Storybook Illustrations

imageThis week I have been really throwing myself into full illustrations. As much as I loved drawing just busts of animals, they left something to be desired.  Backgrounds.  Currently, I am working on a series of animal based illustrations that tell a story.

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Both prints are available for purchase over at the shop.

Latest Commissioned Portraits

image (5)I have been truly astonished with the amazing photographs supplied to me for reference material. And what better than wedding photos to work from.
image (6)For a couples portrait of you and your illustration loving guy or gal, visit my Etsy shop for more details.

Huge Sale Happening Now!

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Time has come to make some drastic changes to the shop. All vintage items have to go! All vintage items are marked down 60% off. and it gets better…. Help yourself to a limited time coupon code for $5 off your order of $20 or more.*
*excludes custom illustrations, sorry.
Visit the shop HERE.

Facebook Friends Portrait Project

blogOver the past few months I have grown to love drawing on my Android phone. Sketches go quick, are easily edited and it makes for a great boredom buster.

This past week I began drawing of photos I have taken of friends and family. I began with a drawing of my step-brother, Steve, simply because I liked the way his clothes were wrinkled in a particular photo. I continued to drawing my 2 year old daughter and then myself.
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This quickly transformed into a full-blown illustration project with 50+ Facebook friends requesting custom portraits. A full gallery of the project in progress can be found here. If you would like to commission a custom portrait, for very reasonable prices I must say, please visit the shop for more details.

AMPERSANDxyz now on Instagram.

instagramcollageFINALMaybe I’m a little behind the times, but I’m happy to say that Instagram is new on the list of my favorite obsessions. As thrilled as I was to have a simple photo filter app on my new phone, I am definitely more excited to see things through other people’s eyes all over the world.

Feel free to follow me @chrissyjoxyz for snapshot of what Im currently working on, things soon to be added to the shop, and a good amount of random stay-at-home-mom excitement.

old sketchbooks.

drawsomethingFINALcontrast1Sometimes when I’ve run out of creative energy I feel the urge to look through my sketchbooks. Forgotten pages of quick sketches and magazine cutouts serve as some great reference material for projects I don’t know how to start. Last night, I stumbled upon a stack of my old sketchbooks from college and high school. To be honest, most of it is useless to me now, but it reminded me of my frame of mind–or maybe my motto– in art school. Just draw something.
askewbookfinalTAPETEXT2I don’t know if I had a finished product or work of art in mind when I filled these few hundred pages, but when I look back at my doodles now, I remember exactly where I was in my life, where I lived and how I felt.  At one time I had eight full-sized sketchbooks in progress at one time.

My Drawing Anatomy for Illustration professor in college highly influenced my obsession with always having paper and pencils at hand. In just a short little comment, that may have gone unnoticed by most students, our professor shared with the class that he, as a practicing professional painter, never went anywhere without his books.
longbookstrio2bRIBBONTEXTI began to draw everything I saw, and especially things I wanted to simply remember. Above are two rough Prismacolor marker sketches I did when I moved to Center City, Philadelphia. I vividly remember the second one, done from my apartment building’s front steps in early evening. I had just walked down Pine Street and purchased a few single bottles of beers that were completely out of my price range, and spent time watching people walk home from work, drawing little things I saw, (oh, and drinking), and enjoying my alone time in the city.

I’m taking the time to revisit my old sketchbooks, and maybe I can find something that inspires me for projects I have planned. It has always been my goal to integrate my own work into my Etsy shop, although I also find a certain kind of inspiration from vintage. Even if, for right now, “just draw something” means, Just Draw Something Again.

can’t keep me from vintage.

newfebtapeTEXTIn my efforts and time spent creating and crafting, I have neglected to list my recent vintage finds at AMPERSANDxyz on Etsy. Well, until now that is.

Although I consider myself an artist first, and a collector second, I cant help but be drawn to items from the past. And, to be honest, the majority of my shop is made up of retro pieces  It’s hard not to appreciate the design and ingenuity of common household objects or fashion of the generations before.  Some were mass-produced, yes, but each and every item has a great artist (or artists) behind it.

Feel free to visit the shop at AMPERSANDXYZ.etsy.com.

my typewriter on AMC’s Mad Men.

A few months ago I heard some buzz around the Etsy Team forums that some sellers had the opportunity to work with celebrities and production studio prop departments in the form of having their products and merchandise used on the sets of tv shows or movies. Etsy is a great place to find something unique, so it only makes sense that it could potentially be one-stop-shopping for entertainment productions.

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Today I was contacted by the Prop Master for AMC’s Mad Men regarding typewriters I sell in my Etsy shop, AMPERSANDxyz. Long story short, my baby blue Brother De Luxe will be featured on the set of the upcoming sixth season of Mad Men!
madmen2Regardless that this typewriter was manufactured in Nagoya, Japan for Brother Industries of the UK, typewriters such as these were an American staple in the 1950’s and 1960’s home. Good Housekeeping even felt so incredibly confident in this particular model of typewriter, that they even put their name on it, in the form of a gold foil sticker on the top shell. These fully manual machines aren’t just a relic from the past. They are finding their way into the homes and hearts of the modern Americans, and not just on an episode of Mad Men.

If you would like to read more about the Prop Master of Mad Men, Ellen Freund, you can go to this Huffington Post interview. On the other hand, you could also read this fun interview about how Ellen Freund Spends $15,000 Per Episode on Mad Men Props. Yikes, but wow!