According to the County Clerk, Hum Studios is now officially official! What started as a casual challenge to stretch my imagination turned into a small business venture. I'm hoping to continue to diversify the products I offer and expand to even more shops in 2017. I love having the opportunity to foster relationships with buyers online and shop owners around Texas and Oklahoma. So far, Hum Studios has a presence in:
Norman, OK - STASH
Oklahoma City, OK - Blue 7
Austin, TX - Parts & Labour
& most recently Tyler, TX - 903 Handmade
I'm certainly excited to see where I can take this! Below are the links to Hum Studios' Etsy store & Instagram feed:
Last February, freelancing at home at all hours of the day or night, constantly staring at a computer screen, I was growing pretty tired of the routine of pixel-pushing. I wanted to challenge myself to think differently, off the screen on a more physical medium. With that, I gave myself a 30-day challenge, posting to Instagram every day to keep myself accountable.
I faced several obstacles along the way:
self-doubt: "Why am I doing this again?" "Do I suck?" "Do my friends hate me for posting everyday for a month?" "Of all the things I could paint on God's good earth, why am I painting a fish?"
time: even though my schedule was flexible due to my freelancing jobs, painting one piece everyday for a month was a lot more difficult than I thought.
diversity of subject matter: I'll admit, I lean towards landscape scenes and the ocean definitely has a hold over me, but I attempted to challenge myself with other content as much as possible.
acceptance of imperfection: as a graphic designer, improvement is always a possibility and is as simple as a Command-Z hot key; but as an artist, one wrong, permanent brush stroke and you either start over or accept the movement for what it is.
At the end of the challenge, since there was so much interest in the project from friends and family, I ended up scanning and reproducing all 30 pieces at a local print shop and selling almost all my originals plus several of my reproductions. This challenge set in motion my new business, Hum Studios; allowed me to connect with other artists on Instagram, both near and far; and also established itself as a seemingly never-ending passion project.
Feel free to check out the rest of the project on my personal Instagram, searching with the tag #30daysofwatercolorchallenge
Wow, it's sure been a crazy year! I started working at Harris Media, a mid-sized digital firm whose clients consist primarily of political candidates and advocacy groups. I continue to freelance and remain on retainer on a smaller scale to the Hamlin Home Team and Sola Salons Austin. And I also started my own business, Hum Studios (which I go into further detail in a separate post). More to come soon!
We probably only get snow once a year or less in Oklahoma, so whenever it happens, I definitely take advantage of the opportunity!
Right around Christmastime, people are always the most generous - whether it's volunteering their time or donating food, clothes, or toys to an organization. This year, it's made me feel especially empty. Back in high school, I used to volunteer in my community all the time, and lately I've been wanting to be a part of something again where I can make a real difference. My time has been so consumed with the job search and making ends meet freelancing that volunteering has been on the back burner. I told myself that I wanted to get settled and have a full-time job before I committed myself to a non-profit or other organization.
I would absolutely love the satisfaction of working at an organization that works towards enacting social change for good. Throughout my senior year at the University of Oklahoma, I integrated social change campaigns into several of my projects - so many, that in order to accommodate other projects that showed diversity, I had to cut a few off. Here are a couple of the projects that didn't make it to my home page:
End Homelessness poster series
For this project, we were required to create a typographic-based vocabulary that is developed and applied to a series of three designed pieces. I created a socially-geared poster series that directed passerby to the website endhomelessness.org. The main objective of these posters was to first grab the viewer's attention, then garner his or her sympathy. This could be done through big, bold images in a muted color palette and an unusual type treatment.
Technology Addiction PSA
My intention with this PSA was to shed some light on just how much time humans spend using technology. With the advancements the world has made with creating new and improving upon devices, it comes as no surprise that we (especially teenagers) spend so much time with our faces glued to screens.
This blog has been a wonderful creative outlet for exploration as well as a platform to showcase my artwork. Although, screen printing has been an art form with which I have continued to experiment and have been passionate about for some time now, I also have a love for ceramics. Now seems as good a time as any to show some of my past work from back when I was in school.
My "Texas" graphic is completely finished and ready to be printed! So far I've made burgundy, mint, orange, and metallic gold towels. Eventually the graphic will be applied to long-sleeved tees as well once I get the towels up and off the ground.
A couple weeks ago, I moved to the great state of Texas - more specifically, Austin. I'm very excited to explore all that this city has to offer in terms of design, art, FOOD, and adventure.
To anyone who happens to not know, we Southerners are especially famous for our state fairs... carnival games, the fried versions of anything you can think up, and the most exciting people watching you'll experience all year. I mean, what more can you possibly want? This print series serves as an ode to this most wondrous time of the fall.
For my sister's bridal shower invite, I was allowed to have free reign with the aesthetic and colors. It was very difficult to narrow it down to just one style, but I decided that hand lettered invites with subtle watercolor accents suited her personality best. This was one of my first stabs at hand lettering, so it took several hours of layering and piecing together stacks of ripped pieces of tracing paper until the whole invite came together and looked cohesive. Then came the process of screen printing and applying watercolor in layers to every invite, one at a time. which was also time-consuming but so worth it to see the excited look on her face when I revealed it to her.
I received a fantastic online response to these as well.
This was an installation of 150+ stickers that went up in a ladies' public restroom. This quote from Henry David Thoreau really resonated with me and covering a whole wall with the words gave just the impact that I had wanted. A restroom can be a place where you stop and look in the mirror and criticize the flaws that you see. I wanted to alter the environment and change it into a place of reflection that can build a woman up with encouraging words rather than tear her down with her own internal thoughts.
When I posted about the installation on Facebook, I certainly got a very encouraging response from friends.
My poor little sister has always had the misfortune of being my model whenever I want to try a new lighting situation with my DSLR. I'm very lucky that she's such a good sport about it!
I meant to write about this sooner, but I got caught up with end-of-the-year shenanigans and a super fun jaw surgery over the break, so I forgot. I ended up selling about 35 towels and also a few shirts and card packs. I sold the towels for $10 each and made a profit of about $8.50 per towel. All in all, not a bad run of sales.
In other news, I just started selling my Oklahoma prints and now Oklahoma tea towels (packaged and branded with my logo) to STASH, the same store I've been selling my bracelets to. As an artist, I'm extremely thankful to awesome stores like STASH who are purveyors of local artists' goods. I'm also working on a new print to try to sell to one of the local stores on Campus Corner. With any luck, I'll be able to add another vendor to my list.
The past month or so I've been working on some new serigraphy projects to sell. As it just so happens, the end-of-the-year exhibition for our intermediate serigraphy class will take place in an art market setting in downtown Norman at the Second Friday Art Walk. This will give me the perfect opportunity to dispense more of my artwork into the community. Here's a sneak peek at a few of the items I'll be selling this coming week. I've already got a load of pre-orders to fill before the event has even started!
In all the craziness in getting back to school and work, I've neglected to write about my study abroad experience over the summer. My last update in May detailed my plans for the summer, including my European itinerary. We were originally going to stay in Dublin for a couple very short days, then meet with our classmates and professor in Rome. Our plans ended up changing a bit when our flights got delayed right from the start and we were stuck in Chicago for a day and a half - it took a toll on my emotional sanity, to say the least. The airline rerouted our flight to go straight to Rome (where we would stay a couple days on our own before meeting up with our class), then we'd (thankfully) still get to visit Ireland after studying abroad by extending our trip a couple extra days.
I found that I learned a lot about myself by traveling in Europe without any sort of help. I learned to navigate the cities safely, "blend" in, and converse with the locals. I became very thankful for the kindness and understanding of the people there. Oklahoma is, unfortunately, sorely lacking in public transportation of any sort. This made the European public transit system even more of a learning experience, especially since each country has its own unique system. Although I missed my family by the end of the month, I already feel more capable of living on my own in another city.
I've been selling bracelets on and off for the past year and a half or so now, through OU's student art gallery and most recently through a local business called STASH. I started making these as a way to keep my hands busy while watching TV shows since I tend to get bored easily just sitting and watching the television. I've sold about 180 bracelets at $4 per bracelet, so it's really just a small, less time-consuming way to earn a little money on the side. I'm also looking into selling them on Etsy to widen my market scope.
As for updates on my Oklahoma shirts and prints, I've been selling them for a few weeks now, and I've sold about 51 shirts. Subtracting the costs of the materials, I turn about $9 profit per shirt. As it's coming up on finals week, I can no longer take orders, but I'll be selling what I still have left. It's definitely been an experience balancing school, work, and this little project, but it has been so worth it. It's a wonderful feeling seeing my work worn around Norman. We'll see what the upcoming semester brings, but I'm thinking I'd definitely like to continue this project and expand upon it.
The past few weeks have been extremely hectic as the semester has been winding down. All the seniors are graduating this weekend, and it's becoming very real to me that I'll be in that position a year from now. As scary as that is, it's made me feel even more pumped about all the opportunities that I'll be experiencing this summer - my LAST summer vacation.
For about two months, I'll be working at OU Recruitment as a design intern all summer, creating pieces to send out to prospective high school students. I'm also trying to leave time aside to practice coding HTML and CSS and work on some design side projects. In late June, I'll be traveling to Dublin, Ireland for a couple days, then heading over to Arezzo, Italy to study abroad with the University of Oklahoma's Fine Arts program for a whole month! I moved to Pescara, Italy when I was about five years old, and my family stayed there for two years. I've been dreaming of traveling back ever since, and now it'll finally be happening. Even better, I'll have a chance to practice my photography skills in one of the most picturesque regions in the world. I'm pretty sure I could die happy after that.
My sister and I went to the local park one day for a picnic and she let me use her for a mini photo shoot. It was a beautiful sunny Spring day, though a little on the chilly side. As I was only just recently getting back into messing with the functions of a DSLR camera, I didn't realize just how "lens-flarey" my images were turning out, but I worked to correct them in Photoshop as best I could.