Design for Crossfit Okanagan

April 18th, 2008

I customized a wordpress blog for a client and his new website is up and running at crossfitokanagan.com.


To make the blog I downloaded wordpress from wordpres.org and I installed it on my server space. The advantage of doing this is that all the photos posted to the blog will be saved in a folder on the hosting space and not in no-man-blog-land. If my client ever wishes to move his hosting or get a new blog he will not have to re-upload all of his photos.
It was a lot of work getting the blog to run properly since there were some glitches with the new release of wordpress 2.5. After long hours of searching on help forums and blogs, I found out that a snippet of code needed to be added to an .htaccess file on my server so that the blog would use php5. Now everything is working great!


Digital Image and Video Compositing

February 10th, 2008

In my Digital Image and Video compositing class at the Centre for Arts and Technology we made a video for an ipod commercial. Our creative director came up with the concept and then it was up to us to conceptualize it. I spent about 100 hours on this project and that is not including the hours that my project partner Amanda put in or the hours of our actors, filmers, and sound engineer. A big thanks to everyone who helped us with this project!

We made our ipod commercial last year before the new touchscreens came out. You can see our version of what we thought their first commercial might look like:


Sun Peaks Art Show Feb. 16th

February 2nd, 2008

Sun Peaks Art Show 2008

I am going to be bringing over 20 new original paintings to my art show at Sun Peaks Ski Resort on February 16th, 2008. My show is at Tree Line Studios which is a beautiful art gallery in the Delta Hotel next to the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. (view map)

I have been showing my work at Sun Peaks for over seven years and I’ve had an art show every year. This is the first time my show will be in February so hopefully I will see some new faces.

Since I was in school for the last two years (taking Digital Media Design) I didn’t have a lot of time to paint. I am so grateful that I bought my commercial printer (an Epson Pro 4000) because even though I was too busy to keep up with the sales of my original paintings, I was able to print reproductions. Having reproductions to fill the spaces on my wall was a life saver.

After two years of seeing the same paintings, I think Sun Peaks is ready for something new. I am excited to be bringing so many new pieces because it will refresh my wall. People want to see an artist grow and I think everyone will be happy to see that I am still producing new work. Some of my new paintings are really different from anything I’ve done in the past. Here is an example:

Blue Runs

Everyone is invited to my art show. It is all day on February 16th, 2008 at Tree Line Studios at Sun Peaks Ski Resort just outside Kamloops, BC.
Visit Tree Line Studios art gallery at www.treelinestudios.ca.


High Gallery Art Show in Nelson

December 28th, 2007

KendraArt art show at the Craft Connection in Nelson, BC until February 29, 2008My art show at the Craft Connection in Nelson, BC has been extended until the end of February, 2008. On November 1st, twenty of my largest framed archival reproductions were displayed, the highest number of framed prints I’ve ever sent anywhere at one time. My watercolour paintings range from birch trees in the snow to skiers and snowboarders; there is something for everyone.

KendraArt art show at the Craft Connection in Nelson, BC until January 31, 2008. Image of downtown Nelson from www.nelsonbuddha.comThe Craft Connection can be found at 441 Baker Street in downtown Nelson. It is one of the finest art co-op gift galleries in Western Canada. I’ve been a consignment member of this co-operative business since 2002.

This marks the 25th year the Craft Connection exists. On March 1st the store will be moving kitty corner to 378 Baker Street.

For more pictures of my art show, see my art exhibitions page on my KendraArt website.


Studio Art Show a Success

December 11th, 2007

KendraArt Studio on Bernard and Pandosy in Kelowna BC ~ Open House

The Open House at my studio was a big success. Carrie Harper, Kelowna artist and graphic designer and my studio partner, hosted a pre-show on Friday night and it was buzzing with people. What a good feeling. On Saturday we had a steady stream of people and it was great to show everyone our art studio. Thank you so much to everyone who came out and supported us.

