GUYS, I know that it's been forever since I've done anything on here, but I've been ultra busy. I am getting a new website/blog, so that is where I am going to be doing things from here on in... it is over at Laura Kelly Illustrations and is not quite up yet IT'S TOTALLY UP. But when it is... whooooooo boy it looks sexy. It was also designed by a good friend of mine who is simply amazing if anyone ever needs to get their website looking as super fly as mine is going to/now does.
This is a MAGICAL AND BEAUTIFUL AND EXCITING picture that my friend Trisa and I made when we were in like... I dunno, 4th grade? SO GOOD. It's beautiful and I love it. The fact that she had it/found it again makes me all warm and fuzzy inside.
Those are horses playing in the hills... playing soccer. Ya know. I think that we did it by mostly tracing little bitty horse erasers that looked like this. Though it looks like at least one of them was hand drawn. The dinosaur looking one. CHILDHOOD WAS SO FUN.
Again, I'd like to reiterate that I like ceramics but am not a champion of them. That being said, I recently made this awesome mug at a crafty birthday party for my dear friends Sean and Audrey!
IT IS A MONSTER.
Normally it would have been a lie to say 'monsters in my coffee' like I did in the title (which I did because of the song "You're So Vain" by Carly Simon... 'clouds in my coffee' and all that), but I just got a french press and now I can make it! Success!
Anyway, it was a really fun party where we got to pick and paint our own pottery at The Little Shop of Crafts... so I naturally made a mug even though there is no room for any more mugs in my cabinet. Smart! It was great fun, regardless, with birthday shenanigans and wine and karaoke afterwards. The wine part may have effected my mug-painting skill set but how much is hard to say. Ceramic panting is tricky at the best of times - the paint doesn't look the color it will eventually turn out to be when you put it on, colors all look the same once their laid on the pottery, and there is no going back once it's done. YOU JUST HAVE TO LIVE WITH THE CHOICES YOU MADE, LAURA. That is unless you have a lot of time on your hands and are crafty about fixing it. Which I didn't and wasn't.
But my mug is a mug and it's pretty nice and I like it and I had a good 'ol time doing it with these monsters:
My roommate and I recently had a True Blood themed party which was really fun! It gave everyone a chance to dress up as who they liked best (I was Pam) and me an opportunity to wear a zebra striped, sequined, puffy one shoulder number that I could never wear in the real world for fear of looking like a damn fool. And I'm just slightly too practical for that.
In getting ready for it, my roommate thought that it would be fun to make posters of ourselves like the character posters that HBO did for the show to put on facebook, so she did hers on an older paintshop program and then tried to do one for me... but my skin is too ghostly white to look like anything and I just looked like a giant squid eye when she was done. So that we could match I had to take matters into my own photoshopy hands...
I was only going to work on it for, like, 15 minutes. I swear. And then suddenly it was an hour and a half later and I was still trying to adjust things until I went, "wait a minute - what the hell am I doing here still?" and stopped.
But in the end it kept making me laugh so I'm putting it on here for the world to enjoy:
I'm not sure that this one really counts as art, but I made it on photoshop, so it probably does.
Plus during the party there was (among other things) a fun black light that made everything white, including my snazzy dress, glow in the dark!
It is summer now (which I am sure that you've noticed) so I thought I'd pop an older, summery...er piece up on here. It's not my favorite piece in the world, but the colors are good and since I've been working seven days a week I don't have any god damn time to make new art! Thanks student loans!
So I was tasked with recreating a piece of art done by another artist, in this case Erte's "Seagulls" from 1938.
Collage, 9"x 15"
I like Erte, he makes beautiful, patterned, whimsical art full of pretty ladies as well as a lot of things in sequence. It's really right up my ally.
I, on the other hand, just wanted to fill that sucker with color when I remade it. Her skin is mostly little bitty carpet sample pictures that I chopped out of some catalogue, and the rest is various origami papers, construction paper, and pages out of a old book that I felt less bad about chopping up because it was in a language that I did not speak. I love the look of paper with text on it collaged into stuff, but I always feel horrible when I have to chop up and reappropriate a book that I could be reading. I love books that much. I am that guy.
Mine was also wider before, but then it looked super stupid, so I sliced off the part with the sailboat and more birds on it and shoved on a new book page side. TA~DA! ART!
Sometimes I get home late from doing something fun with my friends in Astoria and sit down at my blog to, ya know, just quickly check and see how popular I am and... get really, really, REALLY distracted. Tonight was one of those nights.
I was all, "wow, that mermaid on the header only looks 'meh' so maybe I should just change it real quick" and then I realized that there were new layouts that I wanted to play with and then I realized that they looked nice for the first 5 minutes but I hated them and thennnnn... I had to back and try and fix it, which was impossible since I just screw around changing and moving stuff until I like it/get bored, so I made a new layout. Which led to how my blog looks now.
Which is like this:
I figured that I'd put a nice little picture in there, since I am 98% sure that I'll be changing it in the morning. We'll see if I forget to or not.
Also it is technically the 4th of July now, so HAPPY AMERICA DAY! Let's all eat some hotdogs, drink a beer, watch 'Independence Day' and look at some fireworks.
I straight up took that picture from here because it's pretty, so thanks Kelly Davenport (whoever you may be) for that picture of fireworks over Louisville. Nice.
I am so overtired you guys, and I keep getting surprised by the sound of assorted fireworks/crackers/snappers/poppers/whatnot outside in my neighborhood which I can still hear over the sound of my AC even though it is LOUUUUUD.
Even though there are too many posts with my face on them recently, this still has to happen - because in case you every wondered how much I love teal and sparkles the answer is, this much:
Exactly this much.
I may look slightly derpy in this picture, but make no mistake - I AM ALWAYS VERY EXCITED WHEN I PAINT MY NAILS THIS COLOR. The color is 'Sinful Colors - Nail Junkie' which is a damn exciting title for this nail polish considering the lack of sexy I'm working here. Instead, I am literally trying to show the world even though I know that it will never appreciate it as much as I do.
WHAT NOW SUCKAS, BECAUSE YOU'RE LOOKING AT THIS REGARDLESS.
I suppose that I could take pictures of myself holding onto the bottle of nail polish with the nail color on in dramatic lighting and close up shots like the rest of the internet seems to like to... but then you'd get something like this:
Look, my nail polish isn't even the right color. But it's still sparkly.
Monster claws and crazy eyes.
No one wants that. Except maybe me, because when I looked at that I after I took it I loled a little bit.
But as you can tell, I like nail polish. I seem to be focusing almost it as much as I focus on art recently (It's not real art... but it could be art too so too bad! I forgot that I'm trying to say 'art' in these posts more). Simple pleasures I suppose, and I look real simple in these puppies... youuuuuuuu're welcome. Because teal and sparkles are so pretty.
As you may have surmised, I periodically do internet searches on myself, just to see how well my standings as "laura kelly art" and "laura kelly mermaids" are holding up in google images (I'm doing okay in case you were wondering... but maybe you should go check it out for yourself to knock my stats up further). One night I did this with some friends and a lot of some wine, and I managed to go deep, DEEP into the void that is the internet's memory.
These are what I re-discovered:
They are some weird and specific sketches that I had to do for DCC from FOREVER ago. Almost 7 years I think... Christ. Wow, forever is right... The first is of my sister when I had to draw planes to make the figure or something (note that I decided to completely ignore that rule for her hair) which looks nothing like her really, and the other is a self-portrait of me that we had to do wearing masks. Also a poor excuse for what I look like. Except for maybe the mouth. That looks pretty good... and I guess the nose is okay. The bottom part at least.
I laughed so hard when I found these. I don't remember having them put online, and I certainly don't have the actual drawings anymore, but they are out there, forever, on the internet. AND NOW (thank heavens) SOME OF MY GOOD STUFF IS TOO.
For your comparison I now include a picture of my sister hanging out with some dogs more recently at Christmas and me wearing my raccoon mask from Halloween:
So now there's this on the internet too.
If you want to see them in action via the webpages I found them on, you can do it here or here. There is kind of a good combo of the the good, the bad, and the ugly going on with the pieces shown in them, and I fall somewhere in the middle.
In fairness to myself, I think that they were done in one of the very first structured art classes that I ever did, and the fact that I made it on the DCC/teacher websites at all is pretty good. I suppose. Kinda.
JUST GIVE ME MY MOMENT.
Oh, and if your wondering why I seem to be wearing the same shirt that I wore in another post, worry no longer: I totally am. I typically write these in my pajamas and that is one of my favorite tops. IT'S VERA WANG AND SUPER COMFY AND I LOVE IT. Now here is a picture of my sister and I being best friends.
Well, I've realized that if I am ever to really have an internet presence, I need to put the word 'art' into all of my posts... that way if anyone types 'laura kelly art' into a search engine, some random thing of mine should pop up. ART ART ART. There. Take that internet.
Now on to the good stuff.
I have been thoroughly enjoying the song 'Holding a Heart' by Girl Named Toby in recent days (because it is amazing), so feel free to give it a listen. And by that I mean listen to it right now... because it is freaking beautiful. I could listen to it forever.
Are you now listening to it as you read this? Good. Back on the art track, I illustrated a couple of scenes from the fairy tale The Goose Girl by the Brothers Grimm, and let me tell you - that is one nutty story with a horrifying ending. Also it was told to children!
The Goose Girl
Colored Pencil, 9"x 11"
Colored Pencil, 17"x 11"
Here is breakdown:
- There once was a beautiful Princess who was going to marry a Prince in a foreign land. As they usually do. Her mother gathered many beautiful and expensive things to send with her, but in order to protect her she also sent her with a maid in waiting (sure) , handkerchief with three drops of blood that she was to keep on her at all times (uh... right), and a magical talking horse (amazing). Yes. All things that I've wanted when journeying, but never managed to get.... but just you wait. One day...
Once they began to travel and had gotten away from the castle, they stopped for a drink in a nearby stream and the Princess promptly dropped her magic blood handkerchief right into the water where it floated away, never to be seen again. The maid took this opportunity to be like, "BITCH, I'm the princess now and you are the maid. Deal with that. AND IF YOU SAY ANYTHING TO ANYONE ABOUT IT KILL EVERYONE/THING THAT YOU LOVE. Also give me that goddamn magic horse." Or something to that effect. They then pull a non-fun parent trap type situation and go to meet the Prince.
- So they get there, everyone is like, "OOOOH, Princess, how nice to meet you. What's that? Give you're maid in waiting a job somewhere far away from you and also kill your magical horse because it displeased you? Sure, NO PROBLEM!!!! :> :) ;} WE TOTALLY TAKE YOU AT YOUR WORD IN ALL THINGS!" and the true princess is put to work in the fields tending the geese with some other dude while the maid lives it up before her wedding.
She went being the goose girl and feeling sorry for herself while the goose... boy who helped her in the fields developed a thing for her... hair. He thought that it was really pretty and wanted a piece of her beautiful golden hair to, I don't know, have and started to try and creep on her in order to get it. To dissuade this from happening, whenever she brushed it she would sing a song that made the wind blow and the goose boy's hat fly away so that he was forced to chase it and she could brush it in peace. Yup.
- The King saw her working her hair magic and wanted to know what was up, buuuuuuuut she told him that she couldn't tell him anything about who she was. In order to get the truth out of her, he told her that inside the castle there was a magical stove that if you sit inside of it and air your grievances, they'll all go away. The former Princess/current goose girl must have a been a bigger idiot than anyone besides the King would have thought, because she believed that wash and went ahead and did just that. The King obviously eavesdropped on that mess and once he realized what had happened, he pulled her out of her field job and plopped her in the castle, telling everyone but the former maid in waiting who she was and dressing her back up in style.
At dinner that night the maid in waiting was surprised to see a pretty young woman who looked vaguely familiar sitting on the other side of the Prince (not noticing that the young woman was the Princess showed that she was apparently as dumb as the Princess herself). The King asked her what she thought that they should do to someone who, ya know, did exactly what she did to the Princess. She then, like a champion, said that if a person did that they should be dragged behind horses in a nail studded barrel, naked, until they were dead. So the King had that done to her while the Prince and Princess got married and lived happily ever after.
Really and truly.
