Monday, October 30, 2006

Another Picture With a Birthday Cake

I know... I know... How many pictures can an artist make of children with birthday cakes? Perhaps I am hungry and that's why I keep drawing cake. Whatever the reason, I finished another drawing today for Illustration Friday. This week's theme is not cake, but wind. I took a self-portrait in pastel that was a bit of a dud and digitally enhanced the piece in Photoshop. What do you think?

Friday, October 27, 2006

I'm in the Black & Orange Contest!!!

Lately, I've been filling my days with a lot of marketing and promotional research. This may sound boring to all of the non-illustrators out there, but it is a huge part of getting published and gaining exposure. I've had my website up for a few years now, but no one will know about it, unless I promote it.

In addition to blogging, I have found a few communities that are worth participating in to get the creative juices flowing. I signed up for Illustration Fridays and just entered the Black & Orange contest. The Black and Orange contest is an online competition for illustrators, held by an illustrator (Penelope Dullaghan). Entries need to be black and orange in color and are posted on the competition website.

You can now see my submission in the gallery section here:

And my name is on the list of participants here:

It's very cool to see my work next to the work of other illustrators on the web. I feel so excited & energized now that I am moving my career forward and putting my name out there! Yeay!!!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

C is For Cake Drawing

Last night, I finished my latest drawing. Yeay!!! The subject is Zachary, son of my college roommate, Jess. Jess snapped the reference photo during a celebration of Zachary's first birthday. My favorite thing about this picture is the general love that babies have for making a mess with food. They will just smoosh cake, cookies, paint, and whatever colorful substance they can find all over themselves and light up a room with laughter. If only it was socially acceptable for adults to do this. The world would be more fun.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

From Pet Lover To Business Owner...

I should introduce myself, since this is my first blog. My name is Mia Houman and I am perhaps just creative. Last February, at the ripe age of 27, I left my cushy publishing job at a government contractor behind in pursuit of greener pastures. Without divulging too many gruesome details, I had been excelling at my job but was horribly bored. I spent my days chained to a desk, editing military content. It was misery and I wanted to create.

After leaving my job, I thought about where to go. I had worked in several editorial positions. While I was talented with graphic design and text editing, I secretly longed to spend my days painting and drawing. I missed my 4 hour studio classes in college where I would tune out the world with headphones and just paint.

So, I decided to start my own business. To provide a little background, my business started as a hobby before my cubicle hell job. In between editorial jobs, I drew portraits of people's pets for fun and some extra money. The clients were unique characters and the work satisfied my urge to draw. I developed a website and thought about turning my hobby into a full-fledged business.

I became scared... The formalities of launching a small business seemed daunting and the downtime in between commissions was frustrating. Plus, I began to feel guilty because I wasn't generating a steady paycheck. I was newly married and my husband made an adequate living as an engineer. We could survive without my paycheck. But, I could barely survive my imagination and churning mind.

So... I applied for another job and found myself at the above-mentioned government contractor. It was fun for a while. I felt useful again, wearing cute corporate outfits and earning a steady paycheck. I even won awards for my good work! Who doesn't enjoy awards? Over time, my fun projects began to disappear and work was like prison. So... I left.

The opportunities were endless and the need to pursue my dreams became clear. I bought all of the recommended art business books and spent weeks reading about marketing and the business details that allow you to stay afloat. I conducted web research on the laws for starting a new business and obtained all of the necessary licenses ALL BY MYSELF! I even attended a few small business counseling sessions. I was officially a business in May 2006.

Here I am in November with commissions under my belt and a website that I am proud of. I try to complete a new piece every few days. To be honest, I would like more commissions!!! I have developed simultaneous goals along with my business. I have several published digital illustrations from my previous jobs, but am working to expand into the children's market. I feel that my work is perfect for the 5-10 age children's market. It also would work in the preschool market.

But enough about these details for now... If you are interested in a pet portrait or my work, contact me via email or phone. My information is listed on my website:

In the meantime, leave comments... Lots of them! I would love to hear from other illustrators or pet lovers!