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Alt Design Summit, Summer 2015

I've been to the Alt Summit design conference 5 times in the past few years, and this one was by far my favorite! The main conference happens every January in Salt Lake City. And while SLC is beautiful in the winter, I think I prefer it in Summer. I actually spent a little time outside this time around!

photo credit: Alt Summit

photo credit: Alt Summit

Photo Credit: Alt Summit

Photo Credit: Alt Summit

This year was extra-special for me and my artwork. Not only did I have the pleasure and honor of speaking at the conference with my good friend, Monica Lee, but I also got to work with Squarespace to decorate their sponsored lounge!

Monica and I talked about being proactive and "choosing yourself" as opposed to being passive and waiting around to be selected, in art and business. We had a lot to say about the topic, and we are planning to do a podcast version on Smart Creative Women soon.

Photo credit: Alt Summit.

Photo credit: Alt Summit.

The attendees at Alt are amazing––ready to inspire, share and learn. And we had a room full of happy, smiling, nodding faces cheering us on the whole talk! I always meet the nicest people at this conference!

Photo credit: Alt Summit

Photo credit: Alt Summit

At Winter Alt this past January, I met two lovely ladies from Squarespace. I've been a devoted Squarespace user for years, and they have been a sponsor at every Alt I've attended. Earlier this year Jessica contacted me this year about working with them on their lounge. 

Photo Credit: Alt Summit

Photo Credit: Alt Summit

She had the idea to do a black and white lounge filled with artwork from my coloring books and letting attendees color during the breaks between events. Of course I loved the idea, and I went to work reformatting and resizing some of the artwork from Flower Designs. The designs were printed on tabletops and some large colorable walls. This is without a doubt one of my favorite projects that I've ever been a part of! I took a lot of photos along the way, as did the Alt photographers, and I've put them in a slideshow for you here:

It was so nice to see people––at times chatting with friends and at times alone––coloring the artwork. I loved the collaboration of it all, like how one person could color one section and the next person could color another part. And it all worked together to fill the room with color. I know that my coloring books go out into the world and that people color them, but coloring is often a solo activity. It was really fun to actually watch people color the designs and enjoy themselves so much!

Photo credit: Alt Summit

Photo credit: Alt Summit

Guy Kawasaki (above) gave the closing keynote and it was informative, funny and inspiring. Just as great were the opening talks from Danielle Krysa, Rachel Ryle, Jane Mosbacher Morris and Heather Armstrong. Each of their talks was around 15-20 minutes long, each on a different subject, all compelling. The rest of the conference was filled with hour-long sessions on topics such as building a community, launching products, pitching content to magazines and TV shows, social media and work/life balance. 

I came away from this Alt much like I have every other Alt, inspired and ready to do BIG things!! You can't walk away from a conference being surrounded by so many amazing women doing spectacular, awesome things, without feeling empowered and motivated! Oh, and good news about the Squarespace room, too: Carly from Ever Clever Mom managed to get these 48 x 96 panels back to her home for her kids to color, and Guy Kawasaki took this table top back with him and his daughter to San Francisco! Happy to see these make their way back to happy homes!

Photo credits: Guy Kawasaki/Carly Morgan

Photo credits: Guy Kawasaki/Carly Morgan

Be sure to check out Monica's new accessory line, XO Monica Lee! She's worked so hard to get this line up and running, and she has created an absolutely stunning (and practical) line of handbags. I carried a couple of her handbags at the conference and they were so lovely. And they are large enough to hold my trusted iPad which rarely leaves my side! Take a look at the line––I think you'll love everything she has to offer.

I hope your week is off to a great start!

Design + Inspiration

Inspiration: How to Marry a Millionaire. I loved the color palette of Betty Grable's outfit, the drape of the curtains behind her and the checked pattern of her shorts. Sketch created in Adobe Line. (Artwork by Jenean Morrison)

Inspiration: How to Marry a Millionaire. I loved the color palette of Betty Grable's outfit, the drape of the curtains behind her and the checked pattern of her shorts. Sketch created in Adobe Line. (Artwork by Jenean Morrison)

This is one of my favorite ongoing projects. As someone who designs artwork often intended to help sell products, it is important that I pay attention to trends in the marketplace. This means I often find myself viewing lots of artwork from other artists in my field. While I want to be aware of what is happening in the world of design, I want more than anything to have a portfolio that stands out and is unique. This is one of the exercises I do to try to come up with new ideas. I look to films, art, and life, pulling color palettes, textures, shapes, etc., and use those to create original designs for my portfolio.

