SamSketches: A 2015 Calendar

Now Available

It was last year around this time, that I came up with a Christmas gift idea for my older sister, Sylvia.  After a fun filled evening (as usual) with her in which we joked about how horrible she is with remembering dates, I decided to create for her a personalized calendar to supply her with many of the important dates she would need to remember.  I also filled each month with my art, which she has always been a supporter (and perhaps slightly bias fan) of.

It wasn’t until I started showing a few people the gift, that I realized there were others who would appreciate the opportunity to have a calendar as well.  I had a few more printed and debuted the 2014 calendar at some of the fairs and festivals I was glad to be a part of earlier this year.

I was not prepared for it to be one of the items I sold out of so quickly.

This time I decided I would be better prepared :)

And I am happy to say that 2014 has continued to be a year full of surprises, as the 2015 calendar is not yet off the presses and my preorders have already piled up.

I look forward to the first shipment arriving and sending off these little beauties to their new homes!

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With all that said anyone interested in a calendar it is available in my store, you may click the appropriate above link or visit here — also feel free to email me info@samsketches.com, text me if you have the number, Facebook me, or stop me in person when you see me.

Tis the season to be jolly

Tis the season to be jolly

Fa la la la la.  la la.  la.  la.  

(I sang it in my head a few times, the la’s should be accurate)

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For the past few years, I have sent a SamSketches holiday card to family and friends.  I started this because I remember watching for the mail when I was younger around this time of year to see what cards the mailman would bring to my home and the excitement I felt.  After my mother opened an envelope of sometimes red, sometimes green, sometimes extra large, and I got to see them, (my favorites were the ones with glitter) they would then be hung around our living room.  Above them would be a string of lights, that made each piece of rectangular art glow.  As I’ve grown older, and consequently had much of my holiday spirit beaten out of me as a result of working retail for 10+ holiday seasons, I find that I miss the excitement of this time of year.  It was with the hope of bringing to people I cared about this small bit of joy — going to the mailbox: bill, bill, bill, political mail article, credit card ad, bill, oh what’s this?! — that I first began my holiday card.

Three holiday seasons ago, 2012 marking the beginning, I ordered a mere 20 cards to send out to people.  If I check my closet today, I could probably find some left over, because I did not have many people to send them to.  I am glad to say that this year I have had to order 100 holiday cards.  Not only that, but they will be going all over the country, and some to lands beyond.  And not just to family, but to the people who have been following my progress, shared kind words of encouragement, and/or showed up to the events I have had the privilege of showcasing my work at throughout this year.

Over the entirety of 2014, I have been overwhelmed in the best way possible by the support so many have given me.  It is the least I can do in return to give those with interest in it, a holiday card: covered in my art, filled with my words, signed with my name, sealed with warm thoughts of gratitude, and sent on its journey to their mailbox with a smile.  From my heart to yours, happy holidays.

P.S. If you’re a person who falls into any of the categories of what I described above and you don’t think I have your address, you should supply me with it. I would love to send you a card, it’s just I also don’t love to come off as a stalker. I mean, I will if I have to, but I would prefer not to.

Court Square Flea Marketing

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Last weekend, I took a stroll with a couple of friends into Long Island City.  The destination we were aiming for was located on Jackson Avenue, in the heart of the Court Square district and opposite MoMA PS1.  As we got closer and were right outside the gate to where we intended to be, a man walked up to me. He offered me a postcard. Hand extended in my direction, he told me it was my “ticket” to get into the flea market beyond the gate.  I smiled and graciously accepted the card in his hand.  I continued smiling as I looked down at  the design I had weeks before viewed on my computer screen while creating it in Photoshop.

 

 

FullSizeRenderBefore passing thru the gate, I stopped to stare as well as snap a picture of the banner that hung on it.

Now this, this was much larger than I expected it to be. Tweaking colors, shapes and text on my screen for it, it appeared so small — limited to my laptop’s 17″ viewing display.  And while I was of course aware of the dimensions I was working in while creating the document, somehow in my mind it was not going to be quite so large.  It looked perfect.

————

Freelance graphic design is just another step I have taken in my endeavor to apply my skills as an artist into a means of putting food in my belly.  While my designs have been used for companies across the good ‘ol U.S. of A and even been taken over the ocean into Japan, there is a detachment that comes from setting up a file and emailing it off.  It goes out over all those little invisible electrical transmissions by which I can not even begin to fathom to understand how, and it is not quite real.

Being able to walk down a street in New York City, to a location not far off from where I usually reside, and unknowingly be handed my own design is not only a new feeling of happiness, but one I look forward to encountering more often.

It should also be noted that the Court Square Flea itself was a delight, and people in my small group did not leave empty handed. In fact, the knit wear purchased should be keeping those hands and arms quite warm and toasty.

 

Shelved.

Book Revue Store Sign

It is official.

A long time goal of mine has been reached this past week, and now I can check one more item off of my “Life Goals: A  Things-to-Do List.”  (That list may or may not exist and be logged in one of my Evernote App notebooks).

What am I typing about?

Shelved.Why, I am glad you asked — not just one, but two of my books have made it through the competitive selection process for Huntington’s Book Revue Local and Independent Authors Program.  Both my titles, Illustrated & Alliterated: An Alphabet Book as well as #SamSketches: A Coloring Book, can now be found within their walls and on their shelves to buy.

If you are not familiar with Long Island’s largest independent bookstore, it is past due you make yourself acquainted. Many authors, ranging from Hillary Clinton, to Danielle Fishel, to Ron Perlman, have not only had their books on the shelves, but made Book Revue a stop along the way of their book tours (and that is just a sampling of who has visited in the past couple months).  Plus, I just told you my books are there now, and that in itself is plenty of reason enough for you to stop by and visit!

Aspiring [Featured] Artist.

Over the weekend I was introduced to someone as an aspiring artist. And while I did smile and nod, say hello, the whole nine yards – I inwardly cringed. See, I am quite a literal person when it comes to that word.

as·pire  (-spr)

intr.v. as·piredas·pir·ingas·pires

1. To have a great ambition or ultimate goal; desire strongly:

 

Over the long span – or short span depending on your own personal age – of years that encompass my life, I have admittedly previously been afraid of being given the title of “artist.” This mainly out of my thought that I had not yet earned to have that word placed before my name. But I feel that over the last couple years I have earned the title. And more over, I have been coming to enjoy the title, as well as welcome it as a description of who I am as a person.

 

So over the weekend, I inwardly cringed.

 

I do not believe that I am any longer someone who is “desiring strongly” to be an artist, or has an ambition to be one because I am one. I do not believe any ill will was meant in my introduction. Quite the contrary, my introducer (not a real word, but go with it) was very excited to have met me minutes before and was very warm in her words.

 

Later on I discussed this with someone. With their help, I came to the conclusion that the phrase was based mainly to mean someone who is an artist and is now hoping to make something more of that point, i.e. money, large body of work, a certain range of renown for their actions. Which, in my case entirely fits. With that in mind, I can inwardly cringe less. Even if that is not what the phrase means, it’s what I am sticking with. ;)

 

With this in mind, another word lately has being put before that “artist” title I have placed in front of my given name; featured. Now this word, I am much more comfortable with. No inward cringe, just an outward smile.

 

fea•tured (ˈfi tʃərd) 

adj.

1. made a feature or highlight; given prominence.

 

For this word, I have no qualms. All I have are two links, to pages where I am just that, featured  —
(more to be added as the year continues)

 

The book is done, the book is done! …. and now we sit and wait.

ImageMy latest project is complete — Illustrated & Alliterated: An Alphabet Book. As you can imagine it contains, illustrations and alliterations. Twenty-six of them exactly. During the process of creating the alliteration I had to substitute commonly used adjectives (and other word types, but mostly adjectives) with adjectives not used as much in the everyday for the sake of having all the sound and letter requirements for an “alliteration” correct. It didn’t take me long to realize that in addition to the illustrations and alliterations, a glossary would be necessary. And so, the end of the book contains a glossary that lists and defines every single word used to build the alliterations, which describe the illustrations.  …. I wonder how many times I can use the words “illustration” and “alliteration” in this paragraph, admittedly my fingers stumble over them on the key board each time, perhaps when I’m done I will be a pro at typing the words ….  

But now that it’s done. I have to wait.

Wait for the proof to be delivered — I’ve been checking the status of its creation multiple times a day, and crossing my fingers each time that it’ll say “shipped” and not “fulfilling.”

Wait for the iBookstore to either accept or reject it for distribution as an eBook. 

Wait for it to be accepted or rejected (pending how the proof looks) by BN.com and Amazon.com for paperback distribution.

I’m not very good at waiting, you should know. In fact, just typing about it is making me even more antsy.

I want to see it all up and complete already!! ::sigh:: I guess I’ll just have to keep sitting here and waiting.  >.<

(I’ll let you know when the waiting part is over!)

 

#SamSketches: a coloring book

Most of the digital work I do is used for, well, digital media and it is not often that I get to see what the art looks like on paper.  It is even rarer that I get the opportunity to see an abundant amount of it all printed together, side-by-side.  And so last night, when I arrived home to find the package of my first printed copy of my coloring book I could not get it open fast enough.  I had been nervous that it wouldn’t work out the way I wanted.  You know, you set things up, lay them out in a computer program and sometimes the result is not what you imagined in your mind the outcome would be.  WELL, thankfully this was not the case.  The outcome is exactly what I hoped for, in fact it may even be better.  From cover, to end, from the quality of the print of the line, to the weight of the paper — everything I could want and more.

Can you tell I’m excited?  I plan to debut them for sale at the Art by the Falls on May 17th.  But, you know, you could just ask me about ’em anytime you see me OR email me at info@samsketches.com to get a copy.  The choice is yours!

What’s inside?  Oh, well I am glad you asked!

70 illustrations by yours truly.  More specifically:

  • The entire first two chapters of my graphic novel/comic On Being Smee.
  • A selection of illustrations from my book, This Box.
  • A selection of illustrations from my in progress Lil Red Riding Hood Series.
  • A selection of illustrations from my next eBook Illustrated and  Alliterated: An Alphabet Book
  • 26 uncategorized illustrations

All of this means you will be able to see and color a hot air balloon, beaches, the night sky, boys, girls, oceans, crabs, frogs, plants, cows, dogs, teddy bears, tortoises, tiny turtles, bees, autumn leaves, snowflakes, fireflies, an octopus, piranhas, birds, sloths, a unicorn, zebras, chipmunks, an owl, forests, houses, and a tic-tac-toe playing dodo bird. (Yes, I really did just leaf through all of the pages to accurately list that for you – you’re welcome)