Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Brontë's Heights

Those who know me at all know that reading is my passion. I was one of those kids who always carried a book around with me wherever I went... I may have only kind of grown out of that. 
But it is through reading that I found I loved to draw, if that makes sense. Reading is what made me want to be an illustrator.
I recently finished Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë.
I know, it's taken me a really long time to get to this one. I know most people probably read it in High school. But I've always been a little worried about reading it because it seemed like most people I knew don't like it. I found out those fears are unfounded. 

Don't hate me because I loved this book. Despite the evil nature of most of the characters, despite the gloomy setting, despite the difficult Yorkshire some of the dialogue is written in, despite everything awful about the story, I thought it was brilliant. Who would have thought such a time-resistant story could have come from such awful? But it has withstood the test of time and is still a classic today. And I now understand why. 
Because it is beautifully, hauntingly written.
I think I liked it most because despite how much Heathcliff tried to destroy all the happiness of anyone related to those who ever scorned him, they still triumphed, love overcame hate, light over darkness, and justice was served to the one who really deserved it, through his torment by the ghost of the one he thought he loved. I disagree with those that say that Heathcliff and Catherine's love for each other redeemed them. If they truly loved anyone there would have been a lot less sorrow. the love that redeems them is the love that Nelly has for them. She raised them, they are detestable, but she forgives them, and it is through her biased narration that we are able to tolerate their behavior to stay with the story and hope for a better ending. This is mistaken as a love story. It is not a love story, at least not of romantic love. But it is a story of goodness and evil. There is so much more to this book than just the story. The question now that we should be asking ourselves is, who would I have been in this story? Which of these characters would I react like? When I am scorned? When I am pampered? When I am rejected? Just some food for thought. I am done with the literary rant.

Anyways, I couldn't get the image of the specter Cathy haunting Heathcliff's footsteps, and so I decided to try my hand at book cover designing. And since I've been using Adobe Illustrator a lot at work, I wanted to try that out as well. I hope you like it! 

Also, if you want to know more of my favorite books, check out my Goodreads bookshelves. If you're into that sort of stuff.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Inktober 2016

This year, I have successfully completed #inktober by doing an ink drawing every single day, for 31 days.
You guys don't understand how big of an achievement that is for me. When I first started school as an art student I barely could get myself to draw in my sketchbook once a month, much less every day. These past five years have been more of a lesson in discipline than anything else. I learned that I could keep feeling guilty that I wasn't doing what I knew I should be, or I could buckle down and actually do it. I realized it was a lot less painless to just draw, and I actually realized that keeping a sketchbook on me almost all the time is the best way to capture the ideas I was missing before. And I have grown to love my sketchbooks, they are all very precious to me.
You know that question of what would you grab if your house was burning and you could only grab one thing? Without hesitation it would be my sketchbooks.
The drawings in them are sometimes ok, but mostly bad. But that doesn't matter, because they are a record of my life, I can look in my sketchbooks and remember moments. Where I was, if I was eating, who I was with, how I felt. It's all recorded in those falling a part bundles of paper.
But I digress. This year's Inktober is a witness to how far I have come, from never thinking of drawing to being infinitely excited to get started.
So I have decided to share these drawings with you. They are all not great, some are better than others, but I still have far to go. But they represent an landmark in my life. So they are important.

The Theme: So for my prompt each day, I decided to focus on human faces. I did it less because I wanted to get better at drawing them, and more because I wanted to get over drawing them. Let me explain - I draw faces too much. I reasoned that if I drew them everyday for a month, not only would I get better, but I would also get tired of drawing only faces. I feel that drawing just human faces all the time, I have become frozen in my ability to draw pretty much everything else. I know this about myself: that when I repeatedly do the same thing too much, I get tired of it and lose interest. My life needs so much balance in all things to stay engaged. So I felt that by drawing faces everyday, I would lose the overwhelming desire to just draw faces and move on to improving in other areas.
And at the conclusion, I can honestly say that when I think of what to draw, my mind does not automatically shift to a face. So I guess my method worked.
So peruse them at your leisure. Inspiration came from all sorts of places - books I read, images from Pinterest, movies I like, master artists I admire, people around me, even my dreams. Which is your favorite?
P.S. sorry about not being able to look at them much larger - I hate formatting on here. It was driving me insane and so I gave up and used Photoshop. But you can definitely see larger images on my Instagram - @ambermstotts
They are all on there, just backwards in order.
Happy November! On to a new month with new art!