I've been working on inking drawings with a brush. I got a brush pen about a year and a half ago, and I still really like it. But lately, the Lowell Cornell #6 has been my weapon of choice. I'm enjoying the variation of line weight and control I'm able to get with it. Like pretty much anything else, improvement has come with consistently trying to work this way. I've sort of been easing into inking with a brush. Sometimes I will just do parts of a drawing with a brush and then go in with pen for most of the details. I really like the idea of completing a drawing entirely with one or two brushes, though. To the left is a drawing I did for the band Made To Mend to use as a logo. This was done with my trusty Lowell Cornell #6, as was the art for the Flaming Tsunamis poster below (save for lettering, which I did with the Pentel brush pen and a fine point Sharpie).
Just a quick disclaimer: The tortured phrase, "in this economy" will be used in this next paragraph. I apologize in advance.
I had a friend tell me that if you can make money off art in this economy, you'll be doing even better when things bounce back. For about a year now, I have been paying my bills by working full time doing illustration, studio art, and screen printed posters. Being able to (or rather to have to) work on art every day has been an excellent means for sharpening some of my own abilities. I have a lot more progress I would like to make, but I'm quite happy with much of the recent work I've produced, and that feels really good.
I usually tell people that I'm not opposed to getting a part time job if it ever comes to that, and it certainly might one day. My concern has always been that my productivity and prolificacy would suffer if I had to spend 20 or 30 hours a week doing something else. I know people who have made it work quite successfully, so I do know it's possible, though. My original plan was to go to grad school and earn an MFA so I could teach studio art in universities. This is something I still intend to do, but probably not any time soon. For now, I'm not terribly worried. I just keep reminding myself that I'm still very much on the climb.