Living in a log cabin with no running water and electricity, artist and illustrator Rebecca Stouffer of Wild Green Onion relates well to the notion of a simple life. This theme is woven into her whimsical illustrations, where she gathers inspiration from farm life and the sweet nuances of nature. We recently interviewed Rebecca on the stories and inspiration behind her work, and were equally inspired by her simplicity and ease. Welcome, Rebecca!  

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself: What got you interested in illustration and water color?

I'm primarily a self-taught artist. Growing up, I was continually drawing or making something. I lived in the country, picked berries, explored the woods, played house, made mud pies. I loved the outdoors and all the critters who made it their home.

My sketches evolved from cartoon faces into more detailed studies of what I found during my adventures. I started experimenting with pen and ink, dipping the ink nib into the bottle of ink and using the stippling technique. Right before college, I received a watercolor pencil set of 24 colors. That was the turning point for me, when I got hooked on layering colors and watching the mystery that happened when water was added. I still have that set today, but now use 72 colors.

 

Where do you gather most of the inspiration for your work?

My inspiration still comes mostly from nature. I go for long walks. There will be a tree with twisted roots that form a burrow; a shrew running every which way across the snow; a mama snowshoe hare sitting on the well platform where we go to fetch water; the humungous toad that appears from under the woodpile. Things of my daily life give the first inspiration, and then I like to add a bit of whimsy. Like a bee having a conversation with a goat. Or a rabbit sitting next to the farmer's lettuce—and the farmer. Little things like that. There is always a story within my illustrations.

 

Do you have a favorite artist?  If so, what draws you to that person’s work?

I have two watercolor artists whom I admire, both for their talent and lifestyles: Beatrix Potter and Tasha Tudor, and the way they created their own artistic worlds with animals talking, wearing clothes, living in the past. I love how they were able to captivate the viewer and draw you in to those times of long ago, both real and imaginary.

Tasha Tudor lived her life as though it was the 19th century or earlier, which I can relate to because I'm now living in a log cabin with no running water or electricity and I use a wood-burning cookstove for heat and baking/cooking.

Both of these women were gardeners, which I can also relate to. I enjoy how gardens, animals, antiques, and lifestyle are featured in their illustrations. That’s the fun part of being an artist, I think—adding those details from your daily life into your paintings. Both of these women were independent, determined, loved life and never gave up on doing what they wanted. Very inspiring!

 

Your work reflects a true love for farm life. How did that come about?

The great thing about being an artist is even if you don't have the whole farm in real life, you can paint as though you do! Right now, I have a small flock of chickens, several gardens, a recycled greenhouse and five fruit trees planted for the orchard. I am trying to live a simpler life, which is not for everybody. I enjoy planting a garden, harvesting the vegetables, and preserving them for winter. For years, I have been planting only heirloom, open-pollinated seeds for my flower and vegetable gardens, so I can then save the seed for using the next season. No GMO's here (but that's another story).

I would like to have a couple of Nubian goats for milking, a heritage breed pig and sheep, a guard donkey, perhaps bees? One step at a time. All that to say, I hope that my artwork inspires people to grow a garden and see beauty in the simple, basic things of living. And, farm animals are just too cute and hilarious; I have to paint them!

 

What, in your opinion, is the hardest step in creating your cards?

Perhaps the hardest part in creating a card or any painting is not to overthink things. I find that my best designs are when I work quickly and just have fun in the process; otherwise, the end result will look stiff. If I allow the inner child to be free, then things go pretty well. After all, sending a card to someone is like sending a gift. You're trying to express or share a certain sentiment, and that has a lot to do with the illustration, which is why I like to mostly paint in bright colors. If someone picks up my card and smiles, then I know the final product was a success.

During the holiday season, it’s tradition for many families to send out a greeting card, often with a family photo and an update on the latest family news.

But when tradition grows stale or the year’s news isn’t terribly newsworthy, some families look to other ways to send a holiday—ahem—greeting. Ironic or sincere, these ten families have bucked tradition to create holiday cards that will stand out from the crowd, to say the least.

