Experiments and Messiness

So you may have noticed I haven't posted anything lately. Believe it or not, I did, too. Initially I thought I was going too slow and not getting enough final images done, but Professor Ballinger suggested I was actually going too fast and should slow down and experiment before pushing ahead.  It was a fantastic idea, and for a while I was super excited, looking up artists that inspire me and trying some of their different styles like this:

I used Sarah Mensinga's work as a basis for this style, specifically this drawing of Mother Gothel from Tangled. By the way, yes, that is who you think it is, Mom. I drew him on purpose this time.  : )

For this one I pretty much copied Quentin Blake's style. I love how quick and carefree his drawings seem, so I did these super fast, which, if you know me, is a big, big deal.

I also played with different kinds of line work like this:

First, in pencil.

Then in tech pen with more variance in the line thickness (done in tracing paper over the original pencil sketch).

And more fun styles like this again:

The same thing in super-duper quick, Quentin Blake style (also on tracing paper).

After this short but awesome tour through various styles (including an extended amount of time on DeviantArt looking at a lot of ridiculously amazing work), I was appalled at how limited my style has been and so eager to try new things.

But then I got completely overwhelmed looking at what everybody else has created with their ridiculously awesome talent, and it seemed like every time I tried to draw something it turned out like crap. I now have quite a collection of half-finished sketches or half colored drawings in Photoshop. Some are less finished than half. Most are still in my head, too scared to come out and even pretend to be worthwhile, so they are in negative fractions, I think.

I was just going to post some of the exercises I've done since then and tell you how well they're all going and how I'll apply them to a finished drawing soon and it will be great. But I've also been working through a lot of not-directly-art-related stuff recently, too. My brain has been and is currently overloaded with so many different thoughts about life, college, love, God,  Christian culture, honest storytelling, the human condition, and coffee. ...Just checking to see if you were paying attention. Actually, a lot of conversation about that kind of stuff has happened over coffee, and I have thought about how much fun it would be to work in a coffee shop and get to know all sorts of different people. But anyway...

Back when I gave the pitch for this project (which was more of a “I don't know what I'm doing, but maybe something like this? Is that ok?”), I kept trying to pin down exactly what Leeper and Ballinger would be expecting me to deliver at the end of it. I kept asking for more specifics so I could build myself a schedule and deadlines and keep it well-organized like that.   Leeper stopped me dead in my perfectionist-type A personality tracks and told me not to plan that far ahead. He said I could basically journal through my senior year with pictures.

Yesterday it suddenly hit me (duh!) that I could actually do just that. Maybe just for now until I get back on my feet creatively, or sporadically throughout the year. I'm not sure. I really don't know how to not plan things out like this without feeling like a total slacker. I haven't found that balance yet of planning enough so that I stay productive and not so much that I get stressed out and box myself in.  This year has started off kind of difficult that way—an entirely different way from last year, in which I got to find out just how perfectionist and type A I could possibly be.

The point is, I'm going to try to journal some of this out. A lot of the things I've thought about figure greatly in who I am as a person, and that pretty much directly translates into who I am as an artist, so keeping them separate like I've tried to do just hasn't been working out.

So at least for now, I'm going to stop organizing things into little boxes in my head and dump them all out on the floor and dig through them.

It's probably going to be messy, but I think maybe that's good for me.

Right?