Living in Canada is sometimes a challenge to the testament of one’s emotions and only those who have lived here can truly know what I mean. It is with this idea that my recent personal project is a foray into the sentiments of being Canadian in February.
Although I have been kept busy this New Year with freelance projects, I felt it imperative to expand my illustration “bubble” and push myself to be more creative, with a side personal project. Sometimes the hardest decision we make as an Illustrator is “what to draw?” Inspiration can seem challenging and it is that which propelled my latest idea.
You see, being Canadian in February is challenging to the soul. Short days, cold weather, bleak skies, snow on the ground and if it has melted, brown ground below… It is hard to keep oneself motivated in times like these. And thus, I felt compelled to examine my emotions and day-to-day feelings for the month of February 2009. It actually seemed perfect… February had exactly 4 weeks or 28 days. I wanted to do something creative for every single day of the month that would reflect on how my day went or how I was feeling that day.
I decided upon a quick, conceptual painting which would be depicted through the use of colours, strokes, detail (or lack of), etc. to represent the emotion felt that day. I spent approximately 15 minutes each day, although depending on the mood, less or more time on others. I challenged myself to stay away from forming anything concrete such as a recognizable object or image. The following are thumbnails of all 28 days in the study:
All 28 days of abstract, conceptual paintings were then composed in a layered image to represent the four weeks of the month.
A reflection of Week Two’s composite: I must have been more restless or stressed this week – the overall concentration of this abstract representation is a hurried, busy effect compared to Week One’s composite which has more details that are recognizable.
Some might ask, what was the point of this? In a way, it was a challenge to think on another level creatively than I usually do each day. But quite simply, it challenged myself to reflect individually on each day as it unfolded. And in turn, I have grown creatively as a technical illustrator.
“I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection.” -Leonardo da Vinci