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!

Advertisements

iPhone Wallpaper: Cats!

I’m going to have to slow down with the iPhone backgrounds… Maybe I should post 1 a month?? Let me know if you’re enjoying them!(Use the hashtag #megsfreethings to show me if you use them)

These are all based on my babycat Zissou and his favourite things – scrunched paper and cardboard forever!

The Shape of Water (A Fan Art Piece)

I went to see The Shape of Water a couple of weeks ago at the super comfy Everyman in Chelmsford, and couldn’t stop thinking about it, so I did a weird thing for me and made some fan art. Maybe I just haven’t liked a film/ tv show/ book/ game enough to make art about it until now…

This was made using the Procreate app on my iPad Pro. I bought my iPad Pro & apple pencil a couple of years ago now and it has honestly taken me that long to even vaguely get to grips with drawing digitally. I do find it a million times better than using one of those drawing tablets without a screen though – my brain couldn’t not look at the tablet while I was drawing (derp).

I have no idea if I’m doing anything “right” still (I mean, there’s not a “right” way to make art, but ya know what I mean), but this is the first piece I’ve been happy with. I definitely think I’m getting my preferred process down, but I’m still figuring out brushes and how to make them look “natural”. Coming from a background of using physical paint etc to create art, its kind of frustrating that I can’t make things look like that yet. Keeping my fingers crossed that Kyle’s Brushes come out with a set for procreate!

Theres also a print available on my etsy shop!

Have you seen The Shape of Water? What did you think?

SaveSave

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!

 

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!