I created all of these sketches on the iPad using the Adobe mobile apps. This has become the way I start every project I work on. Drawing on the iPad feels very natural to me––I can sit or stand anywhere, in any position––and feel comfortable making art. And I've noticed I give myself more time to experiment and play than I do when I'm working on my desktop. I love being able to capture inspiration so freely and quickly.

In the example above from How to Marry a Millionaire, I took inspiration from Betty Grable's adorable ensemble: the checked shorts, the color palette, the bow on her scarf mixed with the texture from the drapes. In the example below, from Sleeping With the Enemy, I used the subway tile shapes and patterns; the rectangular blue shapes from the misaligned bath towels; and I did my own take on the embroidered floral bouquets from the towels. 

Inspiration: Sleeping with the Enemy. I drew the elements in Adobe Draw and Adobe Line, turned them into brushes in Adobe Brush, then created the final sketch in Adobe Sketch. (Artwork by Jenean Morrison)

Inspiration: Sleeping with the Enemy. I drew the elements in Adobe Draw and Adobe Line, turned them into brushes in Adobe Brush, then created the final sketch in Adobe Sketch. (Artwork by Jenean Morrison)

Here are a few more examples from some of my favorite movies!

Inspriation: Harold and Maude. I drew the flowers in Adobe Draw, then turned them into brushes in Adobe Brush. I then took the brushes into Adobe Sketch to create the design. (Artwork by Jenean Morrison)

Inspriation: Harold and Maude. I drew the flowers in Adobe Draw, then turned them into brushes in Adobe Brush. I then took the brushes into Adobe Sketch to create the design. (Artwork by Jenean Morrison)

Inspiration: The Young Girls of Rochefort. I used Adobe Draw to create the elements (triangles, raindrops and circles), then turned those into brushes in Adobe Brush. I then used those brushes, along with the marker tools in Adobe Sketch to create the final layout. (Artwork by Jenean Morrison)

Inspiration: The Young Girls of Rochefort. I used Adobe Draw to create the elements (triangles, raindrops and circles), then turned those into brushes in Adobe Brush. I then used those brushes, along with the marker tools in Adobe Sketch to create the final layout. (Artwork by Jenean Morrison)

Inspiration: Desk Set. Love this movie! In this sketch I used my usual tools (Draw, Brush and Sketch) and also Adobe Shape and Adobe Color. 

Inspiration: Desk Set. Love this movie! In this sketch I used my usual tools (Draw, Brush and Sketch) and also Adobe Shape and Adobe Color. 

Inspiration: Single White Female. Created in Adobe Line. (Artwork by Jenean Morrison)

Inspiration: Single White Female. Created in Adobe Line. (Artwork by Jenean Morrison)

A couple of examples from things other than movies. 

My husband's family gathers at the Piccadilly Cafeteria every year for Thanksgiving. This sketch was inspired by the colors and textures in the jello and salad section. (Artwork by Jenean Morrison)

My husband's family gathers at the Piccadilly Cafeteria every year for Thanksgiving. This sketch was inspired by the colors and textures in the jello and salad section. (Artwork by Jenean Morrison)

Inspiration: CB2 catalog. I love to use catalogs for inspiration because you can pull shapes and colors that are right on trend. I created the elements in Draw, turned them into brushes in Brush, then used those in Sketch to create the design. (Artwork by Jenean Morrison)

Inspiration: CB2 catalog. I love to use catalogs for inspiration because you can pull shapes and colors that are right on trend. I created the elements in Draw, turned them into brushes in Brush, then used those in Sketch to create the design. (Artwork by Jenean Morrison)

Some of these sketches end up in my portfolio as is. Others go through several revisions before making the cut. And some don't have lives beyond this exercise. In any case, I enjoy the process and find I'm often surprised by the outcome!

