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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Inspiration Post: Crazy for CAROUSELS!

Greetings friends and welcome to the FIRST inspiration post of 2013!! Those of you who followed us last year know the inspiration post is my monthly chance to share with you themed things that help spark my imagination (and hopefully yours)! I've never outgrown my fascination with carousels. This month's theme, "Crazy for Carousels," showcases my love for the elegant and spinning amusement rides found all over the world!

Like most little girls I was OBSESSED and even own my own mini musical carousel that I received as a gift years ago from the San Fransciso Music Box Catalog! I still find myself fascinated when I come across one at a fair or amusement park and given the chance I would totally take a spin on one to this day. I could get lose all day showcasing the different types of crazy animal seats but I went with your classic pretty horse galloping on it's post for this set.

I figured I would start things off with one of my not-so-guilty pleasures; CUPCAKES! Not just any cupcakes, Carousel Cupcakes . . . mmmmm! These elegant and joyful cupcakes were baked up by Flickr user We Want Cake. In her description she mentions they were for a little girl's birthday party but I wouldn't mind them at my own!! I love the muted color pallet and the details on each sugary horse is incredible!!

I couldn't bring myself to NOT include it in my post because there is so much in it that inspires me! It's sparkly, full of bows, roses, jewels and stars without feeling too overwhelming. My favorite part is the use of varied types of patterns in a clever manner with a cheerful splash of purple and pink!! This illustration caught my eye when I saw it on Tumblr and unfortunately I have no clue who the original artist is. Being an artist myself, I try to be a stickler about that kinda stuff so if you know anything about this illustration please let me know in the comment section and I will include it in the post!!

I had to add this outfit to my carousel post because it is so incredibly unique. This carnival inspired couture was created by Indian fashion designer, Manish Aurora for a collection he premiered for the Spring / Summer of 2009. Each piece has an imaginative circus flair and is a great demonstration of how inspiration can birth a unique and memorable work of art! I highly recommend you check out the full collection on his website at

Another great example of an illustrated carousel horse titled, "Carousel Dreams," by DeviantArt user "MoogleGirl." The drawing features the traditional idea of a carousel horse with pretty pastels and subtle girly accessories. I love it's swirly, curly mane. This is exactly what I picture in my head when someone says "Carousel," so you better believe I find it inspirational!! If you like this style of illustration be sure to head over to her official website complete with it's own shop filled with goodies!!

And last but not least, a handcrafted necklace with a unique looking Carousel pendant. I like how this jewelry strays away from the norm. Although a more simple representation of a carousel horse, I find this black stallion with it's cotton candy colored hair really pops on the orange colored cameo background!! It's currently listed on Etsy in a shop called AnnMichTreasureBox!

Hope you enjoyed this month's "Crazy for CAROUSELS" post!! To check out some BONUS items I that didn't feature but still love I have a Pinterest board dedicated to JUST things of all shapes and sizes that inspire my artwork. Just head over to and you'll even find a few pieces from my previous posts in 2012. Hope everyone has a great week!!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Jerseylicious Season 5 - TracyDiCartoon

Hey everyone!! For those of you who follow the StyleNetwork's show Jerseylicious I hope you will be watching the premier of Season #5 this Monday, January 28th!! I cannot believe it has already been 5 seasons!! I watch it because I love hair styling and the unique cast makes it a real trip!!

Tracy DiMarco a big supporter of my art has a lot of products in the works. Extensions, eyelashes, lipsticks and much more!! Not only that but she has a wedding to plan!! She is such an entrepreneur and big inspiration to me!! So I decided to create a little Tracy doodle to go with this entry!!

I really enjoyed trying a new technique with the hair in Illustrator. And remember catch Jerseylicious this MONDAY on the StyleNetwork!!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

"We are the PERFECT Pear" Illustration

Hey everyone!! Valentine's day is right around the corner; another one of my favorite Holidays!! As I'm busy working on my Valentine's cards for all my friends and fans I nearly forgot about an illustration I created as a gift recently! Some people like puppies, some people like rainbows and then there are just some people who like pears. Yep, pears. Don't think I'm being serious?

Exihibit A, the pear cake, made especially for my friend's birthday last year. She's not obsessed with pears but she DOES have a pear themed kitchen so I couldn't resist creating and framing a pear-themed illustration as a gift. One of my brain storms from last year was a valentine card that said, "You're the perfect pear!" I recycled the idea to create this illustration:

A cute little girl pear and a handsome boy pear falling in love. She loved it and it hangs in her kitchen to this day! I also announced on the Facebook page that our 200 post will be a "give away!" Something this blog hasn't seen in probably 2 years or so haha! So stay tuned for all the details, this is post #194; 200 will be here before we know it!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Hyde's Sweet Treats - Illustration

Hey everyone! Just wanted to update the blog with a freelance illustration I created for another bakery!! This time it was "Hyde's Sweet Treats," a bakery based in Norwalk, CA right here in the states. Heidie the owner approached me with an idea for an illustration to use for her branding. I'm always inspired by cupcakes, cake pops, cookies, so of course I said to count me in!!

She incorporated the illustration into her banner, logo and even some graphics such as a "Custom Item" listing.

"Hyde's Sweet Treats" has it's own etsy shop where sweet and cute decorated baked goods are shipped all over the world thanks to the power of the internet!! Here are some examples of the products she sells:

Yummmyyy!! Be sure to check out her business at her official Etsy shop at or just "like" her Facebook fanpage at!! OR if you are just looking to drool over her sweet treats follow her Instagram at And don't forget to contact me, Laura at for all your Graphic Design and Illustration needs. I love working on projects for bakers!!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

2012 Facebook Cover-Illustrations!!

Hello everyone!! It is almost the weekend, yay! I wanted to update the blog with another one of my 2012 projects. Ever since Facebook made me make the official switch to timeline I challenged myself to create a different illustrated cover photo with my name and title. I am an artist afterall and wish to show off my skills and remind all my friends what I do, graphic design and illustration!!

The first month I created for was August. I started out with my favorite thing, cupcakes!! The cupcakes are an original illustration against a stock background.

Next was September. This was an official premier of my NerdyCupcakes characters. We have strawberry on the left and cherry chocolate chip on the right both original illustrations of my creation on a stock swirly vector background.

October was next and I am such a huge fan of Halloween!! The little NerdyCupcakes were such a cute concept I couldn't resist dressing some up for the season! Pumpkin spice is on the left with a spooky little black cat cupcake on a stock background.

Even though it's plenty cold out in November I couldn't keep the idea of a sweet little couple of Ice Cream cone kids in love!! The illustration is based off of a sketch I created on some notebook paper on some downtown at my job at the time. The background is a stock photo of a chocolate swirl mmmm!

And last but not least my cover photo for December!! This little kitten character was inspired by a pair of pajamas I saw while Christmas shopping. This entire illustration is original with no stock elements this time.

I had such a fun time creating my different cover photos and already have a new one up for the month of January on my personal Facebook page!! If Facebook keeps timeline for the year 2013 I will make sure to make a review post of all the ones I create this year!!  Hope everyone has a great day and a safe weekend!!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Artistic Fitness - Beautiful Cockatiel

Hey everyone!! Yawn, just another Monday morning here in Pennsylvania. I have been drawing my brains out lately. One of my New Year's resolutions is drawing every single weekday to help me improve my artistic skills and stay created in 2013!! That being below is my take on Exercise #7 in the Artistic Fitness book.


Still in the "Animals" category I got to work on sketching out a Cockatiel. I love their little mohawks and I don't know if they actually talk but I imagine my Cockatiel to be somewhat of a motivational speaker. He is here to remind you that you are beautiful!! Hope everyone's week goes well!!

Monday, January 7, 2013

"Let Them All Eat Pizza" Illustration

Hey everyone!! Still playing catch up at this point throwing some rare doodles from 2012 on the blog. This piece demonstrates why searching for inspiration is important to me. Every month, I do "Inspiration" posts on the blog starting last year. Among the ones I wrote there was "Sugar Sweet Wigs" featuring delicious looking and creative wigs and another called  "PIZZA PIZZA"  on well. . . pizza. Both posts inspired me to create this illustration:

The actual origins of this illustration come from a conversation I had with one of my friends. We both love Marie Antoinette and her stylish wig. We were discussing the famous quote, "Let Them All Eat Cake," and somehow turned it into, "Let Them All Eat Pizza!" I just couldn't resist creating this!

She's decked out in pizza and toppings ready to chomp down on a slice!! I added a royal purple background and a golden frame to give it the look of a painted portrait. See what happens when you seek inspiration?? Your imagination runs wild!! Hope everyone has a great week!!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Honeygirl's World: Illustrated Portrait

Hey everyone!! Just wanted to update the blog with an illustrated portrait; something I haven't posted about in awhile!! This portrait was created for a glamorous vlogger / blogger all the way from Hawaii named Honey! She is the creator and owner of "HoneyGirl's World," her website where she blogs about beauty, food, her beautiful family and much more!

Honey also runs a boutique website with handcrafted beauty products and accessories. She created her famous "Woven Earrings," that have been worn by Tracy DiMarco, one of my good friends and star of the StyleNetwork's Reality Show, "JERSEYLICIOUS!"

I had to pick a purple pair to feature on my blog, they are so pretty!! Too bad I don't wear earrings. So we know what she looks like and we know what she does how did the portrait come out?? Let's take a look:

She loved it and I think it turned out really beautiful!! She uses it on her website as a button you can link to her site from your blog on your sidebar!! I am really proud of this piece and it will definitely be going in my online portfolio. I made sure to capture a lot of the details including her trademark, hand made woven earrings mentioned above.

Honey is all over the web!! If you are interested in checking out her website the address is or check her out on Facebook at If you are looking to purchase from her boutique the web address is She also has a YouTube channel up at Be sure to check her out!! And I hope everyone has a safe and happy weekend!!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

"Thor Walrus" Acrylic Painting

Hey everyone! Time to play catch up and post some of the projects I worked on in 2012 that were made especially for the Holidays! A great perk of being artistically talented is that you can give gifts that you can BE SURE no one else got, because you made them yourself!!

One of my friends, if I haven't mentioned before, is a big fan of both the aquatic animal the "Walrus" and of the Marvel hero "Thor." In my head the only option for a gift was creating a Thor-Walrus. I found some source images of Walruses on the computer as well as of Thor's helmet used in the Avenger's film and combined them for something truly unique!

I created the painting with just white, black, brown and red acrylic paints. The paints weren't any special brand, just the craft paint you can pick up at Michael's Arts and Crafts. She really loved it!! Hope everyone has a wonderful and safe weekend!!

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