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Platypus in outer-space vs. making art

creature for january 27, 2011
daily doodle

Platypus are real animals. But they look made up. I bet the first person to see one of them was dumbstruck. They are very odd looking little creatures. Fuzzy-tailed and finned with a bird like bill. I had a request for a platypus creature today. This gal is on an adventure in outer-space. I wonder where she’s off to on her rocket.

I often feel like this when I begin a new book project. The blank white space of paper is as overwhelming to contemplate as the great vastness of outer-space. I may have a plan and theory in my head, but like space travel, I’m not quite sure what I’ll find when I arrive at my planned destination. I read somewhere that writing is 10% typing madly away and 90% staring off into space. I think illustrating is the same way, except the writing 10% part is the sketch/paint/ink portion of the affair.

I used to think the staring off into space part was something I indulged in and a time waster. Since connecting with other artists on Twitter (@WendyMartinArt) I have discovered this activity is not unique to me. In fact, having found this out, and given myself permission to stare off into space when working has actually encouraged me to be more productive.

Now if I can only find community where the artists are afraid of ruining and marking that pristine piece of white paper.

I’d be interested in hearing what other working illustrators have to share on this. What gets you moving forward with a new project besides that looming deadline?

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