Illustration – Patient Optimism

An optimist understands that life can be a bumpy road…”

– Harvey Mackay

“Choose to be optimistic. It feels better.” 

– Dalai Lama

Creating an illustration is a lot like baking a cake. Similar to buttering the pans I create a sketch, then lay out all of my ingredients – the symbolism I want to use for an additional message, or visual storytelling.

Through the study of art history I learned about the use of symbolism as a language. I love this, using symbolism or semiology is like a creating coded message, a story within a story. Although it may not be recognized or understood, I have a great time gathering “my ingredients” and coding a message.

In this illustration for the new year, I used simple symbolism as a wish or a prayer;

Periwinkle Blue;

For the colour palette I used mainly different shades of periwinkle blue, representing serenity, calmness, winter, and ice. Periwinkle is also an anchoring hue, and we all need a bit of safe anchoring.


Snowflakes can symbolize joy, delicacy, clarity, transformation, fragility and the fleeting nature of life. Life seems to be changing faster than ever and I am reminded to truly value and embrace the present moment. Each day is a new day full of change and opportunities.


Throughout time stripes have symbolized many, many things. Historically there was a time that a person could not wear certain colours (only royalty) and by decree criminals, jesters and prostitutes had to wear stripes. In art stripes symbolize rhythm, unity, and like the zebra, they represent community, freedom, balance. I am choosing it to represent the latter.

The Dot;

Historically the dot represents truth. It is simple yet effective. The dot is honest – it is what it is, and it doesn’t try to hide anything or be something it is not. ( How refreshing is that? The truth brings integrity, acceptance, and peace. Steady-eddy.

Three Figures;

The trinity. This symbol is of universal significance – it is found throughout history and all over the world. It is a symbol of the unity of body, mind and spirit and the endeavor to know them. I want them as my best friends.

“It’s not that optimism solves all of life’s problems; it is just that it can sometimes make the difference between coping and collapsing.” 

– Lucy MacDonald

Many are living through different and difficult experiences, and not sure where things are headed.

I am patiently optimistic for what 2023 will bring, and so very grateful for the positive changes that can arrive after the challenges.

Thank you and Happy New Year!

    1. Happy New Year to you Cathy! Thank you so much, I’m to explore the art of illustration and symbolism has always been a fascinating language to include. So happy you liked it!


  1. Everything about your artwork is wonderful, dear Liza, and I appreciate you sharing your creative considerations, selections and process…always an inspiration! Wishing for you all the best in the year ahead, my friend ~ Happy New Year! 😍🌻

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Phil, your kindness is such a powerful gift. I am always uplifted, inspired, and grateful upon receiving your thoughtful and supportive comments. Thank you my friend, I’m glad you liked it. Wishing you all the best as well in 2023, and everything you need for that best in every moment. Happy New Year! ☮️❤️⭐️

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on Mitch Teemley and commented:
    My Featured Blogger this week is artist, illustrator and graphic designer Liza Hartman. Liza not only regularly shares marvellous samples of her work, but lets us in on the techniques and themes she has employed in creating them. Result? Our appreciation for her talent and the heart behind it increase with every post!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for the fascinating lesson in symbolism, Liza.
    I am especially drawn to snowflakes. They are so intricate, delicate, and unique – an example of the infinite variety of creation. I think our Creator must have had such fun designing all the sizes, shapes, colors, and textures. And how kind of Him to let us share in the joy by giving us some of His creative abilities. Thanks for sharing yours with us!

    Liked by 1 person


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