Y’all, it is *so nice* to be able to walk a mile and not feel like I’m going to fall over or pass out. I still have to take my regular afternoon snooze — affectionately dubbed Old Lady Naptime — but progress is progress.
I come out of my couch-lounging phase and suddenly things are busy. I’m working on a new project at my job, wrangling fixes across the WordPress.com code base. It’s challenging in a good way; lots of fun puzzles and problems to solve, and it scratches an organizational itch.
The kids are off from school this week, and we’re heading into dance recital season. I’m also traveling for a conference at the beginning of May, and a meetup in mid-June, so the next two months are going to be brain-bending.
I’m still doodling every day — I want to keep up this creative momentum. The other night I scrawled “I’m too tired. I don’t wanna,” across a blank Illustrator document before shutting off my laptop and going to bed, but by god, it was *something*.
Apropos to my recent “repetition and failure” post, this TEDxDirigo talk on the creative process is encouraging. As an aside, Raphael’s recent passing hits hard. I was lucky to have him as a professor during my time at UMaine; his praise was hard-earned but priceless, and his classes were never dull. He’ll be missed.
(Color is hard, y’all. Sometimes I get stuck in an endless loop of palettes. Like right now. I’m leaning toward one and five.)
I’m fortunate enough to be tolerated by three cats, currently. Stitch has been with us for 17 years, Pippin for 11 years, and Ginger for four months. We’ve put the older ones through a lot – babies, dogs, moving, and more – but they always come around when their food dish is empty and/or the bed is warm.
More random doodles, another WIP pattern, and a finished typographic poster with a phrase suggested by one of my coworkers.
I honestly can’t keep up with myself lately; I am slowly updating my shops with new designs, but it takes a while…and if I’m honest, I’d rather focus on the making things part. Business is not my strong suit. I guess I’ll keep my day job. 😀
I have a tendency to overthink when it comes to making art. I like to believe, as a left-brained creature of habit, that I can rationalize my way to successful creative outcomes, but it doesn’t work that way.
Regular meditation has helped me to understand that the creative spark is always present, but I have to show up and do the thing. Waiting for the muse to strike is just procrastination. True creation is about repetition and failure, and the latter rubs my logical brain the wrong way.
So I’m sharing everything–even the failures–to remind myself that creativity doesn’t happen out of thought, it happens out of action.
Wow, it’s been a while since I worked on a theme — any theme, but especially one that was just for me. Caroline.blog has used the same theme for the last, uh, four years? Maybe more?
This design started as a Codepen experiment with CSS Grid, then before I knew it, I was downloading Underscores to bring it to life. I wanted a simple design to bring the focus to my illustration portfolio — no widgets, no extras, just the content, big images, and a li’l navigation menu.
It all came together in about a day. I’m still fine-tuning things (I will forever be fine-tuning things) but I’m happy with it!
I’m craving sushi, and had it in my head to do this pop-art sushi squares print.
My process has evolved a bit; I used to draw in color from the start, filling in shapes as soon as I’d outlined them. Now I tend to draw outlines and fill in with color later. I’ve found that makes it easier to try on multiple color schemes (especially for patterns) and helps me focus on the shapes and composition. Sometimes I also like the black and white version enough to save it as a separate version.
It starts out like this; a really, really rough sketch:
Unfortunately I forgot to screenshot the semi-finished outline this time. It looks something like this, but much less polished:
Once I have the general composition down, I start playing around with colors, stroke widths, shapes, and opacity:
Then comes the part where I tweak everything for hours. 😛 Lots of smoothing out rough curves and joining endpoints. In this case, I didn’t like the lack of detail in the wasabi, so I redrew it. I also swapped a couple blocks around for visual interest. And here’s the finished version: