Everyone’s work process is different. I like reading other people’s ‘how to’ pieces and today I am going to share one of my methods of developing an image.
I always start with a sketch. I love working from life but sometimes a photograph is just as exciting. For this sketch I worked from a photo of an urn in the Italian garden at Hever Castle. I confess my fascination with Instagram photos to which I often respond with a quick sketchbook drawing. Here, I was particularly interested in perspective and I responded to the photograph as I recently discovered Hever Castle and fell in love with its beautiful grounds. In fact, I photographed this urn myself on a couple of occasions so I suspect the image was latent in my brain.
The next thing that fascinates me in a new image is its ability to morph into something new every time you change something about it digitally. I will therefore often photograph my work and post-process either in a phone app or in an Adobe package. Here I used PicsArt for a quick play. I wanted to add to the image while also holding on to the initial contour drawing in blue (I used a blue Frixion ball pen) – change without changing too much. Eventually I settled for this effect which defines the lights and shadows and therefore enhances the depth in the image.
I had the opportunity over the last few days to consider how very little we actually know about the people near us and how much importance we give to external influences when making our snap judgments. I stand corrected twice – first, I gained huge respect for a well-known artist who I never coveted much (boy, was I wrong?!?) and last, I learnt that someone I spent 4 years with in university (not on an Art degree programme) is a most amazing fashion designer. I want to show you her recent work, the eye opener that I had so many years after our graduation. Well done Cristina!
And now for the reason of my writing today – to show you the first in a series of birthday card designs that I will be working on. One image is showing some brainstorming (I wanted something very simple, almost sketchy, with watercolour finish) and another shows the finished A6 piece that will go to a little boy at the end of this week.
I am planning to extend this work to a small series of 4 or 5 designs that will be on sale once my research into effective mass-production, pricing and promotion is complete. Hopefully by then I will also have a small Christmas range ready. I know! Only June and already thinking about Christmas! However, merchandisers out there know that I’ve actually left it rather late for this year. After all, consider also that the big fashion houses are already showing their Spring 2018 collections!
I think therefore I am ... this phrase coined by Descartes still haunts us centuries later.
Today I wrote the first ever blog for my husband's business and now that I am getting the hang of blogging, something inside prompted me to think 'I blog therefore I am'. What does that mean then? Do a few words thrown to the ether define who I am? Or is it maybe that the comfortable feeling I am developing for a new activity is prompting me to feel good in my skin and therefore accept myself as a blogger? I prefer the latter....
Beyond the superficial level, the question remains: Who am I? I've been battling this question for a little while now while indulging the transition from academic / corporate me to.....well, just ME. The only compulsion I have, the thing that has to happen to appease my soul is drawing. I draw therefore I am. I draw for me, for my mind and soul, for sanity. Along the way I learnt to stop drawing for 'likes' (but if you have a sure way of converting likes to commissions please give me a shout) and simply draw, like I breathe - no questions asked, no agenda, just me and the tools of my craft. It feels like I found myself.
On this note, I leave you with a question - Who are you? and a piece of news - I just accepted my place on a coveted MA Illustration starting this September.