Sunday, July 06, 2008

Feeling Sassy!

Wow, what was life like before Kids??? I'd like to think I know but this freedom from Motherhood is throwing me for a loop. Its like the time is too precious to waste so I waste time figuring out how to use it.

(Created for Eileen--The Girls)

Got another game of tennis in. Of should I say set. I don't know if I could make it through a best of three match yet. It's waaaaay too hot. I need a hybrid sport like slip-n-slide morphed into tennis. Or maybe I just need to get someone to stand on the sidelines and hit me with a super soaker.

I'm starting to work on my sketches for my friend Libby's children's book. Its such a great little story and it will be fun to execute. After working on my new paper line for this Winter I really got the hang of combining real painted techniques and the possibilities of digital art. I'm going for something that would probably be best described as Eric Carle meets Lauren Child, author and illustrator of Charlie and Lola. Something that is my own personal style.

Have you ever tried to be someone else? I have a great rubber stamp that is hardly ever used but it brings me such pleasure just in reading it that I MUST keep it.

It goes like this:

Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. then if they get mad, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.


I try a lot to walk in other peoples shoes and I find it helpful in my artistic endeavors to do as the masters did and study how a particular artist creates (or created). I found it interesting in Art school when the lecturer would say a painting was done by one of the greats but was really probably carried out by his apprentice(s). Talk about on the job training!

When I had the privledge of working for Anna Griffin, I worked as one of her two designers who created cards, boxes, books and scrapbook pages with her spectacular products. Anna is particularly great at branding herself. I remember one particularly funny evening when we went out for Thai food while traveling and ended up at this thai/tennis court place that we swore smelled like smelly socks. On this particular evening she mentioned that she'd like to grow her brand--just like Martha but without the jail time. And, even though I've gone on to do my own thing, those days of making glorious pieces of art that had to look like they came from the hand of Anna, taught me about branding, technique and creating a signature style.

Now I suppose this isn't important information for a soccer mom who enjoys scrapbooking or a grandmother who makes cards or even a ER Doc who is a killer cook (Hi Karin!) but for those of us searching for the path to successfully sharing our talents, branding and style HAVE to be our focus.

I am a big fan of Brian Andreas's Story People and created my own story person on an apron for a good friend. I delighted in the afternoon of becoming Andreas, of getting into his head, letting my hand be his hand. Of course, this friend also loved Story People and it was a personal gift done more to honor our love of the personal stories that Brian celebrates than it was a way to copy his art. It was a one time metamorphasis, but it is a fine line to walk. Many of my peers use magazines and workshops to share what they know only to find that someone has taken what they are teaching and instead of taking that knowledge and making it their own, they are claiming the original as their own.

On this subject I would just like to say one thing. Find your own creative voice. If you are consistently copying one person you are drowning out your own voice. I have yet to meet a person looking for this voice who hasn't found it. Learn something and as you learn it, think about how you can make it yours, how can you change it up, color, technique, supplies, your story, your talent...This way, you too will be making the world more beautiful.

1 comment:

Dr. Knitter said...

Lucky Eileen!! "The Girls" is darling, and she will delighted with the reference. Thanks for my kind mention...I'll cook for you anytime for that kind of praise! Hope you enjoyed the low-input dinner. I love that you are working on illustrating a children's book...somehow with all we have to talk about we missed this topic. Can't wait to see the images!