Monday, November 25, 2013

I've been working on a commission for someone who wanted to give his new bride a short 8-page book about their relationship as a wedding gift. I've devoted about two hours to each piece, so their all relatively quick digital illustrations. Here's what I've come up with so far:

From doing these pieces I've learned that I still have A LOT to learn when it comes to color, and I struggle a lot with drawing people in different poses, especially on a limited time-table. I really wish I lived in the city still so I could make it to the quick studies workshops. More to come soon!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

My first CTN

Well! I survived my first CTN, and what an awesome experience it was. It was both awe-inspiring and overwhelming to be surrounded by so many amazing artists that I have studied and looked-up to for several years now. I wracked up the nerve to ask Steven Silver for a portfolio review (all while trying not to act too starstruck and awkward), and he was super nice and gave me a very straight-forward and helpful critique. I stood mere feet away from both Brittney Lee and Sean Galloway, and despite numerous attempts to edge my way in to chat/get a portfolio review, they were both (understandably) swamped with people doing the exact same thing as me. Did manage to snag me this Brittney Lee print though :) It was a tough call choosing between this or a mermaid print (if you know me you'd know I harbor a lifetime love of all things mermaid, thanks Disney). It's a testament to how much I miss San Francisco that I chose this one.
One of the first things we did upon arrival was go to Alina Chau's watercolor demo. She chose a model from the crowd, and thanks to my lacy, texture-y shirt, she chose me! She just happened to also choose my friend Joie Brown for her gesture sketch drawing. Aren't we special! Here's some of her beautiful work. 

I was also lucky enough to get a fast pass to the Drew Struzen panel. If you think you have no clue who Drew Struzen is, check yo'self. He's the guy who painted pretty much every illustrated movie poster/cover ever made. Think Star Wars and Indiana Jones. Basically, he's a living legend, and I got to sit through an illuminating Q&A with him. Sadly, his panel overlapped with Claire Keane's panel and Lorelay Bove's demo… Next year! 
Got in trouble for taking this pic…. worth it! 

I got to meet so many awesome people just walking around all the booths, and it was also like a mini AAU reunion with all the former classmates and teachers that I ran into. Miss those guys. Here's sampling of the many business cards I managed to snag. 
Until next year CTN! 

Monday, September 30, 2013

Cards and Con's!

I've been a busy girl. First and foremost, ART. I've been working on getting my dragon card line down in time for multiple events over the next two months, the most important one being APE! Come look for me and my cards at the AAU children's book table October 12-13 at the Concourse Convention center in SOMA, SF. I'll be selling boxed packs of thank you cards ($15) and single birthday and thank you cards ($3). Here are the two most recent cards.

In addition to the artistic frenzy, I've had a lot of exciting events happen since my last post. One being that I got a job at a paint-and-sip studio called Canvas and Cabernet, where we teach you how to paint and drink copious amounts of wine at the same time ;). So far it's a lot of fun, and I'm hoping to be able to teach there after my 30 days are up. If you're in the area, come in and sign up for a class! I also started my second new job as an art teacher for kids one night a week! 

Jobs aside, my September - November is PACKED with art events. This past week, myself and twelve other AAU students/alumni got to go to Chronicle Books Publishing ( for a tour and portfolio reviews! What an amazing opportunity that I may have never gotten otherwise, HUGE THANK YOU to my awesome former teacher/mentor Angela Dominguez (see her awesome illustrations here: for setting this up for us. The Chronicle building was AWESOME and seems like such a fun place to work, wish I could have taken pictures! Instead, here's one of my new portfolio and promo materials :)
Next was my first SCBWI San Francisco Conference! Another great learning experience, and listening to the Editor and Art Director from Chronicle and Random House, along with awesome Illustrator Melissa Sweet speak was inspirational. Also got a very helpful portfolio review from Illustrator/AAU teacher Julie Downing (check out her work here). The one picture I got is of Melissa Manlove (the editor at Chronicle who I also got to meet when we visited there) reading aloud Melissa Sweet's hilarious book "Little Red Writing". 
Last but not least, yesterday I worked at a booth at the Jelly Belly Candy Palooza Fest in Fairfield. I was invited by my director at Get Out Books Susan Pace-Koch, and had my cards for sale there. It was my first experience selling my stuff at any kind of event, and I learned a lot and hopefully made a few contacts :)

Also snagged a few sketches of some characters that were running around...

