Welcome Allie! I hang out in Sweden, so it feels like I'm quite far from just about anyone in these forums. I really liked your instagram and felt particularly happy to see dinosaurs that actually have their feathers, haha.
Swedish illustrator of children's books who likes to play with contrasts in my work. A friend once described my drawings as "90% cute, 10% nightmarish". I'm not sure if it was a compliment.
Posts made by Joen Söderholm
RE: Grainy texture in photoshop
This is for the whole image, and not brushed. But when I want texture, I often just have desaturated texture layer above the image and set the layer blend mode to Overlay. I work with GIMP, but I think you can do the same thing in Photoshop. Not sure if they have the same formula for "Overlay" though. Here's an example of what it can look like.
For the actual texture layer, I either find some good texture images online (that I'm allowed to use) or create my own textures with render filters and the like.
RE: Successfully Failing
This episode was well-timed for me, as I'm right in the middle of a "fail period" at the moment. Which is really exhausting and challenging. After two years of illustrating books, setting up Redbubble shop, increasing exposure on social media and such, I suddenly have to take a step back from my illustration career. I'm still not sure if it's mostly because of financial reasons or because of creative burnout after having been thrown into the business side of it all without really being prepared for it. And I guess it feels like a failure when you have a hard time keeping up the momentum, so to speak.
It all reminds me of this great analysis of the Studio Ghibli movie Kiki's delivery service. About how failing when you are working with your passion can be a double blow, as you're both failing in your career and in your identity - leaving you with a feeling of being lost.
RE: The Stories We Tell
@marsha-kay-ottum-owen ah, nice! That one didn't come until I was already a teenager, but I have it here at home anyway. It's a great choice. A very touching origin kind of story for the characters (and you don't need to have read the previous books to understand the story).
Grumpy bunny - Feedback welcome!
Mornings, eh? So I drew this in GIMP the other day, and even though I felt (kind of) happy with it, I was surprised at how difficult I found it to be. Would love to hear your thoughts!
When I've posted my work here before, people have pointed out that my line art is more flat, while the shading is kind of overcompensating for that in a jarring way. So I tried to have less extreme shading here, but that's what I found surprisingly difficult. I first tried a cel shading kind of look, with completely flat colors and sharp edges. It did not look good at all. So in the end I felt I had to have softer shadows.
Then I tried to color the lineart and I felt it was just much harder to actually see the image. So I'm not sure how to go about this more cartoony style that I was looking for here.
And I couldn't come up with a good background! This is what I usually do then - have a muted color and some texture to at least give the impression of it being drawn on paper. Do you have any thoughts on good backgrounds for this? Or good ways to go about it when you don't really want much of a background but it looks weird to leave it out completely.
RE: The Stories We Tell
I really enjoyed this episode. The sound was rather off to me through large parts of it though. But it was really nice to hear more about the narrative part of all this. Would love to hear you talk more about this in the future. Perhaps the narrative aspect when you plan out individual illustrations for example.
Me, I've been extremely influenced by Swedish illustrator/author Sven Nordqvist. I read his books a ton as a kid. Internationally, I think he's most famous for the books about Pettson and Findus (I think they were called Festus and Mercury in the US?).
But my favorite book was Hattjakten, The Hat Hunt. It's about this old man who goes through a whimsical adventure as he's trying to find his missing hat, and ends up rediscovering parts of himself and remembering his childhood. Nordqvist's illustrations are always amazing and there was something special with this book that was so funny and whimsical but also strangely melancholic. Don't know if it has been translated to English, but I sure hope so!
RE: In the forest, looking for feedback
I think I often forget completely about color value in the overarching composition when I work with color. I've never really liked the "flat" look of many of my drawings, and maybe the extreme shading on specific objects is an attempt to work around that. But I see what you mean that it can actually have an opposite effect, while also contradicting the lineart.
I'll have to think about good ways to start improving on these things. Thanks again!