Category Archives: About me

Which Movie Character am I most like?

I have never been able to compare myself to anyone in books or television until several weeks ago, when I watched Harry Potter for the first time.  My daughter is a HUGE Harry Potter fan and I discuss these books with her almost every day.  It wasn’t until I saw the movies that I realized, there is a character that is almost exactly like me…minus the magic of course…lol!

So…WHICH MOVIE CHARACTER AM I MOST LIKE??

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Why it’s LUNA LOVEGOOD of course!

Why you ask?  Here are five characteristics that we have in common…

1.  We both speak in a soft and sweet voice…probably why kids love me so much!

2.  I have been known to skip around, especially when I wear a ponytail.  Who doesn’t like to make their pony tail swish?

3.  Even though she doesn’t say much or look like there is much going on inside her head due to her blank stare, there actually is a ton of imagination brewing all the time.  She believes in “what if” situations and can imagine them as if they were real.  Sound familiar? A Tyrannosaurus Rex who wanted purple hair…lol!

4.  She is odd…much like me when I burst out an imaginary idea in front of a crowd of friends, telling them of the giant bottle of ketchup wearing sunglasses in my brain that is playing helicopter with a little girl…lol!

5.  Since she is so quiet, her jokes although sometimes unintentional are extremely funny because they are so unexpected. I love joking about everything, but the most unexpected thing about me would be my sneezes…lol! I may have a tiny little voice, but my sneezes can blow the top off a mountain…watch out!

In other words, I am weird…and I love that!

What movie character are you most like?

 

 

 

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My Mr. Ketchup Fan

Yesterday, I received the sweetest gift I could ever get!  One of my little fans surprised me with the most beautiful drawing of Mr. Ketchup I have ever seen!  Thank you so much for my drawing!  It is hanging on my fridge! I love it so much!

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If your little fan loves my portraits and has drawn something special, feel free to send it to me! I would love to share their beautiful art…

 

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My Interview with the Milky Way

I had the honor of being interviewed by Lisa DiGeso from Milk and Honey and the Milky Way. I am just a teeny tiny bit camera shy…lol!

Interview pic

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Have Your Ticket?

Next week can’t come fast enough!!

Are you joining me and 11 other instructors at the upcoming Creativity Camp, where I’ll be sharing some ways to get past creative block.

If you’ve been feeling a little creatively tapped lately, or are just looking to try some new things with your art, you are going to love this!

Get your ticket here: http://bit.ly/1OOcYrT

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Terrible Mistakes I Made

When I first started out photographing children for my Imaginary Dream Portraits, I made a lot of mistakes.  And that is okay!

“We all mess up. It’s what we learn from our mistakes that matter” -Lauren Myracle

Here are 4 terrible mistakes I made while photographing children and what I learned from each one… 

1.  When asking a child about their dream pet, I must remember to reassure them that I am not bringing an actual animal to their home!  The child was terrified when I arrived and refused to take a picture with me…thinking I had brought an actual zoo animal!  This session did not work out…so in the end, I asked my daughter to complete this picture.

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2.  I must remember to remind the child that she is going to be merely pretending to fly!  When I arrived at the child’s home, she thought I was going to actually take her flying high up in the sky.  Only in our imagination, little one…only in our imagination.  She was very pleased with the final picture though!

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3.  When pretending to feed an imaginary animal, it is hard to explain to the child how to look excited and happy.  Soo…a crazy thing I like to do is have a person be that animal and make crazy faces and then you get that perfect expression!

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4.  This portrait session was supposed to be an elephant make-over.  She had trouble pretending to paint the elephants toenails or put on makeup or basically anything I asked her to do.  She was in a horrible mood that day.  So…to resolved the problem, I gave her a toy camera and asked her to take a picture of the beautiful elephant.  Problem solved and a picture perfect ending!  I learned that I have to be willing to change my vision at a moments notice…

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“Remember, there are no mistakes, only lessons!  Love yourself, trust your choices and everything is possible” – Cherie-Carter Scotts

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5 Reminders For Times When You Feel Like Quitting

Writing and illustrating a children’s book has been very challenging.  There were many times where I just wanted to throw in the towel and chuck that thing in the garbage, but this is my dream.  I can’t give up.  I can do this!  It WILL happen!  I will see this to the end!

