The first few months of this year have been my most productive ever- as far as drawing and filling my sketchbook. I have had a flood of fun ideas and I have let myself just go nuts drawing whatever comes into my head. I'm so thankful to finally get rid of the mental block I always had before of needing to know what a drawing's purpose was before really committing to it. Now I just let the inklings come to life whatever they might be. This one was a fun little oddball from last week. I am still working on the color version but I didn't have anything else new to post today so there you are. The more I draw the more I improve, whatever the subject might be, and improvement has definitely been happening. More so than in the past three years than any time before that.
I keep remembering something I heard in an Artcast podcast a few months ago. I wish I could remember who said it, or the exact wording. They said they like to think of it like this... every artist has like 2,000 crappy drawings in them. The faster you can get all those crappy ones out, the faster you can start turning out great drawings almost every time. It's so true! It works like magic. I know I have been making crappy drawings since I was a kid. Even when I hated them, somehow I just kept on producing. Lately I feel like I am finally beginning to reap the benefits of all those failures!
Thanks for reading/viewing. Stay tuned for more art,
Since I shared my 'Analog workspace' I thought I'd also show you my digital one. Where the color work and finishing magic happens. There is my small Wacom tablet there which is key (the pen is stored on the wall above reach of small hands). It's a nice simple space but it's smack dab in the middle of the chaos that is our house.
This is my first 'mobile post' so we will see how this works out. Might be handy for posts that feature photos but not finished art since that is stored on the computer anyway.
Thanks for reading.
Hi everyone, I am excited to share this piece I've just finished working on. Well, maybe it's finished. I think it could actually use a little more work but I am eager to share anyway. I had become a little rusty on some techniques I learned last summer from a tutorial I gained a lot of tips from... so I re-watched the tutorial again last night and worked on this piece all the while. (The tutorial is very very long, like over 3 hours long) Below is the 'before' sketch. I really liked the movement of the sketch and something about the character I thought lent itself to a painterly approach. Hoping to add this one to my permanent portfolio once the last details are finished.
As always, thanks for reading, Stay tuned for more art!
A Vampire Octopus? I can hear the question now, 'Where do you come up with these things?" Usually they come from my brain or something I was inspired by somewhere, but I get to blame this one on a handy little app called Character Design Shuffle by Silver. It's a fun little device that gives you randomly generated characters. As you can see, I got Vampire / Octopus. I did a quick sketch and it turned out fun.
In other news, I'm contemplating a huge personal project to begin soon. I know I want to dedicate some serious time and energy toward a creative project of my own this summer, I have several ideas and of course I am having trouble picking only one to commit to for the long haul. I was thinking of my options a few days ago and making notes about some ideas when the 2 yr old stole a book off of my desk. I chased the little hoodlum down and got it back. It was my copy of 'Steal Like an Artist' by Austin Kleon. I keep it on my desk but of course I haven't read it in a while. I flipped it open and instantly was mesmerized by this chart.
I find this chart slightly depressing but probably spot on. I guess my problem is often that you have to really keep believing in an idea or really just be committed to finishing in order to make it past that third and fourth and fifth point. I often do have 'the best idea ever'. But in the light of day... or many many days, ideas lose their sheen and start looking rather iffy. Still, even the lesser ideas would probably be worth it if they were completed. Pretty much anyone who ever did anything awesome had to make it past that rough patch, that Seth Godin calls 'The Dip'. He wrote a whole book about it. (though a small one I gather) So anyway, I guess it's pointless to say that you have to stick with something in order to succeed... that is obvious. But I guess the point I have to accept is that you go into a personal project knowing that you may not always find the motivation to keep going but you do it anyway. It helps if it's something you are really really excited about in the beginning, because you will need that memory of why you began, to carry you through.
Well, thanks for stopping by, More later,
My newest illustration. I was inspired by something I saw on Pinterest and this is one of those rare pieces that I thought of, sketched, digitized, rendered and finished all in one day. It's funny to me that yesterday it wasn't even on my radar and today it's part of my portfolio. I really like this one and because it was so heavy on line work I decided to go with just flat color which isn't something I usually do these days. I think it worked well for this particular drawing though. Let me know what you think. I also have a couple of 'making of' photos to share below...
This is my workspace. I am pretty proud of it, because- though I have tried many many times, It's has been very hard for me to find (or create) a space that really works for me. Part of the trouble in this house is finding a space that is far enough away from toddler hands yet close enough for me to keep an eye on everyone. In the end, the ideal spot turned out to be a corner of my kitchen. The reason I never used this area before is that it's only a "corner" if you cut off one entrance to the kitchen that is entirely superfluous. Once that doorway was out of commission, it created said 'corner' which I moved into with my drafting table and supplies.
Other benefits exist in my kitchen studio... If I open the kitchen door I have sunshine and a clear view out the screen door when my sweeties are playing in the back yard. Directly to the left of my station is a tiny tv, dvd player and my collection of classic films. (Lot's of Cary Grant and Frank Capra and some other gems) My husband's old speaker system is hooked up to the tv and one satelite speaker is sitting there behind the laptop. (I can unplug the speakers from the tv and plug them into my iphone or an ipod and blast some tunes or hear a podcast. I also can take ten steps to the stove and make myself a cup of tea. In the winter I can enjoy lovely baking smells while I work.
(by the way, that laptop is really ancient, it's so slow it hardly works at all, but I use it to look at reference photos from time to time.)
In case you were wondering, the thing my sketchbook is on is a tabletop drawing board that tilts and locks to the desired angle. Yes it's funny I guess to have one on top of a tilting drafting table but I had this problem, see... When I tilt my entire table I can't sit anything on it and it wastes a tremendous amount of space. This way I get the space and can remove the tilted area when needed. I do remove it often to have my whole desk back. I thought of the idea of one and then went to Hobby Lobby and found one just like I imagined (without even knowing if they really existed) and it was a reasonable price too. I've had it about a year now.
