I just finished a new illustration for my personal portfolio project! “The Guardian!”
And it’s now available as a print on INPRNT!
I spent a lot of January working on The Guardian. It takes a lot longer to finish pieces when I don’t skip steps… like creating thumbnails and value studies…
A lot of the fun of this piece though was going back to working in a larger format and using pen and ink for the linework! I did the color digitally still, since it’s so forgiving and I have no confidence with applying color theory. I get to change my mind a lot this way! I will probably do some pieces in watercolor again, I finally brought out my paints for the first time since last spring! But I think digital coloring might still be my favorite… I’m super pleased with the palette I created in the end. I love fun complementary pop of color!
I also tried to work in my studio more to start the year. Instead of exclusively working for the couch in the living room… Although I should say, my studio has a couch instead of a desk. I like to be comfortable! But it makes a big difference, as it is definitely easier to focus in the studio, and it doesn’t have a TV…
Plus, I’ve been trying the Pomodoro method for time management. I thought I could write like a big dedicated blog post about it, but I stuck with it for like a week. Which honestly is pretty good for me. But I now like setting a timer now for focused work. I’m just way more flexible with it. Mostly just being more intentional with how I break up my day for different tasks. But nothing too rigid since creative work can ebb and flow so much. I mean, if I’m feeling stuck I can still set a timer and sketch for half an hour. Just to do something… But also I’ve gotta have longer breaks. I’m an artist! I need lots of time to scroll my phone and get inspiration!
But mostly I have a lot of stuff I’m wanting to work on right now, and it can get a bit overwhelming. So between a weekly planner and setting a timer, I’m definitely finding a better way to focus and stay on a single task, but still find balance to work on multiple projects. Yay!
Wheel of Time progress report: I’m halfway through book two. It’s still good, I think. That’s all.
I’ve been reading a lot of graphic novels and a few manga recently.
Kaiju No. 8 (a manga) was a lot of fun. A blend of Pacific Rim, One Punch Man, and My Hero Academia. It’s not my favorite, but I enjoyed it and preordered volume 2! I also got a manga where the conceit is basically “what if Harry Potter went to Hogwarts but secretly couldn’t do magic and was a total gym bro?” Haven’t read that one yet but it sounds wild!
Then I read the 1st volume of the original Spider-Man. It is so ridiculous. And dated. But I loved it. It was so fun. OG Peter Park (and Spidey) was a mess and kind of a bully?! I’m very disappointed The Living Brain villain hasn’t made it to a movie…yet. A 1960s super-computer on ball-bearing wheels! THE HORROR!
After than I jumped to Ultimate Spider-Man from the 2000s. Oh boy. Dated in a way I lived through is a special kind of nostalgia. Yikes… Also I didn’t realize how much Brian Michael Bendis influenced the Sam Raimi movies. That I also still kinda love. Because I was a teen in the 00s…
We have now watched all the Spider-Man movies (up to the new one). It’s also been a trip, and fun to compare to the comics. Apparently we just missed out on Garfield’s Spider-Man originally? Possibly because of Spider-Man 3. As well as dismay and confusion on how a superhero series could be rebooted so soon (HA!). But now that I’ve seen them, he might be the best Spider-Man? It was just so fun, and pretty good! Spider-Man Homecoming, which I originally loved, seemed now like just a mini-Iron Man movie, and not nearly as fun in comparison. But it was still okay. And Far From Home was better, which is encouraging. Also Martin Starr (Parker’s teacher) is the BEST.
We’ve also been watching a lot of classic kung fu movies. It’s always a good choice for a Friday night, and apparently Amazon Prime has a solid selection. Executioners from Shaolin is amazing, and formally introduced us to the work of Liu Chia-Liang and Lo Lieh. So good! I think at this point we will watch anything they are involved in.
Lastly, I started baking desserts at the start of the new year. And I’ve managed to make a different dessert every weekend, so far! The best was chocolate sugar cookies, but I also bought a donut pan and baked donuts are legit. I’ve always wanted to try baking more, so the pan was motivation. I have a major sweet tooth, but I don’t always want cookies or brownies or something. But there are few foods I love more than donuts. So yay new hobbies!
Have you tried a formal time management method? (Are there others??) Have you picked up a new hobby for the new year? Let me know in the comments!
Thanks for reading!