A few weeks back, Paul was teaching a weekend class about early Jewish immigrants to the United States, focusing on their experiences as peddlers in the mid-19th century. As part of his lesson, he designed an activity in which his students pretended to be peddlers in order to better understand the challenges that many new immigrants faced. Each student playing a peddler was assigned a particular product to sell–engine oil, medicine, rat poison, or makeup, for example–and had to convince their customers to purchase it without using a common language. As an added layer of difficulty, the students’ products all looked the same, so they had to communicate that difference as well (to prevent their customers conflating rat poison with medicine, or some other tragedy). Paul was pretty busy prepping the other facets of the lesson that weekend, so I threw together a little illustration of the peddlers’ products to help him out.
Long story short: Paul designed a cool history lesson, and I designed a (hopefully) cool bottle:
This was a fun image to make because it’s not something I’d normally work on–my sketches, as you can probably tell, tend to be of human figures. I don’t usually draw inanimate objects unless I’m purposely challenging myself to draw something that’s in front of me. It was also a way for me to test my Illustrator skills. I had to do it pretty quickly (since I had other projects I had to work on), and I tried to do it without a reference. I had the most fun making the cork–there’s just something profoundly satisfying about using the compound shape tools to punch holes out of other shapes. It’s not the flashiest drawing, but it got the job done! All in all, I feel pretty good about it.
(Also, in case you were wondering, the Yiddish on the label says “Swartz’s”.)
…and that means (among other things) that it’s time to break out the sweaters! I’ve been thinking a lot about fashion lately, and not only in the narcissistic sense. I’ve mentioned in other blog posts that my drawings, like my wardrobe, tend to default to T-shirts and jeans if I’m not careful, so I’ve been trying to branch out on the page and in my closet. So, this is what I wore (and drew!) today:
See, I told you guys we’d be seeing more Illustrator work! I had a lot of fun with this one. It’s simplistic, but I tend to like that when it comes to vector art. I also like how the orange-and-blue color scheme came out–it’s a color combination I always love, and it seems appropriately autumnal. I am actually knitting a scarf that color, too…and, since I’m exhausted from work today, I think I’m gonna get back to it. See you on Wednesday with some writing!
(Shh…this totally counts as a Friday update because it’s only 9 pm on the West Coast, right?)
It’s a week full of innovation (or at least alliteration)! This is the blog’s very first Fanart Friday. I like to draw, and I like to talk about things I like, so this is what you get.
Hmm. That sounded like more of a threat than I intended. Here, have something cute to make up for it!
Here is a not-very-surprising fact: I totally love Kirby, you guys. He’s adorable, he’s super fun to draw, and Kirby and the Crystal Shards was one of my favorite games as a kid. (My other favorites will be making an appearance soon, don’t you worry.) I’ve also started playing Kirby Super Star at Paul’s behest, and the companion system makes me really really happy. It doesn’t matter what boss I’m fighting, though; I always pick Waddle Dee. I like to make him go on adventures with Kirby. ♥
This picture was also an excuse to mess around with Illustrator again. I recently upgraded to CS6, and it feels a little like I moved into a new apartment. All my stuff is there, it’s just arranged a little differently. I just felt like making sure I still knew where it all was. I was also lucky enough to have CJ Joughin and Micah on hand (er, computer) to help me out when I needed reminding. This was a nice reminder that I really like Illustrator, and I like the look of vector art. You’ll probably be seeing more of it in the near future.
This week has been a delightful balancing act between long stints of job hunting/city exploring and marathoning Mad Men while we draw. I’m still pushing myself to experiment with more all-digital work–plus watching all this Mad Men and seeing all these hip Brooklyn girls has gotten me all fashion-inspired–so I dusted off my copy of Illustrator and gave it a whirl. Here’s the result:
This was actually a lot of fun! I’m proud of the end result–particularly the back foot of each girl. I think this was ultimately a lot more efficient than my all-Photoshop extravaganza last week. It took a lot of time, but I think I made bigger strides in what I’m able to do with Illustrator and without outlining or sketching the figures first. I’d like to do a couple more like this, I think. Maybe some fan art is in order?