Thursday, April 30, 2009

Lively Elizabeth's Bologna-ise success!

It looks very much like Lively Elizabeth, the little minx, shall continue to excede my own meagre holiday plans. As I've just come back from sunny Wales, I've heard from Hodder that Elizabeth is set to go international! Apparently she did behave herself at Bologna and in fact went down a triumph- Woohoo!

This is great news indeed. Although Mara is a seasoned pro, I knew I, as the newbie had the very great potential to boldly and proudly sink a perfectly good ship. Since the artwork itself was commented on positively, I now feel able to be a little more confident about the future.

However, as of yet, nothing is definite; No eggs have been placed in a single basket and no poultry, of any sort, has been counted. It does mean though that I can breathe a very small sigh of relief that Elizabeth's off the starter block. Once I know anything more definite, I shall pack her cossie and shades and give you a shout!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

artists block

I'm drawing like a drunk gibbon at the moment. My pencil and I seem to be having some major translation issues. I say one thing... it skips off and throws me a moonie from across the paper. Erg! My very wonderful and talented friend, Faye, says it's all about cracking that first picture and then things will be easy. I know she's right. However, it's always a tad worrying to have 'artists' block when you have deadlines. I also know it's because the drawing is 'official' that it's not going well. I could go away and merrily draw 20 kids that AREN'T in the book, but the one that IS just won't come out of my 2b!

I have developed rituals to combat artists block (I tend to do stupid things, like tidying my sock drawer too, but they never help!)
1. I pick a film that I've seen over and over before, and which bares some similarity to the mood or theme of the work I want to create. Either that, or if I'm drawing children, I watch Teachers' TV to refresh myself as to how kids move. I find drawing with only half my attention on the page cuts down on the amount of neurosises my brain can throw at me. Before long, I usually haven't a clue what's going on on the screen and have a full page of pics.

2. I listen to Harry Potter. I listen to audio books throughout the entirety of a project. It helps stop my brain going, 'Is it lunch time yet? Is it lunch time yet? Is it lunch time yet?'

The only part I do in silence is the storyboarding, as I find that requires more active thinking. However during the rest of the project, if things are going badly, only The Fry will do. I've probably listened to the Harry Potter series over 20 times now. It's my comfort listening and it's got a pace and tone that suits ANY project. I've not found anything else like it for the ability to throw it on and get on with work. I never seem to get sick of it and it generally gets me through the tricky beginning and tedious end parts of a project just nicely.

3. I go out. This one I always forget about, as it seems like a reward. And I shouldn't be allowing myself rewards if I'm not working now, should I? However, I realised in the last project that I couldn't keep drawing children without reference. I wasn't allowing myself to go out, so therefore I wasn't getting the reference and my drawing was suffering. Although I enjoy lifedrawing, I don't often remember to take a sketch pad with me and I'm pretty pants at it. What I do tend to do though, is to pay attention when I'm out. I'm quite good at remembering a movement and storing it in my head. If I'm around kids enough, I find it relatively easy to imagine them doing different things, even if I haven't seen them doing them, because I remember the 'gist' of the child. It's when I become disconnected from this 'gist' that I'm on a losing streak.

So, yesterday I watched the horror that is 'My Girl.' Today I listened to Harry Potter. It's not true to say that I've made NO progress, but it's been slow, slow, slow. So, tomorrow, I shall go to the kids playground and draw there. Dang, I hope it's sunny...