Two months of personal development

I missed my opportunity to do a "Happy New Year" post where I'd list down all my resolutions (I didn't have much , don't worry :). So here I am again on my blog playing catch up. Unlike last year, I felt that my intentions were pretty clear for the rest of 2017.

2016, I felt was all about me facing outwards...sharing my work, displaying it and really taking on the mantle of being an artist. I participated in exhibitions, design shows, charity projects all through out 2016 whilst running Inky Cat Studio the brand. It was exciting, gratifying and there was so much to learn and so many people to meet. Putting so much of myself out there was an incredible experience, but also tiring and by December I knew that for 2017 I just wanted to focus on my personal development first. 

I wanted to see what I would find if I focused on developing my technical skills, ideas I've been wanting to flesh out and projects I haven't had time for. I'm pleased to say that as I write this up in March, I definitely feel on track with my goal. 

Before, I used to get annoyed and frustrated about how I had too many different areas of focus in my art. But now, I enjoy trying out many different things. Maybe I've been starved for play time or experimentation. But gradually, I've found that for me, creative exploration has been an important way to develop myself as an artist. I think this shift towards playfulness, looseness and learning has started to show in my artwork.

My apprehension after reading the news about world politics 

My apprehension after reading the news about world politics 

Trying out new subjects

Trying out new subjects

    My use of color has become about what I feel like, rather than what I see, and I am really enjoying this shift in ideas. I've also taken an huge interest in figure drawing. I've been participating in life drawing sessions regularly each month and I think I'm finally getting used to observing and expressing what I see in my own way. 

FEb26FigureDrawing1.jpg

I absolutely love this feeling of expressiveness. Granted, my work always has room for improvement, but I welcome the sense of ease that I feel knowing that I can be playful and try different things and find what works best for me in that way. I think I had forgotten how to learn about my own art. 

Another aspect I've noticed is that whatever I learn in one area (eg. life drawing, watercolors) slowly bleeds into another and I begin to create new type of work. That in itself is also exciting to me. 

WWonPlane.png

I've started digitally drawing/painting character based short stories (I recently found out these are called one-shots lol). Drawing on the computer isn't new to me, but lately, I've found I've been actually thinking of it as another viable medium for me. My comfort in using digital mediums to tell a story and express myself is growing. 

Currently I've entered another stage in my art where I'm interested in the story book aesthetic. I've been painting a number of pieces based on the world of tiny little white cats that I call Meeples.  I'll post again about these paintings, but just know that although they take longer to make, these paintings seem to be a great combination of all my pursuits so far.

All of this in just 2 months since I decided to put myself first. Where towards the end of 2016 I was feeling drained and a little bit in a rut, today I feel like whatever idea I have is fair game :) I can't wait to see where my art will be in another 2 months!  

 

Things I'm afraid to tell you

So we're now in the tail end of the year, with Halloween almost out of the way (as usual, this year I  didn't finish #inktober *sigh*). And I thought I'd finally put up another blog post. It's not like I've forgotten that this blog section of my website exists...I just usually don't know what to write about. So this post is me copying an idea I found from the fantastic blog, Pikaland. It's from a very old post of hers (which she in turn got from another blog, Creature Comforts - but this website seems to be down at the moment), but I really like the idea of presenting yourself as you are...and not just your highlight reel. 

So here's my top 3: 

I'm a real worry wart. 

Worrying, anxiety and just general over sensitivity can sometimes feel like a barrage of weapons.

Worrying, anxiety and just general over sensitivity can sometimes feel like a barrage of weapons.

I worry about anything and everything. Right now, as I write this, I just caught myself worrying about stray animals overseas because I saw some article weeks ago about animal cruelty. So maybe, I'm just over sensitive...but on the art side, I'll also worry about  whether I'm doing enough. Whether or not I'm making progress. Do I like what I just made? Will people like it? Should I sell ? How should I package things? Etc etc 

It really is tiring and draining. But these days, I've learnt to slowly talk it out with family and friends so that I'm not stewing in my own worries all the time. Rationalizing these thoughts by getting organized and surrounding myself with good vibes helps me a lot and it allows me to gain back the perspective that I had unwittingly thrown out the window. 

Being around people is very draining to me. 

Alone time is good for me - but not too much :) 

Alone time is good for me - but not too much :) 

At its worst, I used to get this awful, heavy feeling of dread for days before an event. I'd lose my appetite and sleep because I didn't know what I was feeling and how to manage it. This is a lot better now than it used to be but there are still days when I'll say no to some kind of social gathering because I just want to stay at home with my cats. I usually don't even have anything I want to do in particular, I just don't want to socialize. 

When I start to feel introverted and anti social, it's important for me to notice it for what it is and not pass it up as 'just being tired' or 'not feeling like going out'. It's important for me to do this because it reminds me that I do like hanging out with like minded people - that I don't always want to be alone. By understanding myself, I know that when I want a break, it's simply because I need to recharge my energy so I can go out again...not to avoid socializing altogether.  

I'm super clumsy

The part where hand and eye coordination is supposed to get better over the years never happened to me. Nor the part where I'm more observant of my surroundings....or the part where I'm less weird. 

Sometime this year the following have happened to me: 

Ouch

Ouch

  • I've stepped on a pin which pierced through the bottom of my foot
  • I've fallen out of a door...yeah...
  • I've spilled boiling hot tea on myself giving me burns on my stomach. 
  • This week, I scraped my arm on a metal ruler lying around my desk giving myself a 3 inch long cut. 
  • I've cut my hand opening my cats' canned food. 
  • I've lost my wallet twice (well the 2nd time I just lost my credit card)

I don't know exactly how I'm trying to improve on this...I think this one might just be a lost cause lol 

 

So there you go. If I seem put together and generally looking like I know what I'm doing...it's only because of a lot of practice, effort and some luck lol . And there are certainly days where that just isn't enough either. But that's my current state and I know I'm improving (except maybe #3 haha ) every day. This is pretty much how I am behind all the Instagram filters, Facebook likes and smiling photos...and I say, hello!

My first Zine: The Unobservant Poet

Some of you may remember years ago a poetry/children's illustration project of mine called The Unobservant Poet. The idea was to create a book of children's, very silly poetry written and illustrated by me. The idea still lives on strong inside me, but my drive to see the project to fruition has gone on hiatus for a little bit....until today. 

In preparation for a very informal meet up get together where I'll be sharing how to make a basic zine, I thought I'd put together one myself to show as a reference. I wanted something under a cohesive theme and something that was pretty much complete (I was working on this after midnight lol). I dug around my old files and folders and found my old poems. TUP was exactly what I was looking for. So, here I present to you:

"The Unobservant Poet - A collection of ridiculous poems".

If any of you would like a hard copy of this zine printed and mailed to you, just send me an email :) Hard copies are SGD$3 plus postage. 

Preparing for 2 art exhibits : A retrospective

Since my last post all the way back in January, I feel like I've really gone through a lot of changes..personally and also in my art. I think the catalyst for this has been my involvement in two group exhibits this May. Funnily, I started writing this in early April but preparations suddenly became quite intense so now I'm finishing this article at the tail end of May, after both shows have wrapped up. Consequently, I'm sorry if my tenses are all over the place lol 

Speaking of which, one show's theme is about change and is titled "Passage", while the other is "Artist's Anonymous: Creative Self Help". These two shows will be my first formal art show with a small group of artists here in Singapore. It's quite an experience to be part of an organizing committee and building everything up from scratch. I've had numerous meetings now for both shows, usually after work hours in cafes located across town..and we've pieced together the theme,  our concepts, the venue...even done lots of soul searching. But in the end, we take what we've absorbed and go home to our studios to work on our own pieces. And this, I think is where I've felt a lot of growth happen. 

I've felt such a boost in motivation and imagination speaking to other artists who have willingly stepped into the same boat as me. Seeing their unfiltered rough ideas on paper is fascinating and listening to their own abstractions on why they want to explore a particular idea is comforting. It really helped me understand that I share something in common with others and at the same time that the creative process can be as unique as you want it to be. With this in mind, I've been able to step out of whatever comfort zone I've had and try new styles..new ideas and really tap into my imagination. 

The happy artists of "Artists Anonymous: Creative Self-Help"

The happy artists of "Artists Anonymous: Creative Self-Help"

More happy artists and volunteers from the exhibit,"Passage". 

More happy artists and volunteers from the exhibit,"Passage". 