Now I get to take a much needed breather before the frenzy that will be APE in two weeks. Oh and by the way, check out my brand spankin' new website! :)

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Churnin' em' out....

Here is the website background I did for a teacher's classroom website. I really wanted to play with a more flat, graphic style for this piece. I faced some challenges with designing it around the actual website layout. I still have a lot to learn about web design, but I do like how it turned out.

Here's a screen shot of it with the website, but for some reason my computer won't let me zoom out enough to let me see all of it at once. Trials of the computer-challenged. 

Here is the first idea I had, which I realized wouldn't work with the website layout. But I kinda liked how it turned out, so here it is. Named blurred to protect the teacher's identity.

Copyright Tracie Timmer 2013, All Rights Reserved. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

One of those weeks

Not to state the obvious, but art is a bit of an outlet for me. Most of the time, cutesy, happy little animals is just what comes out when I put my pencil to paper (I blame a childhood diet of constant Disney movies). But sometimes, life kicks you in the butt, and cute, happy little animals just don't cut it.
Anyone ever have one of those weeks where you just can't catch a break? The job hunt is yielding nothing but an empty inbox and a lifetime of poverty seems imminent, you have to get two of your teeth drilled, your dog has to go to the emergency vet at 10 pm, and on top of everything, your two- year relationship ends. On your birthday. Then, finally, one day you're beginning to feel semi-normal, you're driving home from a good day in the studio, sun is shining, listening to some harmlessly empty pop radio and thinking, "Thing's are gonna be juuuust fine, you strong, self-actualized woman, you," when suddenly, out of nowhere, BAM! A familiar piano rift. No, not this song, anything but this song! I'll listen to Justin Bieber and Maroon 5 until my ears fall off, Mr. Radio God, if you will please for the love of all that is holy, spare me "Someone Like You"!!

No luck. And then the above happens. Anyone had a week like that? Err, me either...

Copyright Tracie Timmer 2013, All rights Reserved.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Cards n' things

Here are the first two versions of my in-progress card line. I'm hoping to have enough finished to make a boxed set by the time all the fall galleries and 'con's roll around. I guess I have Game of Thrones to thank for making dragons so in vogue right now, cuz they sure are fun to draw. Roar.

Copyright Tracie Timmer 2013, All Rights Reserved. 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Cuz everyone needs s'more birthday

This is my first trial at a card idea I had; it might end up being more of a practice round as we think there's too much going on for a card, but here it is nonetheless. Please forgive the ugly font: I'm working on a new PC and haven't gotten any fonts yet, so I just stuck a basic windows font in there to show what my original idea for the message was. I'm also having an acute case of excessive brain-storming lately... There's so many different directions and avenues I want to explore with my art, and I'm having a hard time organizing what I should work on first! I guess it's a good thing I'm a jobless bum right now... Lots and lots of art time! :)

© Tracie Timmer 2013, All Rights Reserved. No stealing, ya filthy animals.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Game Sim!

I've been applying to jobs like crazy, and came across an opportunity for a mobile game start up. I applied and got a very quick response saying they liked my resume and wanted me to do a game sim for them! The hypothetical game idea is for a simple 2d mobile game intended for women ages 25 - 45 where she is running from something, picking up currency, and jumping over platforms. Below is what I came up with. Had a lot of fun coming up with some of these slightly cheeky ideas!

 EHarmony Ellen has to escape her horrible first date by jumping over restaurant tables. Along the way she picks up different food items that she can throw at him.
Princess saves a Prince in distress from a dragon, while picking up arrows along the way to aid her in her quest.

