STARTING SOMEWHERE NOW IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN STARTING SOMEWHERE LATER

“Don’t wait for permission to go out and create.” Baz Luhrmann.

What is Hirameki?  I’m so glad you asked!  It is the Japanese word for ‘brainwave’ or ‘flash of insight’ or ‘flash of inspiration’. 

My Hirameki moment was during the final stage of my first online Illustration course with Domestika.  I just knew that, despite being very comfortable in a life drawing class, I was not and had never been an artist.  I am an illustrator!  It set me free – I no longer suffer from imposter syndrome.

I’ve previously said that I thoroughly enjoyed the course, but there was one thing that I could not get my head around.  The tutor discouraged overthinking; I was to turn off my brain, adopt the mindset of a child and connect with my own inner-child.  Hmmm! For years I worked as a hairdresser because I love obsessing over style, shape and design.  It’s the attention to detail and the precision that excites me.  Overthinking my creations is sheer pleasure.

Herewith my results of the final exercise – four double pages of a sketch book using the techniques demonstrated throughout the course.

Drawing The Soul!

Faces are the most interesting things we see; other people fascinate me, and the most interesting aspect of other people – the point where we go inside them – is the face. It tells all.  David Hockney

Doing a portrait of someone I care about is such a pleasure, because it feels as if we’re having a relaxing conversation as I squint and scrutinise their features.

I prefer to use a highly pixelated photograph for reference and tend to focus on the eyes first (apparently it was Wil Shakespeare who said that the eyes are the windows of the soul), then the mouth and lastly the nose. Being able to communicate what lies behind the is something few artists do.

It’s always possible to tell a true (or Duchenne) smile from a polite, fake smile – the eyes are always the giveaway.

This is a pared back pencil portrait of my remarkable eldest step-daughter, Hannah, who constantly surprises me as she rises to every challenge that life throws at her, never losing her quirky humour – she lights up a room when she enters.  All of which is impossible to convey with a few pencil lines and to say in one breath.

It’s extremely tricky to capture the truest likeness of the subject in a portrait.  There’s always a teeny something that isn’t quite right.  But I relish the challenge.

The fun cartoon-like drawing below shows her very quirky side and that green is her favourite colour.

I’m sure she won’t mind me posting a recent photo of her which for me, is just so wonderfully Hannah and makes me smile.