A new zine in the works, with more color!

After the daily drawing marathon of the 100 day project a few months ago I felt like putting more effort into individual images. So this month I started working in earnest on a new zine. I had some ideas that I wanted to execute but the reality is that most things just take shape as you make them. 

Sometimes I choose some simple guidelines or principles when starting a project, a sort of mini mission statement. The ones I came up with for this particular zine where the following:

  • Be more playful
  • Be surreal
  • Use words
  • Use more color

I admire the work of artists that looks playful, but it's also a way to remind myself to let go of perfectionism. Telling myself to be surreal is about embracing weird things, weird subjects and weird compositions. Using words stands in contrast to the last zine I made which was a wordless story. And use more color is perhaps also a reaction to that last zine, which was entirely black and white. 

Since I've been doing a lot of drawing with heavy outlines I had to spend some time experimenting with ways to add more color to these images. Initially things were looking a lot like a coloring book, which is not a bad look but I wanted something different. I found that if mixed monochromatic images with colorful images I could tell myself a story that would also inform the drawings.  Something about monochromatic beings in search of color, perhaps in search of themselves. This character is an example of that:

The one on the left has no outlines, and the one on the right has outlines and  the kind of shading I tend to do with ink drawings. 

The image at the top of the post is also and example of that idea, a colorful alien plant coming out of a monochromatic pot. And with the one below I was thinking about a colorful vortex emerging from the contact between two beings:

You have probably noticed I enjoy drawing patterns, like the tile floor on the above image. or the triangles on the center of this cloud and the shady side of the mountain:

I'm a big fan of decorative patterns but most of the time I prefer drawing them by hand to give them more personality, to give them warmth and an uneven charm. But I think I'll be breaking that rule with this series. I designed a nice repeat pattern for the background of the plant using digital means and I think it works well. Here is a side by side comparison:

It's a bit funny to admit I struggle with incorporating digital means to create images when all of these were created using a computer (specifically the app Procreate on an iPad). But this is a big theme for me: I enjoy using computers for making things but I want to resist their aesthetic impositions. Every tool imposes constraints and affects the outcome, a pencil is different from a brush, they are two different ways of thinking and executing images and making marks. And in the same way digital tools are both a way of thinking and doing that influences the outcome, vector images can look square and lifeless, too perfect, but they have practical advantages and even their own charm. 

I'm not a fundamentalist of course, but I feel very aware of this kind of code switching, as I'm both a lover of color and black and white, a lover of real paint and simulated screen paint. 

The plan now is to work on this zine for one or two more months and then have it printed. I feel like I'm pushing some of my own boundaries and creating some satisfying images. I'll be posting some shorter more frequent updates as I finish more pages. 

As always thank you so much for your support, without it this kind of slower, deeper work would be much harder, plus it's nice to know I can finance the printing using your generous contributions.  I'll leave you with one last finished page:

Thank you and stay safe out there!


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