Here’s a book cover that I had done as a favor (something I don’t recommend on ANY level, even if the commissioner is your bestest friends in the whole world):
The author of The Veil Wars never got back in touch with me concerning this piece, so I can assume he didn’t care for it and doesn’t want it. So you guys get to see it! I had stopped working on it in anticipation of hearing back from him, so it’s incomplete. But I might as well stick it up here since I don’t see me ever picking it up again. And look! I can do contemporary soldiers, too!
Regardless of its never being used, this was still a valuable experience in trying to meet the expectations of a client that I’ve never met before (who also lives across the country). Hearing his requests, sharing reference images, drawing sketches and getting feedback on them, then diving into creating an illustration that could more than likely be rejected. It was definitely a valuable experience, if not a waste of some stressful days.
This Summer’s New Paintings:
Besides that, I had forgotten to share my latest time-lapse watercolor piece on here:
This is a long one, but it’s also a very detailed painting. You can jump around and skip the areas that get tedious.
Here’s the painting:
This one was FUN to work on. It’s appeared in one show this summer already (won Honorable Mention), and I’m still waiting to see if it makes it into the Beyond Crayons and Fingerpainting show at B2 Gallery (it’s my last year to of being young enough to enter!). It is currently hanging at my studio/workplace gallery, Uncorked Canvas, which is literally right upstairs from B2 since this August.
Here’s another little watercolor I messed around with (my first attempt on 300 lb watercolor paper, which is actually quite a chore to work with!):
Otherwise, I can say that I have been very unproductive this summer. With school being over, I suddenly don’t have the day-to-day lectures that used to give me a huge amount of time to draw during. I realized after sitting through a meeting this last week, wherein I started drawing feverishly in my sketchpad, that my productivity had been entirely dependent on boredom (plus, I concentrate better during boring lectures when I’m absent-mindedly scribbling). My passion for art has not diminished, but I’ve lost the daily habitual time and place to create, and I haven’t formed new habits for creating yet. Which is really the definition of an unprofessional artist.
When I start creating, the passion is enkindled and I can create and imagine new pieces like no one’s business. But, if I put off feeding that passion for too long, that imagination and ability to create diminishes. “Discipline will set you free,” is a quote by a musical artist that has really stuck with me. That, and the knowledge that inspiration begets inspiration. You don’t run out of imagination or exhaust your skill, but instead, the more you create, the more you are capable of creating. Those truths, realized through experience, have really struck me recently.
Professional artists are scheduled, and know that self-discipline is the only way to success. I can’t remember where exactly I read the article that says it, but one of the traits of an unprofessional artist is the habit of waiting for inspiration to strike before sitting down to draw something, which is the endless, unproductive circle that I’m stuck in right now. I can say, after taking a long break from creating any major pieces, that the fear of failure is actually holding me back, too (and the longer I wait, the more I’m sure of failure). I’ve never had that problem, and I didn’t realize what the issue was before now. And fear of any kind is the lamest reason to put off succeeding or growing as a person or professional. So screw that! I welcome failure! If growth must come at the cost of losing a few pieces of paper and a couple of ounces of paint, then bring it on! Because the step that comes directly beyond that failed piece of art is a lesson in how not to fail the next time.
With how often I have to postpone coffee dates, I think we can safely assume that there’s no time for life. So now that we’ve got that nonesense out of the way, let’s move on with reality.
The first thing worth mentioning is this NETT (New Emergence of Tacoma Talent) that I started with my friend, Lydia, and B2 Gallery (who showed my work last October). You can find the info on Facebook (you’ll have to search for “NETT”; I can’t seem to make embedded links work on here…). It’s a gathering of artists for critiquing, sharing, getting people into galleries, general work time, etc. The first gathering was a big success and loads of fun. If you’re in the general area, you have got to stop by. It’s going to be a monthly meeting with a Saturday morning every two weeks dedicated entirely to critiquing and working on projects. Uber-fun. We’re also doing “challenges” to keep each-other motivated to create. This month it’s five sketches/drawings and one completed piece of art with the inspiration, “Communication.” I need to get that done…
I have started a project with my sister – we’re sharing the WordPress site, SlushBucket – where we’re doing an exchange where we create a piece of art with the same medium on the same size of paper. We ended up keeping a shared element in the drawing, too. Here’s a preview of my half of the first exchange:
As you can see, it was Bic Ballpoint challenge 🙂 8×10 inches each. So! Once I get her half of it in the mail I’ll be able to get a good scan of it and post it. Next challenge: Sumi ink, must contain bones. I’ll keep ya’ll updated.