Looking for creative holiday cards of your own? We’ve got you covered. Browse our Christmas Cards now.

 

10. Santa and his…um, reindeer. We hope.

 

9. The recent divorcee (or guy who just can’t keep a girlfriend). To laugh or cry? We’re just not sure.

 

8. Brothers in bacon suits. Is this a sick joke at the expense of the Three Little Pigs? #badform

 

7. Little Mary just learned a new way to send a greeting. Her twin sister is amused. Santa? Not so much.

 

6. Well, that’s one way to announce your pregnancy. C’mon, guys: Ever heard of oversharing?

 

5. Either this family likes to hunt, or it’s a zoo visit gone horribly wrong. Guess we know what’s in their deep-freeze now.

 

4. Sometimes, you just don’t feel like posing for a photo. Don’t force it, guys. You’re making it awkward for everyone else.

 

3. This tech-addicted family will wish you a happy holiday. Just one sec.

 

2. A Christmas greeting from heaven! Now there’s a first. 

 

1. This family has staked their claim on “The Worst Christmas Card Ever.” Sadly, we’d have to agree.

When coloring books and picture books caught the eye of young Jacqueline Adelmeyer, she knew art and illustration would be at the forefront of her future. As the founder of her own illustration business, Playful Galavant, Jacqueline takes inspiration from a host of acclaimed animators and illustrators. We’re excited to feature Jacqueline as November’s artist of the month. Welcome, Jacqueline!

Tell us a little bit about yourself: What got you interested in illustration and CG art?

I’ve always loved storytelling, character development, and art since I was a kid. I was always coloring in coloring books and looking at picture books. After studying illustration and getting a solid foundation on traditional art, I went on to study digital media and fell into the career path of being a digital artist for film and game companies. In my free time, when I’m not working on a company project, I usually develop my own stories and card illustrations. I love animals, which is evident in most of my art. 

 

Do you have an online portfolio or a blog where we can view your work?

Yes, I have multiple sources where you can view my art. I have a Facebook art page, which I use as a blog, and I update it frequently with new art. I also have a 2D website, ArtOfJacqueline.com, which doesn’t get updated as much as it should. And my 3D/CG art can can be viewed at JacquelineAdelmeyer.com.

I also have a children's book, Mila and the Magic Unicorn, in the Apple store. You can download a free sample for a peek! 

 

Do you have a favorite artist? If so, what draws you to that person’s work?

I have a lot of favorite artists! I really enjoy the art of Eyvind Earle and the work he created for Disney. I also like Aaron Blaise's art. He designs really terrific characters and was also an animator at Disney. Pascal Campion creates beautiful illustrations, I love his sense of color and lighting, and the stories that his illustrations tell at first glance.

 

Where do you gather inspiration for your art?

I gather inspiration from other art, especially for color palette and lighting. I really like making animals into characters. When I get an idea for a painting, it’s usually pretty random. For example, I’ll be out on a hike and see a cute critter and want to make it into a character. I put all my ideas on a list of paintings to do, and then when I have time, I pick one. I make it a goal to create a card for every holiday.

 

What, in your opinion, is the hardest step in creating your cards?

The hardest thing about creating cards is finding the time. Sometimes it’s hard to get started, but once I get into the groove it’s hard to get out and I don't want to stop!

We all know it: Thanksgiving Day can be a long one. While you wait for the turkey to roast or during your recovery between turkey and pie, you may want to fill the time with something besides lying on the couch and moaning loudly. We’ve collected five family-friendly, smile-worthy games from around the web that are great for your Thanksgiving crowds, family or friends, big or small.

 

5 fun Thanksgiving Day games

Thanksgiving Bingo (Flavor Wire): This version of bingo will appeal most to the snarky cynics in your crew. Flavor Wire has created four (hi-larious!) bingo cards, which participants cover as the day progresses. When you observe things like a fight over political views, a whining child, or even a drunk uncle, you’ll place a chip over that square. Best of all? The “Free Tryptophan Space” in the center.

