Ugly Mistakes and the Effort Required

I want everyone out there to remember that end results are a product of hard work and persistence. I’m talking about all of those times you saw a piece of art that blew you away whether it was due to its beauty, vibrant colour, aesthetic appeal, detail or talent. Remember that this is a snapshot of the best version it became. Just like all those chiseled bodies and perfect hair shots you see all over Instagram, they too were snapshots of the best version they were in that moment. That means before and even after that picture was taken, there were moments of imperfection, of work taking its toll, of persistence, of even ugliness. When I look at photos of my artwork and I’m happy with the end result and take pride in sharing it with others, I do this with the satisfaction of having made the same illustration over and over again in different ways, not having looked right the first time. My final drawing/illustration/painting has taken perhaps an hour, a day, a month or even years (yes that’s right, even years), to get to what it looks like right now. It takes years of practice, persistence and passion to end up with the results one might currently produce. So for those that say to me “I couldn’t do that” or “I’m a terrible drawer”, I remind them that this end product they are currently looking at is not something I have been able to conjure out of thin air and without any prior practice. Just like learning to sew, sculpt, beat box, speak publicly, or write an essay, it all takes time, effort, persistence, mistakes, failures and practice. It’s important to remember this particularly in those moments of frustration having spent several hours trying to draw a leaf on a plant or a facial expression, or in fact, do anything that requires a bit of time and patience. Please enjoy a couple of my ugly mistakes and efforts that show that we are all human and the idea of “perfect art” takes a whole lotta time.

 

P.s. Note the rather hilarious little notes on the drawings by me when I was consumed with frustration.

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Little Women Illustrations

Lately I've been exploring other subjects for drawing and painting, one of which has been little portraits of women. I've been thoroughly enjoying painting these small subjects and capturing the diversity within the portraits. I feel passionate about illustrating women of all shapes, sizes, ethnicities, cultures, etc to counteract in some way the bombardment of images of "skinny" and "perfect" white or tanned women that we are exposed to across the media. Not all women wear make up. Not all women are thin, pretty or fit the "ideal". We should celebrate this and include more diversity in whatever form of media whether magazines, commercails or TV programs. Capturing diversity within my paintings has also strengthened my skills and challenges me to not get too comfortable with one skin tone or facial structure. It's very easy to repeatedly draw and paint a similar kind of woman or character, finding familiarity in the same lines and shapes, colours and tones. So if you draw and paint, I challenge you to explore diversity of culture and draw something you wouldn't normally draw. Perhaps this is painting women from a culture very different to your own, perhaps this is drawing plants instead of buildings, painting very big instead of quite small. Challenge yourself and you will be inspired by the outcome. Happy Friday everyone.

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2017 RAW Event

I took part in this year’s RAW art event in which creative individuals are given an opportunity to display and sell their work. At my stall I had all my prints, cards and a folder displaying commissioned work, sketches, research and other unsold pieces. The event took place in April of this year and was a vibrant taste of bigger events to come.

More photos of the event are up on my Facebook page @Facebook.com/Chloeduffinillustration

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Lovely Things

 All Creatures Great and Small

All Creatures Great and Small

Here’s something new! A new weekly blog post called Lovely Things sharing 4 inspirational images and accounts I find on instagram or pinterest or wherever else in the big wide world of the internet.

I will predominantly be sharing images around illustration and have a theme between all four images, but I will also do something different now and then, all of which though will be based around my interests. This could include mindfulness, nature, positivity, travel, yoga, etc.

First up I’ve chosen four images from four completely different illustrators who I find create some really amazing stuff. This first collection is called ‘All Creatures Great and Small’ and were all sourced from instagram accounts. Go check them out!

1.     @bethanjanine

2.     @michelle_morin

3.     @littlesisterco

4.     @grace.owen.art

Such beautiful artworks…

Happy Friday!

Wellbeing and Mindfulness

Life gets difficult and life can sometimes be a struggle. In order to cope with daily living, life events or difficulties I found my own way of managing my emotions and accepting the things that happen to me. It's become a bit of a trend of late in society and the book publishing industry but mindfulness is one technique that I've found, even if not practiced regularly (though this is where the true benefits are revealed), can help you achieve some peace in your life. Art for me is also something I can do that brings me some peace and serenity and this is something mindfulness teachers encourage everyone to try due to its meditative methods.

Through my art I try to express my understanding of mindfulness and what it means to be at peace or at least have a little bit of it. I've created a few pieces that express this and I use illustrations of nature alongside positive words to help people to be mindful and appreciate the beauty of life. We all get busy and stressed but it's important to remember the need to slow down and to also know how to do it. I hope my illustrations help people remember to do just that.

Some fantastic books on this kind of thing are from well known author and Zen monk Thich Nhat Hanh. His Peace of Mind book is just beautiful.

Remember to be grateful of where you are in life and what you already have, be patient for what you want in your life and be present through it all, as there's not other moment in time but the now. These words have really helped me when dealing with difficult situations in life or disliking a circumstance I'm in. It helps to remember how lucky we are in the grand scheme of things.

x

Welcome to the Blog!

Welcome to my very first website and blog conjoined into one so that I can showcase my work and express my current interests and motivations in life. On here I will be posting sketchbook pages, work in progress shots, posts on general life as an illustrator, thoughts and inspirations. 

As I'm a part time teacher as well as a part time freelance illustrator, I've time over the summer holidays to reflect, relax, rejuvenate and feel refreshed. I've picked up some new skills through exploration with my art, I've started taking an online art course in the Foundations of Design, and I've had time to really get on top of putting together everything that forms an illustration business. I'm not quite there yet, but it's happening swiftly and efficiently. For now it's hard work and commitment and I'll get there before I know it!

Peace and Love