Experimenting with Style

I’ve been experimenting with my artistic style over the summer because I’ve been in “artists block mode” when in comes to producing anything beyond a sketch. Below are two sketches with two different styles I’m attempting.

The first is heavily inspired by fashion design sketches, which is why her legs are so disproportionately long and she has a thin, elongated figure. I also used this sketch to experiment with water-soluble oil pastels and see how well they blend when water is applied. They don’t mix as well as the watercolor pencils, but I do like the interesting texture created.

The second’s inspiration is derived from when artists use bright colors in shadowed areas instead of using the typical mixture of complimentary colors or black. I used red in this case; however, I couldn’t just leave the red along and had to go and trace it with purple and then the purple with black. Dark, bold graphic lines are my kryptonite. Or strength in the cases where it works in my favor.

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Squid

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Another drawing in my sketchbook. I wanted to brush up on my watercolor pencils skills since I haven’t utilized them in a while. The paper wasn’t made for wet material which is what caused all of the puckered texture in the image, but I actually sort of like it since it kind of adds another dimensions to the drawing. I had some difficulty with the composition of the tentacles since I honestly only planned the left side before delving right in and is something I will definitely not ever do again when dealing with an illustration like this again. I purposely left the shoulders out because I think it makes the design more versatile if I decided to put it on a t-shirt, bag, etc and is also why I cut the neck off by having the two tentacles touch. I’ve seen this successfully used before this different designs for clothing products.

 I feel like I should also note here that I have never actually drawn a squid before or even seen a live one in person (though I do love calamari…I suppose it doesn’t count). I don’t think I have even really sat down and actually observed and studied a picture of a squid before, so basically what I’m trying to say is that this “squid” I’ve drawn is very, very, very much drawn from imagination. In fact, I’m just assuming that it looks even relatively like a squid. It might just look like some freaky tentacled monster. Anyway, I’m rambling now and am digressing to extreme levels (I blame lack of sleep). Wow, I really did write a lot about this. If you’re reading this right now, then let me be the first to congratulate you on actually having enough willpower to read this far!

Hallmark Visit

A couple months ago I interviewed a retired Art Director from the company for a project in one of classes, and he offered to give me a contact in the illustration department so that I could interview them as well and possibly get shown around the office. Today I finally got to Kansas City where Hallmark is headquartered and received a lovely tour from one of the traditional themed illustrators, and I have to say I could definitely see myself working the company. From the impression I got today, Hallmark gives their creative employees an abundance of avenues to explore various artistic methods and to stimulate innovation and inspiration. Everyone I met was extremely friendly, and it appeared that employees extensively collaborate with other departments since the lady giving the me the tour seemed to know EVERYONE we ran into in every section of the building. By the way, the Hallmark building is huge! I entered on the seventh floor, and there were two more floors above me (the below floors go underground), and one of the floors connects to other Hallmark buildings separate from the main corporate building, and that doesn’t even include the buildings NOT connected and located elsewhere in the city. It’s mind boggling! On a related side note, my Digital Arts professor told me that Hallmark is different than Disney because Disney wants their employees to be concentrated in one area and only focus on that concentration and perfecting it where as Hallmark wants their employees to have a breadth of skills. 

The lady I met with gave me a website to check out called Odosketch which I got an account on: http://sketch.odopod.com/users/131077

On a final note, I have started to experiment with my art style a bit more, and I’m now trying to take a more comic book influenced approach to my work. I also want to mess around a bit with my subject matter and make it a bit edgier with more a more obscure dark sense of humor so that the message or point of the joke isn’t clear. Below is my first sketch attempting this. My mom just rolled her eyes when she saw this and asked me what the hell I was drawing now and why. She likes me art…sort of. When it has a happier, less bizarre (and possibly twisted in her opinion) subject matter. Unfortunately, my mind doesn’t roll that way. She keeps telling me if I want to illustrate for children’s books or Hallmark that I need to create lighter subject matter which I can, but this is personal work, so I don’t want to. But try telling her that. It gets a bit irritating at times. I enjoy using bright colors with quirky characters to the dark humor isn’t first realized by the viewer. Not exactly a play of irony but close. Image

