I was really excited to work with Mike Phirman and illustrate the cover for his latest album, ACTIVITY BOOKS. Mike is an ideal client, he’s funny, nice, communicative and a joy to work with. This was such a fun project, and Mike’s songs are really great! He has some really great videos by different artists and you can listen to his songs on all the main streaming services. Here’s a link to his instagram that has all the information you’ll need!
Visual Description of the Album Cover:
In the top middle of a square image, the words, “Mike Phirman’s Activity Books” appears in bright colors. Bottom right from the title is a circle with song titles listed: “Connect the Dots”, “What’s Wrong With this Picture?”, “Maze”, “Color by Number”, and “Word Search”. Musical notes and school supplies are scattered throughout the image. On the bottom left of the cover is a color by number boxer figure, being scribbled in with a red crayon. Directly above him is a rocket and some crayons. Middle left is a connect the dots image of a dog in a carry on bag. In the top left corner is a snake in a pan of bacon cooking. From the snake in the pan towards the right is a pencil drawing waves, pointing to the top right image, which is a vacuum cleaner filled with colorful objects.
I drew a lot of stick figures this week. I like drawing little stick people, and sometimes I feel like I capture more of how I feel in a stick person than I do when I draw myself. There’s something really freeing in just breaking it down to the simplest parts of drawing a person. I focus less on getting the details right and more on poses and expression. It’s not necessarily faster as a process, but it’s really enjoyable for me as an artist.
I tired a lot. And I read other people’s posts on different social media sites and realized we’re all really tired. Some people were kind enough to share their specific tiredness so I could draw it out with my stick people. Oddly enough, drawing what is exhausting was very energizing for me. But I sensed people were tired of talking about what made them tired, so next week I’ll focus on something else. 😀
Sometimes I look at the blank paper or screen and it feels like a giant wall of blank paper rises up in my mind, shutting me off from creative ideas. especially in these Pandemic Times where so much is happening, and so many people are struggling, it’s hard to sit at home and create something.
I often draw shapes or blobs to get past this. Sometimes I don’t get past it, and I just have a collection of shapes with faces. It’s okay when that happens. I like my blobs, and it feels good to share some of my favorites from this year with you today
Focusing is difficult these days. I find myself spending a lot of time making these sort of lone characters having quiet moments in broader brushstrokes. Its become my meditation practice and keeps me from overthinking everything. Or maybe it gives me space to think. I dunno, I may need to think about that.
This is based on an old cat named Willow. She was a pretty great cat, and kept our house free of mice and moles. When my nephew was born, we discovered she didn’t like children. So she ended up on a farm with a nice couple that didn’t have kids, and lots of mice. In a way, I’m glad she left us, because I never had to see her grow old and die. Even though she probably passed years ago, she’s still on a farm somewhere in my mind.
Drawing has become more of a relaxation tool for me these days. I’m having fun with it, and its been a bit of a journey for me in trying out some new things, loosening my grip, and still seeing myself in the work. I find myself looking at some of my old art and thinking “but do I want to do that 500 times?” And that question helps me simplify the process quite a bit. it also helps me be more mindful and intentional in my mark-making.