Crazy 4 Cult - 10 Year Anniversary!

Very excited to participate in this years Crazy 4 Cult show at Gallery 1988 in LA!

I always look forward to making a painting for this exhibit, and since I had to skip out last year because of our move back to the east coast, I wanted to make this year's piece extra special. So I went with a favorite childhood movie, The Last Unicorn. 

It was a little challenging to come up with an idea since the movie is animated, but I used the color palette and forest details from the film as inspiration, and found a balance between my style and the style of the animations. I had a lot of fun working in this bright color palette and am really happy with how this piece turned out.

The exhibit opens tonight at Gallery 1988 West, 7308 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles

 The Last, 11 x 14 inches, oil on board

The Last, 11 x 14 inches, oil on board

Surtex 2016 Recap

My work has a specific look, it either works for someone or does not, so I’d imagine my experience will be quite different than someone who has a popular/fresher style. I am an oil painter and that look has a niche. This was also my first year exhibiting, so I have nothing to compare the show to in terms of traffic etc. 

Booth Design:

So let’s start with the actual booth design. I knew when I signed up for the show I wanted to focus on my booth reflecting my little world. It certainly helped having a husband that designs trade show booths for a living (on a much bigger scale, but still). I loved how everything came out and it was exactly as I envisioned, that being said I’m not sure I would go that route again. At the end of the day it’s about the work, and if people like your work they’re stopping, regardless of how you set your booth up. So that was an interesting thing to take note of. It was a lot of work and prep that didn’t necessarily bring people into my booth. And on another note, if you want to test your relationship, try seamlessly wallpapering 6 panels into the wee hours of the morning, fun!

 A rendering of my booth plan.

A rendering of my booth plan.

I had a corner booth, it’s a $400 premium but it’s also one less wall you have to pay to get banners printed for, so it pretty much evens out. The interesting thing about my location was that my booth was the very last booth in my row (before the design district), and it was the first aisle of the show. Meaning the perpendicular aisle started there so there was not much traffic at the intersection. The tough thing about that location is that there were people coming down the aisle that didn’t even turn their head. I think if the booth opened from the other direction, where you would be walking towards it, it would have worked better. But being that there was no far wall (because it was a corner, which would have been the first thing you saw of the booth) as you came down the aisle, I felt like a lot of people missed me. My strongest wall that had the most artwork people didn’t see as they came down the aisle because it was behind them. On the flip side, the overflow from NSS came from the opposite end and there was more exposure from that direction. In short, loved having a corner booth but would definitely pick a different location.

Promo:

I probably went with about 250 takeaway cards and 100 business cards and came home with half of the takeaway cards and maybe 30 business cards. I read so many times that you do not actually go through that many cards, but of course running out would be terrible, so…

I did send out a smallish mailer a few weeks before the show. While some of those contacts did stop by, it was by chance not because of the mailer. They get so many cards leading up to the show, so I would definitely rethink that.

 

The Artwork:

I first walked the show back in 2011 when I was in-house for the Christmas Tree Shops, and I’m going to be perfectly honest, it was an eye opening/heart breaking experience for me at the time. I was new to the industry and SO much work looked the same, it was visual overload. I quickly learned that companies go to purchase new artwork that works for them, but also to take home a ton of notes of what they can just do in house. 

I went to school for illustration and struggled for years finding the right place for my work, it wasn’t quite right for editorial but also didn’t fit in the fine art world, even though at the end of the day I would love to sit in my studio and paint ships all day. When I discovered the licensing world everything clicked for me. But there is still part of me that wants to make the type of pictures I want to make. SO that was a tough thing about this show. I pay attention to trends, and some certainly do not fit in my style. But the number one thing people stopped for were my pet portraits, a very specific assignment I was asked to do by my wall decor company, a concept you see often because its been a huge trend the last few years. And that’s what people wanted. There will always be a part of me that wants to make my type of pictures regardless of trends, and I always will, but I have to be prepared that those just aren’t going to be the thing that people gravitate towards, and they call them trends for a reason!

Highlights:

My favorite thing about the show was meeting so many people and seeing old friends. I have a lot of friends in the industry, old co-workers and college friends that I got to connect with, not to mention meeting all the clients I already work with that I have been emailing for the past year. So in that regard, I feel like that face to face time is really invaluable and also makes you relevant. I also got so many good contacts of companies I would have never came across from my online research. I heard from a lot of people that the show was quite slow and smaller than ever. I have nothing to compare it to but there were certainly lulls that happened everyday. Tuesday was not nearly as quiet for me as I would have anticipated and more than once I got a good contact within the last 20 minutes of the day.

And one last little thought, man am I exhausted! I thought I would still work this week but take it easier, I have literally been sleeping 10+ hours a night since I’ve gotten home!

Samples!

I recently received samples from my very first fabric collection, Home for the Holidays, shipping in May. This is the first time I've seen how my paintings translate onto fabric, and I must say I am impressed! I love the color palette of this collection and am so glad I have these in time to show off in my booth at Surtex. Now I just need to learn how to sew so I can make something with them :)

SURTEX 2016!

Oh ya know, just living by the beach painting seashells these days, that’s the dream right?

So this year will be my Surtex debut! Super excited. Equally terrified. And really overwhelmed with everything I want to get done. The show is in May but I already feel like time is flying by. It is such a big investment (and the largest investment I’ve made in my business to date), so I’m certainly feeling the pressure. Needless to say I have a hefty to-do list going, now let’s see how much I can check off the list!

House Tour.

