Learning vs Copying : A mini-series via instagram

Part One

I got the book, “Imagine a Forest” by Dinara  Mirtalipova from the library last week. It has her beautiful illustrations which she breaks down, step by step. Since getting it, I’ve been using it like a cook book: learning her product by following her process and adding my own touches along the way. It feels natural to my book loving + rule following self. My end process isn’t the same {I’m restricting myself to ink & a single color} and I’m expanding on both a subject andstyle that have always interested me. ✨ But it still feels like cheating.✨ I’ve never had an art education. I don’t know how “real artists” do it. I know when I see my nephews drawing their favorite cartoons I encourage them. “Yay you’re making something! Keep going!” But it feels different as an adult.

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Part Two

On the left: a collection of butterflies taken almost directly out of the #imagineaforest book sans color. These don’t look too terribly different than some butterflies I painted/posted here about a year ago. But they’ve got about a dozen more flowers than I would have thought to put on butterflies so definitely heavily influenced by @mirdinara

On the right: a rockhopper penguin inspired by a library book Sam choose the other day. I am super happy with this penguin guy.

I really appreciated everyone’s earlier comments. It got me to thinking about the art that I copied as a kid: the hyper-realistic drawings in my grandparents NatGeo magazines. Ever since I have really struggled with simplification. That sounds silly doesn’t it? But I would look at a tree and start drawing a leaf. This was a very frustrating occurrence as my paper generally became too small super quick.

I started to do the same on Mr Penguin. Rockhoppers have these super intense eyebrow feathers and that was the first thing I initially drew - these skinny lightening bolt things that mirrored what I saw in the library book. But having the “vocabulary” from this book made me realize that skinny lighting bolts don’t equal happy penguin. Christina of @might_could also talks about this in her skillshare class about character design {go check her out}.

All this rambling to say: yay for learning and experimenting and flowery butterflies and happy penguins.