Sunday, August 30, 2015

A Challenging Critique

I've been loving Andy J. Miller's Creative Pep Talk Podcasts for a few months now. I highly recommend them for ideas about improving your craft, your art business, and for lots of inspiration. When he decided to join Patreon to let people support him with small amounts for each new podcast, I liked what he was doing so much I wanted to help! He also made available 10 openings where he offers quarterly reviews of your artwork and online presence to help you with strategy. And I got one of the spots!

Boy, Andy is thorough. He recorded my own personal podcast with lots of great ideas and impressions.  And he made me a private Pinterest board with examples of art that show what he was talking about. Of his suggestions, there's one that especially resonated with me and I've been working really hard on already. He suggested that I simplify all of my shapes- people, animals and objects. Make them less realistic and more stylized. That's the kind of art I like best, but I've always had a hard time getting there with my own drawings.

So to begin with I redrew one of the pages from my dummy over and over about 5 times. Each time I was able to take it a little further into a simplified style. This is the latest version of it above on the left. In this photo are also Book Fiesta illustrated by Rafael Lopez and Blue on Blue illustrated by Beth Krommes. It helps me to have art I admire with those clear, rounded, simple shapes to keep me in the right frame of mind.

I feel like I'm making some good progress in the right direction. It's challenging to redraw my entire dummy keeping this style unified throughout. But I'm happy with it so far!

I wanted to share a few of the illustrations that Andy picked to show me what he meant about simplifying and creating a more memorable, stylized look.

This is the girl from Extra Yarn illustrated by Jon Klassen.

The Musicians by Carson Ellis


  1. Looking good - and I'm glad it feels good to you. That's the most important thing, eh?

    1. Thanks, Julie! Yes, it's all starting to feel cohesive. I'm happy with the way the drawings are turning out!