A small selection of my illustrations from over the years…

… and more on this wall. I also looked at my online work.

Recently I began an online class called Work / Art / Play via an illustration blog I’m a fan of, Pikaland. Discussing my work for the class is right in line with the main subject of my blog, finding inspiration and my artistic process. The first assignment was to look at several examples of my work from over the years and try to find common patterns and then the elements of my art that are the strongest.

So far I’ve noticed that I mainly use graphic, flat shapes to compose my illustrations; my work often depicts daily life mixed with subtle humor; I like to incorporate words and multimedia (collage, photography, embroidery, watercolor, pencil, and ink).

Another step was see if there are similarities between our work and the artists we admire. I was surprised to find that all of the aspects I mentioned above are present in some way for my list of favorite artists! Roz Chast, Henrí Matisse, Hanoch Piven, Romare Bearden, Maira Kalman, Alexander Calder, and Claes Oldenberg. (To name a few.)

Parts 2 & 3 of last week’s module were more challenging. Since I only had about a day to evaluate my work and write out my thoughts and analysis, I know I will need some more time to consider these answers. Part 2 was about considering what matters in our lives, not just our artwork, and what we are good at in addition to our creativity. And Part 3 is about bringing the observations from Parts 1 & 2 together to figure out how to create the strongest and most self-satisfying artwork based on these discoveries.

I think blogging about it helps the process! The first week was a very interesting start to what I feel will be a valuable experience. Some great topics came up in the Q&A session as well… such as one of my questions! I asked if I should make the effort to unearth some of my college work, which I have in slide form in my apartment… the originals are a couple hundred miles away at my parents house… if they haven’t sold them. 😉

As it turned out it wasn’t completely necessary to include the college work but I was able to notice some interesting similarities between what I was doing then and a new style that I’ve recently begun working with. I was really into combining watercolors, drawings, and colored pencil back in the day, and after many years of working in a digital style I’ve decided to experiment with the watercolors, drawings, and colored pencils again. I shouldn’t be that surprised, I chose watercolors since I’m familiar with them, but I can see how my skills and sensibilities have matured, while the essence has remained the same.

I will keep working on this and post more discoveries…. meanwhile a new module was released today. I guess I will be a little bit behind on my classwork.