Thursday, December 29, 2011

"Escape from this world"
Gemini is a French illustrator who loves lemon pie and old good musicals. With tradeyourtalent she speaks about growing up in a small village and why glamourous ladies inspire her. 

What inspires you when you create your art? 

I would say that my art is inspired by what I see, or what i hear. It sounds very girlish, but I like painting and drawing pretty things, glamourous ladies. I grew up with old american musicals, and while I was a kid I thought when I will become a woman I will look like these beautiful actresses from the 50's, so I think I want to  keep a little of this gold time in my art.
Why is art your passion? 

When I was a little girl we were living with my sister and my parents in a small village and we didn't have anything to do outside (and I must add we were living in Normandy, so for those who don't know-  the weather is the same as in England). Luckily my grandparents were printers so we had all the paper we wanted for free. And step by step it became the only way we had to escape from this world.

If you could work together with a famous artist, who would you pick? 

I think I would like to work with the "father" of all these movies which gave me the desire to become an artist and  gave me so many happy moments:  Glenn Keane. 

For more by Gemini please visit:

Monday, December 5, 2011

In Memory of Dana Maor

I started this blog one year ago - many of you know that I decided to do this because I lost a very dear friend of mine due to a tragic accident. Dana Maor was an amazing artist and this is why I decided to go on a journey, partly to remain close to her but I also had a sudden urge to find out what really inspires artists, how they create their artwork and why they decide to pursue their dreams every single day.

It was Dana's birthday in November and this is why her family and friends created a beautiful exhibition for her in Israel. I would like to show you her artwork and talent. These are photos taken from this exhibition with her artwork, and art that her friends created. Most of the artwork on the photos is hers, except when you see someone painting in the picture.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Mariana Santos: "The way you deal with confusion"

Mariana Santos is a 15 year old artist from Portugal. She is an Urban Sketcher and likes to sketch everyday and she loves to paint from concert photos. In this interview with TYT she speaks about creating something new and why art is about not being afraid. 

Mariana Santos
What inspires you to your art?
I started drawing everyday stuff in my sketchbook because of the group Urban Sketchers, I got really inspired seeing all that fantastic work and decided to get my own journal, I started drawing every day and that really helped me to develop my drawing skills. Before I had a sketchbook I did some portraits of my favorite musicians, I got into drawing because I got into music and photos of concerts really inspire me when drawing a musician, I love to paint in black paper from those concert photos.
Recently I’ve had some ideas and done some studies for a different kind of paintings in which I’m trying to move a bit away from sheer representation of reality and to play with color and shapes even though they’re based on real subjects.
Mariana Santos
Your work is mainly about music and everday life.Which moments fascinate you most?
I think regarding my sketches on everyday life I’m more fascinated and enthusiastic while traveling. While I’m not traveling I lately tend to draw a lot of portraits of my friends maybe because I spend so much time with them, I also draw a lot on the subway, in the classroom. My sketchbook ends up documenting my life. I’m also fascinated with the possibilities of shapes colors and lines, the composition within a page.In my music drawings I draw my favorite musicians from photographs, usually what fascinates me is the action and the contrast.
Mariana Santos
Do you have favorite artists?
 I love all kinds of things and I change my favorite artists very often.Concerning the subject of everyday sketches and visual journals, I really love the work of Danny Gregory, Tommy Kane, Lapin, Eduardo Salavisa, Richard Câmara, Nina Johansson, John Woolley, as well as other Urban Sketchers correspondents.
The painters I’ve gotten pretty interested in recently are Egon Schiele, Basquiat, Touluse-Lautrec and Eric Fishell, I also love Andy Warhol, Picasso, Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Alexander Calder, Jackson Pollock, Oskar Kokoschka and lots more.
Mariana Santos

Mariana Santos

Would you like to become a full time artist after you finish school?
 Yes, I’d love to become a full time artist when I finish school but I’m keeping my mind open.  I think nowadays in the art word you have to do a bit of everything in order to survive. Those things still feel very complicated to me so for now I’ll concentrate on my art, what makes me happy.
Mariana Santos

Creativity is…
To combine the things you know and create something new, everything comes from somewhere. To be creative is not to be afraid. Creativity comes from hard work, dreams, involvement, confusion and the way you deal with that confusion.
Mariana Santos

If you'd like to have a look at more of her work, check out Mariana Santos Blog and on Flickr

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Writing a children's book

Dear readers,

today is the day - I can finally spill the secret on what I've been working on the last couple of months. It was the most creative journey I ever jumped on: writing a story for a children's book. This all happened when I asked the incredibly talented illustrator Tahira Lubrano if she wanted to create a children's book with me. It is a story about Migwi the little Monkey and here is the brand new blog where we document, discuss and share everything that we encounter on our path of creating the book. I hope you'll enjoy it and hopefully you'll join us in the wilderness of Colobus' Monkeys adventures!

