The Style-Seekers’ Road Map

The Style-Seekers’ Road Map

“Can we pull over?”

Every wise adventurer should embark upon a journey with a road map. Since the journey to find a Style is fraught with unknowns and hiccups and vague, foggy areas, I decided that a Grand Art Adventure Map is in order. I may be holding it upside-down, it may be written backwards, and in the end the map may not even take me where I want to go, but at least I can follow this yellow-brick road with some sort of direction.

Goal:

To redefine a unique illustrative style in one year.

Purpose:

Illustrate children’s books

Areas of focus:

  • Drawing style
  • Various painting techniques
  • Visual storytelling
  • Portfolio

Drawing

Weekly goal: draw 4 hours each week

  • Sketch from life and photos, simplifying subjects to geometric shapes
  • Experiment with exaggerating features and find exaggerations that I like and are consistent
  • Emulate other artists’ styles, documenting what I like/dislike

Painting

Weekly goal: complete 1 painting

  • Choose and try a new medium every week for 3 MONTHS—document like/dislike
  • Use the 52 Week Illustration Challenge for subject ideas
  • After 3 months, choose and refine drawing and painting techniques

Storytelling

Weekly goal: review 1 book

  • Review a visual storybook each week
    • Study style of storytelling
    • Pros and cons of story and style
    • Overall impression of book
  • Study the language of visual storytelling

Portfolio

  • Collaborate with a storyteller on illustrating a book—June
  • Choose 3 publishers to send portfolio to—August

For other enterprising Art Adventurers out there, know that I’m not starting this year-long endeavor without any experience in art. If you’re looking to learn how to draw, there are a lot of great resources out there that you can start from. I went to college for graphic design with an emphasis in traditional art, and for a few years I did a lot of fine art. I can draw from life and paint oil portraits, but that’s where the desire to develop a style comes into play. I want to illustrate, with a drawing and painting style that is wonderfully unique to me. I could potentially spend the money and go back to school for illustration, but I figure I’ll give this a go first. If you’re wanting to follow a similar path, join me in this adventure and share your work!