Saturday, February 28, 2009

Too Many/Too Much?

Last weekend I went to this. (Go on and read Roberta's account. There's not much more I can really add, except I am so doing a brilliant display like hers next chance I get!) I got the usual post-conference doubts about my work, but this time I was able to dispel them rather quickly. I do have to admit that I still haven't found my trademark technique... a style that is obviously mine. I don't say this out of modesty. I honestly don't think I can currently compete with the art in the picture books that are on the store shelves right now. I have so many more steps to go.

I mean, this is common: working to strengthen your art to the point that it becomes synonymous with you. But I've been working on this for three years, you'd think it would be settled by now! (Although, it's been hit or miss since I was working full-time the first two years...)

I've decided to play around with various techniques more often. Maybe by being more consistent (ie: painting more than once a week) one will show itself as mine. I will say that my medium has a strong influence on what the end result will be.

Thick Acrylics: A bold, restricted palette, simplified shapes with thick implied outlines. Little or no shading-flat appearance.
Acrylic Washes: More details and color, line work is done with ink, more contrast.
Graphite: My characters tend to look older, obvious linework, more detail and shading.)

As much planning as I have done and as many goals as I've laid out for the next year, I know I can't push myself too much or there won't be a natural evolution. I went crazy for that darn conference, churning out work probably more quickly than I should have. Looking at some of those pieces now, I have to shake my head at myself and wonder what I was thinking.

It's time to keep things simple, and do what I do for the love of it...not to put it in my portfolio, or because I want an editor/art director to see it. There is something vital that gets lost when I do that...the work looks dull and lifeless. I need to find a way to translate my love of this art onto the page, and keep everything energetic.

Playing with watercolor


  1. I think this is something that everyone struggles with. You're doing great, Dee! It sounds cheezy, but draw and paint what you love. I think that really is sound and true advice. Keep going! I love that sleepy fox. That is a lovely style, I really like the bold outlines.

  2. You know Dee,
    You have more passion and drive than anybody I've met in a long time. Finding your voice in your art will come... I think we're all in a state of evolution in regards to where we want to be! You're on the right track.

    ....and girlfiend...I'm so glad you're in town!!

  3. Great fox - love the color, the simplicity is great. You've already switched it up on a dime. I think your are farther along than you think...


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