Posts Tagged illustrator

Thirty Before 30 Update!

Hi friends! Since I recently turned 29, I decided that I should revisit my “30 before 30 list” which I posted last year, to see if I’ve kept on track and if perhaps I should make any edits… since I only have a year left to go! Eep! I can definitely say that I am not too worried or anxious about turning 30, as a lot of people are. My late twenties have been the happiest time of my life โ€“ I’ve taken some big risks, made many tough decisions โ€“ all which have led me down the right path and have just let things fall into place naturally! (As lame as that sounds!!!) I love my new home, my full time design job, my crafting bizz, my friends and family… everything is just peachy โค I can’t think of anything that I’d like to change… well, maybe I could use a bigger craft room… and a few more cats…. maybe some bigger sunglasses… haha! But that’s about it ๐Ÿ™‚

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Happy pants!!!!

Of course life isn’t always filled with sunflowers and blue skies. There have been some rough patches โ€“ horrible jobs, health problems (insomnia and stress!), family issues (there was a cancer scare with my pops!), relationship strugglesย  โ€“ but I guess it wouldn’t be much of a life without a few obstacles to overcome along the way, and to learn and grow from each experience in a positive manner!

I think I’ve really “found myself” or whatever over the past year or so. Or at least found out more about what makes me happy, and what my beliefs and core values are. It’s such a good feeling to have! I hope everyone finds it eventually! ๐Ÿ˜€

Whoa, it’s getting a little deep here! Let’s revisit that list before I start getting even more intense! ๐Ÿ˜‰
My 30 Things To Do/Accomplish Before I Turn 30

  1. Buy a new car (preferably in lime green.) STILL WORKING ON THIS ONE!
  2. Save enough money for a down payment on a house (after I buy my new car.) Still saving, almost there!
  3. Keep up with a minimum of a dozen craft shows/expos per year. This has changed slightly โ€“ I have been doing less shows due to lots more custom orders!
  4. Start selling nerdbiskit in stores โ€“ at least 2 or 3! Haven’t looked into this as an option… custom orders and shows keep me busy enough!
  5. Travel to Europe. (Hopefully checking this off the list this May!) DONE! Went to London last May!
  6. Road trip to BC. Possibly next fall, so in my 30th year…
  7. CAT TATTOO! SOON.
  8. Do something awesome for my parents. Send them on vacation somewhere nice. We just spoke about this today! Waiting for Bobblez to heal from his surgery and they will be planning their trip ASAP!
  9. Develop a campaign via nerdbiskit to raise money for my friendโ€™s little broโ€™s MS charity โ€“ most likely involving mustaches. Yep, did this last year and donated part of my 2011 mustache sales!
  10. Seek out more bulk button, keychain & t-shirt orders โ€“ figure out how and where to advertise this service! Did some advertising in Missy Ink magazine, and have been getting tons of orders!
  11. Learn how to sew my own dresses and/or skirts. MADE A SKIRT! Dress up next!
  12. Stuff and cook a turkey โ€“ Host Thanksgiving dinner! This year!
  13. Start liking/eating fish. (Iโ€™m already half way there.) DONE!
  14. Make some new life-long friends (why not? you can never have too many gfs.) Made some new friends, hopefully they will be lifers ๐Ÿ™‚
  15. Further my design career. Yep! Got a new job with a design studio and working on my folio!
  16. Put a ring on it. Working on it…
  17. Create some new products to sell for nerdbiskit. YEP! Plush taco pillows!
  18. Find more ways to relax โ€“ need to kick this nervous energy & worrying! I have been relatively stress-free for almost a year now!!!! All thanks to some job changes and living arrangements ๐Ÿ™‚
  19. Go to a concert โ€“ I havenโ€™t been to one in a few years. Went to some free outdoor ones.
  20. Organize/host my own craft show or event. Start a club of some sorts. Hosted a few “Crafternoons” at my place, invited some new crafty ladies to join!
  21. Make more connections at shows or via social media. Always!
  22. Win the lottery. Not yet…
  23. Start illustrating and/or writing a childrenโ€™s book. Collaborated effort, perhaps? Bah, haven’t had time…
  24. Get back into collaging! Enter a collage piece into American Illustration. Again… timing issues…
  25. Design a website for nerdbiskit. DONE! nerdbiskit.com
  26. Find more one of a kind vintage pieces for my home and redecorate so itโ€™s less Ikea catalogue! Iโ€™d also like to paint a wall lime green! Found cool pieces, still need to paint a wall green though!
  27. Learn more about wine and go on a vineyard tour. Vineyard tour planned for this fall!!!
  28. Take a class โ€“ life drawing, yoga, small business, marketing, French or web design! NOT YET, but I did find one I’m interested in.
  29. Quit bad habits. (One in particular!!!!) IN PROGRESS
  30. Take over the world with nerdbiskit (or at least be much closer to world domination.) Always!

