Dec 11, 2009

Preparations for Christmas cards 2

I finally finished the cards I will send to my family here it is:
A) The envelopes were done from paperbag shopping bags from the stores Gymboree and Charlotte Russe.

B) Recycled paper was used to type a message.

C) Cereal and Coca cola boxes were used for the illustration, which was done in cochineal. 

There were two kinds of cards, the bookmark/Tree ornament and the framed one.
This holiday I encourage you to do your own Christmas card or to buy one that's handmade.

Dec 9, 2009

Preparation for Christmas cards

Done with cochineal (the natural dye that I'm exploring and experimenting). I found so many interesting articles online about the red cochineal, different ways to be used, techniques and how to obtain different shades. I plan sometime later this week to go to the library and find some books on natural dyes, maybe some in botany ( if you know of a book feel free to recommend). To summarize cochineal can change its color by changing its ph, since I can't do that since right now my materials are very limited, I can add some materials that can also affect it's solution. When mixed with acids it brightens towards orange, alkalies can change the color towards purple and iron changes to purple-brown. This is very basic, hence why I want to do more research. Which I don't complain I love to research, it makes me feel I'm some sort of detective. Mwahahaha
Here's a peek of my exploration:
* Grinding the cochineal and adding water.*

*Finding different shades*

I'm making christmas cards for the family, this week ecollustration is part of it. 

Dec 7, 2009

Miniature books are grandeur!

If you love things in miniature you would love this week's from my library to yours' book:

This books contains such beautiful ideas on making miniature books, but not into your usual open and flip pages. EAch piece has a unique way of opening and each piece is an unique piece of art. I love how the authors/ book designers incorporate illustrations in their work. They also show you how to recycle materials to make your books, per example an old camera, matchbooks, old maps and even toys. The first section of the book introduces you to techniques, phrases and the tools you need for bookbinding or book arts. The instructions are easy to follow Thanks to the good writing, illustrations and photographs.
Here's a peek:

You can also peek through google books,just click HERE.
Now because I think is worth it, I want you to read about the artist info, taken from this same book.
"Peter and Donna Thomas are book artists, paper makers, and letterpress printers who also illustrate(WOhoo Yeah! represent!) illuminate and bind their own unique books. Their research into the history of paper making and their exploration of alternative book structures are internationally recognized. They are founding members of the Miniature Book Society and throughout their careers have been active in the leadership of both national and international book arts and paper making organizations..." (Breathes in) wait there's more "...Since 1977, their books have been shown in individual and group exhibitions in the U.S. and abroad under their previous  imprint. The Good Book Press, and their current imprint, Peter and Donna Thomas. Their books are found in collections around the world, including the Getty Museum, the National Gallery of Art, and UC Berkeley's Bancroft Library. They have lectured and taught workshops internationally and have published books and articles on paper making and other aspects of the book arts. They live and work in Santa Cruz, California" Wow
If you still not convinced go check out their website by clicking HERE.
If you are still not convinced then, I'm sorry but you are a dummy.
If you are offended by me calling you a dummy (but seriously no one gets offended by that word, but there's always that one person, right?), its nothing personal.


Nov 30, 2009

"Greatings Season"

The title is not misspelled, I just wrote great instead of greet, because I think greeting cards are great. Anyway, the holidays are getting closer, and so is the perfect time to send a thoughtful card for christmas, new year, a christening, a birthday, a happy new year and/or a hello card. Also, cards for the gifts to let the person know who has a good taste in giving gifts (oh thank God not a weird shirt!). This brings me to this week book from my library to yours:

 It was given to me on my birthday by two dear friends of mine (great taste ladies).
I love this book, the title is perfect. Is not just cards ideas, but envelopes, pop-ups, locking devices, frames and windows and simple folds. All the ideas featured in this book are beautiful and unique and for every occasion. It is very straightforward, you don't' read the instructions, but rather you follow the illustrations, which are easy to see. The book gives you templates on the book and the best part is that it comes with a CD included with the files of the templates so you can print them out. The CD also contains graphics if you want to decorate the idea you plan to fold.
Here, you are welcome to peek:

A proud member of my library.

Nov 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

 No D.I.Y project today, but rather wishing you all a happy thanksgiving with an x-tra ecollustration done with my watercolors and typewriter. Hope you share this holiday with people you love and  with yummy food.

Nov 23, 2009

Be on the Re-bound!

