January 29, 2016

How do you make your illustrations?

Often I am asked: 'How do you make your illustrations?' 

Naturally people want to study a step by step method - to figure out how artwork is created.

Well I use photoshop and a wacom and pens and brushes. But very often I don't even know myself.  I know, that sounds mysterious... but it's true.

One very odd thing about working in a complicated digital method is that it becomes unthinkingly second nature.  Sometimes I can work the most complicated procedures with little conscious effort. I remember one project that required multiple groups of linked layers in folders all set to unusual masking characteristics - and I did it all more with intuition than with planning. I'm sure I could never explain how to anyone... including myself. It is mysterious.

I just click the keys without looking mostly - and when someone needs tech help I have to go back and look at the keys to remember which ones I used.

So it's largely intuitive... which I like.  And usually in Photoshop there are 3 different ways to achieve the same result, so really the medium is quite organic.

It's a little like how when Mozart was asked where the music came from, he would say he didn't know - it just appeared out of thin air. But I think it requires one to imbue the language of keyboarding into your thinking... learning everything about layers, masks, linking and artistry before that's possible. I know many people hate photoshop, which is understandable I guess. But this is the computer age and I find it a helpful skill to acquire.

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