Hmmm, well I’d say I’m pretty well on track with this after all! I think I’ll add a few more goals:
–ย  Exercise more!

–ย  Start a collection (Vintage tea pots? Creepy cat ornaments?)

– Learn to say NO more often, I don’t have to please everyone!

That’s it for now! I’ll revisit this again after my big 3-0 birthday! ๐Ÿ˜€

Ok back to sewing for me! Hope you’re all having a lovely summer!

xo Lisa

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July Fever

Happy Summer! Hope you’re all enjoying the sun and the heat! We just got over a bit of a heat wave here in Southern Ontario, and I’ve been loving every minute of it โ€“ I’d rather be hot than cold and shivering any day! July is my most favourite month of all, and I even took a break from doing shows to free up a little time to enjoy it, (before the mad rush of prep in August for FanExpo.)

It’s also my month in the ol’ “Hot Chicks With Mustaches” calendar! Exciting!

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I love shows, but it’s been nice to have none to fuss over since Heirlooms in June โ€“ which is a show I haven’t yet posted about yet, ahh! So behind. Here it is then! My lovely friend Heather of Needlings was set up right next to me for the day, which we spent mostly fanning ourselves with make shift paper fans (since we were set up inside a greenhouse!) It was definitely a lovely setting! (I blame the humidity for the extra than normal volume in that coif of mine!)

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The rest of June was spent working on custom orders, mostly gifts and favours for weddings. I can share a few with you that have already been received, but the others will have to wait! First is a custom portrait tote bag with the couples nicknames, “Jags” and “Grotes:”

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And then this mirror (for her) and bottle opener keychain (for him) wedding set:

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Hmmm what else have I been up to… well, this past weekend I took a bike ride down to the local Farmer’s Market for some fresh goods and sunflowers โค Sunflowers=summer! Every time I walk or bike around with a bouquet of them, people always stop to chat with me or comment on “how summery I look.” It’s super cute! I’ve got a vase of sunflowers in almost every room of the house now. It really brightens up the place, and makes everything just that much cheerier!

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I also celebrated my 29th birthday 2 weekends ago! The man friend and I have the same birthday (super weird, I know) so we rented out the top floor of an old British pub for a combined celebration. We also had a few people over to our place first (I love hosting!) for some drinks and snacks! Anyway, it was lots of fun! I was totally spoiled this year, with gifts of wine, mustaches, cat related stuff, and a new dress!

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It was nice that so many pals came out to celebrate with us โค Here’s me and a few of the nicest gals. I’m the luckiest ๐Ÿ™‚

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My sweet sweet dear friend Heather of Needlings made me this look-alike plush ‘biskit doll! It’s me in my ‘biskit show outfit! And the size of my hair is pretty accurate! I love lisadoll to pieces and am slightly obsessed with her. (She’s actually sitting next to me as I type this.)

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There’s a whole album dedicated to lisadoll here in case you want to see her close up!

Speaking of sweet gifts, I also received this custom ‘biskit mug (top right) from my friends over at Crock A Doodle Paint Your Own Pottery Studios! So sweet! ๐Ÿ˜€ I use it every day!

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Anyway, that’s about it for now!I will be at the James North Art Crawl in Hamilton on August 9th from 7-11 (out front of Christ’s Church Cathedral, 252 James), then FanExpo from August 22-25!!!

