business of art

My Coloring Book is Here!

Hi there. How are you? Me? I'm so excited!

After a month of really hard work, I'm happy to report that my coloring book is here and ready for purchase! Take a peek inside my friends.

Pattern Play - A Coloring Book by Jennifer Johansson. Now available for purchase!

A glimpse inside. This page was inspired by paper lanterns.

A glimpse inside. This page was inspired by paper lanterns.

My interpretation of wood grain.

Straight from my Sketchbook

If you follow me here or on social media, you'll probably recognize some of these drawings, as they came straight out of my sketchbook.  (Well, almost straight out of my sketchbook. I did a little cleaning and editing in Photoshop and Illustrator.) As most of what I've been drawing lately has a patterned aspect about it, I decided to title this "Pattern Play." As a big fan of alliteration, I think it works and describes what one will find inside.

A closeup view of my kimono inspired page. Won't this be fun to color?

For best results, use colored pencils, water-based markers or crayons to color in "Pattern Play."

The Details

"Pattern Play" features 20 pattern drawings, printed on just one side of the paper for optimum "colorabilty." You can easily remove pages from the book to share or even hang.  It was professionally printed at the Printing Plant right here in Carbondale, on a nice 70 lb. paper. For best results, I recommend you color with colored pencils, water-based markers, or crayons. Sharpies and other solvent-based markers work as well, but will bleed through. As long as you put a scrap piece of paper under your page, color away with your Sharpies!

#ColorWithJen

I can't wait to see my coloring book in action! I invite you to share your colored pages with my via email or on Instagram with the hashtag #ColorWithJen

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Act Fast Friends!

I've had so many inquiries about my coloring book that I do expect them to sell out quickly. I opened sales up yesterday to my mailing list members and sold half of my stock! If you want one, I'd BUY NOW!

That's all for now! Ta-ta!

 

30 Days of Pattern

Hi there. How are you?

I've always liked to follow the rules. Just ask my parents! I'd flip on my Dad if he drove over the speed limit. When I was 12, I called my parents to pick me up from a sleepover because they were watching an "R" rated movie. There's no way you'd catch my 11 year old self ordering off of the 10 and under kid's menu. Same with movies. I would not let my parents buy me a ticket at the children's price if I was too old. I could go on and on...As an adult, I still like rules, but I know when it's OK to break them.

Drawing patterns makes perfect sense for my rule-following sensibility. To make a pattern, you come up with a line or shape and then create rules on how you will arrange them in a space. In pattern-making, there are limits. There is repeat. I like that. I usually find pattern drawing very relaxing and I often work on these at night when we're watching TV.

Sketchbook Pattern Drawings: Day 1-6

Sketchbook Pattern Drawings: Day 1-6

30 Days of Pattern

I didn't set out to draw a pattern a day. I just sort of fell into the "pattern". (Ha!) I didn't want to come out and make it a "thing" either....What if I didn't stick with it? Just earlier this year I challenged myself to do an Every Other Day Sketch, and lost steam after day 45. I just decided to draw in my sketchbook every day, and post it online. I'm excited about all the things I've made.

You'll notice that some of the earliest daily drawings are really more just doodles than patterns. (Maybe I should I allow myself to do that again when I have no-idea days or when patterns just aren't flowing for me?) I was just interested in the process and it was less about the finished product. And as I keep realizing, my drawing/making/creating flows best when I am relaxed and don't put too much pressure on myself.

Sketchbook Pattern Drawings - Day 7-18

Sketchbook Pattern Drawings - Day 7-18

Positive Feedback

After posting the first few drawings of this series on Instagram and Facebook, I got lots of positive feedback. Those kind words encouraged me to keep going. I quickly blew through a sketchbook and the Pilot pens I had on hand and had to buy more.

Sketchbook Pattern Drawings Day 19-24

Sketchbook Pattern Drawings Day 19-24

Coloring Book in the Works

I've had so many people request that I turn these drawings into a coloring book. Well friends, you spoke and I finally listened! I am in the process of vectorizing the most "colorable" of these pattern drawings right now. I hope to have a coloring book out by October at the latest. I'm going to produce a limited quantity of these, so do join my mailing list if you want one! Coloring books will be available to mailing list members first, before the general public.  You'll also get a free downloadable coloring page when you join! 

Sketchbook Pattern Drawings Day 25-30

Sketchbook Pattern Drawings Day 25-30

What do You Want to Color?

Well friends, that's all for now. Is there one of these drawings I've posted that you'd particularly like to see in my coloring book? Leave a comment and let me know! Ta-Ta for now.

Color with Me

Hi there. How are you?

August 2nd was National Coloring Book Day. (Yep, it's really a thing.) Adult coloring is very trendy at the moment...Book stores now have whole sections of adult coloring books. It's nostalgic, it's stress relieving, it's colorful. I love this trend!

I Made my Own Coloring Page

After spending much time drawing in my sketchbook over the past few weeks, I realized that the drawings I was making would lend themselves really well to coloring. So I took this one, and turned it into a coloring page.

The Process

I started by scanning this drawing and cleaning it up in Photoshop, and then imported it into Illustrator. (I'm sorry I don't have screen shots of my process to share. I was too excited about what I was doing to document!) After much You-Tubing and trial and error, I was able to turn my drawing into a vector, so that it would be crisp and clear at any size.

Click the photo to join my email list and download this coloring page!

Click the photo to join my email list and download this coloring page!

A "Freemium" is born

I read a lot about business and marketing. One thing every marketer will tell you is that you need a mailing list. It is one of the most effective marketing tools around. I have had a mailing list for years now, and have been working to grow it. I used to offer a 10% shop discount to anyone who joined, but that didn't seem to overly effective. I started thinking about offering a "freemium", (think Free + Premium) that I could offer in exchange for an email address. 

Artist Mandy Ford's coloring page

Artist Mandy Ford's coloring page

Learning from Others

I came across Mandy Ford's coloring page on Instagram just about a week ago. So cute! She was using it as a freemium for joining her mailing list. Brilliant! Like any good artist, I stole this idea and worked like a dog to get my coloring page ready for it's National Coloring Book Day release to my mailing list. (Thank you much for the inspiration Mandy! Totally enjoy your work.)

Jack's Coloring Page

Jack's Coloring Page

Matt's Coloring Page

Matt's Coloring Page

Family Coloring Party

The night before National Coloring Book Day, Matt, Jack and I sat down to make sample pages that I could include in my email to my mailing list. (Though I staged the photos with crayons, they actually used colored pencils to complete these pages.) It was fun to do an "offline" activity all together.

Share Your Work

Share your Work

At the bottom of the coloring page, I added my web address and a hashtag. Social sharing is a great and free way to get the word out about you and your work.

When I sent the link out for the coloring page download to my mailing list, I invited them share their completed creations. Here are the pages completed by the Masterson familly, some of our dear friends! It's so nice to have creative, supportive friends. Thank you much for participating Lu, Efrem, Lorena and Brad!

Coloring page by Efrem, age 9

Coloring page by Efrem, age 9

Coloring page by LuElla, age 8

Coloring page by LuElla, age 8

Coloring Page by Brad

Coloring Page by Brad

Coloring Page by Lorena

Coloring Page by Lorena

Now it's Your Turn

Would you like to color along with me? To get your free coloring page, please join my mailing list. A download link will be sent to you in a confirmation email. And if you do color my page, do snap a photo and email it to me or post to Instagram with the hashtag #drawwithJen. Sharing is caring friends!

Ta-Ta for now. I'll be back with more next week!