Because both exhibits asked of their artists to reflect on quite abstract themes, I thought it would be a great chance to centre my art on the human body. It's always been something I've wanted to paint and I wanted to really challenge myself to make sure I could depict something emotional and grounded. At the same time I also thought that THAT was all I wanted to focus on..the emotion of what I was trying to convey. I knew I didn't want to work on a big piece with lots of background, or multiple figures....or even faces. When I really thought it through, I realised that I just wanted a specific and isolated part of the human body to be able to say everything. In my mind, I thought that was the most direct way of communicating my ideas without any distraction. In the end, after remembering the sketches I saw of the old masters', I knew I wanted to do the same and paint expressive hands that could tell a story. 

Hand Sketches from Leonardo Da Vinci

Hand Sketches from Leonardo Da Vinci

And so off I went on a hand sketching binge for a good two months or more...Folks on my social media must have been quite perplexed as to why the mood and subject of my pieces suddenly shifted so much. It may even have looked like someone else had taken over my accounts. 

"Vespa Walrus". The type of whimsical stuff I was painting before the art exhibits happened lol 

"Vespa Walrus". The type of whimsical stuff I was painting before the art exhibits happened lol 

 

It probably didn't even help that I also chose to use a colour palette that had a lot of blues. My initial pieces were very subdued and even sad. I started using a blue pencil for my outlines and made all my shadows different shades of indigo or ultramarine. It was not the usual bright or whimsical pieces I would do..and I really really enjoyed it. 

Initial stage of one of my paintings: "Anxiety", "Passage" @SPRMRKT 2016

Initial stage of one of my paintings: "Anxiety", "Passage" @SPRMRKT 2016

"Hello and Goodbye", "Passage" @ SPRMRKT 2016

"Hello and Goodbye", "Passage" @ SPRMRKT 2016

Sometimes I'd make my hands quite close to realistic..other times I'd play around with colours and push myself to paint as differently as I could. 

"The Struggle", "Artists Anonymous" @ That Spare Room 2016

"The Struggle", "Artists Anonymous" @ That Spare Room 2016

"Reaching Out", "Artists Anonymous" @That Spare Room 2016

"Reaching Out", "Artists Anonymous" @That Spare Room 2016

I was having so much fun, I started adding fantasy elements into my hand paintings..

"Crystals" available as prints in my store. 

"Crystals" available as prints in my store. 

When I started adding elements that I was unfamiliar with, but yet be playful with and have fun with all the possibilities and combinations...that's when it really hit home that I was growing as an artist. That was my big eureka moment. At that moment, I felt really happy that I raised my hand to be a part of these two art exhibits. I guess, sometimes, you commit to things thinking you'll reap benefits A, B and C, but along the way you realise you've actually gained so much more. 

It feels odd to sum up the two exhibits I worked so hard on in a paragraph, but suffice to say that it was a big success. A lot of people came and I spoke to a lot of lovely people who asked me about my art and the reasoning behind it. Thank you. It was humbling to be able to share my ideas with you all and to see you all turn out to support us. I gallery sat.. and I also conducted workshops to get the public interested in art...and all the while, I continued to make new art I wouldn't have even imagined of just a few months ago. As for the actual pieces I had on show, I'll probably write another post on them as they deserve their own separate entry. If you're interested, you can see our opening night photos on Facebook here and here

Before I sign off on this post and finally (woohoo!) publish it - I just wanted to share my top 3 takeaway from this whole experience. It's a reminder for me and perhaps it might help anyone else who reads this.  In no order: 

  1. Nothing is wasted. That crappy doodle I did yesterday..is a stepping stone towards this awesome painting I'm really happy with right now. 
  2. Once you put your art out there for the public to see, they'll interpret it in their own way. That's okay and some very surprising insights can come out of it. 
  3. Step back when you can and get some perspective. It's okay to take it easy and not be so hard on yourself. 

So there it is! Of course, I've learnt much more than just 3 bullet points..lol But these 3 things were what I constantly had to remind myself of during this entire process. I'm quite sure I'll be repeating these to myself for a long time to come :)

A big thank you to my fellow artists and everyone who stepped in to make our art exhibit happen. You guys are awesome. 

Entering 2016

As I write this, we're already half way through January of the new year. In the span of just over 2 weeks, I've made it my objective to always move Inky Cat Studio forward.  I believe that little bits of effort each day will slowly come together, and I've begun keeping track of my small accomplishments (and also some of the booboos to learn from) for the last two weeks. 

Rethinking our use of space

To begin with, my husband and I started the New Year with a big spring clean of the house, which then led to a long overdue upgrade to my studio space which I share with my husband's work area. 

