Spring Review

Instead of doing year long resolutions, I decided that I want to just keep reviewing my progress and setting new goals every few months. So, here’s a spring review! I wanted to do quarterly reviews, but I was abroad, so it’s late, and I don’t know the equivalent word for every ‘third’ of the year… (later: the word is tertiary!) Anyway, I’m still working on a lot of the things I posted in my most recent blog entry, so this shouldn’t be a super long post.

Side note which most of you probably know already: my blog is generally just me rambling, psyching myself up for art and giving myself to do lists, which is probably not of interest to many, but if anyone does enjoy it, I am glad 🙂

Since the end of last year I had been finding it a bit difficult to feel okay about painting/working on art skills, possibly because I put too much pressure on myself to do so, perhaps that caused my brain to associate it all with negative feelings?

Originally I had been using a spreadsheet to note down how long I spent on drawing/learning 3d etc. to get an idea of how much time I was dedicating to art. After about three months it began to feel a bit too much like a chore – this could have been due to work/life situation rather than the actual task itself – so I switched to a simple ‘did you draw today? Y/N’ spreadsheet. I made sure to keep drawing every day even when I felt really bad about it… but I decided to transition off of using the spreadsheet for the time being. Maybe the spreadsheet will make a comeback in future.

I think through continuing to draw every day and allowing myself to sometimes just noodle and explore, without any worry of what the finished image will look like, has helped me to overcome the weird anxiety I felt earlier in the year about art.

In August I took up learning to knit, which I think was because I felt bad about art. I used to knit more than I drew (ashamedly – not because knitting is bad, but because I should focus on art). Fortunately I have managed to shift the balance so that I can become much more engrossed in art and reluctant to stop painting.

I’m not sure if this experience constitutes art block, what do you think? Has anyone else had trouble with this? I hope I don’t struggle like this again although I’m sure it will happen again during my art life! In order to try make this blog post not totally self serving and navel-gazing, what are some solutions that you’ve come across?

I think the solutions I’ll be employing (should it happen again) are:

  • Putting less pressure on yourself
  • Experimenting with new media
  • Drawing things you’ve not tried before and not worrying about the results
  • Listening to gently motivating art (and non art) speakers on youtube (e.g. Bobby Chiu, Chris Oatley and Anthony Jones)
  • Just start drawing – even if it’s just one line, and seeing where you go from there
  • Even if you’re feeling like you are not doing well drawing, or don’t want to, during non-drawing life, observe the world around you and consider how light hits things, how different shapes/forms interact, how certain materials work with light differently, etc. and consider how this could be incorporated into your art
  • Learn about how other artists approach problems – e.g. through gumroad tutorials and free art stream videos on youtube – robot pencil have a bunch of videos on there offering loads of tips, also Sara Tepes shares a lot of info

Well, “art block”/art anxieties aside, things have been improving, and so let’s get on with the review of Jan-Apr 2017!

  • I started working part time and painting (and resting/organising/crafting) part time
  • I took on a new commission which is in the field of work I want to do and will hopefully work nicely for my portfolio
  • I decided that I do actually want to be a concept artist and that I should focus and stay determined no matter what (although to be fair I spend about 50% of my time having crises of faith – I will still keep drawing and pushing forward centimetre by centimetre)
  • I worked on some ambitious pieces which I feel pushed my skills further – still a long way to go, but progress has been made and I have learned from most if not all longer pieces that I’ve been working on
  • My friends at dirty casuals and I worked on the Odyssey Jam, a game jam based on Homer’s Odyssey. We made a 2D visual novel style game using the free engine Renpy, and I spent most of the time frantically sketching out backgrounds and messy looking characters. I had to leave the jam early due to my trip abroad but I feel like I learned a good deal and got to do stuff I don’t normally do (read: environments)
  • I went to Japan for two weeks which was inspiring art-wise, I drew almost every day (some days were a bit difficult – I’ll try keep up the every day thing though!) although a lot of my sketchbook bits were a real mess! Just playing around scribbling really
  • A couple of friends and I are thinking of going to the Industry Workshops in London this year – in September. My friend went last year and said it was amazing so I would really like to go and see what I can learn from it, and I’m sure it will motivate me further. If you’re going too, let us know!

I know this is a pretty wordy blog post and for an artist there are suspiciously NO images here – haha. If you’re interested you can actually see what I’ve been getting on with through my tumblr, which is the most up to date social media of mine. I’ve been meaning to update my Instagram and keep that up to date too, so that’ll come soon I hope! I also have my artstation portfolio, which admittedly has an assortment of generalist stuff on it since that was what my previous job entailed, but through the projects mentioned here and in the previous blog post, I’m working to update and replace a lot of the bits on there.

Well! I’m going to go after writing this mammoth post. I hope there was something of interest or use to you all at least somewhere peppered in this text! If not, well, it was a good exercise for me to write. I have work 4-6pm and then the cinema; I’m happy to say that part of me is sad I won’t be drawing during the time I’m at the cinema, but I am also looking forward to seeing my friends; and the film might be inspiring!

