Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Digging for Aesthetics: Opening Reception

The date is finally set for my art show at Cal State Fullerton! Sunday, January 23rd, 2011, 12:30-4:30pm, in the Chapman Atrium in the Titan Student Union. If you park in the State College Parking Structure (free on that Sunday!) you just walk through the sliding glass doors and you're there! Come stop by if you can, enjoy some refreshments, friendly faces, and see all of my artwork, new and old. This will be my first solo art show, so I'm pretty excited. I will also hopefully be selling some art prints that day so bring your pocket book ;)

Now that I have a definite deadline, I better get the rest of my paintings done! Back to work!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Title Page

The release of The Mahogany Door is creeping closer and closer! My part is pretty much done, so now we are getting the book printed and finishing the soundtrack that goes with the book. It's all coming together! Here is the title page of the book, which also happens to be a peek at what the cover will look like. I'll be posting the cover at another time, but until then, enjoy and get excited!

Here's a note Mark wrote about the Title Page, if you are interested.

Monday, November 22, 2010

New Work In Progress

Wow, I haven't posted in a long time! I guess that means I haven't been drawing enough...shame on me!! But I'm in the groove again, preparing for my first Solo Art show!! YAY! I will be showing in the CSUF Student Union in January. I'll be sending and posting details when it all starts coming together.

In the mean time, I'm working on some new art to fill all the space I've been given for the show. I have a few new ideas ready to go already and a few more brewing in the pot. I've decided to give painting another try, and so far it's been a good experience. I'm taking on acrylics for now. Somehow it doesn't seems as scary as oils. But maybe I'll get there eventually. A lot of people complain about the paint drying to quickly but I happen to like it....at least so far. I also did a little research and I'm trying out some mediums to mix with the paint. Right now I'm trying out Liquidex Flow Aid. I give it a thumbs up! I mix in a couple drops to my water cup and it really helps with the flow of the paint (obviously) and makes it easier for me to work up thin layers of paint.

Above is my first completed little painting. It was kind of a test painting, but I think it came out nicely, so I'll probably put it in the show. Next on my list are two larger paintings...probably 11x14 or maybe a little bigger! I might not post those though, and save them for my show to be revealed. ;D I have to create some interest in coming SOMEHOW!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Follow Your Dreams

(Thank you Katy Betz for sharing this with me...it's inspiring!!)

By Lloyd D. Newell of Music and the Spoken Word

Legend has it that at the end of every rainbow lies a pot of gold waiting to be claimed by the fortunate one who finds it. No one seems to have been lucky enough to win such a prize. Rainbows, like clouds and shadows, are hard to catch. But some people do follow rainbows - every time they follow their dreams.

The writer George Bernard Shaw said: "You see things, and you say 'Why?' But I dream things that never were, and I say 'Why not?'".

Who is the follower of dreams? Who looks to the rainbow? The entrepreneur who dreams up a product and spends long days establishing a successful business; the scientist who makes a breakthrough after countless hours of experimenting; the father who works overtime so his children can take music lessons. In every case, the followers of dreams are those willing to not only dream but also to work. They know that the dreams they pursue are far more fulfilling than any imaginary pot of gold.

If we would be well led, we should follow someone with a dream. If we would be well taught, we should see a teacher with a real vision. If we would soar to great heights, sail into uncharted waters, or reach the summit of unconquered peaks, we should follow the person who looks at what has never been done and says, "why not?" or better still, we can become that person.

We are all dreamers, in our own way. Even if our dream turns out to be as elusive as the mythical pot of gold, it is surely better to have looked to the rainbow and sought the prize than never to have tried. And perhaps our efforts will leave a legacy that will inspire others to follow the dream.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Upcoming Events

Phew!! There's a lot of things that have been going on and that are coming up in the next few months, and I have a lot to get done before then! Here's a run down:

1. The Art-4-Health Exhibit opened last weekend (Oct 15th) and I was awarded "Best of Show - Alumna" which means I get to have a solo show in the Titan Student Union at Cal State Fullerton!

2. November 5th, I will be showing some work for the Fullerton Art Walk at the Violethour Studio. I'll have prints available for purchase. Come take a look!

3. January 14th, I will be having my FIRST solo show in the Titan Student Union at Cal State Fullerton! I have a lot of space to show all my work...I'm pretty excited about this show!

This brings me to my next project...making some new art! I don't have enough to fill all the space I have been given for the show, so I need to get some more framed and make some completely new pieces. So let the brainstorming begin!!

I also will be venturing into the land of making prints. I already sell them online from my website, but have not sold them ready to frame. Which means I will need to get backing, mattes, and clear sleeves to sell them in. So along with the all the creative work ahead of me, I will also need to do a lot of "business" work.

All that being said, there's no time to delay! Let's get to work!!

Here are some sketches I did last weekend by the pool in Palm Springs while on a retreat. Enjoy for now, there will be more to come!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Sketches from the Zoo

Last weekend I went to the zoo in Washington D.C. I was surprised at how nice it was there. I went thinking that it was going to be lame, but Oh, how I was mistaken! They had a huge variety of animals to see, it was very clean and beautiful, and best of all, it's FREE to get in! Here are some drawings of some of the animals I saw there. There were also some birds there that I saw, Guira Cuckoos, that always sat in little groups. They're very odd looking and I thought they would make great characters in a story. I'll keep them in mind for future reference!

In other news, The Mahogany Door cover illustration is finally complete! (Can't post it just yet!) So technically, my work on the book is done...I can't believe it. I've been working on this project since April, and sometime in the spring, it will be printed and available for purchase! I can't wait!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Temporary Art Gallery at EV Free Fullerton

I had a cool opportunity recently to display my art in the new building at EV Free Fullerton. It's a beautiful building with a convenient coffee shop attached to it. A great place to go hang out! Unfortunately, it is only a temporary art gallery, located upstairs, because they will be putting in couches and chairs in that area in a few weeks. But until then, visitors can enjoy the art of some members of the church, so go check it out if you have a chance. Each artist had their own section (A whole wall if they had enough art to show!) I had a lot so I got a big section. It was fun being able to have a large body of work up all at once. I've never had that before! I also got to hang my own art, also something I've never done before. Everyone I have talked to has said they really enjoy seeing work done by people involved in the church...I personally think it would be awesome to have an area where we can have a rotating art gallery/display. But that's just me....

Not the ideal lighting situation...but for a temporary display (all the walls had to be put up with black backing), it was put together WONDERFULLY! Thank you to Hap Brandon for put it all together and working so hard!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Cafeteria Logos

Here is a look at a project I've been working on lately. I'm working with someone who promotes nutrition and fitness in schools and he has developed a project to create signs to hang in cafeterias for different food lines. For example, some schools offer Mexican Food, Chinese Food, Italian Food, and a Salad Bar. So the kids can pick what they want for lunch that day. It's kind of in the spirit of having a food court with lots of options instead of a cafeteria with only one option. So essentially, I will be creating logos for each "restaurant" the cafeteria has. So they will have a bunch of logos to pick from, but if they want something custom, for example, something with their mascot incorporated in the design, I can do that too.

It might sound kind of complicated or weird, and you're probably right, but I'm excited to see how it all works out! This is going to be a long term project so you'll probably see more of these designs in the months to come. But for now, here are a few that I thought turned out well. These are custom designs for a school, so it didn't have as much say in the design, but I like the way they turned out. I'm starting out with rough sketches to get the idea worked out. Then I take the final sketch and recreate it in with vector art. If there was any way I could make these with traditional art, I would, but these are going to be rather large signs, so blowing them up will not look good. With vector art, you can resize it to any size and it won't effect the quality of the image. This project will definitely give me good practice with making vector art! That's for sure!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

14th Orange Open Juried Exhibition

This last week one of my drawings has been showing at the 14th Orange open Juried Exhibition at the Guggenheim Gallery at Chapman University. Unfortunately, due to my busyness and forgetfulness, I missed the opening award ceremony! So I went to see the show today, so I could at least see and enjoy the other art that had been selected. To my pleasant surprise, I discovered I had won 1st Place in the Drawing/Illustration category!! I apologize for not announcing this show very well, and I wish I had been to the opening, so I could invite people to go! Next time I wont be so forgetful! If you have time and want to go see the show, it will remain open until August 21st. Just a few more days!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Anniversary Graphite Drawing

I was recently commissioned to do a drawing based on a photo of two of my friends, who are dating, for their one year anniversary. It was good practicing drawing more realistically for a change.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

SCBWI Conference!

