Jawa without a hood - Jawa's face - Ink Drawing - Star Wars Art - Illustration - under the hood

What Does A Jawa Look Like Without A Hood?

Star Wars Art

What Does A Jawa Look Like Without A Hood?

Quite possibly the most frequently asked question when it comes to Jawas and the mysteries of the Star Wars universe, the question of what a Jawa looks like without a hood has plagued fans from all over the galaxy, and there’s no definitive answer that comes directly from Star Wars canon.

That little fact doesn’t stop creatives from imagining the answer though…

Coffee shop sketching creative inspiration sketchbook photograph

Use Art Challenges To Find Creative Inspiration (Tips For Artists & Writers)

Articles, How To Find Creative Inspiration

Overcoming a creative block and finding inspiration can be a real challenge, there are many methods for finding the way out of a creative rut and in this article, we’ll take a look at how art challenges can be used to find creative inspiration. This isn’t only limited to drawing challenges or painting challenges either, we’ll also take a detailed look at some writing challenges for writers to find creative inspiration.

In recent years, mainly due to the mass connectivity afforded to us via social media and a healthy dose of positive peer pressure, creatives all around the world have been using art challenges as a way to boost productivity, level up their skills, develop positive habits and increase creativity. This is why they’ve become so popular, and numerous, and for as long as we have social media, I’m sure they’re here to stay.

Back to the subject of art challenges, some of the points we’ll look at throughout this article will be:

  • What is an art challenge?
  • Benefits of taking part in art challenges
  • How to find the best art challenges [Top 6 challenges for artists and writers]
  • Essential tools and equipment
  • Using an art challenge to inspire a new project

What is an art challenge?

An art challenge, or a writing challenge for that matter, is an event set up with the intent of encouraging creatives to step out of their comfort zone to do what they do best; creating.

Most art challenges will have rules and parameters in place to serve as an outline and a guide for the process. Most also have a social media community aspect to them.

Benefits of taking part in art challenges

There are so many benefits of taking part in art or writing challenges that they could be an article of their own, maybe one day we’ll get to that article and dig deeper. For the sake of this non-exhaustive list, however, let’s just examine 3 key benefits.

Overcome decision fatigue

It can be a challenge in itself at times to decide what to create, let alone how to go about getting it created; timeframes, medium, surface, concepts, etc, etc, etc… The beauty of taking part in an art challenge is that you don’t need to make any major decisions. The parameters are already set, all you need to do is work within those and find that elusive inspiration along the way.

Develop positive habits

It can be so easy to catch that snippet of spare time and think “ahh, I wonder what’s happening on [insert relevant social media channel], I’ll have a quick scroll of the news feed…” The next thing you know, spare time is gone and you didn’t create anything, and other than learning what a few people are having for dinner and who’s gone where on holiday, chances are your auto-pilot scrolling of social media was fruitless.

In contrast, however, by taking part in an art challenge you’ll get a major kickstart in developing a new, positive habit. It’s a lot like exercise, you can’t suddenly pluck the necessary time for going to the gym from nowhere, but if you build the habit incrementally, it will soon become part of your normal routine and before too long, you’ll be doing it automatically and without having to ‘make time’.

Connect with a community

One of the most effective ways to find inspiration is to connect with a community of other creatives. Creativity breeds creativity and as well as the encouragement you’ll find, a healthy sense of competition can also work wonders for overcoming creative blocks. Even if you take an art challenge out of the equation, we humans are social creatures and social media does offer a wealth of opportunities for connecting and networking with other creatives. Take advantage of the socialness of social media and leverage the communities out there to get inspired and encouraged.

How to find the best art challenges [Top 6 challenges for artists and writers]

There are so many different art challenges out there nowadays and the list is constantly growing. The best way to find art challenges new or old is to simply Google the term, or turn to social media. Be attentive to what other artists and writers are posting, many are usually taking part in some challenge or another.

Something worth remembering too is that you can use these challenges as inspiration or just take the points you like to create something new, you don’t have to wait for the exact timeline of the challenge either, although that will be the best way to get the community encouragement, you are ‘allowed’ to do Inktober in January, nothing bad will happen.

For the sake of keeping this list at a manageable size, I’ve chosen 3 of each of my favourite challenges for artists and writers.

Inktober

Inktober is a month-long drawing challenge that was set up for improving skills and developing positive drawing habits. Every October there is a list of prompts to inspire each daily ink drawing. The community aspects of this challenge are mostly achieved through Instagram by using the appropriate hashtags, and by posting in the Facebook group. There is now a year-long version of this challenge, with a new prompt posted each week.

