That Face

My relationship with making art is a lot more complicated than my relationship with writing. I have a few theories about that, but if I start writing that blog post right now I’ll be working on it for days. Right now, I just want to share this unfinished sketch with you. It’s hardly the most exciting art-thing I’ve done this week, but I need a little more time to finish the other pieces before I share them with you. I’m not even working on Wanderlust illustrations yet;  I’m just trying to get used to working with visual media every day, and I’m challenging myself to try new things and to bring a few pieces all the way to completion. This, though, I probably won’t finish or work back into—unless you think I should?

Adobe Photoshop © Grace Makley 2013

Adobe Photoshop © Grace Makley 2013


I used the really quick sketch of Vanya from last week’s post as a starting point, and he picked up the smirk somewhere along the way. There are probably already enough sketches of him pouting.

Vanya’s pouting face is something of a touchstone for me, artistically. It’s an image I return to whenever I’m experiencing a block or looking for a way to move forward, and something I never quite get tired of drawing. Artists: do you have any images or characters you draw over and over, or return to every time you get stuck? Writers: Do you have any themes or images in your writing that you use the same way? Please leave a comment and share your thoughts!


6 thoughts on “That Face

    • Thanks for the compliment, I’m glad you like it! And as I said, I’m hoping to post some even cooler works of art soon. Regarding the no art skills: if it’s something you’re interested in, you could always learn. I think sketching, even if you’re not turning out anything you consider technically “good” (and art is so freakin’ subjective, I even more than writing) can inform your creativity and lead to better writing energy. That’s the theory anyway, but I often forget to draw when I’m doing lots of writing. Gott find that balance!

  1. I’m glad to have artistic skill, because I think it lets me bring my own characters alive, just for myself, in a whole new way that many writers don’t get. Gaia, at least in this first book, doesn’t have a very strong look visually. That’s part of her MO. She is brown/brown, average and forgettable. But that makes it hard for ME to see her as well, even as the author. She makes up for that with personality, but that speaks more to my writing than my drawing. I don’t think this is answering either of your questions. xD BUT. Yes. I can’t think of a particular image or theme I go to when I need to get into the headspace of the story. Usually it’s more my music–I turn on the same playlist, on repeat, every time I go to write. It quickly becomes background noise, but I think it tells my brain that it’s time to write again.

    • Sometimes the right background noise can be super important! That’s sort of like the writing rituals I mentioned a few days ago; if you have a playlist that always gets you in the writing mood, that is super awesome. Gaia’s average appearance might not be very exciting for making drawings, but on the upside, her averageness may make it easier for a large selection of readers to identify with her. 🙂

  2. I understand – I have quite a different relationship with music and with writing. I do find that I will write or do visual journaling on a particular theme for quite a while, then that impetus will be worked through and vanish, and I will have something else demanding to be explored. The current visual journal theme is secrets – everything I do whether I plan it or not ends up being about secrets. So that’s the path I will follow, until it ends and the next one appears.

  3. I’m not an artist, but my writing partner is, so she’ll often draw sketches of our characters. Sometimes they look like how I imagine, and sometimes they don’t, which makes me sorry I don’t have the skills to create my own interpretations. Still, sometimes I’ll look in magazines to try to find people who resemble the characters I’m creating, and that’s been fun and a bit helpful. 🙂

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