You Win Some and You Lose Some
10 Years and It's all Good...
Last month I entered a cover contest for Uppercase Magazine. It was for their 10th-anniversary issue and the theme was "the tools we use". This was the first time they had a cover contest and there were over 300 submissions. I found out yesterday that I did not win, but it's all good. I was happy just to participate and I love the piece of artwork I created because of the opportunity. If you are a creative person and haven't heard of Uppercase, go pick yourself up a copy, you will love it, I promise. It is a wonderful inspirational quarterly designed and printed in Canada. It is, as it says on their cover, "for the creative and curious". Each quarter has a theme and is filled with artwork and stories from creatives from all over. Uppercase is also an independent magazine so there is no advertising, just lots of amazing print, craft and artwork. When the new issue arrives every three months, I can't wait to open the package. It's not just for the content, but I absolutely love the way the magazine smells. Paper and ink, print shop fresh, reminding of my graphic design days when I used to go on press runs for clients. Anyway, back to my submission. I wanted to show you the progression of the idea to the finished artwork. I knew immediately it would be a watercolor mandala in my doodle style. It started with a quick pen sketch. I then arranged "the tools I use" in a circle and created another sketch from that. Once I had a sketch I was happy with, I traced the image with an ink pen onto vellum paper and did a quick color wash. Then I did something I have never done before, instead of redrawing or tracing the image directly onto watercolor paper, I scanned the vellum into my computer and printed it out on watercolor paper made for an inkjet printer. It worked out nicely, but I think I prefer painting onto good quality watercolor paper instead of the inkjet version.
This is the mock-up that I sent along with the artwork submission to show them how it would look on their cover.
So even though I didn't win the cover contest, I won because I really enjoyed creating this piece. And coincidentally, 2018 is actually my 10th year in business, so it's my anniversary too. I think I will frame it and hang it in my studio.