Hello mad reader. Hello wise reader. I hope you have had a great summer, you know, full of wonder and good moments. If you didn't, well don't worry, I didn't have the best summer of my life either. But who cares, for you know: better is the enemy of good. And I have to say I have had a difficult time getting my head around some existentialist concepts such as the meaning of life and so on, and frankly who cares again! I took time lately to demolish various preconceptions of mine about art, revolution, capitalism, identity amongst other heavy thoughts of the kind. And I finally got to some form of subjective inner balance thanks to which I can now allow myself to do art and be creative again.
All I wish to tell you at this point in time is: don't die. Never die. You heard me well: live alive my friends. LIVE ALIVE!
That's me for today. Wishing you the best of yourselves for the week ahead. Walk straight and don't look back. Until next time, this is Adrien signing off.
Hello blog addict. I hope you are in great shape and condition, and that life is treating you as best as you can endure. Here, the capricious Irish spring makes its show of temperamental moods, as usual.
I have been busy lately, working on the release of four custom notebooks to be available on Red Bubble. Red Bubble is an online shop where artists can upload their designs on multiple products. I have ordered the journals for myself and I am very happy with how they came out. The books come in three versions, with lined, square or blank pages. The format is compact, smaller than a typical A3, quality print hardcover and 128 pages. The paper is smooth and only 90gsm, so no heavy watercolour painting on these. They are perfect for quick and discrete note taking, travel sketching or dream recollection.
This cover is from a watercolor painting I did some years ago. It is based on a photograph of Greenfields, the place where I used to live a few years back. Watercolor painting is a very subtle thing and a great medium to capture the essence of a moment. This one shows the sunset fading in the distance below another one of these temperamental Irish skies. My new logo can be seen on the back cover.
This double page cover is a composition made of a few of the figures I am putting together for a future book about madness, sanity, self-acceptance and tolerance. Titled Be yourself and of a mood completely different than the previous notebook: I hope this one inspires truthful thought and confident writing.
This image is titled Maria. It symbolizes the miraculous pregnancy one suffers after the touch of inspiration. An image made "by accident" which, I hope, inspires you greater clarity of mind and sharpness of aspiration. May the dreams you write in this book come true!
This image, titled Life goes on, was drawn collectively with my father, in a train headed to Paris, after the funeral of my grandfather. I colored it at home, in Ireland. I called it Life goes on. It is a parable of the cycle of the living and the dead, our purpose in life as well as in death. I hope this notebook inspires you more love for yourself and your family, and, as well, a strong sense of connection with the bigger picture.
You can go to the website shop, and click on the links provided to get to my profile on Redbubble and purchase them from there. I hope you will enjoy these notebooks as much as I enjoyed making them.
With Rebibble I can now print these designs on a multitude of products, from pillow to computer sleeves, mugs and what not. If anyone of you has a request for a particular product available on Redbubble, just let know and will make it available.
My next goal is now to put together a nice Patreon page and profile so anyone who wants to support my projects directly can do so. I will keep you updated on that soon of course.
Hoping to see you next week for another episode of Trail of colour, this is Adrien, signing off. Peace.
Hello there! Dear reader I hope you are doing well. What are you doing those days? Who are you? What is the project that carries you from day to day? How is your creativity doing? I would be delighted to hear your answers in the comment section. A good chat is always appreciated.
Between preparing for the launch of my Patreon page, working on the release on Red Bubble of four custom notebooks, keeping up with the reshaping of my portfolio and trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle (later not always successfully), I have got to stretch myself up and get in the productive groove.
Today I want to show you the steps I took to make this image which is going to be part of these four upcoming custom notebooks.
