Sonja Funnell Art

Sonja Funnell Art: June 2013

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Animals That Travel Complete

The colored parts are supposed to be neon, the scanner  killed it.

Crane Motif

This is a work in progress. I was ready to give up on it. I had that feeling that this piece was pointless to create. Maybe it will mean something when it's finished? At least it's enjoyable to work on while watching Supernatural. 

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Friday, June 28, 2013

5 Ways for Artists to Get Motivated

5 Ways for Artists to Get Motivated

 It's only been a few months since I graduated from college, and I can already notice a large drop in the amount of work I was create compared to when I was in school. The deadlines and discipline I had because of my Solo Senior Exhibition aren't there, and it's more tempting to be lazy and participate in other pastimes. My new job also requires drawing on the computer all day, so it can be hard to come home and want to draw again. This is the most lucky problem in the world to have, but I'll write about how to deal with it anyway.

1. Get Jealous

My first step is get motivated by some good old fashioned jealousy. Search the art tag on Tumblr, or Pinterest and keep scrolling until you find something that you wish you'd created. Collect these images, and find out what makes these art pieces stand out. See if this is something you can bring to a piece of your own, and think of how you could make something even better. When looking through at the artwork of others, think about how many hours and how much dedication some of these artists put into this work. Even if they are a quitter just like you, pretend they're not, and channel your envy into inspiration to create.

2. Feel Guilty

If you have a talent or are creatively inclined, it's natural to feel guilty when you're not creating. As an artist, it's how you contribute to the culture and world around you. This guilt can be channeled for good, and transformed into motivation. If you are constantly drowning in guilt and do nothing about it, the guilt is pointless, but when acted upon, it's healthy. An art sessions should be enough to take it away for a decent amount of time, and make you feel proud you made something, even if the work isn't a masterpiece, it's still practice.

3. Remember Your Ridiculous Goals

When it's hard to understand why you should even make art anymore, think back to goals you had in the past. These could be goals like showing work in a prestigious gallery, selling your paintings for mountains of cash, or improving your art skills. Even if these goals seem far away or not likely to be obtained for whatever reason, break them down into smaller attainable goals, and work toward one. Plan deadlines for each piece, and watch motivation get restored. 

4. Get Involved in the Art Community

Gain motivation from the people around you by getting involved in your local art community. This will most likely mean getting involved in shows as well, which means work will need to be made. The anticipation of a show, and being judged always brings motivation and competition to the surface, and my best work is create under this kind of pressure. This is how I thrive personally, others may find it stressful and a block to motivation. 

5. Draw With Children

Children are so creative and have an unbridled energy present in their art that we forget how to harness as adults. When you draw with a child, it's hard not to be motivated because helping them improve their skills is rewarding, and learning how to be more creative again is so valuable. If you don't gain motivation from stress and pressure, this is a laid back way to just start drawing without fear of repercussion. If you want to see evidence of the creativity of children, look at my 9 year old sister Trinity's blog

I hope some of these ideas are useful for starting to draw when you really don't feel like it. The end results are always worth it, so I hope you keep creating. 

Bonus motivation: If you send a link to your artwork in the comments, I will feature you in the next Art Links post! 

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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Art Links 6/27/2013

  • The Humpbacked Horse has beautiful animation and music. When I was little I used to watch the butchered dubbed version, "The Magic Pony", and I just recently found out how artistic this movie really is.
  • Detailed works dealing with the spiritual and occult by Pedro Friedberg
  • An Animator's Journey shows the process of Disney animation. 

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

My Colored Pencil Process {Animals That Travel Part IV}

I can't believe I'm not done with this drawing, it's dragging on forever. My excuse is a good one though, I just started a new job at Green 3 as their Graphic Artist. I get to create artwork for t shirts, it's much more illustration than graphic design, which is what I was looking for. So that's my excuse. What else interesting is going on? I've been playing a lot of Pokemon, painted my nails lemon yellow, and my house is too hot to live in.

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Art Links 6/20/13

Art Links

  • I am going to be in the Clawhammer Music and Arts Festival along with many other artists from the Oshkosh area. There will artist in residencies, an installation, music, food and more.
  • Beautiful glass work by local artist Jenna Larson. I love how her work looks like liquid glass.
  • An archive of fairytale illustration. The detail and imagination in this art is amazing.
  • This art by Caitlyn Shearer has such a loose and beautiful line quality to it. Her mermaids piece is my favorite. 
  • Sweetheart of the Rodeo has vintage clothes, historic villages and art, so she deserves a feature. 

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Monday, June 17, 2013

My Colored Pencil Process {Animals That Travel Part III }

Here is some progress on this piece. I figured out what to do with the background and it's slowly coming together. I'm layering the colors to give more vibrancy to leaves, and keeping the space airy toward the back. 

