I’ve always had a bit of difficulty deciding what direction to take my blog. I’ve finally made a decision to post regularly regarding sketchbooks, advice for peers, and advice for clients. This advice is for other creatives.
Tips for Art / Illustration Block
I’ve discovered that the largest obstacle for me was fear of not being good enough to execute the ideas that were coming my way. First decide to shed that fear because with it, you are only holding yourself back. I’ve learned that it is more important to get a sketch or piece of work finished and learn from my successes and mistakes. Now, you’re with me? Good. These other tips should help get the creative juices flowing.
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Here we go, folks. This is the best sketch of the week.
I chose this sketch because I liked the balance between the ink and watercolour. Sometimes I find the ink can be overpowering but I imagine it’s how I apply it. The top could have been better but it’s something that could be avoided when spending more time on a piece. Anyways, this one’s for you, succulent lovers.
If you want to see what else I’m up to throughout the week, follow me on my social media: Facebook and Instagram (@amandawall_cs). For those of your who do, did you agree with best of the week or was another your favorite?
Be seeing you.
I’ve been working on some larger design projects this year which has left me to fill my social media with illustration. I’ve always been so unsure about if what I am posting is good enough, if my style is good enough, if my style has definition, and every other bit of art insecurity. Trouble is, I’d really like to focus further on my illustration career. With a lot of career inspiration lately from Jake Parker, I figured it’s time to let that go.
I’ve always had a fear of showing the messy thought processes within my sketchbook. I’ve shed that and decided to make my first Youtube video featuring an sketchbook with scattered use between 2009 – 2015. If you were once like me, know that many sketchbooks are not picture perfect. It’s a place for practice; for ideas; for stray doodling while you think. I’ve heard advice that not everything you draw needs to be shown to your audience. Reason being that you want clients and employers to think you only do awesome and consistent work. This is very true and should be aimed for… in your portfolio. A sketchbook is a chance to show that you are interested in continuous learning. That you love what you are doing. That you are open to new ideas. That you deserve to be financially compensated for the hard work you’ve put into your craft.
I’ve started a few new ones and have been pretty consistent in working in them. I’ll be posting many on my social media platforms and featuring a “best of the week” here.
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I wanted to update you as to where you can find some of my illustration/art originals for sale. There is something special about seeing pieces in person versus on a screen. I currently have pieces hanging at:
The Keephills Public Library in the Hamlet of Keephills
15 – 51515 RR 32A
Perks Coffee House
King Street Plaza
#9 – 420 King Street
Spruce Grove, AB, T7X 2C7
You can find more information about each at their links, including hours of operation.
Each of these places has the perfect combination of art, reading, and tea. Each has art work from other locals as well. Bonus!
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I’ve been working on a few logo updates lately. How do you know when it’s time to update your logo? It needs to be a calculated decision. You need to review and consider the following points.
Did you forget to initially invest in a good design?
Some business owners are strapped for cash when getting started or don’t realize the importance of investing in a quality designer to create the identity of their business or brand. A poor design can take away from your service or products and in the worst case, cost you that new client.
Is your logo visually outdated?
This point is related to the first. Your designer may not have been qualified or may have been following a limited design trend that has left your logo visually outdated. Sometimes and older style can be classic and continue to be effective but only if that is in your brand strategy. Otherwise it might be time for an update.
Has your logo been technically problematic?
Some companies choose to update their logo to cut costs. Logos with many colours can increase printing costs depending on your printing needs and methods. Your logo may not fit well on newer materials or products that you’ve developed. Changes needed due to technical problems may be small or large.
Do you need alternative identification because of market changes?
You business and customers may change over time and your identity may no longer accurately represent those changes. You may not need a new name but visuals.
Can you simplify your logo to better represent you?
You may be at a stage with your business that you no longer need visual elements you thought were necessary at a previous time. Does your logo look cluttered?
If you answered yes to any of these points, it may be time to update your logo. If you aren’t sure if your company or brand are ready for an update, consult with a professional graphic designer. They will be able to learn about your business and give you advice to weather it is appropriate to change your visual identity.
I’ve recently been working with an organization that you may be familiar with if you are a local Albertan: FCSSAA – Family and Community Support Services Association of Alberta. They are an incorporated non-profit society that provides support services to over 200 FCSS programs across Alberta. FCSS is where “locally-driven preventive initiatives can be developed, to enhance the well-being of individuals, families and communities”.
Previously, in 2015, I created print conference materials for their annual Power of Prevention Conference, completed their annual FCSS Storybook Project, and redesigned their organization folders. Below are examples from their conference materials (agenda, program booklet, web banner, save the date) which were made to promote a sense of celebration and renewal.
