Global Talent Search 2018

This year, I decided to participate in Lilla Roger's Global Talent Search again. The theme for the first assignment was to create a garden journal cover featuring staghorn ferns and Japanese anemones. This was my entry:


Unfortunately, I did not make it into the top 50 and will not be moving on to the next round. Nevertheless, I was very proud of this design. Things really came together nicely, from idea to finish. I have been doing A LOT of drawing lately, and I feel like I'm finally getting used to my process and am developing my own style. Though I've been doing a lot of vector work lately, I went towards a more painterly approach this time (mostly due to my newfound love of Procreate on iPad!). I used a quote from The Secret Garden to feature on my cover. 

I had a small hiccup when I realized I had painted the piece at the wrong size. It was pretty devastating when I realized it. I'm usually very meticulous when it comes to following instructions and required specifications. Proportionally it was a little too narrow, so what I ended up doing was adding a design for the spine area. I think the design turned out better for it in the end. 

Here's a little peak into my process. I started out just doing some doodling and playing with color.


I also sketched up a study of the anemones and ferns.


These are my thumbnails. They're pretty rough and hard to make out. I ended up using the last one on the page, which shows a head with a burst of flowers coming from it.


As I mentioned, my design did not end up making the top 50, but with the number of entries it was a long shot anyway. However, rather than putting it in my portfolio and calling it a day, I'm working on creating an actual journal to use it on. I've been working on a coloring book project off and on for a little while now, and it's developed into a combination of journal, sketchbook, and coloring book. I realized this cover would be perfect for it!


Stay tuned to my website and Instagram (@nicolejonessturk) to keep track of my progress and be the first to know when you can get a copy of your own!

Sincerely, Nicole

WIP Wednesday: Coloring pages and Christmas in September

Works in Progress: Here's a little glimpse into what is currently on my drawing board...

In the midst of trying to get a freelance career up and running, I've also decided to take some time for personal projects and portfolio building. Of late, I have fallen in love with creating adult coloring pages, and want to keep building on that.

Coloring one of the pages I created

Coloring one of the pages I created

Nowadays, adult coloring books are everywhere, for every subject matter under the sun. Despite the volume of output, I am finding that it is rare that I find coloring books and pages that I find impressive. I love to see designs that are hand-drawn, thoughtfully composed, and full of beautiful patterns and decorative elements, because those are fun to color. Most of the market has been flooded with work that is rushed, generic, boring, retraced, mechanical, and/or overly cartoony. So as a personal project, I have decided to create my own collections of coloring pages. My first subject: Christmas. Because I love it (who doesn't?), and it's fun. And let's face it, it will be the holiday season before we know it, right?

Some of my drawings for coloring pages in my upcoming Christmas collection

Some of my drawings for coloring pages in my upcoming Christmas collection

I'm not claiming that my pages will be the best things ever or will avoid all of the pitfalls I previously mentioned, but it will be an attempt to create the type of designs I wish I saw more often. What I can promise is that time, thought, and passion will go into these designs. Hopefully through the process I will develop a style and method that is unique and appealing and lives up to my own high expectations.