Wednesday, November 15, 2017

On Made-Up People

If I can help it, I try to do something creative every day on top of doing my daily drawings. On Sunday night, I admitted defeat and intended to just sit around, eat, watch a movie, and recuperate. I settled on Big Eyes. In addition to exclaiming, "You asshole!" and, "You bastard!" every five minutes, I felt really compelled to draw. Who watches a movie about art and doesn't draw? I'm not a huge fan of Margaret Keane's style, but I really admire her for her prolific output. So I felt I had to draw something.

It started me thinking about how I used to draw. I used to just go. I had so much inspiration cataloged when I left art school, so for a while there it just poured out. But a few years ago, a stranger looked at my work and asked, "What is your obsession with this guy?" And I realized I'd settled into drawing, essentially, the same thing over and over again. After that, I was pretty lost. And I'm still recovering. As discouraged as I felt, it was extremely important for me to have that crisis. It means that I'm always pushing myself to do way better. When I do my big pieces, I collect a lot of reference. I try to never draw too much from any one piece of reference, and I do my absolute best to make something completely new. My purely from-the-head drawings are a lot fewer and far between than they used to be. So I'm trying to get back into them. And I think the key is to still use reference, but in a very loose way. Even if my reference is just an image I stored in my head, or an interest. If there's no inspiration behind what you create, boy does it show.

After scrawling these ladies, I decided to start doing some occasional weekly challenges and series to build my from-the-head muscle back up. I'm currently in the midst of the first of these projects and focusing on some plucky individuals. More to come.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

INKTOBER 2017: 31 Subjects, Day 31: Even More People of Color

"And if the elevator tries to bring you down, go crazy– punch a higher floor!"

WHELP, that's a wrap. Inktober was about as tricky as I thought it would be. I think moving forward, I'll approach any drawing challenges with a touch more organization. This time I wanted to do new things, so I utilized different papers and different tools on top of the main goal of tackling different subjects. It was kind of a free-for-all. I like the idea of using a dedicated sketchbook or ground for individual future challenges, and perhaps focusing on a specific technique for each one as well so that I can really practice and improve.

Personal projects are so important. It's easy for me to tell myself to draw x amount every week/month and then turn around and NOT do that for an assortment of reasons. So the true value of art challenges is that they keep me creating on a regular basis, where Alternate Universe Amanda is sitting around with a month-long blank page agonizing over not being good enough or having no ideas. Perhaps now that I have the momentum, I can always have a challenge going, even if it's only a weekly or monthly thing.