Creative blocks are a real thing. And for someone like me – someone whose livelihood depends on being creative and on my game – creative blocks can be absolutely paralyzing. Let me tell you a little bit about how the creative process goes for me:
- Brilliant Idea
I must write this down/do a sketch immediately! The execution of this idea will change my entire life and people will finally realize that I AM THE MOST AMAZING DESIGNER OF ALL TIME!
- Sketches, Sketches, Sketches
Must. Get. Every. Idea. On. Paper. The extent of my brilliance is going to fill up this entire sketchbook!
- Refine Sketches and Realize they are Meh.
I’m such a hack. 25 thumbnails and I still can’t get the “S” right? I’m a complete joke. Why am I even allowed access to art supplies. I’m not worthy.
- Get the Least Meh. Sketch into the Computer
Ok – my lettering skills are shit, but I think I can work with what I have and make it look halfway decent. I mean, there’s probably a font or something that’s close to what I’m looking for.
- This is Not What Was in my Head
Back when I was the most AMAZING DESIGNER OF ALL TIME, the illustration style was a lot less stiff. When did I start sucking at the Bezier Tool? How have I conned people into paying me for this crap for all these years?
- Finalize Illustration and Release it into the World!
Just kidding. This never happens.
Do you know why that never happens? Because I am usually stuck between 4 and 5. Although sometimes, I can’t make it past #1. I talk myself out of starting something before it even gets out of my head and onto paper. I share a lot of my works in progress on Instagram, but you really only see a quick snapshot of something that might not ever see the light of day. I thought that maybe it was time to start holding myself accountable.
And…since I love alliteration, I’m going to start featuring a Wednesday Work in Progress (WIP) here every week. These are projects that I’m working on and want to see through to completion. I’ll still be posting on Instagram, but the work I show here on the blog will be a little more comprehensive. First up – Sketchy Chickens!
This was a project that I wanted to do after we picked up a Hobby Farms magazine at the store. It was one of those situations where I was in the store with 3 kids and they wanted to get a drink in the checkout line. One of them wanted water (and they only had soda in the cooler) so she thought a magazine that she was never going to read would be a fair replacement. I wanted to buy the chicken wire I came for and get back home as quickly as possible, so fine. Magazine and two sodas please.
I flipped through the magazine later that night while I was cleaning up the table and noticed that there was an article that explained which breeds of chicken may be right for you. I was only a couple of pages in when I thought that a chicken with some random facts scattered around it would be kind of fun to draw.
So when the kids put a movie on that night, I got the bright idea to make a chicken out of dots. It took me 3/4 of the way into Harry & the Henderson’s to get this:
After 45 minutes of filling a chicken the size of a plum in with dots, I didn’t think this would be the most productive way to make these illustrations happen. The next night, I played around with the idea in my other sketchbook.
Now we were getting somewhere. I was ok with the way this was looking and continued on with these in Illustrator.
Just a few changes to make to these before they’re ready to send to the printer.
I have one more of these that I want to finish up in this series, but I’ve got to be honest. This one intimidates me a little more than the others. I think it’s that impressive crown of feathers on her head.