28 October 2010

buttons & mirrors!

*
 *
I've stocked both my etsy and big cartel shops with limited edition pocket mirrors and pinback buttons {only a small handful left}~ 
Enjoy!

27 October 2010

special delivery

 *
*
I received my original mixed media painting "People are Mean" from Micki Wilde at The Secret Hermit last week, and I absolutely love it! {I nabbed the photo from her listing} This piece is so playful & mischievous~ I am excited it traveled safely across the ocean to live in my home.

Micki has an awesome blog, too! Give it a visit if you have a chance~

25 October 2010

{inspiration}

*there is nothing quite like fresh flowers to brighten up a gloomy autumn day*
*
*
After a wonderful visit with my grandparents I am back to my normal posting routine.  Thank you all for being patient with me while my blogging has been a bit sparse.
*
I have a busy week ahead and lots of new items to add to the shops. Keep checking the blog for updates!
*
I hope that everyone has been having a lovely October~

22 October 2010

IF*racing

*
Thirteen flowers and thirteen tattoos 
for the thirteen unlucky men 
who never made it to their wedding day.
*
She was no longer racing to the alter....

18 October 2010

new work

A few new monsters at Unconventional Ida!
*
*
People were sometimes unsure of who the monster was~
Trattello, or his favorite pet, Fig.
 *
*
*
 {bliss}
She knew that if she closed her eyes and relaxed,
she would be able to remember the smell of the ocean.
*


IF*spooky

*
*
I didn't look at this week's Illustration Friday word until this morning.  One of the girls from my Swoon show is perfect!  I apologize for being a little lax on my posting these last few days~ my grandparents have flown in from Pennsylvania for a visit, and I have been enjoying my time with them. It is the first time they've flown since the 1950s. I am so proud of them!
*
I will be staying out at the lake this upcoming week.  I am bringing a lot of work with me {like the bookmarks that I still haven't finished}. Hopefully I will have it ready to share with you by Friday.
*
Today? I need to get in gear and finish straightening up. My grandparents are making the trek to Missoula to see my house for the very first time. I can't wait!
*
Have a wonderful Monday~
I know I will!



17 October 2010

13 October 2010

the desk

Furniture provides me with a great deal of inspiration. When I see a beautiful, well-crafted piece, my heart starts beating rapidly and I get weak in the knees.

I do not discriminate between types of furniture~ I love dressers as equally as I love chairs; tables are on the same level as bookshelves. The one thing that separates one from the other is, of course, design.
*
*sometimes I wish I lived in a home larger than nine hundred square feet,
but only so that I could collect more furniture*
*
A friend sent me a link to a terrific short from Aaron Trinder about "the desk" which you can see below. Due to the upsurge in mobility of technology, many people feel that the traditional use of the desk is coming to an end. Why be tethered to a slab of wood {or plastic, glass, metal~ your preference} when you can get your work done anywhere? Local coffee shops, park benches, and living room sofas are now fair game.
*

*
Why do you feel that the desk is necessary/obsolete?
*
Below, you will see the evolution of my workspace throughout the creation of a piece. Later, I will share with you an image of the same space after the end of a day.  I always need to start with a clean surface, but it certainly never ends up that way.
*
pimp myspace

12 October 2010

.bookmarks.

Peekaboo!  
A sneak peek of what will soon be in the shop~
*
*
This week I am working on a series of bookmarks for you.  They will be original {one of a kind} ink and colored pencil illustrations drawn on heavyweight coffee-stained paper.  

*I will not be making copies to mass produce.* 

Every bookmark comes straight from my pen to you.  Once I am finished with a batch, each character  will be laminated so they will last you through years of book reading. 

I will be sure to keep you posted on when I plan to list them {they should be up by the end of the week}.
*
*
Have a lovely Tuesday~

11 October 2010

{inspiration}

*
*
Hair!
As I am getting my Dia de los Muertos girls ready for my Swoon Gallery show, I am trying to incorporate a few new hairstyles into the mix.  While the image above is a little excessive {can you even imagine how exhausting it would be to carry around all of that hair?}, I am excited to soon share with you the new styles I have come up with for the girls in my portraits. I'll keep you posted...


08 October 2010

IF*transportation

*
*
He loved to use his own two feet as his form of transportation.  That way, he could take the time to dream of a world where wishes hung on clouds...

07 October 2010

oh, hello




Recipe for "Oh, hello."

1- 4 x 6 inch {10,2 x 15,2 cm} piece of Arches hot press paper
2- cups of finely ground coffee
1- imagination
1- micron pen {01}
1- crimson lake colored pencil
1- terra cotta colored pencil

Make a strong batch of coffee in French press. Soak paper in coffee bath. Remove and bake in oven at low temp for 5-10 minutes. Place paper in a wood press to straighten. Let sit overnight. Once paper is flat and dry, use micron pen and imagination to bring the character to life. Top it off with a sprinkle of colored pencil to create rosy cheeks and knees.

Serves: one happy home and those who visit.

This illustration is available for purchase.

treasury + gratitude

featuring the work of~
*
.{This week I am grateful for}.
The weeks that I do not have a cold
My husband's cooking
Two wonderful dogs who curl up in the sunshine with me
Friends who come to all of my art openings~ no matter how small
My sister
*
What inspires happiness in you this week?

