I did hand-letter this one, though I did do it digitally using a Surface Pen on my new Surface Studio.
I love my Surface Book, which was a joy to use most of the time. However I was beginning to become a little frustrated with turning the screen around and losing the use of the keyboard and not being able to see the whole image I was working on at the actual size it would be printed.
So, as I officially take my teacher’s pension early today as I reach the illustrious age of 55, I decided to invest some of the lump sum in a shiny new Surface Studio for my business of art, illustration and writing.
The Surface Studio isn’t without it’s frustrations, not least of which were the hours and hours it took to download and install all the upgrades for Windows and the Surface system, and then installing the software I used (not done all of it quite yet).
I did get a Surface Dial with the Surface Studio, and it works interestingly with the free Autodesk Sketchbook, but it doesn’t work at all with the Autodesk Sketchbook Pro version, which is the one I prefer, perhaps because I’m familiar with it and find it easier to access the functions I make use of.
These are minor things, the Surface Studio is a joy to use (though I do need to remember to change the tip on the surface pen to one that glides more easily on the screen!)
So, it seemed appropriate that today, the day I turn 55 and become a semi-pensioner, that I hand letter the word Joy, in my own inimitable style.
I actually quite like the neon colours on the black background. I have a feeling I’ll be doing more like this now my mind has worked out that I can do stuff like this digitally.
Will I be turning my back on more traditional art? Not at all! If anything, I treat digital art as if it is traditional art – the pen means I draw like I would on paper. All it means is I have access to tools that make some styles a little easier, the ability to use colours and textures that would be difficult for me in traditional media possible, and the ability to edit without frustrating use of white inks a dream!
Don’t forget, I do tend to work directly in ink on paper, often with no pencil lines at all.
Joy is also an appropriate word as I share my artwork because I share my joy in creating it with others, and I trust that viewing it (and hopefully my witterings like this one) joy for you.
What doesn’t bring me joy is when I find my artwork is shared or used without my permission, particularly when people use it to make money for themselves without any regard for the creator of the work. I try to protect my work by watermarking it, signing it, sharing at a low resolution, but still I find people steal my work.
That is not joy. Not joyful at all.
It is stealing too. I don’t know where people get the idea that artwork shared by artists on the interwebs means the artists give up their copyrights.
We DO NOT give up our copyrights in any way.
I sometimes create ‘freebies’, but even then there are limits to how they can be used – personal use, not for resale either coloured or uncoloured, not for inclusion in publications, and so on.
People who steal work like this, and let me be clear it is stealing, make me feel very un-joyful and on the point of removing all my accounts where I share art so people can view it and enjoy it, sometimes even buy it, or prints of it or products with it on, but not to steal it and use it without my permission.
I’m sure those of you who read this will agree with me on this and don’t need to read it, but if my words reach just one person who takes the work of others for their own personal gain in someway, without asking permission of the artist, without even crediting them or providing a link back to where they got it from, stop to think about the harm and upset they are causing to those of us who want to share our joy in our vocation with others, then my words will have done some good. Pricked a conscience or two maybe.
Perhaps then the days of me getting upset and writing emails that go unanswered to websites where I find my artwork offered to others will stop, and there will be more joy.
I can hope this will happen.
Returning to the theme of joy rather than not-joy, I do hope you find my little artwork of today brings you some joy too. Do let me know if you’d like to see more like this, or if you have suggestions of words that you’d like to see in this kind of style!
Finally, do have a joyful day yourselves. Do something that brings you peace and joy, be it art, coloring, baking, reading, dancing, playing music, a sunset walk in nature … whatever it may be, do something joyful every day.