After working in an increasingly cramped space, it inevitably didn't make sense that right next door was a huge bedroom that was only used for sleeping and resting in the evenings. So it was decided that we would swap our master bedroom with the smaller office room.

So off we went on the first day of January, cleaning up, dismantling the bed, moving tables around and swapping furniture over. 

The chaos.

The chaos.

In the end, the move worked out great because we're now maximising the space we have. I only wish we had done this sooner and can't recommend it enough to people who have a huge master bedroom, but then wonder why their working area always feels so cramped. 

Commitment and Focus

When I started making art last year, I was still very indecisive about what kind of artist I wanted to be. Should I be a commercial artist or a fine artist.. or both? What kind of art should I make, who were my audience? Maybe I could do children's book illustrations...there were a lot of options for me, which was great! But also overwhelming. After a few months of talking to other artists, exploring the industry, getting involved in the art retail space and literally just making art every day, I'm happy to say I've made some key decisions. 

The main one being my decision to focus on the commercial aspects of Inky Cat Studio. What can I say, I love the retail space. It's such a delight for me to see my products in the stores, and I've been very fortunate to have some great stockists here in Singapore who have helped me along the way. I now want to commit to growing my brand slowly, and continuing the good relationships and momentum I've built. For me, this year means learning to balance Stephanie the Artist with Stephanie the Business Owner. I feel that although ICS wouldn't exist without some kind of nominal commitment towards starting a business, there was still the childish artist in me that wanted to just make art without any consideration for time/cost/ROI (all of which might sound dull, but are very important). But after having ICS for a few months now, I realized that I needed to strengthen my commitment towards my art as a brand and as a business. That means learning how to market myself, how to look after my numbers, my partnerships and my customers more. I also began to see and accept that running a business, can in itself be a catalyst for growth as an artist. 

I picked up this little guy to help me through the year :) My little Good Fortune Kitty. 

I picked up this little guy to help me through the year :) My little Good Fortune Kitty. 

 

SO! After all the soul searching - I'm happy to say that I've started making some small changes and new relationships that I hope will help ICS. 

Stepping Stones

Here's what I've been up to in order to get ICS rolling this year:

  • I introduced bundle pricing for my art prints
  • Updated the store with lots of new designs (check it out )
  • Starting to branch out and look at different merchandise to put my art on ( super excited about this! stay tuned!) 
  • Adding new stockists - Check me out on Excluniqueeee !
  • Updated inventory with existing partners 
  • Blogging more ;) 
  • Getting my name out there by joining Group Art Shows and local design exhibits (coming Q1 2016)
A new partner! Exciting!

A new partner! Exciting!

To sum up - in the last 15 days, after much cleaning and soul searching, I've strengthened my commitment and narrowed down my focus. Now, I'm happily starting to lay down the foundations for a strong year using my inner compass as my guide. 

 

What I've learnt in the last few months

Firstly, I wanted to apologize that I've been very lazy with my blog and that my last entry was way back in July! 

A lot of things have happened since then, but I'm happy to report that I've been very busy slowly laying down the foundation for what I hope will be a steady creative business. My process so far was to slowly experiment and build a body of work that I was happy with and put my work out there for everyone to see. I did this daily...just drawing and putting it up, doing commissions and bigger pieces..talking to other artists. The response since from people on facebook, instagram and in person have been so encouraging and positive, it's been truly humbling and motivating. 

In August I then decided to register Inky Cat Studio as a proper business entity and to build it up as a brand. It has a long way to go but I've been plugging away and moving forward every day....

There's an impatience in me and a continuous internal critique of how to move forward with ICS, but in my mind as long as I'm not paralyzed by any insecurities or fears then that counts for me as progress. As they say "Done is better than perfect". Which of course, doesn't mean you should churn out sloppy work, but I can't be agonizing over what needs to be done either. Sometimes it's a little hard, but I feel like I'm getting better at it. 

Not me, but my loyal helper elf. Here he is packing away some art prints. 

Not me, but my loyal helper elf. Here he is packing away some art prints. 

