It's been a really long time since I allowed myself the freedom of doing literally anything I want for an entire month.
2016 was a year that I heavily invested my time towards learning watercolor. I went into 2017 with a clear goal of learning gouache and oil as well. It was my year of "experimentation" and I spent countless hours doing studies and practicing specific techniques. 2018 Has been almost exclusively dedicated towards learning oil, plein air painting, and working on my book.
I definitely have a long ways to go with all of my favorite mediums, but I've come a long way in a short amount of time thanks to the expectations I imposed on myself.
I finally finished my list of commissions, and since I have been working overtime on my landscapes & book, I think it's time to switch gears. I want everything to stay fresh, and I don't want to burn myself out on certain things.
So I am giving myself total freedom during June to do WHATEVER I want.
I really want to use what I've learned to see if I can create dynamic, beautiful, and captivating pieces inspired by my favorite anime, novels, movies, shows, comics, etc!
Fandom is a subculture composed of fans characterized by a feeling of empathy and camaraderie with others who share a common interest.
Ghibli, Marvel, Tim Burton, Star Wars... all of these have impacted my life and especially my aesthetics over the years, and they serve as a constant source of inspiration.
So why the heck am I doing this - Why now?
One of my main goals is to use this month as a way to decompress. Something I've noticed over the last couple months is that the aesthetic I imagine for my book is not coming out through my current work. I am playing it too safe, and conforming to mainstream aesthetics (not completely, but mostly). I need to get out of my own way, and just let my internal aesthetics flow. I don't know how to do that. So I'm trying as many strategies as I can.
I also want to avoid getting burned out on doing the same thing all the time. I'm not the kind of person or artist who can just do the same thing every day and be happy. I need variety. "Variety is the spice of life" they say. I need some spice!
More specifically, I'd really like to start developing a strategy for combining watercolor and ink in a more pleasing way. I currently do this very rarely, mostly with my plein air sketches, but I love how the two mediums combine. Their fluidity and visual strengths blend well together, and I have a feeling they will be a beautiful tool for doing my book illustrations.
Piggybacking off my last post about my goals for visual storytelling, I'm going to treat this project as though these companies are hiring me to create compelling visuals. This challenge will force me to look at my favorite characters and stories with fresh eyes, and reinterpret why I love them, and come up with creative ways to show it.
Lastly, I hope to come out of June feeling replenished and invigorated, and to apply everything I learn towards creating even better illustrations!