Craft Monster

The Craft Monster show has been my baby so far this year, and I haven’t gotten a whole lot done other than that so far. Our first outing was this past weekend at the Green With Indie craft show in Webster Groves, and I think it went great! There’s a lot of moving parts to Craft Monster, but at it’s heart it’s a showcase for creativity and the creative process.

CraftMonsterWhat is Craft Monster?

I got asked several times this weekend what Craft Monster is. It’s a combination Art and Craft show, educational outreach, and artist showcase. We want to not only showcase local makers like Kelly Miller, Lauren Busiere, and Rosanna Speller (all pictured above), but also organizations like the Saint Louis Renaissance Faire, and Arch Reactor. This summer, the Saint Louis Science Center is allowing us to join them as a market component of their Bright Ideas Expo, which we’re really excited about.

To find out more information about Craft Monster, check out our website at

Watercolor Wednesday: Craft Yeti

Every year, as winter ends and spring begins, she travels from the remote snowy mountains of somewhere all the way to Green With Indie. She arrives with the spring.Craft Yeti Watercolor Wednesday by Jeffrey Johnson of Handmade FamilyCraft Yeti is the mascot for the Green With Indie craft show held every March at Webster University here in Saint Louis. When we started talking about Craft Monster, and the different characters we’d like to include she was of course part of the family. The hardest part of her was taking someone else’s design and converting it to a style consistent with the other characters we are using while remaining true to the original. Oh yeah, and all the white.

Craft Yeti was a really fun challenge. On these recent paintings I’ve been mixing colors before painting them, which is a departure from how I usually work by layering pure colors on the paper and allowing their transparency to blend them. Also I’ve been experimenting more with using colored pencil to finish off the paintings. I really like how the pencils deepen the watercolor, and allow for quite a lot of control while adding additional texture.

Thanks for stopping in and checking out the new work. If you’d like to help support this and other projects as well as getting some pretty great perks, please consider pledging on our Patreon Page. We really appreciate it!

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Watercolor Wednesday: Craft Monster

Craftness Monster watercolor by Jeffrey Johnson of Handmade FamilyMy first year of doing art and craft shows as part of my job was full of learning experiences. The very first thing I learned and what I always tell people that aren’t sure about having enough work to show was, “There’s nothing like needing to have the work to make you do the work.” The second lesson came about halfway through November. A girl walked up to my table and said “Oh, I saw all your stuff at another show.” As she walked away, I made a vow that I would always have at least something new at each show from then on.

Watercolor Wednesday is an opportunity to experiment

I came out of the holiday season this year with a pretty severe case of burn out. I felt like all of my creative equity had been used up, but there was still work that needed to be done. In addition to the regular work coming in, the studio flooding over the Christmas break making things for myself just seemed like too much. So I kind of took a break.

While getting personal things back in order, I started looking for artwork that inspired me. On Instagram I stumbled across Iraville, a wonderful illustrator from Germany, and I fell in love with her style and her speed painting videos on YouTube. Watercolor Wednesday is partly about having new work, but it’s also an opportunity to experiment with new styles and techniques. Armed with inspiration, I just needed a project to get started on.

As it turns out, I have no shortage of projects. The largest right now is Craft Monster, a maker showcase I approached the Saint Louis Craft Mafia, and the Saint Louis Science Center about last year. The Craftness Monster is our mascot, and it just seemed fitting for her to be the first Watercolor Wednesday painting of the new year.

Thanks for stopping in and checking out the new work. It’s going to be a great and busy year and I’m looking forward to sharing it with you all. If you’re interested in helping support this and other projects as well as getting some pretty great perks, please consider pledging on our Patreon Page. We really appreciate it!

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Looking Back on the Year

Last week, I talked about resolutions, goals and projects. On the daily, there’s a balancing act between work, rest, and family that I think we all try to find somewhere. This morning in my twitter feed, Ben Hatke posted an article about Jake Parker’s work habits. Jake is a super inspiring guy, and his daily work schedule sounds both manageable and productive. Check out the article here, and be sure to watch the video if you get a chance. It’s pretty amazing.

Speaking of work and being productive, I thought it might be fun to take a look back at what I’ve done over the course of the year. It looks like I got a lot done, though I fell a bit short of my yearly “new work” goal. Presented in no particular order is a collection of commission pieces, personal work, and comics that I did this year. I hope you all enjoyed seeing it roll out the door as much as I enjoyed making it!
year_in_review2 year_in_review3 year_in_review4 year_in_review5 year_in_review6 year_in_review7 year_in_review8

Thank you all for another great year of art, stories, and education. We couldn’t do it without you! If you’d like to directly support us (and get some pretty cool perks as well) you can become a patron for as little as $1.00 a month on our Patreon Page. Thanks for stopping in, and I’ll talk to you again soon!
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