Saturday, June 11, 2011

Following your dreams

Today I wanted to tell you why I started this blog in the first place. Exactly one year ago a good friend of mine died in a horrible accident in China. She was an amazing artist and very young. She had this amazing personality, she believed only in happiness, inspiration and that you should follow your dreams. From this moment on I realized I would start living this way too - and that I want to help artists follow their dreams and passion. 

Many young artists go on studying business or law, because they are told you cannot make a living from art. I really think you have to follow your true passion and inspiration, otherwise you spend many years in life working somewhere where you might be unhappy – and after a while you realize you could have been much more true to yourself by doing what you actually enjoy.

A year ago I started thinking of possibilities of how artists can be supported and how you can help them follow their dreams- and so I started Trade Your Talent. It also keeps my friend close to me in a special way – it makes me feel like I'm doing something in her name. It keeps me connected. With my own startup I'm trying to create even more possibilites for artists, and through this project I've started following my own dreams. 

Thank you Dana. Because of you I learnt that all that matters 
is being happy and true to yourself. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Some doodling and surprises...

Today something really good happened... but I can't tell you about it just yet, but I hope I can write about it soon enough. Until then a small doodle that shows how I feel like right now: 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Book Arts: "Art as a healing tool"

Today I discovered another amazing arts project in New York and it is hard to describe my fascination. The moment I held the book art in my hand today, books created by people who recover from psychiatric disabilities, I knew I had to share this with you immediately. Looking at the individual books made me feel like I was looking at something really personal, it was a bit like taking a peek at someone else's diary. The honesty of the art is what I found most touching. The Art Collective, which is part of the New York Community Access platform, uses art as a healing tool for helping people recover from psychiatric disabilities. It expands opportunities for personal and artistic development in visual and literary arts and helps these people develop their own language. It is the only one of its kind in mental health services that specializes in teaching Book Arts: the process of creating, designing, writing, binding and exhibiting unique and limited edition handmade books. 

The Art Collective
621 Water Street
New York, NY 10002
212-780-1400, ext. 2000/1

If you would like to donate visit Community Access homepage: 

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Meeting illustrator Juliane Pieper in New York

gorgeous illustrator Juliane Pieper encouraged me to sketch, even though I think I'm just not made to be an artist. 

I met Juliane in Brooklyn with a gorgeous view of the Brooklyn Bridge, where Juliane discovered 
some gorgeous plastic material which she immediatley collected for her collages. Juliane is an 
illustrator originally from Germany, two years ago she received a Fulbright Scholarship and moved to New York. She recently completed her Master's degree at the Fashion Institute of Technology. We talked a lot about the possibilites of illustrators in the digital world, it was an amazing and very creative day! Her work has been featured in newspapers like the The New York Times. Max Bode at the New Yorker recently complimented her work »Juliane's work is bright and full of energy, which is a combo that is sorely needed in today's illustration world. It's refreshing to see someone who seamlessly breathes new life into illustration. A+«
 She was really amazed by the ideas for my startup, this kind of encouragement made me really happy! 

Kristen Cavallo "Cute Stories"

Kristen Cavallo is an illustrator from New York. With tradeyourtalent she speaks about comic 
strips, cute stories and why her goal is to illustrate a children's book. 

Kristen Cavallo,

You're an aspiring children's book illustrator. What would you do if could you get your first book published?

It's been a goal of mine to be a children's book illustrator or writer/illustrator.   I'd be really excited to have a book published by a major publishing company.  It would be such an honor to be apart of the Children's Illustration community.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

As a child, I used to copy the comic strips from the funny pages.  My Illustration style has evolved and is still changing as I am continually inspired. I am attracted to whimsical illustrations with quick line-drawn and textured qualities. I am a fan of children's book illustrators like Ezra Jack Keats, Miroslav Sasek, Quentin Blake, Shel Silverstein, and many others. 

Kristen Cavallo,

Which characters do you like to illustrate?

I like doodling children with personality who look like they have a funny or cute story attached to them.  I often sketch characters and then make up a back story on them.  I often wish I had more time to create finished illustrations on a lot of my quick character drawings.

If you could choose another illustrator to collaborate with, who would it be?

I love the work of, accomplished children's book illustrator, Kristin Sorra.  She and I worked together at the same company as graphic designers and she taught me a lot about illustration. She currently works as a freelance illustrator and has illustrated many children's books. One of my favorite writers is Sally Lloyd-Jones.  I briefly met her at one of her own book reading events.  I like the perspective in her writing and I love her humor--I would be very excited to illustrate one of her books.  I also love all of the Mo Willems books.

Since when do you love to draw?

I think when I was around 6 or 7 year old.  My mom is an artist and she has been a great influence and encouragement in my life and in my artistic endeavors.

Kristen Cavallo,


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