Have a great week everyone! I’ve got some time off from July 26th until August 6th, and I’ve got my dad’s birthday to celebrate, a wedding to attend, lots of restocking to do, and hopefully I can fit in a beach day or two! It’s going to be jam packed! Can’t wait!
xo Lisa

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June Blog

Time for my monthly blog update! I’ve been busy as usual since my last post โ€“ I moved to Hamilton over the May long weekend and everything went smoothly! It was super fast and easy, and I was grateful for all of the help from family and pals. What a lucky gal I am! It didn’t take long to unpack the boxes and set everything up (we were literally all unpacked by Monday evening, except for a few shelves and wall decorations.) I can’t stand living amid chaos and boxes, so I pretty much didn’t bother sleeping until everything was in it’s place ๐Ÿ™‚

It was hard saying goodbye to my retro townie โ€“ I loved this place so much, and so did the kitties:

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But it didn’t take long to adjust to the new place, and here are a few of my favourite things/spaces โ€“ first up, obviously, the ‘biskit craft room!!! It was already painted a pale pea green which sort of matches with my brand colours โ€“ how perfect!

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I also love the peg board in the kitchen (we cook a lot, so this is amazingly convenient):

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I also dig our funky little living room:

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and this super sweet retro brown chair that I picked up for only $7ย  โ€“ what a find! The kitties love it, too (which is the most important part):

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New home sweet home โค I also love the area we’re in โ€“ so many beautiful gardens all around the neighbourhood ๐Ÿ™‚ And I’m closer to more of my pals now, too (old and new ones) which is exciting!

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I got some of the sweetest house warming gifts, including this chalkboard photo frame from my friend Miss Tea. We made them together as a super fun craft project, which was the best part:

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And this adorable pom pom plant from Heather โ€“ which matches perfectly in the craft room with it’s green & orange:

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Such sweet ladies!

After the move and unpacking were complete, I had to get back to crafting ASAP! May/June are the beginning of wedding season, which is probably the busiest time of year for custom orders (next to Christmas, of course.) Plenty of brides-to-be have been requesting bottle opener keychains and pocket mirrors for wedding favours:

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and I’ve also been getting lots of requests for custom couple portrait pillows. I love making these!

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I’m super behind in re-stocking for shows with all the requests, but hopefully I can get caught up this week before my next show, Heirlooms, An Etsy Artisan Market, in Welland on Saturday June 15th! My dear friend Heather of Needlings will be there as well which makes it even more awesome! 5 more sleeps!

I did manage to squeeze in one show on June 1st, Craftstock on James North in Hamilton. Always a fun time thanks to Laura, the lovely organizer, and also creator behind Adelaide ๐Ÿ™‚ (she makes some super sweet hair flowers so check ’em out at the next Craftstock!) This was my set up for the show (although much less yellow-tinged in person โ€“ haha, sorry about that):

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In other exciting news, I got a new job, still as a graphic designer, but at a design agency a little closer to my new home! I’ve always wanted to work at an agency so am super excited. People are always shocked to hear that I work full time on top of running my own bizz, while also balancing a social life… I wish I had the secret to doing it all to share with you. I guess my tips would be: plenty of caffeinated tea! And cat naps! And have lots of crafty friends so hangouts can double as “work” dates! Probably a bit of motivation and passion don’t hurt, either ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anyway, after Heirlooms, I am taking July off of shows to prep for the August Art Crawl on James North in Hamilton, Fan Expo, Locke Street Festival, and Supercrawl! My most favourite shows of the year! WOO HOO!

Hope you guys are doing great! Happy early summer!

xo Lisa

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Spring is… not quite in the air. But tacos are!