Jawa trading with Tusken Raider - Ink Drawing - Star Wars Art - Illustration -
23. Leak – A Jawa can sell a bucket of sand to a Tusken, even with a leak…

Character Design Challenge

Each month a theme is announced and an international community of artists of all levels get to work in designing a character based on the theme. There’s a Facebook group that allows some participants to share their results and you can also post your characters on Instagram and use the appropriate hashtags in order to be found by others taking part.

Character Design Challenge - Mushroom Warrior - Fantasy Art Illustration Drawing - Japanese Inspired Art
The prompt for this sketch was – Mushroom Warrior

Studying The Masters

The Studying The Masters community was founded as a place for artists, as students of the Old Masters to improve in skill and to also encourage each other to keep learning and growing, regardless of experience level. As well as a journey inside the masters’ minds, it’s also a great place to learn some general art tips and some noteworthy art history too.

NaNoWriMo

Quite possibly the most-known of the writers’ challenges, the goal for NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month, is to end the month of November with 50,000 words of a brand-new novel. This international communal writing event has been at the centre of practice for many great writers and you’ll also find real-life places hosting events related to it in certain areas.

As a side note, there is also NaPoWriMo, National Poetry Writing Month for those of you who prefer to write poetry to novels.

StoryADay

Spoiler alert! The title is exactly what this creative writing challenge entails. The goal, every day during May and/or September to write a short story. This challenge is a great way to force your own hand at getting something on the page, also promoting positive writing habits in the process thereof.

As with the previous challenge, there is also a PoemADay variant of this challenge.

52 Week Short Story Challenge

If a short story each day seems too daunting, then this creative writing challenge may be more up your street. Of the 3 writing challenges, this one is certainly my favourite.

This challenge was born from a quote from author and screenwriter Ray Bradbury:

The best hygiene for beginning writers or intermediate writers is to write a hell of a lot of short stories. If you can write one short story a week — it doesn’t matter what the quality is to start, but at least you’re practicing, and at the end of the year you have 52 short stories, and I defy you to write 52 bad ones. Can’t be done. At the end of 30 weeks or 40 weeks or at the end of the year, all of a sudden a story will come that’s just wonderful.

Ray Bradbury

With no real rules or limitations and no requirements to publish what you do create, this personal writing challenge can be the perfect opportunity to get yourself writing and enjoying the craft with no obligations. Also, as with all the other challenges, there are online groups that can be found if you do want that community spirit and encouragement.

Bonus Idea – Create your own challenge

If none of those art or writing challenges appeals to you, or if you like different aspects of each, a smart option may be to create your own personal challenge and use that to find creative inspiration instead.

You could choose to keep it as a personal challenge, or package it up and promote it online and who knows, it may well be the next Inktober or NaNoWriMo.

Essential tools and equipment

One tool that can be used to great effect for artists and writers alike is Pinterest. Pinterest is in my opinion the greatest platform not only for finding inspiration but for categorising it and organising it in whichever way best suits your workflow.

I recently wrote an article about how to create inspiration boards and how to use Pinterest to find creative inspiration.

The most crucial tools

For artists – Pencil and paper.

For writers – Pencil and paper.

Whilst that may seem either basic or extreme, the truth is that at the root of your creativity you can express yourself with just those tools, anything more than that is a bonus and an advantage.

Using an art challenge to inspire a new project

The theme of this article is using art challenges to find inspiration, and there’s no better way to put that to use than a brand new project to sink your teeth into. Using myself and my own experience as somewhat of a case study, let’s take a look at my recent Inktober Star Wars Art Project – Life As A Jawa.

Jawa Survival Skills - Sun Compass - Ink Drawing - Star Wars Art - Illustration - Desert Survival
16. Compass – The latest in Jawa navigation technology, the stick compass…

I started the project with some clear goals in mind, I wanted to hit every daily prompt throughout the month, improve my storytelling both visually and in writing, putting thought into the captions, I also wanted to explore Jawas and create a body of sketches to serve as a foundation for some further exploration in more detail.

Overall I feel that I achieved the goals that I set myself and ultimately, I found a lot of creative inspiration for future projects, one of which I’m now in the planning stages for, striking while the iron is still hot.

Having goals set before I started helped me a lot with the art challenge, but even without clear goals, once you get stuck into a challenge and the creativity starts flowing, you’ll begin to spot plenty of opportunities for new projects and ideas.

What are your thoughts?

What do you think of art and writing challenges, do you think they’re helpful for finding creative inspiration?

Do you regularly take part in any particular challenges?

Which is your favourite challenge, have you created your own challenge?

