This is a piece I created last year for a sixties style ad contest celebrating the music of the TV series Mad Men. The series is one of my all time favorites, and the song “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” also happens to be a favorite of mine. The recording date and song lyrics reminded me of the art style of the late sixties, influenced by Pop Art and Art Nouveau. I was also inspired by the limited (and sometimes unusual) color schemes used in some music posters of that era.
Here’s another color inspiration, straight from the horse’s…well, face. This is a photo I took of one of the sweet ponies at a therapeutic riding center where I sometimes help out with lessons. Who wouldn’t love these warm, subtle shades? For me they conjure up images of furry woodland creatures (like the fox in my previous post), warm drinks, yummy mushroom recipes, or lovely skin tones. An all brown color scheme would definitely be an interesting challenge. Here’s my (almost) all brown illustrated mushroom recipe on They Draw and Cook.
Whenever I can I like to participate in Colour Collective, a weekly illustration challenge on Twitter (@Clr_Collective). Every Friday artists are invited to collectively post a work of art based on a predetermined color, using the hashtag #colour_collective. It’s always inspiring to see the range if ideas artists come up with. For this week’s Brown Ochre, I came across an older version of this fox illustration that I wasn’t quite satisfied with, so I took the opportunity to do a quick rework of it.
I’m always drawn to artwork with interesting color schemes, but I find it challenging to come up with them. I started looking for inspiration in some of my photos. Often the results are surprising; the colors that spring up with my eyedropper selections aren’t always the ones my brain tells me are there. Unless I’m thinking about a holiday illustration, a red and green theme wouldn’t be the first thing I’d consider. These hues bring to mind things like watermelon, tropical gardens…or maybe a berry-loving turtle (of which I’ve known a few).
While going through images to upload to my portfolio, I came across this fun character I created a while ago. Meet Mousse, a prickly little fellow with a decidedly un-prickly disposition. He might have a bit of a sweet tooth. Filled with joyous exuberance, Mousse greets most things with great enthusiasm. Unless you try to take his treats away.
I haven’t yet decided what I’ll be doing with him. I originally created the character for a sticker design competition, but I can imagine he might appear on a series of t-shirt or card designs. Or maybe there’s a story here. If I come up with a brilliant idea for him, I’ll take a lesson from Mousse and be careful not to spill the (jelly) beans.
Here it is, the first post of my brand spanking new blog. So naturally I’m afraid I’m going to mess it up. There’s a reason I have so many blank journals and canvases lying around. Putting that mark on a new surface is intimidating.
I’ll start by telling how I got here. A couple of years ago I was preparing to return to work in graphic design, after a rewarding career as a stay-home mom (and sometime floral designer). I’d been taking classes to update my skills and had just landed an internship in a design studio and a part time job tutoring on campus. The day after I started my internship, I learned I had breast cancer.
Figuring that was a few too many balls in the air, I left the internship and tutoring job behind, and turned all my attention to my recovery. And part of my recovery was to do whatever I wanted, at least creatively speaking.
That led to lots of hours experimenting with shapes and colors, joining in on illustration challenges, doing occasional freelance jobs, and creating lots of new illustrations. The illustration above is the first one I submitted to an online weekly illustration challenge. It was springtime, a good time for new beginnings.
So what comes next? Who knows. But I’ll be sure to blog about it when it happens.