Wednesday, December 28, 2011


I was after all a corporate girl for many years of my life, and I learned terms like workflow....I'm fine-tuning the workflow for my second book.

You may remember I made a switch to a Mac and to Adobe Illustrator earlier this year. At times I thought the learning curve was sure to get the best of me, but I'm making progress, although it's not entirely natural yet. I still have trepidation every time I sit down to start a new project. The calendar I've set out for myself says I will do that every day this week, and given a mistake I discovered yesterday I may still not be on track with the calendar.

I have a Moleskine notebook, black, hardcover, 5 x 8 1/4, unlined pages, where I sketch my conceptual ideas. The one I have is called the large painting notebook, but I find it an excellent format for sketching.

Then as I bead I take notes. When I'm ready to illustrate I refer to those notes and to the completed piece (well I should at least) Because in this case the notes were wrong, I missed an entire row, which means that at least 4 of my illustrations are missing that row as well. As I went to put text to illustration yesterday, looking at the actual piece I discovered the mistake, at 5:00, when I was within a half hour of meeting the days goal. It is one of the things I have found about aging, or is it just maturity to know when to quit...I can't push past a certain point anymore. It used to be if a Halloween costume needed finishing, or a project needed completing, all stops could be pulled out, finishing up at midnight. and continuing to function the next day. I don't have that kind of stamina anymore which is why I plan carefully.

Here is a shot of all the pieces coming together on the screen.

See the two rows of bronze 11's? Needs to be three, best to catch those things now rather then later, but still.....I am vowing to be more careful.

And by the way for the curious, Command shift 4 lets you draw a box around any portion of the screen you wish to screenshot and the jpg ends up on your desktop, quite handy. It is part of my workflow. When I am done with an illustration I screen shot the symbol box and photo insert it into my word supply list.

I'm such a morning girl, my plan is to fix the illustrations early, finish up the text and move onto the next project in line, hopefully keeping to the schedule. We've made a plan to go to the Getty Villa on Saturday for the Modern Antiquity Exhibition. It will be a nice outing and a relaxed day, which will fortify me for next weeks schedule....more illustration.


ChrisD said...

This is a fascinating read Marcia. I've moved to a Mac this year but hadn't figured out the short cut for the screen shot, I've used Grab from utilities instead which takes a whole lot longer!
I think you're right in knowing when to call it a day - I see it as a sign of the wisdom of age rather than giving in (ha ha). Enjoy your time out. You'll come back all the fresher

gah-broon said...

Marcia, it's just amazing that you do your own illustrations!! And learning all these new things. I want to say: " petje af". (a saying)...

Marcia DeCoster said...

ah but I seem to be learning slower then is necessary....and having been careless with the count meant re-doing a lot of this one, costing me in the end a whole day I think. Anyways, want to test swing dance? I think they'd look lovely on you.

cw whitedogjewelry said...

I agree, it is fascinating read. 'cannot wait for the new book.

Ellen Yunker said...

Marcia, I also am fascinated with your process in creating your fabulous books - it's a real treat to follow the path along with you!
Is "Swing Dance" the name of that earring? I'm thinking it needs to be in my earring wardrobe . . . when is the new book coming out??!
XXX Ellen

Marcia DeCoster said...

First new book is planned for Fall of 13, and yes Swing Dance is the name of the earring!