FINDING THE FUN IN CREATING AGAIN
As I mentioned in last weeks blog post, I've been changing a lot in my life lately to get closer to where I want to be. Although I've felt a lot of positive changes from that, it also left me feeling quite overwhelmed and a bit lost creatively. I had a holiday in Crete a couple of weeks ago and I knew that if I made sure to relax while I was on holiday, it would probably leave me feeling much more refreshed and ready to go when I got back.
Once I got back to work I started to realise that one thing that was bugging me is that I'd got very comfortable in my own process, a lot of artists starting out complain that they just 'want to find their style' but those who have will also know it's important to keep evolving that style to feel creatively fulfilled. I felt like I'd got to a stage where I was just on a loop whenever I started a new illustration because I just kept taking the same steps.
I know that over the last year or so I've been focusing way to much on perfection rather than finishing a piece and I needed to do something to change that up, where I couldn't erase mistakes and just had to see it though to the end. Although I work digitally, I'd say I start about 95% of my pieces traditionally first, once you get to the digital stage though, it's very easy to 'undo' any mistakes, and I often find myself reaching for the undo command when I'm drawing in a sketchbook (and I know a lot of other artists do the same).
I'd seen quite a few artists who inspire me creating drawings on kraft card with marker pens over the last few years and always wanted to try it, so I've decided to schedule in a couple of hours every weekend to work on kraft card marker drawings of my own. I'm not pushing myself to make sure I finish one a week, but as long as I put the hours in I know that alone will force improvement. I'll create a timelapse or step by step of me doing this one week so that you guys can see how I get from an idea in my head to a final drawing.
I'm really enjoying doing these so far and I feel like I'm having fun with what I'm drawing again. I know that I'll make mistakes, but I kind of like it, because they're just for me, so there's no pressure and I can draw whatever I like. It's also been super fun to play around with markers and pencils to see what effects I can achieve when adding colour to the sketches.
I also created this custom background to use to place my finished drawings on in Photoshop so it's a little more excited than a white desk, plus it looks more professional and adds a personal touch too. It was super easy to do, all I did was pile up some work on my desk, take a photo and then with some little tricks in Photoshop (tutorials for all of this kind of stuff can be found on google) turned it into what looks like a ripped sheet of paper with masking tape sticking the drawing down.
So if you're feeling in a bit of a rut yourself, go back to the basics, draw what every makes you happy and not what you think you should be drawing to 'get likes and follows'. Try drawing without sketching first and only using a pen, you'll mess up sometimes but it's nice to be able to laugh at your own work and not take it too seriously sometimes!