This week from my library I'm sharing a book that gives you good reasons to keep your old game boards, gift cards, potato chips, wallets, and anything you never though you could reuse. 
Ladies and gentleman I'll bring you *drums rolls*

Written by Jeannine Stein (thank you Jeannine!) who has been creating beautiful books for 15 years, not afraid of experimenting and trying new techniques. She's also an award winning journalist and has written  about paper crafts. There she's a great source, so you won't be disappointed at all.
The book is not hard to read, the instructions are clear and the  illustrations make it even easier for you. There's also pictures and templates to help you. Also at the end of the book she introduces you to other book artists out there who do the same art (amazing work, there's one who did a book with cans). It was thanks to this book that I did my first roll up sketchbook. 
Here's a little peek

From my library to yours, this is a great addition.

Nov 19, 2009

I love milk...cartons

In my household we are milk lovers, so we finish them fast and end up with lots of milk cartons. I'm loving making projects with them, but for now I will share how to make a necklace in the shape of a polaroid. So when you are done with your milk don't throw it away! wash it and let your creativity begin.
Remember you can see the steps by seeing the milk-polaroid necklace photo album.

Nov 18, 2009

"A Tree Grows in the Toilet Roll" thanks to Yuken Teruya

As artists we have the ability to change the way a person sees an everyday object. That bring us to this week ecollustrator Yuken Teruya. A friend of mine introduced me to Yuken Teruya's beautiful work when I was going through a phase of cut out illustration. By just cutting and folding he's transforming an everyday object such as a toilet roll, a paper bag or even a pizza box, while at the same time delivering very strong concepts dealing with consumerism, the misuse of natural resources, globalism,cultural traditions and identities. My favorite projects of his are:


 Go and explore this week ecollustrator Yuken Teruya's creations at


Nov 17, 2009


This ecollustration is not done with carmine watercolor, or ink and neither acrylic, but with "Tlapanochestli." Which stands for Cochineal in Nahualt(an aztec dialect). Cochineal is parasite insect of the "Nopal". The Cochineal  produces a natural red coloring known as carminic acid. I was first introduced to this parasite, when my elementary school in Oaxaca, took us in a field trip to the Cochineal farm, also known as the "El Centro de Difusion de Conocimiento de la Grana Cochinilla y Colorantes Naturales". It was fascinating and I'm still fascinated by it. It is one of nature's gift and is free, talk about actual giving. Thanks to these cochineal it can be used to dye fabrics, for make up, ink and even food coloring.

I tried painting with the cochineal in watercolor paper but the paper sucked in all the pigment leaving the paint in black and white. When I tried with transfer paper, the result is the ecollustration you are looking at, which is the element of air helping a humming bird take off.
To learn more about it, read this article written by Alvin Starkman M.A.,LL.B 


Nov 16, 2009

From my library to yours: D.I.Y Design It Yourself

I love being an artist because my inspiration gear is always on the go. I get inspiration from stories, moments, words, blogs, and my favorite source books. I want to share every week, a book from my library that has given me a wonderful case of inspiration as well as motivation. 
The first book I introduce is:

I call this my quickie book, because is the quickest way to learn about the many possibilities you can design, from making a book, starting a blog, creating a business card, personalizing your stationary or beginning your unique photo album. And is always nice to look back at it to see options and to give you ideas. Pretty much an introductory book to get you started.
Here I show you a little peek from my book

Also you can take a peek through Google books, here is the link:
A good book to add to your library :)

Nov 12, 2009

Sharpie + Cup = Boey man

One of the best way to get inspired when you can't go out because is raining, and you don't have an umbrella is to surf the internet. While I was surfing I came across this ecollustrator. That's right I'm not the only ecollustrator and it has become my new mission to find others and share it with all of you. I'm talking about Cheeming boey.
He also combines recycling with illustration. Main items styrofoam cups and sharpie pens. No really that's all he uses, quite simple. Simplicity can be amazing check it out

We all know about styrofoam cups, the main reason not being biodegradable. 
This is the reason why I love creativity, because something that we see everyday, that we usually discard can be totally transformed. Witness the transformation:
To quickly know about him here is a link to an interview from the Sharpie blog 
So definitely go check out all his amazing cups, read his journal and other news about him at his website

Nov 11, 2009

Greetings from Honey Bunches of Oats

If you ever want to send a postcard to a loved one, it'll be more meaningful if you make it yourself. Is so simple and you'll have the freedom to have the illustrations you want. Here I used a cereal box from costco, they are huge! and from it ten 3.5"x5" postcards were made. Can't wait for them to get it, each of the illustrations of the postcards represents a specific trait of the person I'm sending it to. For the illustrations, which I kept very simple were a combination of pencil, gouache and watercolor.

Click on image to see bigger version.

Typewriter+watercolor= great combo to illustrate me


Thanks to technology my father has no use of his typewriter. Thanks to technology it was given to me. I love it! I plan to play with it and incorporate it into my illustrations. Here is the first try :) 

This ecollustration is  an union of symbols that represent who I am and thanks to the typewriter it can be explained.

