A Few of Our Favorite Things: KR’s Skillshare Teachers

About a year ago, I was struggling to stay creative outside of work. I had a million ideas of what I wanted to do but needed to hone it in and get to work. I believe strongly that my maker side contributes to my design skills at work. A co-worker recommended Skillshare. I signed up for free trial. After forgetting to cancel, the trial membership became a year long membership. Skillshare is an amazing creative community. Each class has a project section so you can share your work and see what others are doing. For me, it has become an On Demand binge-worthy hide out. There are three teachers that I follow on Skillshare that are my current favorites.
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Music and Productivity at work

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Harry Campbell – Artist Portfolio

Do you swear by that 90’s R&B Pandora station as your work playlist, or do you prefer silence to hone in on your projects? Whatever your music taste, there are theories that link music with productivity—depending on the task at hand.
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Getting to Know the Locals: Cassie Genc

the last traveler portrait

I had the great opportunity of talking with Cassie Genc, a local Milwaukee illustrator living in the Bayview area. Her work is full of whimsy, wonder, and robots. I have looked up to Cassie as an artist for many years and have always appreciated her use of vibrant colors and attention to detail. The pieces she creates transport to magical other worlds that leave you thirsting for further exploration into her work.
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The making of a mural, in chalk

Day 1: Setting the scene
One of my first assignments at Composure was to create a wall mural. It was the largest piece of artwork I’ve ever done. It was slightly intimidating at first, but I was ready to take on the challenge. Here’s a behind the scenes look at creating my first chalk wall mural!

First, you must do the research. Pulling inspiration pieces is not only a great way to get your creative juices flowing, but helps create a starting point for what will become the finished work. As an inspiration point, I began to gather pieces from past projects, a wide mix of different works. I wanted to incorporate designs from all different clients and find a way to integrate them all together.

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Creating a cohesive layout is like solving a puzzle. You start out with individual pieces and begin to find which pieces fit together, which pieces don’t.

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Cast of Characters

Portraits have always been about more than ink and paint to me. Part of what sparked my interest in them was finding ways to show the idiosyncrasies of the people around me. Things like the curve of a nose or how someone’s chin sits against their cheek, or in this instance, how much they really do look like their pet.

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A Few of Our Favorite Things: LL’s Illustrators

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Jim Madsen

http://www.shannonassociates.com/artist/jimmadsen

Madson has been illustrating for the past 15 years, and has 75 illustrated books to show for it! His work has a soft, dreamlike quality. He uses subtle humor which brings charm to a lot of his pieces. There’s warmth through his color palette that helps create a sort of comfort to the characters he constructs. I really enjoy his work, and he is fantastic to work with.

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A Few of our Favorite Things: LL’s Illustrated Children’s Books

oliver_jeffers

The Great Paper Caper by Oliver Jeffers

Described by Oliver Jeffers as “A thrilling tale of mystery, crime, alibis, paper planes, and a bear who wanted to win.” This book is illustrated beautifully through humor, Jeffers ‘childlike’ type and lovable characters. I love the animals stick figure legs and the sky always changing bold colors. It was nearly impossible for me to choose a favorite among Jeffers books-so I must cheat my “3” favorites list here and mention two more titles by Jeffers, The Incredible Book Eating Boy and This Moose Belongs to Me. Though lets be honest, they are all great!

Purchase here!

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A Few of Our Favorite Things: KR’s Type Artists

Christopher WoolChristopher Wool

Wool is an American artist famous for his black and white stenciled letter word paintings, Wool forms words and phrases in a grid style that breaks typography and word pattern rules, removing space, punctuation and vowels leaving the viewer to make sense of it. Known also for his abstract work, Wool pushes the limits of painting using of a variety of mediums and tools for mark-making. I am inspired by his ability to move beyond the standard rules and create art that grabs your attention and requires thought to decipher the work.

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Inspiration at Work

Inspiration is all around us every day. It may be something as simple as a pattern we see or something more complex and integrated. Inspiration can strike at any time, and we don’t often realize how it is affecting our work. How do you keep your creative juices flowing? Lets take a look at a few things that can help.

I know when I first heard people tell me this; I had no idea what they were talking about. Once I understood that designing in a vacuum was like designing in the dark, it all made sense. Designing without inspiration (or vision) IS designing in a vacuum.

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