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

A Personal Snail.

Carved out a little time this past week to do some personal painting, aka painting that is for absolutely nothing, and man did I need it! Not that a lot of my projects aren't inspired or are things I don't enjoy painting, but it is so hard to find time (or make time I should say), to just paint something because I feel like it without feeling guilty for not working on my other commitments.

So here's a little snippet. Found this little guy on our porch a few weeks ago and have been trying to find a way to paint him. I have a little more to go and then will be back to share the finish!

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 :)

Blossom & Vine

Blossom and Vine is my second fabric collection for Blank Quilting. It ships August 2016 and you can view the entire collection here.

I almost always start with a traditional painting (usually painted in separate pieces and put together digitally), so it's exciting to see how my artwork translates onto product.  Here is a peek at a few of the designs, can't wait to get these samples in!

 

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!

A Little Timeline.

Licensing takes time and patience. Because of the way the business works, it can be over a year before I start to see artwork that has been licensed, out in the marketplace and on product.  Below is a brief timeline to give you an idea of what this looks like.

Summer 2014 : The beginning - In progress shots of some of the painted elements used to make my Holiday Woodland Collection.

Summer 2014 : The beginning - In progress shots of some of the painted elements used to make my Holiday Woodland Collection.

August 2014: One of my finished designs from my Holiday Woodland Collection sent off to my agent.

August 2014: One of my finished designs from my Holiday Woodland Collection sent off to my agent.

November 2015: Finally, spotting my artwork on napkins, manufactured by Evergreen and being sold in Homegoods.

November 2015: Finally, spotting my artwork on napkins, manufactured by Evergreen and being sold in Homegoods.

The right place for me.

Art Licensing is a somewhat new venture for me. I didn't learn about this industry until I worked in-house for The Christmas Tree Shops in 2011 and we would work with artists and license their art for product.

For me it was like a missing piece to the puzzle. I struggled finding the right place for my artwork post college. Editorial illustration was never quite the right fit, and sometimes I would just want to paint something because it was pretty or a certain object excited me. I think for a while I felt guilty about that, because painting an antique tea kettle was not "saying anything," but painting an antique tea kettle made me happy, so there was the struggle. Long story short, I found a place for my work, I can make pretty pictures and research trends (which I LOVE) and all of this makes me happy.

It's been a little over 2 years since I started licensing, and it's really fun & exciting to start to see my artwork out there (licensing takes time and patience!). So I wanted to share a piece from one of my favorite collections, all 4 prints are available at art.com.

It Starts with a Painting!

 

Sharing some stacks of paintings for a new collection I just finished up. I feel very fortunate that my work is created with equal parts on the easel and the computer. As much as I love painting, I also really love working out my designs digitally. Being able to jump back and forth between the two mediums is the perfect work method for someone who likes to change things up often!

 

In other news, I'm planing to add some more home decor/everyday prints to my shop and I might just start with this Magnolia painting, I'll keep you posted!

Keepsake.

This past weekend was a dear friend's wedding up in the Catskills. Using the invitation that she designed I painted a custom wedding hanger for her dress. This is actually the second time I've done this so I'm sharing both of them today!

I love being able to gift these, such a nice way to do something special and different for people I care about.


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