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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Art Links 6/13/13

Art Links

  • I love the color palette of Bri Emery's Design Work. She uses pastels mixed with bright and unexpected colors. Her photography is also lovely.
  • Here are images from the children's book Lona. The black and white imagery is so dreamy and soft.
  • For people living in Oshkosh Wisconsin, the Market Boutique On Main is one of my favorite local shops. They have handmade jewelry, decor and natural beauty products that don't involve harsh chemicals. 
  • Detailed paintings by Aimei Ozaki from the Baudelaire series. 
  • I've learned a lot about art marketing and blogging from the Artists Helping Artists blog and podcast.

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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

My Colored Pencil Process {Animals That Travel Part II }

Watch the video below to see how I brought this piece to this point. Yes I blink a lot. It's because I'm a quiet woman. In the video, I do a live demonstration of the techniques I talk about in this article about colored pencils.

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Monday, June 10, 2013

Animals That Travel

I got some time to work on personal artwork today. Lately I've been working on a freelance project and learning Adobe Illustrator since it's something I should know how to use as a graphic designer. This image has a child guiding a line of deer with some large antlers. There may also be swatches of pattern placed in random areas, it might be what the picture needs to take it out of Northwoods Wisconsin art and into a contemporary setting.

If I had time to watch Leprechaun 2, did I have time to do more personal artwork than this? Do I have poor time management skills? 

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Sunday, June 9, 2013

A leprechaun's home has many surprises.

Brock and I watched Leprechaun 2 this weekend. What a high quality film.

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Thursday, June 6, 2013

Organization for Art and Office Supplies

Organization for Art and Office Supplies

Here is a glance inside the drawers of the rainbow storage cart I use to house my various art and office supplies. I separate my colored pencils by warm and cool colors for easier access.
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Art Links 6/6/13

  • An interview with the designer of the costumes for The Great Gatsby
  •  I hate lawn care. It takes time away from productive endeavors and puts chemicals into the soil.
  • This is a gorgeous book about Art Deco. I own this one, it's worth it. 
  • Branding for The Great Gatsby. These are some high quality logo marks.
  • Let's all be productive and make creative things.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Young and Beautiful

I saw The Great Gatsby tonight, and loved it. I've always been a fan of the book and Baz Luhrmann's films. I wish I could write as beautifully as F. Scott Fitzgerald. Since I couldn't create anything beautiful today, I'm posting a painting from the past to fill the void.
There is going to be less work for a little bit because I'm working on a freelance job drawing a map for a school, and some other small illustrations. If I get permission from the client, I will post my progression on this project. I've been waiting after graduation for things to happen, and now they're all happening at once. That's always the nature of things.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

5 Places to Promote Your Art For a Greater Online Presence

Here are 10 websites you can sign up for quickly and easily to saturate the internet with your art presence. Most don't take too much time to create an account for, and updating each of these doesn't take too much maintenance once established. I will also give a star rating for each site to help you assess the quality of each site.

Website #1: Sign up for DeviantArt

I have been on DeviantArt for 7 years now, and this is the website where I have gained the greatest amount of page views and interactions. It was my first experience with self promotion and was a great starting platform.


  •  It's easy to make friends and connections here, and comments are easy to post.
  •  art is visually "collected" into the folders of others can find you easily
  •  there is a decent amount of customization on your personal page
  • you can do well if you find drawing fan art enjoyable.


  • You do well if you find drawing fan art enjoyable. I used to have a lot of loyal followers on Deviantart until I stopped drawing copious amounts of romantic fan art. 
  • It is hard to get noticed when you submit art with the never ending stream of work coming in. And a lot of it doesn't feel like artwork, there are a lot of "nudes", screenshots from games/shows, etc.
  • The artists who are most popular are stuck in the most popular pages, it's hard to move in on them since when you visit DeviantArt, these works always show up, and get more views, comments, and favorites. 
Read more »

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Monday, June 3, 2013

$$$ Cheap Day at the Thrift Store $$$

It was super cheap day at the local St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store, so I picked up a basket full of reference books. I love working from books more than searching Google for images, the composition process for my sketches is much more natural this way. I suppose it's like my love for drawing by hand. I tried drawing on Photoshop and Illustrator again last night, and didn't get into it. I'll never be a concept artist with my old fashioned way of drawing. Just so I can fill my role of cliché shopping woman, I also found these floral shoes for super cheap.
What kind of things do you find at the thrift store? Are they are great as these things?

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Sunday, June 2, 2013

Lion Social

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Saturday, June 1, 2013

Jane and Georgia

Jane Margolis with Georgia O'Keeffe painting 

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