Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Sleeping Newborn

The sleeping newborn above belongs to my friends, Mike and Kira. He is no longer a newborn. In fact, a more current picture is posted in a separate entry below (the picture of the adorable baby with two labs). I drew this picture as a gift to Mike and Kira for Christmas. Babies grow out of this stage so quickly. It's neat to have a permanent reminder of when they were so tiny.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Illustration Friday - Peace

To me, there is nothing more peaceful than a sleeping child or animal. Happy holidays!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Two Dogs and An Adorable Baby

Tis' the season to be jolly and gushing. Especially when I have the privilege of drawing cute babies and canines. With the holiday season approaching, my clients have begun opening their gifts. This means that I can begin posting their portraits for their relatives and friends to enjoy on the web (with the client's permission, of course).

The holiday portrait above features an adorable baby named Colin and two, friendly labs, Belle and Truffle. I love that his shirt says "Little Devil". Aren't baby outfits cute? This particular sweatshirt also has tiny horns on the hood, but they were not visible in the photo. It's ok, though. Colin is far from devil status.

I hope that you enjoy the first holiday portrait. There are more to come. Stay tuned for more updates! Happy holidays!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Case Of The Missing Phone

My cell phone has gone missing! This may not seem like a big deal, but I use my cell phone as my business phone. This way, I can speak with clients if they call while I am out of the house. I am working on recharging a previous phone with the same phone number. Just thought I would put the word out there, in case any clients were trying to reach me on my business line. It may be a few days before my business line is up and running again.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

I'm Entering The Art Show At The Dog Show!

Many of you have heard of the AKC, or the American Kennel Club. This is a national organization for purebred dogs. They hold dog shows every year, many of which are shown on tv (including the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show). What many people don't know is that the AKC also holds a nation-wide competition for dog art. It's called the Art Show At The Dog Show. Top artists compete every year for the grand prize - permanent exhibition at the AKC Museum of the Dog.

This year, I'm entering the Art Show At The Dog Show. It's an ambitious gesture, but I think that I am ready. I am entering four pieces - three pastel drawings and one sepia drawing. I am hoping to be accepted into the show with every inch of my soul. A win would be icing on the cake.

So... Wish me luck! Posted above are two of my entered drawings. I should find out in January if I was accepted.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

JA Art Auction

This Friday, Junior Achievement of CNY is hosting an art auction. The auction will feature signed prints and memorabilia. It's a great selection of work for a great cause. I am donating an 8 x 10" custom pet portrait to the auction. One hundred percent of the proceeds will go to Junior Achievement. If you are looking for a pet portrait, this is an excellent opportunity to enjoy a portrait with one hundred percent of the proceeds going to a great charity.

Please email me if you are interested in attending the auction. I can send more information about location, times, etc.

Happy holidays!

Monday, December 04, 2006

V is For Vacation

Just wanted to let everyone know that I am back from Florida in one piece. Golden Illustrations is officially open for business after closing while I was enjoying the Florida sun. I haven't posted in ages. Things have been ridiculously busy.

You may have noticed that there are not many new pieces on my website or new postings. This is because I am tackling a long list of Christmas orders, which are not for view until after the holidays. I protect my clients and want holiday gifts to be a surprise for the recipients.

This is a very exciting time. Business is picking up and I am very greatful. I amazed at how my work is developed in a year's time. When I first launched my business, I only offered black and white dog portraits. Now, my business has grown to include sepia and color portraits of people, cats, wildlife, and dogs. It's unreal how things have evolved.

Well, I better return to my current project. Happy holidays to all!!!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

My Computer Hates Me

Some of you reading this may have received a weird email from me saying that Golden Illustrations will be closed next week and urging you to buy a pet portrait. This is so embarrassing.... I drafted that message as a response to any business emails that come through while I am on vacation.