You have a dream too…I know it!  Don’t give up!  All your hard work will be worth it in the end!  If it wasn’t hard, it wouldn’t be worth it, right?

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5 Reminders for Times When You Feel Like Quitting

1.  Your dream doesn’t have an expiration date, take a deep breath and try again (K.T. Witten)

2.  The moment you are ready to quit is usually the perfect moment before the big miracle. Do not give up! (Unknown)

3.  Never give up…you may never know how close you may be to achieving your dreams! (Unknown)

4.  You never fail until you stop trying (Albert Einstein)

5.  You are capable of more than you know (E.O. Wilson)

Now go out there and chase your dreams!

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Don’t say cheese! 5 ways to get natural pictures of your children without the fight!

When I had my first child, it was a constant battle to get him to look at me.  I would tell him “SAY CHEEEEZZZEEE!” He would stop what he was doing to give me the most fake smile I have ever seen and then go back to playing.  As I was looking at all my pictures, I realized that they all looked the same.  I wanted to change that.  I wanted memories of his personality and what he loved to do.  So from that day on, I stopped saying cheese.  You can too!  Here’s how…

5 WAYS YOU CAN STOP SAYING CHEESE AND STILL CAPTURE PICTURES THAT HAVE LASTING MEMORIES… 

1. Take pictures of them playing!

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Instead of stopping what they are doing to say “Look over here,” take a picture of them playing. Some of the most memorable pictures I have of my children are of them playing.  This is one of my all time favorite shots!  

2. Play Peek-a-boo or hide and seek!

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I love to pretend I can’t find my children when they hide, but what I love even more is the expression on their face when they pop out and say “Here I am!”  I just LOVE that little face!

3. Catch them hanging out together!

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It is rare to see all three of my kids getting along, so I like to hide somewhere and use my zoom lens to capture their happy moments together without me.  Give three kids a giant tub of cheese balls and happiness happens…lol!  

4. Take a swing picture!

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Nothing beats a good old fashion swing picture! I love the expression of pure joy on a child’s face when they are swinging!  

5.  Catch them deep in thought!

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I love to watch them look at the world around them and wish I could hear what they are thinking about inside their little heads. They look so peaceful…

NOW, go out and take some pictures and be sure to share them right here with all of us!

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Why I’m no longer satisfied with photography and what I’m doing about it… 

I bet you are wondering, “Oh no, is she going to quit?”  The answer is no!  The fact is I now realize that my photography alone is just not enough.

Here’s my story…

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It all happened one day last year, when I accidentally printed these mini glossy board books.  I thought I was printing slightly larger albums to showcase my work at a local show, but misread the dimensions.  It was an incredibly wonderful accident that changed my life!  These were SO tiny and so incredibly beautiful!  The chain of events that followed shaped my future in photography!

Once I received these mini books, my youngest daughter was immediately drawn to them and asked to keep one.  She carried it with her wherever she went, continually browsing through the shiny, vivid pages of imaginary bliss.  I was so happy that I had found someone to appreciate the little mistake I made.  I put the other copy in my purse to show anyone who asked me what I did for a living.

Last year, my youngest began Daisies and in getting to know the mothers, someone asked me about my photography.  I brought out my mini board book and immediately every single Daisy girl flocked towards my tiny little book, fascinated by every little picture in the book.  The girls were begging me to let them keep that book.  That was the exact moment that I decided my art should be in children’s books.

