Thursday, December 30, 2010

Shop Your Closet: Holiday Edition!
The holidays are a time for parties and get-togethers, and those usually involve dressing up. The husband and I usually have a holiday shin-dig at our place, and I'm always happy when awesome people like my buddy Jamie can make it. While all of the ladies at the party were quite well dressed, I chose Jamie to guest-star on Shop Your Closet because it's a great way to illustrate how important personal style is.

Jamie and I go way back– to about 7th grade, and it's safe to say that even then we had very different personal styles. Over the years, as I wore everything from baggy jeans and boy's flannels to red pleather pants and corset tops, and from peace sign necklaces to spiked cuff bracelets, Jamie's style tended to stay a little more grounded.

Nowadays, when home working I'm always in a tee shirt and jeans, but I still have a more flashy style when it comes to special occasions. And while Jamie can certainly rock a cute dress, she's most comfortable in, well, comfortable clothes. Comfortable, of course, definitely doesn't have to mean boring or less stylish, which brings me to Jamie's look at the holiday party: a pair of dark skinny jeans paired with a cozy but flattering red & blue plaid flannel, and to top it all off– a great pair of tall brown riding boots. Plus, the outfit looked great with Jamie's new shorter haircut.

I usually like to buy a whole new outfit to wear for the party; however, that was not a financially sound idea this year. I went through my closet and realized I had a super-cute green silk tiered ruffle top that I got back in the summer on a super-sale from Victoria's Secret, and that it would be perfect for the holiday party. I had only worn it a few times, and I planned on dressing it up even more for the holiday party. I paired it with black linen shorts, new lace "leggings" (there's that shorts in winter look again!) and of course, my favorite shoes: my grey Jeffrey Campbell booties. So I only bought one new piece of clothing for the party, and it's a very versatile piece.

So the lesson for today is: whether your style is extravagant or classic, make sure you're comfortable in your clothes, and you'll look great! (Unless you're a man wearing "jeggings". Even if it feels good, don't do it.)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Xmas & Happy Holidays!Just a quick note to say Merry Christmas!
May your holiday be warm & bright,even when it's cold & dark.

Peace & Love,
erin (and tom)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Kitty Pryde Kicks Ass!
So, I haven't posted in a while, due to holiday craziness and feeling under-the-weather, but I did want to post the finished drawing for my new Kitty Pryde painting– whoo hoo! I'm super-psyched to paint this– and I've gotta do my next Zodiac piece, and another Shop Your Closet post and bake that apple crumb pie, and wrap those presents, and make those brussels sprouts...and...and...

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Shop Your Closet: Guest-Starring Caitlin!

When I married the wonderful Tom Valente, I not only got a great husband, I got his great family, too! And the best part is, after always being the youngest (of three brothers, of all first-cousins) I finally had two younger sisters. Okay, Vanessa is only 6 months younger than me and is definitely more mature than me, but Caitlin is 12 years younger than me. Whoo hoo! Someone to torture and boss around as had been done to me as a child! Except that Caitlin is a super-cool kid and we get along great. Oh, well. I guess I'll have to save the torture for my future children. Anyway, now that Caitlin is growing up, she's getting more sure of her personal style, and I have to say, I approve!

One of the trends I like right now is the shorts-with-tights look, and it's a great way to Shop Your Closet, since you can keep wearing your shorts in a new way for another season. I have a cute pair of trouser-like tailored shorts that are off-black with golden pinstripes. Last year I found a really cute tee at the Brooklyn Flea that's black with a sparkly gold silkscreen of an cartoon child and panda on a rocket (awesome, right?). I cut a wide neck and cap sleeves on the standard box tee to give it a better shape. Add fishnets and my old brown motorcycle boots and bam! you've got a cute fall/winter outfit.

Caitlin's look is also a cool trend right now–the romper–another all-season pick, because as fun as it is in the summer with cute sandals, it's pretty awesome how Caitlin wore it this Fall. She paired her dark grey/black romper with a white ribbed tank, sheer dark hose, light grey leg warmers (another fave of mine) and awesome super-shiny patent leather heels. Perfect! I'm looking forward to seeing what new outfits Cait comes up with, and I'm sure she'll be guest-starring on Shop Your Closet again soon.