As many of you already know, last weekend I went to the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Summer Conference. Oh my goodness!...I'm still recovering and processing everything I learned!! It was my first time going and I can't wait until next year!

Some highlights and lessons learned from the Conference:

1. Meeting Loren Long!! He is one of my favorite illustrators and a big influence on my art and inspiration to me. I bought his illustrated version of The Little Engine That Could and he signed it for me! He was also a Keynote Speaker and I also went to one of his break-out sessions. It was great seeing part of his process.(Loren Long and some of the OC Illustrators)

2. Spending time with the OC Illustrators ladies! I was so glad to spend some time with them and get to know them better. We spent a lot of time stalking people we wanted to meet and then not knowing what to say to them. It was great. (Some of the OC Illustrators!)

3. Hearing many, many times: Don't follow trends, follow your heart. Draw what YOU love to draw, because that comes from deep in your heart, and when it comes from deep inside of you, it will be genuine and real, and that's when you will make your best work.

4. Learned some tips on writing, which I am not as interested in pursuing at the moment, but eventually I would like to have a book published that I wrote AND illustrated. Rhythm and prose is important in picture books, pay attention to page turns and payoffs, and don't tell the story with text, tell it with image, and let the text "complete" the narrative.

5. For portfolios include sequential pieces, classic tales in your own style, show your strengths and range of ability, and make sure your weakest image is still strong because your portfolio is only as good as your weakest image.

Of course there is SO much more, but those were the biggest things for me. Now I have a lot of work to do, a whole list of books to look up, following up on contacts that I made, submit my work to publishers and agents, and start on some new art pieces to make my portfolio better and more refined. There's LOTS to do before next years Conference, so I'd better get to work!!

...But first, a few more pictures!

(E.B. Lewis in the middle and Ashley Bryan on the far left. Some awesome illustrators/writers)(Arthur Levine at the Heart and Soul party on Saturday night, so fun!)

Until next year....

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Mark Boliek, Author of "The Mahogany Door" interviewed me the other day about my work on the book. (My first interview!) Check it out on his facebook page.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Final Drawings for "The Mahogany Door"

It's been a busy month, but all of the spot Illustrations are FINALLY done for "The Mahogany Door"! PHEW! Here are a few that you can look forward to seeing in the book when it comes out. See my earlier post to see them in the sketch stage. Now I can move on to the cover, which will be done in full color. After that the printing process will begin and fingers are crossed for it to be ready for release by October! Stay updated on the progress of the whole project on the Author's Facebok Page. You can also see a few more of my finished drawings on his page!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Side Projects

As you probably know, I have had my hands full illustrating a children's chapter book for the past few months. Well I'm happy to say it's coming to the end and this fall the book will be released! I am finishing up the spot illustrations and still need to do the cover illustration. It'll probably be about another month and then I'm done!

With much thankfulness, I've had some small jobs during this time. Some easier than others, and some more fun than others. But all good growing opportunities! One project (just finished today!) was a T-Shirt design for a men's Fellowship. I got to make a graphic illustration of a big truck as vector art. I haven't done vector art in a long time, so I was happy to refresh myself with it! The final design for the back side of the shirt is above.

I've also been working on a logo design for a woman who runs her own Photography business (still in progress). And recently, I was asked to be a part of a rather large project to design signage for school cafeterias around the nation. This job is still being worked out, but I'm really excited about it! More on that later.... ;)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Drug and Violence Free

I was looking through some of my old drawings from High School and found this drawing I did Junior Year. I won second place in a drug and violence prevention contest in Orange County. One of the first awards I ever won!

This drawing makes me laugh...Thank goodness for college art classes!

Friday, May 14, 2010

"The Mahogany Door" Update 2

I've been working away at finishing up sketches and making revisions to finalize my sketches for "The Mahogany Door". Things are moving along nicely! Here's a little before and after sketch so you have an idea of how I work.

