In these strange times of Covid-19, where I work from home and should have more time to draw, I find out that being more creative does not mean ‘putting more designs out’. I am planning to put 4 new designs on my t-shirt shop, but I am having too much fun making new designs to actually finish and upload them. I am drawing plenty of penguins though. Curious?
Penguins are cute
Penguins are fascinating! They are also cute, in what ever shape, size or form. What I love about them, is that they can look so clumsy on land. It is no wonder they are often shown to walk like a funny Charlie Chaplin-impersonator. But penguins become graceful when they swim! They glide, swoop, twist and turn more gracious than swans; certainly more energetic. … I find swans a bit boring, to be honest. Penguins are also very brave. They have to be, with all the dangers that surround them.
Because penguins walk on two big, floppy, flippered feet, they can be easily humanised. They may not have hands, but their unusable wings make great substitutes for arms. Drawing them in human poses, with a bit of an exaggerated belly and bum, triggers a certain feeling usually reserved for baby-shaped things. For me babies are not that cute, but apparently I am drawn to baby-like proportions. See my love for chihuahua’s and cats. (Cats to me sound exactly the same as babies. I have often thoght I heard a cat that turned out to be a baby. To my disappointment. Oh well.) Drawing cute penguins satisfies something in me that craves cuteness. It fills me with creative ideas, too.
Creative at home
So now we are all working from home, as much as we can. We are both lucky we can do our jobs from home. No more commute, no more office distractions! I do a lot of work and it is also easy to pick up my pencils and notebook for quick sketches. I find it is a great way to relax in between working hours. For a moment, I am not concerned with the corona-crisis, terrible numbers and worries about the near future. It helps me stay a little bit calmer. It would have been easy to lose my creative urges, but there are moments where I make myself draw and every time I do, I notice it helps.
Drawing penguins is not something I have just started doing. In my webshop Design by Daenelia I have several penguin based design already. But I drew penguins when I was just a little girl, too. Their basic shape is just so easy to draw. The colours are nice and basic and penguins are naturally colour-blocking their looks. Awesome style!
Drawing animals is fun
Zoo’s are one of my favourite places to visit. I know it is controversial, because zoo’s have always been a place where it is easy to exploit animals, choosing profit and entertainment for humans over the well-being of animals. There are more zoo’s that care for the animals’ well-being these days and it shows. I have seen some sad zoo’s and I always leave there depressed. But look at some of the zoo’s doing a greet job: there will be active animals and plenty of new-borns.
Penguins and meerkats: those are my favourites. And racoons, bevers and otters. I also like hyena’s, and wolves and … Okay: meerkats and penguins. Again: similar in size, right? And shape. I do see a pattern now. What I like to do in a zoo is take photographs. It’s a quick way to get some great images to base new drawings on. I have my own stock photo’s ready for research! Sometimes, when I have time, i bring a sketch book. There is something about drawing animals that makes you more observant. You have to be, because drawing is basically observing. Penguins and meerkats are so much fun to watch.
There are a few zoo’s we can visit with our chihuahua Chi. Not all dogs enjoy visits to the zoo, but Chi does. When we visited a zoo where the bottom half of the penguin swimming pool was glass, he was delighted to see the penguins swim by. Much more so than the small aligators in another part of the zoo. I guess some things are scary no matter what species you are. Because Chi is not a nervous chihuahua, the penguins were interested in him as well. They stood checking each other out, the chihuahua and the penguins. It was very cute. And Chi is still respectful of birds these days. Even when one of the bigger crows chases him on the field. (True story: there is this one crow that thinks Chi’s tail is a worm that must be eaten.)
Finishing a design for a shirt
Anyway, I digress. I need to finish designs for the t-shirts, right? Working from home means I am more creative, but my focus is on my actual paying job. To help find a balance between my job and working on my designs, I have some nice printable sheets to keep an overview of what I still need to do and when I have time to do it. I have also written about how I keep my focus during the day. Motivation is sometimes hard to fnd, but I also know that all I really have to do is simply … start. Just start. Because I do enjoy drawing, I just sometimes forget that I also need to finish my designs.
I have few distractions these days (unless it is Dungeons and Dragons or Animal Crossing). It should be easy to find the time and motivation to finish some of these designs in the next 2 days. They may not all be penguin related! I may try my hand at some meerkats too! In any case, stand by for new designs in the shop soon.
Side hustle or hobby: my designs are for me
How serious is my spreadshop webshop for me? I mostly design for myself, but I have sold quite a few to unknown customers.That is a nice thing, as I get some income from it, which motivates me to share my drawings and designs in my t-shirt webshop. This may turn from a hobby to a serious side hustle. I am at least doing some admin tasks to keep on track of my sales. But in the end it really is to create designs I like to wear and show off.
As I finish this post, I am looking at a mug I had made with my cat designs. I love it still. I will wear my own design t-shirt tomorrow, during our D&D game, with my D&D character drawn on it. And before the discount period starts at Spreadshirt, I will upload my new designs, including the penguins. Keep an eye out: you may see something unique you want to order.
What is your favourite animal?