Tuesday, December 31, 2013

How To Write A Picture Book

Check out the great link about writing a picture book. Thanks Jenny Kostecki for sharing this. This is a broad overview but really helpful advice. Enjoy~

Friday, December 27, 2013

Collaboration for "Jemmy Button"

Check out this incredible collaboration between Jen Uman and Valerio Vidali for their gorgeous book "Jemmy Button". Read about how they did it on this post.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A collection of dogs

I finally complied an illustration which features a bunch of my dog studies. I did two versions, one with names of some my dog friends and one with out. I sketched my dog buddies at Sugar Pond, at the Rumsford Dog park and the "Flaca Vaca" farm (plus a few other dog friends from my neighborhood). I treasure my walks around the pond in the mornings. I've made some great friends on those walks, both human and canine. Thank you Sugar pond friends (you know who you are), for the years of great conversations and comfort to just be myself. Also a shout out to Paco, Heidi and Tyler...my favorite crew in Stamford NY. (Click on the image to see it close up)
Here's the link to buy a print/bag/mug: http://society6.com/mariacarluccio/I-love-Dogs-23a_Print#1=45

Familiar faces

I thought I'd post a few faces. I did these for history of illustration class. We had to pick 4 famous people to illustrate (I choose famous artists) and you had to mimic the style of 4 famous illustrator. Maybe you can guess these two? These were my favorites.
I'm adding a version I did in color...playing digitally...


If you need a little pick me up just watch this video. It's hard not to feel good watching it.
You can watch the whole 24 hours of happy or just the short video too, It's really worth checkin out.

Friday, December 6, 2013


I was walking my dog by the pond recently. I had my sketch pad with me, I’ve been drawing dogs as you can see in an older post. I began to draw my dog who was looking at a few ducks. My sketches weren’t working, I was getting a bit frustrated so I began to walk away. Then for some reason I turned around to see where my dog was and when I did I saw a huge egret about 10 feet from me. I had not seen it there at all but it must have been there the whole time. I was all geared up to draw so I began to sketch the egret. I was mesmerized and it felt magical to be able to capture it through my drawing that day. After the egret  took off I thought how I feel some kind of connections to egrets. Years earlier I had seen one and it sparked me to start my blog “Beautiful truths” (http://mybeautifultruths.blogspot.com/). 
Two days after I sketched the egret at the pond I got a request form Cricket magazine to illustrate a poem called “the Secret Egret”. It was about an egret spotted by a busy highway.
Here’s some of my egret and duck sketches. The final piece at the bottom is what I ended up doing for Cricket…kind of an experiment for me.
Thank you egret, one of my many muses.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Martin Luther King project

It was really nice to see the MLK/JFK show last night at FIT. I thought I'd post what I did for that project. I ended up doing two versions. Here's my artist statement:

A desire for equality was something Martin Luther King lived and died by. His work was facilitated through the support of countless people from different races, genders, and ages. Through these marches, single identities joined together to become a powerful force and individuals discovered a new way to see their nation. As I look at photos of the freedom marches and I am astounded by the spirit and strength endured by supporters of the cause. I choose to illustrate the people who marched and the bond that I believed they felt during such a tumultuous time in our nations history. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

dog sketchbook

It's been a while since I've posted on here. I wanted to share some stuff from my sketchbook. I've been collecting all sorts for doggie sketches. I have to say, dogs are some of my best friends.
Some pages have the dogs name on it. Meet Hesh(at the top). He's is one the funniest dogs I ever met. He's a bull dog puppy. When ever the other dogs are playing he begins to play then after a few second he just sits his ass down as if the say "cool, but I'm conserving my energy". What a perfect name too.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Patti Smith's little dose of inspiration

If you need a little pick me up try this. I just love to hear her speak...she really touches upon some real, honest, simple things about being an artist. (Thank you again, Kate B)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


I had to put this inspiring TED talk on here. Neil Pasricha makes you feel grateful in a beautifly simple way. Here's the TED talk and blog.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Letter to Dick, 11/6/1945

Over the years I've become quite fascinated with old letters and receipts. I woke up this morning with the idea to collage with some of these papers. As I was looking through some folders (on my computer) I found this letter. For that moment, as I was reading it, I had to shut off my music so I could get the full effect of what was there. As you can see(below), it's a correspondence and a list of movies a woman named Loraine typed out for her partner/spouse. I love the typos and the sincere voice I can hear when I read it. I love the insight into the time period, and who women were back then, in 1945. It leaves me with questions too. Why the records? What was she doing? Who is Dick?
Old letters are sort of window into a world we can only imagine. It's like watching a movie or finding a piece of a puzzle. The day to day details are all clues to to single life that was lived,  reminding us of the tiny details that make up our own struggles day to day. One letter is a fragment of a few minutes, the short amount of time it takes to write a thought. But it's sad to know that letter writing is a lost art. Of coarse, I love the convenience of email but I still think it's a important to hold on to these precious pieces of art as sort of "written snapshot" of who we are and the lives we lived.

(Sorry these are so small...I couldn't figure out how to get them bigger...you have to click on them to read them)

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Natalie Merchant sing poems to life on TED

I found this last week and loved it. It's a beautiful idea- taking poems from many years past and making them into music. It's a hard thing to pull off and I really enjoyed Natalie Merchants take on it. Plus she is so eclectic with these, they have a unique vintage feel. The stories they tell are a compassionate, quirky and bit dark. Just how I like my art. :) enjoy.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Neil Gaiman's Address for University of the Arts

Check out this inspiring speech by Author Neil Gaiman (found through my FB buddy, Kate Barsotti). It's great...no need to say more. Do great art. period end of story. It helped me "reboot" my thinking today.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Sam Webber's podcasts: Your dream, my nightmare.

