Multiple brands and consistency

It’s time to slow down a bit, I’m at home on a Friday night with a tremendous cold. My every move is echoing as ache in my head, so it’s better not to make any sharp movements.

I had a small anxiety about what I do – do I want to be an artist or do I want to go more commercial, do I do design, or do I paint? It is a bit hard to room all those styles and directions as one person, and it’s a common belief that consistency is important and good for business. So it looked like a problem to me.

Last night, I got quite a relief. I was listening to a new podcast with Anna Radchenko – it has only one episode so far, with a Russian photographer Roman Machmutov, who moved to New York some years ago. Photograpy is not my primary interest right now, but this guy had some very valuable things to say about art and commerce. The thought I took home with me is this: you can have more than one brand, you as a person and what you do do not have to be identical, you can do both art and commerce at the same time, just do it separately. Roman works at least in three different directions, has three brands: one brings money, the other two – moral satisfaction. It is a very simple thought, but somehow I couldn’t articulate it for myself. I have watercolour, I have more graphic “cool” stuff, I have children illustration, I still want to do photography from time to time. They are many things and I’m not that stupid to think I can do it all at the same time, but I hope I’ll be able to have some structure and test the directions in their more pure form, not mixing things up too much. Mixing can confuse the viewer 🙂

Just scrap it

We’ve all experienced it: trying to save some time and by this wasting even more. With me it happens quite often when I am trying to fix a painting or a drawing. I can quite clearly see that it’s not going anywhere and I’m still in denial, I just want it fixed. I can spend hours to come to the conclusion that is latently in my head from the very start, I just try to ignore it. It is quite clear to me now that the most efficient and eventually least painful way out is to discard and start over. I think this principle is applicable to quite many life situations, some things and situations just cannot be fixed, you need to scrap them, start over, reset. But it’s an art blog, so let’s talk about drawing 🙂
One of the recent examples – I was preparing the files for print on silk (made a couple of small square scarves); I decided on two variants – yes, these ones. The clown option went quite smooth for me and I felt right about it, but the initial version of the portrait with blue was bothering me. I could see I could proportion it better, I saw that extending the blue area in photoshop is ok, but the result was still not satisfying. I don’t know how many hours I spent trying to fix it before I made a decision to start over. Re-doing it took me less than three hours – improving something is often easier than developing an idea from scratch, I often forget about it. I felt kind of stupid wasting almost a whole weekend fixing something that actually was unfixable, but I think i finally learned my lesson. Now I feel better about just stopping on doing something that is getting out of hand and starting from the blank page again. It is a funny brain mechanism I guess, but thinking by doing is much more productive (at least for me). Yes, doing a very schematic sketch for composition and colors is always a good idea, but it is also a good idea not to be afraid and use good materials, and start the actual artwork, and working on details, and sending it to the garbage bin, if you feel the next one will be times better.

Beauty

I just wanted to say that my idea of beauty is getting sort of broader, more inclusive. Maybe it is because I am getting more experience as a viewer, see hundreds of images every day. Or maybe I’m finally growing up and getting more accepting about imperfections. I think it’s a combination, but it doesn’t really matter, I just feel good about it.

I see (or, more precisely, notice) so many beautiful, inspiring people lately, it gets me feel elated and optimistic. I am not so focused solely on this one “standard of beauty” any more, I even feel more confident about my own appearance. I still enjoy the magazine type looks a lot, no doubt about it, but I also appreciate much more the character, charisma, the story behind.

These past months have been very eventful for me, I met many interesting people, worked hard, experimented a bit, saw great places, pushed the limits a little. And right now I feel very alive. I really hope to keep this feeling and move forward. I want to be stronger, more focused and confident, stand up for myself and enjoy the life in all its facets 🙂

The pictures below are the scanned pages of my sketchbook where I was drawing for about a month this summer. This is my first bigger sketchbook project 🙂 I am planning to get a few of these images printed on textiles (tshirts and silk scarfs).

