Category Archives: Nature

Spring inspired πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’

I’ve been at this week/end. Have you been there yet?

I’m in the same booth as last year at #967

As I was getting ready for the show, I realized just how much my work is inspired by nature, especially, florals.

Here are some of my favorites (and maybe, yours, too!)

so colorful!
I love creating imaginary plants, too.
and imaginary cat vase!

Pretty flowers instantly put me in a better mood πŸ’•

If you’re in Seattle area, I hope you and enjoy all the amazing garden exhibits and vendors!

Have a flower-ly inspired day πŸ’

xo

ps. you can also shop my mood-elevating goodies anytime!

pps. my next show is in Spokane, 3/6-8 😘

Mushroom love πŸ„πŸ„πŸ„

Tell me something, my friend.

Do you love mushrooms??

Well…I LOVE mushrooms πŸ€©πŸ„

They make me so happy with their colors, shapes, and texture – everything about it provokes the fairy understory world that I’m only allowed to peek in in the quiet pacific northwest woods.

They’re so magical… I’m deeply inspired by their presence and they’ve got me dreaming of one day creating a picture book about mushrooms and little creatures living happily together…

(Adding it to the list of things to do when I retire πŸ˜†)

When I doodle for fun, I often draw inspirations from them, too.

A birthday card I made for Dave last year
wall hanging I made in the ceramics class

 

ObsessedΒ πŸ„πŸ„πŸ„

Can you spot some of the mushies from the photos in my new design?? πŸ‘‡πŸΌπŸ‘€

Mushroom Art Print
Mushroom Thank You Card

Tell me if you love them as mush as I do! πŸ˜†πŸ„

xo

ps. You can still shop this mushroom and other new designs at an early-bird VIP rate in my shop! Sign up for my newsletter and get 15% off through January 31st.

pps. Always free US shipping for orders $35 and over.

Yellowstone vacation pics πŸž

My mom and I went to Yellowstone National Park two weeks ago. We were there for only 4 days but got to see some amazing things!

Here are some vacation pics you might enjoy πŸ“Έ

One of the many thermal pools at Yellowstone. They’re super pretty but also boiling hot and/or very acidic, so don’t go in there!
These trees are dead because the water that’s flooded the plains contains glass and it chokes the root system.
Beautiful view from Madison Junction
One of the many waterfalls I loved. This is at Artist Point.
Yellowstone Lake. We had breakfast here one morning. So quiet and serene.
Gibbon Fall
Because I’m obsessed with lichen πŸ˜€
Overlooking Gibbon River
Massive rock wall along the road
Mammoth Hot Spring Terraces
me and mama selfie!

We did see some animals, too, like, bisons, elks, and whole a lot of chipmunks 🐿 but I didn’t get good pics of them so drew a bison afterwards.

He’s adorable in my sketchbook. But the real thing was pretty terrifying 😬 SO BIG.

I’m so grateful I got to spend time with my mom and be part of this majestic place even for a few days.

These photos don’t do justice, but I hope you enjoyed them! I wanna go back in different seasons and see changing faces of the park some day… πŸ‚β„οΈπŸŒΈ

Have you been to Yellowstone before? Or any other amazing places? Tell me about your favorite nature adventure you’ve ever had. I wanna know!

xo

Happy 4th!

If you’re in the U.S., Happy 4th!

I usually don’t do anything on the 4th πŸ˜… but this year we’re going to a BBQ at my friend’s. They’re grilling up some steaks and salmon, they said. So fancy ✨ We’re bringing a salad from our garden. A proper celebration!

(However, I guarantee you I’ll be in bed by the time fireworks start πŸ˜‚ I got earplugs.)

Just like my new birthday card implies, I’m not much of a partier. Cozy celebration that ends at a reasonable time is def my style.

No matter what you’re doing, be safe and enjoy your day πŸ’™β€οΈ

xo

From the Sketchbook: More Poppies!

Last time I shared my drawings from my sketchbook, I was obsessed with drawing poppies.

