Welcome back to The Sweet Spot! I share all things Essential, Simple and Satisfying in my life with the purpose of showing what a difference it can make to be mindful of these elements. As I recognize what is Satisfying to me, I want to do more of it. When I see what is Essential for me, I want to be sure I make space for it. When something gets too complicated for me, I want to find strategies to make it simple and do-able.
For this post, I plan to share a bit of my cartoon doodle art (and the history behind my process), which is something I create on a daily basis in the evenings. I started off about 8 or 9 years ago, when I used a word to summarize my day, and took up a challenge to create a doodle a day for 7 days and used that word as my source for the doodle. Well, I guess you can say, I never stopped! I was having so much fun creating doodle designs, I just wanted to keep going with it. It was fun and inspiring and a relaxing way to end my day.
Once I started using markers and pens to bring color into the. mix, then the sky was the limit! Winsor Newton watercolor markers, Tombows, and Faber Castell Artist Pitt Pens came into the mix, for detail, full color, highlights and designs. I found myself using dots, circles, Lines and spiral motifs repeatedly since that's what I used in my paintings as well. I just go with whatever comes to mind. It's a very intuitive process that delights my Artist Self.
As I mentioned in a previous post, Illustrated Doodle Cartoon, where I share my recent foray into fashion illustration from an outside resource other than my wardrobe, I greatly desired to learn how to draw myself in cartoon form. I've wanted to do this since high school! Over the years I looked for instruction through different books on cartooning, and I finally found one that suited me with a step by step. After several months, I began to create a cartoon that resembled me somewhat and have improved it with facial expressions (eyebrows really do make a difference!), and work on the figure (which is a work in progress!). Of course I do all of this in pen, so NO ERASING. My work is all free-hand.
There are times when I really like the result. Other times, not so much. I've learned what to draw first so it looks naturally layered with no lines interfering with other illustrated parts. I just go with the flow and learn from my perceived "mistakes". I'm having so much fun with it! It is truly a Satisfying engagement for me as an Artist.
When I first began my evening doodle, I just used black and white. So I was purely focused on the design aspect of filling in the letters and creating a doodle that looked like what the word meant. I even read a book on the subject to learn various letter designs to try and incorporate the feeling of the its meaning.
Once I added color, I was still outlining in black pen. Several years ago, I decided to draw with colors for the outline of the letters, eliminating always outlining in black pen, and that really made a difference in the way the doodle looked. Brighter, more intuitive, and lively. So, now I always start with color. I rarely just draw the doodle outlined with black pen.
When I entered my cartoon into the mix, I drew with black pen from the start and still do. I fill each cartoon with go to colors for skin and hair, plus adding design elements for the wardrobe, such as lines for stripes. I try to capture the motif design as much as possible without making it too complicated. When I draw the fabric, I don't reference the garment in front of me. I just go by memory. I think back to what I wore that day and just run with it.
One thing I want to point out. When I started this doodle process, it was just for fun. In black and white. Adding color came almost 2 years later. Drawing with color instead of black pen even later still. Adding my cartoon has been a recent venture in the past year and a half. All these elements took time to develop and include in my daily art practice. Not all at once.
So, if you're looking to create a routine with an art form, keep it simple right from the beginning. Simplicity is key to trying something new. And if you run into something, a new idea, that feels right, try it, with no expectation for the outcome. And if it works, run with it and see how long it keeps your attention and satisfaction. Change things up if that's what suits you. Be patient with yourself if it doesn't turn out "right" every time. Practice is key, especially daily practice.
I look forward to creating my illustrated cartoon doodle each evening. It always relaxes me and gives me space to practice design elements, cartoon form, illustration, and overall capturing of what matters to me in my day. Essentially, it's a visual colorful diary in addition to my evening written reflection. It shows my ups and downs and keeps me in the know of how I'm doing. In other words, it's relevant to me on a daily basis. It holds meaning that I feel is important to myself as an Artist, a Creative, a Family member, a Business Partner (with hubby), an emerging musician (Just learning to play piano!), and female human.
I trust you have enjoyed this foray into my illustrated cartoon doodle journey and my goal is to inspire you in your creative pursuits, whatever they may be. Just remember to keep it Essential, Simple and Satisfying to creative as many Sweet Spots in your daily life!
Wishing you all the Sweetness!
Hi. I'm Dawn Herring. Here at The Sweet Spot I love writing about how I'm keeping it sweet with music, song writing, cartooning, doodling, watercolor painting, movie watching and book reading. My goal is to share what feels really sweet to me and why. Perhaps it will inspire you to do the same.