Monday, June 11, 2012

I Live To Create


As many of you know I'm working on a few iPad apps at the moment and starting two more book projects and in the middle of a very frustrating freelance assignment. Yesterday I found myself sketching on my iPad while watching Jim Gaffigan: Mr. Universe with the fam (hilarious). Sometimes my doodles are just doodles but now and then one really starts to take shape.


So when I finished this sketch on my iPad ("Brushes" program $8.99 - I use my finger - no stylus) I had to finish it in photoshop. When I say, "had to" I really mean had to. I don't want to go wacko on you guys but I really feel this inner dependence on creation...almost like I can't breath if I'm not creating something regularly.


It has actually been this way since I was a kid. I couldn't work on a piece all day - or multiple days like I can now - in fact in college I think the longest I ever worked on one image was about 2 hours.


Finishing a piece like this makes me right with the world.


This is where I used one of my digital photos for the background layer - I'm having fun experimenting with this technique. It's a huge time saver and with the blur filters in photoshop you can really do a lot to hide the fact that it's a photo.


This is where I realized that my little mouse would never fit through the door. Sometimes when I get working along I lose objectivity and this is a good example. I had to come to terms with the fact that if I wanted it to look right I would have to spend an extra hour or so fixing my mistake. So, I had to cut out little mouse and move her forward in front of her vegetable basket. In the past I would have settled. In the future I'm sure I'll be able to spot the places where I settled in this image.


So, if you're not creating the kind of art that really makes you happy - know that 1. You can - and 2. You owe it to yourself to figure out your path.


49 comments:

  1. Any advice for those of us in one of those "I lost my mojo" kind of slumps? I have a blank piece of paper in front of me and I'm pretty sure it will remain that way, it's been that way a few weeks now. When I have a rush freelance job on I can't wait for some free time to work on my own ideas... then here comes the free time and for once my head is empty!

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    1. Yve, This is a great question. I can't answer it for you but I can tell you what I do because this happens to me sometimes. I've learned that if I want to create something really fun I have to start in small steps. First I look at other artists work and try to come up with one object that I've never painted before. In the case of this illustration it was the red mushroom. I've never done one that was the center of the illustration like this before so I just decided I was going to make it the focus. The mouse came second after I needed a tenant for the mushroom house. So I just build up from one main object. I hope this helps.

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    2. It does actually, I think I complicate everything so much and then talk myself out of my half started projects because it all gets to much. I need to simplify and as you say, concentrate on one new thing. Thanks :o)

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  2. The most beautiful beautiful illustration I saw today! You are such an inspiration!! The inner independence and satisfaction is must for every artist!!! Your doodles on iPad are just awesome! Is there any app to do sketching in iPad? I am really inspired by you to try this on iPad.

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    1. Thanks Joyeeta! I love the Brushes program for the iPad. There are a lot of great drawing programs but that's the only one I use. I draw with my finger - not with a stylus. Good luck!

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    1. I love those leaves - Their commonality brings credibility to a fantasy piece. I'll bet you have a few in your yard?

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  4. A mouse can fit through a hole the size of a dime. Saw that on the news the other night, a story about keeping those rodent intruders out of your house. So your beautiful illustration was factual in the first place. (Maybe, that is a pretty obese mouse.)

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    1. Yes Rob - it's amazing - I knew that but I thought it would look odd to most viewers so I made the change. It also put her further into her garden which I like.

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  5. I was going through one of your tutorials yesterday, and I had a question. You create images in RGB, which is fine for app work. But when you convert RGB to CMYK, bright, saturated colors can get killed. How do you deal with that issue when your illustration is for print?

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    1. Great question Teresa! The short answer is that I never have to deal with it. You're right - when you switch back to CMYK you lose saturation especially in the blues and teal colors. Very frustrating indeed. I've been lucky enough to work with great publishers and their people have made those adjustments for me - and they've done a great job. I could learn from them.

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  6. great post and illustration Will, I love the chubby little mouse ;)

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    1. Thanks Karen! She takes each day as it comes and is always grateful to get outside and do an honest days work!

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  7. love how you share. Hardest workin person i know. You make me tired.

    ( btw one of these days Im havin a artist bbq lunch at my house. Will get at you when I solidify a date and get my head outta my ace )

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    1. Mel! English is my second language - BBQ is my first! You say BBQ and my toes curl. You say BBQ and I can't get any work done. You say BBQ and I get my keys and go for the door. Don't tease me!

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    2. Well it's more grillin than que, so lets lower expectations....got the wife ok with it so will figure a time out. Will scream at your when its a happening definately

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  8. Thanks so much for sharing your process!!! Beautiful work!

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  9. awesome...so glad you included the tutorial. great work!