KendraArt Studio on Bernard and Pandosy in Kelowna BC ~ Open House

See more pictures at kendraart.com.


Invitation to Art Studio Open House

November 14th, 2007

Open House

at my shared art studio…

Studio #5
375 Bernard Avenue
Kelowna, BC

Saturday, December 8th
11am to 4pm

I will have art cards, prints, magnets and paintings on display.

Also featuring the artwork of Carrie Harper,
Kelowna Artist and my studio partner.
http://www.thepearworkshop.com/

Studio #5 is upstairs above Starbucks.
Enter at 375 Bernard beside Momo Sushi.

Come to chat, browse, or inquire about painting lessons.
www.kendraart.com


Christmas Craft Fairs

October 29th, 2007

My booth #106 at the Holiday Festival of Creations Christmas Craft Fair in Kelowna BC at Prospera Place.Booth 106, Prospera Place, November 10th and 11th, 2007

Christmas Craft Fairs are a lot of fun for me. It is a chance to be in the public and display all of my new work in an open setting. This November I will be at three Christmas Craft Fairs: Kamloops Craft-A-Fair on November 4th at the Coliseum; Kelowna Holdiay Festival of Creations at Prospera Place on November 10 and 11th; Fernie Christmas craft fair November 24th at the Fernie Community Centre.

I am bringing art cards, prints, magnets and bookmarks. If you want to stock up on cards for Christmas, save money by ordering in larger quanities.

I am looking forward to seeing what the other artisans have brought too. It’s always a bustling crowd, so so set aside some time to come and say hi.

See you there!

If you can’t make it to the craft fair, you can order by checking out my art online and then calling me.


Art Studio Space

October 23rd, 2007

KendraArt Studio ~ Kendra painting in Kelowna, BC
Studio space is a dream for most artists, myself included. This summer the elements in the Universe aligned and I was lucky enough to get a shared studio space. It is in downtown Kelowna with big heritage windows and looks out at the tree tops above Bernard Street.

The space has a good feeling and it is an inspiring place to make art. I have already had a couple of painting parties which are great fun. You can see photos of my studio space on my friend’s photo site.

Love to have a painting party of your own? I can host one for you and your friends. If you are interested in painting parties or art workshops, let me know. My watercolour workshops are fun and full of tips and techniques. Learn more at my kendraart website.


Watercolour Workshops in Kelowna, BC

September 24th, 2007

Kendra will be hosting the following workshops in her studio in downtown Kelowna, BC:


BEGINNER WATERCOLOUR – SNOW AND WINTER SHADOWS
October 20th and 21st, 2007 : 10am – 4pm with an hour break for lunch


This weekend workshop is for those who have little or some experience in watercolour. With demonstrations and easy exercises we will use the basic elements of composition, colour and light to help bring your watercolours to life. The focus of this class will be on painting snow and winter shadows.

Cost: $90
Includes: coffee and all supplies on loan for the weekend
Location: 375 Bernard Avenue in Studio #5, Kelowna, BC
The studio is upstairs from Starbucks on the corner of Pandosy and Bernard. Enter in the door beside the Momo Sushi Cafe and go upstairs and to the end of the hall.
Register: You must pre-register. Please call Kendra at 250-862-4958 to sign up. Visit www.kendraart.com


INTRODUCTION TO WATERCOLOUR – BASIC TECHNIQUES
October 13th and 14th, 2007 : 10am – 4pm with an hour break for lunch

Artist Kendra Smith will host this weekend workshop that is perfect for people who have never tried watercolour painting. Emphasis will be placed on the techniques and skills you’ll need to develop a foundation of watercolour basics. Through demonstrations, practice and individual attention, we’ll take the intimidation out of watercolour and make painting easy and fun.

