Friday, March 15, 2013

Long Ago Surrendered...

This week I've been really focusing on getting a lot done in regards to promotion of my artwork. Not everything has worked out as planned, but I'm excited for future opportunities. Right now, I want to showcase my new graphic for my blog, and the journey behind the making of it. I will soon be printing business cards for myself and this is part of that process.

During my education at my college I had to make a branding logo for myself along with a business card, letterhead, etc. This was all part of the learning process, and the name I had come up with was Ixia Illustrations. Ixia is a flower and it lent itself well to the Art Nouveau style I was going for with my name brand. However, as time went on I realized that this particular logo, though pretty, wasn't what I wanted to symbolize as myself. Ixia flowers were just a random flower I discovered and meant nothing to me or to my artwork. It wasn't until one day on Facebook that a friend of mine asked in her status if there was one symbol you could choose for yourself, what would it be? Her answer was a thistle. From there, I began to brainstorm, because her love for thistles was very much like my love for dandelions. I've always loved them, ever since I was a little girl. Yes, they are weed, but a beautiful one! I love picking them and blowing them, and always get excited when I see one. I decided, then, that the dandelion was a perfect symbol for me as an artist, and not just because I love them so much.

"The dandelion has long ago surrendered its golden petals, and has reached its crowning stage of dying - the delicate seedglobe must break up now - it gives and gives till it has nothing left... There is no sense of wrenching; it stands ready, holding up its little life, not knowing when or where or how the wind that bloweh where it listeth may care it away. It holds itself no longer for its own keeping, only as something to be given: a breath does the rest, turning "the readiness to win" into the "performance" (2 Corinthians 8:11). And to a soul that through "death oft" has been brought to this point, even acts that look as if they must involve as effort, become something natural, spontaneous, full of "heavenly involuntariness," so simply are they the outcome of the indwelling love of Christ." - Lilias Trotter.

Lilias Trotter was a kindred spirit of mine who lived in the late 1800s and she was an artist turned missionary to the people of Algeria. She had a chance to become a great painter of her day, but chose instead to serve Christ in Algeria and spread the Gospel there. Yet, it was because of her being an artist that she was really able to speak to the people there, who loved bright colors, storytelling, and visual imagery, and so her talent was used quite grandly after all, though just not the way she might have originally thought. (You can purchase a lovely book of her images and quotes here) With her lovely images and story of her life in my head, I read this quote above and it really spoke to me. I desired to live my life in that way, surrendered and free, to have what I do with my artwork really express that love and freedom in Christ. I've known my talents and what I "wanted to be when I grow up" ever since I was a little girl, and it has stuck with me through the years, only growing more and more as the time passed. I know this is my calling, and that it will one day take me to a different world entirely from my own right now, and I want my heart and my artwork to express that "readiness" and "heavenly involuntariness." I've long ago surrendered.

So, I decided to change my logo and go ahead with this idea of the dandelion symbol. However, as I began to recreate my logo I was running into issues with the design. It wasn't conveying at all the idea I was trying to get across. I actually dislike designing logos. They are so difficult in their simplicity! They must always remain readable at any size you make them, which means the design cannot be too complex. Yet at the same time it must represent the persons, company, and/or vision. I don't like it very much, and so after much frustration, made the big decision that I won't be using a logo at all. It isn't as necessary for me as a freelance artist, especially now with the world of the Internet, and how you can network and promote yourself in an nontraditional way. Business cards aren't even that necessary anymore when everything is accessible at your fingertips! Once I made that decision, the ideas began flooding in! I then came up with the design that you see now on my blog. Here is a bigger view of it:

The delicate seedglobe surrendering its petals. I wanted this image to convey my whimsical, day dreamy nature while at the same time, showcasing the symbol of the dandelion which is the insignia of my work. One image I was inspired from was this Vanity Fair magazine cover from the early 1900s, an art deco piece that I have hanging on the wall of my room:

I love this image! It is so whimsical and full of movement. The colors are vibrant and the line work delicate. I really wanted to capture this dreamy atmosphere within my own art piece. Strangely enough, though, I've come full circle because it came to my mind my very first illustration that I ever created when I was in school. It is when I really began to understand Photoshop and it became a turning point in my journey as an artist:

So you can see that my first illustration began with dandelions and now on the cusp of my career as an artist, dandelions have made their way in again! Me thinks it is not all just a coincidence. 

I've hope you've enjoyed my story on the process of this piece and that you enjoy looking at it as part of my blog design. My business cards will be incorporating this new design as well and the way I see it now, this image represents me as an artist. It may be unconventional, but it fits perfectly.


  1. Wow this is amazing! I LOVE your Dandelion design and how you put yourself in there. And the text beneath it! I think it's perfect for you and the symbol is wonderful! I never saw your first school project, but I think that it's awesome how everything has come full circle! You should have included your Mimosa drawing as well, that's one of my favorites of yours. Anyway, your design is perfection! That is why I chose the Phoenician, or the Phoenix for myself as a symbol, because it has meaning to who I am in three significant ways. I need to do a blogpost about that haha, it's why I even called my personal blog Out of the Ashes in the first place hehe. You've inspired me to do a symbol blog too. :-D

    1. Thanks! Haha. Yeah, I liked the little subtitle I came up with. I thought it would help define more what I do and am as an artist. As for the Mimosa drawing, I might do a blog about it one day. If I ever need to do a post and don't have any new work, I will do that one. ;-)

      You should do a blog on your blog meaning/symbols! It would help explain to your audience more about you. I think that would be cool.

  2. I love your dandelion illustration! It's so beautiful! Love the colors and texture and movement. Really well done!

    1. Thanks so much, Joanna. I *love* textures! Hehe. And movement. ;-)