My initial motivation was to get rid of a nervous feeling that built up from the frustration of not being able to deal with a certain study of Enki Bilal I was doing at the time. After destroying my failed attempt at reproducing one of Bilal's painting I decided to react and do it "my own way" and "no matter what comes up!". My plan then, was do explore Bilal's technique in a more personal way and experiment with the layering of different medium while letting each step apparent so to include the process in the final image. Somehow I began to draw this imaginary portrait, on this new "mixed media" paper I had recently got hold of. Midway, I realised I was not going at all where my first impulse was suppose to lead me. I kept struggling with hold habits of outlining, detailing at early stage, erasing and fixing instead of compiling and adapting. The subject turned out to be out of control, that is: I wanted it to look out of control, but I kept applying my good old inhibited standards and completely missed my point. How funny that is, even though it really didn't feel that way. I fell I was playing an sort of anti-game with myself, proving myself that in fact I can do things the old way in a secure manner instead of rolling free through a ground-breaking experiment.
This was the first step right after the initial graphite sketch, laying down the ground work with colour pencil:
The plan was to go much wilder and have coloured lines going all over the place. but you understand by now that's not how it went like. Once this step reach completion I knew things were not going to go as intended but that I had to change gear and comply to what was to be done.
The next step was done with acrylic paint on top of the colour pencil layer:
For the mid-layers, I usually like to use complementary colours of the final upper layers, but for some reason it didn't do it this time and the final layer done with oil paint was simply a refinement of the build I had laid down so far. I also clearly so at this stage the religious aspect of the figure and decided to go all in in this direction by putting gold on her aureole.
Here is the final image, after the oil paint layer was applied and varnished:
Considering my initial intent regarding this image and what I wanted it to be, I felt very disappointed by the end result. I nearly destroyed it, but refrained myself from doing so. A few weeks passed and I began to see this work with new eyes. I began to appreciate it for what it was and not what I wanted it to be. Finally, because I felt shy about it and still didn't want to "release it" and show it to the world, I decided to glue it on the cover of my "personal folklore" sketchbook. I love to personalize my sketchbooks, which are for me the most precious things I have. So here is how the sketchbook look after customization:
Finally, after publishing the image on my facebook page I realized, unexpectedly, that people were very fond of it. They appreciate the colour scheme, the atmosphere. I have to say that I was a bit shy to show it and unsure about people's reactions concerning it. But somehow, after all this process, this is a lesson for me. A lesson of acceptance of the will of an image, as if an image had its own will to be and one had to surrender to it to see it appear. And a lesson of letting go of one's judgement of things, and understand that people see and relate differently to an image one "creates", or puts together. (For I don't really understand the word create when it comes to art. But that's a topic for another blog.)
That's it for today. I hope you have enjoyed this episode of Trail of colour. I can't wait to read your comments. Feel free to share the post if you like.
Wishing you an exciting week ahead, full of little and big realisations!
Adrien Sourdot, signing off. Peace.
Hello dear reader and follower of the art.
I hope you are really feeling the spring kick and are having a great time dispensing these renewed energies around you and into the world. Today I want to take this opportunity to make an announcement: I will create my Patreon page very soon. It should be launched before the end of April.
If some of you wonder what is Patreon, it is a membership platform that allows you to become the patron of an artist you want to support and help to grow wings. It makes the relationship between an artist and his community a more direct and intimate partnership working together towards a common goal: free-up more time for the artist to do what matters and making it easier for him to share and provide more content to his community. By subscribing to a monthly donation a patron knows that he is now taking part in a collective effort to make the world a better place, filled with more beauty and words of peace. But not only that: patrons will receive access to exclusive content, early sale discounts and behind the curtain peeks shared by patrons only. As a patron you will really feel part of a community of people sharing together special content.
Great and admirable artists using Patreon, such as Iris Compiet, have reached a state now, where the weight of financial pressure is lifted for them to a point where they have all the time it takes to create with freedom of mind. I want to throw myself in this adventure with you guys. I want you to feel empowered by supporting my work. I want you to feel the actors to the growth of someone you want to see succeed, someone you know, someone you relate to.
My patreon page is now in development. I will keep you guys informed about its coming along. I will also ask for your help, in saying for example what kind of benefits you would like to see available to patrons and things like that. I am super stoke by this project and I hope you are too! My adventure is your adventure. The world is one and we will play our role in its unity!
On to this week's news about my work and discoveries:
I have been in touch with the Maple Youth Centre of Ballinrobe, the town nearby where I live. We are now working on putting together a drawing course for the afterschool and the young adult. This should be starting soon and, no need to say, I am super excited about that! Education and transmission matter to me very much, and to help spread the art and its know how is, I think, something super important and much needed in today's rushed world.