Please feel free to leave a comment, or get in touch with me via email with your thoughts.

Explore The Art Of Storytelling.

Another great way to get inspired is to Join The Journey with me in exploring the art of storytelling; discovering new worlds, stories and techniques for capturing a narrative, creating moments and bringing stories to life.

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Jawa Survival Skills - Sun Compass - Ink Drawing - Star Wars Art - Illustration - Desert Survival

Life As A Jawa – The Inktober Star Wars Art Project

Art, Star Wars Art

Here we are with a new Star Wars art project…

Inktober has drawn to an end and wow, what a month it has been. A productive month indeed. I now have a whole new bunch of sketches to add to the ever-growing collection of Star Wars Art and it’s time to leave the Galaxy and head back home to the UK. It’s been fascinating to spend a month exploring Jawa life and culture, capturing them with ink drawings.

I have tried each year over the past 3 or 4 years to meet the Inktober challenge head-on and plough through it, but for one reason or another, I’ve never seen it through, something always comes up and gets in the way. This year, however, I made sure I got my planning and preparation done in advance and being prepared definitely helped.

It’s been great to get stuck into the medium too, creating such a large body of work using only ink (and gel pens) has given me the perfect opportunity to fall in love with the medium and get a better handle on using the brush pens in particular.

Life As A Jawa is merely the beginning of my explorations of Jawas, the Galaxy Far, Far Away, and drawing with ink.

Jawas in Tatooine carrying stuff - Ink drawing - Star Wars art

What Is Life As A Jawa?

Art, Star Wars Art

I’ve been fascinated by Jawas for a very long and since seeing them come back into the fore of pop culture thanks to The Mandalorian, I’ve been intending to understand what life as a Jawa is and to explore their culture and character in depth through the platforms of art and illustration.

I’ve also always wanted to participate in Inktober and successfully manage every day of the month-long drawing challenge, but I’ve never quite managed to succeed and pull it off.

My plan this year, is to tie my interests with my ambitions and use them to drive each other forward, partaking in and completing Inktober, whilst also kick-starting my exploration of Jawa life.

The series of sketches I create throughout the month will be loose, exploratory and experimental in nature, and the content will contain a few comedy elements too, this project overall will form the foundation for further exploration and later on, more detailed artworks.

Be sure to Join The Journey as I explore the world and culture of the Jawas and together, we can discover much more about these mysterious creatures from the galaxy far, far away…

What Is Inktober?

Created by artist Jake Parker, Inktober is a month-long drawing challenge with the aim of helping people to improve their skills and develop positive drawing habits.

Throughout the month of October, any participants create an ink drawing or sketch, following the daily prompt list and then posts the result online.

What Is Life As A Jawa?

Life As A Jawa is the title of my upcoming project that will dig into and explore the sorts of things Jawas get up to in their daily lives.

This project will begin October 1st and I’ll be releasing a brand new ink sketch every day for 31 days, all adhering to the prompts for Inktober 2021.

This project will contain comedy elements, a little horror and some sadness and will be presented as rough, loose ink sketches.

Materials I’ll Be Using

As tradition dictates, I’ll be working with Sakura ink brush pens throughout the entirety of this project. My underdrawings will be created in pencil which will later be erased.

My trump card, however, will be using gel pens to add a touch of colour here and there, this was inspired by a recent scribble session I had using gel pens on toned paper. 

Speaking of which, each of my Inktober sketches will be drawn onto Rembrandt tan toned paper. 

Drawing materials for inktober - sakura ink brush pens - gel pens - toned paper- photo
My weapons of choice for Inktober

My Approach To Inktober

In an ideal world, every piece would be a fully-fledged ink and wash drawing, highly detailed artworks that could be displayed as soon as they dried. Unfortunately, due to time constraints and creating one for each day, that approach wouldn’t be manageable so these are sketches.

Sketches that can quickly explore the form, capture the moment, and tell the story. 

I have treated the Life As A Jawa project s=in a similar way to a book illustration project; 31 stand-alone pieces that start with planning out the prompts and figuring out how I can tie them to my Jawa theme. 

Then drawing a series of thumbnails and scribbling ideas, solving problems such as simple ways to capture the forms of my subjects with ink.

The beauty with this project too is that although I’ve planned it out before diving into each sketch, it’s quite organic, I might think of a different angle for a prompt and then quickly change it up if it feels like a better fit.

A sketchbook photo of illegible thumbnails

Life As A Jawa Warm-Up Ink Sketch

Every project worth its salt must begin with a warm-up sketch, and Life As A Jawa is no exception.