Cost: $90
Includes: coffee and all supplies on loan
Location: 375 Bernard Avenue in Studio #5,
The studio is upstairs from Starbucks on the corner of Pandosy and Bernard in Kelowna, BC. Enter in the door beside the Momo Sushi Cafe and go upstairs and to the end of the hall.
Register: You must pre-register. Please call Kendra at 250-862-4958 to sign up. Visit www.kendraart.com



kendraGraphics.com Website Launch

August 11th, 2007

KendraGraphics.com home page

My new digital media design portfolio website

is officially launched at www.kendragraphics.com.

My graphic design website is dedicated to my digital portfolio including illustrations, web design and development, and motion graphics. If you would like to see my watercolour paintings, please visit my kendraart website.

If you are interested in my design or consulting services, have a look at my services page to see what I can do for you or your business. I look forward to working with you.


Ready, set, paddle…

June 1st, 2007

My dragon boat team pauses to stretch in the sun.

Dragon boat racing originated in China and traditional dragonboats seat up to 50 paddlers. The smaller dragon boats at the Dragon Boat Club in Kelowna, BC fit 20 paddlers seated two by two plus a caller in the front and a steerer in the back.

As the caller drums or chants, the paddlers plunge their paddles into the water, pulling the boat swiftly along with their rhythmic synchronized strokes.

Unlike the sideways motion of the paddles in canoeing or kayaking, dragonboat racers lift their paddles straight into the air and reach their paddle straight ahead. Like pistons in an engine the paddles lift vertically up and down in unison, powering the boat ahead.

The two paddlers in the front of the boat are called the “strokes”. Along with the drummer, they set the pace for the whole boat. When their arm goes up, everyone’s arm goes up. When they bury their blade, everyone buries their blade, deep in the water.

“The water is your friend” chants the coach. As you slice your paddle into the water the break catches your blade, allowing you to pull the boat up to your paddle and then just as your outside arm is about to bend you “release” and your paddle pops out of the water.

This is just in time for you to twist your body towards your partner and reach your paddle ahead, all while keeping your paddle vertical and not bobbing your head.

“Timing” reminds the coach. We can’t forget to watch up and across the boat so that all our paddles strike the water in one beat. The adrenaline rushes and the sun beats down and the water splashes your arms. Splash. Make that, the water splashes your whole body…

“What’s the most important part of dragon boat racing?” asks the coach. “Focus” yells one. “Timing” chants another.

“Having fun!” cheers the coach.

We are called the Red Hot Chili Paddlers. If you are interested in sponsoring our team in exchange for advertising exposure, you can download a PDF of sponsorship opportunities here.

“Paddle away, paddle away, paddle away now,
Paddle away, paddle away, paddle away now.”


Design Seminar at the Life and Arts Festival

May 17th, 2007

The Life and Arts Festival in Kelowna, BC, is an amazing cultural event with street performers, art shows, workshops, music, drums, lanterns and fireshows.

Fire Show at the Kelowna Life and Arts Festival
On May 13th, I attended two design seminars in the ‘Design for Life’ exhibit. In the first presentation, designer Phred Martin spoke about the evolution of a design project. He stressed that design is not all about the creator; design stems from the client and in order to acheive the best results it is important to research your client’s interests, goals, and their target market. It is important to really know what the client wants, and then to interpret their needs, make a decision and get going on it!

One of the ideas that stood out in my mind was when Phred said that “excellence is great”, but “perfection is ugly”. He said that in his work sometimes he strives not to make his designs perfect. Perfection can be cold and boring, whereas imperfection can be interesting and unique.

In the end, perfectionism will also cost you more money and eat away at your bottom line. Unless your clients want to pay for your extra time, you need to be able to wrap up a project confidently and be happy with your work.

Don’t overwork design to hardened perfection; walk away while it is still alive and fresh.

From my experience with watercolours, sometimes the best thing you can do for a painting is to put down your brush. It’s when you keep working on a painting too long that you mess it up. With design there must be a parallel.

Furniture designer Judson Beaumont said he looks beyond the obvious to keep his work fresh. He said you have to be able to take critism, but don’t listen to people when they say “you can’t do that” or “it’s not done that way”. He said comments like that make him just go ahead and prove them wrong. He said you should take chances with design and challenge yourself to try new things.

