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CW Design’s Creative Christmas Giveaway

Hi, everyone! Just in time for Christmas, a friend of mine is offering a creative giveaway contest. Enter for a chance to win:

Giveaway contest ends December 22, 2017 so enter today!
I've been a little quiet... a little too quiet... on DA this year. I am contemplating a month-long fast from Facebook to free up time to write for my blogs and do a little art on the side. I would love to do an illustration, a photo-manipulation, and a traditional painting by the end of January. The holidays can be challenging, but I am going to be taking some time off work over the Christmas/New Years holiday so I might be able to squeeze in a little bit of artistic fun.

UPDATE: We received positive news on the condition of my cousin, Scott. Some of the tests came back and his heart seems okay. Praise the Lord! He is alive and is recovering!

Thank you to everyone who has been praying for Scott, his family, and the medical team. Please continue to lift Scotty up in prayer for healing and recovery.

"... and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much." James 5:16

Original Post

I have an urgent prayer request: My 26-year-old cousin, Scott, was rushed to the hospital yesterday and was in ICU. He survived the night and is awake. (Praise the Lord!) However, his condition is still very serious. Doctors are running tests now to determine the cause. Please shower him, his family, and the medical staff tending to him in your prayers.

"Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have given me relief when I was in distress. Be gracious to me and hear my prayer!" Psalm 4:1, ESV

Breaking Silence

Journal Entry: Mon Aug 11, 2014, 11:10 AM
Hello to all of my friends and followers here on DA! It just dawned on me that my last journal entry is postmarked Monday, October 14, 2013, and it has been many months since the last time I logged into DA.

In April 2014, I married the wonderful and talented Bradley in a gorgeous outdoor ceremony at a local park with 170 of our closest family and friends. We enjoyed two mini-honeymoon trips: the first a weekend getaway to Sedona and the Grand Canyon in the beautiful state of Arizona; and the second was a four-day road excursion in California where we drove the Avenue of the Giants and hiked among the gigantic coast redwoods before visiting Monterrey, Carmel-by-the-Sea, and the famous Old Fisherman’s Wharf and the Monterrey Bay Aquarium. We also spent some time with the in-laws at their family farm in central California and enjoyed his family reunion up near Napa Valley. We have been quite busy!!

I am now officially Jacquelyn Van Sant, and this change may soon be reflected in my DA account. I am going to completely re-brand my online presence, starting with my professional site and blogs. In addition to re-branding, I have some huge ideas for future projects. I am in the brainstorming phase so I’ll be keeping it all hush-hush until I can sort out the feasible ideas and make plans to move forward with those.

Over the next few weeks, I will do my best to sort through the 200+ messages and notifications that have piled up during my absence. I will response to the ones that require a response, and if you do not hear from me, please accept my apologies. It is not from lack of interest, it is simply due to a lack of time.

In addition to my full-time job as a “web application developer” (aka a front-end web developer primarily for Drupal-based sites) for a large university, I am working on a few freelancing projects on the side: I am building two brand new websites and participating in a small writing/illustration project that will be published. Work, freelancing, organizing the three-bed home we are renting, entertaining guests, and fulfilling duties at my local church are keeping me hopping!

So here is to my fantastic husband, a long life at each other’s side, and our various creative endeavors!

PS: I am no longer blonde. Hmm… I will have to update my avatar.

A little premature but...

Journal Entry: Mon Oct 14, 2013, 2:41 PM
So this might be a little premature but, encouraged by my amazing boyfriend and inspired by all of my tremendously talented artist friends, I have been doing research into how to produce custom merchandise, such as acrylic charms, all sorts of stickers, greeting cards, tote bags, throw pillows, and even plushies. Once you know the tightly guarded secret surrounding where the indie artists get their amazing merchandise produced, the only other prerequisites before setting out on your own journey of self-producing awesome goodies is the ideas and the funding!

I'm one-third of the way there! Whoo-hoo!

Now I just need to make the time to develop some cool art that I can get merchandise for and sell. Cute characters are always popular, but instead of just popping out random fluff, I would really like to develop a brand. A children's book idea has been floating around in my mind for a few months, perhaps I should start conceptualizing the artwork. That way, not only would I have a children's book, but awesome goodies to sell that will enhance the experience. Or should that be flipped? I will have some awesome art and goodies to sell and eventually publish an accompanying children's book. Hmm...

I do think squee-worthy, adorable, cute characters are the way to go, though. There is definitely a market for the adorable, especially if it is adorable with a twist. That twist could be artistic or thematic. I need to start generating ideas and working on sketches.