*Disclaimer: while I draw myself much skinnier and prettier than I am in real life, I assure you that Caitlin is more beautiful than my drawings of her. ;)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Happy first day of Sagittarius! This piece was a lot of fun, especially the sequined Native American-inspired shirt. Sagittarians are said to be optimistic, good-humored, moral, honest, straightforward, intellectual and philosophical. On the not-so-great side they can be impatient, boastful, blindly optimistic and tactless.
Yesterday was my mom's birthday, so while technically she was a Scorpio, those on the cusp of the change in signs are known to take on some traits of the sign coming before or after them. I wish I could show her this, since I think she would have said it was beautiful; she always said all of my work was beautiful...I guess that was either honesty or blind optimism. Either way, I was always happy to hear it.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Zodiac Series: Sagittarius Sketch
Here's my sketch for the latest piece in my Zodiac series. From here on I will be doing the pieces as the signs are coming up, and Sagittarius is the sign that falls from November 23rd – December 21st. Sagittarius is a fire sign and the symbol associated with it is the archer. Can't wait to paint!

Monday, November 08, 2010

...Ms. Selina Kyle, aka Catwoman, is very content with herself after a hard night's work collecting some shiny, sparkly baubles. Not to mention getting home safe to her kittens after a run-in with a nasty Bat. ;)

Thursday, November 04, 2010

This is the sketch for my new Catwoman piece, which will be completed by this weekend, and you can grab (but not steal!) your very own print of it at KING CON Brooklyn! Hope to see you there, hepcats and cool kittens!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Zodiac Series: Taurus
Taurus is the second of the Sun Signs and it's the first associated with the element Earth. You are a Taurus if your birthday falls between April 20th to May 21st. Those born under the sign are generally described as being determined, slow, sensual, stubborn, romantic, artistic, loyal, materialistic, practical, and most importantly: appreciators of beauty, taste and touch. Taurus is also associated with the Emerald. Being a Taurus myself, I can say I definitely buy into the description...both the good and bad qualities, of course!

This is just the first of a complete series of Zodiac paintings that will be available for purchase soon as greeting cards. So, what's your sign?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Vive la France!Charles-François Lebœuf, Eurydice Mourante

Pierre Legros, L'Automne

View of the cat at my feet, cafe on the Mediterranean.

View of Notre Dame from the banks of the Seine.

I've been a little absent from the interwebs of late, but for a very good reason: I just went on an amazing trip to France with my husband! A friend of ours currently has an address in the City of Lights and she and her boyfriend generously offered us an air-mattress, maps, milk & cookies and their company during our visit. Of course, when traveling things don't always go according to plan, which is part of the adventure. My husband and I had grand plans for doing lots of artwork on this trip. We packed sketchbooks, pencil cases, new watercolor moleskin pads, palettes and brushes. And...we barely used any of it! It was our first trip to Europe, and we definitely underestimated how tiring it would be.

After some delays (thanks, American Airlines!) we got to Paris, and got settled in at my friends' place (i.e. took up all the space in their studio apartment). We toured the city by boat ride on the Seine, saw the Eiffel Tower up close, went to the Louvre, spent a day at Versailles, wandered the Marais and visited Notre Dame over four days. Then we took a three hour train ride to Marseille, where we stayed at a little B & B on the outskirts of the city. We took it easy the first day there; then we went into the city and trekked up to the highest point (another Notre Dame) for a 360º view; the next day we hiked the calanques (large limestone fjord-like cliffs) and took a dip in the Mediterranean; then we trained it back to Paris. In Paris once again we went to the Musée d'Orsay, the Louvre a second time (to sketch, finally!), saw Les Halles, did some shopping, went to Montmartre and saw Sacre Couer, grabbed macarons at the oldest Ladurée, strolled the Marais again, had a picnic on the Seine, went to a British pub and saw a real, live French bar fight, all in another four days in Paris.

In conclusion, unseasoned travelers that we are, we had a lot to learn about traveling Europe, and learn we did! For example:

• every French girl owns at least one striped shirt and loves wearing it.
• everyone does walk around carrying baguettes.
• men do say "ooh-la-la" on the street.
• most Parisiennes do have an effortless sense of style...
• and even their graffiti is neat.
• an urban public transport system actually can run on time! (and now a big F-U to the MTA)
• yes, you actually do need to make reservations for dinner before your trip...every interesting restaurant is booked every night...
• however, standard brasseries and bistros may not be exciting, but they know how to cook food well.
• unsurprisingly, New York is considered very cool...
• surprisingly, comic books and super-heroes are, too.
• the French love terrible pop music.
• everyone is friendly and helpful, as long as you are polite, too...weird, huh?

