Thursday, December 1, 2016

Let the Joy of the Holiday Season STICK with you on Illustration Friday!

     Yay! It's Friday, Illustration Friday, and I'm kinda sorta on fire about the Holiday Season.  I've started to hear Christmas music everywhere, The entire city here is decorated for the Holiday Season, you can smell peppermint and all spice everywhere, and, I don't know about you, but I have already begun the Christmas Movie marathon on my TV at home.  The home is filled with the joyous laughter of it.  I just LOVE it! lol.

     This week's topic is TAPE.  I originally was going to skip participation this Illustration Friday as I had put so much in the previous week's Thanksgiving Day post and illustration. I honestly was a bit tired after all the Holiday, illustrating, writing, cooking and traveling.  Don't get me wrong, I love that Holiday and I thoroughly enjoyed it... I enjoyed it into thorough exhaustion also. ;0)   I also couldn't think of a way to illustrate a kid or write a story pertaining to "Tape."  However, after a bit of thought, this little guy came dancing into my head and I couldn't stop thinking about how adorable he was...

     So, I just had to draw him. Now, there are just certain traditions or activities that one does around the the Holiday Season that really just seems to encapsulate magic... actual magic.  It really just brings me joy and I can't stop smiling.  I would have to say that drawing this little Tape Elf fit into that category for me.  I thought he'd be fun to draw, as one of the activities I absolutely love to do this time of year is to wrap presents and Christmas Tape, obviously, is a large part of that activity.  I usually put on some Christmas Music or put on a Holiday movie, etc., and just relax into wrapping.  It's almost zen like, really.

     When I first began drawing my Tape Elf, I doodled several thumbnail possibilities of what he could be doing. In the end though, I settled on having him holding some presents, as gifts are generally what Christmas Tape is associated with.

     I have lately been conducting a personal experiment of sorts with myself.  As most artists our in the world, we all have full time jobs we go to during the week and then after work we come home and draw. You stay up late late late and draw.  This has been my life since college.  Well after so many years of staying up late... you just kinda get tired of staying up late and then relying on your morning coffee to bail you out the next day. All hail to the gods of morning coffee. lol   Anyway, I have found that on the weekend, when I'm working on Artwork in the morning time, I tend to be more productive. So, I thought I would try a little experiment.  I have started going to bed Super Early, for me anyway, and then hopping out of bed at around 5am to start the day.  Crazy right? Well for those of you all that know me well, you know that I had previously NOT been a Morning Person. I deplored mornings and spat upon the idea of them. lol.  Well, I must confess, after 2 weeks on this experiment (including weekends) I have found that I rather enjoy getting up early, working on art, heading to the gym, eating breakfast and then off to work.  I really really enjoy this format.  Ladies and Gentlemen, I, Lewis W. Porter have discovered mornings, glorious mornings. lol  I have a feeling it may stick just like my vegetarian diet experiment I conducted 10 years ago.

     I relate all this, 1.) because it is very new and so previously out of character, but also 2.) most of this particular illustration was created in the wee hours before the morning's light.  I felt very energized and ready to draw each morning this week as I awoke to work on him.  It was a lot of fun and a real simple joy.

     I did some very quick research on Scotch tape (as that is the kind of tape I usually get for Christmas Wrapping) but also because I just have this grand fondness for the plaid pattern that Scotch uses on their packaging.  I had wanted to dress my little Tape Guy as Santa, but (as I said earlier) I have begun binge watching my favorite holiday movies, beginning with Elf (starring Will Ferrell.)  I just absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE this movie and in the back of my head, I heard my little Scotch Tape Guy shouting "I Love You! I Love You! I Love You!" just like Buddy the Elf.  I can actually hear him squeal with joy when the name "Santa" is uttered by anyone. lol  (If you've seen the movie, then you'll know what I'm talking about.)

     So the decision was made pretty quickly to make him an Elf and not a Santa.

     My favorite part about working on this illustration was creating the plaid pattern from scratch. I did have many scanned in swatches of plaid patterned material, but I felt that it would just make the illustration too flat. So I decided to construct my own by hand.  Each little marking in that pattern I drew individually by hand; one mark at a time.  It was important to do it this way and it was fun to draw it as I don't think I've ever drawn a plaid pattern by hand before, and I have to say I think it turned out well and much better than just placing a fabric swatch.  One of my favorite phrases is,"God is in the details."  I have always loved that phrase, because it truly encapsulates what makes the "interest" in any work of art interesting... It's the details. Maybe you don't always notice them, but I can guarantee you would notice their absence.  Anyway, my point is that I knew one of those key details for this piece would be that plaid pattern Scotch is so well known for.

     I would say my second favorite part about working on this illustration was all the doodle snowflakes.  Those were fun to doodle also.  I purposely didn't sketch them out first.  I wanted their appearance and placement to be organic and I drew them on the spot as I inked the sketch.

     I hope that you all are inspired to feel the Joy of the Holidays when you look at this Little Tape Elf.  He certainly puts a smile on my face every time I see him.  Enjoy the rest of your weekend and find some Holiday Joy of your own.  I, personally, will be setting up my Christmas Tree and decorating for the Holiday Season.  I'm very excited and look forward to it every year. Happy Holidays, Everyone.

Until next time, friends,
Keep sketching, keep thinking, keep laughing and most important of all, 
keep making art.

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