Oh, and I'm going to be giving NaNoWriMo a go this year as well. This will be my ninth year participating, and my score card is tied with 4 wins and 4 losses. I'll be a little bit of a rebel by re-visiting my 2006 & 2007 novel... my masterpiece... Healer's Quest. It has gone through numerous revisions and has exploded from a single novel to possibly an entire series. So I'll be starting completely fresh and focus on writing and completely Book 1 this November. Exciting! And a bit nerve-wrecking.

Designs in Print!

Journal Entry: Mon Sep 9, 2013, 7:55 PM
I popped on to DA to share some exciting news. In spite of a little hiatus -- due to work, family, and life -- I am quite happy to share that some of my recent designs and drawings are now in print

A close friend of mine approached me about two weeks ago with a request: could I design the cover for a Bible study workbook she wrote for youth in Trinidad. I agreed and had a blast coming up with the covers for both the student workbook and teachers handbook. Two days before the book(s) were to go to print, she asked if I could draw a mascot to be used throughout the workbooks... an anthropomorphic Bible. 

Filled with excitement and motivated by the looming deadline, I ended up with two mascots: James and Newie. She loved them, her husband loved them, and the publishers loved them. To make a long story short, the workbooks are now printed and I could not wait to share some images.

Waymarks by jacquelynvansant

The cute Bibles were drawn on my new Wacom Cintiq tablet... the first "doodles" that have seen the light of day! 

Though my DA has been a bit silent lately, it will be getting more lively in the near future as I put some plans into motion. To see what I have been up to in addition to work and family, check out this video I created using photos and video clips by my talented boyfriend Bradley:…

29th Birthday

Journal Entry: Mon Apr 15, 2013, 11:26 AM
Happy birthday to me! Happy birthday to me!

Today is my 29th birthday, and though I have never been really "big" on celebrating birthdays (it is a family thing), this year has been different. It has been an all-out birthday weekend... four days straight of birthday surprises, actually.

The awesome young people at my church threw me a very nice birthday dinner/game night Saturday after Sabbath. Yesterday my boyfriend took me to Arizona's Museum of Natural History, which was a blast. Since my birthday is today, I took the day off of work to relax (do some needed shopping) and be able to enjoy whatever I do this evening.



Journal Entry: Mon Mar 25, 2013, 8:11 PM
Last week I came down with a pretty bad headcold; it even kept me out of work for two days. I did it to myself, though. I allowed my immune system to get rundown with over-stretching myself causing stress, not getting enough sleep, and then being bombarded with illness from coworkers and church members... It was bound to happen.

Fortunately, I am recovering nicely. Unfortunately, falling sick has caused me to fall even further behind on a website project. I need to finish it this week so that is where my focus is going to be.

Once that is done, I hope to spend a little bit of time sketching and adding new things to my DA.

Obsessed with the Doctor

Journal Entry: Wed Nov 28, 2012, 8:31 PM
Yeah... so... I finally caved and started watching the new(ish) series of BBC's Doctor Who on Netflicks earlier this month. (One of the reasons my DA has been silent and I just gave up NaNoWriMo this November. Pathetic!) I've just started Season 6 with Matt Smith as the 11th Doctor. My goodness, I have never been so enthralled with a character from a TV series as I am with the 10th Doctor (David Tennant). It's almost irritating how mesmerizing that man is. I had to get it out of my head so I wrote a brief blog to try to make sense of it.…

When things happen, they happen fast!

Journal Entry: Thu Oct 4, 2012, 11:25 PM
As mentioned in my last journal entry, it was time to move away from Virginia and start a new life in Arizona. So much has happened between then and now that I'm still trying to wrap my head around it all. The last two weeks have gone by in a flash.

I arrived to Arizona, found a nice one-bedroom apartment (that accepts large dogs!) on my first day apartment-hunting, moved into said apartment, went to a part-time job interview and was told to put in my resume for a full-time position that had just opened up, attended a second interview for the full-time position... and today I received the wonderful call with the offer of the full-time position at an university.

The job title is "Web Application Developer", but it basically means web designer/developer responsible for maintaining and improving the university's Graduate College's website and all its sub-sites (for various departments and programs).

None of this would have been possible without my family helping me with this transition, and I certainly would not have been so calm and collected without my faith that everything would work out however God intended it to.

So my DA will probably be a quiet for just a little longer. I have a few things that I have to catch up on. However, I just bought a brand new printer/scanner today and so I do hope to have some new pieces for the gallery sometime. I need to get back into sketching and drawing regularly. :aww:


Journal Entry: Wed Sep 19, 2012, 9:37 AM
Sooo… Long story short: I'm moving to Arizona! And I'm leaving Virginia for good this Friday. Yes, that is in two days. I'm taking the bare necessities, packing up my car and my mom's car, taking my dog, and heading out! I am going to miss quite a few good friends here and am a little sad I cannot say farewell properly, but when the Lord moves, things happen fast. Very excited but a little nervous, too, to be moving out on my own.

