Snowflake Giftwrap

Welcome to my Christmas Advent Challenge countdown! So why the title ‘Christmas Advent Challenge And Birds? Read to the end and you’ll soon find out.

If it’s your first time here, leading up to Christmas I’m sharing my Advent Challenge hosted by ‘Four Corners Art Collective’. Every day has a different subject and today I’m catching up from day 10 (above) right the way through to day 16, which is today. You can follow the challenge by going to Instagram and finding the hashtags #fourcornersartcollective and you can follow mine here Zara Martina Designs.

Here’s day 11 and it’s ‘Rudolph’. I loved doing this one, something different for me and away from patterns. I think it works. The mock-up I’ve used here is from Creative Market and is completely free to download until the end of this week. Also, they have 11 other mock-ups to choose from, all in this style. However, you will have to manipulate the photo to add your designs in. I use Photoshop to do this and will soon have a tutorial  in the Library which walks you through my process.

Rudolph Picture

Day 12 was ‘holly’ and this design is really very simple but effective I think. I used watercolor styles which I purchased again from Creative Market. To draw the actual shapes, I simply select my lasso tool in Photoshop, draw the shape and then fill with the watercolor style. The lasso tool is great if you don’t need to really see the shape you’re drawing. It also helps give me more freedom and free me from being so precise with everything. So here it is displayed as a gift card.

Holly Greeting Card

Day 13 was ‘Christmas tree’. I actually did this super quick…it’s Christmas don’t judge me 🙂 Day 14 was ‘poinsettia’ and day 15 was ‘mistletoe’ which I had a lot of fun displaying on Champagne glasses, in the image after this one.

So below are my Champagne glasses displaying my mistletoe design. I love to use mock-ups in my design process to see how they can be marketed and also to use in my portfolio. It’s hard enough being in a saturated market of designers so we need a way to stand out and give ourselves the best opportunities. You can read about how I source some of my mock-up photos here.

I actually missed the red twine which was wrapped around the mistletoe..not sure If I like to see the splash of red on the glasses..or maybe I do. Off to find out!

Mistletoe Champagne Glasses

Finally I’m up-to-date with day 16 which is ‘star’, seen here as a greeting card. I’m using more Photoshop effects than I would in my everyday design and I’m having fun combining the two. Here I’ve used outer glow effects for the stars which really make them ‘pop’ haha I know designers don’t like to hear that word!

Advent Challenge Star

That’s all for the advent challenge, I hope you’re enjoying the updates.

I don’t know if I’ve shared this with you here on the blog but a while back I was accepted as a licensed artist with Dianoche Designs. Dianoche Designs hand-pick artists from all over the world to work with them to design for their home decor products. All their products are manufactured in the USA from the best quality materials available. You can see my designs here and an example of my work below, a wall tapestry.

wall tapestries


Before I go, I’d like to mention that recently I’ve joined a Facebook group called Fritzi.Flock, hosted by the lovely Johanna Fritz. If you’re an artist/illustrator looking for community support then I really think you should consider joining. There’s a good mix of artists, graphic designers, illustrators etc. that all want to help each other get ahead. Our first project in this group will happen tomorrow when we all post on Instagram a painting/design of a bird which represents ourselves as an artist or in our style. The bird theme represents all the artists in the group as a flock.

Here’s my piece below. I love any long-legged, long-necked animals so thought this big bird would be appropriate. I don’t really think of myself as a illustrator but recently I’ve been enjoying spending more time with mixed media and just drawing. We’ll see where this goes…

Big Bird

Thank you so much for reading about what’s going on here in my studio. I’d like to start posting more video tutorials after the Christmas rush so stay tuned and I’ll see you next time. Don’t forget to subscribe to keep in touch and please comment below, I love to hear your views, what you want to see more of etc…

en English

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