Monday, October 24, 2016

What's New? A Fresh Batch of Tesla Magnets/Pinbacks

I design and make  fun pinbacks and magnets for my husband and his partner's Vintage Hi-Fi Museum in West Hartford, CT. Proceeds of the sale of my vintage electronic related magnets go towards the management of this non-profit. The Tesla magnet that also comes in pinback form is a popular item in the museum but can also be purchased in our museum's ETSY shop: RetroUrban.

The Museum is housed in a large old industrial building at 485 New Park Avenue in West Hartford, CT. Come visit us and you will also delight in all the other vintage inspired small businesses, as well as a bakery, meditation center and more!

Shops are open Mon-Sat. There will be extended hours over the holiday season. The vintage Hi-Fi Museum hours are Weds. 11-2 and Sat. 10-3pm, we also sell vinyl in the Museum Gift Shop!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

#inktober Challenge Day Nine

This is Day #9 of my #inktober challenge following Jake Parker's prompt: "Jump". I want to spend more time on developing an inking style from this day forward, I'd actually like to see more white space in my illustrations and instead of cross-hatching, using a brush to indicate shadow and form. I'd prefer a softer look in my illustrations. This frog is fine for sketchbook drawings, but I want to develop a clear rendering style.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

#Inktober Joining in on the 2016 Challenge

Talented illustrator Jake Parker has quite a following, and no wonder, he has a knack for breaking down and sharing information with students on how to hone their drawing skills. His blog on Tumblr is fun if not mesmerizing. Always one to challenge himself, in 2009 Jake conjured up a self-challenge, aptly named INKTOBER, since the idea manifested in October. The challenge was to better his inking skills by daily posting a freshly inked drawing. The challenge caught on and now, students and professionals alike join in and tag their work: #Inktober on social media. Jake offers prompts if the artist wants to use one of his suggestions to illustrate-(see below 2016 Inktober prompts).

I joined in just three days ago on this challenge, above are my submissions. Inking is hard for me, I actually prefer my drawings prior to inking. My goal? to show light and shadow better in my inking, and also not to be afraid of leaving white space, i.e. not to get so heavy handed. Search #inktober on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr to see what exciting work is being posted, and join in!

Below is Jake's List of 2016 Inktober prompts
To learn more about this challenge:

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Getting Ready for Christmas on ETSY

Etsy-Illustrator-Suzanne-Urban-Art-on Etsy-Cat-Illustration
Cat Illustration Woodburned on Wood Panel ©SuzanneUrbanArt
This holiday season I am bravely adding more of my illustrated work to my second ETSY shop: SuzanneUrbanArt.

This gallery shop has long been ignored as I have a large busy first shop featuring my funny magnets and pinbacks: SmirkingGoddess

Every artist hopes that their work will find favor and speak to them personally. My work serves to uplift one's walls, add a little sophisticated wit and fun. To the left is one of my wood-burned on wood panel illustrations. I hope the buyer enjoys it as much as I had fun creating it.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Yes, Yes I DO have a Second Etsy Shop

Cute Funny Red Wine Gift Tags © SuzanneUrbanArt on ETSY
Back in 2008 when I opened my first Etsy shop, I intended to fill it with my illustrations, prints, aceos and more. But with a day job I found it challenging to keep up on creating the work to build inventory in my shop. By chance I saw artists could email their work and have it printed in magnet form.  I opted to turn to my gag writing talent and volumes of vintage/retro clip art and invested in a Tecre machine a few years ago.Thus my magnet and pinback business was born and has grown. I'm stocking stuffer central here.

To keep my shop cohesive, I opted to open a second shop just for my illustrated work, this shop's received little attention from me until now. A move to working full-time from my studio made the difference so yes, yes I do have a second ETSY shop: SuzanneUrbanArt. Thank you for visiting! Featured in photo my wittily whimsical chef greeting card, set of nine each saying: "Cheers" in a different language: Red Wine Tags. I also offer tags for White Wine enthusiasts.

Monday, September 26, 2016

My Mantra for Busy Artists

I bought this sign and promptly hung it up in my studio when we moved here five years ago.

Hearing the ETSY Cha Ching sound ring out from my iPhone is a glorious sound,  and I am so grateful for my customers. But when the business side of my work overtakes the creative side, and less time is spent creating, I just glance at the sign to the left and make a little time after the "day job" to do one thing creative that makes me oh-so-happy.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

My Newest Funny Magnet and Where Do My Ideas Come From?

People often ask me where I get my ideas. Usually it's from observing people and circumstances around me or something I read in the media that sparked a funny idea.

 I grew up in a town where the focus was on status, those of us who didn't have much status to begin with spent our time in the background, observing as the more aggressive, status-enhanced kids held court on the playground.  It wasn't an easy time for a sensitive kid like me, who originated from a friendly California town only to be moved to a posh, star-studded community. On my first day in my new elementary school I asked to join in a game of tag and was turned down. WTF?

When status or money is valued more than promoting decent behavior, blatant rudeness  reigns, or rather, blatant bullying. It usually is delivered in the form of backhanded compliments, talking over someone, stinging comments, or acting bored when someone else thought they had the right to speak and lastly, flat out exclusion. Some say insecurity is at the core of all bullying. But I think rudeness in well-heeled communities becomes an acceptable dialect that kids of status-needy parents pick up.  The dialect then spreads like a virus and mimicked by others, and the target is always those sensitives shoved into their place of quiet observation.

But there is a silver lining for the bullied ones, the quiet observers usually grow up to be the artists, the musicians, poets, writers, comedians, well-loved friends, functional parents and well, people who know just how much kindness matters. And the quiet observers don't need to insult, or play passive-aggressive games to steal coveted attention from others; nor do we think we have to step on someone to get ahead. As far as money, we too like to own nice things, nothing wrong with that, but our enjoyment of items isn't about mere flaunting. Also our imaginative skills are highly developed due to all that observing time.

We all know bullying reigns in the workplace,  I feel it's on the rise due to overblown salaries in the top tier of workplaces when insecure and/or incompetent people with the right status-ties and ego gratification-needs go after the top tier job when it should've gone to someone more qualified and more willing to put in the work. Anything can be interpreted by these shaky souls as a threat to their status-oriented security. Thus they fervently work to protect a salary-(read:lifestyle) they haven't earned and this compels them to constantly put the "subordinates" in their place, as if there is a "place" subordinates need to be put in. Some are really good at this "Overlord" game. What these people don't realize is their toxic presence causes damage that is totally unnecessary. I wonder if they understand the impact of their behavior on another human being. But then, there's always karma some say.

So how do I get my ideas?  I was a quiet observer, though I didn't suffer horrible bullying on the playground, and did have my friends, and the community I grew up in offered me some noteworthy educational experiences; it was a struggle to not feel like a square peg in my tween and teen years. In latter years in some of my jobs I observed bullying of co-workers and at times for absolutely no reason, was the recipient of craftily-implemented bullying. Though we're all not perfect–I wish I could take back some of the things that have escaped my mouth over the years,  I still wonder about the toxic-career bullies who manage to secure a spot in the high-tier workplace, are they ever troubled by their behavior?

This magnet is for all ye quiet observers in the workplace and beyond: SmirkingGoddess shop on ETSY