Working from home can be a little isolating. Through online classes through Academy of Art University I’ve learned a ton about animation and illustration, but the often lackluster community aspect of sparse discussion boards and “good job!” critiques can leave me a feeling a little empty.
I’ve been trying to brainstorm ways to get myself out there with other real people doing the same kind of work, even though my time is pretty limited these days between finishing up my Master’s thesis, working on freelance illustration and taking care of my two lovely, ridiculous, time-consuming children. Through the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, I’m working with a few other illustrators to start up a local critique group (in person!) and I’ve attended another writer’s critique group to test the waters.
But over the summer, while on a long road trip with the family, I stumbled upon a super way of combining two of my favorite things – drawing silly stuff and playing with Miriam, who’s now 5. We made pages and pages of collaborative drawings (don’t worry, I wasn’t driving) – here are some of my favorites:
In this one, I drew a creature and asked “What is it looking up at?” Apparently a pink tree and a spider sun… and now she has a fancy hat and necklace.
Miriam’s additions: balloons in hand, green rapunzel hair, a skirt, shoes and teeth.
Sometimes she’d come up with an idea that I’d illustrate, then she’d customize the drawing with color and her own drawing additions. Other times I started with some simple shapes and then she’d add a bit, and we’d go back and forth until the drawing was just perfect.
Nick and I also collaborated on a fun project back in August – I’ll be posting more on that soon!