You can view the entire project in my Behance Portfolio, and you can see new examples on Instagram following the hashtag #jmdesignandinspiration. I recently had the pleasure of demonstrating these apps and some of my techniques at Behance's 99U Conference. The conference was amazing, full of talented, creative, inspiring people including the awesome folks at Adobe! You can read more about my time at the conference here on the Adobe blog.

A couple of quick updates before I close: Four of my coloring books have been released in Brazil, and we have editions coming soon to Poland and Turkey! Also, I'll be speaking at Alt Summit in Salt Lake City next month. I'm doing a joint pre-conference presentation with Monica Lee! I Hope to see you guys there!

Bonjour, Coloristes!

I"m excited to share that four of my coloring books were recently published in France by Editions Marabout, a division of Hachette! I created and published the first of these books back in 2012, and I'm really proud of the entire line. 

Jenean Morrison Coloring Books

The books are absolutely gorgeous, printed on thick, beautiful paper with the same image on both sides of the page. Because the paper is so thick and most markers won't bleed through, you have two opportunities to color the same design. I love that they kept the covers so close to the originals, with only a few color changes.

Coloring Books by Jenean Morrison for Editions Marabout
Coloring Books by Jenean Morrison for Editions Marabout

Like most colorists with new coloring books, I jumped right in and got started coloring the minute I got these in my hands. Here are a few of my favorite pages from Carnet de Fleurs, aka Flower Designs Coloring Book.

Flower Designs Coloring Book by Jenean Morrison
Flower Designs Coloring Book by Jenean Morrison

I'm really enjoying the technique of filling the spaces with stripes and dots! My favorite pens for this are Le Pens and Stabilo Markers.

Flower Designs Coloring Book by Jenean Morrison
Flower Designs Coloring Book by Jenean Morrison

A great big THANK YOU goes out to Susanne Woods at Lucky Spool Media! Selling the foreign rights to one's books can be a very intimidating process, and none of this would have been possible without Susanne's generous help! I'm also happy to say that I've connected with the amazing Kate McKean at Howard Morhaim Literary Agency who will be handling the foreign rights inquiries from now on. I'm so happy to have two such wonderful, smart, knowledgeable ladies in my corner!

And, of course, a big thank you to all the folks at Editions Marabout! You can find all of these books on Amazon.fr. You can find the original versions here on Amazon.

Please enjoy this downloadable coloring page from Flower Designs/ Carnet de Fleurs!

Disclosure: links to Amazon books are affiliate links. If you'd like to bypass those links, click here: Jenean Morrison's Amazon Author Page.

New Year, New Coloring Books

Happy New Year!

I hope your holidays were wonderful! I ended last year and kicked off this new one with a lot of coloring. As I'm sure many of you know, coloring is one of the BEST ways to decompress after what (for many folks) can be a busy and even stressful time. It always helps me to relax––both designing coloring books AND coloring in them!

In December I released two new coloring books, Hand-Drawn Mandalas Volumes 1 and 2, and both are available now on Amazon.

Hand-Drawn Mandalas, Volumes 1 & 2 by Jenean Morrison

The artwork in these books is a little different from the designs in my previous books. For one, all of these designs were drawn by hand on my iPad in Adobe Ideas (now known as Adobe Draw). As a result, there is a loose organic quality to the designs in both shape and line weight. Secondly, I left a little more space inside the designs than I have in the past. I love to color, and usually the more detailed the design the better. But recently I've started coloring by adding stripes, dots and patterns to the spaces, and in this situation it helps to have a little open space inside the lines.

I colored so much during the holidays that at one point my cat came over, sat in my lap, put his tail on the page and basically forced me to give it a rest!

I hope you enjoy these new books. I encourage you to leave a review on Amazon and let me know what you think. Reviews not only help other customers in their search for a good coloring book, they also provide great feedback for me to learn from and consider when designing future books. You can now also add your own colored images to your reviews, so please share your images and let me see how you colored the pages!

You'll see much more coloring in my Instagram feed, and I'll be back soon to talk about my new fabric collection, Star Landing for Free Spirit Fabric. Until then, happy coloring and Happy New Year!

Adobe Max 2014

Hi, friends-

I’ve recently returned to Memphis following a wonderful week in Los Angeles, three days of which were spent at the AdobeMAX conference. I had such a great week, and such a great time at the conference––I’m excited to tell you guys all about it!