There and Back Again

Journal Entry: Sun Sep 9, 2012, 7:56 PM
In the previous thirteen days, I have driven from Virginia to Arizona to California and back... and it was quite a fun trip! I was able to be present when my first niece (after five nephews) was born, spend time with both of my sisters and their families, attend the funeral of a family friend's husband, visit with my precious church family from my last home in California, and enjoy the company of my mom the entire time. It was fantastic!

However, I am very glad to be home again. Hopefully, I will have a few sketches or at least one photo-manip or something to upload later this week. If not, please note that some new stuff is in the works.

I have also decided that I need to be in Arizona, so I'm going to concentrate my job hunting there in the hopes of moving. After living in the Mojave Desert for three years, the desert has become my favorite place to be. Virginia, especially northern Virginia in the foothills of the Shenandoah Mountains, is very beautiful; however, I long to be in the big blue-blue expanse of the sky, the golden heat of the sunshine, and the gorgeous landscape of the desert. I feel happier in the southwest.

So Happy!

Journal Entry: Thu Aug 30, 2012, 1:22 PM
My mom and I left our home in northern Virginia at 8:15am on Monday and drove across the country, arriving in Phoenix around 6:30pm Wednesday evening. That is the fastest it has ever taken us to make this trip, and praise the Lord, we were just in time!

Around 5:20 this morning, we received a text and call from my older sister that they were heading off to the hospital. We showed up about 7:20 or so, and my niece, Brianna, was born at 9:42am. Both my sister and my niece are doing fine.

So very happy! :dance:

For a gorgeous photo I took and then tweaked in Photoshop, go ->…

Needing A Tablet

Journal Entry: Sat Aug 25, 2012, 6:49 PM
So a year ago this October my precious TabletPC, on which I did all of my digital sketching and painting, completely died. Blue screen of death and all. Fortunately, I had already purchased my, then, brand new 15" Macbook Pro. However, that left me without a tablet of any kind. The professional-grade tablet I desperately wanted from Wacom was out-of-stock by the time I was ready for it.

I have waited and waited and waited, and finally Wacom has the tablet I really want: Cintiq 22HD.… Unfortunately, the price tag is $1,999.00. Unfortunately, I have not been working since 2010 so my savings are dwindling lower than I am comfortable with. Now I face the dilemma of a choice: drain the last of my savings for the $2000+ dollars on the tablet of my dreams so I can jump-start my professional career or wait awhile to save up some money and possibly have the tablet-of-my-dreams go out of stock again.

I'm a bit of a penny-pincher. It was difficult to finally cave and buy the Mac (which I'm sooooo glad I did, especially since I was a full-time college student and so I received Microsoft Office for Mac for free and had a HUGE discount on Adobe's CS5.5). Even then, I had a pretty decent padding in my savings. Now, though, my savings are really draining, and I'm nervous to pull out that much, especially since there's a five-day conference I must attend over the New Years in Seattle that has a registration fee, airfare, and hotel costs.

I'm going to visit my sisters in a few days. When I return, maybe I should open commissions (photo-manips and/or traditional art) and see if I can get at least some of the cost for the Tablet covered that way.

I need the tablet so badly. *face desk*

Tiding Up

Journal Entry: Tue Aug 21, 2012, 8:09 AM
Later this week, I am going to do a bit of tiding up in my DA gallery. Nothing is going to be removed, but my older works will be "archived" into a subfolder, newer works will be placed in relevant subfolders as well, and only a select few of my best works will remain in the Featured Gallery. It would be neater, easier to navigate, and better to showcase my improved artistic skills.

I am also working on a completely new professional portfolio. Right now -- as you can see -- the site is a blank shell, but I hope to get some of my best works up in the portfolio section by the end of the week. This fall has too many things going on so I'll be looking for a job after the new year; however, that does not mean I cannot do some freelance web design between now and then. At the very least, I should set up an account and sell stock images. (Though I have not posted any to my DA, I take a lot of photos and some are of really good quality.)

In other news, I'm teaching Keyboarding and Computer Skills at a local Christian private school with grades 1-8. That will start in mid-September, and I look forward to teaching. For many years I was a professional tutor, so I'm interested in seeing the similarities and differences in teaching a class of 10 or so. Personally, though, I prefer older ages (high school and college). I taught youth (middle and high school ages) Sabbath School at my church in California and I'm the young adult/young professional Sabbath School teacher (ages 18-35) at my current church. That is my niche, where I feel most comfortable and useful. Many people tell me I should continue for a Masters and become a college professor. Maybe one day.

Love Series

Journal Entry: Wed Jul 11, 2012, 5:53 PM
I am currently working on a new art series based off the passage of 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. This series is done in a more feminine style than I usually do, inspired by the various rustic yet elegant styles of many home, gift, and wall decor.

