Since 2015 I've been busy illustrating for a big project called 8-bit Memoirs.
In a nutshell 8-bit Memoirs is an eBook/discmag containing stories (memoirs) written by my better half. These stories are about the computers and consoles he experienced back in the 8-bit era, which includes the Phillips G7000, the Amstrad CPC and the Amiga. The stories describes how he experienced (some of) the games on those systems and he also shows his own creations with BASIC coding on the Amstrad CPC as well as his musical tunes.
I have been helping him out with the illustration part, so the final product contains about 15 illustrations from situations he remembers that were never photographed. That has been a huge challenge for me since it has combined hard things I've avoided drawing, like people and perspective.
The stories are written from a young childs perspective, sometimes followed up by a comment from the now adult author.
While reading, you listen to a nice 5-hour long playlist of handpicked music that suits the stories well.
I think the whole project turned out pretty good so it's definetely worth a peek.
It's free for download, but the file size is big. You can also buy a Blu-ray disc version
Check it out here: www.8bitmemoirs.com
Ukko's Journey was originally a cellphone game. Created by LuBlu Entertainment (my boyfriend and I) back in 2009.
It's a fun and challenging game with 3 difficulty settings, redefinable keys, colorful graphics and catchy music!
Now a new concept has seen the light of day. One that makes it possible for you to play it on your Xbox One / PlayStation 3 / PlayStation 4 !
Head over to www.blu-play.com to read more about it and download the game. It's free!
Also check out this - It explains all you need to know about what Blu-Play is!
If you play it I'd love to hear what you think!
So you start drawing. Hmm.. that didn't turn out like you wanted so you erase it. You try again. What is that? What happened? It feels like you're drawing worse. Like you've forgotten how to draw things you used to do okay at. At some point you give up. Maybe you just had one of those days you say to yourself.
The next day you come back to try again. Same thing happens. It seems the more you try, the more you feel like you're failing. It gets harder and harder to come up with ideas. You lose interest and you find youself staring at that awful blank piece of nothing hoping that inspiration will reach down and pull you out of this dreaded art block.
Like you, I've been there many times, and over the years I've found a few things that worked getting me right back into the drawing mood and out of the art block.
1. Keep drawing
First thing to remember is, that no matter how much you think you suck right now, you have to keep going. Even if it feels harder than usually. Inspiration is all around you all the time.
Growing as an artist requires work and effort and there are no shortcuts. Keep going and you'll get the results you want.
2. Write down / sketch ideas in advance
Have you ever noticed how inspiration tends to strike when you're not in a place or situation where you can draw? Write them down as soon as you possibly can and store the idea in a folder.
Perhaps you need to make a quick sketch to quickly visualize your idea. This way you can build a selection of ideas and things you want to draw and get back to them later when you're ready to dedicate the time it deserves to draw or paint it.
I once worked as a nurse's aide. Every day started with a briefing at the office before beginning the day at the different clients. One early morning I was at such a briefing and I was still sleepy. Suddenly I got a glimpse of a finished painting in my head. I could see everything clearly. The colors, composition and the character in the scene; a gryphon who acted as a gatekeeper in front of a big mysterious door or gate out in the middle of nowhere. The colors were mainly blue and green and the scene was oozing with mystery.
I had no idea why and how I got this idea at this moment, but I knew I only had a few minutes before it was time to go. I dug into my bag and grabbed my calendar planner and quickly sketched the idea in a corner of a page.
Later that day I got home very eager to start that painting. Had I not sketched this one down or somehow memorized it I might just have forgotton all about it. This painting ended up being worked on for four months and I learned so much in that time.
3. Draw from life / study
Studies are a great way to keep drawing because you don't have to come up with anything.
You can probably name a few things you know you need to practise more on. Like hands for instance. So far you've managed to avoid it because your character always keeps his hands in his pockets anyway so there's no need for you to learn this right now.
Let me tell you straight how much I hated doing studies when I was younger; So much that I was avoiding it entirely! With a stupid and stubborn attitude about it too. I just wanted to draw my own imaginary things (and at the same time be unhappy with how off it looked in perspective/anatomy and so on).
When you draw from life, you look around and find an object/room/person to draw. Concentrate on how it actually looks instead of how you think it looks. Learn how to see with an open mind.
You can also use photos to study from although it will always be better to study from life. I used to think that studying from photos was cheating. But that is because my whole perception of drawing was skewed - I wanted to be able to draw everything from my mind no matter what the subject was without looking at anything - just from my mind alone.
With that attitude my progress was very slow!
4. Draw ugly on purpose
So everything you draw just comes out bad. You're trying to make a perfectly straight line but it's wobbly instead.
Or how about that nose on your character. It looks really wrong. In fact it looks so wrong that you're ready to trash the drawing right away! Well so be it! If you can't make something great then make it as terrible as you can. Your lines are wobbly? Okay then draw a room or a chair but you can't use staight lines. And that nose you tried so hard to make pretty - make it even uglier than before. (Although if it's the only part on an otherwise beautiful drawing you might want to draw ugly on a different paper).
You tried to give this character an interesting pose but couldn't? Make an even uglier pose or impossible pose.
Not only will you have fun with it - it will also make you relax because it takes the pressure off and that will motivate you to keep going.
5. What does it look like?
When I was a kid, my dad used to make three random lines on a piece of paper. Then my job was to figure out what they looked like and finish the drawing. It was a really efficient method of getting my imagination spinning! If you paint digitally you can try to make random blobs or shapes with one solid color. At some point you'll start to see figures or a character and then all you need to do is cast some light on it so it can appear.
This is a way of letting you come up with ideas but with that one rule that the idea has to come from the shape that random blob has.
6. Switch up your media
Sometimes a new tool or switching media can make you think differently and help you get new ideas. The best thing about art is how we can carry experience from one area with us into a new area.
Even if you have no experience with that new medium you'll not start from square one because you already know a thing or two.
Do you normally draw with pencils? How about trying coal or watercolor.
How about drawing on a different surface than paper? Draw on a wooden board, paint on a feather.
Have you tried painting digitally? Oilpainting? How about drawing with kids crayons?
7. Switch focus
Sometimes you struggle with that specific thing that just won't work or look good. When I decided I wanted to learn how to paint clouds I first tried to paint them looking realistic. I failed so hard. I made a blue sky with white clouds on them. That's what clouds look like, right? No. Take a look outside your window and tell me what you see. Clouds are very diverse both in shape and color. So is the sky. It's not the same shade of blue everywhere you look. And the colors change depending on what time of the day it is, and what type of cloud it is.
After failing to draw realistic looking clouds I changed things up. I decided to focus om the mood instead. I made clouds in funny colors and shaped like animals and knew that it was very far from how real clouds would look. But I had fun and it was relaxing. And that helped me continue to learn. My ambition was intact.
So you could focus on the mood like I did. You can also focus on one specific part at a time. Let's say you want to paint hands. Focus only on the lines and shape. Or zoom even more in and practise the thumb. You can also do the opposite and forget the lines and shapes and just see if you can eyeball the different colors as accurate as possible.
Focus on the details and the materials. Why does this look like a tree/rock/glass and so on. Replicate that. Try to really understand WHY and HOW.
If you work digitally, you can also try to work with odd canvas sizes. Or have areas on your canvas where you're not allowed to paint. Insted you'll have to work around the areas to make it work.
It can be hard to get ideas when you have endless posibilities of what you can draw. Give yourself one or multiple constraints. Have a friend come up with 5 random words and see that you can come up with. It doesn't matter that it doesn't end up fitting with the five random words but it sure got you inspired - didn't it? The more constraints you give yourself, the easier it becomes to get ideas. What if I told you to draw a tree but you could only use two colors and they must be contrasting, your canvas must be triangular and you had 10 minutes to do it. GO.
How long have you been on DeviantArt? - 3 years.
What does your username mean? - My usual name on the net is Blue, but that name is of course always taken. So I came up with Neela which means Blue in Hindi. This name was also taken here on DA, so I changed it to Neelai instead.
Describe yourself in three words. - Introvert, loyal, imaginative.
Are you left or right handed? - Right handed.
What was your first deviation? - An old digital painting of a bird-like creature. It's still in the gallery.
What is your favourite type of art to create? - Digital paintings of fantasy/nature environments or fantasy creatures.
If you could instantly master a different art style, what would it be? - 2D animation )
What was your first favourite? - It was Forest of Canor by Viccolatte
What type of art do you tend to favourite the most? - I fave a lot of different thngs. Some because they tell a story I can relate to. Others because they are visually interesting and resemble a style I would like to learn eventually.
Who is your all-time favourite deviant artist? - If I can only choose one, it would have to be Suzanne-Helmigh whom I just discovered recently. She's so inspiring on so many levels!
How has a fellow deviant impacted your life? - DamaiMikaz is great at coming up with challenges and I participated in one of those in april. (For the first time since joining DA). So she impacted me in that way that I pushed myself to paint a lot more than I've done in years.
What are your preferred tools to create art? - I got introduced to Photoshop when I was 17 and I've stuck with it ever since. I'm too impatient with traditional paints although it can be nice to switch things up sometimes. So next after Photoshop I use either a pencil or a ball pen.
What is the most inspirational place for you to create art? - I don't think the place matters so much. I've managed to get my juices flowing anyway, facing the wall and with used coffe cups all around me. When I put on my headphones everything else disappears and that is enough for me If I were able to change something though, It would be nice to have a place to create still life setups to paint for practise right beside where I sit.
What is your favourite DeviantArt memory? - I have yet to experience one that really stands out, but I'm always happy when someone comments something in my gallery or when I gain a new watcher. That means I've touched someone with what I do, and that is a great honour.
It has been nearly two years since I announced the release of Pirate Diamonds.
For those of you who are not sure what this is, then it's a quick casual game created for Android devices.
The game is created by my boyfriend and I (LuBlu Entertainment) and was released in 2013.
The game is about sorting black and white diamonds that keep falling down from above. It may sound easy but the diamonds will fall faster and faster as you go.
To help you out, you can collect various powerups. Read more about the game here [link]
Have you played this game yet?
- If yes, what do you think?
- And if no, why not?
I would love to hear from you guys!
Want to try the game? You can find it here [link] in a FREE version with ads or you can buy the ad free version.
And you can even send off your score to a friend with a click of a button, and challenge him/her to a duel.
LuBlu Entertainment presents: Pirate Diamonds
It took us 3 years to complete this game-project, despite it being a very simple and short game. (That's how long it takes when you have a daytime job + a kid to take care of at the same time too).
But now it's finally completed, and available for Android and JavaME enabled devices!!!
Official website - Read all about the game: Pirate Diamonds Click Here
Download for Android at Google Play Click Here
Download for your JavaME enabled phone Click Here
Now go play and challenge all your friends to spread the game!
And also remember to rate it at Google Play.
Any feed back will be highly appreciated!