Photo via Adobe Creative Cloud on facebook.

Photo via Adobe Creative Cloud on facebook.

You may have read in my recent posts that I was invited by Adobe to attend the MAX conference as one of their “Insiders.” This is the second year for the Insider program, and I am so thrilled to have been a part of it. Adobe selected 8 people from different creative backgrounds to attend the conference and share their experiences via social media. I’ve put links to the other Insiders at the bottom of this post. It was a really cool, really talented group of folks. And it was nice having some new friends with which to experience MAX.

Day One: Monday

The opening keynote, titled “Creativity on the Cutting-Edge,” was all about Adobe’s new applications and product features. From Adobe: “In our increasingly complex and real-time world, where you work, how you work and what you work on is dramatically changing. Creativity is no longer confined to the desktop – you want to work across devices and between desktop and mobile.” With this idea at the core, Adobe revealed new features for Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign, as well as new (and updated) mobile apps. As someone who has completely embraced working on the iPad, I was thrilled to learn about (and see in action) all of the new reveals. Read about all of the new releases here, and see tutorials for the new apps and features here.

 

Photo via AdobeMAX facebook page.

Photo via AdobeMAX facebook page.

While the first part of the keynote focused on the Creative Profiles, Creative Libraries and the new features and apps, the second part focused on how Adobe and Microsoft have partnered to bring the full power of Photoshop and Illustrator to the touch workspace. They gave a really cool joint presentation which shared examples of the kind of things one can do using a Microsoft tablet and the Adobe apps. And to top it off, they gave everyone in attendance (close to 6000 of us) new Microsoft Surface Pro 3s! It was really exciting, as you can imagine. I’ve been steadily playing with and learning my way around this cool new tablet.

After a great lunch in the Press Room with the other Insiders, we were given a hands-on demo of one of the newly-released apps, the Premiere Clip. This app lets you turn clips and images from your iPhone or iPad into perfectly polished videos.  Here's a quick video I put together after returning home of some of the sights and sounds from the Max Bash. I found this app really fun and easy to use.

There were hundreds of classes, labs and sessions available at Max (all of which were held at the LA Convention Center), and I primarily focused on the instructional ones. Monday afternoon I attended the class “What’s New in Adobe Illustrator CC.” This was a great overview of all the new features. You can see this class and most of the others online here.

That night I attended a fun party at the Edison, a steampunk-themed nightclub in a basement, where I met up with the other Insiders and all the cool folks from Adobe. Here I am with Rachel and Orlando, fellow Insiders.

Jenean, Orlando, Rachel at AdobeMAX 2014

And here I am with Geoff Dowd, Principle Designer at Adobe, with our Adobe Ink styluses. I “met” Geoff months ago on Instagram when he commented on one of my drawings, and I was happy to get to meet and connect with him here.

Geoff Dowd, Jenean Morrison, Adobe Ink

I have to say, one of the coolest parts of the conference was getting to meet and talk to the people behind the Adobe products. Everyone is so passionate and excited about the things they are working on. It was great to be a part of that energy.

Day Two: Tuesday

We started off the second day back in the Nokia Theater where we listened to four amazing creatives share their inspiring stories. This was a real treat and contrasted nicely with the technical information that was shared the day before. The theme of the talks was “Community Inspires Creativity,” and Ami Vitale, Jason Seiler, Weird Al Yankovic and Lee Hirsch all gave passionate, inspiring presentations about their work. I really loved all of these, in particular Lee Hirsch's talk where he discussed the power of film to move people and the impact of his movie, "Bully."

I attended two classes on Tuesday, starting with Creative Drawing on the iPad in Adobe Sketch. I’m totally in love with this program now, so it was great to get an inside look at all the new features. I also attended a class on Making Your EPUBs pop. This was a really cool look at the new interactivity features that can be integrated with your digital books via InDesign.

Tuesday was the longest day of the conference, with classes ending at 5:30 and Max Sneaks starting at 6:30. Max Sneaks was a preview of the ideas and technology that is in the works at Adobe, and it was one of the most fun events of the conference. More than a dozen projects were shared, and you can see them all here. My favorites were Shape Shade, a unique touch and tablet program for vector drawing, and Project Para.