When I finished with these there were some things going on in the big one full of geese that made me crazy when I looked at it. I mean, there were things in the river one too, but not as many. In order to remedy this: PHOTOSHOP! Oh photoshop, you are so helpful when I am not making a full picture with you and just editing things. Because if I am making a full picture it is not a pretty one. I'm bad at that.
In preparation for making these, I also borrowed the book The Goose Girl from the girl that I babysit for and powered through that in a few hours to see how it was. It was a fun, interesting, more in depth take on an old weird fairytale that actually seemed tween appropriate. I'm sure that the kids reading it will have no idea that it was in fact based off a fairy tale, but whatever. I'll read anything once. No regrets.
So there is this. This is me biding my time on the internet while I organize things before posting some actual art with thought behind it. In the meantime, you get:
MORE MERMAIDS! Aren't you excited? I am sure that you are.
I call her "Crayonmaid" and she is drawn of crayon. And I also drew her on some weird piece of thin cardboard that probably just should have been thrown out. I do like the neat wrinkly texture that all the folds in it ended up giving her... although her shoulders are strangely big... and she's like, hunched backwards or something...
Whatever, I can forgive myself all of the weird and bad angles of her body that I made in this one because I MADE IT OUT OF CRAYON ON SOME WEIRD PIECE OF LEFTOVER CARDBOARD AT WORK ONE DAY. Look at how well that water is (kinda) blended. BOOM. Man, those wrinkles really make it look like water in some places. Accidentally well done, self. Keep that in mind for future mermaids. And I will... Just you wait.
Well, I went to see The Hunger Games this past weekend, and it was AMAZING. I didn't even nerd out too much... I only wore my fab Stella & Dot Arrow necklace and painted my nails like so:
(my bangs look SO GOOD right there... jeeze... sorry internet, but totally worth it)
I have absolutely no complaints about the movie except for the fact that I want more of it... there should have been more of it. So I'm just going to have to see it again next weekend (this means you, Val. You know who you are and what the plan is). In the mean time I'll just be obsessively listening to this song by Birdy.
ANYWAY, back to the fact that I periodically make art but still on a bit of a movie tangent. You know how people can really like something and not personally be good at it? Well that is still true. I am NOT GREAT AT ANIMATION, no matter how much I love it when others do it (which in case you are wondering is a lot. I love animation a lot). It was when I took an animation class and then had to make one that I confirmed this fact. We had to find a way to make a minute long animation of a love triangle in space. Whatever that means.
This is apparently what that means.
But I made it and it took me a long time and now you can watch it of you so choose. HERE IT IS AND YOU'D BETTER WATCH IT:
Questionable love triangle. Definitely took me forever. That one mountain is actually made out of the back of another giant Mother Earth puppet that I made... so... that's crafty of me at least... and I am quite proud of the fact that I managed to make the native made of yarn and feathers actually look as if it was shoving the robots there at the end... yeah, it is what it is. But it got the job done.
Joan of Arc has always been a really interesting person to me. She was just so epically tragic and badass, and maybe just the littlest bit crazy. As she awesomely should be to live on in plays, movies, statues, and pictures that I make.
A lot of my choices are made/based on this kind of badassery, so when I had to read a play for one of the last classes of my collage career last year, my teacher nudged me towards "St. Joan". If you're feeling ambitious and want to read it, it's actually a pretty funny play about Joan of Arc by George Bernard Shaw. I was reminded of how fascinating she was and I got on kind of a Joan kick after that, which led me to watch both The Passion of Joan of Arc (beautiful) and Messenger (badass), and which concluded in this piece where I decided to make her look like some kind of fiery lipstick model...
Colored Pencil, 10"x 12"
I know what you're thinking - "That is not how one would look while being burned at the stake! LAURA. GET IT TOGETHER. MORE BLACK." But you know what? SHUT UP. That's what. As interesting as it would have been to try and draw her charring in agony, that is just not how I roll. Instead I decided to make her all, "I know that I did right because God told me so and so this DOESN'T HURT AT ALL. Peace out."
As a side note, this is one of those pieces where the reference photos that I had to search for would make me look like some sort of pervert if someone had to troll through my internet history or photos folder. This happens to me a lot. There is just no good clean way to make a search term for 'girl bound in ropes'. So I stopped trying. Meh.
