Finding my niche in people drawing

Last week's artTube upload; I was having an emotional week! Can't ya tell? Lol

Hello art world!

It's been a while since my last post; don't worry. I am still at the artist's block creating away. Lately, I have been practicing and giving it a lot of thought on exactly what I want in a figure and what I like, when it comes to drawing. It's no brainer that I love drawing female figures. I feel like women have so much diversity to them and capturing each combination is fun! Various hair styles/types, body shapes, eyes, lips...the list goes on. Plus, I feel more comfortable drawing women because I am one. I am my best source for drawing females! It's easy to take a photo of yourself and learn from features.

With that being said; I am struggling! I am sure this is normal. I don't expect to be a master artist overnight. However, is it supposed to be this hard? I always have the urge to draw and create, but when I do nothing I produce is good enough or to my liking. Most of the time, I nix the idea altogether. I try my best to draw from my own mind's eye, but I am starting to think using reference photos (at least for now) isn't a bad idea.

ArtTube Thursdays and Commissioned Work

Hey Art World!

Today is what I have deemed, ArtTube Thursday! I uploaded my most recent speed painting video, Space Kitten. I thoroughly enjoyed creating this one despite all the complications I had in filming it. I've relocated from my aunt's house to my fiance and mother-in-law's apartment. It's a bit of a challenge to film the quality of art videos that I would like, but I must push forward. I do not want to quit after it took me so long to get started with my YouTube channel! My fiance supports me of course, and cheers me on. A lot of my art supplies and materials are packed away in storage, but I have the essentials with me for creating and I'm happy with that.

My ArtTube and relocating

What's up art people!

I haven't posted in awhile; my apologies! My life has been crazy to say in the least. A few posts back I mentioned how my city under went a state of emergency due to weather/rain. The apartment my Mom and I shared was destroyed and unlivable. Since then we have been living at my aunt's home. That all began three months ago. Things have changed and I have sense moved in with my fiance and his family. I'm happy to be with him and get to see him all the time, but of course it isn't the same as owning our own place together. Nonetheless, I am very grateful and thankful; I constantly count my blessings!

On another note, I am happy to say that I have kept my commitment of posting a video to my art Youtube channel once a week! Tomorrow will make three weeks since I started this art journey on YouTube. I've deemed Thursdays as my new video release days. I'm excited to debut my latest creation, Animal Chat. It is inspired by my good friend, Kelsey. :) If you missed last week's video, watch now!

Launch Day! Mara Medium on YouTube

Happy Thursday, art world!

Today, I spontaneously decided that I would launch my ArtTube channel. I originally planned for December 1st (my Birthday), but after giving some thought to my fiance's words about putting myself out there and being afraid of failure...I decided to face my fear head on. Today marks the first Thursday of many that shall post art related videos on YouTube! I am excited to do more filming. I plan to keep the schedule of weekly uploads on Thursdays.

For my first video, I thought it would be interesting to have a look through of my first finished sketchbook. Enjoy!

Fiverr art, Inktober progress and box braids

TGIF art world!

Fridays always make me happy, wether I have plans to do something or not. Today, I am catching up on #InkTober youtube videos, browsing Pinterest and generally taking it easy. I got a new hair do. Haha! This is totally not art related, but I was so inspired by the idea of colorful mermaid hair I had to go for it. I've been trying to find things to do to my afro-textured natural hair without relaxing it. This should hold me over for a while before I get bored again. I feel like all artists love to go for colorful hair at least once.

First Impressions: Prima Watercolor Confections ~ Pastel Dreams

I've noticed lots of scrapbookers and card designers have interest in watercolors to make their creations. I love how artists of all types can take one medium and utilize it to create various projects! Along the way, I came across the Prima brand; more specifically their Prima Watercolor Confections paints! I recently ordered one (with a sweet discount!) from the newly released set, Pastel Dreams caught my attention and I had to have it. Of all the watercolors I own, pastel shades aren't one of them...until now!

My First Art Purchases! (part 2)

I'm back with a continuation from my post, my first art purchases, to show case the rest of my new art purchases. I am so humbled and pleased with everything!

