6 month project
What are all of the sketches about? What weeks?
So, hi, I’m Michelle. I love my family, animals, Canada, and being generally positive and happy. I also love to illustrate stories about possible and sometimes very impossible things. The problem with this love is that I don’t do these things, not often enough. Every time I go to pick up the pencil it’s difficult and I get frustrated easily because I’m out of practice. But I’m always out of practice because I don’t create things on a consistent basis. So goes the cycle.
I think that people need to have certain things in their lives to feel their best. Writers need to write. Scientists need to do experiments. Artists need to make art. Mathematicians’ need to.. do math. You get the picture. We have problems to solve and things to accomplish; we need something to work towards and be passionate and excited about. Without these things, I think, the worst in people comes out. We busy up our lives and buy things and stop learning and watch too much tv and surf too much internet.
So I’ve made a decision, inspired by a teacher that I’ve seen speak at a workshop I’ve been to. Among many wonderful and exciting things he had said that if you want to become good at art, you need to do it for (at least) one hour a day for six months.
At the time I wasn’t sure I could do that. Could I do an hour a day? I mean, yes, some days it would be no problem. But some days I work late. And some days I have Karate. And some days I just want to read a book and go to bed after eating and cleaning from supper, taking care of the dog and spending time with family. Could I commit to that?
1 hour a day of focused drawing.
1 final illustration a week based on what I’ve learned in any medium.
To become a better illustrator.
To become a better storyteller.
To exercise the creative part of my brain.
To work towards having a professional portfolio that I would be proud to send out.
To experiment and work with new ideas and mediums.
To draw everyday regardless of how tired I am, how late it is or how much I have to do.
This blog is dedicated to my journey.
Thank YOU for reading this, and supporting me.
UPDATE! Six Month Review
Feb 18th, 2012
It has been six months since I made my goal, drawing everyday, creating a piece every weekend, and I can hardly believe how well things have gone.
I can see huge progress in my work; my storytelling is much more varied and fun, and I’ve become a better artist in general. I used to think that I needed to go back to school to progress, but really, I just need to get my ass in gear and commit to illustration. The hard days make the easy days more rewarding. The easy days give you hope that you’ll eventually get somewhere on those hard days. And the days in between had so many surprises and added so much joy to my life that I’m excited to continue. I used to take a year to fill up a sketchbook, and now they fill up in a couple of weeks. My studio is filled with my sketch’s and paintings. I have learned how to work on something creative that is truly hard and required endurance and patience. I have lots of fun illustrations for a portfolio and I have finished a 32 page storybook. I am much more confidant in my work, and so (so!) excited to continue learning from others. I am so much happier in general, and I’ve finally found my stride.
Are all of the week finals good? No! But I did learn something every week, even if the lesson was to just keep going. I am excited to take all of my work with me and continue forward making new things. There are still some big goals left; filling in parts of my portfolio that I feel are missing, completing a series that I have an idea for and a couple others that I can see in my immediate future. I plan to keep the week’s topics and showing new things. I’m going to keep drawing everyday that I possibly can, keep going to coffee shops to draw, keep my sketchbook out.
If you’re reading this and wondering what you could do in six months, I couldn’t say enough about trying this exercise out. It was one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done for myself.