VIDEO July Vlog + Studio Tour

Where did July go?? It’s been a crazy summer so far, but I’ve really been enjoying myself and getting tons of work done! In this video I’ll share what I’ve been up to, and a brief tour of my workspace!


30 Day Challenge Wk 2: March of OCs



I’m pretty proud of having made it half way in this challenge! These gouache paintings are the highlights of my days, and I just enjoy them so much! I’m looking forward to having all 30 at the end of the month.

My goal for the second half of this challenge is to really get into bold, bright colors. I love the soft, gentle pastels, but gouache looks sooooo rich when it’s at “full power”! So here’s hoping I can muster the courage to turn it up a notch (or 10 ha ha!)

VIDEO Gouache Timelapse | Lefores


Here’s another gouache painting! I enjoyed the blue-ish hair in the last post, so I decided to do again for this fella! He was originally (back in 2000) blonde, but whatever!

For my next video, I will finally break away from the soft pastel colors! I was nervous, but I think I pulled it off. Make sure you follow me so you can see it when it goes up!


Do you like these shorter videos with just music, or do you prefer the longer ones with talking?

OR should I do short ones with talking? Hmmm???

30 Day Challenge Wk 1: March of OCs




Can you believe it’s the 3rd month of 2018?? January and February seemed to slip by so fast! Here in Illinois, I’m watching the incredibly insane weather shift from snow to sun to rain and back all in the course of a single day. So crazy and unpredictable! Just to play it safe, I’ll spend my free time inside painting.

One of my resolutions for 2018 was to really step up my color work… meaning make colored work period. Specifically, I want to really get better at painting with gouache, so I decided to give myself a 30 day challenge for the month: 30 gouache studies of my very own OCs!

What is an OC, you ask?
An OC is internet shorthand for Original Character. These are fictional folks (new hashtag?) who exist in the imaginations of writers and artists alike. I’ve been inventing OCs since very young age, so for this month I’m taking a walk down Pretend Memory Lane and revisiting some of the characters I love most.

And yes, there are 31 days in March. But I’m giving myself 1 free day just because I’m nice like that! If you decide to draw or paint your characters, I’d love to see them! Use the hashtag #MarchofOCs on Instagram so I can check them out!

VIDEO Colored Inks and Artistic Fear

Well I did it! I finally produced a new YouTube video! I felt that an appropriate topic would be fear of failure… since that’s the main reason I haven’t produced a video till now! Please check out the video, and leave a comment with any suggestions for improvements or future topics!

Don’t Put Up Your Open Sign First

Taking little steps has never been a strength of mine. I’m a brainstorming, big picture, grand scheme type of gal. I prefer to immediately leap into action rather than plan or inch forward. When I approach a new project, I love developing the brand and marketing approach… actually developing content behind the scenes? Much less glamorous. Not enough of the ol’ razzle dazzle.

Continue reading “Don’t Put Up Your Open Sign First”

5 Reasons to Get a Hobby

In the day to day busyness of work, school, and family, it can be quite a challenge to find the almost-mythical “Me Time.” For many of us, when we do find “Me Time”, we dread the idea of filling it; after all, it’s supposed to be time to wind down and do nothing, right? Better yet: that’s what Netflix is for!

However, in my personal experience, I’ve realized that this “do nothing” is a numbing practice. We aren’t necessarily refreshing our minds or recharging our mental/emotional energy. We’re just clicking mute on everything. In some instances, I think this method is totally fine. But if you really want to get the most out of your downtime, I suggest taking up a hobby! And here are 5 reasons:

  1. Purpose without pressure

    Pressure makes a huge difference in we react to a variety of situations. For example, when we prepare dinner for ourselves, our expectations might be rather low (it’s mostly cooked, it’s fine) compared to when we are preparing dinner for a guest. When other people are invited to be our “judges”, a small (or great) amount of pressure sets in and adds anxiety to the experience.
    With a hobby, your guest (or audience) is simply yourself. You can relax, set your own standards, and perhaps ignore negative feedback altogether. It isn’t about impressing anyone, but simply about entertaining and engaging your own heart and mind.

  2. Recharge your batteries

    Whether or not you love your job, if you’re giving 100% everyday (heck, even 75-80%), you’re burning up a lot of energy. While a hobby may seem like just one more thing to add to your already gargantuan to-do list, it shouldn’t be! An ideal hobby isn’t a chore or a mandatory task: it’s like taking a mental breath and letting it out slowly. It’s an activity that either allows your brain to relax or stretch muscles that don’t get used at work.
    For example, if your work is physically demanding, but your mind doesn’t feel stimulated, you may take up some kind of intellectual puzzle solving, or creative endeavors that make you think outside the box. If your job is mentally taxing, you choose a physical activity that allows your mind to rest while your body works. Your hobby shouldn’t be an obligation; it should be a time of refreshment!

  3. Connect with others (or not)

    Even though your hobby is for yourself, first and foremost, it’s also a great way to connect with others around you. As mentioned before, your hobby is a purpose without pressure: this makes it a relaxing, non-competitive topic of conversation as well. Sharing your hobby with others gives you a connection that doesn’t require anything from anyone: it’s simply a topic of interest.
    On a related note, a hobby is a great way to manage social interaction outside of work. If you prefer the company of others, including them in the hobby is a great way to hang out and relax in a non-business environment. Conversely, if you prefer alone-time to recover, your hobby can serve as a reason for being alone: “Actually, I’m going to the library to do some writing. Can we meet later?”

  4. Voluntarily invest in yourself

    Your job is a kind of investment in yourself, but it’s largely a required one. You need a roof over your head, and food on the table, so you have to have a job. There’s no way around that. A hobby, on the other hand, is totally voluntary. You don’t have to spend your freetime pursuing personal growth of any kind, but freely choosing to do so goes a long way in bolstering your self-esteem and confidence. It’s a way to give something to yourself without expecting anything in return (see #1).

  5. Discover new strengths

    Hobbies are a fantastic way to learn new things about yourself. For instance: many (maybe most) people would claim to be “uncreative.” For me, I never saw myself as physically active, nor did I feel any desire to start recreational exercising. However, after a week of simple morning stretches, I discovered that I really enjoyed the feeling of being active and alert, and I began to challenge myself with more intense workouts. The great thing about hobbies is that it’s okay if you aren’t “good enough” or experienced (see #1 again.) All that matters is that you use your time to explore and grow.

If you could pick up any hobby or new skill, what would it be?