ArtSnacks Inktober box review

Yup, thats my crazy house right now! Because A was super excited to decorate this year! 

Yup, thats my crazy house right now! Because A was super excited to decorate this year! 

Feels like ages since my last ArtSnacks box review, got caught up with this thing called 'life' and missed a few boxes! But with family visiting, preparing for the Sammamish Art Fair, and other shows; oh and with the littles! I have no idea where the days are going! Life here seems to be SOOO much busier then life in Pakistan! There you have help for EVERY SINGLE thing!! Here the days just go by with never ending lists of things to do!! 

And then suddenly I’m reminded of one of my all time favorite songs:

"And you've been so busy lately

that you haven't found the time

to open up your mind

and watch the world spinning

gently out of time" 

‘Out of time’ by Blur - (yes please listen to it if you haven't ever, and if you have then hear it again just because it such a brilliant song!) 

So I spent the day playing with my kids, doing art projects on paper plate witches, white pumpkins, painting the human canvas 'mom's face', decorating the house and cycling in the rain!

A day well spent, which ended with me, my ArtSnacks box and my sketchbook! As you all know by now, A is always just as thrilled as me at the arrival of the ArtSnacks box! As with every box, I have to fight him off to get the first unpacking pic with all the contents! Which were:


1.Higgins black magic ink

2. Caran d'Ache black wood pencil

3. Cretacolor artist studio line colored pencils

4. Pigma professional brush pen by Sakura

5. Connoisseur bamboo watercolor brush

6. Zombie Gummy foot (imagine A's excitement!)

7. ArtSnacks tattoo (also consumed by A!)

I started off my piece with a quick sketch using the Black wood pencil; I just love the look of this pencil, so slick! Bonus points for being super soft and fun to sketch with, so far one of my favorites to keep. 

Next I started my shading with the Cretacolor colored pencils, in the Artsnacks intro card, these were described as; "... richly pigmented leads with a buttery feel to produce bold, vibrant color tones. Use these colored pencils to draw on top of other dark-ink art supplies." After reading this, my expectations were pretty high... and then they came CRASHING down!!! Yes they were soft, but bold they were not!! For example the eyes, I wanted them to be a bold popping out at you blue, which I don’t think I was able to achieve; even getting it to what they are was reworking again and again and putting way more pressure then should have been put! 

I have to admit I did get frustrated with them pretty quickly and moved on to the Brush Pen; great quality pen, I like the quality of ink as well as the nib. As is with most of Sakura's products! In the past 6 months of my subscription to Artsnacks box, I have seen some form of a black pen in almost every box, so my excitement about a good black ink pen has kind of fizzled out by now! But it was fun to work with; smooth for quick sketches which is an important quality for me! I finished off the piece with some very quick washes using black magic ink and the bamboo brush. I have always been a huge fan of bamboo brushes, when working with inks I always prefer a bamboo brush as apposed to any other sort of watercolor brush. It’s capable of holding a lot more ink and delivers a beautiful variety of strokes. Each stroke very effortlessly has so much character in it; I am a long time fan of these brushes so this was the highlight for me in this months box. And believe it or not I did not own one as yet, because I left mine behind in Pakistan! (WARNING: You will find me saying that ALOT!!)

This piece was a fun one, more of a quick sketch compared to some of the older pieces I’ve done with the art snacks box, but I was able to get a good feels of the materials.

I would LOVE to see some completely different materials in the ArtSnacks box in the next 6 months of my renewed subscription! 




A quick end to this post because since tonight I've decided to write and not watch crap on my laptop A and Z have both decided they MUST sleep in my bed and like little baby rabbits they need to feel the warmth of a body next to them, so while I try and feel productive; little people are trying to snuggle! 



To new beginnings...

This past year has been a really eventful one for my family and me. It started off with us packing up our house in Karachi, Pakistan and moving across the globe to Seattle, Washington. While living at my mum's place, job hunting and being surrounded by 7 unpacked suitcases we also found out we were expecting baby number 2! It was a tough year of really not knowing what’s happening with your life, but here i am a year later sitting in our own apartment... 7 suitcases unpacked, art work hanging up on the walls (well mostly!), Mr.O (lets just call him that, I’m not a fan of the word 'hubby')  at work and kids in their room playing (one of those rare moments!). I can now comfortably say that we have finally settled into our new lives! 

 It was hard to work during the last year between having life as we knew it turned upside down, moving, packing, unpacking, being pregnant, house hunting, job hunting, etc. etc.!!! My head just wasn’t in the right place to work so I pretty much took a yearlong break... it wasn’t really intentional but just happened. A month after having baby Z, life finally seemed to have settled down again and I just wanted to get back to my work! But here’s the thing, when you work for your self, its hard to make your self get up and work. When you have a job, you have a day that your maternity leave ends, there are deadlines and work hours that you have to stick to. But when you work for your self; once you get a break from the house and the kids... whose goanna stop you from collapsing on the couch in front of some good Ol' mindless TV!? 

Working late into the night with Baby Z sleeping on the side :)

Working late into the night with Baby Z sleeping on the side :)

After moving here I joined some artist communities, and groups, one of which was ArtEast; so far I’ve found it really useful. During this slump of mine, there was an artist call through ArtEast for artwork for a book cover. I don’t want to name the title of the book since its still in the publishing stages, but it was a compilation of short stories about women, running away from their lives (in short!).  The book spoke to me and immediately I had some ideas for it, and I thought it was the perfect thing to get me back into my work. Best part was I had a deadline! So finally I got the TV off and back into work! And I lovedddd it! I remembered all the reasons I love working and all the reasons why I need to make time for my art. Even if it meant staying up late in the night and working with a small desk lamp in a corner of your room while the rest of the house is sleeping, it is worth it, because you know what, it makes me a happier, nicer person!!! 

At the end, my sketch for the book cover wasn't chosen, and it was disappointing; as this field can sometimes be! Every piece of art you make, its a piece of you that you put out there to be judged and scrutinized, and it can be hard sometimes, but also so rewarding! 

Love this quote and how Jenny over at Coo & Co has beautifully designed it! 

Love this quote and how Jenny over at Coo & Co has beautifully designed it! 

“Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it.  While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol

The finished piece! 

The finished piece! 

Done using Sakura ink pen set and winston newton inks.