My business cards finally came in the mail! along with the postcards I ordered for pet portraits. This year began with a new goal of self exploration, determination to blog more, and a lot of coffee. Starting a business in illustration is not an easy task and it has definitely been a difficult year. I moved once, changed jobs, and have now embraced the home office working situation.
The year began with my contract ending as a graphic designer and a move to another city. I had just completed graduate school leaving with a thin paper Master’s degree in English at California State University, Fullerton. What did it all mean? Every graduate student walks away from their classes and their degree with the question of who am I now? Who will I become? Is this just the beginning?
With all of the exciting changes I realized my passion truly lie in illustration instead of graphic design. I wanted to tell a story and teach. I began to work with watercolors every day, the frustrating translucent fluid medium. I’ll admit that at first I struggled with it, and then watercolors and I fell in love.
Suddenly the private space of my bedroom transformed into an art studio where I perpetually had some project either on my desk or my easel. I set aside the workflow I had ad a graduate student and deemphasized my computer and electronics to dive straight into the traditional medium. In January I broke my wrist and this gave me time while it healed to focus just on art. I craved to go back to the basics in art, to feel my paint brush again between my fingers, and to get dirty in my paints, to ruin things, to make things colorful and alive, to be alive. Now here I am with the 365 watercolor project and I cannot wait to share what becomes of it.
“To be, or not to be.”
I decided at the beginning of this year to start a new project I’m calling the 365 Watercolor Project. I have been experimenting with watercolor and thought of doing one small watercolor project a day. I am excited to start this project and see the development of my technique. Personal style comes up frequently among artists because it tends to be the way we market ourselves. I have always had a flexible style and thought this would be a great exploration through constructing a body of work that would show both progression, development of technique, and reveal a style. I decided not to restrict myself to a particular subject matter.
It’s 2016! & there are so many possibilities. I am excited for the prospect of a new line of work, new illustrations, new clients, and new books to read. I have a huge collection of books from the master’s program that I need to catalog and read.
My 2016 Reading List
The Monk – Matthew Gregory Lewis (reading now)
The Mysteries of Udolpho
Atlas Shrugged – Ayn Rand
The October Country – Ray Bradbury
Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals – Kant
Prometheus Bound – Aeschylus
On Stories – C. S. Lewis
The Sketch Book – Washington Irving
Master of the World – Jules Verne
Foundation and Empire – Isaac Asimov (need to finish this series)
This Side of Paradise – F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Prose Edda – Norse Mythology
A Study in Metaphysics: The Creative Mind – Bergson
Bleak House – Dickens
A Moveable Feast – Hemingway
Vol II Sherlock Holmes
The Castle of Otranto – Horace Walpole
Vathek – William Beckford
Melmoth the Wanderer – Charles Maturin
I am so excited to revisit these novels and have a chance to read some of them for the first time. I hope to find scenes from these novels to illustrate as a new way of experiencing them.
I’m doing a series of superheros on canvas.