Star of lanterns made with tissue and jars by elementary school studentsThe panelists also talked about clarity of expression and how good design means that even if it is bare bones, you don’t feel deprived. Someone mentioned that “the more you know, the less you need.”

Many businesses want to put everything about their business in every advertisement, even if it is a 2 inch ad. By researching your client’s needs and being familiar with compositional strengths, a good designer can say a lot more with less. Done well, simplicity always gives a stronger message than clutter.

The speakers also talked about social responsibility and the impact of design on the environment and on society. It is important for all designers to look at their work from a global perspective. It is so easy to get enmeshed in your work. Take some time to pull back and see the whole picture.

In the end, the most inspiring part of the festival for me was the lantern display in the Island Park. Jars covered in tissue paper by elementary school students from all around Kelowna were lit with tea lights, and they were set about to adorn a gazebo and the path up to it. Glowing in their simplicity, colourful and bright, they lit up the night in their imperfect beauty.

Lantern display at the Life and Arts Festival: jars covered in tissue paper lit with tea lights.


marketing tips for artists…

May 5th, 2007

There are so many talented artists in this world and yet we may never get to see their work. Many artists are private people, are shy, or simply aren’t aware of how they can get their art out there to be seen.

Here are some tips on how to market yourself from scratch as an artist:

  • To begin with, attend art shows of other artists. It is fun and a great way to find out what other artists do at their shows, see how they represent themselves and to meet art enthusiasts. It is inspiring to be around art and its a good way to make connections.
  • Craft fairs, summer markets and Christmas shows are excellent forums for marketing your work and also an inexpensive way to do market research. Up close to your customers you get to know first hand what they like and don’t like and what your most popular designs are. These events can expose you to a large number of people in a short amount of time and help you become better known. It’s a great place to start off, and I have made some important contacts through simple markets.
  • Internet marketing will help you develop a following. Make sure your email address is a professional sounding email address rather than too personal and work on developing a web presence. If you don’t have a website yet, post your work on a blog or a photo sharing site. You can also join art conversations on Twitter. A website doesn’t have to cost a lot of money upfront; you can start with just a few simple pages and your designer can add new work to it as you send it to them. Even if you build it piece by piece, your website will open a personal link to art buyers around the world. Your website is your digital business card and portfolio. Gift stores, gallery owners, and collectors alike will have your catalogue at the tips of their fingers
  • Put your email address or website on the back of everything you sell. Many of my new retailers and corporate clients are obtained from this kind of networking.
  • Whenever you have the chance, browse through galleries and gift stores to get a feel for the gallery culture and to compare prices and styles. Ask questions to store owners and learn about the business side of art.
  • You don’t have to be ready for a gallery to be ready for an art show. Enlist a local artsy cafe or fancy restaurant to host an art show for you. It could last for two hours or for a month. Sometimes one night shows are great because they produce a sense of urgency. Also, people love meeting the artist in person and you are more likely to have sales at a show during the times when you are present.
  • When you have an artshow, no matter how small, send out invitations to everyone you know. Put posters up everywhere. Make business cards and professional price tags, labels with your email address and biography, and even brochures. Bring a guest book and have people sign their name and email addresses. Add these names to an ongoing email list for that area and then whenever you have another art show or event in that town, email that list of people and let them know about it. People will appreciate that you keep in touch with them and it is a great way of growing your list of contacts.
  • If you can’t afford to get brochures and posters made, ask a local company if they will sponsor your marketing and in return put their logo on your printed materials.
  • Make appointments with appropriate galleries or gift stores and ask if you can show them your work. Tell them you would love to have a critique and find out what gallery owners are looking for in terms of a portfolio. Work up the courage to ask a local gift store if they will sell cards of your work.
  • Once you have your work in some stores, send out letters to your retailers to show them what you have that is new. You can recruit new clients with phone calls, catalogues in the mail and with personal visits. Networking is important since most of your business might come from word of mouth.