The color palette was chosen based on my personal preferences (and match the color scheme of my home), and the art utilizes vintage photographs. In the background faintly visible is the entire 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 passage in French, because French is a beautiful language and I happen to be able to read it.

As of July 17, I have completed the first nine pieces to the collage; there will be twelve pieces altogether. I specifically designed each piece with printing in mind (high resolution and dpi and in CYMK colors) as I would like to see about maybe getting them printed on canvas or tiles to be hung on my wall. Maybe greeting cards. That sort of thing. The versions I posted to my gallery are compressed web versions.

Love Series (in-progress)
Love Series I by jacquelynvansant Love Series II by jacquelynvansant Love Series III by jacquelynvansant
Love Series IV by jacquelynvansant Love Series V by jacquelynvansant Love Series VI by jacquelynvansant
Love Series VII by jacquelynvansant Love Series VIII by jacquelynvansant Love Series IX by jacquelynvansant

My mother absolutely loves the art so far, and she made the suggestion of, once this series is complete, creating another series in a more masculine style (still using 1 Corinthians 13:4-8) that might appeal to men.

I hope to get another two or three done tonight. As I complete the series over the next few days, I may go back and tweak the ones already published. In particular, I may adjust the borders as my idea is that, if they were hung on the wall, it would make one big picture with a single outer frame. Also, as more of the pieces are completed and I am able to see them side-by-side, I may have to make some minor adjustments to the coloring, text, etc.

You may be wondering: "Jacqui, of all the possibilities out there, why a Love series?" Well, to put it simply, 1 Corinthians 3:4-8 is one of my favorite passages from the Bible, because of its timeless and profound yet simplistic definition of love. Looking around the world today, and it is obvious that the world's definition of love has fallen so far from what real love is supposed to be. We are selfish people in a society that promotes selfishness, and I find the message of 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 calling me back to a more beautiful, more fulfilling, more wonderful way of living and caring about others. When we embrace love as it is defined here, we will find contentment and joy.

Creative Journaling

Journal Entry: Fri Jul 6, 2012, 8:16 PM
I have been keeping physical journals off and on since I was in middle school, though most attempts ended in only a few dozen entries and months (if not years) of silence in-between. However, since August 2011, I have managed to transform my journaling into an activity that is fun, creative, and easier to do on a regular basis through the use of scrapbooking stickers, pressed flowers, photos, souvenirs from trips and outings, my own doodles, quotes, and much more.

Continue reading (with photos!) »

Celebration, Part Two

Journal Entry: Thu Apr 26, 2012, 1:42 PM
Eleven days ago, I was celebrating my 28th birthday, and now I have another reason to celebrate.

My diploma for a bachelor of science in multimedia design and development, with an emphasis in web design/development, arrived today! To my surprise, the university snuck in an award of excellence for maintaining a 4.0 GPA. Two years filled with long days, late nights, and tons of hard work were well worth the time and effort.

I can breathe a huge sigh of relief, even though now I am in the middle of the job search. Well, in all honesty, the job search has been temporarily put on hold while I help my parents fix up their house before they put it on the market. They want to sell their house and move to Florida to be closer to my grandmother. Still, I can only procrastinate on the job hunt for so long.

Anyway, I have another reason to celebrate so all that is left is the actual celebrating part.

I'm Off to Celebrate...

Journal Entry: Sun Apr 15, 2012, 6:13 AM
I'm off to celebrate my birthday. It is hard to believe that as of today, I am 28-years-old. I do not feel any older than 20, and I am still mistaken as being anywhere between 18-22. (Definitely a compliment!)

Planning, planning...

Journal Entry: Thu Apr 12, 2012, 8:56 AM
I am waiting for a nice 6-8 hour stretch to work on my next photo-manipulation, which will be epic! However, I want it to be a surprise so I will not be dropping any hints as to the subject matter.

Photo-manips are unbelievably fun, but I am missing doing more traditional art. Right now I am paying off my student loans, but sometime soon I am going to have to bite the bullet and buy a new tablet. The one I was saving for--Cintiq 21UX by Wacom--is sold out. It is a huge let-down, because I saved up the money and got very psyched about it only to find it out of stock. I waited for about six months hoping they would make some more, but to no avail. *sigh*

Right now I am also, reluctantly, on the job hunt with the goal of sending out three resumes a week. I have not sent out any resumes this week... Must do that today or tomorrow. Right now I need to do some massive cleaning and re-organizing, and I am way behind on my word count for April Fools Novels writing challenge I need to get 10,000 by Sunday, I am barely around 4,000. I need to stop procrastinating on that...

In other news, Sunday is my birthday. I am starting to feel old.