Last couple of days: Angular(Angular Solomon's Seal) + Swollen (Mallow)
Hi! I am a senior at the Ringling College of Art and Design. I love using watercolor. My main interests are in trade children’s book illustration, book covers, and fine art.
Posts made by Teju Abiola
RE: Why You Should Do an Art Challenge
This was a great listen. I've tried to do Inktober for the last three years, and always failed and produced really amateur sketches.
Fast forward to this year: I'm in my final year of art school, I'll be entering the workforce soon, and I realized that I'll never have as much time as I have now ever again. And I don't even have that much free time! I also got a taste of professional work with an internship, which really boosted my artistic self-esteem. I realized that one of the reasons I always failed is because I didn't truly believe that I could complete it. I was afraid. I also realized that I didn't really know what kind of art I like to make, and wanted to figure that out.
So with a good bit of gumption, I decided that I would actually complete it. Firstly, I made it a part of my thesis project, so I would have a consequence for not finishing it. I decided to focus on washes and value over black and white line, to produce a group of work consistent with what I love doing. I also learned that creativity rarely comes up out of nowhere, so I planned every day ahead of time after getting the prompts. I prepped my materials and even went as far as doing almost half the sketches before the first day. I also worked at least a day ahead to give myself a buffer. I gave myself a list of parameters and goals for what I want to get out of it.
Over halfway through now, I've realized I've grown a lot already. I'm a watercolorist, and have always been afraid of the permanence of ink and its washes. I'm not anymore. I feel better about painting in black and white, even though I respond more to color, I've improved my brush control, and I'm using hot press paper for the first time. I never thought that I would be able to create something consistent every single day. And even when it doesn't go as planned, I know I can just make something else tomorrow. I'll have 18 new pieces by the end of today, and 31 at the end of the month! I've got other stuff going on, so I do feel overwhelmed, but I've also never felt more capable and creative. There's a lot more stuff actually, but I'll stop for now
I'm super glad I decided to actually commit to this and see it through this year. I see the stack of paintings grow each day, and I'll be so excited to hold all 31 at the end of this month!
Thanks for creating this challenge, which has given me the opportunity to grow.
RE: How do you provide value as an illustrator
Oooh, what a juicy topic! Sorry if my response is a little all over the place. This is an interesting post for sure.
Let me ask you a question, Jeremy: What has value to you? Let's start with art. What comics, superheroes, mangas, movies, songs, paintings, etc, mean something to you? If we move to a bigger picture, what in life holds value to you? Why?
Boiled way down, in order for something to have value, it needs to solve a problem/provide a service. A Tesla might be a six-figure car, but if I don't need a car (don't have a problem) or want a Tesla (doesn't provide something) then that car is worthless to me. I need food (have a problem) and it provides nourishment, so food is valuable. If I wanted a dinner at a fancy Michelin star restaurant then it has value. If I'm alright with a can of beans from Walmart, the fancy restaurant is useless to me, but food, in general, is valuable. (Art is meaningful in general to our culture and development as human beings, so innately your work is meaningful, but as to how much, that opens a larger can of worms.)
It's funny because I recently had to write a speech about what inspires me to create. It's all the art made by other people that has made me feel certain things, or change my view of the world and myself, or has left a lasting impact on me. That art is valuable to me. For myself as a creator, there is also the fact that painting in watercolor makes me genuinely happy. Drawing and seeing things from on the page makes me happy. Using images and words to tell stories makes me happy. My happiness is valuable to me, and I want to share that value with other people. I saw how the sharing of other people brought me something of value, and am now trying to return the favor.
If we're going for a more profound outlook, then I'll share my belief that if you decide that what you do is valuable or purposeful, other people will see its value. I don't mean hubris and just declaring whatever you do is the best most perfect thing. More like whether it's checking someone out in the grocery line and making their day a little easier, or fixing the stove in someone's house to make it possible for them to cook dinner every night, or drawing something really cool that inspires people like you were inspired.
Marketing might not be for you, but the job you do there provides value to the company via revenue and to customers by showing them something they might not have known they needed. Yes, there is a lot of distate of ads culturally as being shallow, and I personally kind of resent them, yet I can easily admit that I have purchased items or watched shows that were advertised to me and they did make my life better. (Literally last night my best friend and I marathoned a new show on Netflix that was plastered on the homepage. We had a great time that I'm positive I'll remember forever, and it wouldn't have happened if we hadn't seen the ad and picked that show)
Whatever someone decides is valuable is valuable. Value is quanitfied by whatever someone is willing to risk. Sometimes it's money, sometimes it's time. And sometimes, unfortunately, it's lives. You can't actually decide what is valuable to other people, although you can look at statistics and trends and you can guess. Since you're in marketing, I assume you and those you work with are pretty good at guessing
But I'd say the only way to truly create value in your work is to create work that is purposeful to you. What is worth spending your life on?
People also love to place value in things that have already been deemed valuable. So if you say it is, then you just need to convince one more person, then another, then another, then others will follow. But first, you have to believe it.
To me, art is magic. It can make people feel a little better, or a lot better, whether they are the ones to produce it or consume it. I've experienced both sides myself. That's some pretty goshdarn valuable magic.
Your question is a very multi-faceted one that requires a very layered answer. Hopefully, I contributed something of value to this discussion
Thanks for posting this!
RE: Piano WIP
This is a great beginning, but I agree with @smceccarelli about the trees in the front. It feels to me like they are blocking my eyepath and trapping me in. I understand the use of them as a framing device, but it feels like a fence, not a frame right now. It kind of has a somber feeling to me for some reason and is not as light/elated feeling as some as your other work. Excited to see where this goes!
RE: color palette / watercolors
Concept wise, color is the same regardless of medium, and I would think the same advice in the videos about digital would apply to using watercolor. Decide what you want the overall color to feel like for your story, and stick to that.
As far as the technical aspect of watercolor, how familiar are you with your paints, and how much experience do you have using them? The advice to limit your color palette is a good one, which can be done by limiting the paints in your palette that you use, sticking to a predetermined color scheme in the final image, or both. If you don't feel as confident mixing colors, then having fewer colors will help unify everything. Swatching, testing colors, and doing color studies before you begin final illustrations will help you understand your color scheme. You could do a color mixing exercise to figure out what different mixes all your paints can make if you don't have much experience with what the pigments will do yet. Mess around with your watercolors for a bit before starting the project to get used to them. You need to know what mixes you are capable of making.
With your example asking if you mix colors with burnt sienna in one image, then should you do it in others for consistency, the answer is maybe. It doesn't actually matter how you get to the color you want, as long as the color on the illustration is the color that you want. It would certainly make it easier to stay consistent if you use the same pigments throughout. Like I mentioned earlier, get to know your paints, because some pigments get really dull when mixed with certain colors.
Plan out what color scheme you want, then do color studies before your finals to make sure it's the colors that you want.