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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

One of the most difficult things to do is to keep motivating oneself when one does what I do. It's so easy to find other things that need attention, and truthfully a balance can sometimes be hard to find between the mundane and the pursuit of becoming the best you can be at what you do and at least a bit of acknowledgement . The negative voices whether they are from people in your life or your infernal internal editor can debilitate sometimes to the point of lethargy. Or worse, a failure to comply with your own dreams. So it's important to instill a few steps into your process, especially if you are actively engaged in the creative process.

Realize you set yourself up. I'm choosing for success. I'm giving myself permission to play (something I don't do easily or well) because I know once the joy overtakes me good things will come of it. Some of my best work was done because I was invested in it. Play is one of those investments. It's not so serious that you can't throw it away because it's not "real". We play games because it keeps our mind active but it also trains and disciplines. You might stink a big one at first, but the exhileration at the first game "won" becomes addictive.

I'm also giving myself permission to work. Living long enough to know that failure and success (and each of us define that for ourselves) have strengths and drawbacks, and ultimately more often than not the definition of those things lie outside ourselves. Someone likes or buys our work or doesn't. But the DISCIPLINE of work, doing it every day, mastering things that aggravate, the expression of those things inside to the outside and sharing it with others, despite their reaction , that is work to me. By giving yourself the permission to do your work, to play at your work to work at your play, to see your expression and interaction with others (and yes, lots of times it's a chore) as important, not only validates but helps you to get stronger.

So what does this have to do with my dear little friends Kobe and Oscar? I'm playing with a new media (and technology really) I'll post a couple of early drawings no more more finished illustrations, but more technique and perhaps spot illustration process within them (for instance as I work on this particular illustration I may post one character from the scene). So far I do not care for this drawing. AT ALL. It may all end in the recycling bin.

Why finish it, you may ask. It's that work part. I know even if I end up scrapping this, there is no wasted effort. I'm learning a great deal and enjoying it as I go, even when I don't care for what I'm working on at the time. I've also learned already it could stink and then all of a sudden, it's not half bad. It's pretty good. Hey, what's that? I like it? WHEN did that happen. So like a journey I simply have to do the work to find out. Whatever it is, whether it's the act of "painting", or seeing something come from nothingness or even the finished product, THAT is your motivator, that is your play, your work, your discipline. Butt in Chair. Smile on face or at least in your heartish area. And then pull a Nike. JUST DO IT.


so I block in colors over the sketch. This is about four layers. Each animal will have at least two or three layers. I find separating them and LABELING them well, keeps me sane and saves time in the long run.

I like to check it often for composition and color balance. one of the ways I do that is to shut off the underlying drawing. Sometimes I will leave the drawing in, and perhaps blend some of it. Other times, I lose it entirely and a piece has a painterly feeling. I like the line drawings in these books, because it helps to "see" the forms more clearly, and to me it has a more kid-friendly feel and appeal. I may end up redrawing the drawing that I'm using, or keep the one I've got and tweak it.


This is with the photo I use loosely for reference. I'm starting to pull out the darks a bit more for formation and texturizing the color. Finally will be a small detail. As I say I dunno if I'll use this drawing or not, but I'm learning a great deal and enjoying the process. When I finish with this I will start to develop the border for the drawings. I not only want Margot's approval, the images themselves will have to work with the border, so I think it easier to do the border and draw the images than to have to tweak it at the end...