Hi guys! Hope everyone had a fun and safe St. Patty’s day! ๐Ÿ™‚ I was out of commission last week after Toronto ComiCON due to a stomach flu (it was terrible! I hope none of you get it!) so wasn’t able to get much work done. I suppose I needed a bit of a rest anyway, but could have done without the sickness part. Anyway, I recovered fairly quickly and have been back to work with lots of custom orders (bulk buttons, and portrait pillows โ€“ here’s the one I’m working on currently:)

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I decided to take April off of shows to make sure I stay on top of all this work, plus I have a ton of re-stocking to do from the con… annnnnd because of some other exciting news, but I don’t want to share just yet until it’s confirmed. My lips are sealed! At least until next time ๐Ÿ˜‰

I mentioned in my last blog that I would share the podcast interview I had with Guys With Pencils, which you can have a listen to here. We talk about cats, mustaches, cons, and other fun stuff! It was a blast catching up with these guys, and their podcast is awesome… if you haven’t already, be sure to check ’em out! They’ve been featured in the top 3 spot of iTunes “New and Noteworthy” podcasts, and even if you don’t listen to my interview, they’re got an amazing assortment of talented animators, cartoonists, illustrators, etc. to chose from.

I guess I should also fill you in on Toronto ComiCON where I was on March 9 & 10. It was a pretty typical convention, full of many familiar faces and fantastic energy! Always a fun time! I tested out a new booth set up which allowed me for some “face space” since I’m usually hidden behind my epic display. I got a lot of compliments on this one, so I think I’ll stick with it for a little while longer:

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I also got a lot of compliments on how my outfits matched my branding, which I thought was subtle but was apparently super obvious! ๐Ÿ™‚ I like it though. I’m going to get myself a ‘biskit patterned dress soon! Just you wait. I have also been keeping my eye out for a nerdbiskit green pencil skirt โ€“ if you see one be sure to let me know!

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I was lucky enough to have myself a lovely assistant on Saturday, thanks to Miss Jenny ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s always wonderful to have a companion and someone to help set up, and find tea! โค

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I took plenty of mustache photos, which can be seen in my facebook mustache fan albumย and acquired a few new catnip toy kitty fans, too! I sold out of catnip tacos, so will be busy stocking those up over the next few weeks.

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And my fleece tacos were a big hit, too! This was the first major show I’ve had them at, so I was pretty excited about how people were responding to them. I sold out of those too, so I guess taco making is my number 1 priority over the next month!

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My con highlight was when Ajay from InnerSPACE (via Space Channel) stopped by my booth and chose it as his favourite โ€“ mostly because of his love for tacos. Check out the video of him snuggling one of my fleece taco pillows here. You can see me lurking in the background (around 3:08)…

Next up on the show list is Art-O-Con in Burlington on Sunday, May 5th. It’ll be a new show for me this year, but will be filled with plenty of vendor pals so I’m sure it’ll be a good time. Hosted by my awesome pal Lara of Jaded Dragon Studios, who looks dashing in a mustache (below):

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Also, if anyone reading this knows someone with a shop down on James Street North in Hamilton that wouldn’t mind having me set up out front for the July & August Art Crawls, please get in touch with me! ๐Ÿ™‚

One last thing before I go, if you haven’t already, head on over to Okay, Allison’s awesome blog to read a feature on yours truly, and also enter for a chance to win some mustache merch (made by me!)

Okay that’s it from me! I’m off to have tea with one of my favourite crafty ladies!

xoxoxo Lisa

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Wednesday Guest Blogger: Freelance Illustrator & Figure Athlete, Alejandra Diaz Mercado Chavez

Creative entrepreneur, freelance illustrator, creative director, lifestyle and business coach, personal trainer and amateur figure athlete,ย Alejandra Diaz Mercado Chavez

Phew, that was a long title! But I’ve got to cover it all with this busy and talented lady. Alejandra pretty much does it all โ€“ย  so of course I had to feature her as this week’s guest blogger! Ale is another ol’ Sheridan pal, and I have always admired her whimsical illustration work. I noticed recently that she had taken a new creative path, however… all these photos of her stunning bod, which is a masterpiece of it’s own, kept popping up in my Facebook feed! And I was like, WHO THE HECK โ€“ OMG IT’S ALE!!! I couldn’t help be inspired by her incredible new feat โ€“ and her ability to mange both illustration and a fitness career, is really just remarkable. You know how I love awesomely motivated and dedicated ladies! I’m excited to share her beautiful work โ€“ both on canvas and her physical self. Enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚

nerdbiskit: So, whatโ€™s the story? Who are you, and what do you do? How did it all start? Short bio!

