The (B)ackground

(ink, pencil, colouring pencil)

I was recently given this beautiful vintage scrap book as a gift. Every page inside was empty except for the last. It had a ripped image, a diagram of a playground with kids playing on a structure. I found it haunting, nearly sad so I decided to add to the page, an attempt to try and fill in what was missing. This page had so much character and it inspired me to keep the concept going throughout the rest of the book. So now I’m making a complete work out of it. I’ll fill in each page by taking old images and cutouts I find and finishing/editing what’s missing. I will post more and more as time passes.

JFR -@illustratedconnection.com

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Haphazard

img_0267-174A45AC9-2308-42E1-A210-261D8A830CEA“I can’t see in this mess!!”

I had to pack light on my journey home for the holidays. I find it easier to get things done when there isn’t much choice around to distract my focus. I brought with me a single moleskin which I had been doodling in throughout the semester and have decided to rework the pen doodles I’ve scribbled down throughout the pages. This way I have a plan to stick to, no matter the quality of the work. In the end I want to find a way to make something out of each one, even if the page was used up by just a word.

(ink, marker, digital)

JFR -@illustratedconnection.com

Express

Top floor please!

Not every thought or word we think of will make it to the top of our minds and seep into the world around us. There’s so many obstacles within us that create stops along the way that give us time to second guess ourselves. Once we do, we swallow our imagination making it difficult to recollect the ideas we’ve since lost. If only there was a way to make this journey easier and more direct. A way to express without an off ramp.

(digital, pen)

JFR -@illustratedconnection.com

Stick People in a Stick Room

Detailed activity of the room:

As seen from left to right – A stick mirror reflecting a stick self of a stick dad next to some stick art made by a stick kid hung above a stick floor stood upon by two giant stick twins standing in a stick corner.

StickHouseStickPeople

(digital)

JFR -@illustratedconnection.com

Features of Zan

It’s been quite a while since I’ve uploaded anything so I thought I’d post a quick piece from my sketchbook this week. Summers coming to an end and I have a lot of work to edit/upload and share in the coming weeks. I made this for an app I recently discovered called SKTCHY which I highly recommend to anyone searching for fresh references to use while sketching. The app lets users upload ‘inspiration’ photos (typically portraits/selfies) which other people can then use for reference. Once finished you’re able to upload your finished product and share it with the community but more importantly with the person who you were initially inspired by. The work is then displayed next to the original photo for comparison. It’s a fun way to get some practice in, but also a great way to get a nice sketch, painting or caricature of yourself done by other talented strangers. Seeing as though most people I draw never get to see or even know I’ve drawn them it’s satisfying when somebody most likely gets to look into the faintly familiar depiction of themselves I’ve reflected back to them.

-If anybody wants to get the app or has it already and wants to connect just look for:

Joshua Forrest Russell

IMG_2884.JPG

(ink, pencil, marker, digital)

JFR -@illustratedconnection.com

Magnetic Attraction

 

Growing up, I remember walking down to a park which had one of those rickety old wooden gyms in it. A park, which at least by appearance, seemed to have been there since the 1930’s. This was no Muscle Beach, just a couple of makeshift wooden seats and rusty bars which were most likely used more by kids to hang off of, then by actual adults counting reps. The thing that struck me most though were these simple yet confusing signs describing how one was meant to use the devices. These images were something I never really understood and still don’t, constantly asking myself “am I doing this right?” or “should this hurt more or less?”. Although it was probably less of an image issue and more of an overthinking problem on my end. I should have listened to my hypothetical fitness idol Arnold who said:

“The mind is the limit. As long as the mind can envision the fact that you can do something, you can do it, as long as you really believe 100 percent.”- Arnold Schwarzenegger

Great advice, until you realize that you can’t fly, shoot laser beams or grow a second set of arms. Anyways I have always wished that I could be more attracted to working out and to push myself to be in better shape. So, I’ve drawn a series of work out instructions which involve absolutely no effort at all and that anyone can do, but just like the ones I saw at the park years ago, don’t expect any results, especially with the spin and twirl. Enjoy!

Get that perfect U shape today with magnetic pull!

Circuit:

Exercise 1:IMG_1097

Exercise 2:IMG_1103

Exercise 3:IMG_1109

(digital)

JFR -@illustratedconnection.com

 

Projects/Series

Earlier this year I decided to start making most of my illustrations/art projects into multiple part series in the hopes that it would help demonstrate my ideas more clearly. This practice has also challenged me to keep my style consistent while working on specific bodies of work. This gave me a sense of focus whilst creating. I’ve always been a huge fan of comic books and graphic novels and hope to start making larger and denser works soon, but at the same time I love pushing an idea big or small through a minimal amount of frames or a single piece of art. Hopefully with this new page I can merge those two things together and bring multiple forms of story telling to the table.

Here’s a fun little series I posted not too long ago which involves a bit of fruit and a whole lot of cheese:

Fruit and Cheese

Order Platter: 1/3

Apple of Your Eye.

“If only I was the apple of your eye, that would be so sweet!!”

FruitandCheese

Order: Platter 2/3

The Perfect Pear.

“I just wished we could’ve been the perfect pear one day, but things got rotten fast!”

perfectpear2

Order: Platter 3/3

Sweet as a Peach.

“You’re as sweet as a peach my dear.”

img_0665

(ink, digital, marker)

JFR -@illustratedconnection.com