I could give you a detailed account about what other things have happened since July but I think I'd just like to share a few of the things I've learnt along the way (in no order) : 

  • A nicely worded email will get you places. 
  • Being internet / technology savvy really does help
  • Always double check any finance related calculations you've made 
  • Time is money. 
  • Having a routine makes it easier to create even on days when you have zero inspiration. 
  • Sometimes, when you really don't want to create. Just don't. Go to sleep or play a game on the iPad. 
  • In art, try everything, create many things. 
  • Talk to other makers, artists...always tap into the good vibes by being around like minded people. 
  • Don't be afraid to be proud of your art. 
  • Every artist feels insecure about their own work.
  • Listen to people. You'll be surprised who and where someone will say something kind or helpful. 

But above all, what surprised me the most was that as soon as I threw myself head on into Inky Cat Studio, things started falling into place. I guess after so many years of thinking about being a creative, I had imagined roadblocks that were much much larger than they really were. Not to say that it's been an easy few months...but it definitely was NOT impossible. 

I've read some people describe instances like this as the "Law of Attraction". That 'like attracts like' - focussing on positive things attract other positive things. I wouldn't say I've experience this on such a grand scale..but working on something I really enjoy, despite the stressful, frustrating moments..and talking to other people about it, getting recognition, improving, all this has just led to other experiences that have enriched me. Thinking about it now, I guess it's more like 'you reap what you sow'. But the difference from before all of this, is that I know what my goals are and exactly what kind of seeds I'm planting. 

So where to from here but on to clearer and bigger goals! That means more art, more business partnerships, more exhibits....but also, more understanding of myself. 

Me and my work at a store :D 

Me and my work at a store :D 

Here's to a great last few months and thank you so much to everyone for giving your support to this fledgling artist on her journey. I know where I'm heading now :) 

 

 

 

So many pugs!

Well so many of the same pug actually. Recently, after I finished my Gentleman's Goldfish  I asked my facebook page fans what animal I should work on next. 

My niece was online (bless her) and threw out a bunch of suggestions: jellyfish, octopus, hippo, platypus and pug.

I also received a few other suggestions (meerkat!) and I've saved them all in a handy evernote memo. But the one that stuck to me during this round was the pug suggestion because a few other people had mentioned them to me recently. How they're very cute with their googly eyes and old-man funny faces. 

Personally, I'm a cat person ( I have two!) and although I grew up with dogs I've never actually drawn my own or any other dog. So before I could really commit to making my next Eccentric animal a pug, I tested out my dog drawing skills. 

This is my first EVER drawing of a dog that isn't a stick figure. 

My hesitation at calling this a pug is clear enough. I signed off this drawing with the above question. 

My hesitation at calling this a pug is clear enough. I signed off this drawing with the above question. 

Firstly, I don't ever remember seeing a pug in person before. It also didn't help that I kept overlaying imaginary bulldog features on them just because I was more familiar with bulldogs (I've seen a few growing up).  Anyway, I showed this drawing to a few friends and posted it on instagram half expecting someone to point out that it looked like a boxer puppy. No one said anything so I figure I could move on to the next step which was making him eccentric :D 

My immediate thought was "I want him to wear a donut". lol But because he's a small puppy and was sitting the way pugs apparently like to, I couldn't 'realistically' fit a donut around him without making him look like he was being suffocated. It had to be something else. 

Shogun pug

Shogun pug

Sometimes, when no ideas come to me, I like to start from the basics by asking "Who am I?". It's a pretty simple question to which internal Steph will eventually say, "I'm half Japanese, half Filipino". It's my default answer whenever people ask me where I'm from or where I grew up..what my background was etc. I suppose, it's the same when I brainstorm - it starts off with my identity. As to why it had to be a kabuto (Japanese warrior helmet) well, in my mind, this puppy was a boy and what he lacked in size, I felt he should make up for in audacity. lol 

After a few days' break from pugs, I went to sketch a bigger version. The break was because I felt like I needed to 'recharge' from brainstorming and thinking of pugs so much. Later I realize, I simply just wasn't able to differentiate between procrastinating and recharging. 

You'll notice the lack of helmet.

You'll notice the lack of helmet.

Here he is on watercolour paper. This was where I again encountered major delays. I realized, that if I were to fit in the kabuto, I had to shrink the pug on the paper...did I want the focus to be on the helmet and not the pug? Did I want a small pug? Deep down, I really liked the size of the pug I currently had. So I ditched the helmet, as painful as that was, and added in Iron Man's arc reactor as an homage to my penchant for Marvel. 

But, I wasn't happy with it. I had a sense of compromise and even of laziness. Something in my gut was telling me it didn't like this version and that it didn't fit in with the rest of my Eccentric series.  And that's the key isn't it, that a series has to be continuous..it has to pass on a similar and consistent message. Iron Pug, although fun, didn't really fit in that relay race. 

