Friday, March 18, 2011
Start Your Engines
Making a living as an artist is a lot of fun for me. Each day it seems as if there is always something new and fun to draw. It's certainly can't be considered a death defying career choice but it does have it's share of scary moments. So as a humorous illustrator, I'm constantly on the lookout for funny things around me that will help me make a living drawing. Sometimes I gather inspiration by watching TV. Sometimes it's simply people watching. I often visit on of my favorite artist blogs entitled "Illustration Friday.com". This web site features a single word each week and artists are encouraged to draw or create any image or emotion that the posted word conjures. There is no rules to what can be submitted so it's a fun place to test out new techniques, styles or ideas. I've submitted a number of times myself and I try to visit the site each week to view the fun other artists are having with it.
A few months ago I spotted the simple word CHICKEN on the site. It had been submitted by artist Jannie Ho. A creative person whose style I marveled at for many years. Jannie's color choices and youthful style had always caught my eye. I knew I had to enter my own view of what CHICKEN meant to me. But what did Chicken actually mean to me? Chicken? Chicken?? Hmm. I pondered over this simple word for a while. I really didn't want to simply draw a barnyard chicken sitting in a coop. Where was the funny in that? So I dug a little deeper and thought, "What does being called a chicken mean? And where did this negative term for a person lacking bravery come from?" It then took my brain about a nano second to reflect back on a youthful inspiration (a place I often go)to memories of one of my own heroes. A character who had most likely NEVER been called chicken a day in his life. Evel Knievel himself. So there I had it. The inspiration generated from a single word that created my silly drawing posted above. I simply drew it, posted the image and promptly forgot about it. A few weeks later I then spotted Jannie's avatar on my Facebook account and decided to show her directly what her Illustration Friday post had inspired. This eventually began a discussion about creating a whole new children's book using this chicken daredevil character as our hero. A few more social networking messages back and forth and a collaboration effort was born. What fun! All because Jannie likes chickens, I like Evel Knievel and the Internet was there to bring this whole concept together.
So start your engines and follow along each week as Jannie and I work on this project together. We'll be looking for your comments, suggestions and even artwork to help this become a great book. So join us__unless you're chicken. :)