Sunday, 10 February 2013

Final BA Project week 1

Time for self-reflection. It's essential to learn more about yourself to grow as an artist! I'll keep track of my progress weekly as that was the main reason for creating this blog. You are welcome to follow me along and learn more about me.

First, I set myself some goals for this last semester at the art academy and beyond it. My main goal is to strive for simplicity and sincerity. It is probably the hardest thing to master, but that's why I love ink paintings, gesture drawings and picturebooks so much.

For me, children's book illustration happens to be the best platform to achieve these goals. Good storytelling is important in creating picture books, and it can be really hard to make a story simple but effective. I usually come up with a story first and then work on character designs. But great characters are necessary, aren't they?

I'll be answering this question in my final BA project, which will be all about characters. I'm posting initial sketches here. Be prapared for really bright colours, can't resist them. Can I get away without using black this time? I'm constantly seeking for balance in my art and won't settle down untill I finally find what best suits my personality and ideas. I'll try hard for this project to reflect the knowledge I gathered while studying and graduate with a sense of achievement and self-confidence in my art.

Why am I not collaborating with my twin sister again? Well, no matter how fun and challenging it was, now is the time to get serious and focus on myself as a unique personality. If we really feel like it, nothing will stop us from collaborating in the future. So what will this new book be about?

All stories have main characters, don't they? Not anymore since one author suddenly realizes the main character for his book is... missing! Do you mean it just disappeared? Or was there no main character from the beginning? I don't know yet, but that poor author has to go on a long journey to find a "perfect" character for his book. Believe me, it's not gonna be easy for him. There are so many different characters to choose from, but each of them is inappropriate for one reason or another...

So how will this journey end? Don't ask me yet, you'll eventually find that out if you follow my blog. This uncertainty actually motivates me to work until I find out the truth. For now, I know that the story is based on contrasts and I'll try to emphasize this in my character and text development. Drawing weird characters from my imagination, how more exciting can it get?

Many artists have been looking for the best way to express themselves and often reffered back to the art of children, whether consciously or subconsciously. The great art of Paul Rand, André François, Quentin Blake, Kvĕta Pacovská, Sara Fanelli and Beatrice Alemagna all have this playful and child-like quality about it. How did they manage to achieve this?

I think it all comes down to capturing the inner spirit and essence of your subject in a way that only you feel, whether it is a human, a tree or a stone. Everything has a unique character and is appreciated for that. The great master Leonardo da Vinci was right when saying: "A gesture is a movement not of a body but of a soul." This concept of gesture applies to anything in nature. There's a nice idea attributed to the Tang Dynasty in China: "Grasp an emotion or atmosphere so as to catch the 'rhythm' of nature."

These ideas are wonderfully expressed in two beautiful animated short films I'd like to share with you. The Buffalo Boy's Flute was created in 1963 in China while Adam and Dog is from the US and was published only recently. Although different in technique (traditional vs digital), both of them explore similar themes of the relationship between man and nature or man and animal, and both have this outstanding simplicity, sincerity, and subtlety in them. You can see that it's not the technique which makes a piece of art standout, but the sincerity and passion with which it was created. That's what makes it come to life and live in the hearts of the viewers. Don't you agree?

Final words for myself and for anyone reading this: BE YOURSELF! There are no excuses why we shouldn't be. That's something I learned during my art studies and it's the most challenging thing to do. No one can crtiticize your work if they don't know you well enough. So let other people learn more about you and be willing to share what only you have to offer. Even if there are many great artists out there to look up to, the one to focus on the most should be you. Love yourself for who you are but be willing to change and improve. In the end, no one is perfect but that's why we have each other to learn from. Thanks for reading this long post. Have a nice day!


  1. Alina, I love these illustrations!

    1. Thanks for your comment.
      It really made my day :)

  2. Malonu matyti progresą! Patinka katinai, ypač kur gražiai išsilieję dažai. Padirbėk su raidėmis gal kiek ir bus labai gerai! :)