Best of all, have fun. If you really enjoy what you do, it will shine through and draw people to your art.


taking steps to your dream…

April 24th, 2007
Illustration I made using Illustrator and PhotoshopMy philosophy is that a positive outlook will bring you great things in life. If you have a negative mind set, then your head will be down and you will miss out on the chances life brings you. As long as you have a positive attitude and keep your chin up and your eyes and ears open for opportunities, then you will end up on the right track. By taking those opportunities you will be taking steps towards your big dream. Nothing will get accomplished if you just sit back on your heels and wait for life to happen to you.

Get out there and get moving – start doing, and pretty soon you’ll be doing something you love. To the world around you, it will look like everything suddenly fell in your lap, but they won’t see all the hard work, determination, and little steps that brought you to where you are. Now that you have your dream in your lap, it may or may not suddenly dawn on you how all those opportunities you took were little important steps that helped shape you. But this is just the beginning… now you can set real goals and prepare for an even bigger and better dream for yourself than you could have imagined!

It all starts with one little step… Botanical illustration I made using Illustrator and Photoshop

PS
I actually made this background image twice. The first time it looked more realistic, and then I redid it from scratch to give the picture a more artistic style.

To see the “before” illustration click here. To make the flowers look so realistic I used the live trace tool in Adobe Illustrator which essentially creates a vector out of a photograph for you. Then I played with blending and shading it in Photoshop.

The “after” illustration was made from scratch (I traced the photo myself using the pen tool, not the live trace option). I created the flowers using Illustrator, and then I brought the image into Photoshop to do the shading and add highlights. See the full finished version here.


function versus fashion…

April 24th, 2007

I am designing the portfolio pages for my website and I need to decide how to arrange the layout. There are so many different ways to present a portfolio page; some are fashionable and some are functional. Personally, I prefer function over fashion, but I want my site to look good too.

When you visit portfolio websites, what kind of layout do you prefer? Do you like big or little thumbnails? Do you like slideshow style views or do you prefer to see everything at once? Do you like it when a detailed image opens in a new window or in the same window? These are the kinds of questions I have been asking myself.

So far I have come up with a few different designs. Now all I need to do is narrow it down. Here are some rough drafts of layouts I could use…

layout 1
layout 2
layout 3

layout 4

Click here to vote in my survey, or just click on the word ‘comments’ below to send me your thoughts.

So, I’m putting the question to you. If you could control the layout of a portfolio page, what would be your must haves? What are your pet peeves? I would love to get some feedback from you on what you would like to see in a portfolio website.


the look and feel of it…

April 23rd, 2007

the template I chose
It is so fun having a new space to express myself in. I really liked the blog template I chose (it was green) but I wanted to give this page a look and feel that would go with my websites.

the butterfly I made in IllustratorI am so excited that I figured out how to put my butterfly over this layout at the top of the page. I am finally starting to understand divisions (in html). Notice how the butterfly (the one at the top of the page, not this one) is overlapping different areas, and it moves independently of the layout when you shrink or expand your window?
That is what a div can do for you!

I am so happy that I went to design school because I would not have known where to begin to change the colours and background images in this site. I guess I like having control over things like that… it makes it more personal and creative.


Apple Blossoms

April 22nd, 2007

apple blossoms
The apple trees are in blossom in Kelowna and it is so beautiful. I was so happy to have a chance to go exploring around the city when my friend and fellow artist and designer, Samantha Walsh, came to visit me. We had great discussions about graphic design, art, and life.

Spring time is so rejuvenating. It feels great to get out in the sunshine. It was a great day for a hike too.

apple blossoms


My First Blog

April 22nd, 2007

picture of meHi! This is my first blog.

Here you will be able to see what I am up to… like,

I am working on my new website which is officially set to launch on July 1st, 2007. You can preview it as I work on it at www.kendragraphics.com