After reading through the chapter, I sketch a few images that I think are important or exciting moments in the chapter that I'd like to show. I do a general sketch, just to get the ideas down, then after deciding on the best idea, I add some value to see if the composition is working ok. I send this to the author for some feedback and revisions. For this sketch, I didn't need to change much. I mostly needed to make sure the crown was too large for the boy's head to show that he doesn't fit into his "kingship". I also changed the perspective a little so the viewer is looking up at the throne (it makes the boy seem bigger and more important). I also did some visual research on thrones to make mine look more interesting and also to fit the style and setting of the book.

That's it for now! Back to my sketchbook! More updates coming soon!
Check back here or visit the author's Website and Facebook Page for updates.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

"The Mahogany Door" Update

Hey everyone! I haven't posted in a few weeks! My poor blog is so lonely! Well here is some fun news to make up for that time.

Work on "The Mahogany Door" is going great! The author, Mark Boliek, has started a Facebook Page for the book. So become a fan!! He will be promoting the book on his Page by posting clips and samples of some of the songs he is working on for the soundtrack for the book, giving updates on the progress of the book, showing some of my sketches that will be in the book, and much more! Check out one of the songs on the soundtrack "Kingsfold on Bruinduer". This song is still in the making, so Mark is looking for constructive feedback. Post your comments and suggestions on his page.

Mark is also in the process of creating a website for the book. I'll post it here once it's up and running. The goal is to have this book printed and ready to purchase by October of this year! So start spreading the word! Tell your friends and family, think of that Jr Higher that you know, or parents of Jr Highers!

I have all of the sketches done, so now I can move on to revisions. I am doing one spot illustration for each chapter in black and white, and the cover in color.

I will be posting more soon, and also stay updated on my Facebook Page, Lauren Gallegos Illustration, as well!

Here are a few rough sketches I've done just to give you a taste of what's to come!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I'm Still Here!

Wow, it's almost been a month since I've posted anything. I apologize! I have definitely been working on drawings though, I just can't really post any of them yet. My illustration project for "The Mahogany Door" is underway, I've done half of the rough sketches, so I am still on track with the timeline I have set for myself. Hurray! However, I realized just the other day that I'm starting to miss my Ant and Cricket project. It has been put aside while I work on this book and knowing that I probably wont be able to get back to it until the end of summer makes me sad! Maybe I'll try to squeeze in a few more of those drawings as I work.

I have, however, had time to do some reading and pondering. As some of you can tell, I have spent some time studying Beauty/Aesthetics over the past few years and just recently that study has become more intense and the more I learn, the more I WANT to learn! I have read a few good books so far, and I still have a pile sitting on my nightstand waiting to be read. Currently I am reading "Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art" by Robert Stecker. I haven't gotten too far yet, but it brings up some interesting topics and poses some interesting and thoughtful questions. For example: One section talks about how increased knowledge of an object can change the aesthetic value we place on that object. Did you know, the sunsets we find the most beautiful are caused by the refraction of light because of higher than normal occurances of certain kinds of particles in the atmosphere. A typical cause of the increase in particles is air pollution. So with the new knowledge, does the aesthetic value you place on sunsets decrease? OR does it actually become less beautiful? Should appreciation based on false belief be regarded as essentially flawed? This is some heavy stuff the think about!

I've also recently watched this video called "Why Beauty Matters". It is VERY interesting and has really gotten me worked up about the importance and value of beauty in our lives. We live in an ugly world, but there are still beautiful things in it to enjoy. Modern art, a lot of the time, seems to focus on all the bad and all the ugly. I want to find wonder and sit in the beauty of majestic mountains, not spend all my time complaining about the ugliness of this world that I must live in.

I could go on and on all day, so I'll just stop here. Ha! But I believe my study of beauty and aethetics will be a life long study and I am so very excited to discover more and more.

Hopefully I will have some time soon to just draw for myself so I can post something for you guys! Thanks for sticking with me!

Friday, March 26, 2010


Here's a sketch for a project that, sadly, never went anywhere...Maybe I'll use it for something else.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Print Store - Now Open!