At Max Sneaks with fellow insiders Sarah and Rachel, and our Adobe contacts Christine and Darrian.

At Max Sneaks with fellow insiders Sarah and Rachel, and our Adobe contacts Christine and Darrian.

Max Sneaks was followed by the Max Bash, a huge outdoor party filled with tons of food, drinks, incredible artwork and design, a DJ and a performance by Kings of Leon. It was a beautiful party and a great way to end the day.

Day Three: Wednesday

Although the Max Bash was the culminating event of the conference, there was still a full day of classes on the third day.  I attended five classes that day, where I learned more about the new apps and working with Illustrator on the Surface Pro 3 touch screen. I also attended a great class on social media and building a personal brand.


While lots of the classes are instructional, there are plenty that focus on inspiration and creativity.  Sarah, my fellow Insider, raved about both of these:

How to Tap into Your Creative Voice and Make Work That Matters

Think Like a Hacker: How Creative Overachievers Smash the Norm

New Releases

That sums up my day-by-day play-by-play, but I wanted to share more details about the new apps. I was so excited by these that I was tempted to sneak away during the conference and play with them, but there was so much going on that I didn’t want to miss anything. I did find a few minutes to try them out, quickly sketching these between classes.

Now that I’m back and have had some time to play, I can tell you that you are absolutely going to fall in love with these apps if you haven’t already.

I’ve been using Illustrator Draw (formerly Ideas) quite a bit, and it is one of my faves. In addition being easy to use, it allows you to send your sketches straight to Illustrator and edit them as vectors. I love being able to draw on the iPad and refine and turn the artwork into repeat patterns on the desktop.

I’ve also grown really fond of Brush and Sketch. Brush allows you to create unique brushes out of photos and illustrations, then use those brushes in Photoshop, Illustrator or Sketch. Below are a few sketches where I’ve incorporated the brush app. I started by creating an element in Draw, turning that element into a brush in Brush, then using those brushes in Sketch.

I’m trying out all of the new apps, including Photoshop Mix over on Instagram, so check in with me if you want to see how I’m using these in my work.

I was sad to leave L.A. but happy to see my husband and my sweet cat back at home here in Memphis! A big thank you to Adobe for this wonderful opportunity! I really loved this conference, and I plan to make it an annual event. It was the perfect mix of technology and creative inspiration!

Be sure to check out the work of my fellow Insiders: Josh Cleland, Rachel Binx, Tony Zhou, Joel Grimes, Orlando Arocena, Andrew Shen and Sarah Croughwell.

Featured: Adobe Creative Cloud Blog

I'm on my way to AdobeMAX in a couple of days, but before I leave for Los Angeles I wanted to share this really cool feature posted on the Creative Cloud Blog! I've been enjoying the Adobe drawing apps immensely, and this article details a bit of my journey!

Here are a few of my most recent sketches using Adobe Line, Adobe Ink and the iPad Air::

Jenean Morrison iPad Sketch, 2014.
Climbing Vines. Jenean Morrison, iPad, Adobe Line, Adobe Ink, 2014.

Climbing Vines. Jenean Morrison, iPad, Adobe Line, Adobe Ink, 2014.

Jenean Morrison, iPad Air, Adobe Line and Adobe Ink, 2014.

Jenean Morrison, iPad Air, Adobe Line and Adobe Ink, 2014.

Mondrian-inspired background with messy flowers on top. Jenean Morrison, iPad, Adobe Line, Adobe Ink, 2014.

Mondrian-inspired background with messy flowers on top. Jenean Morrison, iPad, Adobe Line, Adobe Ink, 2014.

Floral bouquets. Jenean Morrison, iPad, Adobe Line, Adobe Ink, 2014.

Floral bouquets. Jenean Morrison, iPad, Adobe Line, Adobe Ink, 2014.

Happy garden series. Jenean Morrison, iPad, Adobe Line, Adobe Ink, 2014.

Happy garden series. Jenean Morrison, iPad, Adobe Line, Adobe Ink, 2014.

I had some new business cards made for the conference, each using one of my favorite new designs.

Jenean Morrison Business Cards

Don't forget to follow me on Twitter and Instagram as I share my experience as an Adobe Max Insider starting Monday! I can't wait for the conference, and I can't wait to tell you guys all about it!!