Well, here we are, week three of MATS! Actually, I'm almost through with week four at this point and can't believe it's almost over- it went by sooooo fast! Still wanted to pop in and give the recap of week three though.
Week three was all about children's book illustration and it was certainly the week I was the most apprehensive about going in. Drawing characters, what?! Never really even tried that before. Our first assignment for the week was to draw birds, and I was actually realizing as I was drawing that I used to draw like this all the time as a child. Little characters. Heads making faces at each other. Breaking the rules about what a wing and feathers really look like and instead letting my imagination flow. It got me to thinking- when do we lose this ability to dream with our art and our creativity? At what point do we stop coloring outside the lines, and instead start focusing on "perfection?" Don't get me wrong, I marvel at people who can create beautiful, lifelike renderings out of pencil, chalk, and paint. It is not a talent I have chosen to cultivate (or probably even posess.) Lilla's exuberance for art helps her students recognize there is room for all different types of art and artists. And the more the better! Just keep creating and letting your joy shine through and you will connect with people. She said something that struck a nerve with me this week: "Art is a conversation you are having with yourself." How wonderful. And perfect. It is a conversation. A push and pull. Sometimes I talk to the work, sometimes the work talks to me. And when something is good I know it. I FEEL it. This course is helping me to discover that conversation. To celebrate it, and to trust it. If you're not enjoying the conversation, how can you expect anybody else to?
Well, after having a couple of these "aha" moments, I was ready for the main assignment. We would be illustrating the cover or a spread from the Russian folk tale "the Language of the Birds." I was tentitive about the children's book week, and in the end, the idea for the cover literally lept right out of me! How fun! I actually really, really, really want to illustrate a children's book now. Who knew?
A valuable lesson for the week- Don't be afraid of what you don't know, because it may turn out that you knew how to do it all along. You just hadn't tried yet. Yes, print and pattern will always have my heart, but turns out there's room in there for more than one suitor.