Saturday, July 30, 2011

Tales from an Illustrator: Magical Tools of the Trade

Hello hello Everyone!

How are you all doing? Things are pretty hectic for me, lots of small projects to finish and hopefully I can share a bunch of new stuff & updates with you all soon! In the mean time I thought I'd share a little story about the tools one can use for an illustration. Let's start!

‘Twas the night before Chris

Sorry. Wrong beginning!

Once upon a time there was a piece of paper. This piece of paper wanted to express itself with an image, a thought, so it soared down through the Clouds of Memories and held on to a memory. But having this memory wasn't enough. It started to float through the Pencil Woods and got marked with soft lines.

No. This wasn’t enough either. The little paper wanted more and floated further. On its journey it passed the Inky Meadows and the image got marked even more. The memory became more clear. However, it still wasn't enough. The paper wanted color. It wanted depth. So it kept on floating and the wind brought it to the River of Jars. The River was surrounded by little Brush Bushes with little Flower Pans in lots of different colors. The Flower Pans, sparkled and glistened in the sun.

The paper floated towards the bushes when there was a soft movement within the bushes and eyes opened. It turned out that the little brushes were tiny elegant creatures, with soft hair and sparkling golden eyes. Some went to the jars in the river, while others went to the flowers. Splashes of water on the paper, while drops of colors flowed through it. Brush strokes here, brush strokes there. Tiny details here, tiny details there. What once were just a few lines was given life and told a story.

It was here to stay. Forever captured on a piece of paper.

I was a bit in a storytelling mood. Haha. But you can pick out a few of the tools that I use from that little story. I won't add the entire column here as I want to share something else. So if you like to read it all please click the Magic Button. If you want to comment, but don't have an account there you can share your thoughts here as well ^_^.

What I wanted to share with you is the following. Mr. Jim Brandano, is a professional photograhper from the States. His pictures are beautiful. So when you have the chance do browse around his blog! He asked me if I was up for a little collaboration. Of course I was! He sent me a few pictures and I could choose one as an inspiration to create an illustration. I love sunsets so I picked the following:

I just love the deep red orange in this one. Okay, this is what I created out of it! Oh. Do enlarge the picture please.

What do you think? It has darker mysterious vibe I think. But when I saw his picture, I immediately imagined elegant flying creatures in the sky. So I stuck with that image and I call this piece...Creatures in the Sky. Original huh? hehe. Hope you like it!

Enjoy your weekend and till next time.



  1. I REALLY like it! Wonderful color, composition, and the creatures are mesmerizing!

  2. Ciaooo Elizabeth! How lovely to see you here! Thanks so much ^_^. It's a bit different than I'm normally used too, but it turned our pretty cool :D Will visit you soon! Xx

  3. I love this Post! You rock! And I love your Art and writing style!

  4. I love this Post! I love your art and writing style!

  5. I love the way you transformed the photo, TJ! Your creative mind knows no bounds.... :)

  6. Oh, TJ! I LOVE it - those colors are magnificent!

  7. Are they Phoenixes? they kinda look like them, gorgeous!

  8. Those colours are amazing! I love it, totally captivating! (and I enjoyed your storytelling too!) :)

  9. I love this blog its amazing!!! :D

  10. Starting with a whimsical story and ending with a super cool TJ/neato photographer mash up. Talk about a recipe for fun coolness! Love it, TJ.

  11. Awwwww, what a lovely story. The pictures are vibrant and beautiful.

  12. You are a great storyteller and your creation is dark, mysterious and intriguing. I like it. Thanks for sharing your tools.

  13. TJ

    Nice Match you and Jim.



  14. The colours in your illustration are beautiful! Love it:) It's mysterious and warm. Your how-to story is cute too. Hehe, I wonder how your version of the night before Christmas would've turned out;) Keep Well TJ!:D

  15. Reminds me of the illustrations in childrens books that I used to read late at night after my parents had gone to bed

  16. TJ, your picture is pure enchantment. Amazing blend of colors, so subtle and rich. Do you know Redon's work? Your painting reminds me of something he might've done.

  17. TJ, I love your flying creatures! Great creativity!

  18. Hello helloooo everyone!!!

    Thanks so much for strolling and commenting! Super glad you all liked the collaboration piece. When I was working on it, I wasn't too sure what to think of it, but the end result is pretty cool :D
    Usually I leave individual comments, but I'm swamped with work, so I don't have enough time now :(

    @ NP: Redon sounds very familiar. I shall google him!

    Big Hugs to all of you & till next time!!!


  19. Pretty TJ, i think this is one of your best pieces, i swear!
    and those flying creatures, i would like to ride on one... sighs.

    xoxo Mita

    1. I overlooked your comment :| My sincere aplogies, Pretty Mita!! Aww :( Thank you so much though :D I wanna have one as well!!! Xoxoxox


Yay! Thanks so much for leaving a message. I always reply, so do check back okay? Ciao!