To Paint a Climber

I’m not a graphic designer.

This was my first thought when my husband suggested this project. I’ve done the graphic design thing. I worked at a firm at one point. I’ve taught design and related software. I really respect graphic designers. It’s a lot of work, talent, persistence, thought, completely artistic but highly client focused and much more technical and straight edged than I’d like my next career to be. I’m not a white space person, I struggle with white space. I’m walking away from a computer screen in favor of a paint brush for a reason.

But all those “I’m nots” is more a defense to keep me in one place. And they are full of assumptions. I’m not in a position to be closed-minded. Plus I generally don’t respect a closed mind.

So I looked into it.

This work in progress is for my husband’s climbing team t-shirt. He sold hiring me to his team, and his coach liked my work. They understand they are getting a paintbrush.

I originally sketched this out vertically. I started drawing with one idea and ended with another. This is my concept sketch.

The team liked it. But we all agree horizontal for a t-shirt is better. My husband doesn’t like pink (typical). They all prefer red, blue and green. The name of the team will be under it. I thought I would use a program for it, but maybe I’ll paint it now. I’m warming to the completely handmade idea.

I don’t usually sketch as heavily under my painting but I am real sensitive to getting those climbers right in relationship to the rocks. We are a climbing family, my husband and I have been climbing for over a dozen years and the kids with us. It won’t be right if they aren’t right.

It’s a small project, but fun to capture something we are all so dedicated to. And perhaps the fear of not getting it right is really why my initial reaction was full of “I’m Nots”.

Lesson learned.


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