Now, back to Brooklyn living, which really is pretty cool.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Zodiac Series
One of my next projects will be a series of Zodiac pin-ups, done as vignette-style paintings. I'm doing this project for a few reasons: I love drawing and painting sexy girls with a twist, I get a kick out of the Zodiac and horoscopes (maybe because, as any of my friends or family could tell you, I am *slightly* bull-headed and I just so happen to be a Taurus) and it requires research on animals, nature and fashion.

Sounds good until I start my next musician/band illustration...will it be Peaches, of Montreal, Die Antwoord...or perhaps something a little more classic, like Springsteen, Bowie or the Clash? I dunno, but in the meantime, check your horoscope!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Dead Weather

I am happy to finally present my illustration of Jack White & Allison Mosshart, aka "Baby Ruthless" of the Dead Weather. This was a ton of fun to work on, since it was inspired by an awesome, hard-rocking band and two performers with tons of stage presence and charisma. I've had the pleasure of seeing the Dead Weather twice now, recently right in my backyard of Prospect Park, and they don't disappoint.

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Crucible
Recently (okay, over 6 months ago) I did a project for SparkNotes, which is kind of like the Cliff's Notes I remember, but more hip, and I was just informed that the project is now live on the website! SparkNotes is so hip, in fact, that they are now creating Video SparkNotes, to make studying "faster, prettier and sound-ier". I was asked to create illustrations for the Video SparkNote for Arthur Miller's classic play The Crucible. It was a lot of fun to work on, even if I had more than a thousand things going on at the time. I hope to work on more Video SparkNotes in the future– you know, to help the kids with the "book-learnin".

Check out the video here, and take a look at my 5 favorite pieces out of the 30 illustrations that I did below:

Friday, August 27, 2010

Sneak Peak! The Dead Weather
This piece has been a long time coming, but it got put on hold for a bit with summer traveling, etc. I've still got a little more to go, but I'm really psyched about this one so I thought I'd share a sneak peak with you. It's an illustration of Jack White and Allison Mosshart of the Dead Weather, who my husband and I have seen live twice, recently in Prospect Park. Rock 'n' Roll!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Wow! I haven't blogged in a while. That's pretty lame, but what isn't lame is randomly happening upon a decent movie on TV, especially when you only get 12 channels! I happened upon The Fifth Element on TV the other day and I was psyched. It's such a fun sci-fi/action movie, and it's really visually interesting. So of course, I had to draw Leeloo, the beautiful and kooky "perfect being" (played by Milla Jovovich) that Bruce Willis' character can't help but fall in love with.
The funny thing is, the movie did predict some future (albeit only about 10 years into the future) fashion trends, such as gold lame leggings, neon colors, and crop tops— all of which have been coming back into fashion to some degree lately...for better or worse.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Shop Your Closet! Special Guest Edition!It's another edition of "Shop Your Closet", and it's a special guest edition, featuring my buddy Anna. We recently got together for our friends Rob & Michelle's going away send-off, and I decided to wear an item I've never worn before, even though I've had it for a couple of years!

It's a super-cute Mexican dress that I got at, of all places, Disney World. It's bright red with white flower embroidery, but worn by itself it's a little but too "abuela" for going out to a hip bar, so I put one of my many American Apparel jersey scarves to use and wrapped it around my hips to add a little more shape to the dress. The bright turquoise scarf looked killer against the red and white of the dress. And I had the perfect necklace to match– a really cool turquoise resin "invisible" necklace my hubby Tom had gotten me as a Valentine's Day gift from the MoMA store. Add casual leather flip-flops and I was ready for margaritas outside.

My friend Anna works in the fashion industry, and she's always looking cute. That night was the first time I saw her new bleach-blond 'do, and it looked great with her cropped cut. I'm sure some details of her outfit are off, but from what I remember she had on a cute strapless maxi dress in an orangey-red with an off-white pattern. She wore a white crochet vest over the dress and a brown belt cinching the vest at the waist. The new 'do and the breezy summery outfit Anna had on were also perfect for drinking outside on a hot summer night, and saying farewell to good friends.