Let me introduce you to 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Art is a journey

    Strange things happen sometimes. It has been almost a year since I started this blog and today I realized something rather stunning. It happened during an email to my good friend and artist Susan Sorrell Hill that it hit me: this art blog has sent me on a journey. Not only because I met so many inspiring artists all across the globe due to my interviews, but I also gained many lovely pen pals, that have become friends (contesting the typical argument that the internet leads people away from real friendships). 
     These lovely ladies have inspired my own work so much and even helped me in so many unexpected ways - I could go on about this forever! 
    I have learned about how they create their art but also what they imagine their art could look like in the future, eager to hop onto the digital train, but still remaining truthful to their work. 
    And in this way they sent me on a journey, where I tried to discover what possibilites are out there for artists, possibilities untouched. 
   But it never realized that what I had been doing was not only following their journey-  I had started to go on my own journey, discovering my possibilites through pursuing my creative vision. I was always a creative person, but I never really knew where all this creativity would take me some day. A bit like trying to make a snowball - it gets bigger and bigger while you roll it in the snow. 
   And now a new opportunity in the publishing world has opened up for me and it seems like this blog and my friends have led me there - does this sound strange to you? 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A little inspiration

Most of you know that I'm organizing a workshop about digital publishing for Social Media Week in Berlin on Thursday (I'm so excited and hope it will be a fun evening filled with creativity). My lovely friend and gorgeous illustrator Tahira Lubrano kindly created an illo for the workshop, which I just had to show you! Thanks TJ!!!

illustration by Tahira Lubrano

Richardson Ovbiebo: "The Forms I Heard"

Solo Exhibition

Select Works by Richardson Ovbiebo, September 24th – 8th October, 2011, Lagos

Richardson Ovbiebo, Bolla, 2011, Bicycle wheels on car doors

The first solo-exhibition by Richardson Ovbiebo "The Forms I Heard" explores Ovbiebo’s interests in social issues that are represented by various objects, particularly those encountered in everyday life. This is exemplified in Bolla (2011), which emerged from an artists’ workshop that took place on the landfill in Isolo. The title of the work is a term used to refer to sites like the workshop location, and the persons working therein. Composed of two car doors, which are painted with the same colors and displayed as though they were being forced together, Bolla’s physical properties emphasize the shared fate of these doors, their being melted together and molded into various steel objects. 
     Like the doors, are the paths of these persons also pre-determined? Have they become rigidly fixed in a system, a cyclic process like the very recycling they engage in everyday? This work and the others highlight the relationships humans have with objects and how these items signify the way lives are lived.

Richardson Ovbiebo
A graduate of Yaba Polytechnic, Ovbiebo’s work has been featured in numerous forums, including exhibitions at the Contempory Center for the Arts (Lagos), “Lost in Lagos—the Artist’s experience” and several Arthouse Auctions. In 2009, he won 1st Prize in the Nigerian Breweries and African Artist Foundation, National Art Competition “Nigeria the Future I See.” He was First Prize Winner in the Fashion Designers’ Association of Nigeria and African Artist Foundation Exhibition, “Design inspired by Fashion” in 2009, and a finalist for the Creative artist of the Year– Future Award Nigeria in 2010. Richardson Ovbiebo, born in 1982, hails from Igbanke in Edo state. He graduated in 2007 from Yaba College of Technology in sculpture. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Gabby Zapata "Looking for inspiration"

Gabby Zapata is a recent Ringling College of Art and Design graduate, she is now working at Digital Domain Studios as a story/visual development artist. With tradeyourtalent she speaks about why Disney films inspire her, life as an everyday inspiration and moving forward. 