Ale: Long story short: my real name is Alejandra Diaz Mercado Chavez (which not a lot of people can pronounce properly), I am originally from Mexico City and I lift heavy weights and art brushes.

It all started when I was born into a family with an overdeveloped artistic talent on my mother’s side, and an array of outstanding physical abilities on my fathers side. Arising from this unnatural combination of traits I’ve had to develop a split personality in order to nurture both sides of my brain.

In 2003 I came to Canada to study art as a business practice and graduated from the Bachelor of Applied Arts Illustration from Sheridan College. Since then, my life has been defined by continuous change where the only constants have been art and fitness. I started exploring the corporate world of art and design where I had a couple of very bad work experiences. These resulted in a very dark period in my life where I became overweight and depressed. I will always be thankful to the person that decided to see my true beauty and propose me to do my first fitness show, because thanks to her I am where I am right now.

I am currently exploring the corporate world of fitness working as a full time personal trainer and running my illustration freelance business part-time. Interestingly the more success I have as a personal trainer, the better I do at my art business as well.

Even though I am originally from Mexico I do not like tequila, I do not like Salsa dancing and no, and trust me, I do not miss the heat.

Image copyright Alejandra Diaz Mercado Chavez 2012.

nerdbiskit: Why do you do it?

Ale: I do what I do, because I do not imagine any other way of living my life. I refuse to do things that I don’t like or that I do not feel passionate about and I refuse to die with regrets.

Image copyright Alejandra Diaz Mercado Chavez 2012.

nerdbiskit: Whatโ€™s unique about you and what you do? What sets you apart from the pack?

Ale: What is unique about me is the fact that I have to live two separate lives (although not a lot of people know about this), like I said before in one life I literally kick people’s butts all day long as a personal trainer and act as an amateur figure fitness model, all this with a big sociable smile on my face and on the other life I am a true antisocial hermit where I sit for long lonely hours in my art studio weaving dreams and materials to bring into this world things that only exist in my mind.

When I say “I have to live to separate lives” I mean it. I have tried to give up one or the other and I always end up in heart break. It’s like being in love with two people and not able to decide for one or the other.

At some points in my life one takes precedence over the other, but both have to be a part of my life in one way or the other.

nerdbiskit: What/who is your inspiration?

Ale: I am inspired by the mysticism and humour of mexican art. I approach art through the innocent and naive eyes of a child who marvels from fantastic details that adults typically overlook.

My current favourite artists are Nicoletta Ceccoli, Joe Vaux, Dave McKean and Alyssa DeVille.

Image copyright Alejandra Diaz Mercado Chavez 2012.

nerdbiskit: What are some of your favourite things? (To do, to eat, to think about, etc.)

Ale: My favourite things to do are causing myself serious pain by lifting heavy weights and preparing for 6 months for Figure Shows where I am only 6 minutes on stage. I love food above everything else, and by this I truly mean everything else, including sex, but I also give it up when I am preparing for fitness shows. Among my favourites are peperoni pizza, all you can eat sushi, and towers of husband-made pancakes topped with bacon.

I love to make To-Do lists, half of which never get done, love the idea of books more than reading them and love Apocalyptic movies and tv series.

And of course my most favourite thing/person in the whole world is my HUSBAND, just thought it was about time he knew this, hahaha

nerdbiskit: How do you know Lisa Bell of nerdbiskit? Do you think her mustache obsession is a little ridiculous?

Ale: Went to school with her, she caught my attention when I noticed she was a little strange. She had a doll-like beauty to her and her sense of style definitely set her apart from the crowd. I also noticed that her strangeness later developed into obsessive mustache behavior, which I have been secretly following through her social media. I also thought it was fair for her to know this by now, hehe

nerdbiskit:ย That about wraps it up!

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GUEST BLOGGER: Freelance Illustrator & Cartoonist โ€“ Britt Wilson

Freelance Illustrator, Britt Wilson

What can I say about this lady and her witty, whimsical (I love using that word, I even created this alliteration based around it) and wonderful work! Britt probably doesn’t even know it, but I’ve been following her blog in secret for a long time and admiring her illustrations and comics from afar! And not always from afar, I sometimes even approach her if I run into her at a show, and check out her latest books and goodies. One time she even had mini cupcakes! Her hand illustrated type BLOWS MY MIND. I want her to write all over my body with those mad skills! I have also been admiring her cat, Panties, for a VERY LONG TIME and I love him as though he is my own. I am honoured that he loves my catnip toys! We also share a love of mustaches, Twin Peaks, TED Talks… and Vicki Nerino (if you haven’t read Nerino’s guest blog post yet, get on it!) The 3 of us definitely shared at least one or maybe two laughs during the ol’ college days… and Britt tells a pretty good one below! Enjoy! ๐Ÿ™‚

nerdbiskit: So, whatโ€™s the story? Who are you, and what do you do? How did it all start? Short bio!

Britt: It started when I was born. Hairy and jaundiced. A few years later I discovered crayons. That’s when my parents knew it was over. The chances their daughter ever had at a successful, normal life, were shredded and a little soggy, like the paper wrapper I ripped off those crayons. Move forward a bit more to now, with my BAA from Sheridan (received a scant year after the lovely nerdbiskit herself) which I placed lovingly in the envelope it arrived in, and promptly lost, I’m a freelance illustrator, cartoonist, and work the dreaded part-time day job to keep the other pursuits funded.

nerdbiskit: Why do you do it?

Britt: I do it because I am simply not good at anything else. Including things like “small talk” and “patience” and “tolerance” which are three essential traits for working an office job. I like the immense feeling of satisfaction I get after completing something difficult. And I like to be able to hold it in my hands, and say “I made this.”

nerdbiskit: Whatโ€™s unique about you and what you do? What sets you apart from the pack?

Britt: We are all perfect little snowflakes or some shit like that, right? What makes my work different is all the different media it intersects/borrows from. I usually paint with my hands, and real paint in bright colours, reminiscent of children’s books, with very animated and lively characters. I’ve often been told I should have been an animator, but sucks to them, they draw the same thing all day. Also technology is allergic to me. My comics and graphic stories are also very animated, and though child-like in sophistication, they often contain enough violence that most parents give me dirty looks while they herd their children past my table at conventions.

I’ve recently also gotten into hand drawn type in a BIG way. I’ve always loved drawing letters, but I’ve started going at it like a mare in heat! In an attempt to improve my lettering skillz I’ve been fumbling my way through old-school calligraphy. Using a scratchy old nib and ink to address all my Christmas cards, and sometimes even my grocery lists!

AND, I’ve been doing pattern design for textiles or your desktop, whatever! I have my fingers in ALL the pies. My gooey fruit-fingers are what make me special.


nerdbiskit: What/who is your inspiration?

Britt: I have too many artists that I love and who’s work I gobble up like some sort of troll living under a fan-girl bridge. But also I am inspired by my friends. More precisely by my desire to be better than them. It keeps me working very hard. So far, most of them are still better than me, but that’s good, it keeps me motivated to keep going and trying new things.

nerdbiskit: What are some of your favourite things? (To do, to eat, to think about, etc.)

Britt: I’ve been swallowed whole by pinterest. It started because I got engaged, and a friend recommended it for keeping track of all my ideas, and the next thing I know, ADDICTION. If I ever manage to leave my desk, I love to walk around Queen West (in Toronto, where I live) and go to all the little cafรฉs nearby. I have an insatiable sweet tooth, and love nothing better than good coffee, a pastry of some kind, and a comic book in my hand.

I love to BAKE. I don’t get to do it very often outside of Christmas-time lately, but cookies, cupcakes, PIES, I am THERE.

Recently I can’t stop watching nature themed TED talks. And Twin Peaks, and Futurama, and historical dramas, and audiobooks. I listen to audiobooks while I work, and I go through them like crazy. Currently, I’m listening to “The Unbearable Lightness of Being.”

nerdbiskit: How do you know Lisa Bell of nerdbiskit? Do you think her mustache obsession is a little ridiculous?

