Editorial Illustration - Process

Here's a sneak peak into the process I went through last week when developing an illustration for an upcoming publication. I get asked over and over how I make my illustrations. It really depends on what the feel I'm looking for with the work and how the illustration will be utilized - but the method I will explain to you is what I am most commonly doing lately.

This is the info I was given from the client and the article: "The company we're featuring, Darkhorse Analytics, works in data analytics and visualization. Their biggest challenge, that we're highlighting in the article, was around log flow (how a tree becomes lumber and all of the logistics of that process from sapling to delivery."

We brainstormed at the studio and Rachel thought of a great idea: blending the horse into the negative space of trees, looking upward. I used a photo from my recent trip to Kananaskis as reference (the picture was from laying on my yoga mat at the campsite) and developed the sketch concept. Usually I do a few concepts, but the turn around was just a couple days, so I worked with only one idea, which they thankfully liked. 

Once the sketch was approved, I created the ink drawing on high quality paper (and hung on the clothes line, hee hee), scanned it in and did the colouring in photoshop. I have been using the Kyle Webster digital brushes lately and love love them.

All in all, the entire process took about 4.5 - 5 hrs. When the art is finished, it is sent off to the client/designer for layout. I do find its weird sometimes handing illustration work off to another designer. This is because I am a designer... but in cases like this I was not hired for that roll. Its a great lesson in being less of a control freak :)

Final art:

Reference photo:

Sketch concept:

Finished ink drawing:

Selfcare Exhibition

Hi all! Check out some photos of my paintings that are currently exhibiting at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital from August 15 - October 15, 2015. This exhibition titled ‘Selfcare’ explores concepts around what intentional actions we take to care for our physical, mental and emotional health. Proper self care can be difficult when we are faced with a busy lifestyle or crisis... but it is so essential for good health and healing.

The idea of self care was brought to my attention about five years ago, when I met Deepika Mittra. I was going through a painful divorce at the time and really treating my body and mind like garbage. Since this time I have been (trying!) to bring good self care habits into my life. This is what inspired the the exhibition. I hope the staff and patients at the Glenrose (and you) will enjoy it! Learn more about self care at openingspaces.ca.

The paintings are for sale. If you are interested in seeing a price list please email me at amanda@curiostudio.ca to inquire. You can  purchase them directly through the Glenrose 'cornerstore' directly (just go in the main entrance and ask for directions). 20% of all sales donated to Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital Arts in Rehab Council.

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Walk in the Woods
If you feel the weight of stress heavy on your shoulders, practice self care and take a simple walk in nature. Connecting with a natural space outside of the man-made world helps us appreciate what is all around us (trees, plants, animals, water, life...). Almost always you will come back clearer and calmer.

Release
When I do child’s pose in yoga class they tell me to let the forehead touch the floor and release everything into the ground. When you let go of everything both physically and mentally in that moment, it can feel very wonderful. Yoga or any kind of physical exercise is great for self care.

Meditation Waves
Even though it seems so hard to settle the mind in a busy world, meditation is a great way to take care of yourself. Just imagine waves washing over your body, feeling all the concerns of life wash away as you give yourself time to
just to be present in the moment. 

Kitchen Dancing
Have you every had those moments when a song comes on and you dance like crazy in the kitchen? Or, you’re with your spouse or child and you laugh and enjoy dancing around the house? Dancing is a very simple act of self care that releases endorphins and makes us smile about life.

Take it In
Sometimes when I am rushing through my meetings and busy day I forget to take it all in and enjoy the ride. Smell the garden hear the song, taste the flavours, feel the soft blanket. Self care can be about simply savoring or enjoying what you have right in front of you. When was the last time you layed in the grass and let the sun soak in?

Do what you want
When I imagine myself at an old lady, I hope I will continue to practicing good habits of self care and generally having a positive attitude about life. I think taking care of your body and spirit as you age is very important. I go biking now and I want to be going biking when I am 80 years old.

Being Helpful
“If I take proper care of myself, I will have stronger ability and capacity to take care of others”. In yoga they ask you to set an intention for the practice before you begin: Why are you here. This quote often runs through my mind. I want to be there for my friends and family. If I practice self care, I know I will be a stronger person for them.

Eat your Fruits
Eating healthy meals on a regular basis is another profound act of self care. Nutrition is linked to emotional and physical health, equally important is eating is a main pleasure of life. Fresh fruit from the market, a flavourful homemade soup or a nice piece of chocolate...these are like heaven to taste.