Хотела отметить , что для меня как-то сдвинулось и расширилось личное понятие красоты, я стала терпимее и внимательнее, что ли. Наверное, это можно назвать опытом, я вижу сотни  изображений каждый день, отмечаю для себя что-то новое, стараюсь запоминать и систематизировать. А может я наконец взрослею и больше не так зацикливаюсь на  журнальных типажах. Скорей всего, это и то, и другое, это даже не важно, мне просто нравится это ощущение.

Теперь я вижу (точнее будет сказать замечаю) очень много красивых людей, это придает мне сил и оптимизма двигаться дальше. Я больше не замыкаюсь только на журнальных-подиумных типажах, мне стал интереснее характер, история, харизма.

Последние несколько месяцев я много экспериментировала, общалась, работала, ездила, ошибалась. И на сегодняшний день чувствую себя очень живой. Мне очень хочется удержать это ощущение и продолжить работу над собой. Быть увереннее, сильнее, уметь постоять за себя и просто наслаждаться жизнью 🙂

Картинки – cерия портретов из скетчбука, в котором рисовала около месяца. Это мой первый более или менее цельный блокнотный проект. Некоторые рисунки планирую напечатать на текстиле.

Print!

I have a friend Alina, who owns a print house in my home town, Rostov-on-Don  it’s a great little enterprise. Alina was very patient with me, so she helped me to get a few things printed. I was meeting my mom in Prague last weeek, who was very kind to agree to work as a private carrier)) As a result, I have postcards, stickers, a few small posters and even my own business cards  I’m very excited ^^ 

This time it was a sort of trial and I learned a lot about how to get things printed nicely (Alina, again, thank you for your patience)). I will use the samples I’ve got as references for the future adjustments, but I’m more than happy already)) I also got a small set of stamp-like stickers as a surprise  what a great Easter break ^.^

So, what do we have here:
– 60 different postcards (with a nice silk-touch coating )
– 10+ types of stickers
– 6 types of a5 prints
– limited amount of sticker “stamps”
– and my cards that I can print with me next time I present my work 

The main tips I can list are:

  • always prepare images in CMYK, it Really makes a difference
  • do not use png, even though it has a transparent background on your screen it can turn out visible on your prints
  • for things like postcards, make sure the dimensions of the image fit the format of the cards you chose
  • turn all the text in pdf files (if exported from inDesign, for example) into outlines – otherwise you cannot be sure about the spaces between the letters.
  • make a thorough brief on what you actually want to be done, otherwise, you’ll spend a Lot of time writing back and forth
  • make up your mind about everything before you order prints 😀

The number of copies is small, but again, this time it was a sort of experiment, I’ll be ordering more 

How to use references?

Recently I’ve seen a drawn copy of a photo I pinned to one of my boards on Pinterest, and then I’ve seen more pictures like this. It made me think about references in general. Just a quick note for those who are not sure what a reference is. A reference in art is an object, often a photograph, used for getting the details like anatomy, lighting, colour etc. right in the drawing/painting. Ideally, an artist should be able to draw “from head”, and some people are strictly against using references. But I think it is all right to use them in order to get a more realistic image – a bit of help to get the shape right. Quite often I have an idea of what I want to paint/draw in my head, and then I start looking for a suitable image to use as a reference, quite often I have a particular pose in mind, or an object.

What I am against of is making a copy of a beautiful photograph one saw on Pinterest, for example. I don’t think it’s real art then, because the photographer has already done all the work: found the light, made composition. Making a copy is more of artisan, not a real artist. But sometimes it is really hard to resist “copying” something, when the picture you’ve seen is so cool, I’ve tried it myself 🙂 I think then it’s a good idea to add something of your own to it, supplement with a new character/element, tell a bit different story, use other colours. Maybe even though it’s not 100% yours then, it’s still have your individuality in it.

