Bringing Finnegan to Life
I love routines. My Friday routine is usually to drop Ransom off at preschool, and then head to one of my favorite coffee shops, Solace. I also usually top off my tank at the gas station that is on the way, because it’s one of the cheapest around.
Once at Solace, I settle into one of the tables along the wall and pull out my iPad. After catching up on emails and other housekeeping, I put on a podcast and work on my Finnegan book for 30 minutes. I use a timer. While the timer is going, I try not to do anything else but work on that project, no responding to text messages or checking my emails. Sometimes I’m super relieved when the timer goes off because I’m not that into it. Other times it goes by too fast and I keep working past the timer because I’m in the middle of a good flow.
I'm currently still at Solace and just got finished working my 30 minute chunk. I thought I’d pop in and let you know how it’s going. In my last post I mentioned that I finally finished all the the digital sketches for the 17 pages of Finnegan's book. So now I’ve transitioned to adding color.
It’s been an awkward transition. I’m still new to adding color with Procreate and haven’t yet found my flow. I wasn’t super happy with how I left things last Friday. (i also didn't follow my normal routine and was at a different coffee shop and felt all off.)
Today I settled in at Solace, started my podcast and my timer and kept going. When the timer went off I still kept going. I felt good about what I produced, and I’m happy with how I’ve left him for now.
Last week I was feeling pretty unsure, but now I’m feeling re-excited for the project and look forward to seeing it come to life with color. And now that I've started and figured out the style of the book, hopefully the rest of the pages will go much faster.
On to page two!
In my last post I reflected on the progress of my state bird series, and today I thought I'd check in with another project, the Finnegan book.
My good friend wrote a cute little story, and I'm sllooowwwllly working on illustrating it. I try to devote some time every Friday to working on it, usually at a coffee shop while Ransom has preschool. As of last Friday, I have all of the seventeen pages sketched on my iPad.
Next I'm going to go back in and add color and probably more fun little details.
I started using this particular iPad app, Procreate, back in September. My first illustration on it was this Russian Doll
I've been wanting to grow in learning how to add color with Procreate. I don't want all my illustrations to look so cartoon-like. So I'm taking a Skillshare class that is proving to be really helpful. I'm not finished with it yet, but here is my project so far from that class.
I still have to add more texture to the cacti, but I'm really pleased with it so far! I'm definitely learning a lot, and it'll be interesting to see how I land with adding color to my Finnegan illustrations. I imagine the style will be somewhere in between the Russian doll and the cacti. Stay tuned!
I love lists. Lists make me feel like I have some sort of control in my life. Even if it's an illusion, it's comforting. I'm not your typical artist-type that's all head-in-the-clouds and fly-by-the-seat-of-her-pants. My head is on my shoulders and I fly by ... not sure what the other side of that metaphor is.
I also enjoy having a list when creating, as un-creative as that sounds. It makes me feel like I'm heading somewhere. That's why I chose to draw each birth flower, and that's why I am now drawing each state bird.
I have a note going on my phone to keep track of all the state birds I've completed.
I started with Oregon's Meadowlark back in November
And my latest I finished today, the cute little Black Capped Chickadee for Maine.
I feel like I've gotten a little better and quicker at drawing birds. And there are a lot more to go! Interestingly, there are a lot of birds that represent multiple states. For instance, the mockingbird is the state bird for Texas, Florida, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Mississippi. That is a lot of states!
I haven't yet decided how I'm going to approach that, whether I'll draw the same bird in different ways, or just change up the wording digitally... probably I'll choose the harder road and just draw the same bird again. And again and again and again and again in some instances.
I also just now noticed that I started this series being more stylized (notice the stripes in the mockingbird and meadowlark) and now I'm just being more realistic. Not sure when that changed.
Ok, I just scrolled back through all my birds, and I think it was back in Washington, which was only my third bird.
Not sure where I'm going with this.
I just kind of letting this blog post unfold... And I'm not sure how to end it...
A picture of Ransom usually works.
A place to share the process. A space to be honest about the triumphs and trials of my daily life as an artist and mama. Writing motivates and refreshes me.