Color Stylist at Bardel Entertainment/ Dreamworks TV Show for Netflix. Freelance Development Artist for LAIKA. Also makes julienne fries:P

a little sketch before bed:)
a little sketch before bed:)

a little sketch before bed:)

This is an old drawing, but I always kind of liked it:)
Happy Wednesday All!
<3<3<3
This is an old drawing, but I always kind of liked it:)
Happy Wednesday All!
<3<3<3

This is an old drawing, but I always kind of liked it:)

Happy Wednesday All!

<3<3<3

Goodbye Summer

image

I’m a nerd.  This is a Star Wars quote:

Your Focus Determines Your Reality.

I’d like to offer you a chance to change your reality— by changing your focus.  I’m calling it my Fall Resolution:)

Hold tight to your victories!  

Our brains are tricky.  It is the natural inclination of human beings to remember (in severe detail) our failures.

Your latest footfall does not define you.

If you walk you’re going to stumble.  If you run…  you’re going to stumble A LOT;)

Revel in your wins.  

Keep a list, a scrapbook, a shrine if you have to— but REMEMBER.  

<3<3<3

Jenn

Jennifer Ely is an artist working in the animation industry as a Color Stylist on a Dreamworks television show for Netflix.  She has also worked on LAIKA’s upcoming stop frame feature filmThe Boxtrolls, and still moonlights for them as a Visual Development Artist on super secret future projects!

You can follow her here:

@elyjenna   TUMBLR

Consistently Inconsistent: Style is a Trap

So many of the aspiring artists I talk to are very concerned about STYLE.  

And man— I get it.  I was really stressed about that when I was in school.  My work looked completely different from piece to piece (still does) and I was told that this was a no good very bad thing.  I grew of the deep shame and started hanging out in the shadows.

Now that I’ve been out in the world a bit more I can tell you that it was all wasted energy.  Style is the literal last thing you should be worried about as a young artist.  Let’s talk about why:

Be Cool Soda Pop

When I first got to LAIKA as an intern I was always nervous when I had to go to the floor where higher ups worked.  It was totally silly, but suddenly I’d think “Am I walking normal??  What do I usually do with my arms?  This does not feel right…”

…….

……

…….

I FORGOT HOW TO WALK.

…….

…….

When you focus in on something that should come naturally, that task becomes almost impossible.

Stop Thinking About Style

Seriously, stop it.  

If you are trying to force a style onto your work before you’ve really explored who you are as an artist….  it’s going to be almost impossible to be authentic:)

Jennie Says RELAX

Most of the folks that I have seen putting emphasis on style before they even know what they like, end up poorly imitating people that are already established in the industry.  That is not likely to be a path to happiness or longevity for you.  

Wearing a mask is fun for a minute- but after a while the novelty wears off and it’s just itchy and sweaty:/

The best chance you have is to take some time to figure out what kind of work you genuinely love. 

  • Look at a ton of art.  
  • Try as many mediums and techniques as possible.  
  • Make yourself uncomfortable often!  
  • Certainly study from other successful artists in your desired field, but look at it as study.  Break down their work and find out how it ticks— and most importantly, why you like it!  
  • PLAY.  I really believe that when you look at a piece of art that someone had a good time making, it FEELS better.  It manifests in the art.  If you bring energy to the table, it’s more likely you’ll capture it for your audience!

The less you think about how to please others, and start pleasing yourself, the closer you will be to making yourself a unique and interesting artist.  It’s also the best way to end up in a career that you love:)

cARTography

(Okay that header was forced.  I feel appropriate shame levels.)

Honestly though, if you have run in every direction exploring— as you should have…  You have built yourself a map of sorts:)  Gather your favorite pieces from the work you have made and look at everything together.

If you have a consistent style— that’s awesome!  You will be hired to do your own thing and work freelance or hop from studio to studio, depending on your industry and the circumstances.  But keep working on your map, your style will/ should evolve over time.  Keeping things fresh for yourself and pushing boundaries will keep you interested.

If you had more of a grab bag thing going on— That’s awesome too!  Being versatile makes you an ideal candidate as a staff artist.  You can move from project to project within one house with ease— and if you’re like me, you’ll really enjoy getting to take on completely new challenges from thing to thing.

Lack of consistency in STYLE will not stop you from being hired. 

Lack of Consistency in QUALITY most certainly will!!

Follow your Bliss:)  Make the art that gets you excited to come home after a long hard day and CREATE.

<3<3<3

Jenn

Jennifer Ely is an artist working in the animation industry as a Color Stylist on a Dreamworks television show for Netflix.  She has also worked on LAIKA’s upcoming stop frame feature filmThe Boxtrolls, and still moonlights for them as a Visual Development Artist on super secret future projects!

You can follow her here:

@elyjenna   TUMBLR

Gouache doodles!