I'm turning into the worlds worst blogger. Well, probably not the worlds worst. But it feels pretty bad not keeping things up to date. But, that's life. The important part, I feel, is that I'm still actually on my creative journey. Up to my neck in it, actually, in many, many good ways.
I've been working the charcoal sketches and ink drawings pretty hard over the last several days. Fixated on technique I've become stuck trying to get better and better. Now, this sounds like a good problem to have. You know, I'm trying to get better. Right? The better I am the better my work will look, right?
Well, it's a double-edged sword. Yes, it's good to try and get better and better...but that practice can become a comfort zone you can't escape...something I think happened to me with my photography. I'll just try this, or that, or because I'm tired tonight I'll only...and so the conversation goes...maybe tomorrow or this weekend I'll do all those cool finished projects ideas I was thinking on...or next week.
I was always talking about how I was building up this vast repertoire of skills to make sure I could handle whatever arose...but in the meantime I didn't really do anything that would capture anyones attention. I didn't do any real projects. It was all practice and training. Yeah, I got to be damn good, but, in getting there I exhausted myself to the point of hating what I did. I'm pretty sure I've mentioned this before, but I think it can become a big problem if it's not addressed soon enough...which is what I'm doing. Or at least trying to. This is like the 3rd or 4th post now...so...today, something cooler, I promise.
But, enough of random self-talk, let's get to the cool stuff that I think, rather, hope, you want to see :) Once again, this is like a spread over 3 or 4 days, so...
Let's start with the crazy amounts of self-portraits I've done. I usually resort to these when I'm really frustrated with everything. Which happens a lot. I take a shot of myself with my phone, then use that as the basis for the drawing. The energy I have flowing through me usually ends up creating the expression of the portrait. It's kind of funny...if you put them in a series and pay close attention, there's a strange evolution and de-evolution of mood. Maybe I'll do that sometime, put together a series of them. Sure, when I did that kind of stuff with photography no one really paid attention, but maybe with art I create just by hand...lol. No matter what I'm not going to stop doing these.
There was also a number of Oni (Japanese demon) masks I decided to draw. A friend a couple weeks back asked if I could give them a try so I figured, why not? Lines are lines...even if they get complicated. And, since there are a number of lines that match up between those demons and dragons...well, so much the better. I even through some generic warriors in the mix just for practice.
And, of course you can't forget more traditional kinds of practice. ...like shading shapes, drawing basic figures, the stuff people just love to skip over, hehe.
Astronauts and some of my own ideas have also been creeping out. Well, some of the astronauts I'm drawing come from my own head now, even if I still use a model image on others. I've noticed that there are a number of standard positions people draw them in and since I'm not curently in the business of re-inventing the wheel... And, as for my own ideas. They're rough and immature. Which is completely cool at this stage. Well, any stage...as long as you see it for what it is.
The important part is to not get discouraged. It's the advice I give so often to other creatives who feel frustrated and stressed out. The stress will never end...never. But, you can control the frustration by acknowledging the reality of your situation. You are as good as you currently are but as long as you work at what you do smart, you will get better and will achieve your goals. If you try to push too hard, too fast, know that that frustration will build.
That's not to say that you shouldn't always be pushing outside your comfort zone...but, there's being outside your comfort zone and there's being so far outside it that you'll never find ground under your feet. It's not about playing it safe...it's about playing it smart, and thinking long term. Tortoise and the hare kind of shit... If all you feel is frustration and stress because you're pushing yourself too far outside the comfort zone, do you really think you'll suddenly grow to fit the situation? I mean, if you're that one-in-a-million person with the innate ability, maybe. But, likely is that you're not. You're just a normal human being with big goals. Maybe a better example would be weightlifting...because what you're asking your brain to do is the same as what you ask your muscles to do.
Keep that in mind when you get discouraged because you think you aren't good enough and feel you never will be.
So, time for me to get going again back to other stuff I need to be doing. My Saturday has pretty much disappeared being what might seem unproductive. All's I've done is talk with people at the coffeeshop. I've been unproductive in the way that I haven't created art, but instead I've created some great conversations and hopefully helped a couple people, so...lol.
Thanks for stopping by and reading my ramblings and looking at my drawings. I hope y'all are having a great weekend and staying cool in the heat. Here in LA things are nuts at 100+ and everyone's hiding somewhere indoors with AC...if they can. My coffeeshop closes at 4pm for the summer, so I either gotta find somewhere else to hide, or deal with the heat. At least it's a dry heat, hehe.