Saturday, May 5, 2012

It's Better If I Am Wrong.

This is the first book that I have done illustrations for. It is really amazing to be able to branch away from what I typically do as an artist, and to have an opportunity to stretch myself into an uncomfortable place to create something amazing. Though I had never attempted illustrations for a children's book, when I took on this project I had a really clear vision of how the process should go. I had ideas for the characters, how they would look and feel. I knew exactly how the background would look, and how the colors and shapes would come alive on the page. I knew the mediums that I would use. I knew the process that I would take to create these images as sketches and how I would bring them together in a final format. However, upon moving through the sketching process, actually bringing all of these ideas together in a final format was a totally different story.

One of my most valuable qualities is being wrong, and being opportunistic enough to do something about it. While this may be my first book this isn't my first creative project. I have learned to never be afraid of admitting that "Plan A" isn't working and that something needs to change. I had the ideas all sketched out and I was beginning to bring them into more of a final format. I probably could have been done with these illustrations a month ago but I wasn't fully satisfied with the way that the images were coming together. It was way too easy and comfortable. I didn't feel like I had put enough of myself into the project. That's not Art, not for me. I never let myself get away that easy. Every bit of my Art, whether commercial or personal, contains my brain, my blood, my sweat, my self deprecation. If I don't freak out at least once through the process then it isn't worth it. It is through telling myself "I suck" that I actually become better. If "Plan A" works every time, then chances are I am not stretching myself far enough.

I trashed what I was initially working on and began to take a few different approaches. What I have settled on has taken the process farther from just sketches and watercolor paintings. I am not going to detail the entire process here, but the final illustrations will be a fusion of colored pencil drawings, photography, and digital painting/manipulation. I have sent some working proofs to Kimberlee for approval to make sure that I was still on track, but even she hasn't seen exactly how everything will be coming together as a finished product, exciting isn't it?

Here a are a few teaser pics from my progress so far. No spoilers though :)