So I've decided to alter my approach to things. I'm still in the midst of my artistic crisis (like an existential crisis, but centered around the pursuit of art) and questioning everything, but this blog is helping me maintain the focus necessary to push through it. Odds are this is just a passing thing like so many other artistic crises. I used to get them as regularly as once a week and, until late last year, had been blessed with a prolonged period of confidence that lasted almost two years. It was quite the shock going back into the realm of doubt and uncertainty, and that is part of what fueled the decision to start this blog in the first place.
So, as I said, I've decided to change my approach a bit. Life is busy and chaotic, and if I'm going to get through this artistic crisis then I feel like I need to be focusing as much as possible on the art that is important to me.
I used to say meaningless things like "I want to be the best artist ever." It's not going to happen. Probably. I mean, anything's possible, but I feel like in order to achieve a goal like that you have to be someone who loves art for art's sake. I don't. I love art because of what it can do. I love art as a medium for conveying ideas and telling stories. I'm getting to the point where I don't want to compare myself to other artists (a point I probably should have got to a long time ago) because it just makes me depressed about how far "behind" I am. And I put that in quotes for a reason. Yes, my artistic growth has probably been a good deal slower than would be idea, but that's not really important. It does me no good at all to compare myself to someone who's own experience I have no measure for. Maybe they've been drawing for half the time as me and are twice as good. Maybe they've been drawing for three times as long as me and are only twice as good. I don't know so comparing my work to theirs does nothing but give me a false sense of failure.
In an effort to give myself more time to work on the things that are important to me I'm going to change the way I study. Now, rather than doing gestures or a directed study followed by an artist study everyday (a process which on a good day takes a minimum of an hour and can take significantly longer than that if complications arise), I'm going to alternate between directed study and artist study making sure that the focus of each run parallel to each other. Then I'll take one day a week and do an hour of gesture and figure drawing, at least for the time being.
This should allow me to limit my study time to only an hour a day and hopefully free up time to work on those things that I really care about, while still learning and growing as an artist.
This is part of my new approach. As I'm currently working on studying hands as thoroughly as possible I'm going to be doing my artist studies in such a way that line up with that goal. So each subject that I choose for the time being will now prominently feature hands in some way. This is "Bloodly Nest Keeper" (possibly a type there, but I couldn't say for certain) by Piotr Jablonski.
The goal as I see it is to draw as much of the original as possible, focusing on proportions, silhouette, and big shapes. Then fill in the details on the key area (in this case hands). Though you'll see here that I didn't get that far on this one before I ran out of time. "Aaron Bard" by Carlos Ruiz. To be continued.
Finally I finished up the day by working on refining a few of the concepts for the indie game I'm a part of. I actually did a lot more work than just what you see here, but it was all done in 3D and, at least for now, that's not what this blog is about. I love 3D, but I want to develop my 2D skills first.
So these are pretty straight forward with the main goal being to figure out some kind of patterns. This is something that I have almost no experience doing and it took me quite a while to get something decent down. I actually started with the image on the right and really didn't know what to do. A fact that I think is fairly obvious. But by the time I moved on to the second one I was determined to take a completely different approach and, by and large, feel pretty good about the results. They are by no means perfect, but considering that I'd never really done anything like this before I'm pretty happy with it.
So that wraps up day 19. Hopefully I'll be able to push through this crisis soon and get back to being my normal chipper self.