ANYWAY, I also thought that this would be a good time to post this since THE HUNGER GAMES MOVIE COMES OUT SO, SO SOON and I keep seeing posters that look like these ones all over the city:
I. Am. So. Pumped.
GIRL ON FIRE MEET JOAN OF ARC. You are both epic and I love you.
Those would have been such good, clean, beautiful, helpful reference photos if they had been around when I made Joan... next time...
I sound like a velociraptor right now. It is the weirdest thing: I kinda feel okay, not completely horrible, but I sound the way a dinosaur would if it were going through puberty. Talking on the phone is a chore in squeaky ridiculousness and when I go to work the children stare at me like I may turn into a monster at a moments notice. I also have to keep blowing my nose. This is extra exciting/horrible when you have to do it on the subway and you just *KNOW* that everyone is judging you. I AM A HOT MESS OF SOUNDS.
So here are some cats to make it all better. Plus Kristen Bell and sloths.
This cat likes to bite me which makes me fight him.
He may or may not have launched himself at my face after this picture was taken.
This cat lives in the Museum of Natural History
I'm pretty sure that I gave up on filling in all of those spots up there after about ten minutes. So many, many spots. On a different note, I also had a serious 'demon-monster-laugh-of-doom-and-illness' this morning re-watching this video of Kristen Bell on Ellen:
I don't really know what I'm doing when it comes to drawing cars and stuff like that, but I can fake it pretty well. This comes in handy because boys tend to not be as interested in mermaids as I am (to be fair to boys everywhere - it's hard to be as interested in mermaids as I am), so sometimes cars it is. 'Cars' cars to be exact.
Children can be verrrrrrrry particular about how they believe/know that things should look, so when I did these Charlie very kindly got me his 'Cars' DVD cases so that we could try and figure out what the cars actually looked like... I feel like I got sort of close. Ish.
He is such a diligent little art maker. I am always impressed.
He picked out all of the cars that we were going to make and then we each colored half of them (I'll let you decide which of us did which) with some colored pencils. He particularly likes 'Cars 2' and wanted me to do some of the random race cars that are in it, buuuuuut I didn't know what they looked like and we both decided that it would be better if we stuck to the more normal ones. GOOD TIMES.
I like shiny things, always have, probably always will. Apparently so do goldfish, so we have that in common. I mention this because I made a really shiny collage that I had almost forgotten about until I randomly came across it last night while showing something else to Audrey.
So here it is:
Collage, 12"x 9"
It also happens to be goldish like a goldfish, so... that's cool. I made it over the summer while running a small art camp. We used newspaper, origami paper, magazines, and whatever else was handy. The kids ended up making really good ones. Fun times.
I also have a shiny teal snowflake that lives on a wall of my room year round which I love. It makes a good edition to this post because it snowed for the first time this winter last night (unless you count when it snowed in October... which I DON'T). Also it is teal.
You know you love it.
All this talk of snow makes me wish that I didn't have to work tomorrow though... rhyme. Sigh.
It was my birthday this weekend and it was SUPER DUPER FUN. We went out and did some exciting karaoke and stuff, and I thought that I would commemorate it on my blog with ponies. They live on my bookshelf and are amazing. Basically anything on my bookshelf should be considered amazing.
I took a ceramics class at DCC, the school that I went to before SVA, and all that I wanted to do there was make mugs. Why not? You know that mugs are useful. People use them. They are also not too big and can be given as gifts easily. But I did keep one of them. My crowning achievement was this mug and my roomie and I use it on a regular basis.
I glazed it well, and the handle is nice and even and it holds a sweet amount of tea. I'm drinking some Harney & Sons lychee tea out of it this very morning. The only real problem with it (and it's not a real problem) is that it's heavy. I must have not pushed the clay towards the base of the mug out enough... but thats okay. I also have a teal table to put it on.
I made a bunch of other ones of various colors and sizes but they weren't as nice (this is only about half of them).
As you can see.
I also had to make a bunch of random stuff like abstract bookcases and cups that I glazed for practice (try and guess which is which down there). I also have one little dish that I keep quarters in for doing laundry.
Even when we had to make other projects, I would always find a way to go back to making mugs. Because I like them. Maybe I'll do it again sometime... It was fun even if I wasn't always good at it.