With every product that I make and every box, envelope, and mailer I send out I try to be as sustainable and Eco-friendly as I can. Here is a few ways I am striving to make M.S. Illustration more environmentally friendly:
Production & Manufacturing
Pins are often sent by factories in plastic individually wrapped bags, where possible I ask my manufacturer to please send the pins in a safely packaged but able to recycled manner, when that is not possible, I use the little plastic bags when packing sticker orders until my stash runs out.
Vinyl stickers are made of PVC free material and where possible I try to use Eco-friendly and/or locally based printers. Paper stickers and wooden pins/charms are made of sustainably sourced wood.
Washi tapes are made of Japanese biodegradable paper and will be packaged in a custom paper box.
All of my backing cards and thank you cards can be recycled and are made of sustainably sourced paper. If you don’t plan on keeping them, please recycle! Thank you cards have an art print on the back side.
Orders that include things such as washi tape and freebie stickers will be packed in recycled plastic, as soon as my stash is used up, I will be switching over entirely to tissue paper and other Eco-friendly alternatives. Larger orders are wrapped in tissue paper and secured with biodegradable washi tape.
Orders that require a mailer or box are sealed with water activated kraft paper tape, this secures the package without being damaging to the environment. Envelopes are held by either a vinyl sticker or piece of washi tape.
Shipping & Delivery
Orders that are sent through letter mail are packed in envelopes that can be recycled and secured by a vinyl PVC free sticker or a piece of biodegradable washi tape.
For larger orders, international orders, and orders requiring a box or mailer I use recyclable mailers/padded envelopes. Orders needing a box are almost always sent in a box that was recycled from a prior package and sealed with kraft tape.
All orders needing a box or mailer are packed with tissue paper and if needed a small bit of bubble wrap recycled from a prior package. Print orders are protected from bending by a cut up recycled piece of rigid paper.
If you have any other suggestions or recommendations for Eco-friendly, recyclable, and sustainable solutions please let me know!
Well, the horrid year that has been 2020 is drawing to a close and that means thinking toward next year. I have a lot of very exciting things planned for 2021 and thought I’d share a few of them with you. Read on to see some of what to expect in the next year.
February: Galaxy pin collection kickstarter ends and if successful fulfilling begins! February rewards ship out for patreon and patrons will get a sneak peak into what March holds as March is my birthday month…expect fun things 🙂 The return of the watercolour to my art instagram
March: Birthday shop update, lots of fun things for patrons, and potentially launch a new plushie kickstarter (more to come on that in the coming months) March meet the maker on my instagram @thedisc0panda or perhaps my shop instagram @msillustrationsshop if I have the time to do it, and lots more fun art to come.
April: Ship out patreon March rewards, Birthday sale ends, commemorate Yom HaShoah with a special illustration on @thedisc0panda and work on kickstarter rewards if successful.
May: Finals season so no shop update this month, Wild Hunt kickstarter expected to launch (very excited for this one!!) work on summer 2021 designs and ship out april patreon rewards after finals
June: Wild Hunt kickstarter ends if successful begin fulfilling, finish and release summer collection and mail May patreon rewards
July: World watercolour month on @thedisc0panda, work on fulfilling Kickstarter rewards if successful, restock shop if needed, mail patreon rewards, set prelaunch page for zine kickstarter (big project but the one I am looking forward to the most)
August: Launch zine kickstarter, school begins again, patreon july rewards shipped off, behind the scenes of zine KS shown on patreon
September: Zine kickstarter ends and fulfilling begins if successful, August patreon rewards shipped off, autumn collection released
October: Kickstarter fulfilling continues, September patron rewards sent off, Halloween shop restock, Inktober 2021 on art instagram
November: Fantasy character pin collection kickstarter launches (final campaign of the year) and finish up winter collection designs
December: Winter collection releases, Fantasy character collection campaign ends, final shop update of the year!
As you can see, there is quite a bit planned for 2021, more details to come as we move into the new year. For patreon, the last day to pledge for the next month is the last day of the current month (example: you want to pledge for January 2021, make sure you are signed up by December 31 2020) pin club will be taking a break for a little bit until March or April but all other tiers will be operating as normal. Please feel free to reach out with any questions and thank you for all the support this year!
Artists fall into the category of both easy and hard to shop for at the same time. Do they already have this art supply? Do they even like this type of medium? Should I just get them a gift card instead and let them pick out something on their own? Do they actually have space for any other art stuff? All are valid questions. In this post I’ll be going through my top 10 gifts for artists in the 2020 holiday season. Lets begin!
*No links are affiliated I just really love Blick Art Materials
For the marker enthusiast: Copic markers
Copics are one of, if not the best art marker on the market. Available in a variety of styles the main attracting feature to these markers is their wonderful brush tip, as well as a corresponding chisel tip on the opposite end of the marker, allowing for different types of coverage based on the application. In addition copics are refillable and are available in over 300 colours. While expensive, they’re definitely worth the price-tag.
2. For the watercolorist: Daniel Smith watercolor sets
Daniel smith paints come in over 200 colors and are available in a variety of styles, from metal tinned and plastic cases, to tubes that last years, and the economically priced dot cards that are perfect for trying colors before buying a whole tube. Daniel Smith makes 3 types of watercolors; their normal set, a set of shimmering paints that were specially curated, and the primatek series made with genuine pigments and stones for a unique and at times shimmering look. In addition to the paints themselves Daniel smith makes a special watercolor ground, similar to gesso in clear, white, black, and gold that allows nearly any surface to be primed for watercolor painting. Daniel Smith also manufactures acrylic gesso and a number of oil painting products. All products are made in America in Seattle, Washington.
3. For the acrylic painter: Liquitex Basics
Liquitex manufactures a variety of levels of paint, the basics series is both economical and high quality for the price point. While many professional acrylic painters prefer Golden paints for their paintings, Liquitex Basics are ideal for the beginner, intermediate, and even the professional on a budget. They have rich color pay off and dry quickly without being too quick to not have time to mix on the palette.
4. For the oil painter: Royal Talens Cobra water mixable oil paints
Oil paints are known for their hard to clean nature and at times toxic chemicals used in the paints and their mediums. Thankfully, due to advances in science and paint making there are now oil paints that clean up with soap and water, allowing painters with allergies and asthma to experience oil painting without compromising their health. Royal Talens Cobra water mixable oils are a student directed line but are loved by students and professionals alike, they are less sticky than Winsor and Newton and clean up easily with a warm cup of water and dish soap making after painting clean up a breeze. As with all oil paints, they do take some time to dry fully.
6. For the sketcher: Stillman and Birn Nova Mixed Media sketchbook
This unique sketchbook holds multiple types of paper in one book, allowing multiple uses without needing to buy multiple sketchbooks with different colored/weighted papers. The sketchbook is ideal for mixed media art and keeping an art journal, as well as colored pencil artwork on the toned paper.
7. For the illustrator: Sakura pigma micron pens
Micron pens are a cult favorite among the art and illustration world for their smooth lines, long life, and water and copic proof design. Micron pens are pigment based and available in a variety of tip sizes and colors, including a brush, chisel, and plastic nibbed version.
8. For the Graphic Designer: Winsor and Newton Designers Gouache
Gouache is an opaque watercolor commonly used in graphic design and illustration. Winsor and Newton, along with Holbein, is the leading choice for gouache in comparison to cheaper brands. It has a smooth matte consistency, flows smoothly on the paper, and can be layered due to its opaque nature when dry. Gouache can be diluted and reactivated with water for a variety of effects.
9. For the Animator: Artograph LightTracer Light Box
Light-boxes are essential for animators when working on multi-page animations and when moving sketches to the final paper. A light-box allows the design to be seen clearly underneath the final paper, making the design easier to move with less potential mistakes.
10. For the Mixed Media artist: Strathmore 500 series softcover mixed media art journal
Mixed media I have found can be a fairly loose term when it comes to sketchbooks, for some the paper is really more like a Bristol with less weight, others only hold up to a few washes of watercolor and warp when adding collage, but this particular sketchbook I believe truly deserves it’s mixed media title. I have one that is nearly full and it takes everything I throw at it with no bleed-through, minimal ghosting, and very little warping when being clipped down. It is my personal favorite for mixed media artwork and for using acrylic paint and paint markers.
If you really don’t know what to get the artist in your life, gift cards to their favorite art supply store are always greatly appreciated, that saves you the stress of picking something out, and they get to take a trip to their favorite art supply place!
From this list did you see anything you might want to try? Do you have any additional recommendations? Let me know, I’m always game for art supply recommendations to try!
I am officially on Patreon! There are a variety of tiers to choose from, including a simple $1 a month donation that recieves coloring pages and more, all the way up to $25 a month for an international pin club tier!
Yes…You heard that correctly- PIN CLUB
There will be a special exclusive pin of the month for patrons, including some you help me design! This months pin is a gorgeous enamel pin perfect for Autumn. Patreon will take your pledge upfront (sorry- I can’t change that part!) but you can choose to pledge or unpledge each month depending on each months design- If you do not like a pin one month or find you need to save a bit of money for a month or two simply unpledge for those months and repledge when you are ready. The patreon link can be found in my instagram bio and here on my website under the “around the web” tab on the home page.
I use the funds from patreon to be able to put pins into production and be able to pay for my uni tuition (the whole reason I started this shop- the US college system is crazy expensive) so any support is super appreciated and will make my day!
Lets take a look through the tier options:
Due to having to plan for holiday/winter products there will be NO PIN OF THE MONTH for the month of NOVEMBER 2020, there will however, still be sticker club running as usual. To sign up to get Novembers sticker and associated goodies make sure to pledge by November 1st! Below is the sticker design for November 2020, its got a galaxy theme.
That’s a phrase I often find I repeat to myself, being a first year college student and a neuroscience major I don’t exactly have a lot of time to necessarily do what I might want to do. With the pandemic I also find myself cleaning quite a bit when I would normally have downtime and be doing art or another activity I enjoy.
But, sadly it’s out of my hands that we are in the midst of a pandemic and my professors assign a considerable amount of work, I just have to find the time for art when I can.
If, like me, you have a busy life and find yourself unable to have time to sit down for a few hours and create here are a few tips I incorporate into my own routine to make sure I’m staying creative despite being busy.
Doodle during your breaks. When I’m sitting at lunch or if we happen to be taking an exam in class that I have already finished I’ll pull out some scrap paper and doodle mindlessly. While they are absolutely not masterpieces, it’s a fun and easy way to get my hand going and give my brain a break.
(this is directed at students or anyone who needs to take notes) Use Sketch-notes or otherwise make your notes pretty. Sketch-notes is a technique of note-taking that involves mainly drawing diagrams or other drawings and adding small blurbs of text as needed, it is best for visual learners and can be quite effective. Or, if you prefer more “standard” note-taking look around the pinterest “studygram” community for inspiration…I tend to look around when I am lacking motivation to study chemistry.
Write out a daily schedule. Having a schedule for the day helps block out what you’ll be doing and when, and allows you to see if you have time that day for a few hours of winding down and doing something creative
Use what you have on hand. As much as I would LOVE to have my nice paints or markers when doing diagrams in class for my notes, usually I just end up using a pencil or fineliner pen and possibly colored pencil if there is time/need for color. If i’m doodling odds are its on the margin of a note sheet or a sticky note with a cheap ballpoint pen or number two pencil in between lecture points. The quality of the supplies doesn’t necessarily mean the art you make is bad (though high quality supplies tend to be made of better materials and have an effect on quality in a way) all that matters is you’re being creative and having fun
Re-evaluate your lifestyle. Do I really need to be THIS busy? Sometimes being overly scheduled can lead to stress, and therefor burnout. Find things you might not NEED to do to give yourself some time for rest and relaxation. Self care is important!
Are there any ways you make art while busy that I haven’t covered? Let me know, maybe I’ll add them to the list!
Recently I took Tanya Lee Kahler’s “Messy Pages” class at Get Messy Art Journal as part of access to a free class for being part of their email list. The course covered a variety of things; Mixed Media basics and tools, Journaling and adding text into an art journal or sketchbook, making pages with acrylic, watercolour + water soluble crayons, and collage as well as techniques to mix them all together, and finally a page with a list of prompts.
Now, sadly, my time with the class expired before I could do all of the journaling/text and prompt sections of the class but I was able to get through nearly everything else. I learned a lot of new things during that little class (and totally want to find more online mixed media classes if anyone has any recommendations) mostly that collage work is a bit of a crazy messy totally insane and slightly frustrating media, and that acrylic surprisingly isn’t all that bad.
But most of all what I learned is to get rid of the fear of getting messy (mostly through that collage section of the class…thankfully splat mats and paper towels exist) getting messy is something I must admit, I really have a fear of. Part of that might be the ashkenazi intergenerational trauma and most of it is probably I just hate having to clean things up that can be a bit disgusting…also soft pastels are dusty and go EVERYWHERE.
…Really, try them sometime and tell me I’m wrong.
When my time was up with this lovely super fun class I decided to use all the different techniques and supplies I learned during this time to make this page as a little reminder to myself “don’t be afraid to get messy”.
I started with a layer of journaling then took some watercolour pans and layered some colour over the writing causing it to bleed, then added acrylic paint and acrylic/watercolour inks before finishing the page off with my beloved posca black and white paint pens.
