Here's my problem...

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  1. #1
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    Here's my problem...

    Can I make the daily transition from graphic designer to illustrator?

    I'm a graphic designer by trade (been one for over twenty-five years), but I love illustration, and want to do more and more of it. The problem is that it seems hard to free myself from my "design brain" which is obsessed with details and perfection. After a long day in Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator, I often want to do some sketching, but I tend to focus on straight lines, hard-edges and often wind-up with cold and lifeless drawings, almost technical in nature. I need a way to loosen up and get into the spirit of drawing.

    This is my problem. I know the solution is simply to force myself to loosen up, and remember Dirty C's philosophy. Still, it's hard to set aside the mentality that has been so helpful for most of my career.

    The battle continues...

    At 46, my bread-and-butter will always be graphic design, but illustration is the gravy. And I want to make better gravy.

    PS. I just joined CA a couple days ago, and I'm completely blown away by the quality of art and the helpfulness of the members here.

    Last night I slept like a baby: I wore a diaper.
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  3. #2
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    I would suggest gesture drawings. If you can, go to a life drawing class. If not, get a stopwatch and set it to 10, 20, 30, 60 second intervals. Then grab a model if you can, or maybe just one of your friends, I guess even a picture could work although a live model would be better. Get down as much of the information as you can in that tiny amount of time. If you limit your time, you won't have time to sit and fret about straight lines or perfect edges. Just get the basic form or line down, and maybe that will loosen you up enough that you can do a longer session without going all perfectionist.

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  5. #3
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    Also, try drawing with the side of your pencil or a large chunk of graphite first. It's near impossible to get perfectionist using that method.

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  6. #4
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    Why not throw your pencil away for a while, put a wash of colour down and "draw" with a brush?

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  7. #5
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    FlameRaven - I like that idea. But since I live out in the woods and work alone, it would probably be easier in my situation to go to a mall or someplace public with lots of people and speed-sketch. I've tried speed-sketching from photos, but its not as energizing as doing so from live models.

    Thanks for the suggestion.

    Mirana - Good idea! I've got some big graphite chunks that would be very handy.

    alesoun - Your post reminds me of an exercise I did way (way!) back in college. Our drawing professor had us come to class with a stick at least 2 feet long, at the end of which we attached a sumi-brush. Then he had us do warm-up sketches using india-ink and holding the brushes from the end of the stick. Talk about loosening up!

    Last night I slept like a baby: I wore a diaper.
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  8. #6
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    Hehe. I have the opposite. I can easily paint messy and it's hard for me to focus on details.

    As for the suggestion. I guess it's good to always start from small thumbnail image. This way you can get strong composition and you can't really see details at this size. Also like everybody mentioned try doing quick gesture drawings and often change tools. Try tools which don't allow for precision but rely more on gesture like medium size brushes or maybe brushpens which are more portable.
    You can try using windows screensaver and put folder with nice photo images with time limit. This way you can only have time for the main elements of the picture. The essence.
    For painting with time limit digitally you can try some slidshow viewer program like Pixie. It's window always stays on top so you can open together with Photoshop or any other digital painting program.

    Hope it helps .

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  9. #7
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    I was a bit like that and found scribbling with a biro helped tons. Try not taking the nib off the paper.

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