Hydration
The simplest self care choice you can make for your body is to drink enough water throughout the day. Hydration will help you be in a good mood, have energy and brain function. If you feel like other lifestyle choices are too hard or overwhelming to tackle, just try drinking water.



Rutherford House Sketches

I have been doing lots of conceptual work on a children's book for Rutherford House. Here are some sneak peaks for you of the sketch process!

I'll share more as the final art starts up... I'm planning to try a new technique where I ink most of the artwork but also have some large blocks of colour for contrast. I've decided to do this to try and challenge myself to have more visual contrast in the illustration and not outline every single detail. 

The illustrator/artist that inspired to start thinking about being thoughtful around creating visual contrast between line work and bold chunks of colour is Hadley Hooper. She creates amazing works and I recently read a book called The Iridescence of Birds: A Book About Henri Matisse. I don't work in the same media as she but I really respect her work and how her compositions are arranged. You can see a few samples below. 

Wish me luck! If all goes according to plan, the book will be going to print this coming November.

Nature ink drawings

I love to do nature drawings in the summer. This summer, I am trying a personal challenge where I do a couple of ink drawings a week based on plants I find on runs/walks in the river valley, or plants that are growing in the garden :) This will hopefully keep me practising with ink and brush work. I took a Yuko skillshare course (amazing) in May and realizing I have soon much to learn about how to capture certain types of surface textures with india ink.

Here are the first three! I document lots of my drawing progress at @amandaschutzie.

Morel: Found this exact mushroom on a mushroom walk at Elk Island National Park.

Lilac: Honestly the best smell imaginable outside in late spring. I have very old lilac trees in the back yard and love to snip these and put them inside the house. Its always a little sad when they are finished for the season.

String of Pearl: One of my absolute favourite succulents. I found a larger pot of these at the greenhouse this spring so I have it hanging in my kitchen.

Ms. Arden Project

I was hired to illustrate and provide design consultation on the overall creative look for the 2015-16 Arden Theatre Season. Here is my main illustration (I call her Ms. Arden), spot illustrations and some other sketch concepts I presented to the client. Ok, some of these sketches I did not present to the client. Buuuut, I would like to draw a beet with a face for something else :)

As far as design consult, I provided recommendations for typography, initial layouts for covers and program guide, colour palette etc. Now, the awesome designers in-house at City of St. Albert will roll with it, and I am sure they will do an amazing job!

Execution of final Ms. Arden Illustration: India ink with digital colouring in photoshop.

Rutherford Character Sketches

I am in the beginning stages of developing character sketches for a new children's book project I am working on for the Rutherford House. This is a dream project and I'm having fun working with a writer and the client, making decisions around what type of people or animals will tell the story of how the city in which I live (Edmonton, Alberta) began and grew into what it is today.

I'll share more as things develop :) The project will (theoretically) be completed in early 2016 :)

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Line quality & texture

Happy Easter! Listened/watched Yuko's skillshare on the weekend and played around with line quality. Thinking more and more about what kind of thought or care I can put into the line to communicate soft vs. hard, fuzzy vs. smooth, etc. I could spend hours drawing these organic shapes :) She asked in the skillshare workshop to pick an illustration with six different textures to experiment with, so I will try this next :)

Selfcare show at Glenrose Hospital

I am creating a series of new paintings for an upcoming exhibition at Glenrose Hospital themed around selfcare, which will be exhibited in August 2015. In the planning stages, sketching out ideas and figuring out ways to collaborate with other selfcare advocates to make the project even more meaningful (more on that later).

When I hear the word selfcare, I think about what I need to do to take care of my well being. I am responsible for taking care of myself and make it a priority so I'll have the confidence, energy and willingness to perform well at work, be a good partner, family member and friend to the people I care about.

For me, selfcare means that I am rested, eating well, getting proper exercise, time for creativity, time for relationships and time to be alone, hopefully creating a balanced and fulfilling life.

Basically, selfcare can mean a million different things to people. What does it mean to you? I'm open to all ideas and feedback on this topic, as I would love to incorporate many different themes into the paintings :)

Biodiversity Illustrations (ABMI)

I finished mega project for ABMI (Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute) in December of 2014. Here are some of my pencil drawings and a few of the finals from the project! I'll show more once they are officially online for the public. 

Working realistically is not usually my playground, so this was a great challenge to take on. We went through many rounds of sketches to makes sure all the species represented in each zone were accurately placed.

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