All too often, I make the mistake of asking myself the question “what should I draw?” This immediately limits the sketchbook exploration to something specific and defined. The alternative to this would be to just start drawing, and see what comes from the tip of the pen. The results are often surprising and exciting. The above piece is cobbled together from little sketches I’ve done in my off-time over the past week. I may start with a circle, then give it some eyes and perhaps a set of arms. Next comes a nose and the character continues to grow. Quick drawings like these are the fertilizer that great ideas come out of.
Design, as well as illustration, is usually intended to convey a specific idea or meaning. It’s easy to get caught up in the need to make sense. I spend most of my working hours organizing information, categorizing data and making things look good. In my off time I like to explore the possibilities of chaos, ugliness and the beautiful ideas that can come from just letting the pen move on the page.
This is what I gotta do…
It’s been icy and snowing off and on for over a week now. Snowfall in most areas is well over a foot. I’ve been stuck inside for days now. One would think this would be a perfect opportunity to get some work done, but it’s not coming so easily. The cabin fever is starting to set in. Hopefully things thaw out a bit before New Years Eve.
While stuck inside, I’ve been experimenting with patterns, both repeating and non-repeating. For a repeating pattern it’s as easy as making a concise sketch, scanning it and tiling it in photoshop. For non-repeating I try to develop a set of rules in my head to guide my drawing. With the above example I just drew polygons, playing around with scale and layering. I’ve been working with patterns for a few years now. Over the past month I’ve been doing a lot of work for a wrapping paper company (more on that later…) Patterns have factored in heavily. For Christmas Sarah got me Over & Over: A Catalog of Hand-Drawn Patterns. By Mike Perry. It’s a must-have for the library of any pattern aficionado. Perry has currated a vast collection of beautiful patterns by a diverse array of contemporary illustrator’s and designers. It’s really gotten me back into the pattern creation drive. Check it out, as well as the rest of Mike Perry’s work. I’m a huge fan.