BUILDING BEAUTIES - ARIEL

I thought it would be fun to put together a time laps video on how I'm building the Disney Princess Series illustrations. You get to see my process, my mistakes and the final result. I hope you enjoy and subscribe to my YouTube channel for further videos! Thank you!

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As you might guess, my social media accounts are chuck full of artists. I'm constantly looking to other artists/designers for inspiration, techniques and career advice. Today I want to share a few of my favorite artists. They range from oil and acrylic painters to computer Jedi masters.

If you like any of these talented individuals, give them a follow and lend them your support. Trust me, it's well deserved!


ALISTER DIPPNER

This guy is a powerhouse. I originally found him on YouTube while watching speed paint videos (one of my guilty pleasures). I personally have a print of the first image called "Creepy Girl," and it's one of my favorite prints I possess. Alister also does a great deal of work for the band Ghost Town (they are soooo good) and now has t-shirts available at Hot Topic. You can follow him on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter

 

ALICE X ZHANG

I'm sure you have seen at least one of her computer generated master pieces. She makes a great deal of fandom art and has had her Doctor Who designs on the cover of multiple magazines. I purchased the "Virtuoso" from Society6 and it makes me drool every time I look at it. The color palette and "brush strokes" are of a true professional. Alice can be found on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Society6 

NIKKI HANCOCK 

Nikki is one of my best friends and is one of the most talented people I know! She has a style like no one else, and I can't be trusted around her sketchbook. She is not only a wickedly talented artist, but graphic designer as well. Her Avenger Series is gorgeous, and you can't deny that line work. NIKKI YOU KILL ME! Nikki can be found on Facebook, Society6, Instagram and Twitter

 

ISAAC HASTINGS 

If you live in the Great Salt Lake area, you undoubtably have a print or t-shirt by Isaac. I had the pleasure of meeting him this past year at Comic Con. He is disturbingly talented and has the best mirroring skills I have ever seen in a sketchbook. I personally have the "Vulture" print, and I can seriously stare at it for hours. Isaac also had a kickstarter campaign this year to print high quality t-shirts with his amazing art and was successful! Isaac can be found on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

GLENN ARTHUR

Glenn is a self taught artist based out of California and paints some of the most gorgeous female portraits. I follow Glenn on all my social media outlets and I'm always excited to see what he is working on and how freaking fast he is! I swear this dude cranks out a paint once a week! Glenn has a true talent, and his subject choices are fantastic. As you can guess, I have one of this prints (Mars Attacks!) Glenn can be found on Facebook, Twitter and


These are a few for today. I will post similar content over the next few months. If you are an artist, designer, illustrator, makeup artist, FX artist, etc, etc, etc. share your work with me! I would love to see your art, and who knows, you might just get a shout out! Thanks for reading.

If you have enjoyed this post, do me a favor and like, follow and share. If you have any questions, comments or concerns feel free to contact me. 

Original painting by Lindsey Cowley of Jupiter Falling - Rawr! 

MY NEW YORK MINUTE

The taxi driver's are either skilled or completely mad

Last week I took my first adventure to The Big Apple, and what an adventure it was! Buildings as tall as mountains (kind of), taxi's everywhere, sirens and horns making a constant hum, and more people in one block then all of downtown Salt Lake (I'm exaggerating…I think). I loved it! I can completely understand peoples desire to live and (hopefully) thrive there.

I want to share some of my favorite moments and places. Here we go!

Beautiful Time Square

Time Square. It's iconic and wonderful! A visual delight of colors, advertising and good design. The only thing I didn't care for were the creepy Mickey and Minnie Mouse's wondering around. No, we don't want out picture with you! If we wanted a picture with you, we would have gone to Disneyland. Even in Disneyland you are a mildly creepy attraction. With your giant glove hands and popping noise. Plus, how do you make that noise? I've tried, and I'm not capable of such a thing. Maybe I've been too hard. Maybe we the weirdo’s YOU should avoid.

Now that I think about it…we are definitely the weirdos 

It's impossible to take a picture without other in the image, but close enough

Our next stop, Central Park. I seriously had no idea how large Central Park is. It's massive! Encompassing 843 acres, here are some super cool thing to see while you take a walk: the Chess & Checker House, Alice in Wonderland statue and Balto statue (because I love these childhood stories), Conservatory Garden, Belvedere Castle, Strawberry Fields, Loch, Gapstow Bridge, Carousel and the Central Park Zoo. This is just a fraction of what the park has to offer. Make a day of it!

No matter where you go, the view is spectacular

This little guy was the cutest thing ever! I wanted to take him home with me.

Dad is Central Park. He is trying to pretend it isn't so cold he wants to barf. Oh, wait. That's me. 

As you will quickly learn, Manhattan is large. Yes, you can walk to a great deal of sights, but if you want to see Central Park and the new Freedom Tower in the same day, you're going to want a bus tour. We road with a company called the "Big Bus Tour." The tour guides were educational and friendly, plus they drop you off in front of all the tourist destinations. It's a great way to see a lot in a short amount of time. 

I would high suggest taking a Bus Tour. It's gets you from place to place, plus it's fun!

I think this is obvious, but while in New York get to high places. The views are unbelievable! I have never seen such a dense city. It's just building on top of buildings, with more buildings being build on top of buildings. It's jaw dropping.

Empire State to the left and the bright blob in the bottom right is Time Square

The only "dark areas" are Central Park and bodies of water

"The Top of the Rock" is the building that looks onto Rockefeller Plaza. Of course, you are too high up to see the tree from the top, so make sure you stop to see the tree in all its glory. Honestly, the whole plaza was smaller then I thought it was, but it's still an impressive sight, and is a must see for the holidays!

Rockefeller Center

We wouldn't be proper tourist if we didn't see the Empire State Building. What a beautiful building! The interior lobby makes you drool while the view at the top makes you weak in the knees. 

Me in front an adorable Christmas tree

Here you can see the Chrysler Building

SO MUCH BUILDING!

We are being blinded by the window reflection

I got to go on this amazing trip with my dad. He is truly the Best Dad Ever. It has been decided, so don't even try to convince me your dad is cooler then mine. Thanks for the trip of a lifetime dad, lets go back soon!

My dad takes some freaking amazing pictures! Adding to his best-ness!

It was jarring to see all the names

I honestly didn't know there are two memorial pools. One for the South Tower (which is the larger of the two pools) and one for the North Tower. WARNING: The pools and the museum are extremely emotional. We went through the museum and it's pretty horrific. It brings everything back like it just happened. So a warning. If you want to keep your day more upbeat, I would maybe consider passing on the museum. However, I would say it's worth going through once. Being a Non-New Yorker, there was so much you didn't know about this tragedy. Bring tissues!

Freedom Tower and crane reflection 

On our last day we were so tired of the super cold and windy weather we decided to go to the MET (Metropolitan Museum of Art). So cool! Yes, I took a million pictures of the Egyptian and Armor Exhibit. I'm going to limit my pictures because I took a million. Oh, you didn't know? My phone can hold a million pictures. Yours can't do that? Hmm, what a shame ;)

Sorry about the poor image quality. My phone may hold a million pictures, but that doesn't mean they look that great. 

We seriously spend most of our day in the Egyptian Exhibit

Dad being a BOSS

This is so badass to me

If you have made it this far, you are a champion! To wrap things up, I want to talk briefly about the art show. It was put on by Conception Events and housed at the Cutting Room (Bar). Overall, I think what Conception is trying to do is great! Getting artist into public spaces to show their talents. However, I would suggest against flying to be part of a Conception Event. If they are in you town, GO FOR IT, but I wouldn't invest a ton of money into getting somewhere for this event.

I found that the venue wasn't great for painters to showcase their work properly. It was dark, and when performers took the stage everyone focused on the music, not the artwork on the sides and behind the stage. I would also say, there could have been better marketing of the event. It didn't seem like a great deal of people came, and those who did, were there for their friends. As someone who traveled across the country it wasn't what I was expecting. I'm sure as Conception grows and gains notoriety, it will be an event worth traveling for, but it's currently too small to justify traveling for currently.

Overall I had an amazing time! I got to see a fabulous city I've always wanted to visit. Plus I got to send a full week with just my dad, and that is priceless to me. I can't wait to go back! Maybe next time I can bring my mom! 

Until next time!

FEELING UNINSPIRED?

As a creative, there is nothing worse then feeling uninspired. It's something I believe everyone faces from time to time. To help, I have put together a few of my favorite books. These range from illustrated books to my favorite novels. Here we go!

 

10. GRIMM'S COMPLETE FAIRY TALES

Fairy tales have inspired generations of creatives. They open your imagination to new and wondrous locations and characters. Granted, the Grimm tales can be a bit dark. However, they are also extremely imaginative and unique. 

 

9. BORN IN CONCRETE, THE EK SERIES - Derek Stenning

This book of Derek Stenning's work is just stunning. Derek shows a great understanding of movement and composition with his book of astronaut illustrations. Flipping through this book is a must!