I have to thank one of my favorite artists, Austin Kleon for emphasizing the importance of having both a digital workspace (my computer desk) and an analog space for getting hand's on work done. I have done so much more drawing (and improving) since I have gotten this space established about a year ago. (Read more in his book "Steal Like an Artist"
I have got several sketches to post soon, a couple of which are showing in the above photo...
Thanks for reading,
Stay tuned for more art,
Oh, PS... the owl wall decor is something I made with scrapbook paper to match my kitchen and the list you see on the wall is the list of advice from Austin's second book- "Show Your Work". (which includes advice about keeping a blog and sharing your process, as I am doing)
Oh oh! PSS... and the book hanging in the pocket on the wall is my friend Leslie Lamb's Juvenile fiction book - "Kiss Bang Boom!"
Posting a new art piece today and I was able to get up early and work this morning while listening to my favorite podcast 'Chris Oatley's Artcast'. I derive so much encouragement and good advice from Chris and I highly recommend anyone in visual arts should give it a listen, especially if you are into the 'bootstrappy' start-up kind of 'do-your-own-thing' kind of new approach to success in art or illustration. Jump over to Chris's site and take a look (or a listen). He also has a mentorship/online art academy that is above and beyond awesome. I hope to take a class from him someday in the future but as I understand, he has to 'audition' students and take only a handful at a time from a giant list of artists who are lined up to get his special brand of education. For now I will just have to soak up everything he says in his excellent podcasts. Today's Artcast is called..."Why Your Concept Art Portfolio Is Being Ignored (Part 3)"
The gist of this series has been basically that a lot of illustrators and concept artists out there are lacking in the fundamentals. I can certainly say that I need more work in many areas. The good news is that I have come a long way since college but the bad news is that I'm still not good enough. For a long time I let my issues totally scare me away from even working on getting better. I finally realized this is ridiculous. As the guys on today's artcast speak about, nobody ever 'arrives'... every artist is always learning and getting better, even those people that I look at who seem to be so good it makes me feel like quitting. It seems like it would take me a million years to get as good as them but in reality I will never even get close if I don't start the process now. Maybe I will never be that good but I can still beat my own stuff from last year.
Anyway, so I enjoyed spending this morning listening to these awesome teachers share their wisdom while I painted a dancing kangaroo. Any chance I get to do art and learn more about art at the same time is a great day in my book. Thanks for reading!
Stay tuned for more art later,
Not long ago I was amazed to discover that the Briggs Meyers Personality test seems very accurate. The only issue I have is that I seem to fall into one of two categories. Oddly enough, one is introverted and the other is extroverted. I know it sounds funny, but I can't figure out whether I am introverted or extroverted. I am perfectly fine with being alone and I can go for weeks without seeing anyone other than those who live in my home and never bat an eyelash... but on the other hand, I think people are so fascinating and interesting. I like meeting others and being known by others. Anyway, according to the Harry Potter Chart (take a look by clicking the link) I'm either a Luna Lovegood or a Ron Weasley. (I'd much rather be Ron!) Obviously I would rather be known as the Champion than the Dreamer.... So here are the traits listed for both. Maybe ya'll can do me a favor and tell me which one I fit better. Or just go take the test yourself and holler back!
Introverted Intuitive Feeling Perceiving
(The Healer or The Dreamer)
INFP in a Nutshell: INFPs are imaginative idealists, guided by their own core values and beliefs. To a Healer, possibilities are paramount; the realism of the moment is only of passing concern. They see potential for a better future, and pursue truth and meaning with their own individual flair.
INFPs are sensitive, caring, and compassionate, and and are deeply concerned with the personal growth of themselves and others. Individualistic and nonjudgmental, INFPs believe that each person must find their own path. They enjoy spending time exploring their own ideas and values, and are gently encouraging to others to do the same. INFPs are creative and often artistic; they enjoy finding new outlets for self-expression.
Then there is the extroverted version.....
Extroverted Intuitive Feeling Perceiving
ENFP in a Nutshell: ENFPs are people-centered creators with a focus on possibilities and a contagious enthusiasm for new ideas, people and activities. Energetic, warm, and passionate, ENFPs love to help other people explore their their creative potential.
ENFPs are typically agile and expressive communicators, using their wit, humor, and mastery of language to create engaging stories. Imaginative and original, ENFPs often have a strong artistic side. They are drawn to art because of its ability to express inventive ideas and a create a deeper understanding of human experience.
Spent some time today working on the new header for the blog. Might be a bit much. I also worked on this little Yoga Meanie sketch last night. It's funny how I can spend weeks without doing any artwork and start to feel a bit depressed about it and then in just a few days there is a blitz of productivity in that area. I just have to do what I can when the mood hits.
And something just for fun- tutorials on drawing feet....
Click here for a link to some cute Feet Drawing Tutorials
Another practice project pulled from my sketchbook. I sketched this one probably a year ago. It was in a separate sketchbook so I misplaced it for a while. Found it not long ago and decided to work on it. I tried a muted aged look on the sketch first and then added color to just the dragon and tree. I really love to make a sketch look aged. I could do this all day long, but I don't usually since there isn't much call for it. I really like the texture added to this one too. I could see this being colored in a totally different way, I may even do that just for comparison and more practice.
Thanks for viewing/reading. Stay tuned for more art,
Thanks for stopping by. I'm a published illustrator working on getting better every day. My goal for my work is for it to be charming, bright and endearing. I share my ongoing work progress online because I welcome all the encouragement and feedback I can get as I try to improve my skills. I currently have a children's book project that I am nearing the end of.