Art & your demon

The talk also encouraged us to draw our own demons, here's mine -- EVIL Amber!  Always tellin' me not to do stuff, post stuff or talk to people about animation...stop that!

The talk also encouraged us to draw our own demons, here's mine -- EVIL Amber!  Always tellin' me not to do stuff, post stuff or talk to people about animation...stop that!

Before I left for my vacation, I listened to a live lecture by Lucy Bellwood and Jessica Abel about fear, making art, and freelancing as well as  creative life and all the craziness that goes with that.  A few points in the talk really resonated with me.  One of the most obvious ones was a poll that opened at the start of the talk.  Jessica started a poll with the audience before the talk began, asking "What does your demon stop you from doing?" and while I checked all of the above, mine actually stops me from FINISHING work most often.  I have thousands of tiny sketches but the thought of finishing and being judged by the work is terrifying, it might be 'wrong' or have errors and then everyone will know that I am a hack --or that's what my demon keeps telling me anyways.

The talk was excellent and gave me a lot to think about.  In the past few weeks I have been thinking a lot about how I want to present myself after graduation and how to go about making the transition into a creative illustration or animation career.  This talk really identified SO many of of the ways that I had been struggling and helped me to see that EVERYONE feels this way, even professional artists and its more about showing up, doing the work and putting it out there than it is about being the 'perfect artist'.  It made me feel better about publicly presenting myself as an artist, especially online.  Lucy stressed that online presence is so much more about PROCESS and building a community of your peers than it is posting perfect work to attract the illustration/animation 'Gods'.  Lucy also suggested that the audience read 'Show Your Work' and 'Steal like an Artist" to help those struggling to either put themselves out there or get started (or BOTH!).  I read "Show Your Work" over my vacation because at the moment I'm most interested in how to get over the fear of posting finished work (err...well finishing it at all)!  It was an excellent (and short!) read.  Many of the points it makes were actually mentioned in the talk but the book is able to go into more detail and helped to put working as an animator/illustrator into perspective.  You don't need to be perfect, you just have to let people see how you work and let them into the process of what you're making and why.  

You can see a recording of the talk here.  And equally as awesome but unfortunately I probably can't link back to it is--Lucy Bellwood hung out after the talk to answer remaining questions! I was left with so many thoughts about realizing my animation/illustration dreams when I left the chat room and hopefully I can begin putting some of those things into practice soon!

Here's a few ideas I went through when trying to figure out what my demon might look like.  At first I thought it might be 'Evil Hershey' (one of my cats) because some days he's my nemesis and he likes to stomp all over my artwork with his brother smokey! I realized that I'm really more of my own worst enemy that Hershey is...and he probably just wants a hug anyway.

Previews & Story Work

Here are some quick previews of some things I'm working on in between my finishing my thesis backgrounds this month.  I'm trying to develop some work for a Story Portfolio so I'm actually trying to turn this stuff into a bit more finished looking work than my normal sketchbook pages--if I still like the drawings & ideas when I look at them by the light of day that is!  

Here's one I still liked:

These were some sketches of me trying to explain the merits of stage acting v. film acting (and why Stage & B&W films are better!) to Matt, who wasn't buying it--I'm gonna say I won that argument (Matt may still not agree with me :-p).  And the top sketches are what happened when I Matt came to watch Abominable Bride with me--I was SUPER excited & he was well...asleep ..or bored I'm not sure which--something about not getting the 'hype over Benedict Cumberbatch' ....maybe if he'd stayed awake he'd understand ;-p.

Warm ups -- Turns Out They're Kind of Important

Its been a pretty intense couple of weeks (midterms + my thesis have made me a bit crazy!) but I thought I'd make a post of some of the sketches I've been working on.

Recently I've started doing warm up drawings pretty regularly. I used to do them occasionally when I felt like I 'had time' but it wasn't a normal part of my drawing practice.  I knew that warm-up drawings were 'good for you' but I never really understood what is was you got out of them until just now.  For me they're a way to get out all my 'bad ideas' and 'bad drawings' so that I can start stiff and get looser and get lost in making an idea rather than just shapes or a 'pretty picture' (my most dreaded and most often told critique!!)  They also help on days when I'm feeling exhausted and pretty inspired--I can turn on a quick show and just draw sort of whatever comes to mind--like pictures of me drinking coffee or looking tired or scenes from books I've been reading or weird ideas and concepts I see on Tumblr. I'm learning that my best ideas are definitely NOT my first and often I'm not even sure what I want to do on my first drawing but they get better as I go...So far I think it might also be helping my animation --which has gotten more loose at the beginning and I feel like I can more confidently get my poses right or at least work on them until the ARE right.  So more warm-ups it is! :)

When you need to loosen up...

When you need to loosen up apparently you need need to draw on a bumby train--here's a few sketches from my train ride home last night.  Usually the train is bouncy and too annoying to write or draw but the internet wasn't working so I started trying to get more into story and character in a few sketches--some sketches are of me on a train, and from a medieval book I keep trying to read and a myth we just read for my mythology class--pretty fun! I'll have to make a habit out of this.

Hopefully  I'll be able to turn a couple of them into Inktobers and catch up tonight!

Inktober 1

Inktober 01 I've decided to participate in Inktober this year, or at least attempt to anyway.  My plan is to make some kind of quick sketch each evening in October and focus on character and storytelling.  For tonight's sketch--I follow several Victorian and Edwardian image blogs on Tumblr and the people often look so solemn but a few photographs showed glimpses of real people and so I tried to capture a 'behind the scenes' version of Victorian photography subjects--no one can be that serious all the time!--I think I could explore this idea more and want to see where it ends up at the end of the month!

For tonight I'm just breaking into it after much animation on the same scenes so I think the idea could use some improvement--but for tonight--this is my Inktober #1 -- enjoy :)

You can find my reference photo here.  (Can we still dress like this?!!??)

Back in Action

I finally finished my semester! It was an extremely difficult semester full of sleep deprivation and animation but its over!! I am back at work in my studio after only a couple of days break because I have a show at the Red Dot Gallery in Sacramento on February 9th and I'd like to show some new work--here's a sneak peak at what I've been doing--more sketches to come soon!

I'm trying to develop a process for painting and on work on these few in the same way for each one--What I've been doing is drawing a very detailed image, tracing the image on to vellum with a pen and doing an image transfer to get it to the canvass--I want my new paintings to have more volume and shape so I'm working for create a strong under painting in sepia before doing the details--hopefully it all pays off!