For a long time I've generally avoided making artwork depicting people or characters, because basically it terrifies me. I have this deep seated fear that I am just not one of those artists that can draw people or make faces. Soooo...I have a potential children's book project on the horizon that would require me to create sweet beautiful characters and I know it is time to get to work on pushing myself past this hangup. While I was taking one of my MATS classes last year, a fellow classmate, Ohn Mar Win, posted work she had made in a Skillshare class and she mentioned how much she got out of it. I had made a note of it at the time, and I started working through the class this week. It is called Character Illustration: From Concept to Final Artwork with Matt Kaufenberg (a Minnesota illustrator!). It is awesome! So far I have learned how to collect inspiration, make a rough character sketch in Photoshop, refine it, build the basic shapes in Illustrator, and then bring the shapes into Photoshop again where you create clipping masks and begin to render and add layers of texture and detail (the fun part!). Of course, as well as using Photoshop brushes, I'm using a bunch of my homemade scanned textures and collage bits. The buttons on her jumper are the button I made recently, but recolored and resized to fit, and her knee socks are one of my collages shrunk down! How much fun is that?! Here is what I have so far. You'll notice I still need to tackle the face!
I designed a book! I finally got a copy of the finished product in my hot little hands last weekend and I'm so excited to see how it turned out. Friend and fellow NE Minneapolis artist Sarah Whiting received a MN State Arts Boards grant this year to publish a book of her collection of photos and interviews of Northeast Minneapolis artists and studios. She asked me to the do the graphic design for the project and it was a real treat to work with such gorgeous photos on such an amazing project. We kept the layout super clean to showcase the photos but with some special little touches to keep it current and fun. The book is called Open Studio: Faces and Stories of Northeast Minneapolis Artists. Printed by Bolger Printing, it has a library of congress number, ISBN number and everything—it's the real deal. Hopefully I'll have a few copies on hand to sell at my holiday open house on December 4.