(You can see them here.)

I’m still really into drawing them and wanted to share my recent sketchbook pages today!

And I have a mini video at the end, so keep scrolling down πŸ™‚

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These colors really make me happy.
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Most of my poppy drawings are done with Micron pen and Sakura Koi brush pens!
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Love this pink and magenta combo!
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I also tried more cooler colors. This one with Micron pen, Koi pens, and white Gellyroll pen.

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Blue-poppies-w.-wt-gellyroll_550px
Darker blue poppies turned out pretty, too.

As promised, here is a very short poppy drawing video πŸ™‚

 

And, if you want to learn how to draw these fun poppies, you’re in luck!

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I recently made a video tutorial for Sakura of America, and this FREE video will be available on their YouTube channel soon!

I enjoyed creating the tutorial and suspect there will be many more in the future πŸ™‚ I’ll keep you posted on when they’re gonna come out!

Hope you enjoy it! Talk to you soon.

xo Yuko

Yuko Miki Honeyberry Studios Headshot

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 Reasons to Write Your Friends This Summer

Guess what?

My new art collection, Eat a Rainbow, will launch exactly two weeks from today on Sunday May 1!

Woo hoo! I’m very excited πŸ™‚

By the way, if you’ve missed the previous behind the scenes sneak previews, you can check them out here and here.

Today, I want to introduce you to my new notecards!

Eat a Rainbow, Bell Pepper, Summer Berry, and Tomato Notecards on 19pt Cotton Savoy
Eat a Rainbow, Bell Pepper, Summer Berry, and Tomato Notecards!

Just like my new art prints, the notecards come in 4 new designs: Eat a Rainbow, Pepper, Tomato, and Summer Berry.Β 

These are going to be available as single card or as a set. I mean how could you choose, right?

I love pretty notecards. Whenever I’m at a craft show or visiting a cute gift shop on vacation, I pick up a few. They’re like a tiny gift of art that is also practical.

But I also admit that I have piles of pretty notecards I have accumulated over the years.

If you’re thinking – what do I do with more notecards? Fear not.Β 

I’ve compiled 6 creative ways you can use these watercolor art notecards this summer!

1. Start a new tradition and send your handwritten season’s greetings to your friends and familyΒ during the summer.Β 

Bell Pepper Notecard on 19pt Natural Savoy, 4.25" x 5.5"
Bell Pepper Notecard on 19pt Natural Savoy, 4.25″ x 5.5″

Do you send your family and friends greeting cards during the winter holidays? Well, it’s been almost 6 months, isn’t it?

How would they feel if they received an unexpected season’s greetings from you this summer?

I would think happy, delighted, and loved.

In Japan there is a custom to send a letter or a greeting card to friends and family during the summer months to wish them well – or more like “I hope you’re surviving the super hot and humid summer season OK.” If you ever lived or visited there in summer, you know how miserable it gets… πŸ˜€

I love traditions like that where it’s not related to any particular holidays. You simply reach out and say “I hope your summer is going well!”

Help them cool down with these refreshing watercolor art notecards!

2. It’s a perfect summer birthday card.

Each of the notecards feature my colorful and refreshing drawings of summer’s bounty and makes a perfect summer birthday card!

These cards are printed on a cotton savoy card stock and feel very soft and luxurious. It can totally be enjoyed as a framed mini-art after they read your thoughtful birthday message πŸ™‚

Bonus if your birthday people are also into gardening, farmers’ markets, cooking, and, of course, eating good food ❀

3. Write a thank you note to your neighbor who brings you her homemade blueberry jam every summer.Β 

Summer Berry Notecard on 19pt Natural Savoy, 4.25" x 5.5 "
Summer Berry Notecard on 19pt Natural Savoy, 4.25″ x 5.5 “

Are you one of the lucky people who have that special neighbor who loves to make jam with fresh, seasonal berries AND share them with you?? Homemade blueberry jam is my favorite, by the way!

Write a thank you note in my Summer Berry notecard and tell her how much you appreciate the delicious gift!

