Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Moving Forward: Now You Too, Can Buy My Art!

 Moving Forward:
Now You Too, Can Buy My Art!
Hello again, thought I'd drop in and give everyone an update on things.  
I have been busy with other non-illustration-related things unfortunately.  I am officially on the hunt for a full-time job and I have an upcoming play that I will be performing in (better still, one of the short plays I wrote!), but that doesn't mean I have stopped illustrating or thinking about illustration, quite the opposite.

I am now a card-carrying member of Society6 (card may or may not exist)! an online art shop that hosts innumerably artists and sells their art in prints, canvases, and more pragmatic cases for laptops and iPhones.  You can even get pillows with art on them.  Be sure to check it out, not only for my sake, but all artists' sake, there is some very very awesome stuff here.

Another more recent development is that I am now on the roster for Bushwick Daily's Sunday Reads feature, a collection of essays, fiction, poetry and excerpts (open submission to any writers!) with accompanying illustrations.  This is very exciting for me, not only am I going to be expected to do work more regularly, I'm doing work outside of myself which is ultimately the goal I aim to reach. 

I feel very good about these new developments and they only motivate me further.  I know had a steady amount of work coming in and it helps with my writing not only seeing other writer's work, but interpreting them in a visual fashion is, when I think about, literally what I want to be doing (once I can make a living doing so, I can breathe a bit easy).  Society6, honestly speaking is no way for me to begin to make a living; I'm not sure what my expectations are of the store, if I make $20 I would be proud but this storefront isn't a avenue for me to make profit.  This is a sign to myself that says "I am not scared to show people my art, and perhaps, even let them buy it."  My career is growing, I can tell, albeit in gradations.  

When I began this entire thing, about two years ago, I worked in seclusion, afraid to show people what I was creating, content with mere vague descriptions of "drawing."  Never would I offer or tell someone that, yeah, I can draw or create something for a poster, a cover, or anything.  My support group consisted of podcasts, books, and videos.  Now, I have a twitter account, this blog, a storefront and I'm working for a publication.  My twitter audience grows weekly and I can communicate with artists I admire who are more than willing to help me with anything I can ask, whether relating to art, software, or the industry itself.  I love sharing both my process and my finished artwork with anyone who is willing to listen, and I am very close to having my own website, my own portfolio site, and hopefully, a paid piece somewhere on paper or on a webpage.  Those are my more immediate goals, though, to be honest with myself, I have been caught up in other non-art related projects.

But, again, that doesn't mean I haven't stopped creating new art, and I wanted to talk about my most recently posted artwork.  I didn't have a title until after I finished it, it's now called The Expansion of Horizons (seen above).

This was the first piece of art I created from scratch on the computer.  I had recently finished Noah Bradley's 'How to Start a Painting' Video and his cinematic canvases and sketching that began with values instead of lines inspired me.  I started with large swaths of grey and black, eventually finding a figure and a horizon line.  From the figure grew a cape and from the cape, I originally played with the idea of the cape breaking off into pieces and flowing towards the "camera" so to speak.  Still in greyscale, I had this image.

Once I had a concept, I needed to start the coloring process, a daunting and always scary part of my art.  I'm much more comfortable creating works in greyscale then I am using color simply because I don't feel confident when I use color; to me, I feel if I had given the image to someone else, their colors would produce a more beautiful picture than mine.  But, that's not something that would stop me.  

After playing with some colors and finalizing some of the objects, I realized I had the figure in an awkward position so instead of redrawing her and redoing that section, I gave her a large dress.  A bit of a cheat, I know, but not one that clashes with the original image.  The dress was actually one of the more time-intensive sections of the piece as I used reference and needed to keep the detail top-notch.

While I colored, I felt somewhat dissatisfied with the piece, it felt  As in, it was very obvious that I was using Photoshop and the entire piece looked inorganic and I didn't like that.  So I went back to the rocks and objects and roughed them up a bit, texturizing them so they didn't look so smooth.  That's why there are lines and dots all around it.  

After the color was finished, there was one more thing missing, and I knew it from the beginning - it has to do with my personal preference, style, and voice.  

I love outlines.  I'm not sure why - something about the contrasting outline that makes whatever's inside pop.  Maybe it has to do with my love of The Simpsons, of animated Superhero shows, whatever it was/is, I enjoy outlines immensely, especially when seamlessly interconnected with the art.  So of course, I had to outline what I drew.  After I outlined, I realized there was something missing, the grey horizon was not supposed to be grey. This actually scared me the most because I am very scared of color and how it can mess things up.  I toyed with a lot of different hues and finally ended up with a blue-green, ending up in this final piece.

I really liked this piece and honestly, the most fascinating part was that, up until the last few hours that I was working on it, I didn't know exactly what it was I was drawing.  I didn't have a clear picture in my head, but that was fun in and of itself.

Thanks for reading