 

The Best (The Idea Room): Who’s got the smallest shoe size? Who can eat the most marshmallows in a minute? Find the answers to these questions—and much more—when you play a raucous round of The Best. Divide your group into two teams and compete in contests that are so arbitrary and ridiculous, you can’t help but play. Now, whose thumb is the shortest?

 

Blind Turkey Artist (Creative Youth Ideas): Fluffed feathers, spindly legs, bewildered eyes: These are just a few of the things your own hand-drawn turkey may have. Gather your crew and see who can draw the best turkey—without looking! This version suggests placing a book on your head and using that as a drawing surface, but it’s just as fun to simply close your eyes. Aunt Edna, you put the beak where?

 

Parlor Games (One Kings Lane): The folks at One Kings Lane have provided this list of clever and modern twists on classic parlor games, like charades, proverbs, and the tray game, and divided them up by which room of the house your group is in. Ready to throw your smile, channel your inner diva, or exercise your memory muscle? This list is for you. 

 

Conversation Starters: Less of a game and more of an engaging way to spark (sometimes unusual!) chitchat, conversation starters are great for when you’re sitting around the table. Have your guests write a few of their own questions and draw them from a bowl, going around the table to take turns answering them. Questions can be anything you like, such as “What would you do with an extra hour in the day?”, “What are you most proud of?”, “What’s the oddest food you’ve ever eaten?”, or “What’s the most valuable thing you’ve found by accident?”

What do you get when you combine a lifelong love of art with three daughters, two dogs, and a packed mom-centric schedule? An illustration business that’s founded on passion and intuition! We’re excited to feature Kamie Rudisill as October’s artist of the month. Kamie is the owner of Dizzy Daisy Designs, where she offers original illustrations, watercolors, and hand-written lettering services. Welcome, Kamie!

Tell us a little bit about yourself: What got you interested in illustration?

I have been drawing and designing for as long as I can remember. I am mostly self-taught, with a few art classes thrown in here and there. I started my first stationery business when I was 11-years-old, Rainbow Incorporated. I would take office supplies from my dad's desk—plain paper, envelopes and Avery labels—and draw on them to make stationery, which I sold to the neighborhood kids. (Things haven't changed all that much.)

Throughout high school and college, art took the backseat, but I was always drawing and doodling, designing t-shirts, logos, posters, etc. for the various organizations in which I was involved. After college, I worked for several not-for-profit art museums, where I was the jack-of-all-trades (invitations, newsletters, logos, and the like). It was here where I started to learn the computer skills needed for designing.

Dizzy Daisy started not long after the birth of my third child (all girls), when the search for a "bouncing fairy" party invitation turned up dry. My 6-year-old suggested that I make the invitation myself.

I feel so blessed to be able to spend my days doing something that I truly love, and that I have been able to stay home with my girls. Balancing work and family is not always easy or pretty—in fact, it is often crazy and messy!—but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Where do you gather most of the inspiration for your work?

I would like to say that most of my inspiration comes from my daily crazy life with three kids, two dogs and my occasional wanderlust for travel. But the truth is, the Internet is often the first place I go; Google and Pinterest are bottomless pits of inspiration for any project.

Do you have a favorite artist? If so, what draws you to that person’s work?

My design crush is Suejean Rim. I love Sujean’s illustrations because of what I like to call her "whimsical realism” style. She draws from reality, people, places and things, and infuses a sense of fun and whimsy—not in a cutesy way, but with a hint of sophistication.

You also offer hand-written lettering. Is that a natural-born skill, or did you study hand-lettering?

I have been obsessed with handwriting since I was a little girl. I love to play with the shapes of words and letters and it just comes naturally.

What, in your opinion, is the hardest step in creating your cards?

The words! Pictures come easy for me, but words are my nemesis! That is why nearly all my cards are blank on the inside. :)

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