Digital Sketchbook: March 2016
Greetings picture people! I'm rummaging through my hard drive to scrape together the highlights from the last few months of assignments and personal projects. Over the winter break I did some re-evaluating of my studio priorities and came back to work in January recommitted to doing a little bit of drawing for myself every day. It seems obvious, but it's incredible how easy it is to get out of the habit. And when you haven't drawn any thing for fun in a week or two you kind of forget what sorts of pictures you like to draw, and your client work gets stale too. The big epiphany (such as it was) was that everything I've done that I've been proud of (work wise anyway) has started as a little idea in a sketchbook, so if I want to do better work moving forward, the logical place to start is my sketchbook. To that end, I've penciled in a daily 25 minute brainstorming/drawing session at the beginning of each day (modest, I realize, but I'm trying to commit to something I won't give up on.) At the same time, I've been picking a favorite sketch each week (or two) and taking it through the vector pipeline. (As always, it is so interesting to see how a little drawing I might completely dismiss in sketch form takes on new life when it has color and dimension.) The illustrations below are the results of that process, (with the exception one illo that was commissioned, but highly influenced by the doodling I was doing at the time.)
One other thing! Okay, just riffing on this idea, but I've been noticing certain patterns in which images take off on social media, and which ones languish, and I've been developing a little theory (based on completely subjective observation) but I thought I'd share it anyway. It seems to me that the art that has the biggest life online is the art that people can use themselves to express how they are feeling. Images that are stronger and clearer emotionally, either positive or negative, seem to win out over images that are clever, mysterious, or just beautifully composed. Ideally, I think, an image would be all of the above, but if it's not emotional, it's not useful as a tool for other people to express themselves, which is the main way that things are shared online. Obviously, I've just exposed myself as a "like" junky. Guilty as charged. But just for fun, I've ranked the images above in the order of there online success (as tracked by instagram likes.) Of course, you can't really make any kind of conclusions on such a small sample size, and the more successful images may have succeeded for some other reasons, but at least for me it feels like the attitude expressed goes from "Hell Yes!" at the top to just sort of a flat line of neutrality at the bottom.
Allright! Back to work. See you next month:)