The Cincinnati Art Museum was kind enough to interview me on their podcast, Art Palace! We talked about my work a bit, then walked down to the new Robert McCloskey exhibit in the museum (open til Sept 9) and discussed the show. McCloskey's work is stunning, and getting to see his sketches for Make Way for Ducklings and his finals for Blueberries for Sal (as well as a ton of his other work) was amazing. We geeked out about economy of line, gouache, and McCloskey's skills as a draftsman. Russell was super fun to talk with, and made me sound like not-a-complete-idiot. Thanks to the museum for having me!
Take a listen here.
I did a Creative Mornings talk on FANTASY a year ago and it's finally been uploaded! It's about keeping your inner child alive and fostering a sense of wonder in the everyday. The latter part of the video is a group discussion with the audience about how to not be too adult-y, but it doesn't translate too well in the recording. Oh well!
I had a BLAST giving this talk. So much fun! The Creative Mornings team was amazing to work with - they had Swedish Fish in a real fishbowl (don't worry, it was clean) for attendees of the event, complete with a tiny net for a serving spoon. Great way to spend a Friday morning :)
I've been working on improving my story-telling skills over the past few months (thanks to Andy J Miller's amazing MFBA class I took this spring). Every good book has a good story at its heart, and every good story starts with a good character. I've always loved character design, but I needed to give myself a challenge - something that I could really sink my teeth into creatively. Often when I sat down at my desk, I wouldn't know what to draw, other than the same old faces with the same old look. Artist's block was a frequent frienemy. I needed an exercise to help me push past that, and into the process of creating freely.
So I came up with this random character design roulette sheet (you can download it here).
The idea is that you draw a random squiggly line, and then have to use the elements your line crosses over. If your line crosses over multiple elements, you can choose between those ones.
Once your specifications have been chosen, you draw the character and make up a story about him/her/it.
Here, the elements I randomly got were BEAR, PARENT, BLACKSMITH, JUNGLE/TROPICS, & ANCIENT (meaning any ancient civilization in between prehistoric and medieval times).
So I decided, because we were dealing with a bear who was also a parent, that it should be a momma bear. I then thought of which ancient civilizations happened in the tropics, and landed on the Mayans. Then it was clear that not only would this momma bear be a blacksmith, but she would specialize in gold.
I did some research on the Mayan people, gathered some patterns and symbols and names, and started sketching.
Still working on the full story for these two, but it's definitely going to involve Muluk getting stolen and Quia having to rip off some bad guys' limbs trying to get him back. :)
I really loved the way the parameters of the chart made me think creatively about these characters, stretching my mind in a way it wouldn't have ordinarily.
If you're interested in doing the challenge with me, you're more than welcome! I'm using the hashtag #characterdesignroulette for all the concepts I come up with using the chart. If you have any questions, feel free to email me or message me on Instagram.
Inflammable. Turns out, this word means the same as just regular flammable. (Confusing, I know.)
Also: happy International Women's Day! It's pretty awesome being a woman. :)
In the spirit of setting up new goals for the year, I'm trying to get back into doing daily warmup doodles! Here's one I did yesterday: Incessant.
My calligraphy workshop is sold out! So excited to have everyone out on the 14th who signed up. If you're still interested in taking the class but didn't get to register, please let me know. If there are enough people interested, I may open up a second session! #calligraphy #workshop #erinbarkerillustration
My friends over at Girl-ish have written a great article on this super awesome, kick-butt leading lady–the character Olivia Benson from Law & Order: SVU. They are doing a series on Favorite Female TV Characters and it's been such a fun ongoing project!
I'm loving how this illustration turned out. For my friends and I in college, watching Law & Order was one of our favorite things to do while procrastinating on homework. We were fiercely dedicated to the show, along with all the characters. Definitely brings back good memories.
Check out the article here!
Croc for @sketch_dailies. Been a while since I did one of these. Gotta keep the ol' hands from getting rusty. #sketchdailies #illustration #sketch #watercolor #walnutink #crocodile #peterpan #ticktock #erinbarkerillustration
Happy December! My college friend Christie is starting her new blog today, Girl-ish, and I'm really excited for them. I'll be doing some illustration work for the blog, which will be focusing on being real about life as a 20-something woman, encouraging honest conversation and discussion. Above is the portrait I did of Christie and Kiley, the other creator. Looking forward to seeing what great things they have in store!
Pretty exciting stuff. Looking forward to the 27th!
Want to take my hand-lettering and modern calligraphy workshop at the end of the month? Registration opens at 9am today! Go to ShoppeClass.com to register. #buildingcharacters #shoppeclass #handlettering #calligraphy #erinbarkerillustration
Prepping for my ShoppeClass workshop on hand lettering and calligraphy at the end of September! Working on curriculum and testing out some teaching techniques. More info to come as it gets closer to the class date.
We were going for a Lord of the Rings vibe to add a sense of adventure and intrigue. The whole thing was hand-lettered by myself, with the exception of the chronological chart. I put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into this map, and it is such a rewarding feeling to have it finally available.
This was such a fun project. The guys at Cold Water Media were a pleasure to work with and I am quite pleased with the final piece.