Unfortunately, the auto-response was set wrong and it sent this message as a response to any email that has come through my business account. This includes emails to business centers, clients, friends, and fellow illustrators. As a result, businesses and emails have sent me emails saying things such as "What is this?" and "I didn't send you an email recently."

So in response to this very un-funny matter, I am sending sincere apologies to all affected. This is embarrassing and I wish you could punish a computer for behaving badly.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I Feel Like Santa Claus!

It's been quite a few days since I posted something, so I figured I would keep the writing juices flowing with an update. It's that time of year that leaves me feeling warm and fuzzy - the season of giving. I love the holidays. Especially since I started my business. Drawing portraits as gifts makes me feel like Santa Claus. Not that I have an ego problem. Perhaps I should rephrase that and say that I feel like an elf. I work daily in my holiday workshop and create brightly-colored pieces of art for all of the good men and women out there. I know they've been nice when a client wants to give such a meaningful gift, rather than say.... a tie or socks.

To summarize my progress, several pieces are in the workshop currently. However, you can't see them. They are holiday gifts and will remain a secret until their recipient opens them and approves that they be shown to the masses. I am expecting that the website will have quite a few new pieces up after the holidays. Ah, that makes me feel giddy and happy inside. I like new things.

I know that people like visuals, so I will upload a picture that is not completely new to this entry. It keeps things visually interesting. The picture above was on my flyer in the previous post. Yawn.... I know. However, you don't know the cool story behind it.

I took this picture of my cat, Molly, hunting through my sheer curtains on a well-lit day. The light seemed to veil her beautifully and there is something stunning about a cat's focus on prey. This drawing was sort of an experiment to see if I could draw sheer curtains with a scene behind them. It worked. It's one of my favorite pieces. So much so, that I entered it in the Artist's Magazine All Media competition yesterday. The winners are published in the Artist's Magazine and receive cash, art books, and a subscription to the magazine. I used to receive the Artist's Magazine in college. One of my professors (Murray Tinkelman) was featured in it.

So... Enjoy the visual above and have a happy Thanksgiving. When you're in the crowded mall, looking at the endless lines, consider buying a pet portrait for your loved ones. It is painless to purchase and your relatives will love it more than socks or a tie. Even if they were made by a fancy designer. Hohoho!!!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Holiday Portraits!!!

One of my latest projects involves promotion. I dream of a day that I can relax and draw all day with commissions sending themselves to me. I could enjoy a cold drink by the pool, be rich and famous, and life would be so simple.... Ah....

Unfortunately, I live in reality, where commissions come around holidays, birthdays, or after mailings. I sometimes worry about sending mailings to businesses and my friends, because I am soliciting. Sort of. But... I have to eat, buy shoes, and survive. So, the friends will be bombarded every so often with flyers and updates. Ha!

The flyer above was designed with the holidays in mind. I know that a Golden Illustrations portrait makes an awesome gift. I give them to friends and family every year. They never disappoint. The holiday gift commissions that have come through have been extremely positive experiences. Like a whining child, I want more!!! I love to make people happy and pictures of family and pets touch a person's heart in a way that a video or photo cannot. If you are interested in commissioning a portrait, please contact me. We can work out a nice deal for the holidays... And your relatives and friends will love you even more!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Drawing Dogs Can Be A Spiritual Experience

The pastel drawing above is of my very special companion, Sasha. She is a Diva and will accept nothing less as a description. Some dogs make unforgettable companions, but Sasha is more than a mere companion. She is always a few feet away from me, whether I am drawing or sharing a cookie with her at the neighborhood picnic. Although she is absolutely gorgeous and sometimes stubborn, she will melt even the coldest shrew with her smile. I took the reference picture for this piece in the bedroom of our house, underneath a sunlit window. She looked up at me with such innocence. It was an unforgettable moment and I am so thankful that I had my camera in my hands at that moment. This piece seems very spiritual to me. I think it definitely shows the innocence of the animals in our lives... Or a spotlight on an animated diva. What do you think?

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!