Thursday, July 02, 2015

mandala magic and GIVEAWAY WINNERS!

My summer line up of online classes kicks off with Mandala Magic on Monday, June 6th. In this fun little class I will be sharing my own techniques, tricks and tips for creating mandalas from a variety of materials. You can read all about Mandala Magic and the rest of my summer classes over in the shop HERE

Check out a little preview below.

mandala from Alisa Burke on Vimeo.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

savory popcorn

I love popcorn so much that I end up eating it every night! And while I always love good ol' butter and salt, I really enjoy coming up with unique flavors to add to my popcorn. Today I thought I would share three of my favorite savory popcorn recipes- they are the perfect way to make popcorn way more interesting and delicious! 

When I make popcorn I typically pop about 1/2 cup of kernals in our air popper. Once the popcorn is finished popping, I add melted butter. Keep in mind that the mixtures of flavor can all be altered depending on your taste.

Sweet Curry Popcorn:
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
dash of salt

Rosemary Parmesan Popcorn:
2 teaspoons of fresh chopped rosemary
1/4 cup of shredded or graded parmesan cheese
dash of salt

Lemon Cilantro Popcorn:
2-3 teaspoons of fresh chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon lemon juice
dash of salt

Monday, June 29, 2015

lettering with makewells: the art of the ampersand

Hi guys! It's Megan and I am back today to talk all about the ampersand.
I have a love/hate relationship with the ampersand. 
I love it: it's flexible. A super character. You can draw it in virtually infinite ways and people still seem to understand its meaning. I pretty much consider it the 27th letter of the alphabet. it can stand alone or join other characters together. 
I love the ampersand. Yet I avoid it. Because for some reason, this character has been tricky for me to draw. Until now, because I'm here guest posting on Alisa's blog today with the intention of mastering this tricky little fella'. 
To start off, I broke the ampersand character down into 3 basic categories:

I then approached drawing practice, the same way I did the lettering practices. 1 Letter, 100 ways. I mixed in practicing all three styles above. (since my style of lettering is more calligraphic, I am not as drawn to the contemporary style, so you won't see much of this in my examples). 

Remember to keep in mind that even the slightest variation can totally change the feel of each character.
I mentioned before using tracing paper for practice. If you struggle drawing the ampersand (or any letter/character), print out a few different fonts from the computer, and using tracing paper, let them guide you as you draw the basic shapes. 

I played around with flourishes and embellishments, line weight, and any variation I could think of. Below are some favorites from my practice session:

I had so much fun practicing drawing ampersands, that I decided to take it up a notch and create a larger illustration based on this simple, yet complex, shape. 
After very lightly penciling in a line drawing of a traditional ampersand, I created a floral illustration.

I made sure to use a black pen that didn't bleed (such as a micron, sharpie pen, or copic marker). 
Next, I used my favorite watercolors, Dr. Ph. Martin's Hydrus Fine Art Watercolors, to fill in my doodles. 

And just for fun, if you enjoy Alisa's coloring pages, I created a fun page of my own for you to download and enjoy! Download HERE

Have fun lettering and creating! 

You can check out all of my lettering posts HERE and don't forget to share your progress using #redefinecreativelettering. 

Xo, Megan
@Makewells (instagram)

Friday, June 26, 2015

baked chicken flautas

Once summer hits I start craving fried treats and one of my favorites is flautas. Typically flautas are fried but I like making a healthier version.

3 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1 cup grated cheese
1/2 cup of cream cheese
1/2 cup of corn
1/2 cup black beans
1 cup of spinach
1/4 cup chopped tomatoes
10-12 medium flour tortillas

Preheat the oven at 350 degrees
Warm up a little olive oil in a skillet and quickly heat up the corn, beans and shredded chicken.
At the very end, add cream cheese and shredded cheese.
Mix everything together.
I like to heat up the tortillas in the microwave for about 30 seconds to soften them up then fill and roll up.
Grease a baking sheet with butter and then line the sheet with the tortillas.
Bake for about 15 minutes or until they are brown.

Serve flautas warm with your favorite hot sauce and guacamole!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

coping with creative burnout

Creativity and making art is a really interesting process- as much as you would like to control and schedule when inspiration and productivity hits, most of the time you are the mercy of the process. After a lifetime of creating, learning, developing my style and growing a business, I've learned A LOT about the cycle of creativity. And today I am talking all about coping with creative burnout!

burnout from Alisa Burke on Vimeo.

I used to freak out when I would hit a wall or struggle with burnout and after years of fighting it, I finally learned that the best thing I can do is embrace it!

When I hit a wall, the last thing I typically feel like doing is exercising. But I've found that when I drag myself outside, move my body and breath fresh air, I ALWAYS feel rejuvenated and energized!
EXERCISE from Alisa Burke on Vimeo.

I've found that when I am coping with creative burnout, it helps to focus on something totally unrelated to painting, drawing and running my business. Instead I look for things outside of my reality that are creative and interesting. My favorite is anything that has to do with cooking- for some reason watching a cooking documentary or making a meal in the kitchen instantly helps me relax while being creative in a different way.

A lot of the time I take myself and my creativity WAY too seriously so when I hit a wall, the first thing I need to do is lighten up and have a little fun!

have fun from Alisa Burke on Vimeo.

There is an ebb and flow to the cycle of creativity and sometimes the most important thing you can do is trust the process. Creativity, ideas and energy can come and go but if you have passion and the space in your life for creativity, you will bounce back from burnout. It may take a little while but I promise it will come back.


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