Stef Azevedo
This order I was worried had gotten lost in the mail! However, it did make it safely to me. Stefari also included such a sweet in caring note. When I first placed my orders I posted on Instagram about how excited I was to start my collection of art over again, after everything I had previously collected got lost in the flood. How sweet and unexpected!

Victoria Gedvillas
Formally known as Juicy Ink or Tori; her bubbly and happy works always make me feel cheerful! I purchased a large mystery pack of items and I am in love. Her packaging was adorable and a joy to open up (it feels like my birthday!) I enjoy all the prints (especially Jubilee from X-Men) as well as the cute business card and sticker. In one of her Instagram stories she stated the large mystery packs would include a special comic created by the art students at her alma mata; how cool! I love Tori's videos. Her cute and calming voice allows me to relax and stop overthinking my artwork.

Cute doodles and Tori stamp on the large cardboard packing envelope :)

Is this not the cutest wrapping paper! I love this kind (I even added sparkle to exaggerate!)

Overall, I am beyond pleased with my first art purchases from some of my favorite artists. I can't wait to get my album book started and find some frames.

YouTube, Inktober, and alcohol based markers

Photo credits Google Images

Happy Thursday artsy people!

Today I am sharing my thoughts about a few topics. Since the creation of my art Instagram account @maramedium, my friends and fiancé have been encouraging me to start a YouTube channel and/or open up an online shop for my work. Wow! What a big step! I feel like I was just thinking it over to even create a blog...and now what's next? I feel like right now, my work isn't quite where I'd want it to be to open up such an avenue. Yet, I find myself making graphics for this fictional YouTube channel, learning how to do animated end screen caps, looking at professional intro videos on Fiverr and more. It seems like I'm headed to making a YouTube channel after all! It may be some time, but I think it'll be a fun venture to embark on.

My First Art Purchases!

Along with acquiring fun new art supplies for the start of my new collection, I've also been purchasing work from some of my favorite artists. I've been inspired and driven by: Kiara Studios, Jacqueline de Leon, Geneva B, Stef Azevedo and many others. Here's photos of what I purchased! You can check out each artist's shop by viewing the Resources tab above!

Jacqueline de Leon
It's no surprise that I chose Jacqueline's work to be my first purchase. She is the first artist I found online that really got me motivated to start creating art again. She makes it so relaxing and fun! Her Aqueous artist book was one of my first purchases (and ticked off my wishlist!) Since then, I've gotten my first print from her as well as a sticker pack. Her cute extras and a discount code for future purchases was very sweet!

The piece that started it all. "Summer Girl" print. I love the paper's rounded corners.

A peek inside of "Aqueous". Beautiful pages of artwork!

Kiara's Studio
Kiara is such a down-to-Earth artist. Her work is meaningful and relatable; I love that! Most of her works have a story attached to them or a description of her inspiration. She also takes time to comment back and communicate with her viewers and customers which really touches my heart. She's a humble artist and I wish the biggest and best for her talents. I was fortunate enough to purchase this original piece from her work. It's even more beautiful in person.

The handwritten Thank You card and sticker of Kiara's artwork were a really personal touch!

Here's Kiara's information if you'd like to contact her for commission or artwork.

Geneva Benton
GDBee's work is new to me, but it didn't take me long to fall in love. She is, so far, the only digital illustrator's work that has resonated with me. Being a graphic designer, I can greatly appreciate what she does by taking her hand-drawn work and bringing it to life through the computer. Her vibrant colours and portrayal of various cultures/ethnicity really inspires me. She's somewhere between Lisa Frank in colour palette and African culture vibes (at least to me!)

A look inside "Artificial"s pages. I love when my favorite artists release artbooks.

In the meantime, I am collecting works that speak to me. Soon I plan on purchasing a simple portfolio album to keep everything in. Some pieces I plan to frame and hang on my wall in my new room, once things are settled. I can't wait! I also ordered works from Stef Acevedo and Victoria Gedvillas (Toriann) but it hasn't arrived in the mail just yet... To be continued!

My first go with gouache and other new mediums!

Here is a standard envelope sized piece I did for my letter-friend India. I've recently been inspired by a lot of artists I found on YouTube. This one takes after the fun and bubbly graffiti art of Miss Wah.

