Wednesday, February 26, 2014

It takes time.

I am constantly researching and trying to learn as much as I can. It's hard work.

It really is.

I read, I study, I draw, and anything else that I can possibly do so that when the time comes and I get the call from a publisher or I get a call back from an agent I'll be confident in my skills and know I'll be able to do any job they need me to do.

That confidence takes time.

I asked a pro-artist once if he could tell me how I would know when I became better as an artist. His response was simple: it takes time.

How much time? How long? How many days? Hours? Weeks? Years?

That wasn't a fair question to ask because there was no way he could know that. It will take me as long as it needs to and I am constantly reminding myself this.

There is no way to speed up the learning process. Getting better takes time. It takes dedication and hard work. It takes getting so frustrated and mad at your work that you just want to sling it across the room.

And you will. I did.

I sat so frustrated at my work and so aggravated because I couldn't get a face just right or an arm wouldn't turn out the way I wanted and it was driving me bonkers.

I picked up my pencil and kept drawing. I didn't give up. I won't give up.

I'm in this for the long haul and those aggravating moments are going to happen. There are plenty more to come and that means that I'm pushing myself. That means I'm forcing myself to learn.

I'll get to where I want to be and when I get there, I'll keep going. I just have to remember that it takes time.

Lots and lots of time.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Slowly but surely I can see it.

Now that the huge snow storm and all the sickness is gone...

Every now and then I get discouraged because I think I'm not making progress. I've been drawing for over a year now and while I've definitely made some improvements I still worry because I'm not making enough of them. Or at least I think I'm not.

I read somewhere that as long as you're working, you're improving.

Really? Is it that simple?

I know it takes more than a year to get good and I'm okay with it taking time I would just like to see some sort of proof that I actually AM getting better.

I tend to be impatient and demand results sooner than they are ready to be seen.

The problem is the results are there. Right in front of my eyes. I'm growing. I'm learning. I'm getting better. I am. I just have to remind myself that it's a process and it will take as long as it needs to.

I just have to keep working on it.

Here are two drawings that I've done. One is from a year ago and one is recent. I see it.



Monday, February 3, 2014

Having a plan helps.

There are so many ways to create and complete illustrations. I get so overwhelmed with all of the different ways to do things and then I get frustrated which means I have to walk away. Walking away is great but it doesn't help me accomplish anything so instead of walking away this time I’m working on a plan. There are tons of ways of drawing and finishing my illustrations but right now this is the method I want to work on. I’m still working my way through it but I’m hoping it comes up with some pretty good results. (Also, sometimes it’s best to walk away but this time I’m trying to work through the frustration).

Ok, so here are the basic steps:

1. Thumbnails- roughly sketch out all of the scenes of the book to get an idea of layout, composition, characters and their environments.
2. Roughs- create more refined sketches with more detail.
3. Scan- put the images into the computer for even more refining.
4. Inking- lighten the sketch and then go over the lines to define the shapes.
5. Color… (work in progress)

The coloring part is a beast all on its own and is too involved for me to post about it here.

I know there are tons of different ways to do all of this but this is the method that I want to explore for the time being. I’m trying to keep it as simple as possible while still trying to get the best results. It’s all a work-in-progress but I think having a plan helps keep things organized and helps eliminate trying so many different methods at once. I’m hoping that once I get this part mastered I’ll be able to get more in-depth with each step.

I think I’m going to try this for a while and see how it goes. I’ll post some images of my process so you can see how I’m doing. Wish me luck!