After just about 4 years in Milwaukee, John Murray and I have moved back to the east coast. We are so grateful for the experience and adventure we had in the Midwest, but also glad be close to friends and family again. We are also currently apartment hunting which feels quite strange since we owned a home for the past few years. I've been wanting to share some pictures of our first home and well, there's nothing like waiting until we don't live there anymore to do so!

We purchased our house in Milwaukee in 2013, a small one hundred and ten year old bungalow that had been through a lot of changes over time. Although we were initially disappointed that most of the original details of the house had been changed, it also allowed for so much opportunity, leaving the house as a blank canvas for our ideas and projects. We had a blast designing, decorating and collaborating on projects. And while it is sad to say goodbye to a place we put so much work into, it's also exciting to know that we will get to do it all over again with another house someday!

MurrayHouse_2.jpg

Click through for full tour.

 The day we sold our house.

The day we sold our house.

Bad Dads - A Wes Anderson Tribute

While I've limited the amount of shows I've been participating in over the last few years, there are  certain ones that I love being a part of and contributing to, Bad Dads being one of them!

I love Wes Anderson's little world and it's a language I speak, so having the opportunity to create a painting inspired by it is truly a joy. This is my third time around and I based my painting off of Darjeeling Limited, my favorite of his films. Focusing on the two funerals in the movie (different countries, different times, same brothers attending), the piece is what I call a "reversible painting," giving the viewer the option to hang the art in the orientation they choose. I love this idea because it invites a physical interaction between the viewer and the artwork, when traditionally the last thing you are taught to do is touch a painting.

The show will be held at the the Joseph Gross Gallery in NY (548 W 28th St, New York, New York 10001) August 7-9. Check out the Spoke Art website for all the show details and updates!

 

We Are Not 2 We Are 1

6 x 14 inches oil on board

 

    A laminated card to accompany my painting.  *It fits in a pocket on the backside of the painting.

 

A laminated card to accompany my painting.

*It fits in a pocket on the backside of the painting.

Printables! Free Holiday Gift Tags!

Tis the season! Since I create holiday images all year long, I have found it makes this time of year even more enjoyable because work lines up with real time ( something about painting a Christmas tree in July just isn't quite as exciting).  In the spirit of giving I am sharing some holiday gift tags I've created.

Print (a heavyweight card stock is best), trim, punch a hole & run some ribbon or twine through to add to gifts for friends and loved ones! 

 

Holiday Gift Tags,  www.danielle-murray.com

Click here to download the free PDF. 

*These gift tags are free for personal use only. Feel free to share but please give credit where credit is due :)

New Painting Series: Ships, The Sea & Florals

With less time devoted to my personal paintings these days, I am usually only producing a single painting at a time, every few months or so. The last few weeks I was able to live in my little world of ships, the sea and florals....and man, it was really nice. 

I will have these three paintings hanging in the beautiful jewelry store Meeka, located in Camp Hill, Pa. The Grand Opening is this weekend, November 1st & 2nd, 11am-7pm, located at 2205 Market St. Camp Hill Pa.

 

All That I Know, 12 x 24 in. Oil on wood panel

 

All That I Know, *detail

 

Already Home, 10 x 22 in. Oil on wood panel

 

Already Home, *detail

 

Already Home, *detail

 

Myth, 12 x 24 in. Oil on wood panel

 

Myth, *detail

 

Myth, *detail

Bad Dads Group Show.

Over the years I have been in quite a few pop-culture themed shows. Recently, I have cut back on participating in a lot of them, mostly because when I am not creating artwork for licensing I like to use that time on my personal paintings. That being said, one of the shows I did commit to this year is Bad Dads, a group show inspired by Wes Anderson films. I very much enjoy creating paintings inspired by his world, it's a language I understand.

The show opens Halloween night at Spoke Art in San Francisco.

She Smokes, 10 x 12 in. oil on board

*inspired by The Royal Tenenbaums

Dark Side...

Well not really, but a little break from my usual flowers, ships and pretty skies. Here is my painting for Say Hi To The Bad Guy, a group show at Gallery 1988 West, opening Friday, October 18th 7-10pm

 Say it Once, Say it Twice...

11 x 14 in. oil on board

 * Not my first time being inspired by Beetlejuice, if I count that time I drew a crayon door on my mom's wall.....

Chronicle: Tales of the Sea

I am excited to be showing for the first time at Modern Eden Gallery (San Francisco, Ca). My painting, On The Sea II, will be on display as part of the Chronicle: Tales of the Sea exhibit, opening tomorrow and running until October 12th.

In addition, Monika and I will also have our Royal Loyal's piece, Portal, on display. Be sure to check it out if you are in the San Francisco area!

Modern Eden Gallery, 403 Francisco Street, San Francisco, CA / Opening reception: Saturday, September 14th, 6-10pm

 

On the Sea II

12 x 16 in. 

oil on board

 

Young Adult at Gallery 1988

Now You Can Solve Crimes Too!

Nancy Drew Sleuth Kit, Faux Advertisement

8 x 10 in. oil on board

This painting is for the HelloGiggles Young Adult show at Gallery 1988, a show celebrating your favorite childhood novels. I chose to focus on Nancy Drew since I have fond memories of reading plenty of Nancy Drew novels as a young adult.  

The faux 1950's style advertisement was a fun solution for me, since one of the best parts about reading Nancy Drew was being able to step into her character and play out these mystery scenarios in my own life. I still find myself playing detective as an adult from time to time....although now the only "tools" it involves are Facebook and Google.

Be sure to check it out if you're in the area! The opening reception is February 2nd, 7-10 pm, at Gallery 1988: 7020 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles CA