Where does the time go?

“Dark Seas” digital illustration, 2019.

“Dark Seas” digital illustration, 2019.

No, but really. Where. I feel personally affronted in the ways in which time is always reminding me how long certain projects take to come together. This one - that I’m intending to turn into a second book with dozens if not a couple hundred illustrations - is coming up on three years now. Granted, the idea didn’t solidify until last fall, but still. So here is a new illustration to add to the Dark Mysteries collective, and I’m hoping to focus more on it from here on out so I can get the story finished and the artwork to go along with it realized as well. Cheers to the best laid plans!

i. am. exhausted.

& this is only the beginning. If this is the first you’re hearing about my current project, I’ll catch you up in just a few words:
I’m writing my second book (read more in my previous post here) and I just spent the last month and a half illustrating a full scene just about every day in conjunction with the inktober challenge. It was absolutely brutal. Creating a work of art each day is tough enough, but I was doing it within the tight bounds of a story I was writing as I went along. I can’t remember the last time I did a project of such intensity in terms of time constraint and it being coupled with writing a book along side. I pushed myself as hard as I could (and slept very little while pacing holes in my floors).

So yeah. I have about a third of the book plotted and over 30 illustrations done. It’s yet going to take a lot more work to get this book finished but I’m really excited for the challenge. If you want to see all the illustrations I did this year (and a few from last year), click the images below. &, if you want to read the beginning of my story, join my mailing list and I’ll send along the password to the secret page on my website. But for now, I need about a week long nap. (If only, on to the holiday commissions!)

Storytelling

If there’s one thing I love doing with my art, either on a micro scale within one single painting, or on a larger scale with a series - it’s storytelling. I don’t want my art to be something taken at face value, and so I’m really, really excited about my latest project that will culminate in my second book (First book? You say - click here). I detailed a little bit about it in my previous post (you can read it here), I’ve built up over 20 illustrations so far (check them out here), and I’m busy building out the written story itself. It’s taking shape organically as I create the pieces that inform the story, and the written story is inspiring new illustrations. It’s a super rewarding process, regardless of outcome - though I’m working hard to make the end result deeply interesting, and a book worth reading as well as collecting.

Although a lot of the work I’m doing on the art end of this has been digital (as I decided to work within the Inktober format, and to push out a full illustration a day is rough enough on its own, doing it traditionally would have been near impossible to keep up with for this project), I am going to be pulling ideas out of my digital work and creating hand drawn pieces as well as hand cut, hand pressed limited edition prints. These will be available as I go through the process of putting this all together. I’m thinking giveaways and/or a kickstarter? Those details are still a ways off, but they’re in my mind, and if you’d like to not miss anything, please join my mailing list (that form just off to the right) and keep up with my Dark Mysteries.

Click this image to go to my  Dark Mysteries page  here on my site and view many of the illustrations that will be used for the book.

Click this image to go to my Dark Mysteries page here on my site and view many of the illustrations that will be used for the book.


Dark Mysteries

For once! I’m prepping and ready for inktober this year. If you’ve never heard of inktober, click here. Essentially it’s an exercise artists can participate in to challenge and push their skills in inking and design. I absolutely love it as I work in a fully black and white format and it informs my choices and spurs growth in my style very quickly. It’s also insanely exhausting. Last year I burned out (and my marker quit) after about eight days. One reason for this is that I work within the tight bounds of a very specific theme. It’s a darkly magical, Faustian, mysterious theme. It’s a flip side of my personality and interests, and one I can only fully delve into in such intensity for so long. The month long format of inktober is a perfect frame of time, but still not one I’ve ever successfully completed. This year I’m working not only to complete the 31 days but to push the complexity of my narrative, line work and composition, something I’m able to do thanks to the outrageously amazing app Procreate. Working digitally this year will allow me to experiment more freely without losing years of my life by - quite literally - going back to the drawing board when working out compositions. As a sneak peek teaser here are the first two pieces I’ve completed ahead of the start of the inktober challenge, and if you’d like to see more of this narrative you can click here to go to my Dark Mysteries gallery. If you want to follow along, each day of October I’ll be posting one of these to my Instagram & Steller pages. There I’ll also be posting time lapse videos of these pieces so you can see how they came together, which I think is a pretty awesome aspect of working digitally, as well as background details about pieces that unlock more of the symbolism. There’s more than meets the eye in a lot of these. Hope to see you there!

Apothecary’s Darling. 2018, digital

Apothecary’s Darling. 2018, digital

Be Wary What You’ll Find. 2018, digital

Be Wary What You’ll Find. 2018, digital