Sometimes I wish I studied cartooning along with illustration and graphic design. I would already be used to something like this new style I’m attempting. Maybe then I wouldn’t have such pesky difficulties to struggle over.
But for my early reader graphic novel, I’m aspiring to a slightly cartoony style for younger children—different from the odd not-quite-cartoony style used long ago for Boston Magazine and my regular not-quite-realistic children’s illustration styles.
Going for a specific level of grunge and bad drawing with over-enthusiastic claws and tiny fangs is chancey stuff. It tends to be a difficult leap from 22 years of illustrating children's educational, trade nonfiction, and magazines . . . mostly done on tight schedules . . .. Actually, practically everything . . . except my own illustrations and writing . . . was done on tight schedules . . ..
Yep, there it is. I’m illusplaining. Making excuses. In case this doesn’t pan out.
But a funkier look fits the project. For now, I’m going with a claim of “outsider’s style.” Perhaps it will be new and interesting to those jaded by good cartooning.
Got to try, anyway.
Last year, five minutes of painting/drawing, using the computer, or writing made my hand go completely numb.
I had to have carpal tunnel surgery.
It was simple surgery with a painful recovery—in two ways:
1) Pain-pain. Lots of nerves in a hand.
2) Lots of angst.
The whole year before, I’d gradually had to reduce work, until I was only doing small projects with roomy deadlines for existing clients. So by the end of that year, I’d pretty much lost my “hand” (hand-eye coordination) and finally gave in to the idea of surgery.
After surgery . . ..
Good: Absolutely no numbness.
Bad: Absolutely no numbness.
Good: Eventually, I could draw and paint again.
Bad: Needed lots of practice to get back to my skill level.
My mom and I had been going to weekly life drawing sessions. Before the surgery, I would draw five minutes, shake my hand, rest it five minutes, then draw again. After surgery, driving the 16.2 miles each way was the accomplishment. But after a month of physical therapy, I was drawing and painting again, getting used to my “new” weak, shaky and uncoordinated-but-numb-free hand.
I’m still going to life drawing. Working in my studio now, too. Getting my “hand” back—both the use of it and hand-eye coordination.
I’m working on character designs for a silly new story and just finished a week of writing, rewriting, re-rewriting query letters and a synopsis for a #PitchWars entry.
There are countless worse situations that others deal with daily, I know. This is just a little plug for the good kind of stubbornness that helps a little with all sorts of trouble.
Wishing you plenty of stubbornness, as needed, too,
Works In Progress: