The Nutcracker Ballet Pattern | Rhode Island Graphic Designer

It’s no secret when you look through my work you are going to see a LOT of ballet! I think that when you combine passions not only do you enjoy your work and the process, but you get the best results. If there are any ballet companies out there looking for a graphic designer/ photographer *wink wink* I’m your girl!

When I got an email from one of my favorite companies, Boston Ballet, was looking for a pattern design for their Nutcracker scarf I was ready to go! Amidst being swamped with freelance work and wedding photography right now, and looking for that perfect full time job (a.k.a. a Unicorn) I settled down for a few hours and painted some Sugar Plumb’s, Nutcrackers and of course the famous bear! If my design isn’t chosen, I will probably tweak it a little and then add it to my shop. There were so many good submissions, cheers to all the artists I can’t wait to see which design wins!

aheaney_nutcracker

 

Fine Art Painting and Design Process | Hand Painted Ukulele Art

Hawaiian Owl

It started with a painting and my passion for playing the ukulele!

One day while practicing, I thought my older uke looked kind of dull. It was a cheaper model I had purchased before knowing how much I would fall in love with the instrument and want to continue developing my skills. I thought, what would be more beautiful than a Hawaiian painted ukulele?! Beside that, the Barn Owl is one of only TWO native owls to Hawaii and would make a perfect accomplice to my floral instrument. I started by giving the painting (above) a go on canvas, to get color palates and ideas down. With the painting being a success, I carefully moved it over to my uke by first sketching out and laying down the design.

Stay “tuned” this week for the finished project and official photos (and maybe a short video of some music)!

You Can’t be Both |Rhode Island Graphic Designer and Photographer

I’ll never forget the laughter and look of shock and horror that my design professor gave me as she said these words to me:

“Oh honey, you can’t be both! You need to choose!”

This was during my senior thesis critique, which encompasses design and photography on the topic of “Typography and Circus Posters”.

I started photography before I went to finish my degree in graphic design. I didn’t actually fall in love with it until my senior year of college while working with clients and comparing artistic shoots. I also worked as a second shooter for my friend who did weddings, dreaming of being a lead some day.

I also love art and design, from drawing and painting, to digital art and lettering and traditional design work. Not all aspects of being a designer in the corporate world are glamorous, a lot of it is editing other people’s files, copy and pasting, using templates, using stock illustration and photography instead of making your own, and just a touch of being able to put your own spin on things. It’s wonderful to be able to work with a team of like-minded and career driven people though, something I have yet to find in a company job. As a freelance designer I have found joy in my job, collaboration, and thriving off of our team. I do honestly love my career path when I get to work creatively and utilize my illustration and design skills! When I work on an illustration project, it’s like time flies. I’m consumed in ideas, creativity, and my passion drives me to work harder!

Then there’s my growing wedding photography and calligraphy business: I photograph weddings, engagements, dancers (did I mention I do that too!?) and artistic portraits. I also address envelopes, design invitations and write out wedding signage, escort cards, place cards, etc. as a hand lettering designer and calligrapher, and I’m growing and becoming more successful for every year that goes by!

I think having multiple talents that harmoniously work together is a great thing! It gives plenty of options and offerings to clients and employers alike. Bringing someone down by mocking their dreams and ambitions is not a healthy way to educate. I always tell people they can be anything they want, it’s never too late and no dream is too big!

This comes from the designer/ illustrator/ artists / dancer/ photographer/ calligrapher herself!

Cheers to creating!

And keep dreaming BIG!

Alicia

New iPad Pro | Digital Painting!

I’ve been dying to get my hands on an iPad Pro for ages to be able to paint and draw (in bed, not going to lie haha) without having to lug around sketchbooks, paints, pencils, etc. so many illustrators swear by the iPad Pro to create content and even full works of art. So after plenty of research, I finally got the 12.9″ iPad and the Apple Pencil! Much of the first things I’ll be creating will be complete expieriments as I play with the programs like Procreate, 53 Paper and Photoshop Sketch which are my favorites so far. The pencils and inking in Procreate are awesome!!! The only struggle I’ve had so far (besides wobbly lines) is blending and retrieving previously used colors, but I’m blaming most of this on operator error. If anyone knows and good places for tutorials on iPad illustration and hacks, please let me know! Here’s my first painting!

Ballet Dancer

It’s probably not the best, but much better than anything I did on my iPad mini! Since dancers and flowers are some of my favorite subject matters, expect to see plenty of those in the future. I’m excited to see where I can take my illustration now and plan on selling designs in my Society 6 store and Etsy so stay tuned!

Stay Creative!

