Vlog: New Moleskine & Kuretake Brush Pens and Markers!

Have you ever discovered a new clothing store, walked in, and said, “Now this is my style?” Everything in the place just screams your name, and you’d turn the store into your closet if you just had the cash to buy it all out? Well, that’s how I feel about art supply stores. I don’t really care to shop for clothes, but paintbrushes, acrylics, pencils—now that’s my style! And that’s exactly what happened when I’ve discovered Jet Pens. I finally put in an order and received a bit of a haul!

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EmK’s Jet Pens Art Supply Haul

The main reason that I purchased these supplies is because I was able to try some Kuretake brand pens and markers via my Art Snacks subscription, and was extremely pleased with those supplies—especially the Kuretake No. 7 Brush Pen that came in my June 2016 Art Snacks box. This haul included 16 Kuretake Zig brand brush pens/markers. I chose to pick up a small set of the Clean Color FB markers, a supply that contains water soluble ink, which makes for a lovely addition to my mixed media art journal pages. The other main part of my haul was a group of  Kuretake black brush pens, which is a curated selection by the Jet Pens website as a “sampler,” i.e. different styles of pens made by the  Kuretake company. They have a few of these “samplers” on the site, but the Kuretake Brush Pen Sampler was the one the that caught my eye. And finally, I also picked up a pen case…because it was green and adorable and I’m just a wee bit ridiculous.

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Jet Pens Kuretake Black Brush Pen Sampler

In the video found in this post (or HERE on YouTube), I swatch out all of the pens and markers, share the secret of what makes my new pens case so awesome, and tell you the difference between each of the black brush pens found in this small collection. I also share with you my preferred technique for using the Clean Color FB markers, and proudly show off a pretty terrible portrait that I attempted to create in my new sketchbook. This video should be especially helpful for those of your curious about Kuretake brand supplies!

Jet Pens doesn’t sell exactly everything I’d like to keep in my closet (or rather, studio), but I’m a sucker for most of the things on the site. The pens, markers, pencils, sketchbooks, ink, and, well, you get the idea! I’ve been frequenting it for about two months, building up a “wishlist,” one of my favorite things about the site. But I also really appreciate that the website has a blog in which the posters create guides, how-to articles, and compare and contrast multiple tools available on the site; I’m all about research, and the Jet Pens blog makes it easy. I had read some of the blog posts before ever looking at the available supplies, and think it’s a pretty great resource for the curious artist. No, I’m not being paid to say this, I’m just strangely passionate about the statistics and facts concerning art supplies.

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Are you a Kuretake or Jet Pens fan? If so, leave me a comment and let me know what pens, markers, or other tools that you love! I’m always trying to find the next great supply!

Announcing: NEW Schedule & Freebies!

EDIT: INSTAGRAM LIVE STREAMING & PRINTABLE FREEBIES ARE POSTPONED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE

I’ve been gone from the blog, but only because I’ve been working SO hard to share more and better content with YOU! Yes, you. No, seriously, you. Okay, okay, I’ll stop being creepy and give you the specifics…

I’ve been recently doing live streaming on my Instagram (@emmykait) every Sunday, and the feedback has been so inspiring that I’ve re-realized my passion for sharing and encouraging others to create! Because of that, I’ve jumped back behind my desk, and developed a NEW schedule for this blog.

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Schedule for MadeByEmK.com

Here is the breakdown:

  • Sundays at 8pm EST, I’ll be live streaming the start of a new art journal spread; on rare occasions, I may also work on other (perhaps more impressive, even) art. Live streams will last for at least one hour.
  • Mondays, I’ll be HERE on the blog with a new post, recapping all of the lovely things that came out of the Sunday live stream. Monday’s post will include photos of the artwork and a quick discussion on the tools, techniques, and/or questions that I answered during the live stream.
  • Wednesday is the day that you definitely don’t want to miss!! I’ll be sharing an in depth discussion on my favorite tools, techniques, or supplies. I’ll also be giving you free printables for you to have and use! Which means: WEDNESDAY IS FREEBIE DAY! 
  • Thursdays will be art show and tell day here on the blog. I’ll be sharing with you one of my newly completed art journal spreads or other artwork! If you’re a fellow Get Messy member, then you’ll probably want to swing in on Thursday, because many of my pages are inspired by the prompts and tutorials created by my fellow Creative Team Members!

I’ll be working diligently in my studio on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Although I won’t be posting here on the blog, feel free to check Instagram and my Instagram story, because I am constantly updating my social media followers on my artistic happenings. I also LOVE to interact on Instagram, so feel free to say hello or drop me a line!

If you have questions about commissions, want me to come guest blog for you, or anything of the like, please use the “Contact” tab at the top of this website, or click HERE.

