Since a lot of people (and therefore clients) are taking things a bit more slowly and/or are going on holidays things have slowed down a bit in the studio. This led to asking myself how I could make the best use of that time.
The answer came pretty quickly: learning! And experimenting. And working on those personal projects that pop into my mind when I’m busy and that I have to leave on the back burner for a while before I can finally get to them.
You know how some children go to summer camps? Well I decided to have my own creative summer camp.
What I’ve been up to in a nutshell
So far I have taken two different courses, have participated in one illustration competition, I have produced at least four new pieces for my portfolio and am in the process of working on another two, I am working on a new zine, have been using paint more, I have been practising freehand drawing (i.e. drawing without tracing the lines in pencil first) and I have been playing with linocut. Phew!
‘Tell me more, Tell me more’
I am exploring the Make Art That Sells courses at the moment. I took my first course with them in October last year after seeing how some of their students presented their artwork on Instagram and thinking ‘Wow! I want to be able to do that too!’ I loved Lilla Rogers’s teaching style and the online community so much that when their next sale came up I purchased a bundle of courses. Some of them are live (e.g. Illustrating Children’s Books), some of them are assignment-based (e.g. Bootcamp) and some of them are self-paced (e.g. Hot Market For Your Art – Part A and B). Most of the MATS courses are more art-based (understand: learn about the industry while you create art in your own style through assignments for specific markets) and now they also have a couple of more businessy ones like Portfolio Review Live and MBA (Money BadAss), which started on Monday (13/08/2018) and that I am also taking.
This is not an affiliated post by the way (I am not getting paid to talk about them) but since I love their courses I thought I would mention them in case you want to try them too. Since I took my first course with them about 9 months ago, I have seen my style grow tremendously together with my level of confidence, my presentation and generally, my knowledge of the industry.
Examples of pieces I created as part of the MATS courses
I am currently working on a couple of new pieces for my portfolio and at the same time I’m working on a new zine, which I’m really excited about and can’t wait to share with you! The only thing is… I can’t tell you more about it for now (sorry!) but watch this space and if you don’t already, follow me on Instagram (@camillesland) as I might leak some sneak peeks in my stories.
I loooove using actual materials to make things and although I also love the flexibility of Photoshop I would like to keep bringing in analogue elements and textures into my artwork. It isn’t usually something I can do in five minutes in a corner of my desk. It takes time, and space, and it can get quite dirty so it requires dedicating proper time for it. But it’s also so much fun!
The biscuit bases I painted for the ‘Winter Holidays’ piece shown above (yum!)
Usually, I first sketch my illustrations in pencil before tracing over them either directly or using my light table. This too takes time and sometimes I lose the spontaneity and ‘freshness’ of the lines in the tracing process. So I decided to experiment drawing directly in ballpoint pen for a bit and see what happened. When you draw with a medium you can’t erase you are bound to make mistakes, some of your lines are likely to come out wonky, but after a while you stop caring so much – or at least I did. I drew like that for about 3 hours, up to the point that I actually bruised my thumb nail. I had a lot of fun and by not being precious about my drawings I gained in confidence over the session. I will definitely try that again!
One of six pages from my three-hour freehand drawing session
In line with using more analogue elements and textures, and bringing more spontaneity to my artwork I decided to experiment with lino cutting. I had never done linocut before so I’m a total beginner. I think it’s the perfect response to my current need to work with my hands, sculpt and do illustration. I love the simplicity, roughness and very DIY aspect and I’d been wanting to try it for a while.
My first homemade stamps,yay!
The more I play with it, the more ideas I have and it makes me feel excited and happy in ways that even I find weird. I would almost describe it as the same kind of excitement you get when you start dating someone you really like and with whom you click.
How about you? How’s your summer so far? What are you up to? Do you have a hobby that gives you butterflies and makes you feel very excited whenever you do it?