Julie Smits

Illustrator

2144

31

Heavy Fiended Skulduggery

Fall Update:

Hi, everyone. I've received some really nice feedback for this project, so thank you to anyone that liked or commented on it. I thought I'd show you where I've been taking some of my recent typography.

I've also been getting more and more into illustration, by taking part in #inktober for most of the month. If you're messing about with ink each day you're bound to get better.

If you'd like to see more of my illustrations, you can find them on my website or on behance.

Also if anyone is interested in learning some of the techniques I used in making the illustrations (digital collage), let me know and I'll work on a tuturial over on my blog.

...

Beginning of project:

For weeks now, I've been trying to come up with a good design for my website. I'm a writer, and I want something that screams me, but isn't too overpowering (people still have to be able to read the words I spin). So on I went, trying design after design, kept turning and twirling, maybe this, no, maybe that, and on and on... Some fun little things came out of it, but nothing that truly made me ecstatic and the lot of it didn't want to work together as a cohesive style

And then this skillshare class popped into my mailbox, and boom, it hit me. What the bleeding fuck am I doing using the computer all the time when the strongest of my stuff is hand drawn. You see, I have fonts etched into the muscles of my hands. Raw and dirty letters that are obstructed by the click-click-clicking of the pen tool in illustrator.

So out came all the good stuff. The cheap crayons I can't remember getting, the creasy crayons I've had for fifteen years, the lipsticks I no longer use. Brushes, soft-haired, coarse-haired, short, stubby, long, thin, smooth, the unwashed, the unkept. On to tape, rice paper, soft glue, bright colours, painters tape, with such strong glue, that it will leave its residue on the surfaces that it clings to for too long. And then on to my babies, the inks, the coloured ones, the ones that cry in water, the ones that don't, and finally on to my very favourite of all the 1l bottle of thick saturated gorgeous black ink. 

Several sheets and kinds of paper were marked, but finally my brushes settled on the box of cheap photo paper I still had burrowed in my drawers. Smooth and instantly soaking up the ink, a perfect companion to the coarse pig hair brushes I had chosen. My little environmental heart pitter-pattered at the thought of using so much photo paper, and the worse thought of having to buy more of it, but the photo paper is just the perfect one, so what's a girl to do.

The words I sponged and brushed out are the words I need for my site and for one of my first blogposts, which will be an early 70's hard rock mix by the name of Heavy Fiends, and I have to say, things are coming together quite nicely.

After all that it was back to the computer, to mix and match.

Keep you guys updated on what this fun little thing rolls into.

...

Small Update: I still need to finish the lower half of this poster, but I thought I'd share the in process work.

Another Update:

This has been so much fun reconnecting with the 'spatter ink, slap paint, draw marks' side of me. So here's some of the other stuff I've been doing.

Bunnies was drawn with a syringe filled with red ink. Love the result, doesn't fit the story this title belongs to, so I still have to find something else, but a new technique none the less.

This burly 'B' was a red pastel, baking soda, vinegar, and red ink experiment (done on a thick sheet of mica, at least that's what we call in Dutch, basically a sheet of transparent plastic). Extremely unpredictable, so I'm looking forward to doing more with it.

This one was done by adding thin lines and few blobs of red paint, then pressing a sheet of mica on it, and pressing the leftover paint as a stencil below. Some really interesting textures came out of it.

I already knew that a slightly thicker saturated black ink was my go to gal, but I'm discovering that red is a colour that seems to bring the best experiments out of me. Definetly feel fully expressed when using it.

Another Update:

I've experimented more with how far I can take the stencils I made, though I'm ready to make some new ones because I can't count how many times I've stenciled my own name by now.

Both of these were made by applying Gesso (primer) very thickly on my stencils, then I added a colour layer for contrast in photoshop because I used white primer on off-white paper.

Baking soda, vinegar and ink on light sensitive photo paper.

Baking soda, red ink, and vinegar in action.

A spray bottle filled with diluted blue ink spitzed over my stencil on photo paper, finished off with a drop or two of blue ink on each letter.

Same process as the last one, just more undiluted ink and applied to an old photo that I gave an ink treatment earlier. I'm close to finishing my photo paper, so I started digging through my old photos and polaroids to use them instead. Waste not, want not.

Another Update:

I made a gif of my lino cut and the printing process, because all the cool kids were doing it. I made the lino to add something extra to the typography I'm doing.

After trying a bunch of techniques this week, I decided to turn to pen and ink. It's an old friend and one where I know the kind of results I'm getting, but this class made it clear that I can use it to make posters and build my brand.

Smallish Update:

I posted a tutorial in the discussion section, on how to cleanly cut out your marks in Photoshop, so you can transfer them to anything and how to add texture/photos/... and still keep the background invisible.

Thread

To get results like these:

FINAL UPDATE:

I'm really happy with the responses I got from you lot over my work. This class helped so much in getting back to my experimenting roots. I thoroughly enjoyed it. What I needed was a distinctive style to put apart my site and the content on it. These are some of the results:

Here's the poster I set out to make at the beginning of this class.

And here are some of the elements of my site in action.

To end with here's a photo of the wall I defaced inside our house. For my first time working with graffiti, I really liked it.

If you want you can check out my site here:

www.juliesmits.com

That's all, keep on experimenting.

Love, Julie

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