I am a big fan of Pinterest, but now I think I’ll be using it less for references and more for recipes and cool things for the décor 🙂 Where to get the references then? Magazines, commercials, movie screenshots, pictures from your vacation, just what you see around you. I think it’s not even the question of where you get your references from, it’s about how you work with them. Do you copy it all, or just get that one line you were not sure about, or that combination of colous that you haven’t thought of before.. there are many ways. I’m trying to use the pictures I take myself more. I’ve collected quite a lot of material while travelling, and now even on a usual weekday try to have a little camera with me, who knows what I’m going to come across.

These watercolors are based on the pictures I took on my last trip in Asia, one with my phone and another with the camera. Trying to do “art” of a snapshot is quite an exercise, makes you think 🙂

Hello 2018!

I cannot believe 2017 is almost over! Time flies as always, I’ve realised it does it every year, so I won’t complain again 🙂 It’s been a hard, but at the same time very good year. Looking back I can say I got stronger and have learned a lot this year. Dear 2017, thank you for everything 🙂

Of course, i have goals for 2018, but.. When visiting home, with all the coffee’s and tea’s with friends and family I have surprisingly little time for blogging and art, have no idea how it happens, hehe)

So, as the time is super-precious, I’ll try to be clear and cut it short.

 

In 2018 I want:

♥ To be more professional about Legulie and develop my “business model”, figure how I can make my hobby work better for me

♥ To learn more about internet marketing and graphic design

♥ To grow my audience on Instagram and Facebook page (absolute numbers are a commercial secret, hehe)

♥ To explore printing opportunities (and I’ve already started 🙂

♥ Exhibit at least once

♥ To develop Legulie branded products. *Right now I have postcards and stickers (envelopes with stickers on) in mind and even already talked to someone who definitely can make it happen, the remaining problem is logistics, but I think I’ll figure it out

♥ Alongside “packaging”, I’d like to explore stationary goods opportunities, like notebooks/sketchbooks with my art on the cover and so on (don’t think I should share all my plans right now :D)

♥ Keep practicing and create beautiful watercolours

♥ Improve my digital drawing skills and use more of it in my full-time job

♥ Get better at planning. I realized, it gives me peace of mind, having things planned and “knowing” what is going to happen (I mean bigger events, like scheduling trips, making important decisions). It considerably reduces the stress level for me.  I think planning and taking decisions go very close together and I want to be better at both

♥ To be more efficient and waste less time browsing

♥ Travel and get inspired

♥ Last but not least, I want to eat healthier and do sports regularly, be more organized and clear about my wants and needs and be honest with myself. Amen 😀

 

Happy new year, everyone!

 

RUS

travel mode :)

Very busy at work. And recently, I’ve started getting orders, it feels encouraging 🙂 Now I can definitely see, that being a little active on social media and having a portfolio page makes sense. If everything goes well, I’ll soon get a nice reference – excited 🙂 

Another reason for excitement is my very quickly approaching trip to Asia. I haven’t been to that part of the world for two years now, so I simply cannot wait. The rough route is Thailand (Bangkok) – fly to Vietnam (Hanoi) – travel overland to Cambodia, hanging for a week on an island – continue to Thailand via my little beloved Trat back to Bangkok. Hope it will all work as planned ^^

I never leave my camera at home, but travelling only with hand luggage makes you make hard decisions 😀 So, as a(n expensive) compromise, I just got a tiny camera (sony rx100 3) – it took me a couple of months to decide on it, but today I realized that it’s now or never. So combined with a nice bike ride in the beautiful weather ( thank you, November), I became a happy owner of this little wonder, which is supposed to produce more or less the same picture quality as my Canon 600d, but fit into a lady bag :3 And another thing I’m planning to pick up to be light and mobile is a pocketable backpack at my favourite Uniqlo, really hope it will be in stock – I forgot to order it online, of course, and now it’s too late 🙂 So fingers crossed for all.

I will of course need to have some paper with me I can make dirty: three weeks is a long time and I think I really need to make some visual notes. Taking a box of paint and a watercolour block is a bit too much, plus I don’t know if I have time to finish pictures and storing them is a separate problem.