Gabby Zapata

You recently graduated from Ringling. How does it feel like and what are your future plans?
Post-Ringling is going to feel very surreal! I have been spending all week trying to relax and just have fun for once because I never really had the chance to due to working on my short film. But now that all of it is ending, I'm certainly going to miss it. As for future plans, I am luckily going to be a story/visual development artist at Digital Domain Studios! As I have mentioned on my blog, Digital Domain's has been known for its epic special effects (ie. Titanic, Tron, 2012, iRobot) and the new studio here will focus on feature animated films! I'll be working under people who have been at Disney/Pixar so it will be a great experience to work with them! It's a super great opportunity.
Gabby Zapata
When did you decide to pursue a career in art?
I decided to pursue a career in art at a very young age. Ever since I was little, I grew up watching many Disney films, cartoons, you name it. When I was little, I became obsessed with The Little Mermaid because it is such a beautiful film and I loved the movements, design, everything! I remember telling myself that I hope I can do something like this when I grow up. I had no idea how, or even it there was a career for it! But years passed by, I started to focus more on art. I took all your basic art classes all the way through high school, and then I heard about Ringling and I went from there. It has been a thrill trying to learn new things and just keep improving on your work and then look back and see how much you've grown as an artist.

Gabby Zapata

Inspiration is....
Everywhere. Inspiration for me drives from everyday life and from my fellow classmates. Life is an everyday inspiration and comes in many shapes and forms.

How do you overcome creative blocks?
That's a tough one. Going through art blocks can be such a challenge. You find yourself doubting yourself in your abilities and makes you want to give up. What I do to overcome that, I go out for a drive by the beach (since I live near it!) and just relax. I don't draw when I am there, I just absorb the sunlight and take time to reflect on myself. If that does not work, I just start looking for inspiration. I started collecting many "Art of" (ie. Tangled, KungFu Panda, etc) books and those are fantastic to look at for inspiration. Another thing that I do is just watch random films and see what I get from there. They do not have to be animated films, it can be anything. But as a general note, I just try and keep on moving forward and not worry about it because it will eventually get better.

Gabby Zapata

Can you name your favorite artists?
Oh my gosh, where do I start?! There are soo many artists I admire and aspire from! Last summer, I started using google reader because I realized that bookmarking a blog and checking each and every one of them individually was going to be a pain. So anyway, some of my favorite artists are Brittney Lee, Glen Keane, Claire Keane, Dice Tsutsumi, Nico Marlet, Lorelay Bove, Peter de Sève, Bill Pressing, Pete Oswald, Lou Romano, Victoria Ying, Bill Schwab, Willie Real, Jeff Turley, Edgar Degas, and sooo much more! What I like about these artists is their uniqueness. If you happen to stumble on their artwork, you will be able to tell who it is because of what they specialize in. Aside from that, I like to be inspired by my classmates too. They are full of ideas, that it is impossible not to be inspired by other people. 

Gabby Zapata

Friday, August 5, 2011

"The Mouse King" Elizabeth Rose Stanton donates for Bakhita Girls fundraiser

Yesterday I received "The Mouse King", by Elizabeth Rose Stanton, which is our third donation for our Bakhita Girls  art and music fundraiser in NYC on the 10th of August! 

"The Mouse King", by Elizabeth Rose Stanton

Elizabeth Rose Stanton is an illustrator from Seattle, trained in architecture, art history, and scientific illustration. She currently works in illustration, portraiture and fine art, with a concentration on children's book and editorial illustration. Her blog, penspaperstudio, which has grown so quickly since she started is quite stunning! Although with her kind of talent it is not surprising, I always tell her that the first thing I do on a Friday is check out her newest Illustration Friday post, which usually always leaves me behind with a huge smile on my face :-) I just adore her characters! For more about Elizabeth also have a look at her interview with TYT on "Being fearless."
        I'm so overwhelmed by the kindness of all the creatives that I have met since I started blogging and all the wonderful donations that have come together just within one week, they will surely give  the Bakhita girls in Tanzania the chance to go to school and actually build a future! 

Elizabeth Rose Stanton's donation

"The Mouse King", by Elizabeth Rose Stanton

Other donations were received from

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Lars Käker sketches one of our Bakhita Girls for NYC fundraiser

"Rose", sketch by Lars Käker

This week has been full of lovely surprises and today we received a very beautiful one. Lars Käker, an amazing painter from Germany sketched one of our Bakhita Girls for our fundraiser in NYC on the 10th of August. The fundraiser will provide girls in Tanzania with scholarships. 
        Have a look at Lars' beautiful blog called portraits 2 null, where you can find a number of his unique paintings. Lars actually awarded me with the Sunshine Award and then offered to paint one of our girls for the fundraiser. I'm really happy that he got in touch with me and introduced me to his great artwork. 
         Lars decided to sketch Rose, who was one of the first girls to receive a scholarship from Bakhita. "Rose loves to laugh, dance, she is full of energy, excitement and enthusiasm." Patricia Schneidewind, founder of Bakhita girls, says. "I have never seen such a photograph so full of life" Lars told me when I sent him some photographs to choose from.
       "This is just why I had to sketch Rose." It is stunning how Lars was able to capture Rose's personality in his artwork. The sketch can be seen and purchased at the fundraiser in NYC, along with Susan Sorrell Hill's paintings. A third artist will also donate an artwork, I will show it to you in the next couple of days! ;)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Blog Art Exhibition, Danielle C. McManus "Dimension and Personality"

Danielle C. McManus is an illustrator and designer, she currently lives in New York. Danielle works on the blog A Love of Drawing. She uses a wide variety of media in her work, such as watercolor, pen and ink, crayon, drawing, computer graphics, and oil paint. Danielle is also a blog correspondent for Urban Sketchers. With tradeyourtalent she speaks about the role art plays in her life, the infinite possibilities of creativity, and why reading helps with creative blocks.

Interview with Danielle

Which role does art play in your life? 

Danielle: I would say art plays many roles in my life. As far back as I can remember I always had a crayon, marker or some kind of pen in my hand. As a kid my mom would buy me coloring books and giant sheets of wax paper to draw on.  I went through it like water! Growing up I also struggled with being shy and many times art was how I was able to talk to other kids my age.  I would say that art runs deep inside me and has allowed me to meet the most important people in my life.  Only as I have gotten older have I realized how important art is and how important it is in my life. The fact that I can get up everyday and make a drawing or go outside and draw the flowers, or travel to Paris and draw the Eiffel Tower just because, is truly wonderful. Art is a part of my everyday routine I would say.  Even days that I am not drawing images are always floating around in my head. From bright colors to figuring out how I draw someone’s ear. It’s kind of a funny thing I would say.

Can you describe your style? 

Danielle: My style is my personality. I feel the more variety and the more creative expression the better. I like to draw with a variety of materials and sometimes I even draw with chopsticks or tree sticks. It’s fun to see the infinite possibilities when it comes to creating a picture.

What do you do when you have a creative block? 

Danielle: When I have a creative block I go to the museum. I also look at art books and try to find new kinds of art to look at as well. I find the most important thing to do when I have a creative block is to read. Reading allows you to fill up your artist's well and will supply you with new information. Once you have information you can add it to your art and then you will have more to say with it. It adds dimension and personality.

Inspiration is...

Danielle: Something that can come from your heart and something you feel very deeply. 

If you could collaborate with another artist, whom would you pick?

Danielle: Well I have to say I would have loved to have collaborated with my late teacher and mentor who was a wonderful artist and teacher.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

A magical donation for our Bakhita Girls fundraiser: paintings by Susan Sorrell Hill

I'm so happy to announce that Susan Sorrell Hill is one of the first artists to donate five paintings for the Bakhita Girls fundraiser, which will help provide scholarships for young mothers and underprivileged girls to attend secondary schools in Ifakara, Tanzania. Susan is an artist and illustrator from Northern California. Her paintings tell universal stories, and are inspired by the literature of humankinds’ patterns: fairy tale, myth, and oracles of all types. It is always a treat to visit Susan's wonderful blog, Dream & Vision.  Susan was one of the first artists I interviewed on TYT and I'm happy to say that since then we've exchanged so many creative ideas and have even become friends. Susan recently submitted her cover art "The Girl with Silver Hands" to the Uncovered Cover Art Blog, a blog where you can vote for your favorite cover art! Also have a look at the TYT interview about Susan's art: "Fairy Tales and Magic"  Thanks again Susan for your kind donation! Here you can find more info about the fundraiser, if you'd like to donate just contact me via email .

Here are the five wonderful paintings Susan donated: 

Susan Sorrell Hill

Susan Sorrell Hill

Susan Sorrell Hill

Susan Sorrell Hill

Susan Sorrell Hill
For more of Susan's art 


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