This is my first time really painting branches - I’ve always sort of avoided it because trees are such complicated structures. But I’m happy with the way this turned out. :)
So this year I made a decision, or “resolution” if you will, that I would start living as much of an art-filled life as possible. Technically my life has always been full of art, but it has always been in a relatively passive way. It was kind of a slow, background entity that I was never able to focus on and bring to the forefront consistently. Go to an art show here…stop by the museum there…draw a derpy little sketch to momentarily satiate the creative beast for a few more days. I never knew why I was this way about art, but what I finally realized is that it was anxiety all along that was debilitating me to the point of not even wanting to create anything. It was the fear of having to confront my messy line work, my poor sense of composition, my technical short-comings, and the added anxiety of comparing yourself with other artists which comes inevitably with creating an online presence. It sounds counterproductive, because it is. But that doesn’t make it any less crippling or common among growing artists.
I started off strong by beginning my big personal project on the first of the year. I told myself that no matter how long it took, I would work and rework each piece of the project until I was really satisfied with it, not because I ran out of patience. I also focused my attention on a lot of the background tasks that would make the pieces much stronger in the long run before I even began painting, such as story and research. I admit that I get a little antsy when I’m focusing on those things because I always want to get right into the painting, but when I compare pieces done with research with those done without, I remember why it’s worth it.
So at the end of the first month, I have been able to create more artwork than I ever would have had I not set these goals for myself. Here are a few samples:
Something else that I finally did that has improved my productivity immensely was deactivate Facebook. I wasn’t very active, but it was something that I mindlessly browsed through whenever I started getting lazy or anxious. It was an avoidance thing.
What has also boosted my creativity and art-making has been staying late after work with a friend every Wednesday just to focus on personal projects. We’ve been able to bounce ideas off of each other and have learned new skills as well, particularly ZBrush. One of our 3D artists has graciously been holding workshops for us to show us the ropes; it’s refreshing sometimes being forced into a medium that you know nothing about. Long story short, this year is off to an amazing start, and I plan on becoming a much stronger artist in the coming months.