So I went back to the drawing board, erased the arc reactor and went back to the Japanese motif that I originally had in mind. If I couldn't fit a helmet in because of paper constraints, I could still fit something just as ridiculous: a detailed katana on his back. 

And all was right again :)

And all was right again :)

I'm learning slowly to listen to my gut and it was much happier this time. I put in line patterns and details in the sash, scabbard and hilt to contrast with the solid colours of Mr.Pug. 

Here he is with the first pass of brown: 

It took a few tries to get that sandy shade of brown / yellow / cream.

It took a few tries to get that sandy shade of brown / yellow / cream.

Here he is in his creepy zombie stage.

Here he is in his creepy zombie stage.

And lastly here's the final version: 

Lessons learnt from this painting: 

  • Distinguish between ideation, rest and procrastination 
  • Listen to your gut - it knows when you're being lazy and / or compromising.
  • CONSISTENCY. 

Besides that, I'm happy I finally have a dog painting in my repertoire that's as eccentric and offbeat as his other buddies. 

 

Poster prints available! Limited time only

I'm pleased to say I'm doing a limited print run of A3 and A4 size posters for my recent paintings.  

I will have the following 5 available in the above sizes:

They're ready for a new home! 

They're ready for a new home! 

The A4 sizes are going for $20 while A3 is at $30. For an extra $10 I'll ship it anywhere in the world in a nice sturdy tube. 

If you'd like a copy you can preorder using this short form and I'll get in touch with you ASAP! 

https://inkycatstudio.typeform.com/to/cQS3XB

Painting Magical Cat

My very own magical cat is a 16 year old Devon Rex called Neko (Japanese for cat). He's a little chubby (but not overly so!), loves pets and cuddles and can't meow. 

Of his 16 years, I've had him for 11 where he's constantly kept us company, giving us cuddles whenever we sit on the sofa or lie down on the bed. I'll often wake up in the morning to find him stretched out on the bed with me. He also doesn't mind hugs and belly rubs as long as he's in the mood. 

16 years is a long time and these days, Neko spends his time sleeping on the sofa or on his window seat (pictured above) 10 storeys up, overlooking the trees and the soccer field of the school opposite. He doesn't get to see possums and big crows like in his old window seat in Sydney, but it's still his favourite spot. 

He's also a resilient little cat going through multiple local moves in Sydney, major surgery, diabetes and most recently an overseas move. Throughout all this, he's been the cuddliest, friendliest cat I've ever met and it's clear to me that him and our other cat Mogget are definitely a special part of our family. 

It's always been in my never ending to-do list to paint a portrait of him as a reminder of all the silly, warm and fuzzy feelings we get from having a special cat like him. But I didn't want it to be overly serious. So a few weeks ago, while taking a break from another painting I finally sketched him out using a photo I took as a reference. 

A week later, I realized that the initial sketch was too serious for my liking. My cat was alive and well and what I had sketched out looked like it could sit on a shrine or memorial for him. So, I added a top hat and bow tie. As you do. Because he's a classy cat - he doesn't sleep on the floor and doesn't eat off the tiles. It's the exact amount of silly and fun I wanted to portray and remember about my cat.

After I was happy with the sketch I started to colour in the major elements. Here's a short video of me putting some colour into this top hat and bow tie. 

And here we have the final version

I really like how eccentric looking he is in this painting. Because that's exactly what he is, one of a kind. 

Painting "Small" with video

The other week I found a website called Illustration Friday which featured lots of great artwork from different artists, styles and mediums. The premise of the website is not only to feature lots of varied artwork, but also to try and have fun by submitting illustrations around a particular theme. 

I haven't really tried illustrating or painting anything around a specific theme but I thought I'd ease myself into it by giving this week's theme a go. The theme was "Small" and this was my interpretation: 

I always liked the miniaturisation of the stuff we use often and I thought our phones were definitely no exception. So here's a depiction of this happening in the extreme - iPhone XXXSSS :) 

Here's a short video of the initial sketching phase: 

I made a few minor adjustments to the hand before I started giving it some light shading with a brush. Then I started adding in the shadows and a little bit more detail: 

And there we have it! My first submission to Illustration Friday :D I must say, I'm a little excited about next week's topic. It's really nice to just have fun and to try something new with these little challenges.