This post contains an affiliate link to the Get Messy website. If you click the link above and sign up for the Get Messy community for a year, then I will receive a small portion of the sale to help support my artistic journey, including the upkeep of this blog. However, it is available on a month-to-month basis, and even per season: if you choose to go that way, I receive no payment, but totally support your interest because I love Get Messy, and want you to enjoy its benefits the way as it best fits you!!

I can’t believe it: I was INTERVIEWED?!

In recent news, I was interviewed by the ah-may-zing Caylee Grey, in which I answered all of her questions through photographs. She titled this interview A Visual Guide To Expressing Yourself With Art Journaling. Honestly, it’s such an honor to be somewhere outside of this blog, and I’m still in happy-shock that someone so talented thinks my art is good enough to feature in an interview! You’re probably wondering, “How did this even happen?” Earlier this year, Caylee asked creative readers to apply for the opportunity of guest poster, and somehow I was chosen to be featured with 8 other lovely artists on her blog this autumn. (I’m genuinely blown away by these other ladies, too!) I happily took photos of my art for Caylee’s post, including one journal spread that I specifically created for this interview, as seen below, titled How Do I Start. The photo featured on Caylee’s blog is slightly different and has more creative guidance, so don’t think I’m just giving away my secrets. (Wink, wink.)

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“How Do I Start” Art Journal Spread

Anyways, enough about me, go check out Caylee’s blog! Caylee offers her readers beautiful posts, which are packed with content on everything from organization to art journaling; it’s good enough to read twice! After all, this is a co-founder of the Get Messy art journaling community, co-founder of the podcast How She Creates, and an artist who offers her own online courses! (See why I feel so honored?!)

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My Art, Featured at the Blog of Caylee Grey

I first came across Caylee’s blog via Googling “art journal.” (I know, creative of me, right?) But it wasn’t long before I was in awe of her blog, combing the archives and lost between posts about photography, creativity, and the  glimpses into her journals. While my personal aesthetic is loud and colorful, her’s seems to celebrate negative space and soft pastels. It’s dreamy, it’s clean, and it’s easy on the eyes! No, I’m not just saying this because she accepted me as an interviewee—Caylee Grey has a style I could never master! If you’re visiting me because you like art journaling, you should know that there is another side to the palette, which is just as charming, and that Caylee is an expert in it!

So, here is your homework: go see/read my interview, listen to How She Creates, try out  Caylee’s free online course on Art Journaling, and, if you can, invest $10 this month in finding out if Get Messy is right for you, because that’s how I found out that it is right for me!!

Update: Videos & “Tarot Spreads”

I had planned to share a new art journal video with you today, but yesterday something magical happened: my August Art Snacks box came in the mail! Okay, so that may not be magical per se, but it’s something that I get gasping, grinning, jumping and down excited about. What I’m trying to say is that getting new art supplies is awesome in a Christmas morning type of way, and Santa came yesterday! So, for two days, I have been working on my August Art Snacks unboxing video, and though finished, takes about 8 hours to upload to YouTube. While you wait for that, I’ve decided to share a recent idea that I’ve had…

I’ve always loved the idea of making my own tarot cards: a set of 76 cards, each with it’s own picture on the front and the same on the back. I’ve toyed with the idea of using note cards, drawing images on the blank side and glueing the same printed image over the lined side. However, using note cards—or any other handmade cards—will always have small tells for which card is which, as you can never make things perfect. I’ve decided to get them printed by whichever website offers me the ability to do this, with a price that doesn’t break the bank, of course.

In order to make this set of tarot cards, I will need related imagery for them.To achieve this, I have decided to work on art journal spreads using imagery that I can photograph and use as the pictures for my cards. Most tarot card sets are 76 cards, made up of 5 different suits. These suits five includes one which consists of the more well known cards (like “Death” or “The Fool”) called the major arcana. The major arcana is made up of 21 cards. For this personal goal, I will start with the major arcana, as 21 images seems so much more reasonable than 76.  Once I discover how long this takes me, then I will consider rather or not to make the remaining 65. I’ll be honest: 76 cards sounds like more than I’m really willing to do, but if it’s in the cards, then I guess I’ll find out when I get to it.

These art journal pages will be my “Tarot Spreads,” and I will be sharing them here, announcing which tarot cards the imagery will be for. I’m pretty excited about this, it being an idea that I’ve had for about 6 years!

Anyway, I’ll see you later this week with my Art Snack Unboxing: August video! Hopefully it gets up by tomorrow, but it may be Friday. Until then: happy arting!

5 Helpful Hints For Recording Art Videos

Because I know there are a few of you who prefer short & sweet, there is a concise list of need-to-know information regarding recording overhead videos located at the bottom of this post.

Starting the project of creating art videos was not easy for me! I understood it in theory (record, edit, post) but the actual how-to of filming threw me through a loop! Having seen multiple art videos (YouTube and classes, alike) I knew what I wanted to do, just not how to achieve the look. I tried to search the web to find out what my favorite artists online used to record their videos, but it was a fruitless quest. Not one result was available to me about which cameras worked best or where to position the recording device—and there were absolutely no tips or tricks on the process of achieving such a feat. So I now present you with the post I wish I could have found.

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My Video Editing Software, Pinnacle Studio 18, In Use

I knew step one would be to purchase simple video editing software, and I found a cheap one in town. It’s not the best thing by any means, but it works…for now. As for everything else, I just used items on hand. I had a nice camera—not camcorder—and a huge tripod to start out with, which I was using beneath a pretty terrible overhead light. After blogging for about a month and a half now, I have realized that having a less than ideal camera has begun to deter my creative spirit. Every video I made required multiple cuts due to quickly dying camera batteries, and having to adjust zoom per each cut was awful! It was simply not giving me the clean results that my inner perfectionist desired. Fortunately, I had the means to fix all of this!

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My Original Recording Device, Nikon Coolpix L820, And It Is NOT a Camcorder!

Yesterday, I ran about town to purchase a camcorder and tripod, which would not consume a third of my desk. I am also now the happy owner of a desk light with natural light light bulbs. (The natural light light bulbs are a must have!) The camcorder can be used while plugged in, meaning no constant battery switching; the tripod is small enough that I no longer have to worry about inconsistent zoom range per cut. I’m thrilled to have a setup that makes my videos the (semi-)professional creations I’ve been so desperately craving! I now have a compact tripod that was aprox. $15, and a Cannon camcorder that cost me $250.

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My New Recording Materials: Sunpak 42″ Tripod & Canon HFR700 Camcorder

If you are trying to record an overhead video, the Canon Vixia HF R700 camcorder is perfect. It can stay plugged in forever, records up to 12 hours without stopping, and has a screen that will turn to face you, which means you can see the image you’re recording. It also has a function which allows the user to make the image mirrored, which isn’t a necessity, but stops you from trying to adjust your camera in the wrong direction when you image is off centered. If that doesn’t make sense, I’m sorry, but please know it’s got a neat feature that does a convenient thing for this specific use. I 100% endorse this camera if you are tying to do much overhead desk recording!

So here is a concise list of what I wish I’d known prior to attempting this project…

5 Helpful Hints For Recording Art Videos:
1. A camera with a battery life of an hour or more is a must have; a camera that can stay plugged in forever is a life saver!
2. If the camera has a screen to face you, it’s worth an extra $50. If it’s anymore than that, use a mirror opposite the camera to check your camera screen frequently(Especially if the camera’s battery isn’t very good!)
3. You do not need a tripod that is taller than 40″. Ever.
4. Shadows will ruin all videos, and even the cheapest adjustable desk lamp is worth your money for this purpose.
5. Having natural light or white light light bulbs will make your videos 100x better looking.
6. The three most important features in a video editing software are 1) ability to adjust video speed, 2) ability to add and alter additional audio tracks, and 3) ability to rotate your video.

Now that I have a setup that I don’t hate, you’ll be seeing quite a bit more of me!! Until then, happy arting!

WIP and Business Cards

I don’t have much to share today: it seems that I’ve caught a bug that causes such incredible fatigue so as to have made it impossible not to sleep 20/24 hours a day. The good news is that, besides the fatigue, my only symptom is an itchy throat, which is easily calmed with a cough drop. I’m hoping that it does not progress.

So, for the mere purpose of content, I have two small things to share today:
1. A sneak-peak at a work in progress in my art journal, and
2. my NEW business cards.

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Detail of WIP Pink & Red AJP (1)

Here is the sneak-peak of my current work in progress. I’ll be keeping a fighter plane visible (above), which was already printed in the book that I’m altering. For the most part, I have only applied my usual base of acrylic paints, and have added  very few details atop. I have really high hopes for this spread, as it contains a new doodle that I’ve developed; it is a design of connecting circles formed only by stippling. Part of this new design can be seen in the photo below.

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Detail of WIP Pink & Red AJP (2)

Thursday, before the sickness hit, I ordered my very own business cards. I’ve been thinking about doing this for a while, and am finally pleased with a design. (Let’s be honest, what kind of an artist would I be if I didn’t design my own business cards?!) I went for front and back full color to show off some of my art. I expect them here in about a week, and it feels like Christmas! Low quality image can be seen below.

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New Made By EmK Business Card

Alright, guys…bed is calling my name, and I better go try to sleep this off. But on the bright side, when I wake up, my business cards will be closer to being in my hands! Woo!