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Today, I wanted to share one of my first experience using gouache paint. If you've checked out my most recent post sharing my new art supplies, you'll know that I received a spankin' brand new set of Holbein Artist's Gouache. I wasted no time at all putting these beauties to paper. I've been practicing using my new art mediums by doing mini pieces to gift to letter friends (yes, pen palling hobbies still exist!) as well as making sketchbook covers so I can keep up with the dates for each book.

Haul: Anniversary Art Supplies!

First let me begin by wishing my soul mate, best friend and beloved fiance, Mr. 8Bit, a Happy Anniversary! I love you dearly and greatly appreciate the support, care, and love you give me. I'm so blessed to have you in my life and pray for many more years with you.

I'm showcasing the amazing art supplies my love gifted me for our anniversary! We have been together for four years, as of September 2nd. This past July 28th we got engaged and I couldn't be happier. Mr. 8Bit is also an artist; of a different variety. His interests lie in gaming, animation, and Funko Pop collecting. He's basically the man version of myself (as I am in interested in graphic art, drawing, and doll collecting!) Over the years, he has always been able to pen point just what I need for my creative fuel. This year we exchanged wish lists for what we would enjoy as a gift. I never imagined he would purchase every item on my list! How did I get so lucky with this man?!

Dr. Ph Martin's Hydrus Watercolor Set A
Ever since my desire for learning watercolor was fueled, Dr. Ph Martin's Hydrus Watercolor liquid watercolor paint has been at the top of my Wishlist. I'm in love with how vibrant they are and the fact that they can be used for brush lettering as it's already at the perfect liquid consistency, made me want them even more. I cannot wait to get started with these.

Holbein Artist's Gouache 12pc Designers Set
So far, the only gouache I've tried is Reeve's brand; this is a major upgrade. The Designer set is artist grade too! I've opened the caps on these beauties and the pigments are SO bright and colorful. Its a dream come true on paper. The swatches simply glow!

19" LED Light Tracing Tablet
It has been a bit of a pain holding my drawings up to the nearest available sunlit window. Now, I won't have to (plus I can do work at night!) I'm so excited about this light tablet, you have no idea.

13" Apple MacBook Air
This gift basically takes the cake. Mr. 8Bit purchased this light weight laptop to take with us on our vacation; after that he "gave" it to me. I knew he planned to do this all along. It's his way of making me accept an expensive gift without feeling too guilty. I love my man!

I wasted no time in swatching the paints, drawing pieces with the light tablet and even blogging on the Macbook! I'm in artist heaven. I can't wait to take some quality photos of the few sketch pieces I've done with the new medium. Those are coming soon!

My journey into comic books

Lately, I've been finding myself drawn to comic books. This is a literature type that I've never given a second look when I was a teen or in college. I don't know why! For some reason, I thought only classic superheroes lived was I wrong! WRONG WRONG! Not only are comic books home to several female protagonists, but some of the most beautifully illustrated works, too. I'm trying to learn more about comics and the artists behind them by researching titles I think I'd enjoy reading.

Sketchbook: My Doodles

I consider the sketchbooks I work in now 100% exploratory. Along the way, my goal is to discover my style, relax and just enjoy working my hand, medium and paper. So far, I have done a few pages that I think I would enjoy making into a full project piece (especially the florals). I love the line work of my doodles! Who needs an adult coloring book when you can basically take a blank page and do the same thing. In any case, I still decided to make sketchbook covers for each of my books. Years from now, I think I'll enjoy looking back on my work and seeing how I have grown.

Happy Art Drop Day!

Today, September 1st is deemed World Art Drop Day in the artist community! This concept is new to me and I thought it was so fun and inspirational; I had to research further on it. Although, I will not be participating in Art Drop Day today, in the future I do plan on trying this and seeing if I can spread a bit of happiness :)

Sketchbook: My First Watercolor Paintings

I've been in a great creative mood as of late. I'm filling up my sketchbooks left and right. I haven't really narrowed my focus on one thing; mainly practicing how to control the watercolor paint and slowly discovering my style, likes, and dislikes. Every pieces teaches me something new about my unique way of portrayal. I'm happy! So far, I have been focusing on flora/fauna and illustrated portrait styles. I'm just enjoying myself and not getting stressed out about particulars. Here are a few of my first watercolor paintings!

