I Have been playing with the gouache paintings for some time now. They have been a joy to explore. Sometimes they fail miserably but I always learn something from each of these little failures. It seems like the subject matter may sometimes seem a bit dark and creepy. I am thinking it's a natural perception because of the surreal nature of the subject matter. No matter how hard I try, they never seem to be as good as I want them to be. Maybe time to rethink the subject matter and make it more accessible. I read something Sam Webber once said in and early interview. I was always thinking about this as a direction for my illustration. A way to expand to a different type of assignment work…I read something recently that Sam Weber said in an interview. “Of the first couple of dry years, Sam said that it was only when he shifted his subject matter to be more accessible that he became popular. He likened it to two slightly overlapping circles. In one is the work you like to do. The other contains what people want.”This got me thinking about the subjects I have been painting. Expanding toward a more usable subject. We’ll see where that goes.
I also recently ran across a lecture Milton Glaser gave on the " Fear of Failure." Failing is how we grow as artists. The path to success as an illustrator may be to do one thing/style/brand, and promote just that one style. The problem with this is that clients keep coming back to you to have you illustrate in proximity of something you have done before. This Success model may be in contradiction to what makes you successful as an artist. Don’t be afraid to try new things and fail at what you’re doing. You learn from your failures. This has me thinking a lot about the where these little paintings are going...Where I am going as an illustrator. Sometimes people trap us to our identity as artists and it's hard to escape. I do love the exploration and growth you get in personal work. But I love working with art directors and designers in a creative team.It's so rewarding. I can't imagine giving that up.
I get bored pretty quickly and I am surprised at how long I have spent doing these little gouache paintings. Might be time to break out the art school oils and try to get a little richer color and depth in the work.
This character has been surfacing in sketches for a while . Now I am thinking of flushing out a dark little story to go along with it. Might help to expand the settings and delve into other characters in a similar direction. certainly there's something there to explore.