New New New! Products in 2015!

January 22, 2015 § Leave a comment

Feels good to have the year off to an awesome start with some product launches! First up, I have a new range of products for sale on Fine Stationery. It’s got a little something for Valentine’s Day, a little something for St. Patrick’s Day, a little something for Easter, business cards, birth announcements, art prints, note pads, and notebooks. Here’s a look at two of the new items:

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Aaaand, now I have Drink Blots coasters available from Studio M with art from my Bon Voyage collection! I have yet to see these beauties in person, but I am really looking forward to it. I am planning to offer these through my soon-to-be relaunched Etsy store. Here’s a look at the art:

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Studio Sunday #7: Return to Productivity

January 18, 2015 § Leave a comment

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Feels good to have the paint back out again – this time I’m working on some nature-themed Valentine pieces as I get ready to relaunch my Etsy store on February 1. In addition to that, this week I’ve taken on some wedding invitation design jobs and I’m getting some other new collections set up for 2015.

Stay tuned this week for some new product announcements!

Studio Sunday #6: A good start.

January 11, 2015 § Leave a comment

To get 2015 off on the right foot, I refreshed my inspiration boards and organizational systems here in the studio. Take a look:

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New Products! Back to School at Staples

July 14, 2014 § 2 Comments

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Super exciting news today – my world map products are in stores at Staples! The composition book and folder feature my World Map of Wanderlust. The map is one of my very favorite illustrations I’ve made – the original inspiration for it was my own bucket list of sights I want to travel to someday. Making it was a joy and now it’s even better to see it utilized on these great back to school products at Staples!

Surtex 2014: Return of the Backpacker

May 29, 2014 § 1 Comment

As always, it starts with a backpack. And a plane ticket. And an oversize dream:

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Me and my backpack are a compact – but PACKED – package with a lot of ideas. Nearly full to the brim but still saving room for extra adventures and last-minute detours. It took a lot of hours to pack this baby – to make the things, polish them, pick over everything and find the best stuff – only what’s really worthy – and print them and roll them tight. That part got to me a little bit…it can be stressful feeling like so much is on the line.

And then I took that sucker on the plane, and the bus, and the subway. And then I unpacked it – and there is no better feeling than letting it all roll out and expand and breathe:

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You might not even guess all that was in a 60L backpack, right? And this year was a little more complicated than last year. I brought some paper and fabric mock ups to flesh out my collections:

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I liked the paper mockups because they felt really “me” – and it’s fun to create a little illusion once in a while. I felt like they were at the right intersection of “realness” and playfulness for my art.

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Another new/improved thing this year was branding – last year I was totally new at the business and hadn’t had time to really consider branding, and how that would affect how (or if) people remember my art – this year it came together more for me and I realized that I actually am building an audience and relationships with companies. Several companies remembered me from last year, or from my web presence. I got to see lots of exhibitor and artist friends and meet many new ones. Best of all, this year I had great support from Smashotron Scott, Jee, and Madison:

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Surtex for me this year took on a huge importance – for most of the past year I feel like I’ve been on the cusp of gaining traction with my business, and I’ve felt that a good showing was the key to moving forward. And honestly, yes, I think it was a great show – we were steadily busy, talked to several dream clients, and had better location, portfolio and displays over last year. But as anyone who’s exhibited knows – no one really knows how well it went until a few months down the line.

So for now, I’m still hiking down my own art licensing trail!

This is how I feel about it being 2014:

January 3, 2014 § Leave a comment

© Leah Hoelscher

For once, I don’t have a laundry list of resolutions! 2013 was a big year – I made over 200 patterns and illustrations, filled four sketchbooks, debuted at Surtex and formed some great client partnerships, and finally launched my illustration business for real. On a personal note, I visited some friends in LA, moved in with Smashotron Scott, got my new studio in order, ran a half marathon and did lots of other fun things along the way. All I want to do in 2014 is KEEP DOING IT!

New Studio!

October 30, 2013 § 1 Comment

Well well! It looks like it’s time for one of my trademark belated blog posts. Back in early August, I moved to a new house with Smashotron Scott. Definitely one of the best things about this new arrangement is that now, for the first time EVER, I have a dedicated studio space that I don’t also sleep in! That’s right, I can close the door on my drawing table and computer and not feel like they are looking at me in the night. Won’t you join me for a tour?

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This is my area – My faithful drawing desk, which has been with me since I started art school at KU in 2005, and my *new* computer desk, which Scott built for me. It’s modeled after Donald Judd’s prototype desk which we saw in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art this summer. I love it! It has tons of shelf space for old sketchbooks, binders of moodboards, my Pantone swatchbook, and a flat file for large format papers. It’s also custom-built to my height, so I can stand and work for hours without becoming the hunchback.

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Between the two of us, the studio has 5 desks: 2 computer desks, 2 drawing tables, and the all-important cutting mat/light table/put crap here and forget about it for a while table. Here, you see it in it’s ideal, ready to cut paper or transfer drawings form, but normally it’s piled over with tools, sewing projects, books, and tea cups. This view features a guest appearance by Lazer Bunny, a Smashotron original plywood sculpture.

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Getting a new work space also gave me an organizational boost. Now I can finally have the giant bulletin board I’ve been craving, a place to hang up a calendar, and a few random things for general inspiration. I’ve never been much of a decorator but now that I actually have some blank space to work with I’m starting to see the appeal. One nice thing about our studio space (and house in general) is that it all came together with things we already have, recycled, repurposed and things that were free or very cheap. I’m looking forward to spending long hours in the studio all winter long!

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