06 October 2010

hello, my name is stella latwinski

*
*
Q. {I thought you disappeared. Where were you all summer?}

A. I would love to say that I was off in some foreign country, hiking around with a backpack and a sketchpad. The truth is, I was working what I consider a {big girl} job.  After graduation, in May, I was hired as an economist for an environmental consulting firm.

Q. {You are an economist?}

A. Yes, I studied economics for both my undergraduate and master's degrees.

Q. {So, are you working as both an economist and an illustrator?}

A. Two weeks ago I was presented with the most amazing opportunity to go back to my art full time.  While I enjoyed my work as an economist, and those that I worked with, I do have to admit that I missed my wood and pencils. I chose to dive back in to my life as a full-time artist.

Q. {I have to ask~ why did you change your name? Who is Stella Latwinski?}

A. I apologize for the abrupt name change for those of you that have been following me as k*smith.  The truth is, now that I am 100% focused on art as a career, I needed to set myself apart from Unconventional Ida a bit.  Unconventional Ida is just one of my story lines, and I have always wanted the freedom to break free and create work that is not confined to Ida's world.  The problem with using k*smith, or even my full name~ Kelly Smith is that it is an extremely common name. There is even another portrait artist by the name of Kelly Smith. I needed a name that would stand out both in searches, and in people's minds. I chose to honor my great-grandmother and take her name~ Stella Latwinski. Going forward, I will be creating work under this name.

Q. {Does that mean Unconventional Ida is going to disappear?}

A. Absolutely not. The story is going to get even better.  Now that I have a clear focus for Ida, I am excited to bring back more stories and characters!  I even have plans for a monthly periodical.

 *************************

I just want to say thank you to those who stuck around and didn't give up on me during my brief disappearance in the art world.  I am so excited to be back!  Please feel free to send any comments or questions my way, either through this blog or via e-mail~ unconventionalida.{at}.gmail.{dot}.com.
*
Have a lovely day~
Stella L.

the longboard project

My poor, neglected longboard project....

My husband makes beautiful longboards out of old water skis.  I love his so much that I wanted one of my own.  I started the illustration on my deck almost a year ago and, apparently, I never got around to finish it.  Today I am going to tackle it so that I can spray it, add the trucks & wheels, and get out there with D and the pups before it snows.
 *
 *
 *
*
*
I wish that you could see the shimmer from the gold pigment that I dusted it with in the photos.  She's going to be so pretty~ I can't wait!

05 October 2010

my bag

I first saw the travelteq laptop bag featured on design*sponge last January.  I fell in love with it immediately...and, of course, knew it was way out of my price range. I felt a tinge of jealousy for people that could walk around with this bag and then quickly moved on.

When I graduated in May, my parents asked what I would like as a gift and mentioned possibly buying me a briefcase.  I imagined myself carrying around one of those hard rectangles with the little flippy brass locks on the top and chuckled.  "Mom," I said, "I certainly do not need a briefcase."

After a few days of thinking about what they could get me as a gift that I would appreciate for the rest of my life, I thought once again about the beautiful bag I had seen back in January.

Apparently, it was meant to be.

As with most online purchases, I get a little nervous before I buy something. Will it look anything like it does in the advertisements? Will I be disappointed?

The travelteq bag exceeded my expectations.  The stitching is impeccable, the leather is sublime, and the best part~ there are so many pockets within the bag that I can keep everything organized perfectly!
*
*
To see the tagged items from inside my bag, stop by my flickr page.

step.by.step

Well, really only two steps with this one. It took me so long to get into it, that I didn't want to take the time to scan every fifteen minutes or so.  I had a difficult time with this piece of paper from the start.  It just did not know what it wanted to be. All I know is that I wanted it to be something beautiful, soft, and elegant. At one point I had even set it aside to start with a fresh piece. It was only a matter of seconds and I had convinced my hands they needed to push on~ something would spring from this persnickety piece of coffee-stained Arches hot press paper in front of me.

I am so glad I stuck with it.

I came up with this pretty little sketch and got to work with some color.
*
*
*
I hope you receive as much enjoyment from looking at her, as I did from creating her~

04 October 2010

{inspiration}

She vowed to protect him from anything that could cause harm...
*
*
*
...even if it was a monster disguised as a perfect starry night.

I have been sitting with this illustration for quite some time.  I had originally inked it in late spring, but ended up putting it in my "I'm not really happy with you so I am just going to set you aside" pile.  Something made me pick it up and work on it today. Perhaps a hidden urge to work on something outside of the melancholy portraits I am used to?  This illustration feels a little sweeter to me...still a little sinister, but in a gentler sort of way.

After bringing it out of my misfits pile, I sat down and got to work. Usually, when I am working I will listen to music or the occasional podcast, however, since about 4:45 pm yesterday I have been obsessed with lectures on ted.com.  Now, I have listened to the occasional one or two from time to time, but right now I am addicted. {Sitting with my journal, I kept myself up until well after midnight last night listening to one right after the other~ writing down ideas and other things that came to mind.} These lectures have become a terrific substitute for the staleness I have felt with my music lately. 

Anyway, the point of my one paragraph ramble above is that I had on an incredible talk {his last lecture} from Randy Pausch while coloring this piece. I want to share it with you.  For me, it was truly worth the hour and fifteen minutes.




01 October 2010

IF*beneath

*
Alice Priscilla's elongated neck provided 
an ample view of everything beneath her.