Thursday, October 3, 2013

New Mini Prints from Printstagram

A friend of mine told me about Printstagram ( a site where you can get your instagram photos printed in several formats. I had some cards made using some photos and photos of a few illustrations of mine. 

I'll be selling them at my mom's shop, Sherrie's Stuff, in Warrenton, VA. I'm working out price, but I will use half of what I make from these cards to buy food for the Fauquier Community Food Bank! 

I'll update you on this in a month or so and document my trip to the store and to the food bank. Yay!

Finally taking the leap

I've taken the leap.

I think I made this image back in 2010 or 2011. Around that time a gallery owner who had this print up in his shop asked me, "What's the story behind this 'Alois' print? Everybody loves it." I don't think I had an explanation. I actually created this image after going to church one day and saw a light reflecting on a wall that looked like a bird. I thought it looked neat and decided I was going to go home and draw this bird.

What was a reflection on a wall became an illustration, and then a poem, and then a story. And now I can say that the story told through this illustration is a part of my own. 

This entire summer I've been doing lots of praying, trying to figure out the next best step for me. I was thinking maybe it was finally time to start my own business. But fear and logic had me feeling like maybe I should consider my other options. Like:

1) Pursue web design. I had taken a year of web and interactive design classes thinking it was something I'd pursue next. As great and exciting as this sounded, I felt like I was still on a path of going after everything BUT what I actually wanted to do. Illustrate.

2) Quit my full-time and find a part-time job so that I could spend more time creating. This didn't make much sense to me because I like my current job, I enjoy my coworkers and people that I'm able to help and work with, it doesn't stress me out at all, and I learn a lot of things that help me as a designer/illustrator/entrepreneur.

3) Try and find another job doing illustration. This sounded fine but I felt like I could enter a place where I'm creating things with no purpose. I love art that has heart behind it. And although making something beautiful and sexy and having a happy client can be enough, for me personally its not always as fulfilling as knowing that what you're creating is effecting someones life in small or big, positive ways. (This is something I will continue to pursue in life because I'm still not where I want to be.)

4) Just be a full-time freelance illustrator and designer. Honestly, I'm just not ready. Not yet.

I took a trip to Paris and Barcelona at the end of August. Traveling does something in me. I think exploring new places, seeing how others live, hearing other languages, and the sometimes freedom, sometimes anxiety of getting lost and finding your way is all humbling, encouraging, exciting. I love being tested and forced to step out of my comfort zone. But thats the thing: It's so hard to force ourselves to do something without the help of outside influences. And while overseas I realized that I have to force myself to step out of my comfort zone. And I couldn't wait for other things to happen to see if it would force something to happen in the way that I hoped. I had to take the step I was afraid to take. It was time.
So I decided that when I got back I would ask to cut a few hours so that I could begin to work on my business on the side.

But would they allow it? Would they know that I'm still serious about what I do? Was it an act of selfishness doing something like this? Could I still pay my bills? Was reducing hours enough? Would God desire that I took a bigger leap and have greater faith? Should I let them know about this business I'm hoping to start? Questions and fears still whirred in my mind.

But I had to do it. I had to do SOMETHING. Take one step. Realize that the rest would come. Stop thinking. Start doing. It's ok if its not the right or most perfect step. I'll learn and adapt (if my mind is open to it).

So I'm also the type of person that pays attention to signs. And some people may think I'm crazy, but I truly do believe, as the quote from "The Alchemist" says: When you want something, all the universe conspires to help you achieve it."

My Signs:

- At work, I thought that maybe I could use Thursdays and Fridays as "my day." We weren't so busy these days so I figured I could come for half the day and get my personal work done the other half of the day.

- My roommate was about to get married and would soon be moving out of the house. Her rent was $140 dollars less than mine. If I moved into her room I could save on rent with my reduced income. Yes, the room was much smaller, but it was worth the sacrifice. I think we HAVE to make sacrifices to get something we really want and make it work. Short term pain for long term gain. Or long term pain for future gain. However you want to look at it, I had to do it. I believe God desires we make sacrifices if we want to evolve.

- I received 3 new projects within a month from new clients.

- My mom invited me to go to the NY Now trade show. When I saw what some of the vendors were doing I gained a new confidence in myself. She didn't have to invite me, but she did. (Thanks, Mom!)

- I kept hearing from family, friends and acquaintances that they really had faith in what I do.

This is all God. And some would say, "No, it's coincidence." And maybe it is. But to me, they're signs that motivate and encourage me to stick with God and trust in Him.

