Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Caring For Turtles

Call me crazy but all this creative freedom lately has been scaring me to the point of unproductivity. That is to say approaching illustration saying "what do I want to draw?" has made me stop drawing altogether. I can't stay focused on one thing because I don't know if it's what I SHOULD be doing or if it's just a temporary whim.

So what I decided to do instead was tackle the deep fears haunting me everyday. Fear of having to draw something I actually DON'T want to draw.

I have always avoided illustrating typical children's book subject matters like kids and school. Real life topics like that just don't get my heart pumping. So that's exactly what I made myself work on these past two days. Originally prompted with a "Back to School" theme from my agent, what began as a couple kids on a bus became this.

I discovered a lot about myself in this process:

1. No subject is scary as long as you can find an angle that provides personal enjoyment. Whether it's the actual subject or just the color palette I choose to work with, there can always be some element that can be fun.

2. Working with a chalk brush in photoshop is helpful for me to crisp edges, simplify shapes and colors, and hone in on my emerging style. Don't neglect this brush again, Courtney!

3. I don't have to feel stupid for not knowing how a piece is going to turn out at the begining. My art is an evolving process and as long as I get to the finish at some point, I should just enjoy the magical ride of creativity along the way.

4. When creating work on my own initiative, I inevitably create some small sliver of a story in my mind to go along with the image. I am a storyteller somewhere deep down, I just haven't unlocked it yet. Writing my story ideas could lead me to good things. I need to stop being afraid to be a writer, because singular images alone will never satisfy me...

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