Tuesday, July 23, 2013

See Horse Evolution

This was a fascinating process for me.  
Kirsten Hall @HallWaysKirsten the Managing Agent, USA at Bright Group - International 
put out a Twitter blast asking for (bored) illustrators to make her a rainbow seahorse.
I knew I had a seahorse in my sketchbook pile so I loaded it up and answered the call.
She responded:
"That is fantastic. Color it! Seriously!"
So I did!

She responded:
"Love it. Can he look happy?"
So I went back the the drawing board and attempted happy...(not a normal emotional state for me - I had to Google reference photos)

It is harder than you think to make a seahorse look happy!
*where, exactly, is their mouth?*
*do they have eyebrows?*

I learned a lot about the evolution of creativity, about pushing through and digger deeper.
I learned that I can get stuck on being TOO LITERAL and GETTING STUCK IN MY HEAD.
I learned that I give up too soon and too easily on a lot of my projects
I learned a bit about art direction and how it forces an artist to think outside their own little box...(I LIKE ART DIRECTION, BTW...)
*how does one make a seahorse look happy?*
*how does an artist who can't really paint find a happy medium?*

When I closed the book on my seahorse last night I wasn't sure of his success so I posted him on Facebook and went to bed.
This morning my notifications were off the charts!  I've never had so many likes on a single image unless it was a post about my daughter or my dog!!!
A Caldecott Award winning illustrator, whom I admire greatly, messaged me to say the "new illo was banging!" - it was such a lovely compliment!!!
So, my little seahorse may not look the happiest (and I wept many a frustrated tear in his crafting)
but he sure made a lot of people smile today!!!!
Including me...
and I thank God for that gift!!!!!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

What's Old is New

I've been working on my painting skills with some old sketches.  I think, deep down, I am really fighting the urge to work with the real stuff: gouache, crayon, cut paper; you know, the scarey things that go bump in the night and make you wake up in a cold sweat screaming "WHAT IF I MAKE A MISTAKE?"





I think I am finding a happy medium, though!!!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Drawing Inspiration

"Don't give up on trying to do what you really want to do.  Where there is love and inspiration, I don't think you can go wrong." ~ Ella Fitzgerald

A big struggle of mine, often, has been WHAT to draw...feeling inspired!  That hasn't been the case lately.  I am full to BURSTING with ideas.  The struggle now is getting them all down on paper.

It is when I decided to tap into the well-spring of MY HEART that the greatest inspirations have started to pour out...my characters are gaining more life, more validity and becoming much more honest!!!! My lines are becoming more confident and I think I am becoming a better emotional storyteller.
I am starting to see LOVE on the paper

Recently I stumbled upon the story of Tarra & Bella
*yes, I know, apparently I've been living under a rock since I am just now learning about this dynamic duo* 
I allowed myself to feel all sorts of painful emotions and realized the best way to cope would be to tell their story in my own words...
their's is a wonderful story of friendship and loss.
& ultimately inspirational!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Power to the Peculiar

I am on this mad mission to capture the essence of peculiar children the world over!!!
Because I feel there is great power in being
distinctive, different from the usual or normal, special, particular, odd, curious, eccentric, and queer.  This summer I am reading Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children & Quiet: The Power of Introverts In a World That Can't Stop Talking

In an excerpt from the latter: 
But we make a grave mistake to embrace the Extrovert Ideal so unthinkingly. Some of our greatest ideas, art, and inventions—from the theory of evolution to van Goghʼs sunflowers to the personal computer came from quiet and cerebral people who knew how to tune in to their inner worlds and the treasures to be found there.

In a family of TYPE A's I battle constantly with being 'misunderstood' and I've exhausted myself for decades trying to fit into the great American "Extrovert Ideal"
What about us, the peculiar, makes the extrovert so uncomfortable??????

I think we need to treasure kids that don't fit the 'ideal' by immortalizing them in picture books & early readers.
My style of illustration was recently dubbed 'peculiar'...at first that smacked of insult.  But now I don't care.  I am growing quite fond of my distinctive, odd, curious and queer cast of characters.  I just know they will one day mark their own unique place in history!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Slow and Steady...

has helped me find my groove, my aesthetic & my favorite tools.  Now I am finally figuring out how to work it.  If I have one word of advice to the newbie/novice/more beginner than me types it is PATIENCE!!!!!!!!

Keep working at your own pace.
Know that the work you are doing today may not be your best work.
Keep at it.
Don't show it all...
Listen to your gut...it knows if you aren't being honest!!!!