Determined that I could make things work I decided to just ask. And be completely honest and transparent. And my boss said yes :)

- - - -

I remember lying in bed a few months back while praying and just thinking, when I decided that I was no longer going to pursue my dreams using logic alone. For some reason, logical reasoning by itself brews fear in me, and I knew I'd only continue in circles going after everything but what was on my heart and in the end still feel like something was missing. Heart things can't be pursued by logic. Only by faith (and trust in God).

Many plans are in a man’s mind, but it is the Lord’s purpose
for him that will stand. - Proverbs 19:21

I just want to share this to encourage you to:

- Figure out what makes you, or what you do, unique
- Don't be afraid to stand out and look or think differently.
- Find a way to help and serve others through what you do.
- Wait. Meditate.
- Don't allow fear to cripple you. We are the ones that give life to fear.
- There aren't many that take the extra time and effort to get better at something, to be better, to be the best, etc. Take that extra time and effort.
- Trust your gut. Follow your heart. Watch for signs (big and small).
- Acknowledge your blessings. The smallest blessings are your fuel to keep pushing.

Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you]. (Romans 12:2 AMP)

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 NIV)

My soul, wait only upon God and silently submit to Him; for my hope and expectation are from Him. He only is my Rock and my Salvation; He is my Defense and my Fortress, I shall not be moved. With God rests my salvation and my glory; He is my Rock of unyielding strength and impenetrable hardness, and my refuge is in God!
(Psalm 62:5-7 AMP)

From a message by Charles Stanley: Definition of Waiting: Pausing for further instruction. Waiting is not passive. It is directed instruction. Being still is an act of submission and trust in God. 

Wait Patiently. Trusting Him. Expectingly. Steadfast (staying strong in the storm). Courageously (having no reason to fear). Silently. 

The simple things: Inspiring things all around

My Yogi Tea

My Grandparents house in the country

This garden in my neighborhood. 

Sexy pieces I've collected over the years that I can't get rid of. 

Follow me on instagram: @ash_corrin

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Pattern Exploring

I'm trying something new this year. I'd like to come up with a set of seasonal patterns so that I can begin to grow my pattern portfolio and possibly begin to attend pattern licensing conventions. I've realized that I need to expose myself to a larger audience and I also need to produce much more! 

So recently I've began taking photos wherever I go, usually when stepping away from my desk and moving my car. It's a great mental escape and gives me a moment to take my mind of work, my eyes off of a monitor, and focus on my environment and nature. 

I'm excited to see what comes of this. I'll definitely try and post side-by-side images of these photos and new pattern sketches once I get started on them. 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Add some color to your space

Decided to make these two-color pots this weekend that I saw on Pinterest. I absolutely love them! These pots are a great solution to adding pops of color to your space. I think they'd also make nice gifts.

I was at Trader Joes today and saw some herbs that I'd also like to use in some of these pots. I guess over the years I've really gotten into having plants in my home. It may have come from an experience staying with a couple in Philadelphia. The room I was in was so simple and serene — white linen, white curtains, minty walls, a wooden and iron desk, and plants placed around the room. Aaaaaah .... loved it.

These aren't finished but almost there. Just going to gloss them and add some string or ribbon. Original pin here.

Quote of the Day

Yes, yes, yes, yes, YES. (Found on Pinterest) 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

"Why Quantity Should be Your Priority" from

Two years ago I set a goal of making 22 pillows within a month for a craft show I was going to do with my mom. I haven't done something like this since, but I'm thinking it is that time. 

Why Quantity Should be Your Priority

I've seen a few people post this blog post on facebook and want to repost. Has definitely got me thinking a bit more about the way I create and what I should change. 

I was recently reminded of a simple general principle to operate by, especially for those of us in the early phases of mastery or wanting to expose ourselves to high-growth opportunities: 
Quantity trumps quality. 
Let me elaborate: quantity should be a higher priority than quality, because it leads to higher quality. The shorter path to maximized quality is in maximized quantity, and executing on the feedback after each finished product. (Some may say that this is a less refined form of deliberate practise.) 


Read more at the link 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Wise Grasshopper Quote of the Day

Just came across this quote at the bottom of an email I received and had to post it. 

Hope you have an amazing Monday! 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Invisible Man project

Something I made while taking an interactive design class last fall. We had to make several sizes for the web and this one of the larger ones that was animated.  

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Dinosaur Onesie design

This past Mother's Day I created my first onesie design. I thought it'd be a one-time thing or maybe something I just do for my nephew, but I actually really enjoyed creating it! Thinking about possible starting a little new venture with this. But here's one I did for one of my best friend's son. He should be here in a few weeks and I can't wait to see it on him!

