Illustrating with Alcohol Markers

In need of a fresh update on my portfolio, I’ve been trying out new materials and techniques while illustrating. I’ve fallen pretty deep into a comfort zone that consists of mainly animals, people and the occasional flowers/food. I want to branch out a bit more and get comfortable applying my style to other subjects. I also want to unify my style a bit more so it can still look cohesive and recognizable across various materials/subjects.

This week I’ve been trying out Copic markers. My style heavily relies on the texture and shapes of brushstrokes, so alcohol markers are quite a challenge for me. I’m finding that I’m going to need to develop a slightly more distinguished shape language for the sketching of subjects to make a non-paint piece still look like my style.

Here are a few of the better illustrations I’ve done with markers. They still look far-removed from the rest of my work.

On the note of expanding subjects…I’m still a bit overwhelmed. There are so many things I’d like to try that I don’t know where to start. For the time being I’ve just taken to illustrating objects around me, but I would like to organize a bit more structure around them. If you have any advice about choosing a subject for a self-initiated project and sticking with it, please let me know! I’d really appreciate it!

Catching Up

Sorry for the absence! I’ve been quite busy lately so I’ll catch you up quickly:

-Thought I was losing my job so I doubled down on art, made a huge plan for overhaul to my portfolio, Etsy shop, business plans, commissions, etc.

-Didn’t lose job, super busy with summer festivities, painted my living room/studio walls, and then ran out of time for art

-Currently trying to find balance between being able to pay at least most of my bills by cutting day job to part time, and getting my art career off the ground.

I’ve been working on making more Youtube videos (editing takes me forever so it’s still pretty slow going) but I’ve been having fun working on them when I can. It’s something l’d really like to work on more. I’ve made clay pins for my bag that a lot of people liked so I’m currently working on a batch for a shop update (hoping by early September) . I’ve added some more custom options to my Etsy shop, as I find it’s easier for people to feel comfortable commissioning an artist that way. Finally, I’ve been working on new stickers for my shop, updating my Redbubble and working on adding digital prints to my Etsy shop.

Clay Pins!

(A shop update is in progress!)

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Pink & Blue Pet Portraits

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A simple, quick and budget-friendly option

 

Dayjob // Dreamjob Drama:

My day job (a retail job I’m not particularly fond of) changed things around and my hours got cut from full time to about 15 hours per week. At that point I would not even earn close to a minimum wage. So with the extra time, I could either get a second day job (not much to choose from in my tiny town) and quit my art career….or double down and try to get my career off the ground. Clearly I chose the art.

I had all this extra free time so I worked on new products and paintings and marketing and had a few commissions come in and things were looking a little less bleak…..but now my day job changed things around again and I am back to 35-40 hours per week…..I barely earn enough to live as it is, and while I have the comfort of “okay I can pay most of my bills…” I no longer have time for all the plans I made for my art.

At this point….I think I just need to take that leap. Otherwise I’ll be forever stuck in my shitty little comfort zone where I’m miserable but surviving. I think I really need that little push. You know, the fire under your ass that be like, “HEY GET MOVING I DON’T CARE IF YOU’RE WORRIED OR IT’S NOT PERFECT OR IT’S UNCOMFORTABLE!!”

So maybe I’m not flat out quitting my part time job, but cutting it dangerously low to force myself to be responsible for making up the rest of the money I need to live from my art. A craft that I have been honing for a solid decade.

Also it’s summer so everyone and their mother wants me to be there for their wedding/graduation/birthday/their kid’s birthday/fireworks/etc…..so family and friends have gotten the largest slice of free time I had. I was trying to be productive and just ended up planning too much and spreading myself too thin. You know how it is.

Learning to Draw Animals

This year, one of my biggest goals was to learn how to draw animals and become comfortable with painting them. I was never good at drawing animals. They always turned out looking broken and creepy with backwards legs, due to a gross misunderstanding of anatomy. That, or just very stiff and awkward like a product of picture day in middle school.

Now they are currently my favorite subjects to draw and paint. Pet portraits and animal-themed nursery art are also what I’m commissioned for the most. It’s really interesting to reflect back on that.

A tip if you want to learn to draw animals. Really pay attention to the fundamental shapes that make up the body and the flow of them. You will see similarities in the anatomy repeat between different animals and those fundamentals will help you learn to draw any animal way faster. (Though, to be fair, this advice could probably be applied to drawing literally anything)

Remember, basic shapes are good. Basic shapes are your friends.

Also, Practice makes perfect…or vast improvements at the very least~

(On a side-note, I feel super weird not including any fun pictures or anything. Until the holidays are over, though, I’m not going to have a whole lot of time to put into my blog 😦 I’ll update and beautify when and where I can, however!)

1,000 Instagram Followers

Recently I have hit 1,000 followers on Instagram, which is crazy to me. When I started posting I doubted I would ever even have 500 people, let alone a thousand, interested in my art. So I just want to say thank you to anyone who may be reading this. So,

Thank You!! ❤

A bit about my journey on Instagram…

I had originally started on Instagram as a way to share the traditional art I was making whilst my computer was broken for about a year and I couldn’t make digital art. This ended up being a huge turning point in my career path. I went from wanting to be a digital concept artist for the longest time, to accepting that I wasn’t cut out for that kind of work. It was a rough, but I think my broken computer situation ended up being the best thing that could’ve happened. I probably wouldn’t have gone on Instagram, found a bunch of awesome illustrators who inspired me, and chose the path I’m on now if it hadn’t.

To me, 1,000 people is a lot. Considering I started with around 250 of mostly just friends and family in January. I have made so many new friends there over the last 2 years which has been awesome and has pushed me to really keep improving my work.

I also found that starting my 365 day challenge journey and sharing it on Instagram has really helped connect me with a lot of people, which has been super cool too~

Here’s a fun comparison of the first few illustrations I had ever posted to Instagram to some more recent ones. (And I think it’s safe to say, my skill in just taking the pictures of my art has improved drastically haha)

Summer 2016 vs Fall 2018:

Anyways, that ended up being a longer post than planned. Congrats if you made it this far and thanks for reading! I hope you had a great weekend 🙂

Also, if you’ve ever had a huge stop and switch in career/life paths, please share! I feel times like that can be super difficult and it’s always nice to know you’re not alone and all the stuff you learn along the way~