Nov 1, 2009

FELIZ DIA DE LOS MUERTOS- Happy day of the dead

This has nothing to do with ecollustration, but I wanted to share with you the beautiful Altar my family and I put together  for the day of the death. I love the process and the collaboration to set this up and later remember those who we put the altar for. I am so blessed and happy to be born into this culture :), and I'm looking forward to eating some "pan de muerto" tonight accompanied with some hot chocolate.



Oct 29, 2009

A box for my materials

"Here lies a magical box
that contains everything
you need.
P.s. Or so I hope
Good Luck"
That's the phrase in top of my new box, where I put all my materials. Since I noticed that my scissors, little rulers, pencils and brushes were roaming loosely, I decided to make a little box to keep them together. I used fall leaves that I collected to celebrate the fall season. This box can not only be a material box, but a memory box as well. A little side note, I used glue to add protective layers. I recommend that at the end to add also a varnish layer so it last even longer. Also I recommend to put the leaves ( that you'll have fun collecting) inside a big book so they flatten the leaves. It will make the job so much easier. Remember in order to see the big picture, click on the small picture :)

Oct 23, 2009

New ecollustration, New town, New life.

The reason as to why I haven't updated as frequent as I usually do, is because well I was packing literally my life to move to a new town. So here I am in a new town: Houston, Tx. Yes, I was sad to leave behind a good place, good friends and family; but sometimes you got to see where life takes you with a positive attitude. I am excited to explore this city and see what it can offer me. I already yelped a couple things to check out. So when you are not completely settle in, but you have your sketchbook paper, watercolors, a pen and color pencils within your reach what can you do? ta-da!, we have today's ecollustration. Which is of course inspired by my recent move. I loved the idea of this quick ecollustration, so I plan to make a bigger painting to put it in one of my walls in my room.

Sep 23, 2009

Ecollustration of the Week: Coffee Aroma

Mmmmm I love the aroma of coffee. I could smell it for hours, funny enough I don't really like the flavor. So instead of drinking from it, I decided to  paint with it. My brother told me to sketch a parakeet for him and an owl. I decided to use those sketches to try this technique out. The texture depended on how much coffee you put into the water. The difference between the coffee and the tea is of course the opacity, but with the coffee my room was instantly  covered by that warm smell of coffee. I loved the results very much.
P.S: If you are wondering what brand of coffee I used "Gabriela Premium Instant Coffee"

Sep 14, 2009

A collaborative Sketchbook

I love Cheetos puff, the taste is oh so good. Now I love it more because it gives my collaborative sketchbook a much better look.(Cheetos represent!). You remember that game where one person starts a story and the people after her/him, will add something new to it? well this collaborative sketchbook does the same thing, only with sketches. I will later post the end result for everyone to see. There's no template for this project since it's up to you to pick whatever size you want and it's pretty simple. You just need cardboard, potato chip bag and a paper bag. 
Here are the steps :)
Click on the picture,
to see it bigger.

Sep 13, 2009

Ecollustration of the week: Angel service

This week's Ecollustration is a collaboration of materials I had close within my reach. Keep in mind that illustration doesn't always have to be in paper. Expand your imagination and boundaries, illustration can be done in anything from wooden dolls, canvases, clothes, sand, walls, skin and even your hair!( ok well that's really pushing it). So here I had a wooden doll (a memento from the KOKESHI exhibition at the Japanese american national museum,where a lot of famous illustrators painted wooden dolls. If you are in Los Angeles go check it out is still in exhibition till october 4 2009), watercolor paper, scraps of old cloth, acrylic inks and inspiration and voila! ecollustration of the week!

Visual Storytellers

Storytelling is one of the reasons I became involved in illustration. I grew up listening to stories of all kinds and I loved how easily I was captured by the words and gestures of the storyteller but even better when illustrations were used (or puppets). Here I wanted to share an amazing video a friend sent to me. A storyteller who uses sand ( available at beaches or deserts near you) to tell a story. Amazing so enjoy!

Aug 28, 2009

An Archival Folder for your documents thanks to Paperbags and Cereal Boxes

Well now my desk will be more organized, all thanks to the cereal boxes and Trader joe paper bags that I keep. I've always been in favor of archival folders over the single one, because you can keep everything together in one folder, but still have categories. Plus, why buy those boring, cold plastic ones from the store, when you can do your own, and give it the look you wantSo follow the instructions in the slideshow or you can see it picture by picture under photo albums. If you are wondering about the illustrations of the double deckers, it is because the paper I used to wrap my archival folder is an old map of London. I thought the double deckers would fit with the map, plus drawing random double deckers across the map makes it more interesting. See? Where in a store would you find that?

Here is the template:

Here are the steps, have fun!:

Click on the images to make them larger :)