Updated: Jan 5
I had had (had had had had) my iPad for a solid three months by the time I drew this illustration and it was the first one I was "proud of."
The layout is pretty simple, theres me, in the middle, intoxicated by the sweet aroma of the jungle, surrounded by three loving flowers (who were the most frustrating part of this piece).
To start, I referenced an older picture of me for the basic outline of...me. If I'm being completely transparent here, the referenced picture had my eyes open, but, given my extensive years or zero formal art education, I quickly realized that eyes are....rather challenging to draw. You either end up looking like you're 6 tokes in, with some friends , crushing a "Trippy Visuals" Youtube playlist or...you look like you're Stanley from the office, losing his patience as Michael continues to remind you why you have to do the annual "inappropriate office conversations" training. That's a rather long-winded way of saying, the eyes didn't look good after I drew and re-drew, so I made the artistic decision to be one with the jungle, asleep, or perhaps something more sinister...
Once I was completed, I went on pinterest and searched for "jungle plant illustrations." The results were overwhelming so I went to Instagram and searched for plant pages. Found a few I loved and translated them from my eyes to the eyepad. Here's where things got tricky. As I mentioned, I was new to this illustration game and I had much to learn. My "layer-game" was...well, almost as bad as the 2012 Charlotte Bobcats season (7W - 59L for those of you who don't have Bing). I hadn't learned what Multiply meant quite yet and hadn't learned an efficient way to group elements.
But after six long hours in a Pentagon City Starbucks with my boy Dustin the Barista (pre-Covid) I felt as if the jungle looked real enough, if not a bit on the global warming side. Once that was done, it was time for the light lift (or so I thought). In my head, I KNEW what color I wanted the flowers to be and I KNEW what I wanted the gentle brush of pollen to look like, but, translating that from my mind to paper (well tablet) was the challenge. No matter what combination of pink I used for the petals, I was just not satisfied. After another hour or two of trying to invent a new color that would bring everything together nicely, I turned to a fellow with a beautiful first name for some inspiration. "Some people strive for perfection, but I often find perfection boring" -Mario Testino. Now, I'll be honest, before writing this I had no idea who that guy was. I went to Ask Jeeves and searched "quotes about perfection" and of course, my eyes were drawn to the perfect combination of five beautiful letters. But, after a quick search on giveWater, found that Mr. Testino isn't living up to the Mario name...I digress.
I decided that perfection WAS perhaps boring, but so was spending an entire day in Starbucks trying to convince myself I was an ártist. I called it a day, added some shadows (to me) and posted this bad boy to Instagram where it got 13 or so likes, which I found odd. The same number of people liked my post as have accused Mr. Testino of behavior unbecoming of a professional photographer. Well, at least one of us was able to sell a $6 million home in Los Angelos (it wasn't me).
I invite you, if you wish, to check out the shop where you can get this print (if you ever needed an illustrated version of me) or perhaps other art prints that suit your fancy.