My new intern, Josie (who just happens to be from my home town of Teaneck NJ! go figure) mentioned a podcast she had been listening to. I always learn so much from my interns, including learning about what young artist think about and are looking at. Well, Josie and I had a good listen to the Jon Klassen interview, it was so inspiring but there are so many others to choose from as well. So for all you illustration and design fans, check out "Your dream, my nightmare". It's a cool podcast by teacher and talent Sam Webber. Here's a link to download each episode:

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Blank on Blank

I just discovered this fantastic little gem. Lost interviews and great little nuggets of insight. Wander around this little spot...

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Janine Shepherd on TED

Wow. This story really reminds me that our spirit is always alive inside, nothing can ever take that away. You just have to let it see the sun, allow it to live. Janine Shepherd shares her amazing story with such eloquence a sensitivity. I love the quote she shares "When you let go of what you are you can become what you might be".-Lao Tzu.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Brene Brown on TED

I saw Brene Brown on OWN a few weeks ago. Man, she's a powerhouse of inspiration. I found two talks on TED recently so I'll post here. "Daring Greatly", her latest book was awesome. It was so insightful, it gave me so much to think about these past few weeks.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Elizabeth Gilbert on TED

Have you ever wondered about creativity and sanity? Check out this wonderful talk by Elizabeth Gilbert. I love how she describes her process. She is such a lovable speaker, you feel like your her BFF. Writing a poem, capturing something, grabbing a hold of it, it's all feel familiar to the creative process. Get it down at all costs.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Making a Barn Yard.

My "Barn Yard" quilt for Land of Nod came out last week! I love doing projects with Land of Nod, they do such creative products. I'm also glad that my designs are included among such fantastic designers who's work I really respect. Anyway, I thought it would be neat to show a bit of the process behind the of making a quilt. You can see the original sketches (I did three options), plus the digital color version. In the end the colors came out much brighter and the composition changed a bit, which is always to be expected so you have to be open to how things get interpreted. On this project I learned that I tend to make my palettes kind of pale/neutral. I'm working on getting bolder and brighter. My "take" on the barn yard idea was to incorporate the sounds of the barnyard. Originally, LON asked me to do something with the number of animals but as I got into it I realized it would be more fun to "hear" the sounds of the animals. What baby doesn't love to hear a moo moo here and moo moo there?
Here's the link: http://www.landofnod.com/with-a-moo-moo-here-crib-bedding/f11933

Saturday, January 26, 2013

I want candy.

Last saturday, bright and early, my daughter Maja asked me if we could watch a movie together. I decided to avoid the excruciating pain of having to flip through Disney XD channel for the gazillionth time and opted instead to search the movies I recorded on my DVR. I had scheduled a bunch of Christmas movies, knowing that the day would come when I would need to call in the heavy hitters of  “Rudolph” and “Santa Clause is coming to Town". As I scanned the list I noticed one movie that was still unwatched, one I had completely forgotten I had recorded- Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (yes, the 1971 movie!). Score! Something I would actually enjoy watching with her. When I was a kid I thought Willy Wonka was the ultimate sugar rush of movies (even thought it has it’s moments of freakiness). I personally think it blows “Wreck it Ralph” away, but then again I’m not 8years old. Anyway, as I sat there on the couch watching August Gloop get sucked up the clear pipe in the chocolate river I began to wonder why is candy adored by people of all ages, everywhere.
Maybe it’s the countless possibilities. There is such a range of flavors, colors, and textures in pretty much every confectionary delight I see. Candy is a real treat for the eyes not just the taste buds. It’s a creative and expressive art form in my opinion. But there’s more to it than that, I think it’s the nostalgia that really gets me. Every Saturday afternoon I would walk to our neighborhood candy store and pick out the perfect piece of candy, the piece that would fit the mood I was in at the time. If I needed comfort I went for a Hershey bar, if I wanted a straight forward energy it was something like a watermelon jolly rancher stick. Then I’d walk home and slowly savor my purchase or if I was feeling a bit spiteful I’d save it until I got home and wave it in front of my two younger brother faces. That was probably the bonus, to see the look on their faces when I had candy and they didn’t. Psyche. But I digress, as I usually do. It does seem that candy makes the world go round, at least for kids, and for me, it's one of the things that I love to examine and collage. Whether it’s Willy Wonka’s factory or just a trip to the candy store, I guess I’ll always want candy.
(Opps...forgot to add my sweet shop cards here. If you like these pieces of candy check out the stationary for Teneues)


Over the years I found so many things that inspire me, met so many people that give me hope to continue on the path of making my art. In doing this blog, I wanted to create a place where I could share many of the things that inspire me and introduce others to wonderful artist and creative thinkers. I love the saying “make it and people will come”. It’s kind of what I live by I guess. I try my best to do work that has meaning and purpose not just for myself but for others too. Just this morning I got a touching email from a woman with a sick child. She told me the painting I did really helped her feel positive when she was in the hospital with her daughter. Man, I never expected that kind of connection but it really reminded me that making art is about reaching out to others. It’s about putting yourself out there even if it feels extremely vulnerable. Having the courage to do so takes work and many times we need the help of others. In doing this blog I hope to explore the many aspects of creativity and I welcome any comments, thoughts, and contributions. Please feel free to send me anything you’d like to share, either email me at mariacarluccio@verizon.net, comment on Facebook (link) or just post a comment below. 
*On the right side of the blog I’ll be posting places the I go when I need a little creative juice. If you like some of these “creative wandering spots” or think you have something you’d like to share, feel free to contact me as well.