, my blogging is really suffering. There's one more piece to this, but it's not quite finished...

I hope you all have a great weekend...and thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

RE-WORKED ILLUSTRATION

Old image


New Image


THANK YOU! I want to start this post by thanking the people that always seem to know when I need some encouragement and always know exactly what to say. I want to say thank you for caring and for taking the time to reach out. I really appreciate it!!!

The holiday season has been officially kicked off at our house, and that usually means that I'll be running around like a chicken without a head until the end of the year!

I wanted to share with you the re-make of one of my favorite illustrations. I had created and animal party a while back and really enjoyed all the characters in it. However, it no longer matched my current style and I had to pull it out of my portfolio. I decided to just re-do it with my new style and I have to say, I'm very pleased with the results.

What do you think?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

IF: FAST


I was reflecting recently on my work and my career. I have dedicated a great deal of time to creating a portfolio, and improving my work so that I may become a published illustrator. I am also a freelance graphic designer and enjoy that job thoroughly. I would like to do both, but I notice that it is difficult to wear so many hats, marketing graphic design and illustration are very different things, both which are very time consuming.

My graphic design is picking up, while I'm just hearing crickets over on the illustration side. I'm not quite ready to give it up. I'm not a quitter! I know someone will see potential in my work and will value my dedication and passion. In the mean time, I just need to figure out how to manage the constant chaos of trying to do it all!

I was looking at the illustrations from the beginning of the year until now and I do see tremendous growth! That is great, right? Except that it makes for an inconsistent portfolio. I’ve gone from acrylics to digital and from static to more dynamic work; my characters have also evolved. The eyes are not the same (At some point I was experimenting with dots for eyes). I haven’t deliberately been trying to develop a style. I’ve been pushing myself to become better at what I do, which in turns has affected the look of my work…I believe that the style comes out naturally while you are going through this process.

Although I’m not published yet, I can tell that my work is the best when I’m comfortable with it, and that only happens if I draw what is more natural and comfortable to me, but I only know what that is if I experiment and try new things. I guess for me it’s a dance of balance between these two…familiarity and stretching your limits.

Anyway, my point is that I’m now once again re-touching my portfolio. I am thinking about going to the SCBWI Winter conference in NY and really would need to have a solid portfolio before I can even consider going. By the way, are any of you going?

I’m also busy with my design work, which I also enjoy so much, and is the reason why I don’t have as much time to visit other blogs as I used to. I have some friends that talk about going off grid when it comes to social media networks and Internet. These things can really consume you and take up so much of your time! I wonder myself, would I have more time to do the things I need to do if I did not have a blog and was on twitter and Facebook? Do you wonder the same sometimes? How do you do it?

As a side note, I wanted to invite you all to vote for my son @ GAP’s Casting Call http://family.go.com/gapcastingcall/entries/edrianthomidis/717418724/


Have a great week!


Monday, October 19, 2009

IF:FROZEN


This illustration is a stretch for 'Frozen', but it just happens to be what I was working on at the moment. I wonder who'll win this fight?

Have a great weekend, and thanks for stopping by and for all your comments!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

FREE COLORING PAGE :: RACOONS


Please click on the image and print it to color it. Have fun!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

IF: FLYING + FREE COLORING PAGE


This is a sketch I created in the airplane while flying to Greece. I liked the idea, but never had the time to refine it and take it to color. I thought it was appropriate for Illustration Friday.




This is a coloring page I created for my daughter's class. You may click on it and print it. I'll be visiting her class for career day and speaking to the kids about the world of graphic design and illustration. How fun!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

IF: GERMS


As a parent, I am too familiar with this scenario. My son's school had the first h1h1 case this week and I kept him home most of the week as a precaution. The teachers told the kids that if they sneezed/coughed on their own hands to wash hands right away, and if they were next to another kid and they sneezed/coughed on the other kid's hands, both kids had to wash their hands. So far it seems to be working...

Hope you all have a great week!!!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

RECYCLE ILLUSTRATION



Here is the recycle illustration in color. I had so much fun coloring this image. I played around with the channels in Photoshop and had a softer effect on the overall image. I'm not sure which one I like better, so I'm posting them both. I'm also not sure about the text. Hmm??? You tell me what you think!


Welcome Fall!

The air has finally turned less hot in S. FL. We don't get real Fall weather down here. While most people are experiencing 50's and 60's, we are thankful to be in the low to mid 80's. It is a welcome cool down and it always gets me in the mood for Fall, which is one of my favorite times of the year.
I am getting ready for Halloween too, and with that comes a new banner and a new look on the blog. Hope you like it....

How's the weather where you live?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

IF: PATTERN


It is never too late to start a new pattern of behavior and start helping out our planet!

