Since it’s nearly the end of the year, I thought I’d take a look back at what I’ve done art-wise this year. Of course 2020 has been a bit nuts, what with the pandemic. Here in the UK we’ve been in lockdown or under restrictions for most of the year, but I used the time to keep plugging away with my colouring books and other art, and I’ve been putting new work out quite steadily.
Colouring books have been my main focus for the last few years now, although I got a bit burned out and didn’t publish anything new in 2019. But I’m back on track this year with four new books 🙂 I did some of the drawings for the first kawaii book last year, but I’m pleased with this output, and with the books themselves. I’ve settled into a new workflow of doing the outlining in Procreate on my iPad (I used Illustrator for most of my earlier books), and am continuing to experiment with different subjects and drawing styles.
These are all ‘easy’ books, for kids, beginners and anyone who likes colouring pages without lots of detail. I didn’t plan to stick with simple designs for so many books in a row; it just turned out that way. I’ve also finished the rough drawings for my next two books, which will be easy patterns, and animals for kids. I’ll be getting back to work on those in the new year, and hopefully they’ll be ready to publish in February/March. So that’s two more easy titles in the pipeline, but after that I’ll be focusing on more detailed adult designs for a while.
I used to paint a lot when I was younger, but haven’t done much with traditional paint media in recent years. That bothered me, and this year I’ve started again. While not beginning from scratch, I was very out of practice, so I’ve been spending time revisiting the technical stuff and getting back into it. I’m still not where I want to be (and there will always room for improvement), but am really happy to be painting regularly again, especially as it was an excuse to buy new art supplies hehe 😉 I’ve also been doing a lot of digital art on my iPad, which is always fun.
Right now I’m in a phase of experimenting, expanding my skills, and generally having fun with different media, subjects and styles. Most of what I’m working on will stay in my sketchbooks, but I’ve enjoyed uploading a few abstracts and other things. You can see some of these in my stores on Society6, Pixels and Zazzle. I’ll continue these explorations next year, and will also be creating more figurative work.
I’ve also done a bit of pattern design. I love this, but it usually takes third place after my colouring illustrations and other art, due to lack of time for everything! But I do plan to keep making some patterns next year, and will add them to my new store on Spoonflower.
I don’t like making rigid plans, but I expect to release a few more colouring books in 2021, and add more wall art to my print stores. Behind the scenes I’ll keep experimenting and working on my skills. I have a vision of the kind of art I want to make, and it’s going to be a while until I actually get to that point. But I like what I’m doing now too, and will keep putting out new work out along the way.
For the next couple of weeks I’m going to take a break from the colouring books, and just do some drawing and painting for fun. Thanks to everyone who has supported my books and other work this year, and I hope you all have a happy and relaxing holiday 😀