I’ve been having fun exploring speedpainting videos on YouTube, and came across the work of Agnes Cecile:
It looked like so much fun that I can to make an attempt at stealing her style. I failed utterly at that, but have still had plenty of fun.
I have a few commissions that were/are going great. I’ll upload all of them in a separate post when they’re all done and received (soon).
“Odd Trio” was purchased, but I offered to finish the drawing before I sent it off to him. So here’s the finished piece (small changes like the right arm finished and stuff):
Woot.com is one of the best websites EVER. No joke. My new equipment includes an AMAZING 17-inch, quad-core HP laptop that actually handle Photoshop like it’s not big deal. It was also a screaming deal. And you know what about Woot.com blew my mind? I ordered on, like, Saturday night (so they would have shipped Tuesday at the soonest), but by Wednesday, I had my laptop delivered by overnight FedEx (and shipping is always a flat, $5). A couple days later I got a “Your Order Has Been Shipped” e-mail. They beat their own system to get it to me.
My last computer didn’t even have a battery. This one lasts for 4 hours and is beautiful. I named him Jeff. And I love him.
My eyes look weird in this photo because the sky was gray and that makes my eyes very pale. Don’t worry – there is usually pigment in them. Can’t say as much for my skin…
My dad was awesome and bought me a new Wacom (pronounced “Wack-um,” apparently) tablet for Christmas, so that, in addition to Jeff…well, just expect to be seeing a lot of digital collabs between me and my beautiful partner (Jeff is my better, prettier half).
Also! This last weekend I was in Portland (Oregon has no sales tax) and I stopped by Dick Blick (…again, no sales tax), and saw that they had a 20% off sale. I HAD to spend more money and replace my dinky children’s drafting table with THIS:
Pain in the ASS to assemble (thanks for your help, mom!), but oh, so pretty. His name is Wilbur (yeah, I’m bringin’ that name back). It’s a flippin’ dream to work on. And, because it’s glass, it can double as a light-table. I love him. Those are new watercolor brushes, too. They are soft and I petted my face with them so much that I think I ruined them with my icky human oils 🙁
At My Final Wish! Check out MyFinalWish.net and see what the work entails. They just got an office set up for us and it’s only a 25 minute walk from my house. I’ll post some work once I’ve got it finished. More info to come as it develops; it’s a new business 🙂
Still working at Uncorked Canvas in the Harbor. That’s going well as always. Created some new paintings for them that you’ll just have to visit their FB page to see 😉
I’ve also been working with my friend, Liza Brown, on chalkboards for local restaurants. Busy work.
Otherwise, I’m busy with commissions, helping out grandma (and trying to get her into assisted living, which is, apparently, a lot of work), and trying to do these things in a timely fashion (which is a lot of work). But…I’m doing art, so that’s all that matters 🙂
A Little Life
LOL. Surely you jest.
And this has nothing to do with anything: ever have so much to do that you instead spend hours working on a long, involved blog-post? No one? Yeah, I don’t know where I got that…
Some new things I’ve been working on (i.e. things I’ve been doing during lectures). These are the doodles from my sketchbook. All graphite on bristol paper.
This isn’t quite finished, but it’s close enough. No matter how much this may look like it, this was not actually inspired by Twilight. I don’t mind if you imagine that these are the characters, but they were originally intended to characters from one of my own stories 🙂
My dad and sister (also a sample of simple portrait work I can do from photos or real-life).