As I mentioned in my vlog this week, this piece was placed on the backburner last October because after several unsatisfactory tests, I could not figure out how I wanted to ink the sequins on that damned jacket. After the warm-up NIMH, Mandalorian, and Deadwood pieces I finished so far this year, I finally felt ready to give it another shot. And happily, it was not a struggle this time.
Getting ahead of myself (and what I can do) is a pattern for me.
I am partial to black and white illustration, but the colour version really grew on me while I was working on it. Grey and yellow is an odd, favourite combo of mine. Whenever I could use it in framing it always felt bright and fresh.
Click through to the big versions on my website for the really good stuff.
The original, non-digital artwork represents about 70-80 hours of active work time, almost evenly split between the brush outlines and crow quill texturing. It is currently available in my Etsy shop, where you can also see some macro shots of the pen work. I will have prints of both versions available eventually, when business returns to normalish. (Whatever that means.) I spent another 10-12 hours on the digital clean-up of the inks, and digital colouring.
My mind has a lot of time to wander with the monotonous process of inking, and given the current situation, I started to wonder about the state of many of the elderly people I cared for last year. I was surprised that, given a little concentration, I was able to recall almost all of their names — first and last. I worked at two different facilities, so there were many. With more reflection, I was able to recall some of their medications — even dosages and scheduled times. I operated under the assumption for much of my life that I had a poor memory, but I have gradually discovered that is really not the case. Instead, there seems to be certain periods I remember little from, probably because I wanted to forget. At least now I am especially vigilant against those who tell me about things I cannot remember, or recall even after being prompted.
Searching local obituaries, I found only one of my residents had passed (and another I already knew about.) Probably not COVID-19 related. So far, the Twin Cities area has been spared the worst, thanks to good governance. On my supply trip this week, I noticed a much greater number of people out and about, and also a much lower percentage of people wearing masks. I always mask up myself and exercise caution, but it makes me concerned.
I posted a more detailed update about my schedule behind the pay-wall for patrons, but I am hoping with careful budgeting to stretch my LOA through at least the end of this year. I have several illustrations lined up, in addition to working on my books. My creative process is slow, but I am making progress, and getting faster. I just do not feel safe returning to healthcare soon.
The more often I work on art, the easier it comes, and perpetuates itself.
I feel like I've made some leaps in quality and want to continue that.
For now, here's a bonus quarantine-edition TikTok.