Aliens, Apocalyptic Movies, and a Dash of Sketchbook

I just saw the movie Alien for the first time last week, and I just have to say I hate alien movies. I hate them. With a burning passion. I wished they would go away. And not come back. No more alien movies. Obviously, based on that fact alone, the movie was not my choice. A couple friends picked it out, and I just sort of decided to go along for the ride. It’s not the concept of aliens that I hate (I’m actually quite fascinated by it), and it is most certainly not the gorgeous 1980s gore in the case of Alien. It’s just that the aliens ALWAYS turn out to be evil and then proceed to attempt or successfully kill off everyone. How incrediblly depressing to think that apprently every single other life form out there feels the need to exterminate the human race. And a bit dull. Let’s stop being predictable Mr. Aliens, please. However, I suppose the director or producer is more to blame than the aliens themselves. Do these people get some sort of perverse pleasure from it? Are they living vicarioulsy through the aliens that kill off the population’s masses? What pleasant people. I just should invite them for tea sometime. Actually, I dislike tea so never mind. Maybe some coffee instead. With cake. That sounds nice. Maybe I would like alien movies then. It’s a theory. Anyway, alien movies come second to apocalyptic movies. I don’t really get any joy from watching Earth get destroyed in various manners.You could almost call it a pet peeve. I think I’ll stick to the reality of the planet currently remaining intact. It’s just a personal preference of mine.

 

So, on a completely different note, I wanted to draw a fairy today in my sketchbook and accidentally ended up drawing Tinkerbell. Woops. It honestly wasn’t my intention. Originally I imagined a more war-like fairy in armor and whatnot. That obviously did not happen. I don’t know why. Apparently, I don’t have control of my hand. It’s something I probably need to look into. Might need to take a trip to the doctors. Anyway, I posted it below, so enjoy

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Hipster Day

I had what I am declaring a “Hipster Day” yesterday. I woke up around eleven, showered, and dressed up in a black knit hat (even though it was 80 degrees out), a grey v-neck shirt tucked into a 1950s knee-length  forest green wool skirt (still 80 degrees out), and striped grey flats. I topped it off with wing tipped eyeliner and blue nail polish. Then I stuffed my crocheting and sketchbook into my black hole of a bag and drove to the coffee shop by my house with my brother where I proceeded to order a vanilla Northern Light Latte with soy milk and a vegetarian sandwich. I sketched a bit and then played checkers and chess against my brother on his iPod until 3:30pm. Unfortunately, my “Hipster Day” came to an end then because my friend and I had scheduled to work out together (two miles, lifting weights, and a 20 minutes abs workout). Overall, it was a very satisfying day. Hooray for reinforcing stereotypes! Below is just another sketch my sketchbook (not the one from yesterday). 

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A Beautiful New Sketchbook

Just bought a new sketchbook today after I spent about twenty minutes agonizing over all of the options. I am extremely picky when it comes to selecting one. I like them small but not too small. I like them with thick paper but not too thick. I like them with a hard cover but not too hard. Okay, that last one was just me being stupid, but you get the idea. However, I am extremely rough with my sketchbooks since I take them practically everywhere, so I do require a hard cover.

After buying it, I promptly went to my favorite little coffee shop, sat myself down, and started doodling away. I always feel a bit of pressure when making the first drawing. I view it as the introduction to a book I’m considering reading. The first page should ideally hook the reader right away, submerge them into the world the author crafts. Therefore, if my first drawing doesn’t excite me, I loose a lot of motivation to keep drawing in that particular sketchbook. I guess it’s just a weird fact about me. Luckily, this has only happened with two sketchbooks, and both of them were rather inexpensive that I bought on sale. Anyway, below is the first drawing in my marvelous sketchbook that I’ve started to fondly call my baby (yes, I know it’s cliche!).

