A Tale of 3 Art Styles

When I draw people it comes out in a kind of comic book/Black Hole inspired way with lots of black lines and sketchy shadows:
legion fan art illustration
When I draw animals & nature its always more detailed and sort of fantasy-like:
rabbit ribbon illustration
And when I draw patterns its minimal and fun, mostly with a limited colour palette:
hands repeat pattern illustration pink
I also love a mixture of detailed, colour-rich art and minimal/fun design.
I fight with these parts of my style CONSTANTLY. I feel like I have to choose 1. Ooonly 1… and the fact that I haven’t chosen is why I’m struggling so much!

Does it *really* matter if you have a few different styles for different subjects? Have visual social platforms like Instagram caused us to worry about curating ourselves and our styles so much that its sort of taken the fun out of creativity? Everyone in the illustration world talks about nailing down their style and sticking to it and thats what will get you a “fan base”, or get you hired. But surely being flexible and able to play with new ways of making is also a good thing?

Welcome to Megs ill explained stream of consciousness!

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Paintboxfox

Just before Christmas my friend Emily & I got talking about our struggles with creativity and trying to get back in to drawing & painting regularly. Out of this conversation and over the course of the next little while came a little project – Paintboxfox.

We decided to collaborate on an ongoing joint *thing*. We figured if we were cheering each other on and working together, we might be more likely to actually produce some artwork! So, we plan to release zines & prints at (probably ir-)regular intervals, and also hope to make stationery and other little things down the line. All under the name Paintboxfox.

Our first zine will be called ‘In the Forest’ and will contain a collection of illustrations of wildlife that tend to make habitats in forests and woods. We’d also like a percentage of the sales to go to a local wildlife charity. We’ll be selling them on Etsy, and hopefully in the summer we will be at a couple of craft/art fairs!

We’ve set up some social media accounts, so please follow along if you’d like:
Instagram

Facebook Page

Tumblr

I’ll also probably post a little update here when the zine is finally ready!

 

Commissions & Personal Projects

A few illustrations from the last month;

This little guy is something I just did for myself, finished yesterday. Kind of just want to use gold gouache on everything now, it looks so good! Tempting to make a series of these with splashes of gold in all of them.

A made up lizard/gecko species, painted for a client who is having it printed on to plates and hung on his kitchen wall. Hopefully I’ll have a photo of the finished product soon! Not something I would usually draw, but the colour combination was fun and it was interesting to paint something that wasn’t primarily fur/hair.

And this was a fun commission from the band Solution Hours for their EP Try Again. They wanted some of my classic “girls” in black and pink – just my cup of tea! They were drawn on my iPad using procreate. Can’t wait to see them in action.

 

 

Daily Photos: Week 3


Can’t believe we are halfway through January already (Also can’t believe I’ve actually kept up with taking a photo a day)!

Some little moments from the past week; sketchbook pages, snoozing cats and getting caught in the snow (and coming home to a hot cup of earl grey)




Inside My Sketchbook: 7

I started a new sketchbook. The Leuchtturm one I was using had been bugging me since I started it, so instead of beating myself up for not using it, and in turn hardly sketching at all – I opened one that had been waiting in the wings for a while now. Surprise surprise, I really like it! It’s the Magma Art & Illustration Sketchbook in a not-quite-A4 size (18.4 x 24cm). Promarkers don’t go through as much, or pill up as the leuchtturm one did, and its a good size to carry around in my bag without taking up too much room. I haven’t used it with watercolour, and probably won’t because its just not the right paper, but I’m really happy with it so far. It also has lots of interesting information in the back that I have actually read and go back to! I usually end up ignoring stuff like that, but some of it is pretty useful.




I’m getting pretty in to sketching nature and animals at the moment. It makes a nice change from my usual portraits/people theme I think. It’s also making me want to sit outside and draw down local footpaths, woods and beaches. All I have to do is overcome my fear of drawing in public (!!!)

Inside My Sketchbook: 6

Drawing is a struggle for me, it has been, probably, for the last few years. I couldn’t think for the life of me why, as drawing and painting has always been one of the biggest parts of who I am. Then I watched a recent video from MAIS2, and saw one of those usually annoying “meaningful quotes” (barf) that stuck with me and all of a sudden it made sense!

I think A) I’m scared and therefore procrastinating and B) I’m just not enjoying the process anymore.


By scared, I mean as soon as I pick up a pencil I automatically tell myself that whatever I create is going to be terrible and not up to the standard of my favourite illustrators. So whats the point?? The only people who tell me they like my drawings are my family and close friends; does that mean they are just saying it to be nice? I never sell anything on my Etsy shop; should I just give up? – I’m trying to silence this damaging voice, but sometimes its overwhelming, so my fear turns in to procrastination. I end up cleaning the kitchen or doing something that really can wait, instead of getting my head down and practising.


Even though I have spent the last few years experimenting with style and different mediums, I just don’t enjoy the process anymore. It took a long time for me to discover that was what was wrong with me, and its difficult to accept, but its true. Now that I know thats what it is, I can at least get to the bottom of why and try to fix it (right??). It might have a lot to do with the fact that I put too much pressure on myself (CONSTANTLY) – this is probably mostly caused by social media, specifically Instagram. I start to question if I am skilled enough while surrounded by all of these talented people all over the world at my fingertips, who have made something of themselves, and quickly decide I’m not.

So, what I’m trying to say is – my aim is to find out how I can quash these fears and just get on with it and create without beating myself up. I can only improve with practise, and the more I create the more creative my processes and themes will become. So perhaps, hopefully, you will be seeing more “sketchbook” posts with updates on how I’m feeling about creating. Does anyone else struggle with these sorts of feelings when it comes to creativity? How do you carry on and stop yourself from freezing up?

(these sketches are from the past couple of months, some are digital and some are pencil/pen/marker on paper)

Inside My Sketchbook: 5

I’m not feeling very inspired to draw at the moment, but I’m trying to push through that and just draw whatever, even if I think its super boring/predictable!

I’m also not getting on with this Leuchtturm sketchbook. It doesn’t like watercolour at all (!!!) and I’m finding it very limiting, and not in a bring-out-your-creativity sort of way. What do you do when you don’t get on with a sketchbook? Do you try to finish it because its a waste not to, or do you just start a new one?

Is anyone thinking about doing ‘May We Draw Daily’ this year? I might just go for it and see what happens!