Sketchbook Solace

One of my friends recently posted “IDK who needs to hear this right now, but if you’re going through a rough time right now…leave ur hair alone.” I remember many times shaving off my beard because it felt like the one thing in my life I had any real control over. This year, I’ve really discovered my sketchbook and have been able to find solace there as a place to focus my thoughts and feelings, recenter myself, and sort of float in this mental void while I do the work. That sounds maybe darker than I intended but I’ve been really enjoying that time to myself of late.

My best friend Sally is not a fan of having pictures taken of her, hahaha. We took a road trip to Chicago last week to see Beirut. The music was good, the venue was kind of terrible, the trip was kind of great. We went to a tiki bar, had a pretty amazing breakfast the next day and the opportunity to compare the color of coleslaw with Sally’s shirt.

Speaking of shirts, I got a copy of this great shirt i designed for Fredericksburg Roller Derby this fall. It came out kind of awesome and if you’re out in that area go see some derby! It’s an amazing sport, and I loved working with that team!

I went out drawing with my friend Stephanie this week. We talked about projects and composition. Materials and techniques and things that inspired us, and the stuff in our sketchbooks. This Dark Crystal inspired one that’s been kicking around in the back of my book for nearly a year was one of the ones that I pulled out, and she yelled at me for not finishing it. While I’ve already got a ton of things on my plate, that’s not an unreasonable exclamation. Maybe I’ll make some time to explore it later this month.

The drawing I actually started that night though is this one that I want to use as part of the background layout for the Astorya. Talking about this drawing, Stephanie asked me about the time of day and lighting. To be honest, I hadn’t made a conscious choice about that yet, but as soon as it came up I saw that space in between the two cliffs as a perfect place to put the setting sun and saw possibilities for long shadows, lots of reds and golds in the center fading to blues and purples in the shadows…

I’m trying to focus on little bits of this project a time so I don’t get bogged down in the hugeness of it. For right now, it’s just something doing because I would like to see it made. The first step of any large project for me is the plan. I like to sit in a coffee shop or the library to work on this. For some reason the ambient noise quiets my brain and I can kind of flow from one idea to the next. It starts with pen and paper, always.

Some of these notes make more sense than others, but at this point it’s more about getting the thoughts and ideas on paper so I can see them all in one place. I also started wire framing layouts for the website. Having an idea of the types of assets I’ll be needing helps a lot with starting to create those assets. I know I want some custom buttons, a couple of spot illustrations, and a couple of setting illustrations to start. As I go, I’ll firm up text for the landing page, and decide on graphic elements like borders, fonts and colors. 

My week kind of got away from me so this week is a little late, and tomorrow is my accountability update. haha. So until tomorrow, take care and be good. 

Your friend,
Jeffrey

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