Dec
13
2013

Illustrator Mica Angela Hendricks in Jerry's Artist Spotlight!

Mica teams up with her daughter to create amazing pieces and illustrations!

Mica Angela Hendricks is a graphic artist for MWR and a freelance Illustrator. She's recently gained lots of attention for some very interesting, collaborative work she's done with her 4 year old daughter.

 We at Jerry's sat down for a quick Q&A with Mica and here's what she had to say.

Jerry's Artarama:So tell us a little about yourself.

Mica Hendricks: I was born ages ago into the traveling circus of military life, and have been fortunate enough to have seen a decent chunk of the world as a result. At a young age, I developed a sort of Darwinian added appendage, as my sketchbook rarely left my hands. People who didnt take the time to get to know me simply called me "that girl who draws."

A few years out of college, I decided to join the US Army where I met my husband, Matthew.

I happily served 4 years in Hawaii as a Photolithographer, leading a prepress topographic mapping team. While there, I became the resident unit expert on Adobe Photoshop, and instructed senior officers, MOS instructors, and enlisted personel on the process of digital manipulation, 4-color process printing and color sperations.

I now travel all over the world with my husband(who is still in the military), our totally amazing daughter Myla, and our hairy children, Scout (a boxer) and Adie( a Boston Terrier). 

I work primarily in ballpoint pen and acrylics, Prismacolor Premier Brush Tip set of 200 markers and have been published in several magazines, newspapers and websites, and featured in a 6-book children's series on pirates.

JA: Where do you get your inspirations from?

MH: For the faces, I'm inspired by old black and white movie stills. I find books on them in the library or second hand shops. I love distorting the faces a little, and love how the tiniest lines can change the entire expression of a face.

JA:How long have you been collaborating with your daughter on these peices?

MH:The collaborations started out quite by accident, but we've been doing them since about August. We change them up a little sometimes by starting with animals or made-up monsters instead of human heads.

JA:Have you ever tried changing up the process and letting her draw the head?

MH:Funny, people ask me that a lot-we have tried it! Only, she hasn't yet learned the practice of "letting go," and will often get frustrated with me because I'm not drawing my part the way she'd like. So just as a reminder in sharing, we try to do that every once in a while for practice!

JA: How did you inspire your daughter to start drawing and get interested in art?

MH: Strangely enough, as involved as I am in art, her interest in art was quite a happy surprise for me. She wasn't much ever into drawing until the end of her 3rd year, when she started doodling little faces and monsters. Soon, she was drawing ALL the time, with great focus. She never really learned if I sat down and specifically tried to teach her something, but she would pick up so much more just by watching ME do it, and trying it for herself. So for my part, I just make a point to keep art supplies and paper super easily accessible. Most importantly, I take time to draw WITH her. We do lots of crafts- markers on shrink plastic, painting wooden cutouts, sculpting in modeling clay. Since she learns best by watching and doing, I try to do as many different things as possible with her.

JA: What Can other parents do to get their children more interested in art and what is a good starting point for kids?

MH: To get started, I think the key is to plan for a mess, especially when they're little! Finger paints are a good beginning project, and if you're a person who likes things "just so" then PLAN for a big mess so it won't be stressful for you: put a huge table cloth down, put them in an old t-shirt, and use washable paint. Paint on old boxes or egg cartons. Don't worry about MAKING something, just let them have fun squishing the paint around, and mixing colors up. Shrink plastic is also fun because they get to see what they doodled and watch it roll up in the oven. We keep a sketchbook in our daughter's bed with some washable markers and at bedtime we would tell her, "you dont have to sleep, but you can lie quietly in bed and draw." Her bedtime sketchbooks have the coolest, strangest drawings in them! I think the main thing is taking the time to share and create something WITH your kids, instead of just giving them supplies and walking away. I talk to her and ask her what things she drew are, and why. It's so wonderful to see what their little brains come up with!

 JA: Do you have any prints of your art available and if so, where?

MH: Yes! I primarily put up prints up at Society6.com/micaangela. They have fine art prints as well as totes and mugs, and I try to keep posting new things as we make them. For awhile we did animal collaborations and I put them up at RedBubble because they had a variety of children's apparel options as well as stickers. (http://www.redbubble.com/people/busymockingbird.)

JA: Is there anything else you like to promote or tell parents and artists at home?

MH: For parents: As an artist, I found it hard at first to adjust from the hours and hours of solitary painting I used to have pre-kid, to the hours and hours of taking care of another little person as a new mom. It took a few years, but working WITH our daughter instead of separating those two lives has been a learning experience for both of us, and I've gotten to have glimpses of the wonderful little person our daughter is that I might not have seen otherwise. 

As an artist and a mom, I'm always setting a ridiculously high standard for myself that I have only just started accepting I will NEVER reach. This experience of letting go and allowing our kid to doodle on my own drawings has been such a great accidental experience, and taught me that when you go ahead and share what you love with the people you love, something strange and wonderful might come of it!