(Hint: she’ll probably bring you more goodies if you do :))

4. Your tomatoes are doing a little too well and you don’t know what to do with all of your bounty?? Invite your friends over for a tomato canning party!

Tomato Notecard on 19pt Natural Savoy, 4.25" x 5.5"
Tomato Notecard on 19pt Natural Savoy, 4.25″ x 5.5″

I have a friend who plants lots and lots (I mean LOTS) of tomato plants every year, and she turns them into delicious tomato sauce and cans them.

If you’re a canner, you know it is a “process.” You need to clean, peel, chop, measure, season, and cook your veggies or fruits. You prepare your jars and lids and can them in boiling water in a hot kitchen.

I love canning but it can be quite time consuming and labor intensive.

It’d be a lot more fun if you have your friends over and enjoy the process while catching up on your summer happenings.

Make it a special event by sending them my Tomato notecard as a handwritten invitation!

5. Send your family an illustrated report of what’s growing in your garden.

Eat a Rainbow Notecard on 19pt Natural Savoy
Eat a Rainbow Notecard on 19pt Natural Savoy

If you live in a similar climate to Seattle and have a vegetable garden, you’re probably growing many things (if not all!) that are illustrated on my Eat a Rainbow notecard.

Perhaps your parents are retired in Hawaii, or your brother lives in New Zealand. These everyday veggies we take for granted may be quite interesting to those who are not familiar.

Show and tell what you’re growing in your garden this summer with your loved ones living far away.

6. Invite your friends to a garden potluck party!

Are you planning an outdoor potluck, wedding, birthday, anniversary, or retirement party this summer? Get your guests excited about the fun you’re about to have by sending an invite with these notecards!

The colorful and fresh vegetables and berries on these notecards scream garden party.

Send your invitations early before everyone’s calendar starts filling up this summer πŸ™‚

Invitations have already gone out? (You, organized you!) You can send your guests these notecards as a thank you card later for making your party special.

Eat a Rainbow Notecard by Yuko Miki, 4.25" x 5.5" 19pt Natural Savoy
How cute is this??

However you decide to use these notecards, you’re sure gonna make them (and you!) smile πŸ™‚

Order yours on my Etsy shop on Sunday May 1.

xo Yuko

p.s. I’m going to be on my sabbatical week this coming week, and you won’t be seeing any new blog posts from me. Hope you’ll have an amazing week!

Yuko Miki Honeyberry Studios Headshot

 

 

A Sneak Preview: Eat a Rainbow New Art Series

I’m trying to focus more on my art products this year, and my goal is release a cohesive new product line every season.

And I’m excited to tell you that my Eat a Rainbow summer product line will launch on Sunday May 1!!

I love sharing my behind the scenes creative process with you, so I’mΒ going to share bits and pieces of my new art product line in the coming month.

When I decided the art product was going to be my new goal this year, it was already mid-winter and was too late to produce and market anything for the spring. So I decided to start with creating new products for this summer.

My first step when I start something new is to educate myself on the subject matter as much as possible. So I read a bunch of articles and watched webinars about making successful product business.

You probably already know this, but starting a product business is expensive!! You have to make an up-front investment in inventory and supplies, and it can take a few years for you to actually profit from your sales. Yikes.

I don’t believe in debt and since I’m still learning, I decided to start small and invest in paper products (e.g. art prints and notecards) for the summer season. Prints and cards are not as expensive to produce as compared to other products like mugs and bags, and you can expect a higher profit margin.

I also learned that you need to be on top of your schedule for your product launch and promotion and you need to start designing and producing your products waaaay early. Like, I need to be thinking about fall and winter holidays now. But it’s not even summer yet!!!

That unseasonal aspect of the product business feels very awkward to me, but I gotta start somewhere and amΒ willing to try! So I put the tentative dates and reminders for my product designs, promotion, and launch on my Google calendar for the rest of the year. I’m so patting myself on the back for that one!

Once I made a decision about what kinds of products to create, I worked on creating a cohesive theme for the products. IΒ did someΒ research to find out the visual trend for this summer, especially for stationery and surface design. Which I must say was not very easy to find for some reason.

I thought someone must’ve created a list of themes that are hot this summer, but I didn’t find anything that was so simple or easy. I guess nothing is easy when it comes to learning?

But one website I found based in the U.K. did mention urban gardening/homesteading theme is one of the more popular themes this year (hasn’t it been kind of popular for the past few years, though? Maybe it’s different for different counties…?), so I decided to tackle that theme for my summer art products.

I’m a gardener, and as you know, I love anything related to food πŸ™‚Β Summer is the time for abundant vegetable production, and why not celebrate it with art??

When I was designing for the summer product line, I had many ideas. Simple line drawings, fun veggie-related puns (though I’m bad at coming up with puns…), vintage seed packet designs etc. But I was particularly inspired by the beautiful food gradient art by Wright Kitchen.

Β© Brittany Wright 2016, wrightkitchen.com
Β© Brittany Wright 2016, wrightkitchen.com

I was introduced to her website a few months ago and have been following her beautiful food photography on Instagram. Her art is absolutely stunning!! Definitely follow her feed if you’re looking for delicious eye candy!!

So anyway, I started drawing and sketching some of my favorite summer vegetables in watercolor, gouache, and my favorite Micron pen.

Strawberry Raspberry Blueberry Watercolor Illustration
Summer berries. Watercolor, gouache & micron pen
Peppers Watercolor Illustration
Peppers. Watercolor, gouache & micron pen
Green, Red, and Orange Bell Pepper Watercolor Illustration
Bell Peppers. Watercolor, gouache & micron pen
Green Zucchini Watercolor Illustration
Zucchini. Watercolor, gouache & micron pen
Green, Orange, and Yellow Tomato Watercolor Illustration
Tomatoes. Watercolor, gouache & micron pen

And then I scanned my drawings in to create several fun compositions digitally in Photoshop.

I named the series Eat a Rainbow, andΒ I imagined my colorful art prints hanging in someone’s kitchen or dining room, where they’re going to be cooking and enjoying the meals made with fresh vegetables with their family and friends πŸ™‚

Eat a Rainbow Colorful Summer Vegetable Illustration by Honeyberry Studios
This one is my favorite ❀

My Eat a Rainbow summer product line will launch on May 1, 2016 on my Etsy shop! I’ll be sharing more sneak previews in the coming month, so stay tuned!

xo Yuko

Yuko Miki Honeyberry Studios Headshot

From the Sketchbook

I was on a black and white line drawing kick for the past couple of months. I just love the simplicity of line drawing very much.

But it’s been feeling more and more like spring here, and I want COLOR! I can’t lie – colorful drawings make me happy πŸ™‚ Do they make you happy, too?

Here are some drawings I’ve made in my sketchbook lately. With some colors πŸ™‚

Watercolor-peppers_lores

Peppers in watercolor and pen. Some of the bell peppers look kinda like pumpkins… Oh well. I like them all!

Watercolor-squash_lores

Summer squash in watercolor and pen. I draw the shapes with watercolor and brush and add lines with my Micron pen when the paint dries.

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Tomatoes in watercolor and pen.

Rainbow-chards_lores

Rainbow Swiss Chards in watercolor and pen.

Daffodils_lores

Daffodils in markers and pen. I saw beautiful daffodils on my walk around the neighborhood one afternoon. I love their cheerful colors.

Crocus_lores

Purple crocuses in markers and pen. It made me happy to see many crocuses on the sidewalk during my walk.

Napping is full time job

Napping is My Full-Time Job in pen and marker. I love how cozy he looks when he’s taking a nap…makes me want to curl up next to him in a giant cat bed!

OK, I hope you enjoyed these drawings and have a wonderful Tuesday!

xo Yuko

Yuko_profile

Let me tell you what I did on my first sabbatical week.

recharge_lores

Hello guys!

