June 20, 2014
April 25, 2014
I had this urge to look through my photos, to remember my time at Pompidou art museum in Paris. I just remember the excitement being in the gallery, it’s not the same looking at crappy Iphone photos. Being up close to the picutres, seeing the textures from the paint, the colours (which are no where near as amazing in person) is just a wonderful experience. The first painting is Pablo Picasso figure, vers 1927, which is interesting as I don’t like a lot of Picasso’s work. The second painting is Karel Appel, la promenade, 1950 and the last image is Hans Hartung, T. 1935 – 1, 1935.
April 21, 2014
Oh this week as I predicted was a hard one for me, due to the pressure I put on myself. The brief was to design either a book cover or a two page spread on Aesop’s Fable, “The Fox and The Crow”. I think I struggled because I wanted to get my sweet whimsical nomuu illustrations into the design, and was trying to force them into the initial design, but they just didn’t suit the fable in my opinion . The fable has the fox as quite a cunning little guy (or girl)… trying to steal the cheese from the crow, by encouraging and flattering the birds singing, and in-turn the bird drops the cheese. That doesn’t translate too well in my mind into sweet characters. That’s not to say you can’t create cute characters, but I just didn’t have the understanding on how to translate sweet characters into a mischievous tone. One thing about me, is I really try to stick to the emotion and feel of a story with characters, I find it very hard to picture the theme and then draw something completely out of sync. I just can’t seem to let go of making sure the characters work well visually with the story. Whether they actually do, is another story 🙂
The other issue I had was conveying emotion, facial gestures. This has not been my strong point and this really hit home with this assignment, and with my nomuu illustrations I get away with one look, which is sweet and innocent, but as soon as I add other features to my characters like a mouth, it just loses its character. So because I am used to doing characters very simply, with very little facial features, I found it hard to draw eyes and lips and get them to look normal. As soon as I drew eyes on a character I didn’t know what to do with them. I need to learn more about facial gestures in characters. I mean there are thousands of different types of eyes you can create, and just a simple change in the stroke and the way the eyeball sites can make or break the character. Even a simple stroke for a mouth, is not that simple. I am not a technically trained illustrator, and I wonder how much this will impact me. I wonder if you can make it as a book illustrator without having the ability to draw detail and perspective well?
I spent so much time trying to understand fox characters, I drew a ridiculous amount of characters, below is just a small section. I mean I would say I did hundreds, mainly because I was trying to find the right feel in the character. I spent a whole day sketching foxes (yes a whole day). I was starting off with cutesy characters, but they just didn’t feel like they worked for me and then I tried foxes that looked more like foxes, and they looked nice, but they look so sweet. So eventually I decided on this character, which incidentally I sketched very early on in the piece, and ditched it. The next morning I went back over what I had done, and I saw something quirky in him. I wanted something quirky, that could have simple facial features like my nomuu characters, but still a bit more mischievous, but not too much that you would necessarily know that. I still incorporated my nomuu character style through the body and clothing. I also wanted the fox character to look at the crow side on. I didn’t want the fox and the crow looking directly in front. I envisaged the crow being in the tree to the left (in the final designs) and did have him there initially, but it felt better to bring him down closer to the fox.
I didn’t concentrate too much on the crow character, I could of spent a lot of time on him as well, but I was a bit exhausted by the end of it and by that time I sort of knew it needed to match the foxes feel, so I didn’t take me too long. Perhaps the crow could of had more “character” but I think it was ok. I knew the crow, and the lettering of the title wouldn’t be too hard for me to put together, so I left them for later. The lettering took me really about 30 minutes, I didn’t look at any inspiration, I just did a few different lettering styles and found what worked well together.
I am also really happy I tackled the background a bit more. I never knew how to do subtle silhouettes in the background to add depth to a scene. I think for the first time I did pretty well. I admit, I took the outlines from a sketch from a while back. I keep resources on hand for this very reason, so I can use them in projects.
Colours were interesting. I went for a very light coloured theme initially, having a winters forest theme. I tried brighter colours, in the design earlier on (like the green design below). That may have worked too. I think perhaps the final design with the circle and the bright colour in the background may have been a bit of mistake, but I just pushed the design as far as I could. I think this is one the designs that I could go back and work on a little further. Sometimes there are just so many options and none a wrong per say, but you just have to make a decision in which way you want to go.
I jotted down some strengths and weaknesses I have learnt from this week.
