Livestream #1- Drawing from Kaua'i- Day 1-2

UPDATE- Livestream is done! Here is the video:  https://www.facebook.com/JuliaYillustrations/live/  

AND I've included the finished drawing in this post.

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This post is a companion to the livestream that happened today at 4pm PST. It includes some  backstory on my process for the travel drawings & the experiences behind them to give some context for the drawing I created. 

Why travel drawings? 

I started the travel drawing series after my trip to Europe in September 2019. I was flying home with an untouched sketchbook that I had intended to do field drawings in. Drawing landscapes during a journey is one of those notions that seems very appealing in theory, but had not been working for me in practice due to my ambitious pace of exploring while on vacation. Instead of giving up on my plan, I started drawing from my photos on the plane ride home as a way to document & solidify my memories and experiences. 

My first series included fourteen drawings, one from each day that I experienced in Iceland and England. All of these posts can be found HERE on Patreon. Each drawing accompanied a travel blog/ journal post and photos that I had taken. 

Why MORE travel drawings? 

I recently took a trip to Kaua'i, Hawai'i, on March 5-9, 2020. Immediately upon returning home, the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic became apparent, and ensuing business closures, social isolation, panic-buying, and my own job loss brought significant changes to my life. I've been sustaining myself on my recent memories of being warm, feeling the sunshine, and exploring a beautiful island without feeling the weight of current events. 

Why a livestream? 

I know *I* need a little escapism, and think maybe you do too. Social isolation, depression, and anxiety and running rampant. My tactics for staying sane consist of creative projects, maintaining interpersonal connections, and trying to bring a little bit of joy, hope, entertainment, or amusement to others wherever I can. I'm going to be here drawing anyways because it brings me some calm in this turbulence. Maybe it will do the same for others, so I'm sharing the experience with you. 

----------------------- Travel Journal- Kaua'i Day 1 ---------------------------

I was uncertain if we'd even be able to get on the plane. 

COVID-19 was still a small, centralized outbreak in the US, occurring near my home of Seattle. There was some uncertainty as to where the real concern ended and media sensationalism took over. I had been watching the CDC guidelines every day, and they still recommended people go about their lives as usual and continue to travel, with exceptions to Italy and China.  My partner Chris and I had booked this trip weeks earlier to celebrate our seven year anniversary after what has been a personally challenging winter. I had been hearing tales of empty "ghost flights" caused by people's fear of traveling. Our airline tickets & hotel reservations were not offering refunds... So we went to the airport to get on the plane. 

Arriving at the airport was actually comforting. It was busy. Life was continuing. We got on a full flight to Lihue airport in Kaua'i. I always assume that airplanes are flying tubes full of other people's germs and continued to act accordingly, only I didn't seem excessive anymore. Once we got to Kaua'i, my pandemic anxieties muted. The virus was still an abstract concept here, far removed. We drove past masses of wild chickens and tropical trees to get to our hotel in Wailua. After some mai-tais and a walk on the beach past some historical heiaus (Hawai'ian temples & sacred sites) I was beginning to feel like everything might be ok. 

 ----------------------- Kaua'i Day 2 --------------------------- 

We spent the day in the town of Kapa'a and took a bike ride along the Ke Ala Hele Makalae path (which translates to "the path that goes along the coast). We rode for 8 miles, taking in a series of vistas of beautiful beaches. 

The drawing I'll be creating in today's livestream is based off photos I took on that bike ride. Once that drawing is complete, I will include the final image & link to the livestream video in this post. This is the shot I'm using for my main photo reference:


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