Sketching lately

Improve your illustrations // Boots & Cats

It’s been about 6 months since my grand declaration of more dedicated sketching and practice, and I have to say it’s finally taken off. At the beginning it almost felt like it wasn’t truly going to happen (remember the failed 365 challenge?) and it took a LOT of motivation to get my butt moving . Over time though, the discovery of new tools and building the habits has me sketching almost every day.

Improve your illustrations // Boots & Cats

I love it as an outlet to zone out from my day and reconnect with my creativity. I often sketch on the floor, lying on my stomach like an enthusiastic toddler. It keeps me away from the computer (read: distractions) at my desk. Anytime I have an idea or feel inspired, instead of running to Pinterest I run to the pen and jot it down. I’ve also begun frequently including colour into the mix, as I discovered my perfect medium in January.

Improve your illustrations // Boots & CatsThe subjects of the sketches are different daily. It is much more meditative without a set goal in advance. I sometimes feel inspired and emulate the works of others to explore and feel what a new aesthetic is like. I thought the key to getting better was regimentation, but I’ve had the most fun and success with random experimentation.

Improve your illustrations // Boots & Cats

I sketch when ideas strike or when there’s a few lazy minutes to spare. I am surprised and very pleased with some of my recent sketches. I daresay I may even be ready to turn some into my my first fabric designs(!).

Improve your illustrations // Boots & Cats

My latest ‘gadget’ is a Fashionary notebook: pages upon pages of barely-there croquis to draw fashions upon. Before sewing I sometimes need to fully visualize what the end garment will look like to make important decisions (prints? sleeves? pockets? trim?) and often try to sketch it out. Humans are dang hard to draw though so the faint outlines are a huge help so I can focus on drawing the clothing at hand. I am also enjoying the element of drawing the textile designs on it too.

This little addition has also helped fuel the sketching fire by aligning my sewing efforts with my illustration efforts. Bam! 2 for 1.

Improve your illustrations // Boots & Cats

If you want to get in on the sketching game here are a few of my tips/challenges to try:

  • Keep a notebook and pen within arms reach at all times
  • Instead of pinning that thing you like – draw it out!
  • Follow other artists and illustrators on Instagram – peek at their sketchbooks and try their style on for size (but make sure to give it back once you’re done)
  • Draw on the floor – preferably in a warm sunbeam
  • Play with prints and patterns, then place them on things. Sketch the design on clothing, furniture, stationary…
  • Relax and have fun!

Improve your illustrations // Boots & Cats