I’m good at texturing, this is a big strength of mine
Pretty good with colour
Can do a wide variety of characters
Can do quirky characters
Have a good understanding of trends
Not too bad with lettering
Try to stay true to the story, take the story into consideration in my design
Easily confused with too many character ideas and can get obsessed
Not good with poses, eyes and facial gestures
Drawing perspective and shadows
Too rigid in my thinking, can’t let go of how I want things (which can be a strength at times)
Try to force things that don’t work together
Not very good at technical drawing
April 14, 2014
Bottom two images, some initial concepts.
This weeks assignment for the course ‘Make Art That Sells’ was quite challenging for me. I think I put up some roadblocks before it even began. The brief was to design dinner plates with the theme of ‘succulents’ and before I even started I wasn’t really feeling it. Succulents are lovely, but I don’t know I just couldn’t get into it. Perhaps because I had a busy week and I had less time to really concentrate on it. It’s funny how the subject matter can affect your designer mojo.
I sat down and based on my little talk to myself last week I roughly knew what direction I wanted to go in. So I stuck to my idea of the scandinavian, textural feel. I also wanted a abstract, collagy feel. I didn’t want it to be a detailed illustration and I did get there in the end, and I am happy with the results but…I have no clue how I got there – lol!
The one thing I find frustrating is just ‘winging it’ and I felt like I winged it. Seriously, I got muddled up in the beginning and somehow wanted to incorporate cute little characters (basically because I wasn’t feeling the ‘theme’), and so mucked around with that for a while. I then stumbled across some textures that I blended together and started to feel something nice happening there, proceeded to switch off and on layers in Photoshop, accidently moved layers around, and found something that resembled something rather interesting…yes apparently moving around layers by accident can help! That’s what worries me, that sometimes I create things just by experimenting, with no real clue how I achieved the end result!
The final design was not exactly what I was envisaging, I was envisaging very rough shapes of succulents and I had imagined I would of had many succulents in the design, but ended up just having one or two. The colours, were all intuitive, I didn’t walk into the brief with particular colours in mind, I just sort of went with what felt right. Not sure if that’s a good thing. I wonder if I really should train myself to use specific colours? I find it very hard to do that though. I feel like I am having a constant battle with my mind. Me wanting to do one thing, and my little brain wanting to do something completely different and I confess I just end up giving-in in the end and let my mind do whatever it wants. Whenever I fight it, it seems to be even harder.
I think again there was a lot of mind chatter with this assignment, too many ideas and directions and not knowing which way to turn. I hope I can tone that down a bit in the future.
This weeks assignment is childrens picture books and we need to draw foxes…and well can you imagine how I feel. Excited, so excited! Although I am already anticipating I will be putting a lot of pressure on myself with this assignment, because it’s a theme very close to my heart. So I want to ‘nail it’. Ohhhh the pressure!
Update: It was very cool to get selected in Lilla’s picks. She thought my work would go well at Crate and Barrel. I was hoping Anthropologie, but I know it was a bit too bold for that market. They have a lot of painterly, watercolour look going on there at the moment, with sort of turkish inspired patterns. Her suggestion was to work on my logo area, which she also mentioned last weeks review. That’s not too bad. I know it was kind of plonked on, but hey Rome wasn’t built in a day 🙂 I did start creating some new signatures I just didn’t have time to work on it more. Something for this weeks assignment to get on top of. It was interesting to hear Lilla’s thoughts on the Land of Nod, and how even though it’s for the children’s market, they really are targeting adults with the artwork too, which makes sense as I am lucky enough to have my abstract work selling there at the moment. I then realised other people were buying my abstract work for bedroom nurseries too, which I would have never thought to do.
February 5, 2014
Congrats to Bec Morris, your number was selected, there were 71 people who liked and commented (including Instagram) . I will try and contact you via facebook message….otherwise you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks to all of those that participated. There will be more giveaways coming up! A boy print next.
January 27, 2014
This a new art print by me under the AMMIKI range.
It’s an abstract contemporary print, using soft pink and blues, with bold circles and crosses. You can purchase either an 8×10″ or A3 version on Etsy
December 2, 2013
December 1, 2013
I was looking for props for my art prints shoot, and I just couldn’t stop going back to ohalbatross on Etsy. Ok…so maybe it wasn’t just for the props! I am a big kid at heart. I’m just drawn to her work!
Look how cute she is! Can’t wait to get her.