I have begun this year with a sense of dedication and determination. I have a lot of things planned for myself and I wanted to get started on the right foot. To begin things off I've decided to do a Sketch A Day for the next year. 365 sketches! no excuses ! This is something that I've been interested in doing for some time now and the start of a new year felt like the best time to jump in and begin. The holidays are always a huge distraction and this past year was no different. It's always a challenge to get back into the swing of things after being away for so long, but I was determined to get over the hurdle of frustration as my hands and mind needed to learn once again how this works. You go through those days of thinking that you should just give up because clearly if you can't even draw a simple sketch how will you ever make a career out of this, and obviously you don't have the skills or the talent. You begin to look around at all of the amazing illustration work that other professionals are doing and you tell yourself that you just don't have what it takes. I put myself through several weeks of that torture until I decided to just shut up and work. Probably the best advise I’ve ever given myself. I'm learning to turn off the negativity in my mind and just be. I decided that I would push through and just keep sketching and posting, no matter how I felt about the drawing. The goal was to draw and post and move forward and not allow myself to get hung up on small things.
As I take on this challenge of 365 daily sketches I think about why I want to do this and what I hope to take away from it. Here are my goals….
1. CONFIDENCE. Confidence that I can draw anything that comes to mind in order to allow ideas and creativity to flow rather than getting caught up in a place where my ideas are confined by my lack of ability. When you are unable to put onto paper what you see in you mind you begin to pull back so much that the ideas have no room to grow and expand. I want to get out of that rut and allow things to flow freely from mind to hand to paper.
2. LOOSEN UP. This goes hand in hand with #1. With practice I hope to unknowingly loosen up and begin to fall into a consistent style. That a distinct personality might begin to show through. To lose the stiff and overly controlled quality that I’m currently struggling with.
3. ENJOYMENT. To find enjoyment in creativity and art again that may have been lost in the process of trying too hard. To take some of the pressure off and allow myself to enjoy, create and most of all - HAVE FUN!
So I will look back at each week and see how things are changing and progressing and I look forward to sharing that journey with you. I hope you enjoy and are maybe inspired to take on this challenge as well.
I began with with an idea of a squirrel but soon became frustrated with my failed attempts to get across what was in my head.
At this point I decided that I would dedicate the next week or so to only drawing squirrels. I looked as some reference pictures and got back to work .....
I tried a few different styles and even looked at what other illustrators were doing and copied some of their shapes and styles (as seen above in the bottom right three faces) to see how their interpretations of this subject differed from mine. It's great to look at something through different eyes.
Looking back over the last couple of weeks I already feel like a lot of improvement has been made and I'm starting to have fun with this. Here's to another great week of drawing and creativity!