Stay strong, my beautiful state.
May rivers decrease and banks of water recede.
Let emergency responders have safe passage, and may all in harm’s way be brought to shelter.
Asking for an extra helping of mercy for those bailing out, losing it all or trying to get back home.
We love you, Colorado.
On the trail to the summit of Mt. Bierstadt. Photo by Jonathan Fenske.
A word to the wise: if your house is covered in toys and you have a habit of stepping on things, whatever you do, do not step on this vintage Fisher Price dog toy. Just don’t do it. Trust me.
We have a special houseguest this weekend. Jonathan’s youngest brother is visiting from Nashville and it’s been wonderful having him here. We miss our families, way out here on the edge of the Colorado plains. So when we are blessed with a family visitor, I tend to really soak it up and enjoy the entire visit. I love hearing the kids tease their uncle and just generally fold him into our daily life.
Tonight, we had a simple meal:
Two kinds of rice (brown basmati and white)
Three kinds of beans: Aduki/Northern mixture and Black (doctored with cumin, cayenne, chili powder)
Sharp cheddar, cilantro salsa
Homemade cornbread + butter
Roasted carrots with a little salt
Chocolate chip cookies (a free tub we got at Papa Murphy’s for taking a survey. Gotta love free cookies.)
Hope you are enjoying a weekend full of family and friends. Happy Spring…we finally have warm weather here in Denver!
Art We Love is a new series we are starting on the blog. Jonathan and I feel strongly that we should help support other artists. And one way we can do so is to help share with our friends and followers talented people working in art and illustration today. So, with a drumroll, let us introduce Michelle Kondrich to you. She’s a Denver-based illustrator who has worked with some really cool brands and agencies. Learn more about her here. Michelle also does visual scribing (also called whiteboard animation), like Jonathan, so they have that in common. It’s like a secret scribing society!
Michelle graciously answered five of our nosy questions. Keep reading for her answers, learn about her amazing desk…and admire her great illustrations! And don’t forget to follow her on Twitter: @missillustrator
“Submerged” by Michelle Kondrich
1. What is a favorite illustration of yours right now and why?
My favorite illustration right now is called “Secret Recipe” and it was created for Light Grey Art Lab’s Message in a Bottle show. It is one of my favorites not only because I just like the way it looks but because it is representative of the direction my art is taking and of my growth as an illustrator and painter over the last year or so.
“Secret Recipe” by Michelle Kondrich
I work primarily from my studio at home. And by studio I really mean my desk against the wall in our living room. We have a very small apartment but I have managed to carve out a comfortable space. One thing I absolutely adore about my studio is my desk. I had a custom standing desk built by a carpenter from my home town and it is exactly what I needed. It is about 5 feet wide and half of the desk tilts at an adjustable angle like most drawing tables. The other half is stationary and is where I keep my computer. It also has a huge drawer underneath that is good for keeping things clutter-free and for some flat storage. Not to mention, having a standing desk equals no back or shoulder pain from working!
3. When faced with a new project, what’s your creative process like?
I don’t know that I have a process that I consciously execute with new projects, but they always start with a lot of thinking. I often have pages of loose leaf paper with idea maps and brainstorming lists to try to get my mind to think about the problem from all angles. If the project allows it, I will take a day or two to let the subject matter float around in my head before I do much sketching. Then I just start drawing out ideas until I find a few that feel right and I’ll do many sketches of those ideas to find just the right composition.
4. Did you draw a lot as a child?
All the time! I remember getting a lot of attention as a young child for being able to draw so well. I distinctly remember drawing things upside down so that the people across the table could see what I was drawing. I don’t know where that came from, but it’s not a skill I have now. At one point I had a little drawing table, much like the Wacom’s now, that I could plug into the television and create these big drawings that everyone in the room could see.
“iBaby” by Michelle Kondrich
5. Who is your favorite illustrator that you admire?
Wow, picking favorites has never been a skill of mine. One illustrator I really admire at the moment is Oliver Jeffers. His work is gorgeous and his stories are unique.
I’m also a huge fan of Victo Ngai at the moment. Her work is remarkably imaginative and beautiful. No matter the subject, I would hang her illustration on my wall. She inspires me to work harder at making the work I do an object of beauty even if the subject is not.