I’ll try to get by with a sketchbook, a small set of watercolour pencils and a set of ink liners. There are three main formats of sketchbooks I use. If I’m comfortably sitting at home, I prefer a bigger set of pencils, a bigger format (have I used the word “big” too many times already?? ) I think the ‘on air’ sketchbook is 21×15 cm, it’s my favourite for now. I also often use paint in my home sketches. The Moleskine notebook has quite thin paper, so I only do some inky sketches in it. If I had a porter, I’d take them all, maybe, except for the cactus. But I only have my shoulders, so I have to be selective. This time I’ll take the smallest and will just draw across two pages. The paper quality is good, so if I feel like adding some watercolour details later, it won’t be a problem. Here’s also a picture of how they look inside 🙂

When I was making a poster for an event and a poster for a Christmas present the past two weeks, I used quite a lot of time in my sketchbook before I took a bigger format. And even though I didn’t follow my initial ideas completely, sketching helped me to sort my thoughts a lot and make some important decisions – so, I’ve said it again – sketchbook is my favourite tool ^^

 

Just one technical drawing detail/tip to remember: I realized that it’s easier for me to draw bigger objects around smaller, and not the other way around. To give an example: the girl in glasses, it started working for me only after I drew the glasses first, and then the face around it. Or the couple on the couch, it’s much easier to draw the couch around the couple, and not vice versa.

 

Ok, I think I’m way too talkative tonight 🙂

Your style: trial and error

What is it like to a have a style? I mean, in illustration. I read it quite often, that in order to be good, to draw attention as an artist, one needs individuality, her own style. I was struggling with these thoughts at the weekend again. Do I have a style? How can I make my work more consistent? It’s not the first time I get these thoughts, but now it feels a tiny bit too overwhelming. Being stressed is not productive in my case, so I tried to calm down and be logical. In my opinion, one should just work hard and try different things, and see what works and what doesn’t. It is really important to analyse you work, try to see what you did right, what you did wrong, what you like and what you don’t. It’s trial and error approach and learning by doing. I don’t believe style can just appear out of nowhere or come to you in your sleep. So I am trying not to stress about it and just be myself, paint as much as I can and figure with the time how I like it best.

I realized I should use my sketchbook more for details and experimenting then checking composition and colours as I usually do. Spending half an hour on a smaller part of a building facade in my sketchbook and figuring that it’s not what I want is much healthier than sitting for two hours on something you like only halfway in the end, and then sit two hours more trying to redo it, and figuring in the end that you are still not satisfied, and all this on a Saturday night 😀 Well, I live and I learn.

Speaking of style, I’d like to share work of my two favourite watercolour artists:

Arush Votsmush and Veronika Kalacheva – enjoy, these people create magic 🙂 (in my humble opinion, ofc)

Мучаюсь вопросами стиля. Когда он есть, а когда его нет? Я часто читаю, что чтобы состояться как художнику (я не решаюсь примерять это громкое слово на себя, но все же) необходим стиль. И есть ли у меня этот стиль? Я и раньше задавалась подобными вопросами, но в этот раз меня прямо накрыло. В итоге, я решила меньше переживать и больше рисовать. Из воздуха он не появится, и вряд ли придет во сне. Надо стадиться и портить бумагу, и анализировать свои работы и разбираться, что я сделал хорошо, что плохо, что нравится, а что нет. В общем, работать методом проб и ошибок. Думаю, со временем, придет какое-то понимание. Очень на это надеюсь, хотя бы.

