It has been a tough week, mostly because I spent half of it dealing with Customer Service.
Yesterday was the first full drawing day I had after the fiasco of our fridge not working, and it was one of those drawing days that makes me think I’m worthless as an artist. You see, I’ve tried to paint realistic humans from scratch (without photo reference). I have spent so much time drawing cartoon characters that I could not do it. No matter how hard I tried, the proportions were off. The heads and eyes were too big, the bodies had no muscles just shapes, …
I also made the discovery that I need to brush up on my anatomy. I know anatomy looking at the facing person, but I have no idea what’s happening when the person moves. When do I show the triceps? Should I add a line to indicate supination of the arm? What happens to the muscles and tendons around the knees?
I wanted to cry! I must have been drawing for four hours and everything looked wrong.
This is what happens when I spend more time on the business side of things rather than on creating. I’m rusty. However, all I need to do is find a good anatomy resource and add studying anatomy to my schedule. I will be fine.
I wanted to try illustrating my book with more realistic looking characters, but since my anatomy is rusty I gave up on the idea. Someone told me that teens like realistic looking characters, and though I believe I’ve written the book for teens, teens are so advanced these days, maybe my series is suited to 10-12 year olds? There are mature themes in the series: war, rape, torture, murder… However, I do not describe anything in detail. I do my best to keep it PG, and leave the horror to the reader’s imagination.
In the end, I’ve decided to keep the slightly cartoony illustration style for the Illustrated Edition, and I will release a Text-only Edition with the more realistic cover upon the completion of BOOK I (about 9 Episodes). I want to believe that everyone watches cartoons and loves illustrated books, but I may be mistaken. I wouldn’t know, because in my sphere everyone except my mom watches cartoons.
With this decision a weight came off my shoulders and I was able to enjoy completing the cover art for Chapter 03: The Punishment:
If you would like to watch Time-lapse videos of my work with written commentary, join Mili Fay Art Fan Club. I only write to keep you in the loop and to send gifts. I hate spam and will never share your e-mail address.
P.S. I love my Digital Publishing Class at Ryerson so far. I have done some Markup in the past, but now I know why certain elements are called as they are, and why the documents are structured as they are. I have already learned enough to know what questions to ask. If you would like to see my notes for the class, let me know.
Mili Fay, a Toronto-based artist, classical animator, illustrator, and author, is an award winning graduate of Sheridan College and Art Instruction Schools. In November of 2011 she created Mili Fay Art determined to support the world one artwork at a time.
Currently, Mili is working on her first ever illustrated Fantasy novel, Warriors of Virtue, about a reluctant princess who must prevent a war with dragon-people, while keeping her mission a secret from her over-protective mother.
Her latest published work is Animals In My Hair; a story about a boy who goes for his first haircut only to find endangered animals falling out of his hair.
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