A traditional blog, perhaps?

One thing #inktober has unexpectedly brought up for me is that I need to find a better way of using the internet. 

I want to hear about my friends’ lives. I want to keep up with important news and cultural conversations. I want to discover new creators and creations. I want to keep my work somewhere that makes it likely that art directors will think of me. I want to share my adventures with my friends.

But I don’t want ~the internet~ to take all of my time and make me sad. I don’t want to feel panicked about not posting any ‘finished art’ for weeks at a time. I want to stop feeling like there’s a conversation I’m forgetting in another app.

It’s hard that most of my social interactions happen online, especially those interactions that are about illustration and/or political happenings. It’s hard to be a person, with all the bits and pieces of your life spilling into each other.

I don’t have an answer yet. I considered just signing out of twitter for a month. Maybe I don’t need to listen in on all the conversations about diversity and inclusion and decolonisation that happen daily on my feed? Because maybe it’d be better if I read more essays, books, and poetry by these authors – instead of just reading their twitter accounts? I’m definitely considering shutting down my personal tumblr account.

But at the centre of it all, I did realise that a blog-style thing might be a good idea. A place where I can share the things I’ve been doing, and creators whose work I’ve been loving, in a focussed way, rather than a haphazard collection all over the place.

So, what’ve I been up to?

I’m writing some maths articles for the kid’s magazine AQUILA, which is a lot of fun. They seem generous with their readers, asking them to think deeply about the world around them, and I like that. My first article is in the January issue 🙂

I’m hanging out for the cover of Shout Out to the Girls to be released, and hopefully some more names of women who are in the book, so I can squee loudly at you about that.

I’ve also been watching a lot (A LOT) of the Doctor Blake Mysteries. I’m even considering driving to Ballarat tomorrow (where it’s set) just so I can convince myself to go outdoors instead of watching 10 episodes in a row.

I’m starting a new art project (self-directed) with some strict rules for myself, so I’ll show you that when it’s done in 6 weeks 😀

Cool things around the web:

Some great people are doing fundraisers with their Inktober sketches, so you can buy pretty art at the same time as giving money to help out some people who need it. Erika Meza is drawing beautiful Mexican animals and raising money for the areas in Mexico that were badly hit by an earthquake. Sage Howard is drawing curious island buildings and raising money for Puerto Rico hurricane relief.

I’ve been really enjoying (and inspired by) Pam Smy and I wanna get my hands on a copy of her book Thornhill. I feel like our greyscale work of solid flats and textured details has some similarity and that inspired me to try out some physical paint this week. I know a lot of illustrators worry about not copying other artists’ style. But my general rule is just to try and learn from as many as possible, so that you’re never going to be caught up being too close to anyone else.

Wanna learn the basics of clothing folds? These two links (scanned pages of Famous Artists Course) are super helpful: 1, 2.

Anyway, we’ll see how this goes. I don’t want to lose the good parts of the internet but I do need to make some changes. I hope you all have a great week!

Reconstructing a Face from a Single Image

This is a really cool and fun tool for seeing how faces look at different angles. It’s not perfect, obviously, but it’s pretty good and a fun way of getting your brain imagine faces in a 3D way 🙂

Sidenote: the link is via James Gurney’s blog which is also a really great resource for… everything art-wise. Here’s a direct link.

Reconstructing a Face from a Single Image


Some mid-inktober youtube recs:

  • Alphonso Dunn has so many incredibly useful pen and ink tutorial videos. How to create texture and contrast and lighting etc using hatching and shading? He has you covered. Plus, he’s really calming and encouraging and makes you feel like you can manage no matter how complicated it is.
  • Minnie Small is uploading a short video each day of #inktober (along the theme Houses (and what haunts them)) and they are beautiful highlights of my day. Some of them are narrated, some have backing music, all are lovely. Her travel sketchbooks, and travel videos in general, are also really lovely and I always leave her channel feeling refreshed and more positive about life.
  • Chris Mould (not a channel, but a search) does amazing work in ballpoint pen and the videos where Shoo Rayner interviewed him showed an amazing sketchbook and a lighthearted but dedicated approach to creating art. Also his advice to ‘stick with it, don’t be careful, keep going, keep going’ and ‘there’s no such thing as a bad drawing, just a drawing that’s not finished yet’ has got me through several inktober pictures so far and is the sort of motto that I personally really need.

PenguinTeenAus on Twitter: “Today is #DayoftheGirl! We’re thrilled to be publishing Shout Out to the Girls: A Celebration of Awesome Aust Women https://t.co/VSzHdVT3vy https://t.co/Zxs7xuivpN”

This! This book here! I did some pictures for it!

PenguinTeenAus on Twitter: “Today is #DayoftheGirl! We’re thrilled to be publishing Shout Out to the Girls: A Celebration of Awesome Aust Women https://t.co/VSzHdVT3vy https://t.co/Zxs7xuivpN”

my accidental palette.

I always do a rough colour sketch before I start colouring my work and I try to use different combinations of colours in those sketches. But often I find it hard to make that colour sketch really *work* in the final piece without being too monochromatic, or too all-over-place. This colour scheme is the one I’m happiest working in. It feels easy for me to get a good range of colours while maintaining harmony, and an overall vibe that I like. (Just some of the most obvious examples: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5).

But right now I am trying to get a colour scheme to work in a jungle and it is hard. Maybe I should just colour it all in pinks and golds and browns and then put a hue filter over it at the end….