И еще до меня дошло что надо больше пользоваться скетчбуком для проработки деталей и экспериментов, а не просто для проверки цвета-композиции. Гораздо полезнее для психики просидеть полчаса в скетчбуке работая над углом здания, например, чем два часа над полноценной работой и найти кучу проблем в ней, а потом просидеть еще два часа, пытаясь переделать, и все равно остаться недовольной. В общем, я медленно, но верное осознаю какие-то элементарные вещи 😀

И в тему стиля хотела поделиться своими двумя любимыми акварелистами: Воцмуш и Калачева. Наверняка, все их уже где-то видели, ну вдруг нет. Наслаждайтесь 🙂

 

my Rouen Cathedral

I spend so much time staring into various screens: laptop, ipad, my phone. I do not notice what is happening around me so much, it is scary. That’s why lately I try to take my bike everywhere I can, because then I cannot use my phone and instead look around. Where do we get our inspiration? On Instagram and Pinterest? Well, it’s quite true, but there is so much around us, we just don’t look up from that little screen. Biking around, I’ve seen the change of seasons – how the pavement in town got covered with dry leaves, I watched the passers-by much more, found some hidden corners in this little town. I also thought some ideas through, made painting/drawing plans, or just composed my dinner and a shopping list, and was even packing my bag for the coming trip – really saves a lot of time when you actually do it afterwards. Feels like the devices literally steal time, disable me in some way. Maybe it is time to introduce a strict social media policy for myself?
This weekend I tried to paint one landscape I’ve seen this summer. I did it once, and then I did it again. It turned out quite well both times, but there are details I’d like to improve in both. Mom said the first one is early in the morning, and another is late in the evening. And then I thought of Claude Monet and his Rouen Cathedral. The difference is that I’m not Monet, and he pained his Cathedral 30 times ☺

Я провожу какое-то безумное количество времени, пялясь в экранчики: ноутбук, телефон, планшет. Я практически перестала замечать, что происходит вокруг. Поэтому последнее время стараюсь ездить на велосипеде практически всюду, так я не могу пользоваться телефоном, вместо этого, смотрю по сторонам. Откуда мы черпаем вдохновение? Из инстраграма и пинтереста? Я по-прежнему считаю их полезными программками, но когда ты находишь что-то в окружающей тебя реальности – это совсем другое дело. Катаясь на велике туда сюда, я увидела смену сезонов, как тротуар покрылся сухими листьями, больше смотрела на прохожих, открыла новые для себя места в этом городке. Еще продумала несколько рисунков, спланировала несколько ужинов и составила списки покупок, даже сумки мысленно собирала (правда, очень ускоряет дело). Устройства меня как-то обездвиживают, крадут у меня кучу времени. Наверное, вводить какую-то жесткую для себя политику.

На этих выходных я сражалась с одним городским пейзажем, который мне довелось видеть этим летом. В обеих работах мне кое-что нравится, и кое-что не нравится, еще учиться и учиться. Мама сказала, что первая – ранее утро, а вторая – это поздний вечер. Я с ней согласна. И тут мне вспомнился Моне со своим Руанским собором. Только я не Моне, и у него этих соборов 30 штук ☺

like a bee


The paradox of life is that the busier you are, the more things you want/need to do. I guess this phenomenon is well described by someone, I just feel it quite well on myself lately – so many ideas and so little time 🙂 I feel like doing something a bit more graphic lately, inky, with clearer lines.

My package with good linoleum for making prints has finally arrived (one month later, will never order in that shop again :D) and I made a few test prints today – so much fun, and so much cleaning afterwards :’( Now I know I need to go paper shopping, hope to do it some time next week, so excited 🙂 These pictures are from the last week – just indian ink bee and some watercolor flowers, both were great mid-week mediation.

Наверное, всегда так – чем больше делаешь, тем больше хочется/надо. Наверное, это явление кто-то умный уже подробно описал. Столько мыслей в голове, а времени как всегда.

Последнее время тянет на графику немного, хочется линий почетче, чернил налить. Ко мне наконец доползла посылка с хорошим линолеумом для принтов (закала месяц назад, больше на тот сайт не пойду 🙂 Сегодня уже сделала несколько тестов – надо купить нормальную бумагу, на неделе займусь. А вообще, очень круто, освежает, только потом кухню отмывать (ненавижжжжу уборки), но ради такого дела потерплю. Эти картинки с прошлой недели – акварельные цветочки и пчелка линером, отличная медитация для середины недели.