All my illustrations start as a drawing in a sketchbook which I scan in and colour digitally (A). Last week, in an attempt to improve my skills with the Adobe Illustrator software I use, I decided to create some of my characters totally on the computer with not a pen or pencil in sight (B). The neat freak in me loved creating perfectly clean crisp lines, making symmetrical shapes and getting each bit right. What was lost in this process however, was character and charm. I got so carried away in the attempt to create a ‘perfect’ image that any personality it might have was lost. When I presented this pair of bee cats to the lovely friends of my Facebook Page, I was happy that they were honest and said what I had been thinking. Feedback is so useful and makes a real difference when you’re unsure of something.
So despite the fun of totally digital illustration, I think the perfectionist in me needs to realise that even lines and symmetricalness isn’t what makes something right and I should just stick to what I know because that’s what works.
I did learn a lot during my experiments though, which is great and I am able to transfer some of those new skills into what I do already, making a few of the processes a little more easy and less time-consuming.