My creative journey - Back in the hot seat here on Steemit!

2년 전

A laptop that refuses to connect to the internet on a regular basis, a desktop with a busted monitor, and up until recently, an empty bank account. Definitely not a good combination of factors when trying to be constant with a blog... especially with my head so focused on creating and not so concerned about talking about it. But, now that I got money in the bank, people buying some of my art, a friend giving me an old monitor, and my sites set on either a new laptop or at least an iPad to get this going again, I figured it was time to rev the engine on my writing skills agains. Thanks for your patience during my absence :)

So, like I said, my creating during the last 2 weeks of not writing has not stopped. Not stopped at all. There's been a lot of highs and lows, cruising through so many drawings so quickly, almost obsessively. A benefit of being single with few friends and a solid goal of what I want to do with my life, hehe. Last night was especially nuts. I'm not going to go through all the stuff I did for the last 14 days...the stack has just piled up too high and is too overwhelming, but, I think you'll enjoy this point here where I pick up again. Trust me, there's a ton.

Lately I've taken to a lot of sketching. Almost shunning paint for the moment. I think one of the most important skills for an artist is to be able to simply draw. It seems to be the fundamental thing that is the first step to getting an idea from inside my head all the way to a finished product...whatever that means, hehe. I mean, if I can't accurately represent via sketch what I want to do in ink, paint, whatever...well, it just seems strange to me. Some artists might be able to fully conceptualize and keep in place inside their head what they want to create, but, for now, not me. Also, I just like to sketch :)

20180728_130950 combo.jpg

Most of my creative days begin with a series of sketches of whatever happens to be of interest. Lately people have been asking me to do drawings of a lot of different stuff...but mostly Asian inspired, so, warriors, samurai, geisha, stuff like that. There's been a definite improvement in how I fit the pieces of a drawing together, talking about the arms, legs, chests, legs, stuff like that. And, I've really begun to think about shadow and light, and how it can really make things stand out or hide them. Even with a basic pen on cheap paper I've been getting some cool stuff. Nothing original here, not yet, just using Pintrest images to learn. That whole, 'imitate, imitate, imitate, until your mind is ready to create.'

A quick sidetone on that bit. Some warning signs that have come up as I do this imitation. Imitation becomes easy after a while...I mean, all the hard work has really been already done. There's no creation on my part except for trying to get the lines to looks similar, albeit with my own personal flair. There have been many times where I was like, 'oh, I'll just start with imitating and then I'll get to my own stuff...' and my own stuff never happens. I know that eventually creation for me will become organic and I'll develop new warmup routines to reflect that, but, I can see how easy it would be to become caught in the easiness of just imitating. To slide into that, just a warning to other people who are beginning to draw. Don't lose sight of the goal that you want to create your own unique ideas. Hopefully that will keep you out of the traps I see looming in the near future. That point where you can draw, but might not feel that true creativity you desire...stay tuned for my thoughts on that as I evolve, hehe.

20180728_105208 combo.jpg

My next step moved me to my larger 24x36 newsprint pad. I was at home, my phone was charging, so I decided to try and reach, using my own creativity and some of the templates for figures that have been building up in my head. That kind of stuff happens after a while, the building up of 'stock' images you can pull out, if you draw enough. Lines are lines are lines, and like learning a musical instrument, or dance, you brain memorizes where things are supposed to go. Maybe that's why I shun traditional learning techniques and instead focus on my more visceral understanding of things. I get to 'know' how they work, versus how people think they are supposed to work. That's just my process though...and everyone finds their own, so, don't take what I say on this as anything that's written in stone.

20180728_105235 small.jpg

I was pretty proud of these, I mean, they're not masterpieces, but, you can see exactly what they are, and they're not horrible, hehe. I also whipped out a mirror and decided to do a self-portrait. A kind of benchmark to see how I'm feeling. Some of my friend have told me that they can see how I'm doing in life by the eyes in my self-portraits. Something about how I really feel sneaking out. I agree, too.

My week, well, it's been intense. From my birthday on Monday, to an whirlwind of insanity with people threatening to fight me, shoot me, and calling me all sorts of names on Tuesday, to working to establish new healthier routines in my life. I've found out how some friends value me, others who don't, and begun to understand the mentality of people who live around me on a whole different level. Like going from the foreword in a gripping novel to the first page...but, I'm the one writing the story, hehe. Lessons learned, perspectives shifted, yet, in all that, my heads been level. I haven't been scared, anxious, or freaked out. I've gotten stronger and I haven't shied away. Life will never get easier, only change. You're, I mean, I'm the one who needs to get stronger to shoulder the load I've decided to carry...

Anyways, back to the art bits, hehe. Been a while since I've written so there's A LOT to get out...but, need to pace myself.

20180728_105242 small.jpg

I finally gave up on having my cell phone charge, and pulled up a photo of someone one of my followers on Instagram asked me to draw. I do that sometimes, ask people what they'd like to see me draw. I've had some crazy responses, and try to get to all of them. I like to involve people in my work, it's fun, and people get to have fun alongside me :) Can you guess who this dude is?

20180728_131130 combo.jpg

After I took another break, a quick munchie run to the supermarket next door, I pulled out what I was really supposed to be doing all day...these 11x14 poster board drawings to cover the door windows in my new room to augment the blinds...if it doesn't make sense, don't worry, I'll take a pic for my next blog when I have them all up :)

At first I was drawing with this really cool V Super Color Broad Chisel marker by Pilot, have been for the last several days. I like the flow of it, the life of it, but the nib is killing me. The pen is refillable, but, looking at the nib I can't really see why. No real life to it. If it goes from sharp edges to round tip so yeah, not going to refill it unless I happen to run across the cartridges and they're cheap. I can't complain about the quality though. That is, until I pulled out a new marker that I bought...

The other day at the art store, thanks to the influx of cash from work and my birthday, I was able to pick up a real art tool. A Molotow 4-8mm chisel tip marker which uses I believe a high flow acrylic ink. Damn is it pretty. But, damn is it expensive. The flow is so nice, the finished black, damn black, and so far the nib is holding it's shape. At $11 a pen, not exactly something for beginners. But, the cool thing is that it's for professionals, so, the quality of the pen itself is high. You can refill it, you can replace the nibs, and I think I was reading it takes like 50 refills before the pump mechanisms begin to break down.

20180728_131137 combo.jpg

These were the last 3 drawings of the day and I think they are my favorite. The first, the straight black and white one is with the Pilot marker, the other two, with color, those were with my new marker and some dope Prisma Colors a buddy bought me a while, 4 months ago. Man, that was when I was still buying permanent markers at the Dollar Store and going through 3 or 4 a day. Wow...time flies and tools change...

And that was yesterday, hehe. It's crazy what's changed over the last couple weeks, but also cool to see what hasn't. I may have dropped off the edge of Steemit for a minute, but like the Little Engine that Could...I just kept steaming away on other stuff and here I am again, back and raring to go again :)

Thanks for dropping by and checking out what's been going on. Sorry I've been gone. From now on I'm going to do my best to get this blog out. One of the 3 V's I committed myself to...visibility (keep on showing people what I'm up to), being vocal (doing my best to make the world a better place), and being voracious (creating, consuming, meeting people). Let me know what you think. And, if there's something you want to see me draw, let me know and I'll see what I can do. I hope all my family clans here still call me family. That means y'all at @thealliance, @steemusa and @socalsteemit. Still have a lot of love for y'all and hope you still remember me :) Also, @snook @c0ff33a @derekrichardson @byn @hangin @mariannewest @katrina-ariel @bmj @daveks @redheadpei @thekitchenfairy @tattoodjay @robertandrew @deerjay, miss y'all and hope to see you soon somewhere on here :)


Find me on Instagram at IAMSTONEDWESSEL and watch my new work, videos, and occasional LIVES :)

Authors get paid when people like you upvote their post.
If you enjoyed what you read here, create your account today and start earning FREE STEEM!
Sort Order:  trending

Congratulations! This post was chosen to be featured in this weeks SoCal Spotlight!!
Thank you so much for being part of the #socalsteemit community.


Woohoo! :) Thanks! :)

I love all the sketches, and the soul searching... choosing the direction of your life, as best you can. Glad there’s some money in the bank, and I hope a new laptop finds you soon. Keep being you! 💞


Me too, hehe. Gotta keep working towards it. Good to see you again :)

Happy Birthday, plenty of hugs and always stay safe.

Good to see you back 😘


Thanks! And good to be back :) Glad to see my friends are still around as well.

Good to hear things are turning around for you, Mike. Fabulous work on the drawings. I like the self portrait. And don’t worry you are remembered. Keep Steeming!


Like the grindstone in the original Conan the Barbarian, hehe. Eventually I'll get free of my shackles. And, thanks! Getting better bit by bit. Thanks for remembering me :) Felt like a knob for being away for so long. But, needed to put energy into certain things to get back to here, hehe.


Good to hear you are getting better. All things in moderation is suppose to be the key, dear friend. 😊

Heck ya, good to see you back dude. You gotta come to another meetup! We're planning two for next month!


Hell yeah! Almost made it to the San Diego one. Had a huge project at the end of the week coupled with my birthday on Monday that kept me around home, hehe. Keep me in the loop! :)

Of course, we remember you :) wow. You really have been busy!!!


Hehe, that was just one night. Been plenty of days like that. Turn that negative energy, that desire for a better future, into something real :) Need to get back to those 5 minute free writes again ;) Looks like your house of writing has been growing, which is so awesome to see.

  ·  2년 전

I REALLY admire your skill for sketching. I can see that you've put a lot of work into it and the fact that you can do it so consistently is amazing to me.

I totally understand the struggle with technology and funds and I wish you the best of luck keeping up with that, too!


Hehe, my tech problems are slowly being solved. I'm learning to get the tools I need to get the job I want to get done done, instead of trying to skimp and be cheap. So far, it's working pretty well.

Yeah, some days get really intense on the drawing, like 6 or 7 hours, hehe. I mean, if you wanna get good and aren't distracted by stuff...easy to dedicate time like that. Though, I wish I had a few more distractions :)

Thanks for stopping by!

  ·  2년 전

Hey, that's like me with my writing. Some days I will sit and barely move for hours on end when the writing inspiration is flowing! I suppose I probably need to get out more and not JUST write all the time, but it's hard to stop when I'm feeling the mojo. Who knows when it will fly away again!


Hehe, my tech problems are slowly being solved. I'm learning to get the tools I need to get the job I want to get done done, instead of trying to skimp and be cheap. So far, it's working pretty well.

Yeah, some days get really intense on the drawing, like 6 or 7 hours, hehe. I mean, if you wanna get good and aren't distracted by stuff...easy to dedicate time like that. Though, I wish I had a few more distractions :)

Thanks for stopping by!

I was wondering where you went!! Glad you're back :)
Awesome you're still pursuing sketching! You and your skills for photography and art!

Do you have any advice on better photography?? I know that's a broad question, I've just been trying to get better at it.. but don't know where to start.


Wow, that is pretty broad, but I do get it a lot. There are so many answers to that one, hehe. I always recommend to take more pictures. Find what you like to shoot, and keep on shooting it until you get something you like to look at. Always be looking at what you did right and what you did wrong. Seek out experienced people who will give you hard, critical, and vital feedback. Some of the hardest moments are listening to someone rip our favorite images apart piece by piece asking the questions we don't want anyone to ask. If you want to get good, those are the people you need to seek out. Most people will say whatever you show them looks good, but they really have no idea. Our media saturated culture has lost sense of what's good and bad and usual just reply in a way that will propel the conversation in a positive light. God forbid someone says something bad about your picture. You have to have a lot of patience, confidence in yourself, and the ability to keep moving forward no matter what. Also, keep in mind the difference between technicality and creativity. Technicality is the ability to bring your creative vision to life. You may have a strong creative vision but crappy technicals for a while, but if you apply yourself and really study the nuts and bolts of photographers you love, you'll figure it out. The important part is to learn, learn, learn. Consume as much good imagery as you can as it will help to shape the photos you try and put together. And, creativity is a muscle. Keep flexing it and it will get stronger. Don't be sad if your first 100 attempt suck. It will come with time :)

Sooo, to bring that ramble back to a point, hehe...

Some good places to start would be to find what you like shooting the most, research some famous photographers in that industry, get to know what they do and figure out how they do it. Most of what you need to know is up on Youtube. Getting what you see there to work just takes experimentation. Then, try, and try, and try, and try, hehe.

Everyone's creative journey is different, but I've found the only way you move forward is by doing what you what to be doing...for better or worse...hmmm, think I said that several times already, but, wanted to emphasize it. I can't even count the number of people who said they wanted to get better at something but when I asked when the last time they did it they just kinda shrugged their shoulders and looked away, or even sometimes I've had people get pissed at me.

Hope that helps :)


I am honestly very surprised by this reply haha. So much time put into this, all to try and help me. I can't say thank you enough. This is definitely the most genuine, best reply I have received.

I am going to make sure to do my best to just keep trying as you say, I'm sure eventually at least SOMETHING has to improve lol.

You said that one of the best things to do is let an experienced photographer give you hard, critical, feedback. I am actually willing to do that, I am very curious what I need to do better. Is there a chance I could one day show you my best photo (completely of my opinion) and you be that person that gives me that feedback? 😅

Just a thought.

You inspire me and thank you for it!!

For my sins I'm way to busy at the moment to keep at with everyone on Steemit, while you were lurking at the back of my mind it has been a while since I last called onto your blog.

This is good though, life is turning around for you and your drawing is really fantastic, I like all these you have developed a real flair for the sketches.

You should maybe start doing Sketches of Steemians that would be surely a popular series!

Keep up with the Writing though as well, you do always tell a very good tale.

#thealliance #witness


That could be a really cool idea :) I do a lot of portraits on my 24x36 pad and it could be some good practice :)

Thanks for stopping by! Been way too long. Crazy how fast time flies. One minute I'm 2 days behind, then 2 weeks pass. But, never stopped moving.

Hope all's well with ya!

What a rich crop of art you have shared here. Thanks for sharing your prolific drawings with us! I like them all, especially the one of the man in the mustache.


Pablo Escobar, hehe. And, thanks for stopping by and checking my work out :) Hope to see you around here again sometime. Never know what's coming out next.

Happy birthday! Welcome to the pleasant addiction of quality art supplies! Never look back lol

Hello @mikesthoughts, thank you for sharing this creative work! We just stopped by to say that you've been upvoted by the @creativecrypto magazine. The Creative Crypto is all about art on the blockchain and learning from creatives like you. Looking forward to crossing paths again soon. Steem on!

Diggin the samurai sketches man.