The Creative Process

    I've been spending much of my free time working on various things.  Since inspiration for a new piece springs out at me constantly, I've now amassed a collection of works in various states of completion.  It's hard to work the way I want with this job (and the rest of my life) constantly getting in the way!  Therefore, so many pieces stay unfinished for a long time.  I'm trying my best to catch up.

     What I'm working on right now: 

     Original drawing and stage one coloring.  Radical shift from the original, right?  But that was my plan.  She's black.... Just the skin and eyes here.  I've yet to fill in the lips, mouth and hair.  And whatever that is she's wearing....

     A bit lighter in this shot, simply because that's how the photo came out.  Her skin will be just as dark as the original in the finished product.  That hair is going to be quite a job to finish, though.  Took about an hour to do just that much, and I still need to throw some shading in there between the locks.  I dig these graves, but eventually do make it back out into the sunshine...with goodies!
     For fun, I did a digital edit before I even started on the hair.  Striking!  I will have to do two versions because the digital version is REALLY gonna pop and I can throw some fierce colors on it.  Love digital edits!!

   A lovely thing that's happening since I've started really tapping into my creative processes is that I'm improving on so many levels.  I'm starting to be able to draw better and faster.  What I envision now comes out onto the page much easier.  Woo hoo!  Gotta love that!  I am now excited to see what that all is going to lead to - how good at expressing my mind's pictures and thoughts am I really going to become?  I'm at a stage now where I'm truly happy with what I'm able to do, but realize that I still have much to learn.  So, as the guy (a distinguished illustrator) at the Society of Illustrator's said last month "Keep practicing.  Keep working on your craft.  No matter how good you become, there is always room for improvement and something else to learn."  I'm taking that advice to heart, and now not a day goes by when there is not a pen, colored pencil, marker, pastel, paint brush, lump of clay or piece of fabric in my hand.  Now, if I can only figure out how to  do it all full time..... and still pay the bills! :)