Jawas in Tatooine carrying stuff - Ink drawing - Star Wars art
#LifeAsAJawa warmup sketch

Join The Journey On Instagram

Although I will post the results of the Life As A Jawa Inktober project here on my website, the main platform I’ll be using for the daily sketch posting will be Instagram.

Follow me on Instagram @JGloverArt 

7 Jawa Facts Every Star Wars Fan SHOULD Know

Star Wars - Facts About Jawas - Inforgraphic - JGlover Art - Essex - London - UK - Star Wars Artist

For a more detailed breakdown of these insights, take a look at my recent article 7 Jawa Facts Every Star Wars Fan SHOULD Know.

Collectable Limited Edition Art Print Coming Soon

When Inktober comes to an end and this part of my Life As A Jawa project comes to an end, I will then be working on a much more detailed ink and wash drawing that explores the concept further, and in more depth.

This piece when it’s finished will be released as an exclusive art drop as a collectable limited edition print, in a run of art prints limited to 20 prints.

Be sure to subscribe below in order to be the first to hear about this exclusive Star Wars art drop.

Exploring A Galaxy Far, Far Away

Equipped with my pencils, charcoal and brushes, I regularly set out on long journeys into the galaxy and I always return with a new selection of Star Wars artworks, and I love to share the beauty!

Join Me In Exploring A Galaxy Far, Far Away And Never Miss A New Artwork.

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Japanese geisha girl charcoal portrait drawing fine art uk based london artist essex

Japanese Geisha With Scenic Backdrop – Charcoal Drawing

Art, Japanese Geisha Art, Uncategorized

Still continuing in my exploration of the Geisha of Japan, I am trying to capture the beauty and modesty of these fascinating women with my charcoal and create drawings and art that can live up to their own artistic prowess.

For this artwork of a Geisha with a scenic backdrop, I have begun working out an ever so slightly stylised art style and using a vignette approach to the backdrop. This piece will make a nice addition to my existing Japanese Geisha Art collection, which is just beginning to take shape now.

Japanese geisha girl charcoal portrait drawing fine art uk based london artist essex

Slab of tiramisu on plate restaurant illustrated recipe italian

Illustrated Recipes – How To Use Them To Find Creative Inspiration

Articles, Inspiration, Uncategorized

Why illustrate a recipe?

Illustrated recipes have managed to become a staple of both the culinary and illustration worlds, not only providing a platform for creatives with a passion for food and drawing, but also offering a limitless source of creative inspiration for artists and writers alike, and while we mention it, chefs too.

In this article we’ll examine some creative uses for illustrated recipes outside of finding inspiration, how we can use Pinterest to find inspiration, walk through an 8 step process for illustrating a recipe, dig into how illustrated recipes can be used by writers to overcome a writer’s block and finally I’ll be giving away my long-coveted Tiramisu recipe in the form of a free download of my illustrated recipe made for this article.

  • Creative uses for illustrated recipes
  • Using Pinterest as an illustrated cookbook of inspiration
  • 8 Steps for illustrating a recipe worth eating
  • How writers can use illustrated recipes to find creative inspiration
  • The Chef JGlover Tiramisu illustrated recipe [Free Download]
  • Where to find more creative inspiration
Woman - sitting - art - gallery - looking - at - art - paintings - art - history - photo - how - to

Is There A Right Or Wrong Way To Look At Art? How To Look At Art [Studying The Masters]

Articles, Studying The Masters, Uncategorized

Is there a right or wrong way to look at art?

The short answer is no.

However, there are steps that can make the process more enjoyable, more enriching, and give you a much greater understanding of what the artist was trying to communicate.

A common problem that art viewers and gallery or museum visitors share is that they can feel like they’re looking at the artworks, but not really seeing them. This can be an isolating feeling and cause viewers to start doubting themselves.

The good news is that you don’t have to be an art scholar or possess any natural talents in order to really see art, and analyse the works that really catch your eye.

In order to develop as an artist, especially an artist intent on Studying the Masters; being able to effectively break down and analyse art is an essential skill for the toolbelt. Without understanding a little about what is going on in an artwork, it would be difficult to truly study it and learn from it.

This doesn’t only apply to artists though; if you are an observer, a casual viewer of art, then you will certainly find that developing a better understanding of how to analyse art will give you more of an appreciation for it.

In this article, we’ll discuss a method for analysing artworks using a series of questions; a systematic approach that can be followed as much or as little as you see fit.

After reading this and giving it a go, you will see for yourself that you do not need to be an art scholar in order to view art like an expert.

