Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Can Every Artist Relate?

I finished off another piece for my portfolio tonight. I came up with this idea after a huge panic attack last week at the cottage where I dreamed I showed up for my portfolio review late in L.A. because someone had given me the wrong room number. When I finally arrived after running through long, strange hallways, the person in the room told me that I shouldn’t dream of being a professional illustrator if I couldn’t even keep a simple appointment! As I woke up with my heart pounding, I knew that it was just a standard anxiety dream (like before exams in high school or university) but sleep escaped me so I got up to write in my journal for a while... then got the inspiration for this piece.

Since I needed to have at least one drawing in my portfolio that was greyscale, I used everything from a 4H to 8B pencil for as wide a range of tone as possible. I also had fun choosing textures for each fear. I particularly like the oozing drips for Copyright Abuse... since anyone who would steal that way is Slime!

Perfectionism and Envy of Other’s Talents are two of the fears that I wrestle with most often, so of course they had to be slightly dragon or snake like... and Self-Doubt’s fur was fun to draw!

I am sure that any creative soul can relate to this...

Monday, July 21, 2008

Excited About My New Adventures...

June was a total blur. Creating 13 detailed drawings for a client in less than 4 weeks when each drawing went through several changes was tough on the hands but great experience! It will also be nice when the cheque arrives in the mail! My illustrations will grace the 2009 calendar produced by The Hanen Centre and be a great addition to my portfolio! I can’t show off details just yet, since I did sell the copyrights to the client, but here’s a peek at the pile of drawings and the CD I burned of the final artwork before I sent them all off!

Drawing for someone else also gave me time to think as my hands did the work. Unplugging and getting away with my family also helped afterwards as I went for long walks on the beach, watched fabulous sunsets and had time to think about which path I need to follow right now.

I’ve made my decision and posted all the details on the summer issue of my website newsletter for stitchers to read. I don’t want everyone to think of this as an ending, it is just a transition into something else... something that is calling my heart a lot more right now.

It isn’t as if I’ll never design again, I just won’t be publishing my own work after DD-100. I will still come up with some surprise designs now and then, have stuff in magazines or teach classes at fabulous shows like CreativFestival and then make those available later on PatternsOnline.com The numbers from my corporate return were just too stark to keep ignoring, so it is time for the Dragon to put most of her energy into illustration right now.

To that end, I even added a new part to my website! The Sketchbook page is going to be somewhere that I can keep sketches, show off stuff as it is being created or explain to people the process that is involved with bringing an image to life.

There are 10 days until I leave for Los Angeles and the SCBWI conference. I am being really careful not to hurt my back or strain things before such a long flight and my family is starting to think a am a TOTAL wimp for not wanting to lift anything! Hey... I think it is a great way to avoid laundry baskets, grocery bags etc. Before you think I am goofing off completely, let me assure you - I do all the hanging or putting away... just not the lifting!

I am busy finishing off the last few illustrations for my portfolio and going over each selection to make sure that I am taking along my very BEST samples. This gets a little hard to do when the butterflies in your tummy keep turning into DRAGONS... but that even gave me ideas for an image that I’ll post as soon as it is penciled. It is called “Fear of the Blank Page” and I am sure that every artist there will be able to relate.

Here’s a peek at one of the drawings for a storybook about a little bunny looking for a home and the Japanese legend of the rabbit in the moon. It was created on textured scrapbook paper with coloured pencil and chalk, then I gave the moon some extra glow thanks to Photoshop. What fun!

Even though I am both excited and terrified about L.A., I know that it is the right step to take. I need to know if this can be the next adventure for the Dragon... Whether I make them with chalk or floss, pencil or braid, it is still about making images that touch people. I hope that will never change!

I hope you'll join me as the path winds down a slightly different road than before...