To understand my process I think you first need to know a bit more about how I approach art. If you’ve been here before or read something I’ve written on this website somewhere else you might know what I’m talking about.
I believe that the more you do something the better you’ll be at it. However, I wasn’t always like that. I used to practically die-hard marry everything I touched. For instance, if I made something I was proud I wouldn’t try to do anything else. Just because I was afraid of making something worse. This also meant I would reiterate the same piece over and over again. Most of the time for the worse. That made my learning process become quite stiff and I didn’t really improve that much I’d say. It took a couple of years to pick the pieces together and understand that you actually have to fail to start learning. Sure, you might have heard that expression as well but I just didn’t want to believe it. In my head, everything I touched was my masterpiece. That’s just not the case if you want to learn a new skill and improve. Your work will have to stink. At one point or another, and probably a lot in the beginning.
So as soon as I realized I was not getting where I wanted to go with my art I started thinking about it. What if I made a hundred sketches? At least one would have to be decent, right? I started sketching right away. I made at least one sketch a day. This did two things for me. First, it made me loosen up a hell of a lot. Since I was always thinking that I could re-do it on the next page I was not as stuck with the same piece, trying to reiterate all the time. Secondly, I could reiterate my pieces, but in a much more efficient way. Now I had a sketch next to it that I could compare it with. On the plus side of things, if I made something I was proud of I could see how I made it. For a narrow-minded guy like me, this opened up a whole new world for me.
How I use my approach
Today I’m much older and a lot wiser and as I said, think that the more you do something the better you’ll be at it. So I’ve stuck with this approach of always drawing. And whenever I create something I feel happy about would take a break and come back the next day and work on it a bit more. Doing the linework or even colors in some cases. Sometimes I would even do the whole thing in one sitting. But the general idea is to always create, not really having an idea in mind. As soon as I see something I like I would make it into a print. Of course, there are times where an idea is sparked and I try to work that out into something beautiful. But since I see art as something you never stop learning from you could call it just that. A never-ending learning approach.
The nitty gritty
A great teacher and someone I really look up to when it comes to my art is Aaron Blaise. He is a former Animator at Disney working on movies like Brother Bear, Mulan, Beauty and the Beast, and so on. Watching him teaching about art and animation is something out of the ordinary. He has really helped me loosen up and focus more on shapes rather than individual lines. Also, the fact he often redraws on top, focusing on different levels of details in every step of the process. Just like the picture below.
This makes it easier to make changes and think things through before I commit. It also helps me to be cautious about my decisions without stressing up about the details. Now say what you will about the third picture but if you would see the first one only you would probably think its my first time drawing ever. As soon as I started seeing art this way, it improved enormously.
A part from me using the same approaches as before this print is probaby one of the most extensive of the prints I sell at the moment. Since it contains the most details along side with the most animals. It also captures the type of style and vintage vibe I enjoy creating. Like an animal vintage collage of sort.