My pictures are wasting away, sitting on my website and Facebook page, when they could be in the hands of young children all over the world, who would truly appreciate the whimsical wonder. That is the main reason I create my art in the first place…to keep children dreaming!  From that day on, in addition to creating portraits for families to document their children’s fantasies, I am going to write and illustrate numerous children’s books for all the little dreamers out there!

These teenie tiny board books are available for purchase in my SHOP!  As for my first official illustrated children’s book, it is complete and being sent out to agents…you are not going to want to miss this book!  Although I am biased, I think it is pretty great and I hope you will love it too!  If you want to keep up to date on its status…feel free to sign up for my WEEKLY NEWSLETTER! Also, if you follow me on Facebook, don’t forget to check “SEE FIRST!”  Facebook is sharing less and less these days.

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My Imperfect Workspace – Where Imagination Comes to Life

You’ve seen artists post pictures of their workspaces, right?  They are SO perfect…like were taken straight out of a magazine!  Do you ever wonder what their spaces really look like?  I am going to be completely honest with you…my workspace is NEVER organized!  So, here it is…in it’s full glory…my workspace!

You are probably thinking, “HOW DOES SOMEONE WHO DREAMS IN PINK, CREATE IMAGES IN A DARK MAN CAVE LIKE SPACE??!!” Well, I can and to me, it’s the most comfortable room in the house!

Let me give you a little tour of my workspace…

My Workspace

I originally decorated the room to look like a study, but between you and me it was really a room for my husband to play video games in…lol!  So, that is why Dilbert and his diplomas are hanging on the wall. It wasn’t until about 5 years ago that I started using the computer. The dark pretzel colored walls gives the study a distinguished look and really blends well with the French country colors in our house.  I feel like the walls wrap me with warmth, along with the heater nearby.  My family will agree with me when I say that I am ALWAYS cold!  I use an extra dining room chair with a back cushion on it and it is so comfortable!  I used to have a rolling chair, but I felt like I was on an amusement park ride.  When I was extremely deep in thought and suddenly moved, it caught me off guard and I got very nauseous…lol!

As you can tell by the kleenexes everywhere, I have HORRIBLE allergies…lol!  Yeah, I used to throw them in the garbage can right away, however, since I am usually deep in thought, I almost always missed!  I really got tired of picking them up off the floor…lol!  Now, I just leave them on the desk until I am done with my work for the day and then throw them away. Of course, some still do fall on the floor…lol!  When I work, I ALWAYS need coffee with sweet cream creamer in my favorite Mumu Cow mug that I bought from Switzerland! I am a little obsessed with Mumu Cow…lol!  I also put one huge bottle of water by my desk each day to force myself to drink. I often forget to drink, because I am so into my project.  Yes…it’s true!

The floor is often covered in pony tail holders and other crazy presents that my two cats bring to me.  My one cat, Mr. Squeakers, often sleeps in his cat bed while I work.  I have to keep the computer paper in it’s packaging, because he likes to bite holes in every single sheet.  He actually thinks he is attacking the paper as it comes out of the printer.  Sometimes hysterical, sometimes maddening. Seriously maddening!  On top of the printer is where I keep all my children’s book information, which some day you will be able to read!  In the shelves of my desk are my dream notebooks, where I keep all my endless ideas that keep me awake at night.  Somehow, by writing them down, my brain can calm down and I can relax…lol!

So there it is…my workspace!  I wouldn’t change a thing!  When I am in the zone, all I see is my screen anyway…lol!  Sure, someday it would be nice to redecorate the room, but right now, I’d rather spend my time creating art for you to enjoy!  I have some BIG PLANS up my sleeve for the new year!

So, now let me see your workspace!  Post a picture!  I would love to see it…the good, the bad AND the ugly!!!

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Casting Call

One of the many perks of subscribing to my newsletter is that you will be the only one who will hear about volunteering opportunities for your child to receive a complimentary print!  Plus, you can have my list of 50 Imaginary Game Ideas for Young Children!  Subscribe here: https://www.facebook.com/juliemcgannfineart/app_152926008054123

Madmimi2

 

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