Fashion Sketches and Looming Deadlines

I’m really excited about this project, because it’s pushing me out of my normal zone. I’m creating a line of characters with fuller, luscious figures. My girls tend to be glorified sweethearts of the toothpick variety. These new illustrations are different. Here are a few of the very early development sketches I did a month or so ago. As I’ve been sketching it’s become clear that the end result will be very serious. I like bubbly and happy, but it’s a seriously sexy world. My client wants a clean pout. I guess it’s OK to be brooding and cute at the same time, right?

I’m learning about myself on this project. One of the main things I’ve learned is that I’m totally a deadline oriented kind of girl. If something is due on Saturday morning I’ll stay up Thursday and Friday night and work myself into the ground in order to deliver on time. This client is by far the most laid back of any I’ve ever had. Surprisingly it’s thrown me off! I’ve always known that I’m comfortable with deadlines and high stress situations, but I didn’t think that working without them would be so hard! I thought working without them would be nice! Instead of relaxing I fell off the wagon. I’m back on track now. I hadn’t made a date sheet for this client, now that I have one everything can keep rolling smoothly. I keep date sheets for my own good. I have one for each gig or client and I put them all on the wall in my studio next to my computers. Here’s a peek at an old one I created for a client that I had last winter-
For starters I block out any vacation I’m giving myself. In December I scheduled a week off from the 21st to the 26th for days that I would in no way lift a pencil. Of course I lifted a pencil for my own projects, but that’s because I can’t go a day without doodling. I get to be selfish with that time. I color code the boxes with the start date, the sketch deadline and the box with the final line art deadline so they all work together. Sometimes I actually deliver calendars to my clients. Other times I only use date sheets for myself. When they’re only for me I make them a few days ahead of the delivery date. That’s the most comfortable way for me to work. That way when I’ve promised something it’s already sitting in a clean pile in my outbox and I’m not sweating trying to get it finished. I create a date sheet for every client who has a deadline. I have a template I’ve created for every month of the year. The deadline calendars live in a comfy place on my desktop. As things change or bulk up I print out a current HC of a client calendar to replace the other. I have these great little square document hangers on my wall that I picked up at the Container Store.
check them out here:
Cute Little Document Hangers
I’m working with six clients in a month, I have six calendars in a vertical row next to my computer. If a client’s project bleeds into the next month I place that date sheet behind the month we’re in and hang them together, one on top of the other, that way I can just lift a page to see where I’m going. The color coding helps me extremely, if I see a blue preliminary box and can’t find the blue final art box, I know that I’ve got to think ahead. I also try to hang the most recent version of the artwork up near the calendar it belongs to, that way my brain keeps thinking about it, even if a final deadline isn’t coming up for a week or two.

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About last night. 🦌💛 Crawling home on all fours after celebrating at the epic Puppy Par-tay my brother and sister-in-law put on for my dog nephew, Milo tonight. It was everything and more, complete with a bone-shaped swimming pool. #dreamtheimpawssibledream 🤘#livewithnoregrets We otter go exploring more rivers. 😍
#lifeachievementunlocked A Mama said there’d be days like this😍
Totally alone in the Natural History Museum’s Hall of Mammals for hours! Hashtag Blessed. It’s 1 AM. Do you know where your mini gummi bears are? 
#fairgame #latenightinthestudio #goodbyeoctober We’re celebrating today. I opened my eyes to Matt  crowing, “Amber! Wake up. They made it!” We have been following the inspiring pilgrimage of my mom @incredimombo & sister @prilliegirl_shakazoozoo via text & @instagram for weeks. They set out to trek across Spain a month and a half ago. This morning they walked their 500th mile and crossed into Santiago. Having read a lot about their journey before they set out to do it, I felt concerned at their determination. The Camino is not easy. It requires walking 10-20 miles a day 7 days a week. You have to carry everything you need on your back. The toll is physical, mental & spiritual. Many prepared and experienced hikers do not make it to the end of the journey the first or second time they attempt it. ☀️ So we’re dreaming impossible dreams and celebrating too. It would seem today is a good day to set out to do the impossible. When we moved to Utah I was sure I’d been too spoiled by my childhood on the ocean and my twenties in Brooklyn, to ever find anything to love in the desert. I fully planned on dying of boredom. I don’t know what I’ll do when we outgrow this little Wasatch apartment of ours! Watching the Sun kiss the mountains goodnight from our tiny balcony is beyond description. This picture doesn’t begin to do it justice. Home again.
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