On a side note, I went to the doctors today to discover I have a massive ear infection in my left ear. It feels like someone is repeatedly stabbing it with a tiny knife, and I’ve nearly bursted into tear on multiple occasion because it’s so painful. Mind you, I have an extremely high pain tolerance that is backed up by the fact that I played a month of soccer on a sprained ankle. I would of kept playing on it, but I sort of collapsed after a game since my ankle just sort of gave out on me. I am aware of the stupidity of my decision, but I swear it honestly didn’t hurt that bad, and I would have never guessed it was sprained. Image

Sketchbook Outtakes

Every year I buy a small sketchbook and attempt to fill it up through out the school year. These are outtakes that I consider the best of my 2011-2012 College Freshman sketchbook, so I hope you enjoy. 

I know it has been a while since I have posted, but my life has honestly been extremely hectic since next week is FINALS WEEK. Cue drastic music. Actually, it won’t be that bad. Most of my finals were this week, so I only have two next week and one of them is a project. Therefore, my life has not been all that exciting to blog about unless you enjoy listening to me drone on about studying and what not, which I doubt. So, I give you pictures!

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Animal

ImageI thought today I would share one of my pieces of art I am most proud of. This was actually done last semester for my Beginning to Design final, which was to be inspired by either a song or poem and create something on a 36″x24″ canvas. I picked “Animal” by Neon Trees. I wanted to express how animalistic, wild, and desperate love makes us, and whenever I hear this song I seem to think in these color for some reason. It’s mixed media: acrylic paint, marker, newspaper, and watercolor.

Sorry if these thoughts are all jumbled, but I have been working all day and have only eaten a slice of pizza and an apple. I’m very, very tired….and hungry….

Roommate

So, I don’t like my roommate, and I think I have fairly good reason not to. For starters, she’s a one upper. Every time I open my mouth to share a story or a problem, she has an even more fantastical story or devastating problem. Second, she is extremely condescending. Just because I’m not social doesn’t mean I’m stupid or naive. Third, she says awful things about me behind my back to our shared friends who of course tell me what she has said, and when I confront her about it she lies to my face, saying they twisted her words and then goes on to tell me she said the complete opposite of what I’ve heard. Mostly she complains about the fact that my side of the room is messy, which it’s not. It’s just organized chaos which I keep contained to my side of the room. The worst part is that she continues to pretend to be my friend to my face, and I just don’t feel like dealing with anymore conflict since I have to live with her, so I just go along with it. Finally, she constantly talks about how weird my art is.

Yes, the subject of my art tends to lean towards the abnormal. I like to express my sarcastic, dark, and borderline-sadistic sense of humor in my work, so it tends to be a bit creepy. However, that does not mean my roommate needs to bring it up EVERY SINGLE TIME she sees my art, which is quite often since I work on it almost 24/7. So, the reason I’m sharing this with you is because I may have done something a bit mean the other day.

Currently, I’m drawing a picture that involves a picture of a girl from the torso up with a heart cut out in her chest with a raven coming out, and there are worms in her hair because I didn’t feel like drawing a nest like I originally planned. So, my roommate walks over and looks at what I’m drawing and says “That’s so disturbing. How do you come up with this stuff?” (This is about the third time she’s said this about this drawing). So, I look at her completely serious and respond “Well, sometimes I feel like there’s a bird living in my chest instead of my heart, and he’s trying to get out, and that if my hair grew worms then I would be able to feed my bird.” That ended the conversation, and she left me alone after that. Honestly, I had thought she would get that I was being sarcastic, but I guess not. She hasn’t said anything more about my art. I wonder how long it will last. Honestly, I just wanted to express in the drawing how hearts can figuratively take different forms, but I think I like my new explanation much more.