 

8. BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO DIGITAL PAINTING IN PHOTOSHOP

Over the last couple of years digital painting has exploded. I'm constantly blown away by all the art that can be made on the computer. Being the book hoarder I am, I ordered this book. It's fantastic. It's easy and fun to follow, and it gives a good foundation into digital painting. 

 

7. PROGRESSIONS THE ART OF JON FOSTER

I'm sure many of you have heard the name Jon Foster. If you are a big fantasy reader, I'm sure you have seen his work on numerous book covers. He is a great fantasy artist and Progressions gives you a glimpse into his mind, and it is gorgeous. 

 

6. TREASURES OF GREEK MYTHOLOGY - Donna Jo Napoli

I'm fascinated with Greek Mythology, so when I ran across this book I had to have it. If the stories don't catch your attention, Christina Balit's illustrations will. Plus its published by National Geographic, so you know its going to be good. 

 

5. PERCY JACKSON AND THE OLYMPIANS SERIES - Rick Riordan

As you can tell, I have a problem when it comes to mythology. The Percy Jackson and the Olympians and the Hero's of Olympus series are some of my very favorite books. They are up there next to Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and Eragon series. To answer your question, yes, I read like a 12 year old girl. 

Also, you should read the The Kane Chronicles. They are based on Egyptian mythology and are just a awesome and funny as the Percy Jackson series. 

 

4. ART OF THE BOOK OF LIFE - Jorge R. Gutierrez + Guillermo Del Toro

This book came out only a few weeks ago, and it has become one of my favorite go-to books. The book is everything you want in an Art of the Movie book. The illustrations are rich and detailed, and the character design is fabulous.  

 

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3. HYPERBOLE AND A HALF - Allie Brosh

Laugher is the ultimate mood changer and when I'm just not "feeling it," I grab Hyperbole and a Half. Allie Brosh is the ultimate laugh factory and her illustrations are the crowning jewel. When you are feeling stuck, grab this book and take a half hour to just smile and laugh like you are wearing a dinosaur costume.

 

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2. LEVIATHAN TRILOGY - Scott Westerfeld

This series is so good! It's about a girl named Deryn Sharp who is a commoner, and a girl disguised as a boy in the British Air Service. She's a brilliant airman, but her secret is in constant danger of being discovered. For this series I must insist you listen to the audiobook. Alan Cumming is just brilliant with character voices and accents. But don't forget about the books themselves. They are filled with stunning illustrations by Keith Thompson.

 

1. RAMAYANA DIVINE LOOPHOLE (Sanjay Patel)

This book makes me drool! Not only is the context great, the illustrations make you want to weep. This is vector work at is very best. If you are thinking of purchasing any of these books, I insist it's this one. Seriously folks, it's so good.

 

These are just a few of my favorites from my vast collection. If you want to share some books with me or want some recommendations leave me a comment!

EVER MOVING BODIES


I've been thinking about time, and honestly, I'm always thinking about time. Time and I have always had a certain relationship, unfortunately for me, it isn't a health one. I'm a person that is constantly looking at the clock. Just watching my day move by, wishing I could be using my time more wisely. I want to be doing things I really enjoy and love, but day after day I find myself doing the same things. Insert obvious quote below.

INSANITY IS DOING THE SAME THING OVER AND OVER AGAIN AND EXPECTING DIFFERENT REULTS. - Albert Einstein

Could it be I'm the only one dealing with this? I doubt it. This made me start thinking about what is really stopping me for "living my life." It began with me walking through a typical day, and what I discovered was shocking. I was going through my day without actually engaging with anything, I have switched my mind and body to autopilot. 

Let me see if I can explain what I mean by autopilot. It means I get up every morning at the same time, eat the same things, travel the same route to work. I work on the same projects, listen to the same music and podcasts, travel the same route home, and watch the same shows and head to bed at the same time. Yes, this is a routine, but when does a routine become living mindlessly? 

I have always thought this is what being an adult is like. You work and do the same things to achieve the big house, the perfect husband, the goofy children, the perfect career. However, I've come to the conclusion I'm not that type of person. Yes, I want a successful career and a nice place to live, but my goals probably aren't the typical American dream. 



What does this mean for me? I'm not sure yet, but I'm going to set some goals. First being, don't work to just survive, work to really live. Ever since going on a life changing trip to Europe after college, I have dreamed of going back. I want to travel to places that are beautiful and astounding with people and cultures different from my own. People say traveling broadens the mind, and I'm beginning to understand that saying.

That being said, I reached out to an art exhibit in New York a month ago and was excepted as an artist to be shown for one night on December 20th. One of my life long dreams is coming true. I'm actually going to go to New York, and around Christmas no less! I'm honored and excited to have this opportunity to show my work in one of the biggest art hubs in the country. Honestly, I'm still in shock. I'll share more news as I learn more about the coming event!



Let me ask you this. What do you do to keep yourself engaged? How do you keep your days from running together? How do you stop the autopilot?

WANT CLEAN LINES?

A WOMAN DOESN'T KNOW HOW PRECIOUS HER VOICE IS UNTIL SHE'S BEEN SILENCED - Ursula

Recently I've been asked how I make "clean lines" in my paintings. I never really thought about it till now. My favorite response to this question is OCD. However, that is not the case.  In truth, I'm a perfectionist. I obsess over my line quality. My main objective is to produce a painting that looks like it could be generated in Illustrator….which would be an easier solution….but what's the fun in that!

No matter how hard I try, the lines are never going to be perfect. You can see inconsistencies in the image below, but that is how you know its a painting. It's not going to be perfect, but damn if I'm not going to try.

No matter how hard I try, the lines are never perfect

In the progress shot below you can see my process. I start out messy then I pull everything back into clean lines, then outline. The secret to my clean lines is hand training. Imagine the music to Rocky playing in the background as your hand climbs a scale model of the stairs to the art museum. Punch! Hook! Jab! 

Joking aside, I have been painting for years in this style and over time I have trained my hand to move smoothly and to estimate the line. If you have taken a college art class, your teacher would have taught you this. Your brain will estimate the line for your hand. It's pretty cool. 

Painting Progression

The best advice I can give you to achieve clean lines is practice. You're only going to get good if you practice. I know some people tape off areas to achieve perfect lines, however, I just don't have the practice to work that way. If that's a method you are comfortable using, by all means! Go for it! 

If you have any suggestion or comments please leave them below. I'm always happy to hear new ideas and thoughts and I'm sure other appreciate them as well! Good luck and thanks for reading! Now get out there and create!

Finished deck design

The finished skate deck in available for purchase in my store. https://jupiterfalling.squarespace.com/prints-paintings/ursula

2014 DESIGNERVACA

The Mojave Desert

Four days ago, a few friends and a hundred other rad ladies, made the voyage into the sweltering California desert. We were all heading to one place. The ACE Hotel in Palm Springs for the third annual DesignerVACA. What is DesignerVACA you may ask? Well, gather around young children and I shall tell you a tale of creative wonder and of frozen strawberry margaritas.

 

At DesignerVACA you can count on great company, engaging conversations, a cooling and refreshing pool, more sun than you can ever hope for, super sweet mid-century architecture and endless cocktails. 

 The ACE sign provides excellent photo opportunities

The ACE sign provides excellent photo opportunities

We left Tuesday afternoon and stopped in Las Vegas and scored a super sweet 5 star room at the Vdara for almost nothing. I'm telling you, Priceline Negotiation hooked us up good! We played our favorite slot machine, Sex and the City, but it didn't pay out Big. Ha! Get it? Big?!

 

We got up early the next day and hit the road, but made one pit stop at the Alien Jerky Shop in Baker California. It's a super fun store that sales everything alien, a million kinds of jerky and for you heat lovers, over a hundred unique hot sauces! It's a must stop shop. 

Vegas + Alien Jerky Shop

Around 3:30PM we hit Palm Springs. That evening we had a introductory dinner and had the night to meet and mingle. Over the course of the next day and a half I met extremely interesting and talented women from across the country and Canada. We lounged by the pool with drinks in hand and talked shop and got to know one another. 

Valerie Jar - valeriejar.com | Sarah Martin - allglitterandgodlike.tumber.com | Nikki Hancock - nikkimakesthings.com

I wanted to find a way to fit this sign into the car and take it home!

King's Highway Diner in the ACE Hotel

What you can expect: You can expect to meet a ton of cool gals at DesignerVACA and gain some knowledge and inspiration from those around you. It is indeed more like a vacation. There are no "conference" events. You can expect conversation about design topics and thoughts, but you are not going to receiving any formal lectures.


Overall this was a fun trip with friends. I gained knowledge on time management apps and pricing suggestions, which I desperately needed. If you decide to go to DesignerVACA next year, here is my one piece of advice. YOU GET WHAT YOU PUT INTO IT. If you want the experience, you need to get out of your own way. Try to break out of your shell! I'm not going to lie, it took me a good day to finally start mingling and not be latched onto my friend group.


With all this said. Get out there! Meet people in your field. You never know what you might learn and who my might meet. Lets face it, the world is built on "who you know." So get to know everyone!

"We are all in this together"