The first onesie design I worked on for my nephew. 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Sushi Pillow

Received a request for a sushi pillow. The story behind the request was that the now married couple's first date was a sushi date. I thought it was cute. 

Anyways, before sending it off my friend Lotus helped me take some photos. So here's the pillow, here are a couple of photos, and now I need to figure out if I'll make more of these or not. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Enjoy Yourself

I just want to take a moment and talk about being alone.

Nothing is wrong with it.

The time you have with yourself is equally as special and important as the time you spend around others. As we experience things with friends and family, we learn more about them and our relationships grow as a result. We should do the same for ourselves. Take time to experience the world alone every now and then. Get to know yourself and the way you adapt and respond to it differently as you age and mature. I do believe that the peace and comfort we have with ourselves by ourselves, overflows into other relationships in our lives.

Treat yourself! Take yourself on a date. Go see a movie. Go eat and have a drink alone. Go to a market. Take a stroll with some ice cream. People watch. Travel and explore a new place and test your comfortability.

Simply give yourself some mental and emotional breathing room to be, know, learn and enjoy YOURSELF.


A couple of verses that speak to the things I have learned and continue to learn and discover about myself during my "me time."  
But let it be the inward adorning and beauty of the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible and unfading charm of a gentle and peaceful spirit, which [is not anxious or wrought up, but] is very precious in the sight of god.  
-1 Pet 3:4 
So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.
-Colossians 3:12-14

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Monday, June 24, 2013

Let your heart take you

I'm slowly getting into the habit of praying and spending quiet time with God before and/or after work. I've found it to truly be a blessing as I'm able to spiritually prepare for whatever may come my way that day, talk to God and let go of whatever is on my heart and mind at the time, or just celebrate who He is and forget about my worries and woes. 

Anyhow, I didn't really get serious about this time with Him until this year, and still not truly serious until recently. But over time the more and more I do it I've felt a sense of freedom in myself and peace with the things going on around me. I still worry. I still become insecure. But I feel like I don't carry it like I used to. These moments with Him have offered me the opportunity to let it go, trust that He'll take care of it all, and learn His Word so that I can apply it to life.

This year, as I've spent more time with Him I've realized that God knows my heart, and He and my heart know me best. Since graduating there are a couple things that have remained on my mind and heart that I've ignored because of fear or inability to make sense of how it would work in my life. But as I've continued to pray and spend time with Him more, these desires have only become louder and now almost audibly clear. 

My heart, or probably God, is like "Do it." And I'm now saying, "Ok." 

So I say this to encourage you. If there is something that reoccurs in your mind that tugs on your heart, it's probably something you're purposed to do. If it seems impossible or may take a little extra time or different kind of effort, it'll probably be worth it in the end. And if you fear what people may think of you, you're probably taking a risk that involves a leap that not many would have the nerve to do, but for some reason this thing has been placed in your heart because you have been given the capacity (the ability, the experiences, you're prepared and ready, you have the strength) to do it. 

I think when we follow God we have to let go of opinions, fears, logic, insecurities, etc. and just let Him pull you. Let Him lead the way. 

But his delight and desire are in the law of the Lord, and on His law (the precepts, the instructions, the teachings of God) he habitually meditates (ponders and studies) by day and by night. And he shall be like a tree firmly planted [and tended] by the streams of water, ready to bring forth its fruit in its season; its leaf also shall not fade or wither; and everything he does shall prosper [and come to maturity]. 
(Psalm 1:2, 3 AMP)

Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for andhope for andexpect the Lord!  
(Psalm 31:24 AMP)

Friday, June 14, 2013

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Fabric arrived!

A couple weeks ago I created the strawberry pattern above and sent it to get it printed on fabric. At the time I thought I'd make a tea towel or dish towel out of it, but once the fabric arrived the texture didn't seem suitable for either one. Not sure what I'll do with it now, but looking on the internet to find ideas. I'm thinking fabric coasters or cloth to go on top of jar of strawberry jam.  I'll use the ladybug fabric to create placemats as I have done in the past. 

I'll post an update once I begin working on them and things begin to fall into place. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Faith Like a Mustard Seed

A little inspiration for this monday. Have a great week!

Friday, June 7, 2013

"Roll that beautiful bean footage!"

Anyone else remember that baked beans commercial? The dog didn't look like this, btw.

National Donut Day!

Are you celebrating?! I probably won't because I've had too much chocolate already today. Here's an illustration I did for Northern Virginia Magazine's May issue. It's raining here, which is perfect whether to just treat yourself (and coworkers?) ...

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Cocktails from Film & Literature

I'm not much of a drinker, but I LOVE this infographic. Awesome chart at the link, too.