FROM THE BLOG. 

It’s September 1st. That doesn’t sound like much except to the bunches of people who have today off and are looking forward to grilling and friends. To me, it’s been exhausting already. As a matter of fact, September 1st has been an exhausting day since the end of July, when the decision before me was to stick to my regular job or jump on the art wagon, and the realization came in the car.  ”Holy shit, I’m really doing this,”  I thought to myself. Since then, I’ve been fretting. 

I’m a worrier. My husband always teases me that if there’s nothing to worry about, I will fabricate a reason to do so in the depths of my brain. Did we turn the lights off before leaving? did we feed the cat? did we lock the door? Will the crockpot meal we’ve got going on be ready by the time we arrive? What was I thinking. Am I risking too much? Will we even have food? Am I going to make it? Every single session where I get to spend too much time in my head starts with something small and insignificant and somehow derails into me worrying about September 1st, and after september, and the next year or two. 

Right now the best I can do is work as hard as humanly possible, though, as el hub often reminds me. We’ll figure it out, he says, and so I believe him. Which means that I dedicate as much of my spare time to working. I keep a (rather lengthy) to do list: all the edits that must be made to my portfolio. Places where I need to update my work, writing copy for the shop, working on a new piece, etc. One of my goals is to have at least 50 cards in the shop by December (the  above image is the latest one!). Every time I see my brain going in the direction of another anxiety session, I grab my sketchbook and start designing future cards, or brainstorming future illustration pieces.  

There are always those days when it feels like everything that could be done that day has been done. Created a patreon campaign, updated work via social media, worked on the shop (writing copy or updating listings or changing tags, etc), and so immediately my mental space becomes “What now?” But the goal is to stay busy. Staying busy right now helps. September 1st is the first day of my plunge into non-traditional employment, and I stepped into it ready to work. Am I terrified? YEP! Am I going to let it stop me? No, sir.  

If things weren’t hard, everyone would do them. That’s really the truth of it all. And in the end, staying on task is not only helpful for my goals, it’s also helpful for my brain, because so long as I am doing something, I am getting further into what I hope to be doing for a lifetime. I’m sitting here in my PJ’s, with crazy hair, already working. Even on days when it feels like there’s nothing to do, there’s always something that can be done. So in the end, excitement wins. Time to put my money where my mouth is and make this dream of mine happen!

And to all who have already pitched in via Patreon, or just by reaching out and spreading the word about my work, THANK YOU! You guys keep me going. 

FROM THE BLOG

It’s September 1st. That doesn’t sound like much except to the bunches of people who have today off and are looking forward to grilling and friends. To me, it’s been exhausting already. As a matter of fact, September 1st has been an exhausting day since the end of July, when the decision before me was to stick to my regular job or jump on the art wagon, and the realization came in the car.  ”Holy shit, I’m really doing this,”  I thought to myself. Since then, I’ve been fretting. 
I’m a worrier. My husband always teases me that if there’s nothing to worry about, I will fabricate a reason to do so in the depths of my brain. Did we turn the lights off before leaving? did we feed the cat? did we lock the door? Will the crockpot meal we’ve got going on be ready by the time we arrive? What was I thinking. Am I risking too much? Will we even have food? Am I going to make it? Every single session where I get to spend too much time in my head starts with something small and insignificant and somehow derails into me worrying about September 1st, and after september, and the next year or two. 
Right now the best I can do is work as hard as humanly possible, though, as el hub often reminds me. We’ll figure it out, he says, and so I believe him. Which means that I dedicate as much of my spare time to working. I keep a (rather lengthy) to do list: all the edits that must be made to my portfolio. Places where I need to update my work, writing copy for the shop, working on a new piece, etc. One of my goals is to have at least 50 cards in the shop by December (the  above image is the latest one!). Every time I see my brain going in the direction of another anxiety session, I grab my sketchbook and start designing future cards, or brainstorming future illustration pieces.  
There are always those days when it feels like everything that could be done that day has been done. Created a patreon campaign, updated work via social media, worked on the shop (writing copy or updating listings or changing tags, etc), and so immediately my mental space becomes “What now?” But the goal is to stay busy. Staying busy right now helps. September 1st is the first day of my plunge into non-traditional employment, and I stepped into it ready to work. Am I terrified? YEP! Am I going to let it stop me? No, sir.  
If things weren’t hard, everyone would do them. That’s really the truth of it all. And in the end, staying on task is not only helpful for my goals, it’s also helpful for my brain, because so long as I am doing something, I am getting further into what I hope to be doing for a lifetime. I’m sitting here in my PJ’s, with crazy hair, already working. Even on days when it feels like there’s nothing to do, there’s always something that can be done. So in the end, excitement wins. Time to put my money where my mouth is and make this dream of mine happen!
And to all who have already pitched in via Patreon, or just by reaching out and spreading the word about my work, THANK YOU! You guys keep me going. 
A bit of work amidst a long holiday weekend. I’m a bit of a workaholic, but this one’s done! (Available at printandpillagesupply.co)

A bit of work amidst a long holiday weekend. I’m a bit of a workaholic, but this one’s done! (Available at printandpillagesupply.co)

You know, bees look all cute and cuddly until you look up close up shots for illustrations. Then all they’re made of is fuzz and creep.