Alicia

The Wise Owl | Wildlife Illustration

The wisdom of the owl is a legend dating back to the Greco-Roman era and the reference seems to be made in popular culture quite often. Not only are these beautiful creatures known to be wise, but are often misunderstood as well, because they are nocturnal and live in the dark, they have been associated with witchcraft and black magic. I mean who has ever watched a movie and someone is lost in the ominous woods with the tell tale owl hooting and the character is either afraid or foreshadowing shows something bad about to happen. Owls have also been associated with bad luck and bad omens. I don’t believe any of the bad things said about owls because I enjoy photographing, drawing and watching them! The association reminds us that sometimes things are not what they seem and if you are kind to the owl she will share her wisdom and beauty with you as everyone thrives together.

To err is human, but to find a solution is wise like the owl.

owl-illustration-01owl-face-01owlie_sunset

 

Handmade for the Holidays

For anyone (like all of us starving artists here!) who don’t have a ton of cash to spend this season, and spend a lot of time stressing over what to get your family and friends for the holidays….don’t!

Crafty-ness to the rescue! There are a TON of great things you can make for your loved ones that will be meaningful, come from the heart and won’t break the bank.

Here’s how:

  1. Think of who you are gifting. What do they love? What are their hobbies and passions? My mom and her boyfriend are ballroom dancers, they love to travel, and my mom loves lighthouses and sailboats, so a few years ago I made them this painting of them ballroom dancing by the sea!
    acrylic-painting-sunset-dancers

2. It’s all about family! This is the season where you will see family and friends, eat lot of food, drink lots of wine, and be merry, not worry about your budget and if they will be disappointed if you don’t buy a gift. You can create perfect gifts for family, ABOUT family. Last year I made mini albums for my step-mom, Mémère, and sister of all of my nephews birthday photos for a whopping total of $18. Three people covered for $18! Win!

3. What would they enjoy? Maybe they aren’t enjoyers of any particular hobby or have any crazy passions (as a dancer, I get little ballerinas all the time, I’m easy to buy for!) but what would they enjoy? I did little mini paintings for my mom and sister last year of owls. Are they obsessed with owls like me? Nope, but they loved them anyway.
handmade-for-the-holiday

4. What are YOU good at? This is the perfect time to put your crafty skills to work, and if you don’t have one the perfect time to learn! Maybe you’ve always wanted to take up knitting, painting, calligraphy or floral decoration. Learn something new, and apply it to gifts that will be treasured because they were made with care and not bought. My Aunt even makes me amazing hand kit scarves, mittens and leg warmers every year!

And finally, remember no matter what, your family and friends will still love you if you don’t come down the chimney with a sack full of gifts. Use this time to expand your horizons, learn something new, and see their faces light up when you give them something handmade.


This years gift to my barista friend!


A custom painting for my airplane loving nephew

Happy crafting!

Alicia

 

Conceptual Beauty

This is the image that sparked this blog:

storm-dance-ii

For more of my fine art photo work check out http://www.aliciaannphoto.com/fine-art-photo/

Thanks for reading!

Alicia

Harry Potter Design Challenge!

Trying to keep my workflow coming in and my skills sharp, what better way to do that than to illustrate Harry Potter characters! This series has enchanted me since I was a teenager and the stories never get old. Here are my first three illustrations I have done in the challenge and they are Hedwig, Draco Malfoy and Padma and Parvati Patil! I want to start to lean some digital painting and strengthen my vector illustration skills with these characters. Right now the characters are being designed to reflect year 1 at Hogwarts, during Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone.

I’m still in the process of finding my illustrative “style”so it will be interesting to see it evolve!

All the Beautiful Things

Hello!! This is my first blog post about my art, so let me introduce myself! My name is Alicia, and I am an artist and photographer residing in beautiful Rhode Island. Much of my art is inspired by nature, it’s animal inhabitants and the ocean. Growing up minutes from the beach, it was always a huge influence and way of relaxing when I was stressed.
Art, to myself and many others, is about encouraging emotion. Step outside and take a look around you….no, really, look! What do you see and hear? The sound of birds, the crashing of the waves, the wind through the trees, people passing by, each one with a unique and hidden story to tell. This is what ignites my passion for art and creating!

I started drawing and painting as a child, and my love of photography grew from that while in school. My work is inspired by nature, wildlife, tranquility, and artistic expression of dance and yoga. I create because I want to share all of these things that inspire me, with other people. When someone looks at my work, I want them to feel like they are there, surrounded by natures beauty. We spend too much time indoors stuck in offices, and I create to break free from that!
So embrace it! Captivate your senses, feel that ocean breeze, look for that owl high in the tree, feel the tranquility of lakeside yoga. Because life is a journey, too beautiful to miss.
And that is what I hope to bring to my viewers with my art!
Alicia