Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Silhouette Nutcracker die cut design

This week in the Silhouette store I'm working on a bunch of pretty complicated diecut designs. The first is a hopefully not too scary nutcracker... I always find them really creepy! My kids seem to like them, though, so this would probably be pretty awesome on a children's t-shirt or tote bag for the holidays.

I think this one would be difficult to figure out, so I created a quick color key (below; right click to download) to help when cutting the shapes from the different colors of cardstock. I recommend American Crafts or Michael's Recollections brand cardstock, and avoid the textured kinds. I'd love to see what you make with the design!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Silhouette swing card tutorial

There are several swing card available in the Silhouette design store like this one, and I've finally put together a tutorial showing how to assemble them so they actually swing when opened. (I put them together wrong when gluing on the pieces the first time... should have made myself a tutorial to follow, ha!)

Monday, October 19, 2015

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Teeny tiny art

I've decided to miniaturize my daily paintings for the 30 day challenge I started yesterday. Oddly it's much more difficult to produce something good that's 2.5" x 3". I thought the ease of making good art would be directly proportional to its size, but apparently that's not the case. This took me a good two hours of fiddling around to get something moderately decent!

Here's my first attempt. It may soon end up stuck on the wall of my daughter's Barbie sized dollhouse, but in the meantime it looks nice on my bulletin board.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

30 paintings in 30 days? or until I can't take it any more and need to glue some stuff to other stuff.

Today I'm starting a painting a day challenge for the month of September. I know of artists doing 365 day challenges but that seems a little ambitious for me at this point in my life. Maybe in a couple years when all day school for all children in my house becomes a reality.

In the meantime I'm painting 30 garden related (floral? but not limiting myself) watercolors this month just to see if I can do it without getting completely bored. Here's the first.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015


Just a short post to share a quick preview of the upcoming issue of UPPERCASE magazine. I'm one of 30 illustrators profiled in it... what an honor! Also, I thought I should point out that I don't really have pink hair at this time in real life, though I did for a short time in college. I just like the color.

A video posted by Janine Vangool (@uppercasemag) on

Wednesday, July 22, 2015


Two times in the past few years I've been lucky enough to be able to work on some of my dream projects. One was the fiberglass bulldog that I painted all over with Illinois wildflowers. Working on it in our family room with my newly-crawling son afoot should make it pretty obvious that I really wanted to do it... or that I'm certifiably nuts.

The other was this: a Project Life core kit that's being released today. I am amazed and quite proud of myself that I created this in only about a month and a half: dozens and dozens of individual patterns, textures and designs; a little hand painting, a little sketching, some collage, even bits of my children's artwork.

I love its name, Bloom, because of the obvious reference to flowers and gardens -- I'm a bit of a plant hoarder and this kit is full of bright, happy blooms -- and because of the metaphor: the strong roots and love of a family helps children bloom and grow.

I was so thrilled to be asked to work on this project and am even happier to finally have it out in the world. Can't wait to see what you do with it!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Contests, hound dogs, and the end of the winter of my discontent

When I was a kid, we lived near ski areas, ice skating rinks and open fields where we'd cross country ski on weekend afternoons. I was never too keen on winter in general, but having things to do helped.

Now I have small children and a dog, I have to drive and walk in the nasty slushy ickiness, and I have to say, winter has really lost its luster. I also now live in a fairly flat and suburban area (meaning, no skiing, no long solo walks in the woods, no ice skating on the frozen creek across from the school), and we've been cooped up in this house for what seems like ten years, bickering and screaming and throwing plastic bricks at one another. I am SO ready for you, warm temperatures that bring peace and quiet to the inside of homes across the land.

To make myself feel better, I've been doing some personal work lately. Fun things like drawing beagles and splooshy watercolor amoebas as I sit in the TV room waiting for my son's preschool class to end. The beagles ended up in this week's Spoonflower contest and the watercolors ended up as a semifinalist in the Pattern Observer/P&B Textiles contest.

I have a bunch of other stuff in the works... tons of Surtex prep (my work will be there with my fabulous agent, Painted Planet), a giant (and secret until July) mega-project that is done and currently in production, a logo design, new Silhouette diecut designs and the usual sketchbook and collage nonsense.

Tonight they say we're going to get about two inches of snow. I think I am slowly losing my mind. Maybe I should send the kids upstairs to look for my lost marbles? (That actually kept them busy for about 20 minutes once!!!)

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Ribbon storage box assembly instructions

Several people have been asking for a tutorial for this ribbon box design, so here you go! Hopefully you can make sense of my potentially too technical drawings. :)

Monday, February 23, 2015

Busy, busy

I need to get on a schedule with blog & FB posting. It's just too easy to overlook it for months (er, half a year) at a time.

My excuse this time is an autumn funk, which ended quite suddenly when a couple big opportunities came in a couple weeks before Christmas. I went from feeling like giving up all this art nonsense to crazy busy all within a couple days.

The project I'm still wrapping up I can't talk about yet, but it's pretty exciting and something I've been wanting to do for years. The other news is that I'm thrilled to be represented by Painted Planet Licensing Group! Now I get to be a real artist like I've wanted to be since I was three!

In other news and in no particular order, here are a few things I've been working on lately.

Experimenting with watercolor, hand-drawn elements + digital. I really love typography and watercolor, and the combination of messy + hard-edged here is really appealing to me.

This illustration is in the Crazy Cat Lady Planner, since I'm a former one of those myself. You know you need one (link to Etsy shop)! This was all digital but based on a pencil sketch.

Collage + paint. Trying to figure out how to make these marketable because I love doing them so much.

And my latest Make Art That Sells Bootcamp project. This one is completely handpainted on a slice of birch.My acrylic skills are a little rusty and still can't find my good brushes.

I've been really trying to figure out how to combine all the things I love to do into something marketable. Drawing, painting, collage, digital. I'm still not sure my style is apparent in all the different pieces, like those above. One of these days I'll figure it all out.