My Print Store is now open for all to use! Check it out, see what you like, purchase something, and tell your friends and family! It SHOULD be all set up to be nice and easy when paying with PayPal. Or you can e-mail me your order.

If there is anything that isn't working in the checkout process, please let me know so I can fix it!

Thanks for all your support everyone!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Ant and The Cricket - Spread 8

HURRAY! Another spread complete! 4 down, 6 to go!

Some good news and some bad news...first the bad news: This project is going to have to be put on the backburner again...maybe not completely, but at least partly....but that's because of the good news! I am negotiating a contract with someone to illustrate his YA fantasy novel that he is self-publishing! I don't want to get TOO excited yet....BUT that means I'll technically be a published illustrator! Woohoo!

I'll keep you updated on what I can so stay tuned!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Print Store - Coming Soon!

I have decided to make my own print store for my website. I have been hesitant to do it because it could potentially be a lot of work (assuming lots of people buy prints!) trying to print, package, and ship everything myself. So I considered setting up a store on a host site (like fineprintamerica.com or etsy.com) but they usually have an annual fee, they take part of the commission, and I can't check the quality of the prints. SO, since I like to control everything...I MEAN....umm...since I want to make sure customers get great quality prints, I am going to run my own store. I think it will be a great opportunity to grow in my understanding of the business side of my work (which I'm really not too fond of, I'd rather just draw all day!).

I am currently working on how to organize the store, how to receive payments, deciding which prints to sell, and so on, so it will be awhile still until the store is up and running. But keep an eye out for updates on my progress...it's coming soon!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Recent Work - Freelance Spot Illustrations

I recently was hired to do 13 illustrations for "flashcards" to help kids learn the colors in Spanish. Each image has a story to help them remember the Spanish word for each color. Here are a few of my favorites out of the bunch.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Portfolio on Childrensillustrators.com!

After some careful and reasonable consideration I have decided to purchase a place to put my portfolio up on Childrensillustrators.com. It's quite a bit of money (at least for me) but if I get just one job out of it, it will pay for itself and then some. So my fingers are crossed for someone to contact me for some work! It is a very popular and well used site for finding children's illustrators. When I worked at Piggy Toes it was one of the first sites I was instructed to check to find illustrators, so I'm sure many other publishers do the same!

Here's a link to my portfolio page! Check it out, tell your friends, and share the link with others! Thanks to everyone for your support and encouragement!

Lauren Gallegos' Portfolio

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Ant and The Cricket - Cover

This illustration took longer to finish than it should have. I have been trying to work out some job and life issues lately, so I have been preoccupied. But things are settling down a little so hopefully I'll get back into a drawing rhythm!

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Ant and The Cricket - Spread 1

Spread 1 is done! YAY! It took a lot longer than I expected to complete it. But that's partly because I'm still getting used to the new technique I'm using. I will be entering this into a couple contests/art shows so critiques and feedback are welcome! (Although it'll have to be soon because I'm entering it tomorrow!) I'm also thinking about whether or not I should do all the spreads for the book, or just a few for my portfolio. I want to send it out soon! Very soon! We'll see I guess. Thoughts are welcome!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Life-Sized Cut-out

This weekend I (quickly) painted a life-sized cut-out of my College Pastor while he is on Sabbatical. It was fun to step away from the colored pencils for a few hours and pick up a paint brush. I didn't paint a face on him because we will be cutting out a picture of his face instead, as well as "decorating" him. Heehee!

I have to admit, it was a little freaky coming into my room and thinking there was a man standing there. And my cat got a little confused about it too...(you can see him in the picture checking out the curious cut-out man!)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Ant and The Cricket - A New Approach

This is my third attempt at this drawing, and I'm not doing any more! This time I used a smooth Bristol paper and just Primsacolor Pencils. I'm thinking about doing the rest of the drawings like this instead of my usual textured technique. It pains me to consider dropping that technique, but it's really causing more trouble than it's worth. Plus, as much as I like the textured look, it doesn't allow me to put in much detail, and I LOVE delicate detail. So I guess it is a trade off. Now, FINALLY, I can move on to the rest of the drawings. Here we go!