I've got to say this year has been flying by. I landed a fabulous new position at an Architecture Firm called Allison Ramsey Architects. As an illustrator, it can be tough to decide what the best work environment is for you and your needs. Some people work best while being given an assignment and being alone in their studio, while others work best bouncing off of the ideas and feedback of others.
I personally think it's best to find a balance in both worlds. No one should ever be without input and reflection of others opinions, even if you feel the need to express something uniquely individual and uninfluenced by other opinions. Growth comes from being a part of something, not just an isolationist who never experiences things outside of themselves.
Having found this job, I think I've found an incredible place to grow as an artist. I am constantly getting the feedback and input from my teammates, as well as being continuously influenced by the work that they do. They help me to identify weaknesses and strengths in my work that I could never find answers for before. I love getting into the more detailed, proper drawing techniques of architectural renderings as well. It's completely outside of my comfort one and yet it is using my skills to their best advantage, if that makes any sense! It feels so good to stretch my artistic muscles and get a new range of artwork under my belt.
I chose this little drawings I did of cicadas because of all the exterior influence it has in it. The style comes from learning new digital watercolor techniques for the architectural renderings I've done, and the heat of the south makes cicadas sound like a rock concert around here. The imagery that my husband gives me when describing personification in the cicadas is rather hilarious and incited me to do some cicada drawings. The color palette is still my own, and the hand drawing for the digital color is still very much my own, but growing with understanding how to have a better eye for detail and line work with the full-time work I do outside of this studio time.
What sets you free? What makes you grow as an artist, giving you fresh new inspiration to move into new work? For me it's the input and influences of other's imaginations and ideas. It's the realization of things outside myself that I want to incorporate into my own styles and decisions. What ever it is, it's important to grow and always be moving. There is no such things as a happy stagnant artist. We live to create new and inspiring pieces of work. Go find something that makes you grow!