I thought I'd lift the veil a little on how my creative process works. In the past I've run into people who are baffled that I can't just dash off a finished illustration in the same time it takes to watch American Idol. I wish. Instead what I - and most other artists - endure is the generation process known as sketching. That's the part where you try to get the image out of your head and onto the paper. Usually it involves drawing the same thing over and over again, sometimes making little changes, sometimes starting again from a whole new angle. If this sounds tedious it's because it is. I often compare sketching to cleaning a house: You work all day and at the end you feel satisfied to see how much work you've done and the finished product. But you are also bone-tired and brain dead. Unlike painting - which, for me is rejuvenating - sketching out an idea tends to be very draining. But it is where the REAL creation takes place. Like a pregnancy's first trimester, all the organs are formed and start working, the rest is just filling in the blanks and gaining weight. Here's an example of my sketch process as I worked out an idea for some licensing. This is a series of images merging nature, shows and hats. Sketching for work takes up a significant amount of my time and paper, this was 6 pages from my sketchbook:
So 6 pages and a couple of nights work, I got one pretty good sketch and some more ideas to play with....
It's Dear John in the #8 Warplane, coming into the far turn
This week I had to also take up the editorial pen again. Seriously, now we're bombing Libya? With what money again? Since the Treasury is so close to writing rubber checks, here's my idea for how we could pay for War in the Middle East Part Infinity. Sponsorship anyone?
Skinny PigAnd in the same vein, Jim Dear and I paid bills AND figured out taxes this past week. Now that's a series of romantic evenings. Afterwards this is the image that sprang to mind: