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.
Hello dear reader.
In my search for classics fit for illustration I went and recently red, for the first time, Robinson Crusoe. I have a few classics to illustrate in mind like the obvious Alice in wonderland and Gulliver's travels. But I am also considering illustrating the tale of Tristan and Isolde, The baron of Munchausen, The perfume by Patrick Suskin, The alchemist by Paolo Coelo, The prophet by Khalil Gibran, Faust by Goethe, The idiot by Dostoievski and other Moliére's and Shakespeare's classics. As you can see my interest is broad, ranging from long psychological novel, symbolic literature, children story and up to comic theatrical play. In short everything that I red when I was a kid eager to read all that came to me through my dad, my teachers and friends.
No, I am not going and to illustrate The lord of the ring, no.
So, here I am, about to review the first novel of English literature history: Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe. I actually don't want to make it a review but rather a first impression little essay. In one word what is my impression? Disappointment. Why? I think that I red this book way too late. First of all, 400 years to late! For I bet at the time of Daniel Defoe, this kind of realistic novel was brand new and opened the way for a whole new genre in literature. Since then, the history of novel has made it full circle and unravelled the corners of all imaginable realities. Robinson Crusoe has influenced much and many later comer with which we grew up, such as, Indiana Jones, Indiana Jones and Indiana Jones. So at my age, and in such an age we live in, filled with action movies packed up with counter-twists to the the anti-twist twist, I have to say my sense of surprise has been pretty much tamed down to the bones. That is not to say that Robinson doesn't bring its load of surprises and unforeseen events, but honestly it feels very much linear to me. And when something out of the ordinary happens along the story it feels inconsistent, put there by necessity of up-holding a certain rhythm to the story.
My main issue with this book was actually my expectation. I heard so much of this story, watch so many movies about it, that made of it something so different in my mind. I had my version of it in my head before beginning reading it, that I anticipated too much. In short I wanted it to be what it was not meant to be: a story of return to nature and the melting of man's mind with the soul of the world. A very romantic version of it indeed. I wanted it to look like a Henri Rousseau painting.
Instead, it looks to me as, first, a timid attempt at pleasing the church by constantly reminding the reader about God's providence and the great one benefactor behind all calamities. And secondly a demonstration of the dominance of progress and technology over innocence and evolution. Evolution wasn't a thing at all at the time anyway, so let's say the slow and blunt pace of nature's cycles. That's what the book is made of: a strange mixture of subjection to God and to logic.
Robinson only touched transcendence through the use of the Book and the use of his guns. His mindset, barely develops along the story. He is and stays Robinson throughout. Everywhere Robinson goes, it is barbed with guns and powder, armed to the teeth in anticipation of an attack from nature.
Nevertheless the story is a superb, beautifully written, account of how people used to think back then and how society looked like and on what values it was operating.
Now my dream of what is Robinson is broken for good. But not my intend to illustrate it. I already began sketching a little. And with my notes at my side I will continue to illustrate the scenes that seem visually interesting . I also have a funny book cover in mind. Now, let me show you a couple of early doodles.
That's where I stand now. It will take a while before I settle myself on a definite style and colour palette. But overall things look promising and I am looking forward to exploring further Robinson's universe. Things could pan out differently, and I may decide to focus only on the wider story of shipwrecks in general or lone men in nature. Time and practice will tell.
That's it for today. Thanking you reader if you have followed me that far. Please do not hesitate to leave a comment and share if you like.
Wishing you a very good week and commanding times ahead. Since then, see you next week for... another episode of Trail of colour! Peace.