Everything starts with an idea. Well, maybe not quite everything, as having to go to the washroom isn’t so much an idea as an urge. Right? Necessity? I suppose you don’t have to go to the washroom, but it’s recommended.
Anyway, everything I do in the world of illustrating starts with an idea. I have many ideas. I have so many ideas that I can’t draw quickly enough to keep up. It’s a frustrating piece to all of this, but it’s what keeps things exciting. It’s exciting for me to see a spark of an idea come to life. I imagine it’s similar to a musician who starts with a few chords or drum beats and eventually turns out a complete song.
After the idea surfaces, I put out a quick and usually ugly sketch in my book or a scrap piece of paper. Once that has been done, it usually sparks more ideas and more sketches. The majority of those sketches end up as forgotten plans because I can’t draw quickly enough to keep up. Remember? See the cycle? It’s no wonder I’m pissed all the time. Anyway, one of those ideas is taken to the next level of sketch, where it will be drawn with more care. Sometimes it takes a couple pages of drawing for me to attain what I am after. Other times I can get lucky and manage to draw something pretty close on the first shot. Once the drawing is close to whatever standard I may have set that day (ha), I take a picture or a scan of it and bring it into the computer to redraw it digitally. Once almost completed digitally, I may print the illustration and draw over it with a pencil by hand to make further adjustments, then bring it back into the computer for more finish work. Upon completion of the line work, the final step is colouring. Colouring is another part of the puzzle that activates my blood pressure, so I will talk about that another time.
Check out the picture below to see a shitty sketch that turned into a finished truck that’s takin’ a dump. Yes, a dump. It’s a dump truck. It takes dumps. Dumps of rocks. Perhaps dirt.