Britt: Lisa and I went to Sheridan together, I transferred there partway through the program from OCAD, and was scared to death when I walked into class and this loud, tall (I’m short), fashionista with giant hair and very red lips was sitting there probably saying something gross and/or inappropriate. I remember one day, towards the end of our last year (I had to come back for 3 random credits the next year) we were all sitting around goofing off during one really stupid class, and Lisa had an orange shopping bag with two clementines in it. I believe it started off with the doodling of balls all over Vicki Nerino’s sketchbook, but it ended up with Lisa dangling the bag of clementines between her legs and thrusting around to make them swing back and forth. I thought I ruptured something that day. Hopefully that isn’t too awful a tale to tell. Lisa, I give you permission to edit that. Here’s an alternate version: I like Lisa, she has pretty hair and my cat likes her cat toys. I also like moustaches, so I think she’s alright in the head, mostly. (note from nerdbiskit: I KEPT BOTH STORIES – chose your own preference! I liked both!)

nerdbiskit:ย That about wraps it up! Check out more of Britt’s work via the links below!

xoxo Lisa

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GUEST BLOGGER: Portrait Artist & Illustrator โ€“ Melissa Stewart

Portrait Artist & Illustrator, Melissa Stewart

This is one talented lady! I’m so excited to hear that she’s started her own portrait business, and I will be seeing her at an upcoming market in June –ย  First Sunday Stroll! It’s always fantastic to see a familiar face around at shows ๐Ÿ™‚ We share a love of red wine and dads with mustaches! One day, probably not too far away, I will be hitting her up for baby shower gifts when my gal pals start poppin’ them out!!! Her work is beautiful ๐Ÿ™‚ ENJOY!

nerdbiskit: So, whatโ€™s the story? Who are you, and what do you do? How did it all start? Short bio!

Melissa: My name is Melissa (a.k.a. Missy) and I have a loving husband, Jason and an adorable 1 year old who we like to call Betsy. I am a stay-at-home mom as well as a stay-at-home portrait artist. My business is called Missy’s Portraits and I specialize in painting portraits of babies, children, families and pets. I started my business when I was on maternity leave. I knew I didn’t want to go back to my full time job – I didn’t want to miss seeing my little girl grow up. I had always wanted to be an artist and earn a living doing it – and painting is my true passion. So I pursued my dream and launched Missy’s Portraits with much support from my loving family.

All images copyright Melissa Stewart, 2012. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use of any materials is strictly prohibited.

nerdbiskit: Whatโ€™s unique about you and what you do? What sets you apart from the pack?

Melissa: I find that there aren’t really a lot of artists out there who specialize in portraits of children which is what I think my business is unique. Children are so interesting to paint – so much innocence in their eyes, so happy about all the little things in life. Looking at a painting of a child just makes you smile. There is also a uniqueness in the technique I use when I paint. I paint with oils on masonite board, not canvas – but I before I begin the portrait, I put thick layers of acrylic paint on the masonite to give the surface a texture that emulates a canvas. Some people can’t tell the difference.

nerdbiskit: What/who is your inspiration?

Melissa: My inspiration is my daughter. The first portrait I did after launching Missy’s Portraits was one of my little Betsy at 9 weeks old.

nerdbiskit: What are some of your favourite things? (To do, to eat, to think about, etc.)

Melissa: My favourite things (in order starting with my most favourite) are:

  • Jason and Betsy
  • My Mom, Dad and brother Mike
  • Painting
  • Playing the Piano – I am also a piano teacher
  • Singing in the shower
  • Drinking red wine
  • All you can eat sushi
  • Reading a good book

nerdbiskit: How do you know Lisa Bell of nerdbiskit? Do you think her mustache obsession is a little ridiculous?

Melissa: I know Lisa from Sheridan – we’re both artsy types. She became close friends with my roommate and friend Lindsay which is when I got to know her a bit better. I remember a fun time with Lisa – it was at Lindsay’s birthday party. Lisa bought Lindsay the craziest birthday gifts – including “inappropriate” straws, which were my favourite. I love that Lisa is the “mustache lady.” She’s a very unique person, I mean who else is there in this world who loves mustaches as much as Lisa does? My dad has a mustache (just a side note).

nerdbiskit:ย That about wraps it up! Gift ideas, anyone? Baby showers coming up perhaps? Get in touch with Melissa or see more of her work via the links below:

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