This is a sketch I’ve been working on. I hope to color it soon. I recently joined an online critique group and I am really enjoying all of the feedback. This is a modified version from the original. The first one had the little girl look too much like I grown up. I think I finally have the proportions right.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

IF: INFINITE


A mother’s love is infinite!

This week I’m posting a sketch that I hope to color, but I’m not sure if I’ll get the chance. Ever since the kids went back to school and I’ve been promoting my graphic design and illustration services, I’ve been progressively getting busy, which is great! This week, I was bombarded with stuff! Mostly graphic/web design related, and all with serious deadlines, so my playtime is really minimal at best.

Well, this sketch was inspired by the book “Runaway Bunny”, which I’m sure many of you’ve read or heard of. While on the subject of children’s books…have you ever read “Love You Forever” by Robert Musch? I always get teary eyed when I read it to my kids. It’s probably one of my favorite books as an adult. Do you have a children's book that makes you cry?

Lastly, I wanted to mention that I took my kids to see Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs and absolutely loved the characters and the graphics. It was eye candy all the way through! Highly recommend it!

Have a fantastic weekend! and thanks for all your comments!!!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

ILLUSTRATION PROMOTIONAL PACKAGE

I am so pleased to share my latest promotional package. If you've been following my blog, you've read about the amounts of time it took me to put this together. Time will only tell if all my efforts will pay off, but I have faith that they will.

I paid attention to every little detail. I re-designed my logo and stationary to make it more illustration focused. I designed the labels and had a few extra postcards printed to show a variety of work other than the Three Billy Goats Gruff. I also included a SAS post card for feedback, and a short letter introducing myself. All of these materials were put into a pochette envelope which then went into a manila envelope. I chose a bright lemon-yellow color to make sure the envelope stood out from the bunch. Let's hope it works!
My goal was to make a promotional package that was original without being gimmicky and that showcased both my illustration and graphic design talents. I really enjoyed putting this together.

I realized that I can not do this on a regular basis, but perhaps once a year.
What about you, how do you promote yourself? I would love to hear your thoughts...

Friday, September 11, 2009

IF: WELCOME

UPDATE: I tweaked the colors a bit. I think this version works better as it adds emphasis to the right areas...




This cat is cautious as he knows he may not be welcomed.

This is the full illustration I started last week (see post below). I may tweak it a little more, but I'm happy with the overall result.

Have a great weekend and thanks for all your comments.

Friday, September 4, 2009

IF: STRONG


A strong witch can handle anything!

This is a portion of a work in progress. I plan on posting the finished illustration when I'm done.

Summer is over for sure! Have a great Labor Day Weekend!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

I am on Facebook and Twitter!

Yes, I've finally gave in and joined the thousands of people on FaceBook and Twitter! I've been on Facebook for a while, but I finally decided to create a fan page. Honestly, I think other than my mom and a few close friends, I'm not sure who'll be a fan. But, I decided to put the page out there hoping to reach those people that stay on Facebook or Twitter and don't blog as much.

This page is directly connected with my Twitter status updates and will focus primarily on anything related to my career. I want to keep my followers informed of my progress in the publishing world and yes some personal stuff as well. Otherwise, where’s the fun?
My twitter updates will update on my fan page and vice versa. Just click the 'become a fan' button on the top right!

Mailer update: I'm still waiting for UPS for my last mailer piece. Hopefully I will have something in the mail tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A FEW SPOT ILLUSTRATIONS



I re-worked this one to represent my current style better. See the old one here.


I wanted to post a few spot illustrations I worked on the past few days. It seems we are finally getting into our new routine, and I’m able to experience how productive I can be while the kids are in school.

Another interesting announcement in my world is that I will be starting a figure drawing class tomorrow. I am so excited! I haven’t been in front of a live model in over 10 years! So this will be great! I really hope to meet new people and improve my skills. No matter how good you think you are, there’s always room for improvement!

I am also waiting for all my pieces to come back from the printers so that I can assemble my mailer and send them out. Hopefully that will happen this week.

I am very excited about the possibilities my new schedule presents!

Friday, August 28, 2009

IF: MAGNIFY


I’m posting an oldie again. I have a ton of sketches, but no time to scan them or color them in yet. School started this week and my schedule has been turned upside down! I am still making little progress on my mailer, but I hope that will change next week. Happy weekend everyone! And thanks for your visits and comments. I really appreciate them. I should start visiting blogs again in a week or so. Sorry, I’ve been so disconnected!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

NEW ID and SCBWI newsletter

Last week I realized that all of the materials in my mailer needed to be designed, so that they would be coherent at the very least. I then began to re-think my entire identity for promotional materials.

