Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Books, Bunnies and Artist's Block

This week, I've been trying to break through my artist's block. It happens sometimes, every once in a while. I just can't think of anything I want to paint or draw. I have to basically force myself to do stuff--which isn't always the best thing. For some reason, I just haven't been able to find interesting things to work on or things that inspire me. So I turned to things that I know, just common objects.

So this summer, I've been trying to read most (if not all) of the remaining Jane Austen books that I haven't already read. I read Pride & Prejudice partially in High School and finished reading it afterwards, when I realized how great it was. Then last Autumn, I found Sense & Sensibility and Persuasion grouped together in a book at Borders (when it was still in business) for $4.99...and beautifully bound too. I read Sense & Sensibility and have yet to read Persuasion. Last month I polished off Emma and now I'm currently reading Mansfield Park. You might wonder where I am going with this...well, I decided to start doing more illustrations of just things that I like and are part of my life...along with the blind contour teapots.
You would be surprised how much people like these kinds of simple drawings. I put this up on tumblr and the last time I checked, it had nearly 100 notes. I try to make them simple. I want them to look like they were drawn, not like a photograph and not like a computer generated image. They're doodles. They're very whimsical and almost haphazard, which I think adds to their charm. If I wanted to draw a realistic representation of a book, I could, but, these sorts of things are so much more personal and I like that about them. And they are meant to be personal because they are my things, but also things that other people could appreciate. And no, I haven't forgotten Northhanger Abbey. I don't own that one yet.

I also experimented with something quite different yesterday. I was thinking about bunnies. I really love bunnies. I think lately, they have become my favorite animal. When I think about it, it makes sense. I was born in the Year of the Rabbit in Chinese Astrology--kind of a coincidence. So I wanted to draw some bunnies to use on items in my online shop. I haven't really drawn that many animals in the past, but an idea just kind of came to me out of the blue and I just went with it. But I wanted to work with it digitally instead of using paint, so it would be more changeable in the future. I started with a drawings of a  simple cute little bunny in a sweater (because what could be more adorable?)...

and added spots and accessories digitally...
I could change the color of the sweater, I could change the spots, and I could change whatever I wanted in Photoshop. Plus the texture of an actual knit sweater is fun. I can even make patterns.

This is really just the beginning. I do plan to do more bunnies, but I can also do other things. Right now, these bunnies are adorning baby clothes in my online shop, but I think that they would make great little trademarks for myself, considering how much I can change them. They could be put on Christmas cards and other holiday-related items (which I do plan on working on soon). I think if I changed the colors on them too, they could be a bit more sophisticated.

I still love watercolor, but this is a fun way to work as well and I like how versatile it is. Tell me what you all think.


  1. Dear Emily,

    I am a Janeite too and I love your Jane's books watercolor. So I took the liberty to publish it at my blog Jane Austen em Português (in Portuguese).

    Best wishes, raquel

  2. Hi Raquel,

    lol I just am now reading your comment, nearly a month after you posted it, but thanks! It really means a lot and thanks for letting me know. I'll have to check out your blog :)