So if you have something in your closet you've never worn– get it on! You just might get a few compliments.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Wonder Woman!
Everyone's buzzing about the new Wonder Woman costume, but have to say, I'm not crazy about it. So here's my version of a Wonder Woman redesign. Okay, so this actually isn't much of a redesign, more like an adaptation or modernization of the current costume– which is how I feel it should be. Wonder Woman is an icon. Regardless of how "silly" or non-functional her costume is, she's been an icon for so long, I don't think it's possible to completely change her look and still have the same effect.

I think we have to keep the eagle/WW breastplate; it just fits so naturally and nicely over Diana's endowments! I think the star granny-panties do have to go, but I don't think pants are the answer, either; everyone wears pants...a superhero shouldn't look like every girl out there wearing leggings or skinny jeans– or heaven forbid– "jeggings". So, hot-shorts to the rescue! Low-cut and very short, in a dark navy. Add a white belt with a gold star belt buckle and you have some nice shapes and colors breaking up the form. And what powerful woman with strong, thick legs wouldn't look amazing in hot-shorts + over-the-knee boots? But just so they're not too ordinary, keep the red with white stripe color scheme. I see no need at all to change the bracelets– they are sweet. I did think the star tiara was a little on the silly side, but she is a princess, right? How about a call back to her regal Greek roots with a golden Grecian headband? Add a golden lasso and we're done!

Simple, I know, but when it comes to an icon, there's only so much we can do!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Roaring Vamps
So it's been a while since my last post (my bad!) but I'm coming back in style with a sketch of Pearl from the new Vertigo series American Vampire. So far it's a pretty cool story, with cowboy outlaws, Hollywood damsels, old-world Euro-trash and good amounts of bloody gore. Something for everyone! The art by Rafael Albuquerque is pretty awesome, as well.
I certainly love 1920's style (my wedding dress was by Jenny Packham :) so it was lots of fun to come up with an outfit for Pearl. I'm sure I'll be drawing more of her in the future.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Shop Your Closet!I love to shop for clothes (as long as it's not too crowded!) but since I need to save money for bigger and better things, I'm going to have to shop my closet for a while. Which is okay, because I have a lot of clothes I really do love. Above are a few sketches of my favorite outfits.

The left ensemble is an outfit I recently got from Uniqlo and I wore it out for my birthday this year. It was my first time at Uniqlo and I loved it! I got an awesome tribal printed tunic with ruched sides and semi-shiny black leggings with gold zippers at the ankle. I wore beautiful antique gold and black gem earrings by La Vie Parisienne and a chunky emerald green gem and gold chain necklace sold by Guru at the Brooklyn Flea. I used my grey coach wristlet (a gift from my sister-in-law) which is a great bag because it goes with everything I wear, practically. And maybe my favorite part of the whole outfit was my MaryRoks shoes by Jeffrey Campbell in grey suede! Love them!
The center outfit is a lot simpler, but super cute and comfy. The top is a really interesting ruffled bubble tank from Victoria's Secret (on sale, of course) and the bottom is a acid wash grey denim mini from Uniqlo. I love the contrast of the really feminine top with the slightly edgier skirt. The top is great too because it has a built in bra– ladies, you know you love that. I wore this with my Natural Comfort gold platform sandals I got a few years ago, and another great pair of antique gold earrings from La Vie Parisienne.
The right look is an outfit I got from Forever 21 a couple seasons back. I loved the top the minute I saw it because the stripes and colors really reminded me of the beach. I think it also reminds me of one of my mother's tops from when I was a kid. I also love the back because it has a V neck, which shows off the tattoo on my back, and a there's little sliver that shows a peak of the lower back, which is pretty hot. The shorts are standard dark denim bermudas, which are great because they're classic and I'm not really one for short-shorts (on me, anyway!). I usually wear white lattice-work style earrings with this outfit to complete the beachy look.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

The Future is Sexy...Who doesn't love green alien babes and cocky-yet-goofy space captains? I know I do!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Sketch Mondays: It's Hot in NYC!No day off for me! ;) Another ice cream-themed sketch for your viewing pleasure. Maybe I need to get myself a creamsicle. Happy start of summer, everyone!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Ice Cream Season Has Begun!
Just a quick sketch to celebrate the kick-off of summer! Hope you are enjoying the beach, a park, your yard, or at least an ice cream cone this weekend!

