• On improving...

    One of the key things about me I think is I have this constant internal urge to get better at what I’m doing, to evolve and push what I make. As a result, work I did a couple years ago can look totally different from what I do now. Since graduating, I suspect I’ve gotten really good at masking or emphasizing my weaknesses intentionally, but it only goes so far and lately I’ve been very much into building structure for myself to learn and grow. In that way I know I can do all the things I dream of creating, and stretch my limits even further. Since school is usually too expensive for me to consider (though I keep playing with the more informal idea of bartering and teaching others in exchange for lessons myself), I’ve been reading more to find more inspiration and seeking tutorials and such online. (The next step is writing more and starting to link new thoughts together, but I’m still getting the hang of making time to write notes and jot ideas down)

    Here are a few tutorials/writings that I’ve been bookmarking, but I’d love to hear if you too are finding any good resources. I’ve been mostly looking at character design and color theory at the moment but I’m really interested in finding even more, from graphic design to composition to typography to negative space to…well, the sky’s the limit!

    • Frank Stockton, Growing Pains- The growing pains analogy is pretty much spot on as to what I’m encountering now. Not quite a resource I guess but still inspiring to read, what a powerhouse!
    • Jillian Tamaki, Idea Generation- An oldie but a goodie. I aspire to be as honest and lively with my future work as Jillian is– she does beautiful work and is razor-sharp to boot. Big surprise that I’ve learned a lot from reading her blog! 
    •  Nate Williams, A Methodology for Creating New Ideas- Related. Always good to see how other illustrators make things work for them.
    • Lackadaisy, Notes on Expressions- Ignoring the fact that these are anthropomorphic cats (I haven’t read this comic as I don’t really read webcomics much but seem to recall hearing good things about it), there are some really nice structural facial expressions going on here. Especially taking into mind the whole face and squash and stretch, etc. 
    • Indistinguishable from Magic- More comics-related advice, but the posts I found most interesting were the ones on costumes, draftsmanship and environments. 
    • Rad How-To- Dear Rad Sechrist, here’s an open letter. Thank you for posting such good things about gesture, character design, shapes, and form. I have learned so much from you just by reading your blog. Sure wish I could take a class with you!
    • The Art Center- Relatedly, this blog compiles a lot of posts from animators and concept designers. Some of it is more process-centric, which can also be good.
    • Gurney Journey- I know this is supposed to be a great resource but honestly I haven’t made time to seek it out yet! It’s on the list though.

    Do you have any more interesting resources about design/illustration/art? Let me know by replying to me on Twitter or in the comments!