Today’s current global situation would have seemed like a baseline for a fiction film TV series that we would be pitching on. But now we are living in bizarre times and trying to live our lives as normally as we can and continue with our working lives remotely.
Although we are probably all getting used to the lock-down by now, it’s hard to say how long it will go on for so keeping one’s self busy and occupied is essential. I have found working at home and being strict with my time has been crucial, otherwise I find myself staying at my workstation until I have to put my kids to bed.
Utilising this time to sharpen up my skills and learn new tools has been a motivation to me. Growing up I had a natural interest to comic books in particular the art. The Illustrations and storytelling in comic books has always had a big influence on me as an artist. Artists like Phil Noto, Mike Mignola, and Alex Ross to name a few are some of my personal favourite artists. Phil Noto was the inspiration for the Star Wars illustrations in the old school classic 80’s painted style, then the Dragon was leaning more towards the bold and classic line-work of Mike Mignola.
I have always tried to keep as a rule for myself that I will always have illustrations and personal work on the go at all times after my professional work. This gives me a time to let myself learn new methods and techniques, fail and succeed on my own terms, try new subjects, and escape into my comfort of art. Although this usually proves to be tricky when balancing work life, and then home and family life with two kids.
Creating an Illustration like these two really depends on how well I know what I am trying to create, if it’s something that exists and I can get plenty of reference. Sometimes you are just in the right mood and everything comes easily to you, and some days nothing looks right and I’ll just delete my artwork. If you open up a sketchbook and just start sketching usually after a few mistakes something good comes out of it.
I drew the Star Wars Illustrations over a three day period before work, trying to get one character out a day. I usually wake up a bit early having two kids. So will try and make a start before I log into my remote workstation. It’s a good way to warm up. Then in the evening and when my kids are in bed I’ll usually draw for a few hours or so. I chose Star Wars because it’s been a pretty great series to watch whilst in lock-down and also it has some of the best costume designs in my opinion. For these three illustrations the colour pallet was at the forefront of my mind, I am happy with the way they turned out.
I drew a dragon, mostly because I would love to be decent at drawing animals an mythical creatures so I stepped out of my comfort zone and gave it another shot. Perhaps next time I’ll be brave enough to paint one with colour and lighting. This dragon was createdone hour before work and finished over a coffee at lunch.
The extra time at home has given me more time to draw and work on my own illustrations – I look at that as one positive that has come out of this whole situation. Drawing is a really good way to kill time and get your mind of the current global situation.