“Improve-isation” is an illustration I created in 2009, while living in Peoria Heights, IL. A couple days ago, I saw this little sunflower growing on a highway in Milwaukee, WI, while on the way to the Paul McCartney concert.
When I created the artwork, I was inspired by the nature preserve I lived next to, where I went hiking in the trails nearly every morning. This real sunflower is very persistent on growing, even in the asphalt, because that’s what sunflowers do!
Does art imitate life or does life imitate art? This is great example that sometimes all a little seed needs is a little dirt and a little water to create something beautiful in the most unexpected place. Go on to bigger and better things, little sunflower!
“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain” – Vivian Greene
This might be one of my favorite illustrations I’ve done because of the spontaneity behind it. Most of my “brainstorming” happened subconsciously! It was created for IllustrArticles “3 Easy Steps to Total Mind Control.” The idea for the illustration came from a mix of a million things, such as:
– A thunderstorm that unexpectedly drenched me as I was walking down the street one day
– An apocalyptic dream I had, in which it was very windy on a field near a beach (similar to the one I live next to) and the sky was changing colors every few seconds (probably prompted by walking into that thunderstorm the day before).
– The Stepford Wives movie I watched
– I’ve been noticing cloud formations for about 2 weeks straight.
– Stress I’ve been dealing with around that time
I pretty much saw the gist of it the image in my mind before I even started doodling it, and kept making small changes as I went along. See if you notice them. These are some of the thumbnails and sketches I did, first:
And then I scanned them and arranged them in Photoshop, and traced my computer screen on tracing paper. This is the tracing paper line art and the finished art:
I should have photographed this step, but I forgot! Basically, after that, I attached the tracing paper line art to the back of a blank watercolor paper sheet, and placed them on top of a lightbox. From there, I went straight to inking with a brush. Then, I used watercolor for color. Last, I scanned the finished illustration and corrected the colors in Photoshop so that it looked on screen just like the original.