I thought that would get your attention!
Today was my first figure drawing/painting class since the age of nineteen.
After some initial nerves I decided to simply have fun, especially as I was wearing my lucky Wonder Woman pants. Technically, there is room for improvement, this I know. I’m trying to disciplin myself to really SEE and make my hand draw what I see.
The scanning isn’t up to much but here is one of my ten minute study plus a twenty minute effort in watercolour and ink.
This little watercolour painting was my attempt at humour. It was a birthday gift for my youngest step-daughter who runs her own personal training business.
After the picture was left to dry on a table in another room I forgot all about it until I overheard two teenage friends of my son talking and realised they were discussing it. One lad obviously didn’t get the joke as the other said “That’s a trainer, see? And it’s making personal remarks to the weights – the trainer is telling the weights that they’re dumb”. He still didn’t really understand it.
So I thought it would be prudent to include his explanation just in case my sense of humour is less quirky than I’d imagined and is far more strange than is conventional.
I HATE SELLING! I’ll happily draw and paint for days, but detest marketing the completed picture. Just deciding on a price makes me squirm.
So who knows why I’ve set up shop on Etsy? It’s a shop with nothing to sell yet. My head throbs from thinking what to write on the profile page and I may never wade through the slew of advice on how to make my stuff sell over the million and one other Etsy-ites doing exactly the same thing.
Last week I designed five tea towels. (You can see more detail via the ‘Digital’ page if you click on each one.)
The printing quote was inhibiting and necessitated orders of 150 of each. The vision of me trying to live amongst floor-to-ceiling piles of toppling, unsold tea towels wasn’t attractive.
So a quick rethink later and the current plan is to paint a few quirky greeting cards and offer commissioned portraits to see whether anyone is mad enough wants to pay for them.
Next week, who knows? I wonder what Wonder Woman would do?
I wanted to say something fascinating and existential about this picture but am too tired from focusing on drawing with a mouse instead of a pencil and I think my computer may be running a temperature.
Being too impatient to closely follow rules in instruction books, I applied my usual trial and error approach by throwing myself at Photoshop and…yes it hurt, but I’m taking antibiotics for it.
You can probably hear me patting my own back from where you are.
I’m pleased with it – did I mention that before?
It could be said that this post leans toward self-indulgence but it is written in the hope that other artists who recognise my dilemma may even glean a morsel of comfort from reading it.
Since my earliest memories I’ve been told and accepted that I could draw and I admit that the act of being creative has immeasurably enhanced my existence. My passion was cutting hair but, since being enveloped in the vice-like embrace of M.E., hairdressing became impossible – so for two years I’ve been attempting to rediscover my self-taught drawing skills.
Inexplicably, for most of this year my energies have focused on torturing myself with self-induced pressure, whilst my innards wrestled enthusiastically. The harder I urged myself to produce, the more paralysed my hands and brain became – my illustrations became as rare as those metaphorical hens’ teeth.
Last year a very thoughtful artist friend sent me “The Artists Way” by Julia Cameron, which did the trick – even though I consider the author to be slightly dippy. After revisiting the book this week my rather arthritic recovery seems to have begun once more. It feels like I’ve been given permission to enjoy being creative…scandalous!
This is not a book endorsement – it is merely an attempt to point out how easily we can become so goal-orientated that we forget to enjoy the process. So intently focused on becoming an Illustrator was I that I froze and became afraid of failing.
In addition, it is often hugely intimidating to observe the mass of incredibly talented individuals abounding on the internet – a glance at the work of some of my Twitter associates perfectly demonstrates my point.
Apparently my anxiety at feeling I have to produce something ‘great’ every time has blocked my creativity and the remedy is to take small steps rather than large leaps. I was setting impossible goals for myself.
Today, after a good mental slap, I treated myself. I sketched my son and muse solely for my own pleasure, without concentrating on best technique or medium. Don’t think I’m there yet but I hope to keep it up!
P.S. This post by Creative Coach Dan Goodwin says it all really.
Looking forward to Christmas shopping? Of course not.
It is a british requisite to moan about Christmas coming too early and I’m usually first to grumble about the crass hype during the ever-lengthening run-up to Christmas.
Apologies then, to those who haven’t even managed to de-rust their barbecue yet – there’s a glimmer of tinsel to be found here!
For once I’ve resolved to positively embrace Christmas absurdly early by launching myself into the Tiger Print competition to create surface pattern designs for wrapping paper, cards etc – 2011!
Anyway, here it is for what it’s worth….and my entry has actually been uploaded to the site.
I approached it purely as a learning exercise and after WEEKS (!) of careful work I’ve realised that my (Fireworks) self-taught approach isn’t nearly enough and I urgently need some formal Photoshop training
So I don’t care how early those bells start jing-a-ling-ing or partridges are shoved into pear trees, just as long as someone stomps on every single recording of that repellent, ear-bashing, omnipresent Christmas song by those miscreants known as Slade.
It was my immense privilege to design the wedding invitation for the eldest of my two amazing step-daughters.
The image was to fit on a narrow, horizontal, white card and illustrate that the event would be held on Kentish farmland boasting two fishing ponds and several animal breeds.
The happy couple were “thrilled” with my efforts and I was officially dubbed a “clever old stick! The wedding day was appropriately and sublimely magical and I even made my own fascinator for the occasion.
Yikes! I’m all a flutter having just submitted my poster to the joint London Transport Museum/Association of Illustrators poster competition promoting cycling as an emerging mode of transport in London…with only 30 minutes to spare. It didn’t scan as well as I’d have liked so there wasn’t enough time to clean it up as much as I’d have preferred.
This is the first time I’ve ever entered an art competition. What a relief to have finished!
I’m not deluded enough to imagine that it will be selected as I’m aware that my self-taught, inexperienced work will probably be considered somewhat naive – but it was so worth having a go.
There were some days when I almost gave up but, thanks to some timely words of encouragement, I’m glad I persevered as the experience of taking part was invaluable. It was educational, time-gobbling, sometimes frustrating and even scary but also fun.
And now I can bask in that warm, fuzzy feeling of having achieved my goal…until I start the next project.
Herewith only a small portion of my current reading matter.Some are being avidly studied – others, I’m merely dipping into. They all offer me the opportunity to further develop the multiple intricacies of illustration skills and feed my insatiable curiosity about the subject.
Soon I hope to demonstrate here how they have inspired and educated me. My motto is to never stop learning and trying to improve.
Watch this space….*cue “Wonder Woman theme tune”* ♬ ♫ ♪ ♩
The brief for this logo was for clean, simple lines with no frills. It just had to say what they were about.
I put on my minimalist cap and based it on the Bahamian flag which you can see below.
This fledgling company gave me positive feedback – they said my logo enhanced their business image. Wishing them success with their new enterprise.