If you tossed a safety pin into a large crowd most of those people would wonder why, and one person would be glad for the safety pin they needed, never imagining one would show up.

So, similarly, a few remarks about illustration, and maybe one person will find some value in this.

While there are amazing illustrators whose work and approach are quite different from mine, who surpass me in every way, I’ll go to bat here and share my personal agenda.
I’m experimenting with line work for illustration, both in color and BW, and the issues for me are: 

1) It has to be fast. There are numerous assignments with modest budgets, and if your style requires a full day to execute, meticulous photo reference and accurate perspective, drying time, the need for a photo to reproduce from rather than a scan (oils, for example), you’ll have to pass on a ton of work. 

2) Process. I learned many years ago to not reinvent the wheel with each assignment. Get clear in your head that (in my case) you first do a primitive thumbnail to establish composition, then do A, then B, then C. Know fully what you will focus on, what you will let go, what is the least amount of work required to dazzle.

3) In my case portability is paramount. I hate where I live, and to have a style requiring no infrastructure is important – I want to be able to work at full capacity in the truck, at a coffee shop, in a tent.

4) Understand your strengths, which may be different from your curiosity and interest. (Important distinction!). An old friend, Bob, recently pointed out my strength in capturing gesture, and it hit me like a brick. Distracted by my interest in other things I’d forgotten this natural strength, and applying it to illustration samples is extremely important. (Thanks, Bob.)
In these two samples both are entirely invented. No photo reference required. (Time/labor/money considerations). The BW piece is strengthened by strong graphic blacks, and in the color piece the detail parts are identical to the BW piece, but I allowed for color; just enough to carry the load but without getting into the tedium of making a full-blown painting, letting the line do the job of making sense of everything.
Bedtime. Hoping one person finds some inspiration in this.

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