New work. After having a studio clear out at the start of this year, I decided to do something with the piles of little paintings and drawings which I originally created to scan in and do something digital with, for patterns or illustrations etc. So, I began to cut them all out, by hand, and have created a whole new way of working that is similar to what I would do in Photoshop, only manually! The possibilities are endless, and I have a lot of exploring to do!
You can see more of what I have been doing on my Instagram here.
Day 30: Rush
Woohoo, I made it! I have completed my self imposed challenge to create a new illustration, every day, for 30 days. I think I will save my thoughts and reflections on how I feel it went, for another post.
For now, let me introduce my final illustration. I decided to do an illustration that is probably the type of illustration that people who know my work, know me best for (??). The only new part in this illustration is the face, which itself is an original pencil drawing. ALL the other elements come from my 30 days, 30 illustrations. I didn't use something from every single day, as that would have been too crazy, and she is already pushing the boundaries of crazy as it is! But I did sneak in a LOT of different elements. If you didn't understand my process for creating illustrations like this one already, maybe you will now as you can try and spot which day each little bit comes from....! I LOVE creating illustrations in this way, especially when I have so many elements / new drawings to work with... however, it also puts you in an endless cycle of decisions in Photoshop. I ended up with 5 final versions, and let it be told that I for sure could have created at least 5 more. I might still publish my second favourite one out of the final options, but for now this is it:
Day 27: Green space
Today I wanted to draw one of my many house plants. This is one of my more recent additions to my ever growing indoor green space, and is definitely one of my favourites. It is also in a little pot that I painted. I realised that all my illustrations so far have had colour in them, and although in most of them I have used pencil to create them, it has usually been combined with watercolour or ink. So, I wanted to leave this one as as pencil drawing, no colour.
Day 26: Swim II
I talked about my love of swimming and being in water in my last post here. So I felt inspired to create another underwater themed illustration. Sadly I am not usually swimming with tropical fish, but I have been lucky enough to go snorkelling and scuba diving a couple of times years ago and wanted to try and capture the beauty and vivid colours in these phenomenal creatures. Still hoping I'll get to swim in the Great Barrier Reef one day!
Day 25: Swim
I feel really grateful that my parents got me and my siblings all swimming lessons when we were kids. Since neither of my parents are great swimmers, it was a big priority for them to make sure we could all swim. At the time, I am sure there were times when I would rather be doing something else, but now I am so glad we didn't. It is like riding a bike, once you have been taught to swim properly, and then practiced it A LOT, you never really lose it. What you do lose is stamina... I don't swim as much as I would like to now, but when I do I love it so much. I realised recently that I actually find it very meditative as I am usually focusing on counting breaths, lanes, strokes, so much so that I feel like the whole time I don't think I am actually thinking about anything else! There is something so tranquil about gliding through water, feeling fresh, energised, and like you are physically, and possibly mentally, lighter.
"We lose ourselves in the things we love, we find ourselves there too" - Kristin Martz
Day 24: Black lines.
I have worn liquid eyeliner for years now, and regular pencil eyeliner for even longer. A lot of my girl illustrations wear it too! So today I thought I would indulge in drawing some lovely eyes with different liquid eye liner styles.... Illustration created with pencil, pen and watercolour.
Day 23: Studio tools
It's day 23 and I decided to illustrate more of the tools I use in my studio! On day 9 I illustrated another of my favourite mediums which you can see here.
I created this illustration with pencil and watercolour.
Day 22: Masculinity
I don't want to say too much about my ideas behind this illustration, as I hope it will speak for itself. And although a very complicated and intricate topic, I hope it will be interpreted in different ways by different people.
The subject I wanted to explore in this illustration is men in our society, what it means to be a man today, how we (our society) has shaped them, put pressure on them, and in many cases left them behind. Yes, there is a much greater awareness of mental health in general these days, but, when suicide is THE highest cause of death in young men, we have a HUGE problem. Granted, no one has an exact explanation for this, but my theory is quite simple: men, typically, do not talk about their feelings, emotions, and problems, any where near as much as women, if at all. The age old 'boys don't cry' has gotten completely out of hand, and has left in its trail an extremely bitter taste. Then add on top decades of pressure to act a certain way, suppress a load of stuff, and 'rise to the top'. A toxic concoction which can (sometimes) result in breakdowns, violence, and unhealthy levels of anger and aggression as well as lead to (some) men growing up to be unhappy and frankly, a bit lost.
Two great books, exploring issues of this sort are:
'How Not To Be a Boy', by Robert Webb and 'The Descent of Man' by Grayson Perry
Both books explore, analyse, and explain, these complex issues better than I could, so instead I did this....
Day 21: Rejuvenate
Sundays are a good day to slow down and recuperate. That means something different to me from day to day, week to week. Sometimes it is seeing friends that rejuvenates me, or maybe it's a long bath, or reading a book, watching a film etc. And sometimes I like to pamper myself with a little Lush face mask! This one is super fresh and minty and acts like an exfoliating face scrub when you wash it off.
I hope you have had a relaxing Sunday and make time to catch up with yourself and what you need before the start of another week!
Day 20: Aerial
I decided to do another illustration on my new and exciting aerial/ trapeze class! (You can see my first one on day 1 here) I have now been going every week for over a month. In each class we do a combination of trapeze, silks, and rope. I am still nowhere near the pose illustrated, but have been doing things that frankly, I never thought I would or could. It has become increasingly more difficult each week, but also pretty exhilarating, and really does make me want to increase my strength (because you seriously need a LOT of it for this!) and flexibility so that I will hopefully start to improve. It is for sure a new found love, and I would encourage anyone to challenge yourself in starting something new, whatever that may mean for you.
Day 18: Studio Ivy
My illustration today, on day 18 (!!) is inspired by the every growing Ivy in my studio. It is super low maintenance, and yet continues to grow and grow, slowing taking over some shelves and a corner of the studio. If you like this, you might like the one I did on day 4 of my studio Orchid here, which sadly has now perished... hopefully to return next year!
Day 17: Music
I really do not know where I would be without music, and I don't know how I would create anything either. Sometimes my favourite thing to do, is go for a walk with really loud music in my ears. It usually gets me back in the zone and feeling inspired!
“Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent” - Victor Hugo
Day 16: Keep on Going.
For anyone trying to follow their dream, stick to their goals, pursue their passion, get their dream job etc etc, KEEP. ON. GOING. That is THE only way to succeed.
“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” ―Nelson Mandela
Day 15: Art makes the world a better place
I am now half way through my 30 day challenge! You can read more about my idea for setting this challenge in the first place here.
Today I have used some hand painted ink typography that I had planned to use in my illustration on day 12 or day 13 , but once I started to layer it up and compose it, I realised it wasn't going to work and would be far too busy. But I really liked this type, so decided to use it by itself today instead!
Day 14: Swimming Thoughts
Woohoo, I made it 14 days already!
My illustration today is inspired by a quote I came across last week. It reminded me that whenever I doubt myself, or my work, or what I am doing, the best thing I can do, is to just do it, whatever that thing is. I think this can definitely be applied to anyone doing anything creative, but probably a lot of other things in life as well. When you have any doubts, or self doubt, stop thinking and planning and analysing it, and instead just START.
“If you hear a voice within you say you cannot paint, then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.”
- Vincent Van Gogh
To create this illustration I used a combination of photographs I took, extracting colours and marks, as well as some echoes of the building itself, that I then layered up and composed. And also some inky typography which I hand painted and then layered on top.
Read about my 30 days, 30 illustrations challenge here