Also during my practice this week I went on and worked on a prototype for a logo for my brand. Here is the work in progress.
you I am looking for a logo that could reflect the qualities that I am trying to promote through my art. Something simple, anchored in the traditional, for the people, not too intellectual and rather positive. I kind of like the star dancing with the colour dots. I am super interested to know what you guys think of it, please let me know in the comment section below.
And finally, I did something this week I am actually quite proud of. While looking for elements of the logo I digressed, and draw this character which I later edited into a book cover. This is really something that strikes my imagination and I will continue to explore further in this direction concerning book covers for adult literature.
Here you go. This is it for today's blog post. I am looking forward to reading all your comments and feedbacks, and don't forget to share if you like. Wishing you a peaceful Sunday and a terrific week ahead. Until next Sunday's Trail of colour, this is Adrien, signing off. Peace.
Hello dear reader. A little update for you about what has been going on lately for me and my art.
I recently took a break away from home for four days to take part in what used to be called the Train the trainer workshop, now called Training delivery and evaluation. I was staying at my friends Donagh and Debby in Galway during that time. They are both friends from my years at art college in Galway. Donagh is a historian and archeologist. Donagh will work for the next six month as a guide at Aughnanure castle near Oughterard, county Galway, Ireland. Pay him a visit if you have the chance, this man is a living encyclopedia with a great sense of humour. Deddy, on her side, is an multidisciplinary visual artist and weaver. She works now with groups of children on a parade to be happening next June in Merlin Woods near Galway city. Check out her Facebook page Hazel Forest.
The workshop, which was funded to me by dear Irish Social Welfare was a near complete failure. Not that I expected much. But I wasn't ready for such a corporate format. Where I envisioned days of dynamic activities filled with role playing games and situational exercises on workshop facilitation, I ended up sitting at a table for four days listening to theoretical pre-made talks about "what ifs" and generalities about human nature. Maybe not a complete waste of time after all, as I could, at least, focus on my plans for the drawing classes I intend to deliver in Ballinrobe, the town nearby where I live.
I really enrolled for the workshop at first to make a good impression on my business plan in order to support my application for the Irish Back to Work Enterprise Scheme which grants a two year financial support for business startups. My application was successful which was great news for me. This basically gives me two solid years to optimize on, gathering contacts, making personal projects, entering the market, narrowing down my portfolio, doing all that a new illustrator needs to do in order to get into the game.
So I have come up with a plan for this year 2019 and how to get things in good shape in order to maximize on my time while I am backed up financially.
What motivate me most is personal projects. They are fine assets to present in a portfolio, testimony of a determined spirit able to bring projects to completion through self-determination. Not even mentioning that I really want to express myself, so personal projects are not simply an excuse to fill up my portfolio with content. I want client work to be a thing, but I dream the strength to be able to provide and build many stories from the ground up.
For now, I have a few ideas in the making. A mini-book of wisdom/madness, made of twisted portraits of mad men, that I would like to release before next Christmas. I am now in the process of looking for a publisher, or a printer to self-publish the book after crowdfunding it.
Some examples of what I am talking about:
I am also working on a 2020 calendar, illustrated with watercolour and ink landscapes inspired from photographs of Connemara. Same story here, should I find a stationary publisher of sort, or crowdfund it in order to self-publish it? Here are samples of work in progress, exploring ideas. I am not proud of these and they won't make it to the final project.
Following all of this, by the end of 2020, I want to release my first graphic novel Stories not to be told. Not sure of the final size yet, nore of the format. Lots of work ahead with this one...