I guess you could say that I’ve reached an identity crisis! Am I a designer or am I an illustrator? Do I promote my business name or my personal name? I’ve thought about this issue for quite some time and at first, I just combined my business name (TENENGO) with my name (art, illustration and graphic design by…). But as I started to design the promotional materials, I disliked it more and more. It went against everything I know about branding…. A clear consistent message and a memorable image! It was more like a confusing mess. Someone once suggested that it seemed as Tenengo was representing me.

So I put on my designer hat and tried to approach it as if I were a client and not think of it in personal terms. The solution: Two sets of materials. One set with emphasis on illustration but still mentioning graphic design and promoting my name. On legal documents it will say ‘A Division of Tenengo Design, Inc, and the other just promoting Tenengo and will have more of a Design feel. I will eventually separate the web sites, but for now, they will work together.

Here is a sample of some of some of the new materials with the new logo. I'm really happy with the outcome. I have sent everything to the printers. I used PsPrint.com, which has a great promotion going on right now. I have used them in the past and have been very happy. I’ll post the final package when it’s ready…

I think it is important for an artist (or anyone trying to be in business for that matter), to have a great logo, and a ‘look’ or brand that is carried all throughout their marketing pieces. I am not going to tell you what branding is, or what a great logo should have, there are plenty of web sites and blogs out there that talk about these subjects. What I will tell you is that your logo and your collateral is the only thing representing you in a mailer and many times the only thing potential customers will see. Don’t have it be something else on the ‘TO DO” list that usually never gets crossed off!

On a separate note, I’m so excited to have one of my illustrations featured in the ‘illustrator’s corner of my local SCBWI newsletter.

Monday, August 17, 2009

And the Winner is....



I used the random number generator and added double entries for those that commented and started to follow my blog.

The winner is Tom Barrett! Congratulations Tom! I'll be getting this in the mail to you as soon as I can get your mailing address.

Thanks to everyone who participated. I had a lot of fun!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Character Study

Work in progress...

Any comments or feedback are always welcomed...

Friday, August 14, 2009

IF: WRAPPED

This is an oldie, but this week is just too hectic with school about to start and trying to make progress on my mailer.

I wanted to share my progress on my first mailer. I found the market survey from the SCBWI web site, (which is made my membership completely worth it!), and I am creating a mailing list with that information using Outlook to do a mail merge later on. This process is tedious and time consuming.

The mailing list was taking so long that I decided to work in batches so that I could still get some packages out this week. I then turned to the items I’m including in the mailer like a reply card, and it dawn on me that I would have to design this card. Well, one thing led to another and I am now in the middle of re-thinking my entire identity, from logo, to letterheads, business cards, etc.

Have you figured out that I am a perfectionist? I want everything to be ‘just right’, and I know that is really impossible, but for my own sanity I couldn’t send something out that I would feel did not represent me properly, like my portfolio. So, back to the drawing board it is… and it looks like these packages will go out in September instead of August. (Grrr….)

Today is the last day for the contest...I'll be posting the winner on Monday!



Tuesday, August 11, 2009

IF: IMPATIENCE



His impatience to fit in and make friends is scaring the animals away!

This is late for me to post, but if you read my previous post, you’d understand that I’ve been playing catch up for the last few days.

I have been working diligently in preparation for my very first promotional piece. I’ve been talking about this package that I am going to send to publishers, editors, etc… before the end of the summer. Meanwhile, wondering if my work is solid enough, asking myself, am I ready? Sure enough, I look at my entire portfolio and feel like trashing most of it! Not a good way to make progress, but I really think that my work has evolved in the past few months and my work from 6 months ago does not represent me anymore. At the same time, I don’t want to keep reworking and reworking endlessly without sending anything out. So, in an effort to freshen up my portfolio, I have created the piece above. I have another in the works, But that’s it! After that, I’m sending my stuff out! I also updated my web site and took out a bunch of old work. I may take a few more pieces out in the next weeks.

I invite you to take a look at the contest I have going on right now to win a kid’s necklace. The last day to enter is this Friday the 14th.


A few days ago the very talented and humorous illustrator Roberta Baird honored me with two very special awards. I am especially grateful because I really admire and respect Roberta’s work.

This award was created by Ces in honor of another very loved and wonderful blogger Bella Sinclair.

The second award is The Superior Scribbler Award.

Here are the rules for the award

Each Superior Scribbler must, in turn, pass the Award on to 5 most-deserving Bloggy buds.

Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author & the name of the blog from whom he/she has received The Award.

Each Superior Scribbler must display The Award on his/her blog, and link to this post, which explains The Award.

Each Blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit this post and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky List (!?) at the Scholastic-Scribe’s blog. That way, we’ll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who receives this prestigious honor!

Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on his/her blog.

I am please to pass this to award on to some wonderful blog buddies who have inspired me with their kindness, friendship, dedication and unbelievable talent!

1. Nicole

2. Deborah

3. Froggie

4. Jannie

5. Diana


Sunday, August 9, 2009

NO COMPUTER FOR A WEEK! (No, it wasn't a punishment)

I was without a computer all week! Last Sunday night the hard drive on my iMac just gave out. My computer is just over a year old, so I was really surprised to see the hard drive error out. I also have a Time Machine back up set up, but it had been giving me many ‘unsuccessful back up’ errors for over a month so I was really nervous about how much work I had potentially lost. My husband, who is gifted with anything related to computers and telecommunications, was able to get the machine up and running for the purpose of verifying the back up.

We had also bought an Apple protection plan when we purchased the machine, so once we verified that the back up had indeed been working, we took the machine to Apple on Tuesday. They had it ready by Friday with a new drive and OS installed. It took my husband over a day to get the back up restored and everything running, but I have to say the back up system was flawless! I have everything just as before and other than the initial ‘freak out’ and loosing a week’s worth of time, it was really painless!!!

My recommendation other than having a back up is … definitely invest on a protection plan or added warranty, you just never know!

Also, BIG thanks to my hubby for taking care of all the technical stuff!!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

IF: MODIFY

I was so excited about this week's word because it applied to my current project. You could say it also applied to my last posted illustration with the robot too, since that one was an old sketch I modified. This week, I am doing another one of those 'before' and 'after' pictures. The before is actually a rework of a previous IF prompt 'rambunctious'. I liked the idea, but was never quite happy with the end result. It was time to MODIFY the old one and play around with composition, line, color and well...see for yourself. I'm quite happy with the outcome.

Hope you have a great week and don't forget to check out my contest.

BEFORE: (Acrylics on watercolor paper)

AFTER: (Pencil colored with Photoshop)


Thursday, July 30, 2009

WIN A KID'S NECKLACE CONTEST

It’s been a while since I had a contest on my blog, and I thought it was time to have some fun!

What will you win?

The necklace on the picture! It is from a new line of custom beaded necklaces that I have on my Etsy shop. It is made with polymer, stones, and Swarovski crystal beads. I realize the prize is very specific to little girls, but even if you don’t have kids, consider entering… your niece, or cousin or friend’s daughter may appreciate receiving a gift from you. No one has to know you won it!

What do I have to do?

This is a simple contest; All you have to do is leave a comment on this post (make sure I have a way to contact you in case you win). If you want more chances to win, you may 'follow my blog' or ‘heart’ my store on Etsy. The contest will end at midnight on Friday August 14th. The winner will be chosen randomly and announced on this post on Monday August 17th. Good Luck!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Dynamic Lines

I made a sketch for the Illustration Friday word 'Craving' (see before) and liked it a lot, but thought it needed to be more dynamic. I played with it a bit and added a slightly different point if view and curved most of the lines to make it more interesting. A curved line always carries more energy than a straight line (see after).
I also used a color palette that I normally don't work with, to give myself a challenge. I really think it's a great improvement don't you?

BEFORE
AFTER

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Saturday, July 25, 2009

IF:IDLE


Here's the finished image. I added more textures and contrast and got rid of the wind.
I feel like that lion right now!


Work in Progress....

It's so difficult to get going when you've been idled for a while.
I hope I'm a bit more productive next week!
I'll post the finished product when I'm done.

Enjoy your weekend.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I'M BACK!

I had the most wonderful time in Northern Greece! It was such an energizing and invigorating trip! I am still adjusting from the time change.

Greece is one of those places that seems magical in terms of history and its effect on our culture today. I was very eager to visit as many archaeological sites as possible and as many museums, but our time was limited. We did go to the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki where they had items on display from the Neolithic Era to the Roman times about 400 A.D.

I wanted to share some of the pictures we took (without flash) while walking through the museum. I created a quicktime file with over 70 images so it is quite large (6.78MB) and it may take a while to download.

I'll add some pictures of the landscape and and other natural beauties later on this week.
I am glad to be back, and as soon as I get a chance I will start to catch up with everyone!

Just hit play!

Have a great week!


Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Going Away



This will be my last post for a while. I am taking a much-needed vacation to a far, far away place. All I can say is that I'll be surrounded by history and mythology. I hope to share some pictures when I come back in about three weeks or so. I will miss all of you. I will miss reading my favorite blogs and participating in Illustration Friday.

However, I am looking forward to all the history and ruins and museums and even caves. I am taking my new Moleskines and plan on sketching all of the time. I hope to share some of my drawings when I get back.

So for now, I’m signing out and closing shop!

What are you doing for fun this summer?