You know, bees look all cute and cuddly until you look up close up shots for illustrations. Then all they’re made of is fuzz and creep.

Story time! Or: Would you like to be my patron?

As many of you may know (or perhaps you don’t, and if you don’t, grab a cup of coffee and get comfortable), starting Sept. 1st, I will be moving away from my regular 9-5 employment into being a freelancer. Slowly at first, but surely either way. As of January 1st, I will be all on my own.

Why? Well, for years art has been the thing I am good at. My passion, really. For years it’s been a dream of mine to make a living and support myself and my family doing what is most important to me: Creating content. We live in a world of consumers and it is a giant privilege in my eyes to be able to make things with my hands. So that means that starting next year is the year I am finally taking the plunge and going after it.

That doesn’t come without complications, though. To be able to make art is a huge privilege, but it is also a hard business. It doesn’t come with the assured knowledge that every 2 weeks, there will be a paycheck in my bank account, or whether we can eat! Now, we’re not about to be living in a box under a bridge, but for those who know me,  I am a people pleaser that avoids stress at all cost. Not knowing whether everything will be ok financially is stressful, and so I am asking for help. I have hundreds, if not thousands of you lovely people who have loved my work and encouraged me to make it, and it is because of you all that I have faith I can make a career out of it! But starting will be rough. At the expense of putting my whole heart on the line, I am now asking for a bit of help from the community that has seen me grow.

I have started a Patreon campaign, where you all can be my patrons. What is Patreon? Patreon is much like a Kickstarter campaign, except that it lasts longer, there are no risks of projects not being fully funded, and it gives you the option of helping with smaller sums (instead of one big lump) in exchange for rewards. Plus the fuzzy feeling of knowing that you’ll be helping this artist get one step closer to living out her dream.

If you choose to help. You may be assured that it is on your terms. You can start or stop a pledge at any point, and your pledge is automatic every month, so you don’t have to fuss about whether you forgot to do it.  You can also rest assured that your pledge will be helping me not only cover the cost of living so that I can make art for you, but aiding me in making more and more cool items and hopefully even increasing my reward options, which right now include behind the scenes emails, downloadable googles, and care packages for you awesome people.
From now on, you’ll find a link in my sidebar to my Patron Tip Jar, which will be up soon, where you can go to find out more. And if you can’t contribute, then please help me by sharing this as far and wide among your art loving friends as you can.

Story time! Or: Would you like to be my patron?

As many of you may know (or perhaps you don’t, and if you don’t, grab a cup of coffee and get comfortable), starting Sept. 1st, I will be moving away from my regular 9-5 employment into being a freelancer. Slowly at first, but surely either way. As of January 1st, I will be all on my own.

Why? Well, for years art has been the thing I am good at. My passion, really. For years it’s been a dream of mine to make a living and support myself and my family doing what is most important to me: Creating content. We live in a world of consumers and it is a giant privilege in my eyes to be able to make things with my hands. So that means that starting next year is the year I am finally taking the plunge and going after it.

That doesn’t come without complications, though. To be able to make art is a huge privilege, but it is also a hard business. It doesn’t come with the assured knowledge that every 2 weeks, there will be a paycheck in my bank account, or whether we can eat! Now, we’re not about to be living in a box under a bridge, but for those who know me,  I am a people pleaser that avoids stress at all cost. Not knowing whether everything will be ok financially is stressful, and so I am asking for help. I have hundreds, if not thousands of you lovely people who have loved my work and encouraged me to make it, and it is because of you all that I have faith I can make a career out of it! But starting will be rough. At the expense of putting my whole heart on the line, I am now asking for a bit of help from the community that has seen me grow.

I have started a Patreon campaign, where you all can be my patrons. What is Patreon? Patreon is much like a Kickstarter campaign, except that it lasts longer, there are no risks of projects not being fully funded, and it gives you the option of helping with smaller sums (instead of one big lump) in exchange for rewards. Plus the fuzzy feeling of knowing that you’ll be helping this artist get one step closer to living out her dream.

If you choose to help. You may be assured that it is on your terms. You can start or stop a pledge at any point, and your pledge is automatic every month, so you don’t have to fuss about whether you forgot to do it.  You can also rest assured that your pledge will be helping me not only cover the cost of living so that I can make art for you, but aiding me in making more and more cool items and hopefully even increasing my reward options, which right now include behind the scenes emails, downloadable googles, and care packages for you awesome people.

