Cheers to 2018!

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I don’t know about you but the stillness of winter, the holidays and the start of a new year make me super nostalgic and contemplative. In light of everything that’s happened this year in the United States I realized, that I’m just grateful. Grateful that my family, friends and I didn’t have to live through a major natural disaster or endure a terrorist attack etc… I’m grateful that as a woman I’m able to speak my mind, be educated and hold a job of my choosing. As a result, my resolutions, goals, dreams whatever you want to call them have become simplified. As far as I’m concerned, as long as my family and friends are healthy and happy everything else is just icing on the cake. I hope and pray this coming year is a year of good health, blessings and happiness for you and yours. I’m genuinely thankful for each and every one of you. Cheers to 2018!

– Nicole

Artist Profile – Erica Williams of Lemonsugarillo

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Have you ever just looked at a piece of art and it resonates with you?  The artwork of Erica Williams of Lemonsugarillo does just that. I’m beyond thrilled to share with you her up and coming illustration company Lemonsugarillo on the blog today.

What is Lemonsugarillo? 

Lemonsugarillo is my ever-evolving creative space for self, growth, and celebration. In this space I explore the divinity within black women and girls in all states of being. I strive to document my process of being myself unapologetically and fully through my work, while holding a space for others to do the same.

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Lemonsugarillo is such and interesting and unique name. How did you come up with it?

I was actually brainstorming different ways to use my name or initials in my business name to no avail. I fell asleep during this process, woke up in a daze and said “Lemonsugar” and then fell back asleep. When I woke up fully later in the day, the name stuck. The name Lemonsugar embodies the duality that is present within myself, as well as the pieces I create. I am the little girl that grew into an adult woman, that little girl is still present within me. The work I create has elements of cuteness, whimsy, and joy. However, there is an adult woman behind the art that has had some sour experiences that along with the sweet influence my perspective. Plus sometimes I cuss, so I didn’t want to give off the wrong idea that my work or the space I was creating and cultivating was going to be all goody gumdrops. Thus, Lemonsugar Illustration was born! A year later I condensed it to Lemonsugarillo. I found with trying to create accounts and space online, the name was very long and for some accounts too long. So, I needed to find a way to condense the name, so I dropped the illustration and used the shorthand illo, and it worked perfectly.

 

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Why did you start Lemonsugarillo? 

Initially, I started Lemonsugarillo simply because I couldn’t get a job as a graphic designer. Because of my aesthetic I didn’t really fit the mold of an agency designer I always did well on interviews and received compliments on my work, but hiring managers didn’t know where to place me. They really rested on the idea that somebody would eventually pick me up, and because everyone shared this sentiment I ended up being unemployed for 2 years. I’ve always pushed representation and diversity in my work and I found that within the arena I was trying to be apart of, this push was policed in many ways disguised as “art direction”. After playing by “their” rules, feeling unfulfilled and tired of creating and providing a visual voice for everyone else but myself. I decided to do it my way, to create what I wanted, when I wanted, and with whom I wanted.

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What’s next for Lemonsugarillo? 

I just launched my website on Black Friday. I’m currently offering prints of my artwork and accessories with my prints on them to the public. On a wider scale I definitely want to get into animation, feature films, and comics. Really just about anything media based, and as always continue to learn and grow as an artist, and share that growth and love with people.

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What do you want people to take away from your work?

Whatever they need or desire to extract from my work. I do my best to not concern myself, over think, or control how others receive my work. Everyone will have their own experience with it and honestly that’s what I desire. Experience it; take what you need, and some extra to share with someone else. I have found focusing more on the craft and the root connection I have to an idea and inspiration of a piece, keeps me in flow of creating from a place of love and authenticity. This focus removes the pressure to “perform” to the perception of others and simply create what I love and what I am connected to.

