8/4/14 The One Year Style Challenge
I enjoy my escapist hobbies so very much, but a problem of having so many hobbies and living alone means balancing my free time can be incredibly difficult. Sometimes it can take me a whole day of procrastinating just to do a sink full of dishes, while other days I plow through a to-do list like nobody's business. I seem to be up and down in so many areas of my life; my weight, my emotions, my work ethic... I have short bursts of motivation and everything is going great, then it grinds to a miserable halt and I find myself in a cesspool of stress. A large part of my stresses are either financial or of the existential crisis variety. I have a lot of self-doubt. I am often abusing myself by thinking 'my artwork is not good enough,' 'I can't compete with other artists,' 'I'll never succeed in this career,' and 'I will always be stuck right where I am.' After a while these thoughts wear me down to the point where I am so depressed I lose my creativity altogether.
This time, however, things are a little different. I still feel my creative mojo and I am embarking on a new journey. I've been doing a lot of basics lately like going back to focused studies, sketching, and experimenting. I've really enjoyed my digital painting practices too. Today I talked to two of my closest friends and both of them agreed my style is stagnant, outdated, or "dull." While I don't agree with everything they said to me in their critiques of my work, I do agree that change is vital for my growth as an artist. Both of them suggested I practice copying other artist's styles so I can break free of doing the same thing over and over, and learn some new techniques in the process. For a while now I have vacillated between leaving anime style behind and just meshing it with western influences, but I think if I take the leap and dare to do styles that I would never think of doing, I may just stumble on something new that I enjoy. This of course doesn't mean I am going to completely abandon everything I have done up until this point. I am still really enamored with proper proportions in human anatomy, but I think my characters definitely need to have more lively facial expressions or interesting poses. Down the road I also need to tackle backgrounds and perspective, but for now I will focus on making my characters more dynamic.
Starting this week I will embark on this journey of growth and learning. Every week I will draw one of my original characters in a different style, trying my best to match the style and technique to the artist I am referencing as much as possible. I will do this every week for the next 52 weeks in whatever capacity I can, and hopefully at the end of it all I will be a better artist for it. This week I'll be starting very simple with the 1930's "rubber hose" animation style. Lucky for me that style is in black and white, so I don't have to worry about color just yet lol Of course I will post all of these up here. In fact, I'll go make a One Year Style Challenge folder so you guys can keep up with me as I progress. Wish me luck!
Update: A few folks messaged me with concern that this means I am going to scrap my current style and try to invent a new one entirely, forsaking everything I have done up to this point in my art career. Here is my answer to this to ease your worries:
I agree with my friends in that I need to try new things for the sake of learning from them. I need to practice a lot and learn, but I also have a particular style I have been striving for through the years. I will take whatever I learn, but I will still draw how I want to draw without letting people influence my work to the point of losing my identity as an artist. My main goal here is not to completely change my style, but to enhance it by stepping outside of my comfort zone and experimenting. This is something I have been striving for all along and you can see it in the progression of my work how it’s gone from this to this. I still have a long way to go, and even when I reach the place I want to be at, I will still never be 100% satisfied because there’s always room for improvement in art. I know people are concerned that I am taking things to heart and going to suddenly stop doing what I do the way I do it, but that isn’t the case so don’t worry lol
Anime Sketch Commissions- OPEN for business!
To my dear watchers, please consider sharing this or commissioning me for a sketch. I’ve been in dire financial straits for months now with very few art commissions to sustain me. I desperately need the income, so please help!
Sketch Commission List
1. Liz-66 *Payment received 7/1/14 - In Progress*
2. silentline26 *Payment received 6/14/14 - DONE!*
Otaku's Mega To-Do List:
I have so much to do, my head can spin, so it helps me be productive and stay on track whenever I write out an actual to-do list so I cross off what has been done as I go. Nothing feels better than scratching off every last item on the list! Here goes!
1. Do the damn dishes, Jesus have you SEEN that mountain of crap? (They pile up so fast! 0^0)
2. Defrost chopmeat for chili, or be doomed to eat another crappy frozen burrito, or a crappy frozen chicken patty. Bish, get to some home cookin’!
3. Put the new fishies in the big tank, they have proven a clean bill of health and are ready to go into their new home! Try not to stress ‘em out too much during the process O3O Bloop~
4. Photoshop pics of all the new jewelry you made and post dat shit. Gotta show the world!
5.Livestream the Chrono commission, you NEED to get this done so you can take on more commissions and make that green stuff. DO IT! *shakes self*
6. Make the chibi lemon cake kiriban pic for Hiro, it’s the only other art project you need to do after Chrono! DO IT!
7. Create bust portrait bases, front, and 3/4 views which will be used for OC bust portrait commissions. En lieu of that, make samples for a bust commission catalog with prices, then post dat shit all over! Need to make the green, tired of being broke!
8. Work on an art commission catalog that covers the full range of all that I do best, buy some more colored ink, and print, print, print!
9. Make an art commission menu to post all over the net with picture samples and price ranges. WORK IT GIRL!
10. Get your ass out there and hand out those anime portrait flyers and your shiny brochures. Also research Skidmore’s class schedules and get out to sell that jewelry! MARKET BISH!
I think that’s enough for now lol I already feel good and overwhelmed. I’ll be striking out each thing as I complete it. I love the smell of progress!