The Art of Paper Cutting

Paper cutting is certainly not a new medium, but Sarah Dennis’ paper cutting artwork has taken me be surprise. Her work has such beautifully delicate execution. Finished off by presenting each piece mounted in a shadow box, which I feel is perfect for this medium.

Polar Bear by Sarah Dennis

“Polar Bear” by Sarah Dennis

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What to include in a portfolio

Portfolio’s are fickle beasts. Deciding what to put in, what to pull out, and how to present it is difficult. It requires that an artist review his or her work objectively. Portfolio websites are no different. They require constant feedback and updates to keep them looking their best. Any one piece that is not up to the caliber of the other work included brings down the quality of the portfolio as a whole. A great portfolio intrigues the viewer, keeping him or her interested and wanting more.


Two of the most important things to keep in mind when formulating a portfolio:
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The Best Mobile Drawing App Is Called Paper

"Trumpet Flower" illustration by Nicole Cleary using the Paper app by FiftyThree

“Trumpet Flower” illustration by Nicole Cleary using the Paper app by FiftyThree

logoPaper by FiftyThree

The main idea for this app is simple. Get your ideas on paper. It’s the best tool to sort out the concept you have in your head and make it a visual reality. The key to its success is that it has a staggeringly simple UI/interface and an extremely accurate replication of the effects of a calligraphy pen, pencil, heavy marker, fine-tip marker, and watercolor brush on a real paper surface. The developers have even gone so far as to mimic how colors mix once applied to the page. For example, if you were to paint a spot with yellow, then paint over that same spot with blue, you would see green where those two spots overlapped. Impressed? I certainly was.
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Butterfly Cycle – Painting

Butterfly Cycle Painting by Nicole Cleary

Butterfly Cycle Painting by Nicole Cleary

After creating my portfolio website design, I felt attached to my branding concept of a butterfly growing from an egg on a leaf (stage 1), to a caterpillar (stage 2), to a cacoon (stage 3), and finally pushing out of the cocoon to reveal a beautifully colored butterfly (stage 4). I had created these illustrations specifically for my website design, but I wanted more for them. I had to find a way to use them again.
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Inspirational Artist Feature – Megan Lara

Leah by MeganLara

Leah by MeganLara

Megan has a lovely “stained glass” quality to the coloring of her artwork. These illustrations are part of her personal “Art Nouveau” series.

She has an absolute love for all things pop culture. From Doctor Who to Dexter, Megan loves it all. Her beautiful fan inspired artwork can be found in all the far corners of geek-dom: ThinkGeek, Threadless, J!nx, Fangamer, Mighty Fine, and Teefury just to name a few. So its extremely fitting that she’s currently working on creating covers for Dark Horse/Joss Whedon’s new “Willow” comic series from the Buffyverse. Megan, if you are reading this, I can honestly say I’m jealous. I’d love to be creating illustrations for Joss Whedon.
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75,000+ Views in 2012, Thank You!

75,000+ Views in 2012 by Nicole Cleary

Thank you all for supporting my blog! Knowing you’re out there waiting to see a new idea, a new sketch, a new inspirational artist is extremely motivating. I created and finished more artwork in 2012 than in any other year. It really means a lot to me.

Here’s the breakdown from 2012…

– 75,000+ total page views

across all posts and pages. My biggest month was June with over 15,000 page views.
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Stitches - painting by Nicole Cleary

Stitches – painting by Nicole Cleary

Before Thanksgiving and during a rather bad nor’easter, our little dachshund Leo started acting unwell. At first he was walking around a bit less. Then when he did walk, it would look slow and careful. Finally he seemed to just lay down almost all the time. We knew something was wrong, but just weren’t sure what it was.
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Happy New Year | Day And Night Painting

Welcome to the new year with a painting I created over the holiday break that visualizes transition. I’ve been incognito the last few months due to work, drama, and overall busy-ness, but now I’m back. In the next few posts I will catch you up on all the artwork and life events you missed in the past couple of months.

I started this blog in March of last year, and have enjoyed every minute. Thank you all for your continued support. Here’s to another year of life, laughs, tears, and of course… art.

"Day And Night" painting by Nicole Cleary

“Day And Night” painting by Nicole Cleary

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Help Us Heal From Hurricane Sandy

Many families were displaced and traumatized by the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy on the east coast. Thankfully my home was not affected by the storm, but some of my close friends and family living on or near to the affected coastal regions like Long Beach, the Rockaways, and Breezy Point have lost all their possessions, their house, and in some severe cases they’ve lost their entire town and are unable to return. The damage was absolutely devastating. As the temperature drops dramatically, some families are still without heat and hot water. It hurts to watch the people I love suffer like this. Help those most in need in the Nassau County, New York area by purchasing any “Help Us Heal” artwork by Nicole Cleary on Society6.
ALL EARNINGS will go to Saint Vincent dePaul’s Society at Saint Joseph’s Church in Hewlett NY. This society dedicates its funding to current disaster relief for families in need.

Help Us Heal From Hurricane Sandy - Collage by Nicole Cleary

Thank you for your support.

Photos by SuperClearyPhoto
“Help Us Heal” graphic by Nicole Cleary

Playful Polygon Illustrations by JR Schmidt

3D design is certainly not a new medium anymore, but I love the new art style JR Schmidt concocted from it. These are just a few of his inspiring pieces from the 50 he created for the launch of Neonmob. Conceptually, I would almost put these in the same category as paper-sculpture. They certainly have that feel, but without the risk of slicing your hand open. Each piece is brilliantly lit to capture the subtle details in the angles each polygon. These large scale, conceptual scenes would really be perfect for a new video game design.

Cove - Polygon Illustration by JR Shmidt

Cove – Polygon Illustration by JR Shmidt

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