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 Creator of Lemonsugarillo

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Lemonsugarillo just launched its website recently. I highly suggest checking it out and stocking up on holiday gifts!

https://www.lemonsugarillo.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April’s Mantra – Enjoy the Ride

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It’s true what they say the older you get the faster time goes by. Over Easter weekend when my nephews and niece were hunting for eggs I thought to myself, I’m glad that I’m present and I need to cherish this. I’m a big planner and I don’t really make room to be spontaneous and because of that sometimes I lose out. I have to say that being a planner has a lot of benefits of its own. Then this past weekend I had a medical scare with one of my parents. Everything in the end turned out to be fine but again, I thought to myself I need to savor my relationships by being in the moment and just going with the flow. I don’t want to look back on life and say that I was too busy working or planning this or that. I want to be a person who sees people for who they truly are and is able to embrace/celebrate them in the moment. I’m choosing to focus on this now more than ever so, I’ve decided that this month’s mantra should be “enjoy the ride.” I’m personally practicing not taking everything so seriously! I’m changing my perspective because things could be a lot worse . I’m blessed and my family is here and I’m choosing to enjoy life now, not whenever its most convenient. I’m the driver of my own destiny and I  choose to enjoy the ride. I hope that you will do the same for yourself with the people you cherish.

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March Mantra -Never Stop Growing

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Spring is approaching and I cannot stop thinking about growth. New things springing up and coming about because of the changing of the season. At this time of year I feel like I’m coming out of hibernation. I start venturing out simply because it’s warmer. The spring season in my mind is like the second chapter to my year and new opportunities and ideas flourish at this time. In light of the new spring season ushering in growth I’ve decided that March’s mantra should be “never stop growing!” I pride myself on being a life-learner. I absolutely positively love to learn and try new things. In fact, this month I enrolled in a tap-dancing class! It’s always been one of my dreams and now I’m doing it. I’m also planning trips to new places and seeking out new experiences. I’m excited about what’s happening in my life and I attribute it solely to the fact that I remain curious about life and continue to grow and challenge myself. If you’re in a funk or are feeling uninspired, I encourage you to go somewhere new, read a book or take a class. I can tell you firsthand that these things will help you grow if you’re open to them.

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FEELIN’ IT

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Here are a couple of things I’ve been feelin’ lately.

Cook with Amber

Welcome

Amber Kelley is a talented & inspiring thirteen year old who is a Food Network Star chef. I came across a segment she did with a major Seattle news channel and was very impressed by her message to promote and challenge people to eat healthy delicious food. I suggest following her on all social media Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and yes, she has a YouTube channel it’s very entertaining. Watch her with your kids or by yourself and get inspired to not only cook delicious meals but meals that are healthy. Recently I’ve been making her green smoothie and I love it! It’s healthy and it tastes great! She has many excellent recipes that I’m dying to try.

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TheWoollyBugger – Etsy shop

https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheWoollyBugger?ref=search_shop_redirect

I’m a big supporter of buying local especially from artists. Recently I came across a stunning piece of Washington state string art someone posted on Instagram of Jane Patten’s work. She’s a Spokane artist whose subject matter is inspired by the outdoors of the Pacific Northwest. She makes custom drawings, mugs, totes and string art. Check out her Etsy shop you won’t be disappointed.

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Moon Valley Organics

https://www.moonvalleyorganics.com/

I have been buying products from this skin care company for over 10+years at their stand in the Pike’s Place Market and everything is excellent! I have very sensitive skin that gets really dried out in the winter and their lotion bars help keep my skin looking and feeling great. Moon Valley Organics is a USDA certified organic business that sells everything from soaps, lotion bars, lip balms, medicinal salves/balms etc.. Check out their website or visit them next time you’re at the Pike’s Place Market.

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I’m always looking for life hacks on how to be more productive here’s a great article from REALSIMPLE on just that. It’s a worth your time read.

http://www.realsimple.com/work-life/life-strategies/time-management/habits-highly-productive-people

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Pinspiration Market

https://www.pinspirationmarket.com/upcoming-markets/

I’ve attended a couple of The Funky Junk Sisters events before at the Washington State Fair grounds and they are just the perfect girls day/night events. The Pinspiration Market is a new event showcasing over 100 booths of what you would find on Pinterest! If you’re obsessed with Pinterest as much as I am you’ll want to check this event out for sure!

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When: February 10th & 11th

Where: Washington State Fairgrounds

Early Bird Shopping

Friday night Feb.10 from 6pm to 9pm ($15)

  •  Purchase tickets ahead ONLINE to get in at 5:30pm
  •  Tickets will be available to purchase at the door ($15) at 6pm
  •  Early bird tickets get you in both Friday night and Saturday

General Admission

  • Saturday is general admission shopping ($8) from 10am to 4pm
  • Kids 12 and under are free