Clarifying and taming the ‘idea debt’

Poychiffon scarves by Luisa Nino

The month of April was supposedly going to be calm. After I finished working on a big website, I was a bit worried about whether a new project would be coming soon. Eventually, yes, quite a bit of work came knocking, although not exactly web development but more web maintenance and rescue. WordPress is a tricky thing. There are so many misconceptions. Mostly spring from the idea that it’s “free software”. But when someone is not sufficiently well-versed in how it works, a beautiful and featured-packed site can become a nightmare. So yes, I have spent more time “under the WordPress” hood than actually building new sites. It’s OK. May is looking promising so I have openings starting in June.

In the meantime, I made samples swatches of my paintings and illustrations.  I put these up for sale in my Art of Where shop, however, I really wanted to see them in reality. When you do business with Print-on-Demand companies, it’s a good idea to order samples for yourself. I’m pretty happy with the result. There are different types of silk.

As for the images, one was ink, the other was watercolor (painted on paper and processed in Photoshop) and the third was made on the iPad entirely (my Facebook banner).

Fabric Samples

I continue to be all over the place with my art and I’ve convinced myself that it’s OK. Lately though, I’ve been feeling a lot more comfortable with just a brush and ink. You can do wonders. Watercolor continues to obsess me but my problem is my impatience. I’ve ruined too many pieces because I don’t wait for the first layer to be dry enough (still working on that though).

I feel better when I can churn out a lot of drawings in one sitting.  I might be turning away from commercial artistic design, but I’m enjoying this new process a lot.

These are two recent pieces:

Sumi-ink with brushpen and processed in Photoshop
This is digital art 100% using brushes, textures and type

Lastly, it seems that everyone is in the throes of the 100 day project. Having attempted it once, I realized that it’s not for me. However I’ve started my own little challenge, but instead of days, it’s pages, and I’ve been painting portraits without preliminary sketching with gouache. The goal is to learn color mixing and creating harmonies without relying on photoshop’s color picker. I’m using this book.

And this is what some of my latest drawings/paintings in my challenge (some of my ladies look wobbly but it’s just a strange charm).

Everything is experimentation. Especially when you’re an independent visual arts learner.

*Idea debt is a term coined by Jessica Abel about having too many ideas and not knowing how to choose one.

By Luisa Fernanda

Artist, Illustrator, Cruelty-Free Advocate. Notion Geek.