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Updates, Christmas, Artists to look at

Hi friends, as usual it’s been a while. I thought I’d share some updates on my projects, plus some sketches I did today, and a list of artists who were recommended by Audrey Kawasaki on some instagram account (an online art gallery? I can’t remember which) – I wanted to list them to share the awesomeness of these artists, but also I want to make sure I don’t lose their names!

Updates

  • CalamityNow that I have an OK level command of 3D modelling and texturing, I’m starting to go through the old models that I made while learning 3D, and I am remodelling and texturing them. I am also building up a test level as I go. We are hoping to apply to show our game at indie games development conventions so I will let you all know more as time progresses. I’m also updating our game’s redbubble shop with stickers and other bits.
  • Music: I finally picked up my saxophone after a long time (years) of not playing. I am going to attempt to be in a band. We had our first meeting yesterday, so I will need to work out pieces to play for each song, and I must get back up to speed with playing and sounding OK at least. More information about this as it develops!
  • Job: Work’s going well, we’re currently making a rally style racing game which will be released in March 2016!
  • Craft: I’m hoping to start crafting again. I would like to give my little shop a renewal at some point, so that I can get sewing again. I’m feeling really inspired by thebeastpeddler on tumblr, I have bought myself one of their plushies! Please check them out if you like cute, dark plushies.
  • Painting: In my spare time I have been trying to keep up with digital painting. I have been working on more finished pieces, as I usually end up just sketching stuff quickly so that I can post it faster. I must be more patient! You can see my latest painting below!

digitally created painting of a male character with 2 horns and purple skin, with a background of flowers (possibly carnations)

Christmas Sketches

I wasn’t going to send Christmas cards, but then I got a few, so I made these quick cards to give out. I made some spares in case, too 🙂

Artist List

It’s been a while…

Wow, I didn’t realise – it’s been just over a month since my last post… I’ll try to think what’s happened since then. I’ve been working on both the game design and the poetry book still… and I am happy to say that I’ve made loads of progress on the book project. Below is an unfinished drawing for the book. Most of the images for the book are inked and coloured, although they are mostly unfinished as I like to keep piling on more watercolour and more shading over time, so they all progress as a set. This is similar to what I did for my first masters exhibition piece.

If you would like to read some of my friend Amy’s work, you can find her website by clicking here. I’m going to meet Amy soon to go over layout and such… looking forward to it =)

As for the game design, I have done a fair amount of drawing, but it is mostly sketches working out the story and world design, but here’s a little picture of a background I tried making.

It was nice to try out a new style of art! And I think it was a good learning experience as I do not have very much experience at all with backgrounds or anything at all involving depth! By the way, our game dev website is here if you’re interested.

Apart from all this … hmm… I’ve been applying to a few gallery jobs and illustrator jobs. Nothing yet, of course. I don’t mind taking my time though as I build up a bit of work experience through game dev stuff, work experience at the local gallery and more. I also had my first driving lesson (since over a year ago or so) on Friday, which was quite scary as the instructor just told me to drive to see what I remembered. But I slowly became more relaxed and enjoyed it. I guess I could say I am looking forward to Tuesdays lesson, although I am nervous too. I worry I don’t break enough at junctions and so on.

Anyway hope you all don’t mind the rather short post, I hope I can finish off the book project soon, and get more progress down on the game development so that I can share more images. Also I look forward to the projects of the future!

Thanks, Elysia.

sketch

I do some sketching when possible while at work. I got a new pentel brush pen which I’m learning to use.

 

Dear all,

It’s been a week and a bit since my last post; since then I have been getting back into my old job at the Chinese takeaway, covering a few days for the shop where I used to work, catching up with local friends, etc. so I haven’t had as much time as I would have hoped with my own projects. I have started one of my recent commissions, but I’ve reached a stage where my next sitting probably needs to be during a full day off.

Included in this post are a few little bits of drawing that I’ve managed to do in my free time. I have a bit less confidence in my work right now but hopefully when I have done a bit more sketching. I have some commissions, collaborations and ideas for a few individual projects to pursue.

A drawing of where I work.

A drawing of where I work.

I hope I can get to work on all of these things, but I must also work on my CV and apply to some more jobs. Working in the Chinese takeaway is nice but I’m anxious to make sure that I will have enough money to visit my friends and also take part in things like comic book conventions and so on. I also need to learn to drive. So much to do!

This is my 'help I've just finished university and don't know what to do' digital painting. I need to get back into digital art when I have time.

This is my ‘help I’ve just finished university and don’t know what to do’ digital painting. The face was really fun to draw, I’m happy with that part of the piece. I need to get back into digital art when I have time. 

My friend and I will probably be going to the Leeds Thought Bubble comic convention at the end of November, so I have to get some work ready for that, as well as money for transport and food. Luckily I have some zines and stickers left over from the exhibition which I can sell. I’d like to put my personal comics together and print them out to sell cheaply in a zine/booklet like format too. For my previous exhibition and university work I did create digitally printed books for the comics, but the production cost was too high so no one actually bought any! Perhaps if I create my own hand made ones I can charge a lot less and actually sell or trade some!

Blaaah, after writing this I feel like I have a lot to do right now. I’m trying to take everything slowly and progress at my own pace again… I hope that I can get everything done…

Elysia