I usually never know what a drawing is going to look like when I begin, and instead of being intimidated by a blank sheet of paper I just divide it into sections, thereby conquering my domain with bits of graphite, thinking to myself, “HA! Take that! You have no power here, Gandalf the Gray!”
Sometimes I even point an intimidating finger at the blank page while I say this. For dramatic effect.
Step 2: Add…something.
This is where I just start making stuff up. People who follow me on my Twitch stream tend to think I have some genius plan here, but no. I am actually just winging it as I go along, pretending it’s my mad genius at work for the lulz.
BEHOLD MY GENIUS! (diabolical laugh.)
Step 3: Have the right tools.
Yes, I kick it old school. I love templates, compasses, rulers, protractors, you name it. This way, when the Zombie Apocalypse hits and we have no electricity, I’ll still be making art and all the digital people will be totally bored.
Step 4: Add some doodly bits.
I tend to use architectural elements, because that’s just my jam. But fee free to add whatever you like. Flowers, vines, turnips, cow dung, decapitated heads, whatever. You might creep people out, but hey – we’re preparing for zombies, remember?
Step 5: Sometimes ya gotta wing it.
Once in a while I like to just start in the middle with no structure and just see what happens. Sometimes I do this when I’ve had too much caffeine and too little sleep. Sometimes wine.
And then this happens:
Art under the influence, folks. Not a joke.
Wait, what step are we on? I forgot. 6? Ok, let’s just call it 6.
Remember to eat! I forget this one often.
Share with your friends. Especially if they’re an adorable French Bulldog named Gus.
Don’t tell Gus’ mom I gave him an Asian pear. He gets wicked nasty awful farts when you feed him anything but his food and treats. Good God y’all…how can something so small smell so bad? Anyway, I digress. Moving on!
Step 7: Don’t forget to leave the studio sometimes.
Yes, I take my work with me. But it’s better them molecularly bonding with my desk chair and forgetting to shower.
Step 8: Experiment with media!
It’s good to stick with what you know, but sometimes it’s good to push yourself. Keep your mind and skills sharp.
You know, for the zombies.
Step 9: Document your progress
This way, you can see how you’re improving over time. Always good to have a visual record. And to fill up your phone with tons of photos so when you want to download a new app you can’t because you have no more room.
The struggle is real.
And last but not least, step 10: Always put your heart into what you do.
It shows, trust me. <3
Some things to keep in mind:
Things will get messy.
You will feel yourself going a bit mad.
You will feel your art going a bit mad…
But things have a way of tidying themselves up again.
And then you remember why you’re doing all of this amazing work. <3
…and also because of the zombies.
And as a treat for putting up with this lengthy piece, here’s a sneak peek of Ornamentium.