Project: Year One

Welcome to my Year One. It’s been a while since I’ve posted and it’s because I was floundering. I didn’t know what I as doing, what I wanted or how to get there.

May 31st – I was sitting on anther train on another long commute home from my new job. And I was listening the 3 Point Perspective podcast. This podcast is the best! Hosted by Jake Parker, Will Terry and Lee White – it’s basically an hour of getting the best tips, stories and advice from industry experts.

I was listening the the second episode “Am I too old to start?” where they speak about getting into an illustration career. One thing that stuck with me is when Lee said something like “5 years is going to pass, if you start or don’t”. And so was born the idea of my Year One project.

I have always wanted to be creative in some way. In my life I have wanted to be (in no particular order) an illustrator, horror book writer, graphic designer, web site creator, Pixar professional, 3D guru, motion designer extraordinaire a struggling artist living in a freezing loft in New York, a scuba diving media journalist, a full-time YouTuber, a successful Etsy store owner and a waitress on roller blades in a 1950’s themed diner. 

I’ve achieved most of these dreams partially – but never fully. Worked as a 3D artist for about 6 years. Written several novels during Nanowrimo. Got my Padi scuba diving license. Slaved away in resturants (not on rollerblades thank goodness!). Learned a bunch about motion graphics and animation. Made 11 sales in my Etsy shop and I try to draw every day.

But I’m not happy. 

When I was in university, studying animation and film and 3D, I would come home after class and spend hours on the computer learning more. I devoured every website, magazine and tutorial. I WAS going to be an amazing 3D artist. 

And then I got a job doing 3D. And slooowly the love for it faded. I still got a kick out if seeing a finished project, of knowing I had created a cool looking image or video – but I didn’t wake up excited to got to work, like I used to when I was in school. They say if you do something you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.

That is bullshit. Maybe.

Our wants and needs change, just like we do. An right now all I want to do is spend each day in comfy clothes at home, drawing, painting and learning more to be a better artist. 

But I know my limitations – I may be able to draw a cute stylized girls portrait or sketch animals from reference pretty well, or piece together a human body (if I hide the hands!) – but I am no way ready to start thinking about illustration jobs or even to create an illustration portfolio.

Perspective Exercises
Combining Objects
Finding the center
Worksheets from SVSlearn

I don’t know what I want to illustrate yet – there are so many possibilities: children’s books, comic books, graphic novels, editorial, technical illustrations, surface pattern design…so that’s another goal this year – to find what I would love to do.

My plan is basically based on the episode I mentioned above.

Project: Year One

  • Learn the fundamentals
  • Take online classes
  • Watch YouTube videos
  • Read art books
  • Study the masters
  • Learn about the industry
  • Check out kids books and graphic novel from the library
  • Follow illustrators
  • Find People whose work I love online and follow their process
  • Find out what an illustrator does, the pros the cons, the mistakes they make, the stories they tell

So that’s my Project: Year One plan – to immerse myself in Illustration and get a solid art base. I’ll use this space to document my journey and my improvement.

I’m going to use this blog more as a journey of my improvement now…so hopefully I can post more regularly and really keep myself motivated!

And if you know of other amazing illustration-based resources, classes, podcasts or YouTube channels please let me know! 

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