This year is the 50th Anniversary of FCSS. I’m pleased to have had the opportunity to work on their anniversary logo which is an extension of their existing logo (designer unknown). Congratulations to all the members and contributors of the organization that have made it what it is today.
I get a lot of satisfaction when my work contributes to the well being of my community.
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It’s been awhile!
Let’s get straight to it then! I’ve seen many questions regarding adult colouring and since I’ve started releasing some of my own I thought I’d offer some answers.
Adult Colouring FAQ
Q: How do I choose a book?
A: If you are new to colouring or haven’t done it in years, you might first want to look at individual pages. This way you can try out a variety of sizes, styles, subjects, and intricacies. From there you have the option to buy big sellers or support smaller artists. I’m a big supporter of buying local first whether you continue with books, pages, or both.
Q: What supplies should I use to colour?
A: Wax and soy crayons can be used for colouring large areas but aren’t ideal for pages with detail. A popular option is coloured pencils. They come in a range of quality and prices. Markers are often used but will bleed if the correct paper isn’t used. This is an easy fix if you are printing your own but many books will not have adequate paper. You can find marker paper from Staples to art supply stores. Grab 8.5 X 11 inch (A4) for easy printing.
Q: How do I start?
A: Just dive in! You probably have better colour sense then you think. None the less, if you want to get technical you can try some *colour theory:
– Monochromatic: colours that are all the colours of a single hue
– Complementary: colours that reside on the opposite sides of the colour wheel
– Warm or Cool: warm colours are often said to be hues from red through yellow, browns, and tans. Cool colours are often said to be the hues from blue green through blue violet
Q: Is colouring actually relaxing?
A: You bet. It helps you to focus on a rhythmic motion and allows you to be creative. It can be used alone or in a group setting. Set some music and have fun with it. “Concentrating on coloring an image may facilitate the replacement of negative thoughts and images with pleasant ones.” More details on the therapeutic science here.
Q: Tell me more about colouring socially?
A: There are a lot of opportunities to get social while colouring. There are many communities online for colourists. Libraries are providing both scheduled and unscheduled coloring. You can even make a night of it by hosting a colouring party whether you supply pages and material or have guests bring there own.
Q: Where can I find colouring books and pages?
These are the links to my shops where you can find unique hand inked pages:ETSY:
https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/AmandaWallCreations…MADEURBAN:Psst! Find a free page here on my website!
* Colour theory terms
You may or may not know that I don’t offer website creation services (this doesn’t include web graphics). It just isn’t my passion and I think the person you hire should be passionate. I do understand though that some of my clients need that service which is why I’ve started a dynamic duo with Jennifer Whyte.
Jennifer and I graduated from Grant MacEwan University together. She is currently an Intermediate Designer at Super Channel and picks up freelance web projects on the side. She has previously held positions at the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and the Running Room.
This partnership is a quick and easy link for our clients for a larger range of services. You now have the option of working with individuals, with a specialty, that have previously paired and will continue to work together to provide our clients with great services.
Contact Jennifer for her portfolio and a web related quote.
firstname.lastname@example.org or 587.986.9133
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I wanted to tell you about a relatively new blog that follows suit to my last post.
May I introduce you to Timotheories, written by Tim Kuefler. It is a curated discussion about various art forms and interesting tangents. The writing style has similarities of that found in The Time Machine by H.G. Wells.
Thus far, dear readers, he has covered topics that include mascots, comic books, board games, work spaces, and best of all interviews (so far from two local Designers).
I look forward to seeing what more Tim works together for us.
Be seeing you.
Hopefully Practise Makes Progress – Part 1 has given you a real view of what progress can look like. Seeing that others struggle just like you can be reaffirming.
This post is all about tips to get your progress on the move.
The most important thing you can do is set aside time to practise and hone your skills. Some people set aside specific time to work. Others work on the go by keeping sketch pads on them.
As a mother, the advice I give about this is to do it now. Right now. You never know when you’ll have more responsibilities that will keep more of your time occupied.
Follow Good Example
Follow the artists and illustrators that you admire. Surround yourself with examples that are going to keep you pushing to the next level.
I personally fill my social media feeds with artists that I admire. That way when I’m feeding that instagram addiction, I’m also taking a moment to note style choices I like, neat layouts, and concept solutions.
You can also sign up for newsletters! I look forward to newsletters from Alex Mathers at Red Lemon Club which are very much directed at the business side of the creative industry.
Join a Community
And when you do, participate! There are so many communities out there between helpful question forums and submission sites.