What is urgent for me to do at the moment is to narrow down my portfolio. What you may have noticed while looking at my website is the broad scope of techniques I am using and a kind of undefined approach to a subject. That makes for a scattered portfolio made of everything and nothing, the work of a Jack-of-all-trade. Not the kind of folio a client could rely upon to be sure about the outcome of a potential commission. To fix this as soon as possible, and develop a sharper sense of what audience I want to work for, I took on this little project for myself: choose 23 themes, such as form and mass, love and hate, individual and collective, senses, the four elements, liberty, etc, 23 core principles or fundamental ideas that I will treat each with one of 6 specific audiences in mind: young children, children, young adults, adults, editorial and educational. That make for 6 sketchbooks about to be filled with hundreds of drawings and illustrations. This exercise is scheduled to be completed by end of July. I then give myself the month of August to rebuild my portfolio and revamp my website with the new knowledge acquired. Will I end up finally opting for a specific audience I'd prioritize addressing myself to, or will a new style emerge, that transcends ages and medium and open more doors for me than a specialised and targeted approach would provide? Will I focus on one medium, or will I, in fact, keep expanding on my use of various techniques and materials? Will I focus on line and colour, or will I continue to experiment schooling myself and search for a more integrated look made of seisable form and clever edges? Will I simplify my work, or will I become complex? Will I find a balance between spontaneity and order? Will I finally find my centre of gravity?
So many questions! The search for answers is on!
Anyway, when this portfolio will look a little better, I will begin to pitch my work to prospects of all kinds: publishers, magazines art editors, companies, art galleries, newspapers... hopefully hitting hard from next September on.
On the other side of things, as a business manager, self-employed illustrator, I have to expand my network and hopefully grow a bigger list of prospects. An enormous groundwork is to be done. I really need to step out of my usual self-centered mind and analyse the situation around me. Ireland's illustration, it seems, is experiencing some kind of boom, so it is time to step in and take part. Investigate the network, who is who, who is doing what, what events are out there, where is the money coming from, are there grants for this and that, would these guys be willing to collaborate, how far can I work online beyong Ireland and even Europe, how good or bad is the competition, is there a niche I could fit in... I guess this is a lifetime work ahead of me. Hopefully I can enjoy a little the process on the way. I have always been of an impatient and self-destructive nature, but can I enjoy a little metamorphosis, the growing of ears and tongue, a social me, a collective me? Time will tell, if my curse is real or fictional, if I can write my story further anew or play defeated again subdued by endlessly recurrent lamentations.
Now, I have a question for you reader, viewer, follower, spectator, observer, spy, for all of you, whoever you are, whatever you are here for: should I create a Patreon? Would you like that? Would you support that? How would you like to see it looking? What content would you like to see me put in there? What are your thoughts on Patreon and do you think I could make some use of it? Please, I would be very grateful to read your answers in the comment section below. Feel free to let me know what you think, I really would like to know your opinion on the matter: should I create a Patreon?
This is it for today dear reader and all folks of the web and beyond. I am looking forward to reading your comments. And don't forget to share if you like, that always helps. See you next Sunday for another episode of Trail of colour, and until then have a masterful and commanding, original and colourful week! Peace.
Teaser of the cover of a soon to come notebook to be sold on my website. I can't wait to get this new product out! I love customised notebooks so much. And this one will be made just for you guys! Stay sharp, more info coming soon.
I am delighted to announce my first line of products available to order online on the Teepublic online store. Click on the images to view the corresponding store page. This is the first model of a series dedicated to the Tarot Greater Arcana. I hope you like the idea. I thought death would be a good theme to start with, for isn't death a new beginning? And if it isn't, why not start by the end? I thought a little funny and dismal tarot design on a T-shirt, a mug, a pillow or a poster, would be nice to have, so here we go!
I googled my name this morning to see what was showing there about me and I found this .
An old blog post from Galway City Library where I held my first solo exhibition at the end of my first year of art study at GMIT (the "Beaux-Arts" of Galway).
How my practice have changed! Since then I have burnt all the paintings that were done at the time, for I had nowhere to keep them, they were too big. Nowadays I have adapted my style to my new home, a little Irish cottage on the side of a mountain if Connemara. The focus of my practice is also different. I adopted more of a storytelling approach, dropped most of my romantic aggressiveness for a more ironic but poetic intent. But this took a while and went through various phases in between, which you will see on future posts. This has led me to diversify my production to reach a wider audience. The big and furious multimedia and oil paintings are gone for now, but who knows, once I am rich and old, I may go back to large formats.