Graphic Design & Illustration


This is the personal and professional blog of Illustrator and Designer Bryan E. West. Blog focus is on illustration as a business, the artist's journey, freelance, and the online art community. 


I’m getting ready to move, which means going through all my old work. I actually threw out quite a bit, but there is still a sizable box of paper and sketchbooks that I have produced over the last 2 years. For me, filling a huge box with completed sketchbooks and art is a bigger accomplishment than my Bachelors degree, but that’s another subject for another time. What I wanted to talk about today is original work.

I’m a total media junkie. I LOVE movies, music, and comics. I love experiencing art created by other people. I’m an obsessive nerd who has amassed a sizable collection of comics, blu-rays, and records. This stuff is a big part of my life and it is only natural that it comes out in my work, but as I was looking through my sketchbooks I noticed that it has taken over probably too much of my work. I don’t think “fan art” isn’t art, or that it doesn’t have value, but part of being creative is creating; creating something new out of nothing. 

I haven’t completely abandoned creating original  content, but most of what I have made over the last few years has been very strategic. I’ve sketched characters for comic projects, and created stories for animation pitches, but I haven’t been very spontaneous. When I think back to a time when I wasn’t taking art very seriously I used to draw a lot more abstract images, things that I created spontaneously to express an idea, even if that idea was just “look at this cool thing”. I think my work is missing a little bit of this creative spark and I tried to reintroduce it this week with this piece:

Over the last year or so I’ve read the Bhagavad Gita at least 3 or 4 times. It’s a very interesting book, and one that has helped me take deal with my stress and anxieties. Among the many ideas presented  in the book is the idea of all life being interconnected, a concept that has always fascinated me. It’s a simple Idea, but one that I wanted to express in a modern context. I also wanted to avoid the cliche imagery that is usually associated with eastern philosophy here in the west. 

I found this project very fulfilling creatively, and I would really like to push myself to create more conceptual work like this.