Illustration Blog Tour

Last Wednesday, I was tagged by the very talented, Catherine A. Moore to join the Illustration Blog Tour. If you want more Moore (and who would not?), check out her website above and like her Facebook page. For those new to the tour, Krishna Chavda of NANU Illustration describes it paintbrush-pub crawl: instead of drinks, you get a shot of each Illustrator's work and process, and by the end, you'll be drunk with the narrative! Woot! Here we go: 

What am I currently working on?

Truthfully, this is the second week of the Fall semester (I teach Illustration & Light Color Design), so I have been mostly working on updating lesson plans and getting the new students acclimated. But before school happened, I started a series of shadow boxes featuring different ladies in patterned environments. Just a couple of minutes ago, I was also revising a silly children's poem that I wrote last night.

Well, Rats! Illustration board, masonite, ink, colored pencils, cloth, string & metallic markers

Well, Rats!
Illustration board, masonite, ink, colored pencils, cloth, string & metallic markers

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I think my line-work and my ever-evolving obsessions set my illustrations apart. I'm obsessed with a lot of things: stripes, skirts, birds, arched eyebrows, saintly hand gestures etc. My characters tend to have curly hair and whimsical natures. These are things that show up whether I want them to or not because there's a little mixture of all my influences, my mood, and whoever (or whatever) I'm drawing in each illustration. I like to call this an 'art baby.'

Working Ideas Acrylic, metallic markers, digital finish

Working Ideas
Acrylic, metallic markers, digital finish

Why do I write and illustrate what I do?

People often ask why or when I decided to become an artist. I like to tell them that being an artist is like being gay, you don't really decide it's what you want to do, you're just born that way. Beyond that, I LOVE drawing and telling stories (at length.) Check out a book I wrote and illustrated last summer, Cautious Meets Greg.

Epiphany Bear Graphite, digital watercolor

Epiphany Bear
Graphite, digital watercolor

How does my creative process work?

I'm a major doodler. I keep a sketchbook and I'm always fiddling on scrap paper. My favorite time to doodle is during meetings or lectures. I got in trouble for this at school until my most excellent art history professor, Dr. Gayle Seymour, let me know that she was glad that I doodled during her lectures because it showed that I was paying attention. Something to do with being left-handed. Here's a sketchbook entry that inspired, "Well, Rats!"

Sarah watching a movie over Christmas vacation

Sarah watching a movie over Christmas vacation

If I'm working for a client, my process will begin with reading the material and researching. The research will include looking at other artists, coming up thumbnails, finding reference on google images, and also taking my own reference images. 

Reference for "Fatty in Wonderland"

Reference for "Fatty in Wonderland"

After deciding on a direction and a thumbnail, I'll make a sketch and a color comp.

Thumbnail, sketch, and color comp for "Fatty in Wonderland"

Thumbnail, sketch, and color comp for "Fatty in Wonderland"

I'll then, either clean up the sketch with ink or just clarify the pencils. Finally, I'll scan the drawing and color it in Photoshop, incorporating typography, different brushes, smudging, and various textures. More recently, I have been starting to paint images with watercolor and acrylic before taking them into Photoshop. It's always fun to experiment.

Fatty final sketch and poster

Fatty final sketch and poster

Thanks for spending a little time with me discussing my work and process!

Who's next? 

I chose you, Mark Eberhardt!

Isabella, The Witch Watercolor

Isabella, The Witch
Watercolor