The Other day, I took a break from designing commissions to paint this colorful lion. Between being sick for a few weeks and constantly working on commissions since October I haven’t been feeling super excited to paint lately. I love doing commissions but there hasn’t been much time to do paintings that recharge me creatively.
When I realized I was just spinning my wheels and not making any progress on any projects. I decided to do something about it. Over the years I have learned the best way to cure artist block is to paint something that inspires me in a loose and colorful style while my music is blasting away. I don’t think about any other upcoming projects or my ever growing “to do” list. I just paint. I’m not concerned about whether it turns out perfect or if other people like it. I just focus on how the paint and water interact on the paper.
So I found some lion reference photos on a commercial use website that I liked, picked a color scheme, and turned up my music. It took a few minutes to really get into it but then like dam bursting, creativity suddenly started flowing through me. I had all kinds of ideas about how to use my brushes in unusual ways, how to layer paint colors, and about which direction to take the painting.
I love how the painting turned out and even more importantly the feeling of all that creative energy flowing through gave me the jump-start I needed to finish my other projects.
What about you? Do you have a routine that you do to help you get out of a creative funk? Let me know in the comments below.
So over the past few weeks I have been working on some human anatomy illustrations. It started when I was asked to do a commission of a pregnant woman to give as a gift to an OBGYN. Doing this project got my brain thinking about all the cool ways I could paint parts of the human body. While I was creating these paintings my husband (who is in the medical field) and I started telling each other anatomy puns. As we were joking back and forth I started thinking about fun ways to visually represent the puns. Then I realized they would make really funny greeting cards especially, for people in the medical field. So as a personal project I decided to create some.
Some of you may not know that before I became a full time artist I designed and made greeting cards. It has been almost two years since I really designed card other than ones that were prints of full size paintings. So getting in touch with my roots I got to work by pulling out my paints, smooth watercolor paper, and my scanner.
I used Mijello Mission gold watercolor paints, sharpies, and hot press watercolor paper. I used the hot-press paper because it is easier to scan and turn into a digital file. I was a little rusty on the digital aspect of it because I typically work in traditional mediums and hardly use Adobe Illustrator anymore. After fumbling around for a bit it started to come back to me. I designed the cards to look like they were hand drawn illustrations and tried to keep them from looking overly refined.
I think they are a fun change from what I typically do and are a great addition to my anatomy illustrations.
If you are interested in ordering a card or a print you can do so over at my etsy shop.
You can watch a tutorial of the “Mothers Love” painting here.