Sunday, June 25, 2017

Babe in the Woods

I'm so excited to have completed my first kids book illustrations. The book is called Forest Baby, written by Laurie Elmquist, and published by Orca Books.

The book is about a mum and baby going for a walk in the forest. It's a lovely story, describing the things they see, hear and feel. Strangely enough, the job came along while I was on maternity leave and my son and I would often walk by the lake or in the woods, just the two of us. So when I read Laurie's story, I felt very connected to the material. Also, I conveniently had large quantities of reference material to work from. 

Serendipity at work, I guess. Sometimes life is just like that. 

Friday, September 30, 2016

A Scary Project

Many things are not as fun after having a child. Things like drinking, staying up late and going out to eat. But other things become more fun. One of these is Halloween. At least, this is true from my point of view as the mother of a little baby. I'm open to the possibility it becomes less fun as your child ages and grows into a teenager.
But all that aside, I'm so excited for Halloween this year that I'm almost sick. To celebrate, I'll be doing one spooky doodle a day for the month of October on my instagram at Shantala_Robinson. Please check it out. I'm not promising they'll be good, or even scary. But they will be Halloween-y.
Update: I had to abandon this project due to a paying job that came in. Between that and caring for my none-month old, I dropped the ball. I know: excuses, excuses. But the job is very exciiting! See my next blog post!

Monday, September 5, 2016

When Things Just Don't Turn Out

Sometimes my artwork just doesn't turn out like I want it to. No matter how hard I try, my fingers simply won't create what I see in my mind. Like someone wasn't paying attention and a memo got lost somewhere, or someone else got sloppy on the translation. I suspect this happens to most artists, but my style of work lends itself most particularly to the phenomenon.

I never have much of a sketch in place before I start. I remember an old artist friend once gasping in shock when she saw I was about to start a final painting. "Not yet!" she yelled. And then she made me sketch some more and only let me start painting when it was ready.

I appreciated her efforts, but since then I've been taught a very important lesson from one of my art school teachers: don't fight yourself. If you have a style of working, go with it. Otherwise, it's a long and losing battle. So, I use my intuition, and go with it. I feel that I "build" my pieces more than anything. I can complete a piece quickly, and achieve a layered and textured look because of this. But it also means I do have many, many failed pieces of artwork. I'm like Frankenstein with his monster. Sometimes I keep these monsters to be used as surface for future experiments. Mostly, I just bemoan them. I had a couple of these monsters lately. Here they are.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Beast Within

If you could be an animal, what would you be? I would want to be something that flies, probably more like a bird than a fly. 

But that's really just something I think about when I look at these pieces. It was not my starting point. It's just that I spend a lot of time thinking about shapes. And these are shapes that I saw in some paintings. I like Rembrandt's hat, too, and I always wanted to copy it. There's a lot to be learner when you copy great works. Like what requires a light touch, why something was placed in a certain spot, and how subtly colours were used to create depth. And so on. 

Anyhow, I'd probably want to be an eagle.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

My Oedipal Complex

I have an Oedipal complex.

Because I can't bloody finish my graphic novel about Oedipus. I keep rewriting and redrawing and choosing a new style and a new platform. And who really cares? Really. Absolutely no one except me.

Maybe I'm stalling. That's it. I need an app or something. Some large, wall-hanging calendar that I can write on and that shouts at me and nags me endlessly until I get it done. Where can I get one of those?

Friday, January 16, 2015

My holiday card is way late


So, as always, I anticipated the holiday season with giddy delight and created this moving illustration e-card type thing. I did end up sending it out to some of my loved ones but this holiday season was ultimately a let down and a bit hectic because of the flu virus and its effects. But there were some nice times and I am striving to be more grateful and less sulky. So anyways, better late than never, I guess, here it is.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Bullitt to the heart

I saw Bullitt for the first time yesterday. I also saw Steve McQueen for the first time. Funny how his star appeal is so instantly apparent. Lots of people are good looking. But not everyone has the power to make you want to watch them. I'd watch Steve McQueen read a book, I really would.

Anyways, I drew this on my tablet on the bus, but I'd like to do a finished piece. Maybe a series of pieces of stars from the sixties. I liked Bullitt. I liked the style, the moodiness and the soundtrack. But then, I don't know too much about movies from this time period. What should I watch? Any recommendations?
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