Sketchbook, pens, and finding my style

Firstly, I'm wishing a Happy Birthday, Mom! to my wonderful mother. She's always supported me and my aspirations for becoming an artist. Others, I know, are not so fortunate. I'm blessed to have her as my Mom. Now, on to this post! I've decided to give this small, 5.5 x 8.5 inch Canson XL Mixed Media book another try. I originally was frustrated with it because I felt constrained by the size. However, after giving it a second thought, I realized this gives me a space that makes me focus on smaller details (it's weird, I know). So far, I am enjoying it; especially the portability. I've used this 98lb paper with watercolors before and it does buckle, but not as bad as one would imagine. I may try to incorporate a bit of watercolor with my sketches here, but the main focus is discovering my style and focusing on drawing.

My artist inspirations

(Photo credit Qing Han / Qinni)

I've been catching up all morning on my favorite artist's Youtube channels and checking out their shops. I thought it'd be a good time to showcase the artist(s) who've inspired me to begin on my journey. Sure, I wanted to expand my artistic skills in hopes to better my employment options, but my fuel had to come from somewhere! I'm always inspired by fashion, beauty/cosmetics, and nature, but some artists work just resonate with me and make me want to create art!

Review: Artist's Loft 36 Pan Watercolor palette

(Photo credits Somewhere in the Middle)

Today's review is going to be on the inexpensive Artist's Loft 36 Pan Watercolor palette. I purchased the Artist's Loft 36 Pan Watercolor Palette from my local Michael's. After watching several videos on YouTube, this palette was recommended for beginners interested in designing cards and hand lettering. It comes with a wide array of bright and pigmented watercolors. All you need to do is spray the palette with water to activate the colors and you're good to go. Aside from the Crayola Watercolor palette, this has been my first watercolor experience. Initially, I was amazed and happy with it, but after a few uses it just didn't satisfy; here's why!

Review: Kuretake Gansai Tambi Watercolors

Hey, everyone! Today I am talking about my experience with the Japanese watercolor set Kuretake Gansai Tambi. I first heard about this type of watercolor when I was in my transition between watercolors to gouache. I discovered both at the time and realized for the art I aspire to make, gouache is also a great option. After watching several youtube videos I decided to purchase a set of my own to give a try. Everyone's reviews seem great but are they really for beginners like me? Keep reading if you're interested!

In The Beginning: How I became an artist

One of my first paintings in watercolor (and me!)

It is only fitting that I make my first blog post on my art blog about how I became an artist! It all started in 2009 when trading letters with a dear penfriend in Hawaii. Her name is Ashley and she always inspired me to be creative. All throughout my junior and senior year of high school I aspired to be a journalist. Things quickly changed in my AP English course senior year and the idea of writing one more paper killed me!

Aside from exchanging letters with Ash, we also blogged and visited each other's domains to read and comment. I loved her beautifully unique designed weblogs and wanted to know how she did it. She taught me all she knew about HTML, FTP programs and managing websites on the ever popular WordPress platform. I was in heaven! To get practice I personalized codes and designs on Myspace (wow, that was a long time ago!) Ash always encouraged me to go to college and get a formal education in graphic art or webdesign. Eventually I took her advice. Fast forward through the years and 2015 marks my graduation year. I graduated from Nicholls State with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree; I'm a professional Graphic Designer! What I quickly learned in my short year post-graduation is that skillsets and experience are key to landing that interview or job. The more skills I have to show off; the better. Since my last job has come to an end I decided to make it my mission to learn something new.

Currently, it seems the market turns heavily toward back end web developers and Programmers. Another industry that seems to do well is paper goods (stationary, business cards, fancy invitations, etc). Since web development is out of my range my best bet was to pick up on stationary designing. I've always admired brush lettering and all hand lettering of any kind. Watercolor was also an interest of mine in college, but I never had the space in my schedule to take a formal course. Over the last couple months I made it my mission to teach myself how to utilize this medium.

And here I am, today! It's been fun to experiment with other mediums besides my traditional way of doing things, scanning it into a computer, and bringing it to life digitally. I love the organic feel of creating something amazing straight from my hands with no technology involved to dilute it or loose detail in translation (something as a designer is one of my weak points).

I can't wait to share this journey with everyone!