 Crazy cat lady Cathy must grab all the kitties in the store while leaping over cat trees and avoiding the pet store owner!
 Work out Wendy must leap across exercise balls while picking up healthy food for points and avoiding unhealthy food that would result in negative points.
 Mall Rat Mandi must escape the security guard while grabbing as many shoplifted items as she can.
 Business Betty must jump over cubicles while running away from her boss and picking up paychecks  to get to her TGIF margarita at the end of the game.
 Wino Wilda must leap over grapevines and pick up as many grapes as she can to make her perfect glass of wine, while running away from a giant calendar that says MONDAY!
Bridezilla Barbara must leap across tiered wedding cakes and pick up as many items as she can that will make her perfect wedding, all while running from her overzealous in-laws. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Self Portrait Process Reel

What with graduating, vacationing, moving, and job hunting I've been off my artistic game the past two weeks.  I decided to jump back into it with a good old fashioned self-portrait. It's been a REALLY long time since I've done anything fine art-sy, and I forgot how much I love portrait painting! I decided to make a step-by-step, in case anyone is interested in my process. Also, big thank you to Tobin Keller for providing the awesome pro photo skillz that I used as reference. This is only the second digital portrait I've ever done, and I must say, it's soooo much easier than oils. This took about 5 hours as opposed to the 12+ hours we used to do in class. And such easy clean up! :)
 Ah the sketch phase, or I as I like to call it, the zombie eye stage. The biggest issue for me here getting my likeness down, along with the correct proportions. This stage took about an hour.
 Here I started blocking in the shadow shapes. It helped me adjust the proportions a little more accurately, but still not quite there. I'm looking both old-ladyish, and mannish. No bueno.

In this stage I began adding local color and rendering a bit. Still wasn't happy with the likeness though, after bajillions of adjustments. As artists do, I begin to despair, and briefly consider scrapping the whole thing, before soldiering on bravely to the finals stages (cue the triumphant trumpets).
More tweaking, more rendering, more fine detail, and voila! Me. Not perfect, but at least it looks like me, right? 
Things I learned from this painting.
1. Step AWAY from the computer screen, and no portrait gets hurt. 
2. I need to do something about those bags under my eyes irl.
3. The air brush is not my friend.
4. NO ZOOMING UNTIL THE VERY FINAL DETAILS. I need to hire someone to slap me every time I hit Command +.  

That's all folks! Enjoy.

©Tracie Timmer 2013, All Rights Reserved. 

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Spring Show and Graduation!

Well, I did it! I officially have a Master's of Fine Art degree. I want to give a big thank you to everyone who helped me along the way, I couldn't have done it without these wonderful people: My parent's who pushed me to take a huge risk and never doubted me for a second, my wonderful boyfriend Broc who always encourages me to push myself further than I think I'm capable and not give up on my dream, my awesome teacher and mentor Angela Dominguez who was always a great source of inspiration, motivation, and knowledge, and my friends who commiserated with me over many all-nighters, offered me super helpful and much-needed critiques, and inspired me with their amazing art. I'm lookin' at you Nicole Album, Joie Brown, Young Kim, LaryYu, Pinar Ekinci, Logan Pearsall, Alex Lee, Alice Chang, and many many more!

Another big event that happened this past week was Spring Show! I was lucky enough to snag a spot in the show among the masses of ridiculously amazing work. I'm utterly astounded at some of the work my classmates have produced, and am so grateful to be able to have a place among them! Sadly I had to miss Opening Night (not too sadly, I was in freakin' DISNEYLAND) but got to go over the weekend and snagged a few pictures. 

Getting to see my piece on display in the Palace of Fine Arts was mind-boggling to say the least. Congrats to everyone who made it in, you all are rockstars!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

FINAL Final Thesis Pieces... ALL of them this time!

So yay, I'm done! Mostly. I have to fix a couple little things and send them back to the director in three weeks, but for the most part, the review went a lot better than I thought. They said my stuff is "almost there," which was encouraging to hear. I will probably tighten up a few more things on these over the coming weeks for my portfolio, but for all intents and purposes, they're done. However, I'm always open to more critique, so if you have any suggestions, throw em' at me! I also went to the "I See What You Say" Exhibit opening at the Cartoon Art Museum in SF today, and met Lemony Snicket and Jon Klassen! Hopefully I'll have some pictures from that event up soon.

All images ©Tracie Timmer 2013, All Rights Reserved. Not intended for sale or reproduction. Images based on The Princess Bride by William Goldman.