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    1. I'll actually post a better tutorial in the future - where I describe what tools and settings I'm using. Thanks!

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  10. Beautiful and inspiring to improve. for me to be exposed to people like you on IF, is my goal. i already feel my work improving.,...but i still have a long long long way to go. Thanks,

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    1. We're all on our own path and timeline Michele...as long as you are progressing you're doing it right.

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  11. I love the bright vivid colors you use while still giving a warmth in both color and texture. My birthday is this month and I have asked my family for you video tutorials. I use sketchbook pro and not photoshop. I am hoping that the tools and techniques you share will also be in Pro (just in a different location).

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    1. Happy Birthday Alison! (early :) I don't know if my tutorials will be of much help. They really were designed to be used with photoshop. Some of it will translate but the texture stuff won't. I just want you to know what you're getting into. A lot of my students love sketchbook pro.

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  12. BBQ BBQ BBQ. I see your artwork and my toes curl. Another amazing illustration!!!

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  13. I feel the same way too, I don't feel complete if I dont do some for of art,like photos or drawing/sketching! My life would be so sad without it!!

    I love the image though, but Im not into the BG,well you did say your just experimenting so no biggy:D But yeah doesn't really fit the hole image (my toughs though)

    Can you create line artwork that we can color for YOU?:-D I would love to color this mouse =w= Would be cool if you did that,give free lineart on deviantart so we can link it back to you :-D

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    1. You can use the line work I posted here Mariann - feel free to use it however you like.

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  14. Jacqueline BuffinetJune 12, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    I recently illustrated a boy astronaut walking to his rocket ship and the first thing my grandson commented on when he saw it was that the boy would not fit through the rocket ship door. Thanks to Photoshop I was able to change the perspective and ended up with a better illustration. The little ones do notice those things.

    Will, your work is beautiful and you willingness to "pay it forward" greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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    1. Thanks Jacqueline! Yes - they'll find all the weak spots for sure - I try to sit on my artwork for a few days before posting it to give myself time to catch the unfortunate oversights.

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  15. Haha so cute! Love the mouse and the foliage and flowers are so great!

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  16. Wow Wow WOW you sure know how to make things pop off the screen. You are an inspiration to me and many other would-be illustrators, I love how you cast light onto your subjects!

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    1. Thanks Sabrina! I've always loved looking at warm and cool lighting since I was a child. I take pictures of different lighting situations so I can refer to it when making art.

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  17. Looks really cool, I like how you used a photo as a background, got to remember that! I also love drawing on the iPad, but why don't you use a stylus?

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    1. Thanks - I don't use a stylus because my first Targus stylus wore out in 2 months and I needed to keep drawing for an assignment. After a few weeks of wanting to pick up a new stylus I realized I was doing fine without one. Now I realize that I'm stronger without one because I'll never have to learn a new one when the old one breaks - saves money too - and I'll never forget to bring my finger. :)

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  18. Wow!! 10 out of 10 thumbs up!
    The fact that you did the sketching in iPad with your finger is one thumb up and your great colours and details are a few extra thumbs!... i think i might need to go borrow more thumbs :)

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  19. Great teaching as always Will. I really like the background gives it a different 3D look. I hope in the future you give a little tutorial about how you did that effect. As others have stated thanks so much for taking the time to share your experience and knowledge.

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    1. Hey Jeff - I do have plans to make another video tutorial with more tips and processes utilizing more tools in photoshop. As my techniques evolve I get excited to share what I've learned. Thanks!

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  20. Good work. I generally find mouses not really my favorites, but......this one I should adopt without any hesitation! N


    Nice to see your progress sketches...

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    1. Thanks! I'd like to think that this mouse is a little smarter than your average field mouse - well mannered and probably speaks with and English accent.

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  21. This is such a beautiful illustration and I love the details, along with your composition, and the coloring too!! It makes me want to take a painting of mine (with mice in it)and have our characters meet!! :P Also, really enjoy seeing your process!! wonderful work!!

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  22. Thank You Kimberly! you never know - they might already be friends!

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  23. I don't frequent blogs, I find facebook to fulfill my need in regards to most artists. However, your blog is always informative, personable and enjoyable.

    I love seeing your work, use of color, amazing creative drawings, and just your enthusiasm for the work that you do. The fact that you let us in on your world of illustration is a delight. Thank you for that.

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  24. Thanks Monica. Blogging has become a hobby. When I first started I did it because I was being coached by a friend, "you need to do it for business purposes." While he was totally right I never thought that it would become so much fun!

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  25. Amazing character and colors:)Love the details:)

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  26. I like the idea to use a photo as background!

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  27. I just love the way you have illustrated the above image. The colors and characters that you have used in this image are simply awesome. You have done a great job.

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