Monday, May 24, 2010

LOST is actually over– I can hardly believe it! Here is a quick copic marker and pitt pen sketch in honor of the finale, which I loved. I know a lot of people probably didn't like it, but I thought is was a really beautiful goodbye to some of the most memorable characters ever on television. And of course, the story centered on Jack, who was official protector of the island only for a short time, but that short time had a huge impact. And a special note to all the complainers: please try and think of another recent piece of fiction that had you so moved, so interested and so stimulated for so long. That's extremely rare, and as a creative pro myself, I hope to achieve even a fraction of what LOST has done in the future. If the finale didn't fit your list of questions to be answered, or your specified number of fight scenes– give it a break and try writing your own perfect show! I'm going to be enjoying LOST on DVD.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Sketch Mondays!

So, I've been neglecting the blog for a bit. Busy with the yard, family, business etc. But in an effort to be more consistent with blogging, I present to you all "Sketch Mondays"! I will be posting a sketch, whether it's just pencil rough, or a more finished Copic marker & Pitt pen character study [such as Snowbird here], every Monday for sure, and hopefully in-between Mondays as well. Let me know whatcha think!
Snowbird is a Marvel comics superhero and a member of the group Alpha Flight. I grew up perusing my older brothers comics, and Alpha Flight was a book that was always around. I guess I took to Snowbird because she's a pretty girl who can turn into cool animals, like snow owls, foxes or polar bears. I just read the Wikipedia page on her and found her origin story completely convoluted (not surprising!) so I won't even try to get into it. But she is sort-of Native American, I think, so I tried to give her features a very slight Native look.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Foodie Buttons!
I recently created these new buttons for Whole Foods Market Chelsea Team Members to celebrate Team Member Appreciation Week. Each Team Member's name was placed in the center of the button. Don't worry– this is not the only thing done for the Team Members– there was food, massages, gifts and, oddly enough, karaoke. The people I spoke with really did seem to enjoy their new buttons, and that's pretty cool. They were fun to make of course, since I love food. My favorites are the sushi and the avocado. Pop quiz– the one on the top right may look like cake, but it ain't– what foodie item is it?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Paris Chic

I haven't been posting too much lately, because I've been working hard at a nice, big freelance project, which I'll post about in a few weeks. But recently I was able to do a really fun piece promoting La Vie Parisienne Nouveau and Deco-inspired jewelry for Whole Body at Whole Foods Market Chelsea. This jewelry is amazing– so elegant and interesting– and I wanted to create some really stand-out signage for it.

As much as I enjoy doing full-color work, I would often find that there would be a little nuance from the original sketch that was missing from the finished product, so I've been experimenting with layering some of my sketches into the finished paintings/color work, and so far I like the results. I am also continuing to use vector art in my illustrations, which I enjoy doing, to switch it up.

So, if you know a girl who loves shiny, sparkly things (that's most of us), get some of La Vie Parisienne's gorgeous jewelry for her, at Whole Body at Whole Foods Market, Chelsea. I may have to get a pair (or two) of the earrings myself to get me all set for my trip to Paris this Fall!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Year of the Tiger!This Sunday is Valentine's Day, but it also happens to be the Lantern Festival, the last day of the Chinese New Year celebrations. And it's the Year of the Tiger– and who can deny that tigers are super-cool? That's right, no one. This sketch was done with ink and copic markers.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Sneak Peek!
Sneak peek of my sexy sci-fi painting. Now working digitally...can't wait to get it done!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Tee Shirt!I recently designed a tee shirt for the winter season at Whole Foods Market Chelsea. I got my hands on a shirt today and they came out great! The colors are pretty different, which I was prepared for, and while I do like the colors on my original art, I think they look a little more wintery on the shirt.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Sexy Space Cadets!Here's the preliminary sketch for my next piece, a sexy alien babe and a studly space captain. (A tribute to my love of Star Trek, Star Wars, Futurama, X-Men, etc., born from growing up with three nerdy older brothers.) I'm working on the sweet alien-planet background now. Can't wait to start color! This is going to be a really fun one.