Life Changes, and Changes again…

Life, The Child, Traditional Media
Amanda Raquel Worr 2015

Amanda Raquel Worr 2015

Time marches on and I’ve been savoring every moment of it recently.  Haveing  two young children is amazing, exhausting and I love it.  I don’t have much time to myself nor do I have much time to work, as it is I’m having to stop writing this every few minutes to look at what my three year old has made, or help my six month old reach a toy, or once again put together a healthy snack because they are hungry again.

The cliches are however true, and this time goes by so fast.  The last six months since my youngest son was born has gone by faster than I would like and already he is sitting up and trying to crawl.  It’s an amazing time because he is learning so much so fast, and I find it fasinating when he discovers something new.

My three year old is hilarious and makes me laugh all day long, next fall he will be starting kindergarden and I will miss his silly company.  I will at that point have a little more time to work during the days, but I will have to decide whether or not to put his little brother into daycare.  I’ve been staying home during the week for the past three years, and working part-time evenings and weekends.  It had been grueling working late nights and having to wake up early with a hungry toddler, but we made it work.

I would like to change things after this current mat leave.  If I can spend my evenings and weekends making and illustrating instead of working elsewhere I feel like we would have a better quality of life.  It will be more work in the begining but I’ve made a resolution of sorts, to be the change I want to see in my life.

We will be moving this year, although we haven’t decided where we are going yet.  I am determined to bring into fruition my vision of our future.  It’s exciting and daunting since we are in the planning and organizing phase.  I find myself drawing up brainstorm idea pages for five year plans and life goals and going over them with my husband to see which ones jive with him.

Amanda Raquel Worr 2015

Amanda Raquel Worr 2015

So I guess time will tell where this goes and where we will end up.  All I can do is live my life the best way I know how.

Ink on Paper

Ink on Paper, Life, On my Desk, The Child, Work in Progress

Every once in a while I have a burst of creative energy that inspires me to just draw.  It’s not planned and organized and more often than not I just end up doodling.  But the other day I drew some things that I really like, and it did start out as a doodle but by the end of the day I had a couple drawings of Aaron that I was happy with.

Starts with B

This time of year always has me reevaluating what I’ve done the year before and what I want to do this year.  The boredom of winter makes me restless as well, I feel the need to reorganize my weeks and improve my work situation.  As it is I don’t have a dedicated work space, the apartment has been toddler proofed so all of my drawing supplies are kept in our bedroom until I need to use them.  The dinning table then turns into my desk, until dinner time when I have to pack it all up again.

I wonder how other parents work from home but still keep the space kid friendly?

Illustration Friday ‘Bounce’

illustration friday, On my Desk, The Child, Vector Drawing, Work in Progress

I’ve been singing a lot of songs with my thirteen months old son.  The word for Illustration Friday reminded me of this one.  I can never remember the right words though, so this is my own improv to get my little guy bouncing.

Illustration Friday ‘Hitched’

illustration friday, Sketchbook, Vector Drawing

It is once again wedding season and when I read the theme for illustration friday this week my first thought was of getting married.

These two little critters are off on their way to start their life adventure together!

Vector drawing is a challenge

In my Brain then on to Paper, Life, On my Desk, Portfolio, Vector Drawing, Work in Progress

Most of my artistic experiences had been in traditional media, I drew on paper with a pencil, paint with a brush on canvas and print with blocks of wood on handmade paper.  More recently I’ve had to scale back on how much time, space and resources I put into making art.  I still have boxes and boxes of artworks and supplies, but I find myself using these less often and some now, not at all.  The tools that have gotten the most use in the last few years have all been new technology.

My computer is the main piece of equipment along with my tablet and scanner, they are my new tools of the trade.  I do still do a lot of drawing in my sketch book, but after that it’s brought in to my computer and finished there.

In the early days of working from my computer I used to finish a painting, then scan it in and just do the editing and touchups in photoshop.  But now I’m finding that I want to create entire pieces on just the computer, this means I need to learn something I’ve been avoiding for a long time.  Adobe Illustrator, I’ve been using this program casually for five or six years now, but I’ve never really invested the time to really sink my teeth into it the way I did with photoshop.  At this point in my life I need to look at more effective ways of creating my images, so I get the most out of my time, space and resources.

I’ve been working on a few images over the past two days and really working on picking up new skills so that I can create the images that I want.  The most challenging thing I find about creating vector images is how sterile the images look to me compared to my other work.  I’m used to tactile media and lots of textures, and recreating that digitally has changed the feeling in a lot of my work.

My next step today is to create a simple image with the warmth and tactile feeling of a mixed media painting.  Wish me luck!

October Art Display

On my Desk, Portfolio, watercolour

I’ve finally gotten around to framing some of my paintings, and they will be on display for the month of October.  They will be hanging in the Starbucks at Dundas and Roncesvalles in Toronto.

Here is one of the paintings, I’m quite happy with these fun and charming images.

So if you are in the area check it out.

Making a Portfolio site

Experimental, Resources, Work in Progress

When I was first toying with the idea of making my own portfolio site I thought the process would be fairly strait forward.  I learned the basics of html and built myself something ugly and complicated, it didn’t last long and luckily not many people saw it.  Some time went by and eventually I discovered wordpress, and as far as my blog goes it has been fairly successful.  Having this as my portfolio was not acceptable it is messy and has just about everything that pops into my head on it, not the best impression for publishers.

So I went about creating a site separate from my blog, it would be the professional face that I would show to publishers, art directors, or anyone else that wanted to see the best of my illustration.  I first tried to built a site with wordpress.org with the help of my computer savvy friend Matt at Journeymen IT , he helped me with the initial setup and showed me all the basics.  I searched for themes I could customize to meet my needs, but I was never very happy with the results.

It was nearly a month of tweaking when I stumbled on a program I had on my computer, this is my first mac so I’m learning new things about it all the time.  I found iweb and fell in love with how quickly and easily it was for me to put together my site just the way I wanted it.  I don’t know how good the coding is for it, but it looks great!

So I’ve spent this week working on it and I hope to have it launch next week, I’m very excited and I hope it works out as well as I’ve planned.

Discoveries in Digital

Experimental, Ink on Paper, watercolour

I’ve been working quite a lot in ink lately and I’m loving the feel of the rough brushstrokes and fine detail it creates.  The problem I’ve been having with it though is with colouring it afterwards, I don’t like the look of the paint that is brought in afterwards.  It’s a painstaking process that often leaves me frustrated.  So I’ve instead been trying some different colouring techniques in photoshop and I’ve been quite happy with the results.  The colours are vibrant and with all of the texture of the original drawing.

Brush and Ink on Paper

Experimental, Ink on Paper

I’m finishing a drawing a day now, and it makes all the work I’ve been putting into my illustration seem worth it.

Practicing with a different animal each day has been a fun way to incorporate animals into my portfolio.  Today I drew a fox, this sleepy little guy was drawn from a reference photo I found online.  I drew him in my sketch book then photocopied it onto some thicker paper so I could put on the ink on without it warping.  I then scanned it into photoshop and added the colour.  The finished copy of this image will stay as a black and white drawing, but I like to have a little fun with my pictures sometimes too.

Ink Drawing!

illustration friday, Ink on Paper, On my Desk, Work in Progress

I will be spending the week finishing off the rest of my black and white drawings.  I’m hoping to get all of my mail outs finished so I can get them printed the following week.

Here is some of the progress I’m having with the ink drawings, it’s great to be able to have a piece finished in one afternoon.