You need to push yourself over the edge.
– By Jesper Ejsing
I never feel at ease with what I do. I think drawing and painting is damn hard and extremely difficult. I do not have a system or a basic training that I can lean on and that will help me along. Instead I have a blurred vision in my head of what the illustration should look like. My process is what I do to painfully squeeze that image out.
I try to keep myself on the path of improvement, even if that road is a bumpy one with tons of obstacles pitt-fals and enemies at every crossing. I stay on that path by setting goals for myself with every drawing I undertake. ”This one, Jesper, you have to do more dynamic than anything you have done before” or ”His face is gonna have to look 3D as if it was a hologram” or ” She should be so sexy, that people will blush just looking at the painting” or ”Pull yourself together, Jesper and do a detailed background for once, you lazy bastard”. If I didn´t yell at myself every single time, I am affraid I would loose my creativity.
What I do to avoid the great abyss called repetation or routine, is I force myself, with all the will I can muster, to do something new or something a bit more difficult everytime I start a new illustration. It is easy to just do the drawings the way I am used to. Solve the problems the same way as lasttime. I could easily do yet another fighter in cool outfit looking cool and powerfull at the wiever. But even if the art assignment is somthing like: ”A fighter looking angry and threatening at us”, I try to squeeze something else out of it. I just got assigned 6 covers in a row with figures basicly just standing there. What I did was consentrating on getting the poses interresting. I had the figures pose in a slightly different way than simply up and down. The head to the site, the hand twisted, the weight a little off. Most time I stand up and place myself the way the figure is standing, to try and get a feel for the pose. I got a mirror. I look silly. But I get a sense of it that is useful. Even if the giving motive is something I have done many times before, I can put at least 10% into it that is new to me. 10 % that I haven´t tried or dared try before. That is the only way to improve and keep improving.
It is also damn hard. It is the reason I am never at ease and always dread comming into the studio every morning getting that fresh eye at the painting I am doing. Because I am never totally in control or knows exactly where it is going.
“I remember with the Griffin, that I wanted to make a figure with a clearly readable silhouette to make for a better illustration in cardsize. It was a magic ard illustration for Shards of Alara.”
“With the female sorcerer I tried to concentrate on a really crazy outfit along with a powerful pose fitting an evil super-being”