From now on, you’ll find a link in my sidebar to my Patron Tip Jar, which will be up soon, where you can go to find out more. And if you can’t contribute, then please help me by sharing this as far and wide among your art loving friends as you can.

I am sharing my process for all those who have asked me (and future record!). This is only part one, in which I discuss brainstorming and tools.
If you want to go take a look over at my blog, click here.
Part two will be posted once I am closer to finishing this image, with tips on cleaning your lines, color palettes, and tying up all the loose ends.
Hope this helps!

I am sharing my process for all those who have asked me (and future record!). This is only part one, in which I discuss brainstorming and tools.

If you want to go take a look over at my blog, click here.

Part two will be posted once I am closer to finishing this image, with tips on cleaning your lines, color palettes, and tying up all the loose ends.

Hope this helps!

(Source: jaybendt)

biweeklychallenge:

Let’s take the next 2 weeks making an editorial illustration!  Illustrations that accompany articles in magazines and online often portray the overall message of the article in a really intelligent way.  Try to think about metaphors and clever ways to communicate an idea, focus less on the literal.  Here are a few articles to choose from if you don’t have a starting point, but feel free to pick any article that looks interesting to you.
The Walrus: Viral Agent
The New York Times: Teaching is Not a Business
Wired: The Internet is Officially More Popular than Cable in the U.S.
Finished pieces due on August 31st, no limitation on size/color—if you feel like making a spot illustration rather than a full page, have at it.
Artist Samples in Promo Image:
1. Ashley Mackenzie2. Ricardo Bessa3. Daniel Fishel

Heads up, lovelies. My friend Jen runs this fantastic Biweekly illustration challenge, and you should all join her. The next one is about editorial illustration, due in a week. If you’re in the MN area, they also get together for critiques on the finished pieces! it’s free to attend and you should.
Go go go.

biweeklychallenge:

Let’s take the next 2 weeks making an editorial illustration!  Illustrations that accompany articles in magazines and online often portray the overall message of the article in a really intelligent way.  Try to think about metaphors and clever ways to communicate an idea, focus less on the literal.  Here are a few articles to choose from if you don’t have a starting point, but feel free to pick any article that looks interesting to you.

The Walrus: Viral Agent

The New York Times: Teaching is Not a Business

Wired: The Internet is Officially More Popular than Cable in the U.S.

Finished pieces due on August 31st, no limitation on size/color—if you feel like making a spot illustration rather than a full page, have at it.

Artist Samples in Promo Image:

1. Ashley Mackenzie
2. Ricardo Bessa
3. Daniel Fishel

Heads up, lovelies. My friend Jen runs this fantastic Biweekly illustration challenge, and you should all join her. The next one is about editorial illustration, due in a week. If you’re in the MN area, they also get together for critiques on the finished pieces! it’s free to attend and you should.

Go go go.

Back to work. For those who have asked, this is pretty much how every drawing starts. With faint blue lines (my favorite blue lead is by pentel, and I love the sturdy staedtler line of mechanical pencils). Once I have things where I want them, I’ll start in with ink. #process #illustration #drawing #jaybendt

Back to work. For those who have asked, this is pretty much how every drawing starts. With faint blue lines (my favorite blue lead is by pentel, and I love the sturdy staedtler line of mechanical pencils). Once I have things where I want them, I’ll start in with ink. #process #illustration #drawing #jaybendt

Working on things for the shop (cards!). My usual tools, right here: a mechanical pencil with blue lead, a giant eraser, faber castell pit pens and zig brush pens. Photoshop for coloring later.

Working on things for the shop (cards!). My usual tools, right here: a mechanical pencil with blue lead, a giant eraser, faber castell pit pens and zig brush pens. Photoshop for coloring later.

I’m still on a black and white kick! Though don’t worry, I’m still getting some color in my sketchbooks, and hopefully back into my art soon.
These are available in the shop. And if you’re in the U.S. and buying a card, shipping’s on me! 
I created these patterns earlier on and they are far too pretty to let them languish away unused, thus the pattern collection of cards was born. I will for now keep it to 3, though this might change! I’m working on getting more illustrations back into my life, and more lettering as well, so you might just see more pattern work with other fantastic things soon! 

I’m still on a black and white kick! Though don’t worry, I’m still getting some color in my sketchbooks, and hopefully back into my art soon.

These are available in the shop. And if you’re in the U.S. and buying a card, shipping’s on me! 

I created these patterns earlier on and they are far too pretty to let them languish away unused, thus the pattern collection of cards was born. I will for now keep it to 3, though this might change! I’m working on getting more illustrations back into my life, and more lettering as well, so you might just see more pattern work with other fantastic things soon!