Monday, December 21, 2015

COLOR ME BLIND: An Adult Coloring Book by a Color Blind Illustrator

Buy a copy through Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Barnes & Noble and other online bookstores, or special order it at brick and mortar shops via ISBN: 9781364578145.

From the introduction:

I'll admit that I love the irony of being a color blind artist, but in practice it can be maddening. Some of my favorite work (now published in this book) has been shelved since it was inked, because of fear I'd ruin it with color.

My personal art often ends up monotone, because I only mix the base color with black or white for contrast. I pass it off as my “style”, but it's born of anxiety. During the time when I had the good fortune to illustrate for a few multi-platinum musicians, my colors always depended on collaboration with the talented comic book colorist, Darrin Moore.

Drawing can lead me toward mindfulness, but coloring just causes stress. Color blindness doesn't make it impossible for me to do good work, it just messes with my confidence. I feel as if my mind's eye sees things in full spectrum, but I can't make the colors happen on paper. It follows that publishing this coloring book for grown-ups is exciting, because right in the face of my vision deficiency is the chance to see my art completed by people passionate about coloring. I'm so grateful for that.

Thank you for buying this book. Please post your colors online with the #colormeblind hashtag so I can see them! Sort of. 

Friday, February 27, 2015

Color Theory and a Bird

I've been feeling a return to illustration, because I'm challenging myself to learn color theory. I remember the day I opened junior high science textbook and realized I was color blind when I failed the Ishihara tests in it. I was actually ashamed and until now I've used my color blindness as a default excuse to stay clueless about the nature of color. If I can't even discern a good chunk of the color spectrum, what kind of hope could I have as an artist?

In high school, rather than admit my color blindness to my art teacher, I cheated on my color wheel assignment by coaxing a couple classmates to do it for me. In 1999 I did my first collaboration with the talented Darrin Moore, a digital colorist in the comic book industry. For about the next 15 years he colored my way through all of my best known illustrative work. I can never repay the debt of gratitude I owe that guy, but with him at my side I was also unwittingly perpetuating my color ignorance which hasn't done my personal work any favors. It's not like I only see black and white, so it's time to work with it!

While this bird illustration is no exercise in color theory itself, it does mark my intentions to return to illustration and tackle it. I'm anxious to see how some knowledge and experimentation with color might help me develop a comfortable palette for my work.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Missing the Coca Leaf

I was sitting overwhelmed with reevaluation when a young Peruvian man came to me and smiled as he handed me a few small leaves. In broken English he described what I should do with one of them. I didn't know what they were and I didn't think to ask. Soon a subtle calm hummed through me and I continued my reflection with some clarity of thought.

Exactly five coca leaves have met my teeth. The final three were savored months apart from one another, because I knew I'd miss them and couldn't imagine running into more when they were gone. I've been right about that for six years.