Monday, May 25, 2009

Greeting Cards

Hi guys!
This is the cover of a card I made a few weeks ago for Mother's Day. As the years get on it becomes increasingly difficult to come up with new ways of showing my undying love and appreciation, etc. In the end I decided that the thing my Mom might like best would be to see my brother and I as little kids again! Of course, we are 6 1/2 years apart in age so we never actually looked like this at the same time... We did, however, actually dress like this: my mom handmade sailor suits for my brother and searched out all these fancy old dresses for me in thrift stores. A friend of mine said that we look like something out of a Decemberists song I and I think that was unconsciously what I was going for.
Oh, I used to hate dressing up but now I wish I could wear fancy lace-covered dresses all the time!

For fun and as proof of my mom's somewhat unusual taste in children's attire (for the late 80s and early 90s, anyway), here are some old family photos!

My brother, Patrick, and my grandma in front of the Naval Museum in D.C. (certainly an appropriate outfit for this particular outing):

The Mortons all together for my baptism. I'm the little white paper sack my mom is carrying. I love that expression on her face!

Here I am alone, probably about 3 years old. My hair wasn't long enough to wear in braids yet.

While riffling through old photos in search of the above I uncovered some other cards I've made over the years!

I made this one for my dad to give to my mom on their 17th anniversary. I can't remember which one they're up to now but I think I must have been about 10 or 11:

Unfortunately this one isn't dated but i think it must have been made somewhere around the same time.

This one actually isn't very old at all: it's from Father's Day 08. My Dad likes sitting outside a lot.

Interior (I am the puppet master!):

Thanks for looking! Do you guys still make homemade cards for your family and friends?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Stitch Witchery

I've been experimenting a bit this past year with incorporating fibers materials and techniques into my illustration work. I love the texture of fabric, the feelings it invokes, and its plethora of patterns. However, there are a few downsides to working this way: the process can be very time consuming, the mixture of textures can be overwhelming, and making alterations can be very difficult. Conveniently for me, the wonderful Caroline Hwang will be teaching an Illustration course, "Studio Remix: Stitch," at MICA this Fall, and I'm currently enrolled! I first saw her illustrations years ago and I'm sure she's been a part of what has inspired me to use alternative materials in my work, so its pretty amazing to know I'll be taking a class with her. Hopefully in class we'll talk about ways to bypass some of the obstacles I've encountered.
Anyway, here's some more of what I've done!

Portrait of J. K. Rowling

Illustration for a six word story: "Foolish Humans: should have escaped Earth!"

Works for a version of Jekyll and Hyde I created, featuring a virginal 14-year-old girl in Santa Fe in the 1890s who transforms into a wicked young man, wishing to gain power over her oppressive uncle (a mission priest).

The Transformation

Nighttime in Santa Fe

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Zodiac Kids!

These are 6 illustrations I did for D. Krall's (hey, he just spiffed up his site!) Illustration 2 class. We had to do five 3x3 spots and one 5x7 illustration of Zodiac signs for a magazine type that we were individually assigned: I was assigned a children's magazine. The technique I used for these came about because I thought it would be amazing if I could do each one in fabric as a hand-sewn quilt panel, but I knew there was no way I would be able to finish five in two weeks. So instead, I scanned in a lot of my scrap fabric and inserted it into vectorized versions of my hand-drawn sketches in Photoshop.

Aries! The first sign in the zodiac. Ruled by mars, symbolized by the ram. Aries are fire-y, outgoing, people who are fiercely independent and incredibly courageous. They have a tendency towards daredevil activities. They also have a tendency towards impatience and anger.

Gemini (my sign)! The third sign in the Zodiac, symbolized by the twins. Geminis are the most communicative and social of the signs. They are childlike, with a thirst for knowledge and are natural storytellers. They can also be flighty and rather damaging and fearsome when their tempers are roused, though they are not quick to anger.

Cancer! The fourth sign in the zodiac, symbolized by the crab. The more familial, sensitized, and protective of the signs, and ruled by the Moon. Cancers be shy homebodies but they also have a more assertive side that draws them to the limelight. Family and relationships are of extreme importance to them and they will do whatever they can to protect the people they love. They can also be rather cranky and dramatic.

Virgo! The 6th sign of the Zodiac, symbolized by the virgin. Virgos are sharp, responsible, logical people who are always willing to lend a helping hand. They are dependable and intellectually sophisticated. Learning is fun for them and they love to share their learning with others. However, they can also be rather fussy and love to be right.

Libra! The 7th sign of the Zodiac, ruled by Venus and symbolized by the scales. The most socially-minded of the signs, Libras like balance and fair play and try their best to make everyone around them comfortable. They are open-minded, artistic, and willing and wanting to listen. They can also be quite indecisive and may bend the truth to avoid being disagreeable.

Aquarius! The Penultimate sign of the Zodiac, ruled by Uranus and symbolized by the water bearer. Aquarians are innovative, opinionated people with an intense thirst for knowledge. They will very fiercely argue for their convictions but are willing to listen to the ideas of others and are always willing to admit when they are wrong. However, their independence and enigmatic personality can make them difficult to get close to.

I had a lot of fun researching the Zodiac while doing this project. I visited a lot of different sites but the most useful was elore. Check it out if you're interested!

Tick-Tacky Lawn Ornamentation

My Illustration I final. We were to choose a theme and create three pieces off of it. My theme was tacky lawn decor.

I used craft store acrylics on neon posterboard for these. Deanna - my instructor - was a little wary at first, but she ended up liking these when I was done.

It's kind of funny; that sort of thing happens to me a lot.

Monster Pom-pom Head

This isn't super current but I've been thinking about it lately so I thought I'd share....

This is a monster pom-pom head I made for my Sculptural Forms class, Fall 07 (Yikes! That sounds like so long ago!). Over 1000 pom-poms were used! I didn't really know where I was going with this - I just felt compelled to make it.

I think the ideas I was exploring here - repetition, bright colors, texture, obsession, costume - fed into a lot of what I'm doing now.

The lovely model is my good friend, Jimmy Malone, another MICA kid.

Friday, May 15, 2009

!!!!First Post!!!!

Hi, there! My name is Janna Morton and I am an Illustration major at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). However, I work in all sorts of disciplines. I'm creating this blog as a way to keep in touch with other artists and friends and as a way to have my recent work represented online until I get my own website running. You should expect lots of art, some doodle-y things, tidbits on my process, and maybe some other fun stuff along the way.

Thanks for visiting! Please feel free to comment with any blogspot tips or tricks. I had one of these about five years ago but I'm afraid I might have forgotten a few things.