It’s A Process

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Finally sharing a project that I’m very proud of and is close to my heart.

This piece is called Sea Life for Idgie and it took me months to complete. Not because of the complexities, but because every time I thought it was finished, it really wasn’t. Something just wasn’t right…and I couldn’t really put my finger on it but I knew I couldn’t let it go out into the world if I wasn’t happy with it.

the original sketch...in the process of being inked and painted.

the original sketch…in the process of being inked and painted.

After going over ideas with my friend, I sketched everything out. I knew the direction I wanted the illustration to go in and it came very naturally to me once I started. That’s one thing I really love about the process. Talking the design out loud with a client, and before the conversations finished, I’ve visually come up with a layout, color scheme, etc. in my head and I’m ready to turn it into something real and tangible.

final ink

final ink

Now here’s where things took time…since this was technically artwork for a nursery, “First We Had Each Other…”text had to be added. I went the digital route. So taking this beautiful watercolor art, breaking it up, digitally coloring it, and then finding the right font proved to be more difficult than I’d anticipated. See below as I blush from embarrassment:

So I had my “aha moment” after producing five horrid layouts. They felt cold. They didn’t do the original art justice. And, with my rationale, I felt I was entrusted to make a piece of art…not some digital poster that had no feeling. So I went back to my desk and made the decision that “custom” would mean just that…and I began cutting every single piece of the art out…one-by-one. See ya Mommy turtle. Bye bye coral reef. With each slice, I hoped my gut was right this time and I wasn’t ruining something I couldn’t undo.

I drew the text too…painted that and cut it out as well. I ended up doing a blue watercolor wash on a new, 12×19 page so I could use it as the background and before I knew it…my work bench looked like this:

Sidenote: Somewhere in the midst of all of my revisions, I felt terrible that this project took longer than expected so I drew two separate pieces (a starfish and jellyfish…see below) to go along with the piece.

After that, I had the final art done and couldn’t have been happier to ship it off (oh so carefully).

Now that I’ve gotten a jump start high from this project, I’ve been caught up again in graphic design work and, while I’m still good at and like what I do, my goal for the rest of 2014 is to MAKE MORE ART. DO MORE collage work like Idgie’s. And just feel as HAPPY making as I did when I was working on this piece.

Cheers to good HeArt!
xo Cat

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