Traditional Medium Angst Over?

We’re getting closer and closer to the time when it’s time to leave Japan! I do have to apologize for last week. Things got nuts last week with a lot of leaving events and packing, and I just completely ran out of time. I’m amending that now by taking care of as much as I possibly can for the next month of posting so it doesn’t happen again before I go. Most of my things are packed now, but I know my last few weeks here are going to be busy with even more leaving events—I have dinner plans with someone different almost every night between now and August 6th with people who want to see me before I go, it’s kind of crazy!

But even though I’ve been slack on the blog, I have been trying to still do something every day that will help me with illustration work when I get home. I recently discovered Wylie Beckert’s artwork and have completely and utterly fallen in love with her stuff. It speaks to me so much, and has totally vivified me, not only in the creative process, but also using traditional mediums.

As I mentioned before, I’ve been feeling disheartened by traditional mediums, because it seems like everyone is moving to a digital format. I’ve tried working completely digital and I just can’t get the same feel for the art. My best piece that has been completely digital has been this:

The Man Out of Time

But it took me nearly ten times as long to produce it than it would have drawing it by hand. Arguably, I hadn’t yet completely warmed up to the idea of working from scratch digitally at that point, and I have since become better, but I still think something is missing from my work when it doesn’t at least start in a traditional medium. I’ve been penciling or even inking then scanning it and finishing it digitally for years, but Wylie’s illustrations really have woken me up to just how far I can push an illustration in traditional mediums, before bringing it over to digital and making it look even more awesome.

Her more recent paintings, which were oils in an attempt to recreate her digital style, also having me considering taking some oil painting lessons. Oil is the only traditional painting medium I’ve never worked in, because I honestly had no interest. They looked hard, complicated, and I was happy with my watercolors. But her stuff makes me question whether oils would help my style bloom.

Check her stuff out. Seriously. You will thank me later. Wylie’s stuff is breath taking. I hope one day I can meet her and thank her for lighting this fire within me to not let go with my traditional mediums, and maybe even push it further. I can’t wait to experiment more!

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