I started a new job about three months ago and it’s been FANTASTIC. I’m an illustrator for Cricut and I absolutely love it. Buuuut even though I work as an artist full time now, I’ve been neglecting my personal work. I want to get back into the swing of posting more personal artwork/crafts and since I love tigers here’s an Aztec inspired tiger. 🙂
A little over three years ago, Scott and I lost our first child. We found out at 19 weeks that our son had several terminal birth defects. There was nothing the doctors could do to help him and after a lot of tests they were unable to determine a cause. The only good news we received from the tests is it wasn’t genetic so chances are very slim it’ll ever happen again. So basically we won the worst lottery imaginable…
We spent the next two months trying to enjoy every moment we had with our son. We went to weekly appointments to listen to his heart and see how his condition was progressing. With each appointment his heartbeat weakened until on December 5th we heard what we’d been dreading – silence. Our baby boy was gone. Kyden James Fife was born sleeping on the morning of December 8th and we laid him to rest on December 13th.
Just over a year later, Scott got me an unfinished trunk for Christmas where I could put all of the keepsakes we’d collected for Kyden. I’m big into crafting so I was super excited to design it just for Kyden. I started working on it right away; then life happened and it literally was put on a shelf. Two years later, I finally finished it!
We chose the lamb to represent Kyden for a couple of reasons – first we were given a lamb stuffed animal in the care box we received at the hospital when he was born. When I saw it, I immediately thought of my son and knew it was the perfect animal to represent his short little life here on earth. Second, because Kyden was born in December, our thoughts were also heavily on our Savior, Jesus Christ. Not only were we celebrating Christmas, but Jesus is known as the Shepherd and the Lamb. So our little Kyden lamb reminds us of our Savior and all He has done for our family – including giving us the strength to endure this trial.
For the trunk I designed a flying angel lamb to represent Kyden and used a wood burner to inscribe the design into the sides of the trunk. I’ve never done wood burning before so this was a fun learning experience for me! I actually created the image on the computer, printed it out, taped it to the side of the trunk and punched holes along the line art using a thumbtack so I could then trace it with the wood burner. It worked really well!
Once the design was finished, I stained the entire outside of the trunk, painted parts of it blue (Kyden’s color), sanded the paint and re-stained it. The letters were originally black, but I painted them brown to match my color scheme. I then mod podged scrap paper on top and glued them to the front of the trunk using wood glue. I finished off the trunk by adding a couple of layers of clear protective coat and let the trunk sit out in our storage closet for a few days to air out. All in all, we feel it is a good representation of our son and perfect for storing our precious memories of him!
We have it above the cabinets in the kitchen now. We feel like he’s watching over us and we get a reminder of his sweet spirit every time we look up at it. We miss him, but know we’ll be reunited as a family someday!
I don’t do a lot of fanart – at least I haven’t in the past. But it turns out I very much enjoy creating it. The other night I was sitting at my computer, wondering what I wanted to draw when Caj entered my mind.
Caj is one of the griffin characters from Jess Owen’s Summer King Chronicles. He’s one of my favorite characters from the series and I’ve been meaning to draw him for awhile. So I came up with this! It’s just a fun character concept – how I picture him. I have a goal of drawing the majority of the characters because I love making them jump out of my imagination for everyone to see!
As always – I highly recommend checking out this series! It’s a fun read with well developed characters and story! I got sucked in the moment I started reading them and have been a huge fan ever since! And if you ever get a chance to talk to Jess herself you won’t regret it – she’s a truly kind and caring individual who loves and appreciates her fans!
It’s been awhile, but I haven’t forgotten about finishing my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle portraits! I started with Leonardo, then did Raphael. And now we have the third brother – everyone’s favorite nerdy, Bo Staff wielding ninja turtle – Donatello!
I took more time on this one – I’ll admit it, those gadgets were a little tricky for me. I actually started this several months ago and wasn’t really happy with the direction it was going. Pretty soon other things took precedence in my life and this was shoved to the back burner. I was finally able to sit down and re-visit it last week and once I did I was able to finish it in about 10 minutes. Sometimes you just need a bit of break!
A commission for one of my favorite peoples – Jess Owen!
This is Brynja from the Summer King Chronicles. We meet Brynja in book 2 of this amazing series, Skyfire. Seriously, if you haven’t checked out her series yet, YOU NEED TO. Because these books are amazing! The third book isn’t available yet but you can preorder! I’ve actually read it because I got it early along with others who supported her most recent kickstarter, and let me just say it’s as amazing as the first two! Here are links if you want to check them out!
Check out her website here: http://jessowen.com/
I had so much fun with this that it went from being a bust to a full-body piece. I just couldn’t help myself! I’ve been wanting to design pretty much all of the characters from this series and this just gave me the opportunity to get started! I was given some artistic freedom with her design and this is what I came up with. I hope you like it!
art © shay fife
Brynja © Jess Owen
Happy Valentine’s day! Okay, maybe I’m a little biased since it is my birthday, but Valentine’s Day is a really awesome holiday! Despite popular belief, you don’t have to have a significant other in order to enjoy all that this holiday has to offer! Valentine’s Day is about celebrating love in all it’s forms and I think the vast majority of us can think of at least one person in our lives who we love and appreciate.
So I decided it would be fun to celebrate this year Disney style by sketching some of my favorite “Disney couples”. When I first began I honestly intended to be drawing the typical fairy tale endings and happily ever afters that Disney is so well known for. However when I sat down and thought about it, I found there are so many other loving relationships found among Disney films and the majority of my favorites fall among these. Parent-child, Sibling, Friend. I love a good happily ever after, but those aren’t the only relationships that should be celebrated. I didn’t sketch all of them, but here’s a small handful of my favorites! Maybe I’ll do more in the future!
Now, go spread the love!