Digital media, 7” x 9”
Excerpt from Beatrix Way's book Would an Octopus Wear Mittens or Boots?
Hello and a very fine day to you, reader! This body of work is heavily grounded in my life and imagination growing up. No matter how much of an oxymoron “grounded in imagination” might sound to you, I assure you it is. I work in a world that was made with my sister years ago. It has talking animals that are sometimes more human than the people themselves. This world, while remaining stead fast at its core, remains as fluid and malleable to change as the imagination beckons.
I work primarily with cartoons, which are simplified representations of sometimes-actual things (“sometimes actual things” are things like horses and unicorns). The animals are usually fluffy, furry, cute, and most of all: fat. Why most of all fat? I find fat animals cute. Why is that? I have no idea. I can venture a guess that it has to do with the squishiness of fat. The people are usually much more detailed. People wear clothes which gives them the detailed advantage. My critters are often nose-less. If you catch a nose-less person, you’ve caught a kerfuffle! I don’t mean to leave the noses out, it just happens.
Now, on to the process! Digital art programs have a magnifying tool. I often get lost in all the details of the clothes, buildings, flowers, hair, and everything else with it. It is like the closet that leads to Narnia… or platform 9 and ¾… or a Chimney for Santa Claus.
I use pale, bright colors because it gives the outlines the chance to go, “wham-bam!” “Wham-bam” lines appeal to me because it makes things look flat, like a cartoon. You don’t typically see crisp, fat, skinny, bold lines outlining real life so it gives each thing emphasis. Giving each element in a drawing an added emphasis of an outline not only sets and unifies things in the context of the drawing, but it keeps that closet door open and the chimney free of bird’s nests.
Well, Reader, I hope this helps you look at sheep, cats, people, and cartoons a little more the way I do. If nothing else, may this time be a pleasant break from the ridiculous hustle-bustle of life. But even as you take the time to relax, please also take a moment to take cartoons seriously. You’d be surprised at what you might find.
© Beatrix Way