Friday, August 30, 2013

De-virgo the line

During my SCBWI LA super fast paced yet insightful portfolio critique, artist agent Mela Bolinao correctly observed that I get a little fussy and overwrought with my line-work. "You are trying to make it work too well," she said.

Sigh... this is the story of my line life.

I agreed with her and joked that it was because I'm a Virgo. She surprised me by laughing and saying that as a Virgo herself, she totally understood. That doesn't surprised me, every Virgo I've ever met shares the keen sense of the master puppeteer. We control every strand, no matter how small a part it is attached to. For me personally, this is why I never miss deadlines. Ever.

It's also probably why I've struggled for years to keep the energy of my sketches in my finished pieces. Bolinao said "Loosen up! Let the line go the wrong way! Don't fix it and erase it, just try it." So when I came home from LA I decided to practice on the kid illustrations cavorting across my drawing table for the Lifeway's Agency D3's series. Here are some of my favorites:

I do like how these guys look. Admittedly loosening up the line was easier with little spots because a) they're spots and b) I was a super tight deadline. I continue to experiment on this thank you card illo I created for people I met at the conference. Here was harder because I had time to be careful:

I need to think more like Taurus or Aquarius, just brashly crashing the pencil around the page. Would the Bull or Water Bearer be better with lines?

Maybe, but not deadlines. I bet Virgo's are still the best at those.


Alison Lyne said...

Even tho' I'm not a virgo.....I still struggle with this topic big time! I really like your sketches.....they look entergetic and "loose". I really liked the Merci spot when you posted it on FB. I think that was a delightful way to put your "thanks".

Mary Uhles said...

Thanks Alison.... I think French is so beautiful.... Wish I could speak it LOL

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