Working on some fun new art this week, the first time in a while. I’m hoping to use these as a new fabric design over at my Originals By Katharine Tracy and Spoonflower shop next month, but even if they turn out unusable, it’s been fun designing and drawing them out. Tonight I will start to color them.
I’ve honestly had a very difficult time tapping into my creativity lately. Having an idea that is super cute and literal fluff has been a relief. I don’t know what the future brings, but I can’t shoulder the collective burden as much as I have been this past year.
I want to remind all of you that I am open for art commissions. I finally went through all of my gallery yesterday, updating my title and alt text to make my images more search engine friendly, because I was bad and never did that, and I was reminded how much fun I have making art. And unfortunately, as I always have to prioritize paid work over spare time work, I don’t get to spend as much time on it as I would like. But if you hire me to make you something, then I’ll HAVE to art!
Let’s say a single figure fairly detailed pencil drawing of one figure (human, animal, or fantasy creature) would start at about $35 plus shipping on medium size paper (8.5″x11″ up to 15″x20″) and would go up depending on size, number of figures or addition of background, etc. Watercolors and charcoals/pastels would be significantly more but anything over $100 will include free shipping. Here are some samples!
Email me at katmicari(at)gmail.com if you want to set anything up!
I found a couple of old sketches that I never shared here, probably because when I drew them, I was less than happy with how they came out. But I like them now, so I’m sharing them! I had to brighten the pics and darken the pencil lines to get them clear because I was lazy and didn’t want to hook up my scanner.
There is still a disconnect between my sketches and my finished works. My pencils are loose, almost aggressive at times, and I’m able to get that feeling still in my pastels and charcoal drawings as well, but when I switch to paints, I get a little tense and try to be “perfect” still. It was something I struggled with in my costume renderings. So it will be a balance I will continue striving toward as I move forward in my art.
I’ve started working on a couple new songs and that theatrical piece in odd moments, so new work is coming, and I’m still happily making future plans for projects. We’ll see what I manage to accomplish.
I finished this drawing as a belated Christmas gift this past week. I’m really happy with how it came out. I always forget how much I love to work with conte and charcoal. It’s messy but so satisfying to carve out the figures. I kept the blanket loose and sketchy feeling because I wanted the dog to take the spotlight.
Copyright 2016, Kat Micari
And yes, the dog’s eyes really were a deep blue and he would look at you like a human.
This week, I was so excited to be doing one of my many projects for work. I actually was getting to draw and watercolor and thoroughly think a project through instead of flying by the seat of my pants as is what inevitably happens much of the time. Literally, I had been giddy last week leading into this one, so excited to sit down and do the creative work.
Then it came time to move from the rough sketch to prepping the watercolor paper with a background wash, to penciling the final images, and I immediately started getting frustrated at myself with the way I was drawing hands and feet. I wanted to throw the project down and go sulk, and I almost started berating myself over the imperfections. I took a brief break, and I realized that I was in the process of ruining something that I had so been looking forward to due to being overly hard on myself. It doesn’t matter if the feet and hands aren’t up to my high standards. It has literally been six years since I’ve done this detailed of work for this type of project, and I’m rusty, but I’m never going to get un-rusty if I don’t take on projects like this. I was able to take what would in the past been a downward “beat myself up” spiral and find joy again in the creation process.
This is really important to remember as creatives and as human beings trying to go about our daily lives. Anything can be a chore, even the work that you love to do the most. And anything can be bliss, even the dishes (I like to put music on and sing while I do the dishes, when I do them. Though usually my husband does them while I’m putting our son to bed.) You can get satisfaction or annoyance from almost any task that you set yourself to do. I actively choose bliss and satisfaction whenever I can. And I’m getting better at catching myself when I do tends toward the self-degradation and negativity that would make everything seem like a major drag on my life.
Which do you choose? Can you find small ways to bring yourself more joy into your daily and creative life?
My husband and I went to a Drink n’Draw this past Saturday for a couple of hours, meeting up with a friend of ours. This is a 30 minute sketch off of a 45 minute pose – the first time I’ve gotten to work with a live model since grad school (beyond quick sketches of my family), and it felt really good. This particular group does weekly nude figure drawing sessions for a very reasonable amount of money, so I’m going to try to get out to that whenever possible.
The model was beautiful, although the lighting was quite harsh in the bar as they had to use a clamp light almost like a spotlight. I was feeling not very good about the sketch and slightly envious of the tighter and more concise sketching styles of the other people at the table with me, but then my husband told me that he actually wished he had a looser style like mine. A case of you always want what you don’t have, I guess. Like my singing voice – I’ve always loved the raspy voice of female vocalists that either deal with vocal strain or smoke crazy amounts of cigarettes, but I’m at the complete opposite end of the spectrum personally.
I’ve decided to embrace my art style. Part of the reason I’ve got so many searching lines when I draw is because I’m really trying to capture the inner essence of whatever it is I’m drawing as well as the shape and form. That actually sounds a little creepy to me, like I’m trying to literally put a piece of the subject into my work, but really, it’s a piece of myself – what my response is after I’ve emotionally and intuitively broken down the subject (whether animate or not) in my mind and put it back together. And if that’s what excites me to create, then I may as well go along with it instead of fighting for a style that isn’t my own.
Where I could use a lot more precision is in my hands and feet. I need to spend a lot of time just drawing those body parts so I don’t stress about them.