This my-first-illustration post from 5 years ago accurately indicates that I’ve always enjoyed drawing for other people’s stories. But which stories? And why? More recently I’ve spent so much time trying to build a box-ticking middle-grade adventure portfolio that I no longer know what art I want to make or even how I want to make it. Some of those portfolio pieces I love and am very proud of. Others feel kind of soulless. I don’t even know why right now.
So I threw it all out and went back to some of my older methods to make these posters for the AOI and LTM #LondonStories Poster Prize, and I had a lot of fun.
I still love middle-grade adventure fiction. And I love working to a story, an assignment, or a prompt. But working to tick all the boxes just made me feel a little lost, and led me to rely on techniques I don’t even like. I want to move past that so I can start to build a portfolio that feels more like me (while also showing I’d be great to hire, of course).
The goal is not to find my flaws. The goal is not to box myself into making art within a narrow scope. These ‘nots’ are important. Progress won’t happen if I just spend all month criticising myself or trying to build narrow restrictions.
The goal is, largely, to find things I love and start moving towards them. The goal is to find ways of drawing/painting/collaging that allow me to tell the stories that I want to tell. To continue developing my art style so that it works with me to convey moments and emotions. (Along the way that will probably involve learning things that are difficult and temporarily unenjoyable. But there’s no point developing a style that I find thoroughly unenjoyable to execute.)
To achieve these goals I’m going to need to:
- Figure out the kind of stories I want to tell
- Consider the pieces of art I really like, stylistically
- Analyse the way those styles and techniques support the stories and emotions they’re conveying
- Tie this all together by doing studies and experimenting with new techniques
As I mentioned in the intro post, I’ll be working heavily from Rovina Cai’s instagram series and Anuschka Rees’ fashion blog. I’ll reference them specifically at times, but if you enjoy detailed analytic introspection and are also wanting direction in any creative field, I recommend reading their things.
Happy Blaugust 🙂