Drawing Distractions.

I have some new ideas for 2018 that I’m really excited about. I started a Patreon page, which I think will be fun and help shape my art process better. I am really hoping to try to increase the time I spend illustrating. I have been planning and planning, thinking and thinking…and after a bit, I keep finding myself so frustrated. I’ve been here before. In fact, it appears to be a cycle of sorts.

Tonight I think I figured out why I only get frustrated when I have time to draw – by time and what little I can crank out. But I think it’s because of all the time I spend looking at other people’s art on Instagram.

I love Instagram. I am following so many amazing artists – showcasing all kinds of different styles, subjects and tools. There is soooo much talent and inspiration out there. I always thought by immersing myself in that world, I’d be more inspired for my own creative endeavors. Maybe I’d even absorb some talent through osmosis. 😉 But here’s what I think is actually happening. I’m seeing finished art. Amazing finished art. And I want to also post amazing finished art. So I get busy, quickly making something so that I can finish it and have it to share. And by doing that – working that way – I think that I’m completely ruining my own connection to my creativity.

I look back at older stuff I did (pre social media) and sometimes am pretty amazed by what I came up with sometimes. My execution may have been a little rough, but quirky, really, Steph ideas. Now I don’t seem to have any good ideas. So then I get on Instagram to get inspired…and …well, it’s a viscous cycle, I’m afraid.

So, I think I need to unplug from Instagram a bit. Most people are addicted to Facebook, but I’m addicted to the art stream I guess. I think it’s overwhelming me to see so many ideas and end products. I need to reconnect with my own quirky brain if I’m going to write and illustrate a children’s book this year. I need more time with process and changing things. Sketching and redrawing.

Yep. This is going to be hard. I love looking at all of these artists’ work! But I’m going to try to disconnect for a little bit and see if that helps my own creativity come back to me.

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An Announcement for 2018

I’ve started up the Morning Monsters again! Woohoo! Here are the first three.

 

I’m having fun with these. There is a small bit of character challenge in them – trying to come up with different looking monsters with different monster personalities that have different monster backgrounds… I’m trying to immerse myself in what I love to do more and more.

Which brings me to the second part of this post: Plans for 2018.

I am going to create a children’s book!

I am not sure what it will be yet – or anything about it really. I just know that:

  1. This is a dream of mine.
  2. I think I have some quirky stories in me that could make fun books with fun illustrations.
  3. It will be fun.

Let me be clear that this isn’t a “I want to become a children’s book illustrator” announcement (though I do think this experience will help that goal). This is a “Here’s what I want to create next” announcement. I really want to create a children’s book – develop a story, develop characters, craft it all up, illustrate it, work work work…  I am not sure what the end product(s) will even be. It may be nothing more than a mockup or a couple of Blurb books I fork over money to have made. But this is going to be my creative discipline for the foreseeable future, and I’m really excited! It’s what I’ve always wanted to do, and I’m not sure what I’m waiting for any more.

The other part of it is that I would love to build a community around it. I hope to have some fun social media tools to help with this  beyond Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. I’m not sure what that’s going to be yet. It may be Patreon, it may just be this blog, it may be some sort of newsletter? Still figuring this part out.

So yay – a book! That’s going to mean more drawings! Challenging and pushing my skills to create things I haven’t yet! Characters! Writing!!!

I’m excited and I hope you come with me on this journey. More soon.

 

Blurb book arrived!

112516_covers

After Inktober, I wanted to gather all of the Verntrupple drawings into a collection. I looked into Blurb.com, downloaded their InDesign plug-in, and got started.

The InDesign plug-in is amazing. You choose the type of book you want to design, the paper, the number of pages to start with and then go to town. There are guides and bleed marks. All of the production questions are answered via just using the template.

112516_layout

After I got everything laid out how I wanted, I worked on the cover. Then when both files were finished, I uploaded them to blurb through InDesign. So crazy simple! I confirmed paper, the sizes, etc. Preflight was done and no errors were found. I was redirected to blurb.com and chose my quantity, shipping, and paid for the books. I ordered 10 to get a little discount, figuring it would be nice to have a few to play with / give away, etc.

112516_blurbopen

I’m very impressed with the quality of the printing. I chose a 6″ x 9″ trade book, keeping it cheaper this way. I chose the standard color printing, not the economy printing. The pages have visual bleed-through, but it isn’t bad and I expected this. The colors are vivid and crisp. I would give more inside margin room in the future, and I would also make the book more pages. Right now, it’s so thin…it just kind of feels flimsy, or like it should be a hard cover but isn’t.

I listed it on Etsy. Who knows – maybe someone would want to buy a cute little art book. I am giving a few away to family and friends. Oh, and yeah…trying to get that Etsy shop populated!