It’s so nice to be back from my mini sabbatical week! For those of you who haven’t heard, I decided to take every 7th week off to step back from the day-to-day and recharge. I just had my very first sabbatical week the previous week, and it was really awesome!

As promised, I wanted to report back and share how I spent my week off. To me, this was not a vacation, per se, but an opportunity to breathe and do something I don’t normally get to do.

1) I created a new drawing tutorial.

Some of you may have seen it, but I participated in a blog hop with Kelly Johnson of Wings, Worms, and Wonder on Wednesday October 7 as a guest blogger! I had always wanted to do tutorials, so I was excited and honored when she approached me to join her.

She asked each participating artist to come up with a tutorial that inspires people to connect/re-connect with the nature. I thought about what I could teach people and decided to create this Fall Leaf Marker Drawing tutorial! I’ve received positive feedback from folks that it was very accessible and inspired them to try marker drawing. I really enjoyed the process, too, and hope to create more tutorials in the future!

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2) I cooked more.

I might have mentioned this here before, but I’m not that into cooking. I don’t dislike it but just don’t enjoy spending a lot of time cooking up some gourmet meals (that’s more my husband’s thing, which I’m very grateful for!) I enjoy eating simple tasty meals that are quick to make.

But there is something about non-regular cooking, like making jams, baking, and making fermented foods that I like. It might be because the process is fairy simple, and you get to enjoy the products over time? Canning and fermentation make me feel very empowered, too. You can turn some fresh ingredients into things that last for a long, long time. Magical!

I used to do these things more often before I got serious about my art business. Even though I’m not juggling a day job and art any more, I’ve been plenty busy and was feeling like I didn’t have the energy to do much else.

My husband had been asking me to make more jam because we were out for a while. So I decided to tackle that during my sabbatical week!

We buy fresh fruits in bulk during the summer and freeze them. I prefer to make jam when the weather has cooled down because our apartment gets super hot during the summer, and it wouldn’t be fun to do water bath canning then… :p

jam01_lores

I made three kinds of jams this time! Our all time favorite blueberry, apricot, and I made a new addition, spiced apricot with cinnamon and clove. YUM.jam02_lores jam03_lores

It’s kind of a long story, but I’ve been on an elimination diet of no grain flour for a while. But after making so much yummy jam, I really wanted to have something to eat it with. So I did some research and found this easy almond flour muffin recipe!

almond-muffins01_lores almond-muffins02_lores

It was really quick to make and was delicious! It has a nutty, earthy flavor, and the texture is very similar to cornbread. It went really well with my jam too!almond-muffins03_lores

And I just generally spent more time cooking during the week. I love to eat and am happy when my creations turn out yummy!

3)Β  I made art for fun.

I still make something every day, but nowadays I spend much less time making art just for fun. During the sabbatical week, I tried to turn off my work mode and doodled my little heart out.

Here are some of the drawings I made!

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green-blue-bowls_lores green-yellow-cups_lores pink-purple-cupcakes_lores

Aren’t these fun?? As I shared in this blog post, I always get new inspiration and fresh ideas for future work when I’m playing around.

4) More friend/family hang out time

I had a few dates planned with my friends but ended up having just one for one reason or another. It worked out fine because, well, I’m an introvert and I recharge by being alone πŸ™‚ My husband was away for work for a few days too, so it was a good balance between having a nice quiet time alone and hanging out with him when he was home!

5) Veg out!

Don’t worry, I wasn’t being productive and doing things all the time, either. I did sleep in and just veg out too! In one afternoon, Dave and I just watched a whole bunch of Netflix shows on our couch. It was very nice πŸ™‚

He was helping me be a couch potato!
Our kitty was helping me be a couch potato = his special talent

It took me a couple of days to turn off the work mode, but I really enjoyed the slow week. I totally feel more energized and calm this week. I’m really glad I decided to schedule regular time-off and can’t wait for my next mini sabbatical! I’m gonna need it πŸ™‚

Have a wonderful week!

xoxo Yuko

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