I think this serves as an excellent way at least for myself to wrap up the “Messy Pages” class, and it certainly serves as a great reminder to not be afraid to try something new…even if it is messy.
Are you a fan of getting messy? Let me know your thoughts, and if you have taken any other Get Messy classes and have some to recommend!
The lovely thing about pre-ordering something, other than getting it at a special price, is you are the ones who help me be able to put the product into production! I have a number of things currently available for pre-orders and they are on the “preorders” page of my website, but I thought I would post them here as well…gotta maximize potential am I right?
Here is what is currently available to pre-order. None of these have been put into production yet 😦
Cat Boba Canvas Tote Bag
This listing is for a printed canvas tote-bag! 15.5" x 15" 100% natural cotton canvas $15 pre-order spots available: 10
D&D Mage Glitter Sticker
This listing is for a shiny glitter sticker! Made with waterproof, weatherproof vinyl measuring at 1.9" x 1.4" this glittery cutie is sure to make any sticker collector smile. Pre-order spots available: 35. The details in the clothing and eyes will be glittery in addition to the cutline/outline
Vinyl with glitter accents $2.50
T is for Tiger sticker with gold border
This listing is for a square printed sticker with a metallic border. The printed area is 1 3/4" squared. $1.75 Pre-order spots available: 10
Squirrel Vinyl Sticker
This listing is for a glossy vinyl sticker, these vinyl stickers are weather proof and can last up to four years outdoors. This has become one of my best sellers on Redbubble and I thought it high time to add it to the shop! This sticker measures 1.5" x 2.5" and will be the perfect little gift for any nature lover. $2.25 is the special pre order price for this sticker! Pre-Order Spots available: 30
Hedgehog Vinyl Sticker
Like the squirrel, this listing is also for a glossy vinyl sticker made of weatherproof material. This cute hedgehog measures 3.1" x 3.5" and is available for the special pre order price of $2.50 the price will go up after pre orders end/the number required for production has been met. There are only 5 Pre-Order spots available!!
Please give a warm welcome to the first set of shop reps! This set of reps will run from July-September 2020 and will help promote and grow the shop! Thank you all so much for the great reception of the shop these past few weeks, it mean so so so much to me.
Lets meet the reps;
How does being a rep work?
Each rep will get a package once a month with samples such as prints and stickers that they promote, each rep will also have a specific “code” that when sent to me will result in a discount for the interested customer, discount payment will be through email or DM on instagram, as this version of wordpress does not allow discount codes.
The rep codes are as follows and can be used on bigcartel during check out or by emailing me the code and list of items from this site (bigcartel has limited inventory)
Please check out the reps and their work on instagram! And don’t forget to use the codes when getting anything from the shop!
Hello there! This is my first blog post on this website. So much work and time has been put into creating this and I am thrilled to finally be sharing it and putting things into action!
First, let me share a bit about myself and my work…
I began my artistic journey back in 2014 when I became severely ill, and took up doodling to pass the time, while my condition has improved over the years I still feels its effects daily, Art is central to my healing and keeping my mind off of pain. About half way through my High School career I took my first school art class since the age of 10 and with the help and encouragement of my drawing and painting teacher – my artistic talent and style really began to blossom. Looking back on my old doodles and first drawings is both cringe-worthy, and makes me proud of how far I have come with practice and perseverance.
During my high school career I also was introduced to a variety of artists and their art styles, while at a class one day I was introduced to Felix Fu of Felix Doolittle and his style of watercolour painting. Felix and his former student are the first to show me what watercolour really could do when used “correctly” and has become one of my favorite mediums to work with. A world of possibilities has opened up as I have begun to explore other mediums and get out of my comfort zone. I had no idea so many amazing supplies existed, and there are so many more I’d like to try! Acrylic ink, Paint pens, Acrylic paint, Oil Paint, Pastels of all sorts, and Alcohol inks are just a few examples of things I am just beginning learning or want to learn about, and of course I have my old favorites of Alcohol based Markers and Watercolours of all sorts, in addition to my trusty water and smudge proof fineliner pens.
Since then I have continued to grow my talents through daily practice and every now and then trying something new. My little “art space” is slowly growing as is my collection of higher quality art supplies (and sometimes that can be a bit of a problem) what can I say? I have good taste and know what I like? In addition to my own practice I have had the opportunity to learn from great artists and illustrators through in person workshops and classes. In particular I was able to take an illustration course with the former Art Director of the New Yorker Magazine Jordan Awan and learned so much during those two weeks.