Happy Christmas weekend.
My drawing life suffered a bit on account of Christmas, but I still finished some big pieces. And in the midst of creating art, I encountered an obstacle, which is the subject of a new section in the Dispatch…
(Speaking of sections, I’ve decided to put Fun Art ahead of Study Art. How is the layout now?)
These are probably my best works to date. This is the kind of art that I really, really want to draw – indeed, have been trying to drawing for practically all my life. Daily drawing and some structured learning is actually getting me somewhere now.
(Caption:) “Tvama takes her younger brother Estiom down to the bay for his first surf on a plesiosaur. This creature is only a youngling: swims slow enough that anchoring your grips is easy, and fast enough to still give you a good ride.”
Zhael, a very old OC (original character). She’s looking more and more like she does in my imagination.
Many things I learned from these two pieces. Thumbnailing – absolutely essential for any new piece: I will never not do it again. What image composition entails; much more to be learnt here. How to draw water waves as textures – I got to apply my Draw A Box (DaB) learning here. Visual communication of unfamiliar concepts (thanks to fellow artists at the DaB Discord server who helped me out a lot). And don’t - just don’t - try to figure out character design directly inside an illustration. Concept art is concept art for a reason!
Otherwise, no new study this week, just consolidating everything I’ve learned last month about figure drawing, and continuing to apply various skills learned from DaB and Eviston’s course.
Exercise from The Art and Science of Drawing - measuring proportions of still life. Measuring sure is laborious.
And this is that obstacle I encountered this week…
A big part of the creative life is overcoming “mind games”: the obstacles, excuses, and fears/anxieties in your head that prevent you from progressing in your art. This week, that obstacle for me was feeling that my well of inspiration was running dry. I was running out of ideas for drawings, what ideas I did have seemed stale, and I wasn’t very enthused about drawing them. If that was the case, I should go out and get inspiration: jump on DeviantART or Tumblr and just scroll, or look through artbooks or websites of my favourite artists. Pretty easy to do, right?
…Not that easy. The thought filled me with reluctance. I knew my inspiration well was dry, but I was also avoiding the act of looking up other artists. After some thought, I realized that I didn’t want to look up other artists because I was comparing myself to them. I’d just be reminded of how much my own art fell short, and how far I still had to go.
Comparison, and a case of insecurity and pride. Insecurity that I’d never be as good as my inspiration sources, which stings the pride. Pride that doesn’t want to be reminded by other artists that I still need to improve. Hence, reluctance to look for inspiration.
The artwork that will refresh my inspiration is the same thing that I don’t want to approach because of insecurity and pride. None of these are good reasons to let my inspiration well dry up. So I just have to face the fear and beat down the pride by doing what I’m scared of – which is looking at inspiring artwork.
I’m glad I figured this out, because I thought I’d dealt with these issues about my artwork already. But now fear and pride are rearing their heads again, and the way to overcome them is to do the thing they don’t want me to do. Time to go make some inspiration files this week. Surely it’ll be more fun and stimulating than I expect.
This ‘Mind Games’ section will probably show up in future dispatches as it arises. I want to record them somewhere, if anything, it’s a reminder of what I can do when they reoccur.
I’ll be doing a separate 2020 Art in Review post before the year is over.