Wednesday, November 21, 2018

An artist is born

Peanut's original art smock.

I am constantly cleaning out bins. I know this is normal for most parents - kids accumulate tons of stuff! My artsy kid has a bin for every art and craft supply imaginable. Nowadays, she uses very little of it. Craft kits sit half finished. Perler beads remain in their containers unused. The model magic and sculpey no longer squish. Not all of this excess is completely her fault, though. Homeschooling adds to the chaos - the same bins that hold supplies that Peanut once needed also hold leftovers from projects that have long since hit the recycling bin. In an attempt to be frugal, I hold on to this stuff in case another project comes along that needs this stuff.

During our home reno this past summer, I lost my frugality and started cleaning out bins with a vengeance. Still, much of it ended up in our storage unit because I ran out of time. At least a bin is easy to move and means the contents are contained. Wombat and I have started cleaning out the storage unit, so I am back to my big clean out.

A couple of weeks ago, I inventoried the paint bin since this is something both Peanut and I use. We have one bin full of paint and another full of supplies such as palettes, brushes, sponges, etc. I found the above smock at the very bottom of this bin. We bought it for The Peanut when she was a toddler just before heading to our first Mommy and Me class at the Worcester Art Museum.

That first class started what looks to be life long love affair with art for Peanut. She still takes classes at the museum and also studies with an art teacher that works with our homeschool group.  Peanut's future plans include double majoring in art/animation and astronomy when it's time to head to college. Then she hopes to score a job at Pixar or NASA. We have some time yet before that decision needs to be finalized. In the meantime, we get the pleasure of watching her grow and learn as an artist.

Abstract Galaxies - Nebula (c) 2018
Her love of astronomy factors heavily into many of the pieces that she creates. We recently experimented with a new (to us) painting technique. Her goal was to make the outcome look like a fantasy space scene.  I think she did a great job. Here's one of her Abstract Galaxies, "Nebula" - now in digital format. We are slowly adding her series to her store. Wombat and I are also seeing what we can do integrate these images into his store - these would make beautiful book covers.  Stay tuned - he and I are working out the logistics on that.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

The Story Behind the Art: The Moai

Here is the original art from today's listing on Wafflewares.  The Moai statues hang in a cluster of black and white art that features an Edward Gorey piece and a cityscape from a local comic book artist. This piece - which immediately became a favorite of ours when Peanut created it - started out as a lame school project.

We are a homeschooling family. The advantage to homeschooling for us is that we can tailor everything we do to Peanut's interest and learning style. Her two main interests are art and science. As I plan various school projects and activities, I do my best to incorporate these two interests as much as I can. Geography is super easy - the world has no lack of interesting things to look at and draw/paint/sculpt, plus each culture has their own art forms to explore and experiment with.  They have whole books devoted to this which makes my job so much easier when I plan.  Geography Through Art is a favorite resource of ours, but even this book as a few duds.

When we last studied South America, I chose a project about Easter Island and the Moai from the book that was a study in one point perspective. Remember doing these in middle school art class?  Draw a horizon line on your paper and then a draw a diagonal line from where the horizon meets the edge of your paper to the opposite corner of the page.  The page features a fuzzy black and white photo of the Moai lined up.

I remember opening the book to this page and being met with a "really?!" look from Peanut. Of course, horizon lines and one point perspective were considered far to basic for my budding artist. Even so, she took the book and a couple sheets of drawing paper and said she'd do it - probably out of fear that I would make her memorize South American countries and capitals if she didn't.

A few days later, she produced the piece that now hangs on the wall. She decided to make it into a study on shading and stippling. The fact that she also managed to get some work on one point perspective was just icing on the cake. She said that she found a few reference photos on the web that served as better inspiration than the picture in the book. (So we can throw some internet research skills on the list of what this project accomplished).

I learned a long time ago with Peanut to give her an idea and a few resources and then let her do her thing. My thoughts on how the project should go almost never come close to what she ends up doing.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Welcome to KPW Productions!!

Hello and welcome to KPW Productions! Allow me to make a few introductions and set the scene for this journey that we are embarking on.

KPW is the brainchild of my family, each of whom is artsy in their own way and each of whom has started a business with their art.  I am the K of KPW. I have run a successful voice studio for 13 years and have been singing professionally for over twenty. I also am an avid book and paper maker.  My husband, Wombat, is the W. He is a write and editor and a bookmaker. His bookmaking hobby was born out of his love of games and wanting a small pocket book to keep his notes and info that could fit in his dice bag. Friends (gamer and not) liked them and things took off from there.  Our daughter, Peanut, is the P. The Peanut is an artist in the traditional and digital realm. I may be a little biased, but I think her art is pretty amazing.

Recently both Peanut and Wombat opened online shops featuring some of their wares.  Peanut owns Wafflewares over at Tee Spring. She has several of her designs up there in the form of T-shirts and sweatshirts, stickers, posters, pillows, and mugs (and more).  Right now, her products are based on scans of her original work, but stay tuned, because she has a very cool idea for a line of characters that are half cat and half dragon that will be showing up in the next month or two.  Wombat owns Wombat's Workshop over at Etsy. He has his 3"x5" pocket notebooks up with more designs to follow.

And this is where I come in. I am the business manager for the family. I keep the stores running and handle a good chunk of the marketing, but I also play a creative role in Wombat's Workshop. I am the embellisher of notebooks. (I really should just make that my job title). If you buy a notebook and want it stamped, I'm the stamper. If you want that stamp inked or watercolored, I do that also. I will also be designing custom papers and covers for Wombat's notebooks and eventually creating and making my own book designs.

We are only at the beginning of this journey and I'm excited about what's to come. I invite you to stick around to see what happens next.

An artist is born

Peanut's original art smock. I am constantly cleaning out bins. I know this is normal for most parents - kids accumulate tons of st...