Last Monday I was tagged by the ever-so wonderful Josh Nash! (Thanks, Josh!) Josh and I are good Twitter pals and he is EXTREMELY talented and supportive. Please do yourself a favor and go check out his amazing work here. Plus, luckily for you, he has an Etsy shop! Go take a look - his Guy Fox prints look great on my walls and will look even better on yours! :D
What am I currently working on?
I am always working on a variety of projects. I like to keep busy and find I am too efficient at giving myself projects to do. (This great article sums up the workings of my crazy brain.) At the moment I am splitting my time between working on assets for a TV show/interactive app pitch with a friend (which I can't share, sorry!), some puppets for CTNX in November, and fussing over my first picture book dummy.
(This is an initial concept for Fritz, who hopefully will be getting up to some silly antics in my picture book dummy.)
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I can only hope that it’s different. It’s sometimes hard for me not to see my influences staring back at me in a piece, rather than seeing my work as is. I look at the work out in the market now (and it’s AMAZING) and I have to stamp out the feeling of wanting to be more like other illustrators. There seems to be a fine line between admiration and imitation in the art world. But the best compliment I can receive is someone saying they can see “me” in my work. When that happens I feel like I’m on the right track - because (thankfully) I’m the only me that’s me!
Why do I write and illustrate what I do?
I don’t think I have ever had a choice. I’ve been drawing for so long, there never seemed to be another option. I illustrate because it fulfills a mental and physical need - so it’s a really good thing that I also love it! I enjoy drawing for children and young adults because I have the brain of a teenager and the heart of a 5 year old. I don’t think I will ever view things from an “adults” perspective - which is great for illustrating, but not so great for doing laundry.
How does my creative process work?
I always start with characters. And I always start with their faces. Faces are my favorite thing to draw and I place a lot of importance on getting them right.
This is embarrassing, but I tell myself stories - usually in the car or in the shower (most of all when I should be sleeping). An idea will pop into my head and I'll see how it plays out. Some are ridiculous and go nowhere, but the rest I try to remember to write down. When I'm thinking of stories, a lot of the times I have a pretty clear idea of how I want the character to look. When I don't, I try to do some mindless sketching. My brain gets in the way a lot, so I try and shut it down so my ideas translate to paper better.
Once I get some character designs I like, I write down things about the character. About her family and her personality, her wardrobe, etc. I look up reference for clothing and what her room would look like. I always get lots of reference for environments.
When it comes time to do actual illustrations, I do some thumbnails with different compositions and camera angles to see what works best for that particular scene. Once I have a composition picked, I do rough sketches. I'm basically Dr. Frankenstein when it comes to preliminary drawings. Everything is drawn separately so I can put it together in Photoshop. The free-transform is my bestie.
Then I usually go through at 3 or 4 versions of the illustration before I get to the finished pencil lineart. After that, it's just adding color digitally.
Final line art.
(This question took me a really long time to write and I apologize if it doesn't make sense. I don't think my creative process even makes sense to me.)
I would like to tag the fabulous Julia Lavigne! If you haven’t seen her work, her charming and colorful work will definitely be a new favorite!
Oh, and follow Josh and Julia on Twitter! They are both tweeting rays of sunshine!