Here we are, 2/3rds of the way through #inktober. Are you guys doing it? Have you managed to keep up with it, or let it slide? I hope at least it's got you thinking about personal projects, and daily practice!
...but what next?
If you listen to any designer, they'll tell you that ideas are important, but studying the real world and applying it to those ideas is critical. It is by using an reinterpreting the "real world" that our designs become fresh while simultaneously maintaining that critical sense of authenticity.
To that end, I'd like to propose an idea for November. #Photovember Every day, take a picture that can be used as reference for a project. For me, it's going to be the project that I worked on in #inktober. If you didn't have a unified theme to #inktober, spend the next 2 weeks coming up with some kind of idea you can explore for the month of November - a story, or monsters, or spaceships....something!
In terms of the sorts of pictures you take - that completely depends on you. If you want to set up models and figures and do actual reference shots of your idea, GREAT! Maybe you take a picture of a texture that would be perfect for the wall of a building in your project. Maybe you think the fender of that H2 Hummer could be used as part of your spaceship design.
The important part is to try to train yourself to see design elements all around you, and to record them. It's not about taking good pictures, or getting a million likes on your Instagram for your super-sweet drawing of Deadpool, it's about SEEING, and having the discipline to look outside of what you already have in your mind's visual library.
I admit it, you're probably not going to gain followers from this month of work. I'm going to post my pictures, so you can see how I'm thinking through things, but that's not the point. If you can do this every day for a month, you will have probably spent far more than your usual amount of time breaking down the world around you into usable chunks, and THAT will improve your art. It doesn't matter if you work digitally, traditionally, or some combination of the two. It doesn't matter if you take the actual photos and slap them into your paintings as textures, or just look at them to see how you can recreate the desired elements with a pencil.
We all have phones with cameras - it doesn't take any more tech or preparation than that. I hope you join me. I'll be posting my shots to my instagram, which you can get to from the top menu of this website if you want to follow along with me.
I hope you join me for #photovember - Thanks for reading!