 

Dec
12
2013

Announcing the Artist Appreciation Holiday Giveaway- 12 Days of Giveaways!

12 Days, 12 Great Giveaways

Artists, we appreciate you here at Jerry's Artarama. We really do. We wouldn't be here without you. We're thankful for all that you do throughout the year. And to show our appreciation, we are having one of our biggest giveaways ever!

In the spirit of the holidays, we'd like to thank all of our fans with 12 Days of Giveaways. We will randomly choose 1 email address from our email subscribers and 1 customer each day between December 16th and December 27th to receive a wonderful prize. One winner will receive one of the fabulous items listed below and the other winner will receive a $50 dollar e-gift card sent right to your email inbox to use immediately. 


 


To enter our 12 Days of Giveaways sign up for our email program and be automatically entered. If you are already signed up on our email program and or customer of JerrysArtarama.com(during the contest), you are already entered!

Get the latest offers and information from Jerry's Artarama sent directly to your inbox. By signing up for our exclusive emails, you're not only entered into the contest but you can also expect to find out all about:

  • Weekly Email Exclusive Promotions
  • Weekend SuperSales featuring extra savings
  • Free Shipping Offers
  • Special Promotions and Rebates
  • Seasonal Sale Information
  • Specials on YOUR birthday
  • More ideas, tips and tricks to spark your imagination as an artist!

For more information on the giveaway or find out how to subscribe, check out our giveaway page!

 

Dec
10
2013

A Jerry's Online Street Team Art Project with Mica Angela Hendricks

Illustrator and Daughter collaboration for a fun family project

 

My name is Mica Angela Hendricks. I'm a graphic artist for MWR and a freelance illustrator. Several months ago, a blog post I did about allowing my daughter to illustrate with me went viral online, and has added a fun element to my own artwork.

For years, I labored under the idea that to be a "fine artist" you had to use "fine art" supplies. But try as I might graphite never fit well on me, and my paintings in plain acrylic just always felt like they were missing something. 

One of my favorite things has always been drawing in a sketchbook. I've drawn since I was younger, and always had a sketchbook in my hand. Sketchbooks were portable and easy to carry. And for sheer practicality (pencils smudge too much for me), I have always loved drawing in ballpoint pen. Yes, plain ol' ballpoint pen.

My daughter loves the story of Frida Kahlo. Her aunt & uncle sent her a Frida shirt and she has a children's book on Frida. She loved that Frida was an artist like her. It may not be the "finest" of processes, but I'll walk you through how my daughter and I doodled a Frida portrait together:

I always start the process by sketching a portrait in ballpoint pen. It's my favorite medium for sketching. I like working on natural-colored (tan) paper; it seems to add more depth to the shading.

 

Next, I let our daughter add on to the piece. This (as I described in my blog post) is always one of the most frustrating but wonderful parts. Allowing a kid to add on to something you've created can be quite intimidating. What if she messes it up? What if she scribbles it? To help not stress too much, I don't add TOO much to my initial drawing. Just the basics, so if she decides to get too crazy with the doodle and I can't make sense of it, I didn't invest too much time into it. Bust mostly, she is pretty good about being excited to make it a fun and beautiful piece. 

 

I usually go back and add a little detail when she's done.

 

When we first started our collaborative doodles, I used a variety of plain Sharpie markers or colored scrap-booking markers on top of the ballpoint pen sketch, but when Jerry's sent me the Prismacolor Premier Brush Tip set of 200 markers, I was in color heaven.

I start by adding a base layer of color. The ballpoint pen reacts in a strange way, usually, and gets a purplish tint, but tends up blending it a little better later in the process.

 

There are SO many different subtle shades in the Prismacolor market set that you can blend the colors smoothly, and they allow for a lot of error and play. There's even a colorless blending marker to help with the edging. Having such a wide amount of shades and tints in the markers allows for wonderful color options in the project, and the brush tips are so much like painting with a paintbrush. They're amazingly fun to work with, and very forgiving. You don't have to be so delicate with the colors, and can always blend another color on top to give it another dimension. I also like to keep a scrap piece of paper next to my drawing to do a quick color swatch, to make sure the color is what I'm looking for. 

 

After I lay the basic color blocking out in Prismacolor Premier markers, I like to add highlights in acrylic. It just gives it an extra dimension, and really builds up the shape.

And here is the final collaborative piece by my 4-year old daughter and me-"Frida with Paintbrushes."

 

Overall, aside from the foundation layer of ballpoint pen, Prismacolor Premier Brush Tip markers are by far one of my favorite mediums to work with. I love the feel of "painting" with them, and the variety of colors make them amazingly fun to use....Now, if I could just keep my daughter away from them...

For more information on Mica Angela Hendricks, check out her website at www.busymockingbird.com and stay tuned for more information on this intriguing artist coming soon on The Splatter.

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