This should be subtitled “An Introspective”.
The past few months I’ve been listening to many episodes of the Drawn Today and W.I.P. podcasts, both of which are focused on fantasy and sci-fi illustration and narrated by groups of illustrators themselves. I’ve always been partial to podcasts while I paint or sketch, rather than music. It’s one of the few times that I can listen to something and absorb the material without being distracted.
Recently I’ve been considering making an attempt to become an illustrator, and by recently I mean over the last few weeks is when I started considering it. Giving it thought. Analyzing, very loosely, some of the pros and cons. I graduated with a degree in technical theatre with a costume design emphasis, and while I didn’t get a fabulous grounding in the arts, I feel as if I’m at least a small step ahead of the curve thanks to costume and theatre design courses I’ve taken, and sketches I’ve had to do for projects. I’m not nearly as well-versed in the art techniques as someone who solely focused on getting a fine arts degree, but I’m willing to learn. I also believe that I can work on costume design and improve my costume illustration skills at the same time as non-costume illustration. After all, says my brain, costume design feeds into fantasy illustration, and my progress toward freelance illustration work certainly would benefit from costume design opportunities.
I talked with Kathryn about the idea the other day, and she agrees that there are many ways that the two careers can go hand in hand. I’m glad I have her support in this. It’s not going to an easy road, but I believe that hard work will pay off, and that art and illustration is a skill that can be learned. From reading the Drawn Today, W.I.P, and Muddy Colors blogs, I’m noticing a trend – that inspiration is everywhere, and that reference is OK. I do need to work on drawing more, every day regardless of whether I’m feeling inspired or blah or under the weather. I won’t improve if I don’t. And the number of subjects that I need to work on improving is almost mindboggling. But at least I’m aware of that.
I’m going to be trying to update this blog more regularly, and even if I’m not able to post about cool places to be in Atlanta at least I’ll be trying to do some art posts every week. I don’t own a scanner, so for now I’m taking pictures of my sketches with my wife’s DSLR. You’ll be able to get an idea of where I’m going and how I’m progressing, and what techniques I’m working on.
A few examples of recent sketch work. I’ve got a long way to go… but it should be a fun trip.
And a small painting of the skeletal hand that I did today: