Thursday, October 28, 2010

Evolution of a T-rex

My daughter Aislin really inspired me with her request for a T-rex. And I've managed to surprise myself with what I've come up with so far. Apparently, I really love painting dinosaurs! Here's a peek at how my T-rex's tail is coming along. Above is a photo I took of the work yesterday, and below is a photo taken today. I'm looking forward to sharing this one in completed form with you soon. And to doing more fully expanded dinosaur illustrations, adding backgrounds and environment into the mix.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I'm back...and with inspiration

As I somewhat expected, my couture invitation business found it's way to front and center over the past 9 months. The result? A fabulous wedding season, but little time to illustrate. As the season winds down, I find myself itching to get back to my first love...drawing and painting. But I'll admit I feel a little spent in the creativity department. As much creativity as it takes to design and create thousands of invitations...owning a business, parenting small children, and helping to keep a household running, demand even more creativity. So now that I'm ready to illustrate. Where do I find inspiration?

This time I've happened to find it in a lunchbox, in the form of a napkin note. I write them for my daughter Leah, and being the future writer and illustrator she hopes to be, she instantly started writing them back to me. Since she's still learning to spell, many of her notes to me (which are left on my kitchen table each morning) are riffs on whatever I wrote and drew for her the day before. She'll often copy the larger words I used from one of my old notes (it's sweet to see that they don't often end up in the kindergarten garbage bin), and rearrange them. What a treat to see my doodles and ideas reinterpreted through the eyes of a child! I have felt very inspired by her feedback, additions, and the freedom with which she creates. I just love how graphic and stylized her tulips and fairy skirts are. Why didn't I ever think of that!? I'm experimenting with ways of applying this inspiration to what I'm drawing and painting now, and I have a feeling I will always have a critic in my oldest child.

In fact, when she saw a watercolor sketch I'm doing using an "Illustrator's Reference Guide" for reference...she was interested to hear about how I used the guide and gave me some feedback on my work in progress. Hearing her say "You always use such nice, bright colors" made my day. Thanks for the inspiration Leah, and to my daughter Aislin as well...who recently asked for a drawing of a T-rex. A subject I'd never choose to paint on my own. I hope to share with you all my interpretation of a T-rex sometime soon!