Legend Of Zelda Art – New Artworks For Linktober’s Zelda Creator Con 2021

Legend of Zelda

It’s strange to think that it’s been a year since I last put pencil to paper in the act of creating some Legend of Zelda art and true to last year’s inspiration, I’ve stuck with my favourite game of the series: Ocarina of Time.

Linktober’s Zelda Creator Con is almost upon us, running from Friday 18th – Sunday 20th June and in the same vein as its founding last year, featuring an abundance of creatives including artists, cosplayers, gamers and more.

It’s not just an online convention, it’s a legendary one.

Legend of Zelda Art – 2020

Here’s a selection of the artworks that I created last year for the convention, it was great fun to get stuck in and this small series started me off on a venture to discover a new illustration style that I’m still working on polishing to this day.

It was also insightful to produce a more realistic drawing on Princess Zelda on toned paper, this idea is one that I’ll carry on into every year.

There will always be a Princess Zelda charcoal portrait from me at a Zelda Creator Con!

Legend of Zelda Art – 2021

This year I managed to focus in on the classical realism style and work on toned paper, this is another method of working that I’ve been getting stuck into over the past year or so and working towards polishing up and refining.

Ocarina of Time Art

As I previously mentioned, Ocarina of time is my go to Legend of Zelda game and the convenience of having it on the Nintendo 3DS makes it even more so, it’s my favourite of the series and one that I’ll always return to creatively.

I chose to depict both Young Link and Adult Link thoughtfully playing the ocarina, the contrast of the two differently aged Links playing their ocarinas was an interesting subject to explore and made all the easier with the access I was given to some incredible reference photos.

For the two link pieces, I was granted permission by the two exceptionally talented cosplayers:

I would strongly recommend any Legend of Zelda fan, and any fan of cosplay in general to check out their amazing work!

For the Princess Zelda herself, I was also provided with some amazing reference photos to work with, and my depictions of this Princess Zelda are not coming to an end here, I will be working on several more drawings and an oil painting over the coming weeks and months.

The talented Ilka Cosplay took on the role of Princess Zelda for this year’s portrait.

I’ll be getting to work on the following drawings and painting pretty much immediately after the Zelda Creator Con.

So, what’s next?

Tickets for Linktober’s Zelda Creator Con are on sale now and a mere $1 a piece, so by all means, join us all there at the weekend and explore Hyrule through the creative lens of some of the franchise’s biggest fans.

My creative exploration of Hyrule will continue with my continuing work on the Princess Zelda portrait, working towards an oil painting, every step will be documented, I’ll be recording video and posting lots of behind the scenes content too.

Feel free to subscribe to my monthly studio update so as not to miss anything!

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Urban Sketching To Find Creative Inspiration [Using Google Maps For Virtual Travel]

Articles, How To Find Creative Inspiration

Overcoming a creative block and finding inspiration can be a real challenge, there are times when each and every creative will fall into such a rut but there is a series of techniques that can be used to break out of the block. In this article we will look at how you can use Urban Sketching as a way to find creative inspiration.

The way of the Urban Sketchers have been overlooked by many creatives and not given the attention and credence deserved by the humble, yet incredibly rewarding act of simply getting stuck into documenting your surroundings using whatever tools are at your disposal.

Another great tool that you can use to aid you in the virtual travel journey is Pinterest, you can even using Pinterest to create a board for Urban Sketching inspiration. I recently wrote an article explaining how to create inspiration boards and how to use Pinterest to find creative inspiration.

Back to the subject of Urban Sketching, we all know that for most of the world it hasn’t been quite so easy as grabbing your equipment and heading out over the past year, that being said though it shouldn’t be written off or viewed as a limitation, we have Google Maps.

Some of the points covered throughout this article will be:

  • The definition of Urban Sketching
  • The history of Urban Sketchers
  • The Urban Sketching community
  • Tools and equipment necessary
  • How to choose a location
  • How to use Google Maps
  • 4 Steps to begin an Urban Sketch
  • Where to find creative inspiration
Japanese - Ink - Brush - Drawing - Gollum - Cave - Lord of the Rings - Ring - Water - Light - Sumi-e

Gollum In His Cave – Gollum’s Cave – Limited Edition Art Prints – The Lord Of The Rings – Ink Drawing

Middle Earth, Paintings, Sketchbook

Middle-earth has been calling yet again and never one to ignore the call of adventure, I decided to explore. My journey took me deep into the passages of The Hobbit and far under the Misty Mountains to the dark depths of the caves and subterranean lakes of forgotten times. This was the perfect opportunity to create another piece of Middle-earth art.

Let’s see what JRR Tolkien himself had to say about the place: