Going back to elementary school, I’ve enjoyed drawing. I used to doodle things in my notebooks when I should have been paying attention in class. For a while, I went through a pretty serious Ninja Turtle phase, but that wore off by the time I got to middle school.Illustrations - Ninja TurtlesI didn’t really get into any art classes until I reached high school, when I was able to pick and choose which electives I wanted to take. From there I expanded the art I did from drawing to painting and even some sculpting. I took a ceramics class which allowed me to have a very productive Christmas. I made all kinds of crap for my relatives: bowls, vases, statues, jewelry boxes. I wasn’t too shabby with a lump of clay.

Painting was fun, but I never really got a firm grasp on it. Most of what I remember about the painting class I took had to do with the student teacher that was in there for most of the semester. Kinda had a thing for her, but I’m sure I’ll get to that in a Life Story post somewhere down the line.Illustrations - Bob RossIt seems like it always came back to drawing, though. That’s the thing I enjoyed most about art. Over the years, off and on, I’ve gotten back into drawing. For a while, I wanted to get good enough to become a comic book artist. I mean, how cool would it be to draw Superman for a living? But I gave up on that. I realized that I definitely wasn’t talented enough for that.

But I’ve also realized I’m my own worst critic. A lot of the time I’ll draw something and then just want to trash it, because it doesn’t live up to the standards I set for myself. Those standards are based on the work that other artists have done. I shouldn’t just expect to be that good right out of the gate.

A problem I have is with the “how to” books. You know the ones I’m talking about. They’re the instructional drawing books that show you how to draw a cartoon turtle or something equally lame. And it gives you the step by step diagram beginning with some seemingly random circles, then a couple images later you have a fully fleshed out cartoon turtle. I never did understand that stuff. I didn’t want to draw the outlines and the faint shapes that would turn into the finished image. I just wanted to draw the finished image.

I still just want to draw the finished image. And even though I can see the picture in my head, I just can’t seem to translate it onto the page. This becomes a problem for me now as it’s been suggested that I write and illustrate a children’s book.

It’s actually been suggested by several friends and acquaintances over the years. I’ve even tried designing some characters that have a cartoony look to them, but they all just turn into some pretty crappy drawings. I’m starting to think I should just draw the stuff and stop second guessing myself. If it’s good enough, someone else will just tell me. If it’s not, a real friend would tell me that, too. It’s a work in progress.


One thought on “Illustrations

  1. The circle stuff never made much sense to me until I started looking at it as a way of making things size-consistent. If you are drawing multiples of the same image and want them to be the same, then you start out with the same size circles, and shape it in from there. But if you have a good eye for angles (1/2 and 3/4 profile, etc.), proportions, and scale, then you probably don’t need to draw it that way.

    Draw whatever, then if you are serious about it, show it to someone who has a foot in that industry’s door. Friends may be encouraging, but they won’t know technically what is usable in that arena. As long as you are open to criticism and willing to make necessary changes, you might could make a go of it between your art and writing abilities.


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