From Bleached Bones

John Lee's Illustration Blog
Anonymous asked:
Hi John, great blog! I was wondering how you get pumped up enough to start new projects. During projects I can work steadily and easily without too much pain, but as it gets to be finished I start to dread it because that means that I will need to start a new project and for some reason, for two or three days before I can get into the work I find myself procrastinating and goofing off. Once I finally make myself sit down and work it is ok, but what do you usually do between projects? Thanks

Man, I uh, pretty much do the same thing. I think it’s not so much starting up on a new project, it’s mostly ramping down after I finish one. 

The day after I finish a project, unless there’s another deadline bearing down on me, I don’t do anything illustration related at all. I usually go run, dick around on the net, catch up on other stuff, and then grab a bite/drink with a friend in the evening. 

I wish I had more continuity and could flow from project to project more efficiently, but like you said, for some reason I just don’t. This will probably change when I go back to school in the fall, as I won’t have any choice then.

So like, I answer most of these to the best of my ability, and I think the overall picture that’s conveyed is that I’m this illustrator dude who has answers. But, I have things that I struggle with and definite gaps in my process just like everyone. One of the great thing about all these asks is that I have to sit down and put it all down in writing.

For the last 3 years or so, I’ve been addicted to Field Notes books. They’re the perfect size to throw in your back pocket, their design is always really nice, and it’s made in the US. Every time they send out an e-mail blast with a new edition, I almost always cave and buy a pack.
Awhile ago, they had an "Expedition" edition that was supposed to be weatherized for adverse conditions, like arctic exploration or something. It’s kind of gimmicky, but I’m a sucker and picked a couple packs up. It has this weird, synthetic paper that I thought was mineral paper at first, and it would always frustrate me because none of my pens would ever dry on it. I ended up just using Sharpies on it almost exclusively.
Then I randomly read the back, and it said they’re made with Yupo synthetic paper— this triggered something from back at the Academy where Ted Kinsella said he used Yupo and Nupastel a lot in his preliminaries. He liked it because it’s easy to get values down, and you can do transfers and all sorts of neat stuff with it.
So then I switched over to a drafting pencil that I never use, and bam, drawing in these things is just a joy now. These sketches from the Redbirds game and Otherlands today aren’t very good, but I like that sometimes you get a “huh” moment by simply just doing stuff differently. 
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For the last 3 years or so, I’ve been addicted to Field Notes books. They’re the perfect size to throw in your back pocket, their design is always really nice, and it’s made in the US. Every time they send out an e-mail blast with a new edition, I almost always cave and buy a pack.
Awhile ago, they had an "Expedition" edition that was supposed to be weatherized for adverse conditions, like arctic exploration or something. It’s kind of gimmicky, but I’m a sucker and picked a couple packs up. It has this weird, synthetic paper that I thought was mineral paper at first, and it would always frustrate me because none of my pens would ever dry on it. I ended up just using Sharpies on it almost exclusively.
Then I randomly read the back, and it said they’re made with Yupo synthetic paper— this triggered something from back at the Academy where Ted Kinsella said he used Yupo and Nupastel a lot in his preliminaries. He liked it because it’s easy to get values down, and you can do transfers and all sorts of neat stuff with it.
So then I switched over to a drafting pencil that I never use, and bam, drawing in these things is just a joy now. These sketches from the Redbirds game and Otherlands today aren’t very good, but I like that sometimes you get a “huh” moment by simply just doing stuff differently. 
Zoom
Info
For the last 3 years or so, I’ve been addicted to Field Notes books. They’re the perfect size to throw in your back pocket, their design is always really nice, and it’s made in the US. Every time they send out an e-mail blast with a new edition, I almost always cave and buy a pack.
Awhile ago, they had an "Expedition" edition that was supposed to be weatherized for adverse conditions, like arctic exploration or something. It’s kind of gimmicky, but I’m a sucker and picked a couple packs up. It has this weird, synthetic paper that I thought was mineral paper at first, and it would always frustrate me because none of my pens would ever dry on it. I ended up just using Sharpies on it almost exclusively.
Then I randomly read the back, and it said they’re made with Yupo synthetic paper— this triggered something from back at the Academy where Ted Kinsella said he used Yupo and Nupastel a lot in his preliminaries. He liked it because it’s easy to get values down, and you can do transfers and all sorts of neat stuff with it.
So then I switched over to a drafting pencil that I never use, and bam, drawing in these things is just a joy now. These sketches from the Redbirds game and Otherlands today aren’t very good, but I like that sometimes you get a “huh” moment by simply just doing stuff differently. 
Zoom
Info

For the last 3 years or so, I’ve been addicted to Field Notes books. They’re the perfect size to throw in your back pocket, their design is always really nice, and it’s made in the US. Every time they send out an e-mail blast with a new edition, I almost always cave and buy a pack.

Awhile ago, they had an "Expedition" edition that was supposed to be weatherized for adverse conditions, like arctic exploration or something. It’s kind of gimmicky, but I’m a sucker and picked a couple packs up. 

It has this weird, synthetic paper that I thought was mineral paper at first, and it would always frustrate me because none of my pens would ever dry on it. I ended up just using Sharpies on it almost exclusively.

Then I randomly read the back, and it said they’re made with Yupo synthetic paper— this triggered something from back at the Academy where Ted Kinsella said he used Yupo and Nupastel a lot in his preliminaries. He liked it because it’s easy to get values down, and you can do transfers and all sorts of neat stuff with it.

So then I switched over to a drafting pencil that I never use, and bam, drawing in these things is just a joy now. These sketches from the Redbirds game and Otherlands today aren’t very good, but I like that sometimes you get a “huh” moment by simply just doing stuff differently. 

Bob Heindel: "... we might as well try to be extraordinary." - Today's Inspiration

"Whatever changes have occurred are merely reflections of society in general. A little more sex and violence; a lot less mom and apple pie. As documented in this Annual, we are in the business of showing the world what it’s about. We all like to believe we are marching to a different drum, when, in point of fact, we just stumble differently."

Why Israeli illustrator who designed New Yorker cover drew a line - Features

So why this obsession to illustrate? I think it’s because I’m afraid to grow up to be the person I think I was supposed to be. Or at least what the army personnel officer and most of my high-school teachers promised I would be: no one.”

So, a tumblr-er named Jamie got a hold of me to do his album art. He basically wanted this drawing, but of him. I had time to do it, so I said sure—drew up a contract and sent it over.
He looked over it, signed, and sent back; no questions. Then, he paid me up front in full!
Jamie, I hope your album wins a Grammy because you were seriously like the best client ever. Illustrators around the world thank you. 
Edit- While it shouldn’t matter, Jamie is Canadian. I guess the stereotypes about nice Canadians are true?
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So, a tumblr-er named Jamie got a hold of me to do his album art. He basically wanted this drawing, but of him. I had time to do it, so I said sure—drew up a contract and sent it over.

He looked over it, signed, and sent back; no questions. Then, he paid me up front in full!

Jamie, I hope your album wins a Grammy because you were seriously like the best client ever. Illustrators around the world thank you. 

Edit- While it shouldn’t matter, Jamie is Canadian. I guess the stereotypes about nice Canadians are true?

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