Instead of doing a monthly review, I've decided to partake in Inktober! Don't know what Inktober is? Check it out here!
Pretty much the point is to do 1 ink drawing per day, or 2 days, or every week, or even every other week. The point is really to be consistent and develop good habits. Which is something I can stand to do.
I decided to go with a theme for this month. It's easier to decide what to do if you limit yourself a bit. Since I've been obsessing over Steven Universe, that will be my theme!
Here are a few other things I did this month!
Do something different with your art! That was the goal for today and guess what, I was already in the process of trying something new. When I got my easel and side tray table thing, I decided that I wanted to try painting something big for once. I'm also doing a full body self portrait. I've never attempted painting a full figure much less a small scene like this. It helps that there's a large mirror opposite of my canvas.
Do one small thing on a project you've been procrastination on.
Okay. So we're supposed to take one small action on something we've essentially been procrastinating on. For me I've been wanting to go back and study drawing again. I tried the Watts Atelier Online classes once, but for some reason I didn't dedicate myself. I had a hard time just returning to fundamentals. I wanted to paint, not draw. Another thing that held be back were the pencils. He asks you to use specific pencils and sharpen them a specific way. Here's how you sharpen them.
The hardest part has been getting the pencils. I haven't found a single store that carries them, and the online store, Jerrysartarama.com, seems to be the only place that sells them, but they're always SOLD OUT. It was frustrating.
So despite the product being sold out I went ahead and purchased it on back order. They should be in stock at the end of October (a month from when I wrote this post). Then when I get the pencils I'll start up the online classes at Watts Atelier again.
I'm so frustrated that I....
Want to quit. That's the first thing that comes to mind in this exercise. But that's not entirely what it's about. The point of today is to get those frustrations out. What am I frustrated over specifically. Ryan has us asking ourselves this question. So I'm gonna list off a bunch of things I tend to get frustrated about.
I'm so frustrated that I...
3.2There definitely a few things that I never really gave myself permission to do. Just this morning I thought of trying something that felt a bit like cheating for me and robbed myself of the right to do it. Whether it's because it feels like cheating or some other excuse I managed to conjure up.
This is the part where I give myself that permission and remind myself that there is no such thing as cheating in your personal art. Hammer and nails. Add a new tool to your tool box. Give yourself permission to take and use reference. Give yourself permission to ask for help when taking this reference.
Stop using the excuses of not having the right materials. Use what you have! You have a iPhone that can take decent pictures. You have some lamps to somewhat control lighting. Macgyver it! You're a smart person. You can do it. Just do it!
Above all else. Give yourself permission to make art despite your skill level. I know you want to paint those paintings at a great level of quality, but you can always try repainting them a year later or a year after that.
Why why why? What is you purpose? Why? What would happen if you couldn't paint? Ryan keeps asking why today. Essentially it sounded like he was asking why do you do art? I don't know why I do it, or try to do it. Sometime it's because I'm inspired by something or someone. Other times it's just a feeling of needing to do something productive and doing art feels productive. Maybe I do it because people keep telling me I'm good at it and I do it because they expect me to. Maybe I do it because it's too late to do anything else. Or do I do it because it's fun? Or do I do it to get peoples attention and get their praise. Do I have something to say? Something to share? A story to tell?
It's about the journey not the destination. Consider the journey and how you've improved along the way instead of thinking about the final output.
Part of me feels like nothing has changed since I started this challenge, but I'd like to think that's not true. Just the fact I did this has changed me. I will definitely say that the challenges has made me think and ask myself things I normally never ask. If anything I can mull over those challenges some more, but for now I think I'll continue my journey the only way I can.
SMILE! That's seriously all he asks of you today. Give him your biggest and bestest smile. So I tried. I felt very silly...
Playfully sketch, draw, sculpt. Stay loose, pay attention to what you're doing. Are you loose or tense? So that's what I did. Here are my results
Today we say farewell. Ryan gives his last piece of advice and reminds you that today is only the beginning not the end. And that everything you need is already within you.
Interested in Ryan's 30-Day Art Challenge? Join by clicking here or the link below!
It's that time again! I'm not sure if this month was as productive as August, but who cares! If anything this September had more "long term" projects than I've ever had. Things that I worked on for multiple days or even weeks and am still working on. This makes me feel like I've been less productive sometimes, mostly because it resulted in a smaller quantity, I guess?
The big goals this month were to start a bigger piece and finally start painting something on my new easel. I started a larger self portrait. And a large illustration! Yay!
Remember a couple days ago Ryan challenged us to think about our environment and determine what we need to let the creative juices flow. Some people need a chaotic work space, while others need something more organized and pristine. A place for everything and everything in it's place.
Today Ryan is challenging us to make a change to our environment to make the process of art making easier. He mentions removing obstacles that slow you down or keeps you from working. The example he uses is to always have a palette with paint ready at all times so it's easily accessible. Setting up your paints no longer becomes a obstacle that can stop you from working altogether.
Pictured above is my current set-up. On the left I have a office/studio room where I have my computer and easel. I don't work off my easel quite yet though. Next weekend, and by the time you see this post, I'll be getting and little mobile cart/table thing. Something like this.
The image on the right is the kitchen table. This is where I work most of the time off of a table top easel. I love table space and I wish I had more. Now that I'm thinking about it, in addition to the little table thing, I'm going to get a nice fold-able table to put in my studio. That way I can keep my table space and finally free up the kitchen table for things like eating dinner at.
EDIT: Got that thing I was talking about. Not the same one I linked to at the top, but it's so much better. Got it at Ikea! It's called Algot. This is is wonderful! It provides so much needed storage space and everything is right there for when I need it.
This thing works fantastic! It provides so much storage that I needed and it's partners really well with my easel set up. On top I have my palette full of paint ready to go whenever I'm ready. The top bin has paper towels, brushes, and mediums. Anything that I might want on hand. The second one has my oil paints, the third has my acrylics. The last has misc stuff. Some small canvases and panels. And it's on wheels which make it even better!
So the exercise presented to us to day is called "Nonsense Writing." I guess it's a tactic used in creative writing to help loosen up the mind and let word flow out of you. You know that moment when you're stuck in a game of improv and you just can't think of anything to say or do no matter how random you try to be? I imagine this would help with that.
The way it is explained is that you start of with random keywords. In Ryan's case he uses "mother, father, brother" or some combination of the words. Then after those words he lets other words flow from. You don't have to use mother, father, brother. Use whatever works for you, but is you can't think of anything feel free to use them.
Here's my short attempt. I'll probably try a few more of these in the future.
Today's challenge is about "time management," but not in the sense you're thinking of. Today it's more about tracking your emotional state during the day and figure out your rhythm. Ryan say's he did it for a week, but we don't have to. I think I'm going to try and do it for 2 or three days. Mostly because today is a Friday and I have to go to work. I don't really want to record one day, that day being at work. So I'll do Saturday, which is partially a busy day. Going to life drawing. Then Sunday which is chore day.
Three days later...nothing. It's really hard to keep on top of this task. I keep forgetting to start it.
So the following Monday I remembered to keep track of everything! Google calendar was super helpful for me with this. Check it out below.
In this exercise Ryan asks you to describe your typical morning, afternoon, and evening. So I guess I'll do that.
My mornings usually start between 6:30 to 7:30. Usually I take a shower and get dressed for work first thing. Next I will normally log onto my computer and I work on my website or any social media stuff. This usually entails adding new pieces to my website or writing and scheduling future blog posts. I work on that up until 8:30 then I leave for work. When I show up for work I say hi to a few people and chat a little and then I head to my desk and organize my goals for the day. Then I get to work! At 11 I take a 15 minute break which I use for sketching.
I take lunch at 1-1:30. Most of lunch is spent eating and socializing, but I try to work in some sketching time too. Sometimes that'll run a little late. Usually after that I re-evaluate my goals for the day and adjust for any work priorities. Then at 4 I take another break to sketch some more. 5:30 I leave for home.
I get home at around 6.Whether or not its my turn to cook dinner I either start dinner or I take a seat and work on what ever piece of art I'm working on at the moment. But it's a very relaxed situation. I not giving the work my full attention. I work on it here and there as I watch TV or do chores.When dinner is ready my boyfriend and I will sit in the living room, eat, and watch some more TV. When dinner is finished I either continue working on what I'm working on or I'll go work on a painting or study. Eventually I'll stop and clean the kitchen then either go back to painting or relax and wind down for the evening. Eventually I'll find myself in bed going to sleep.
Challenge 19 is about scheduling you ideal day. How do you want you days to look like? In addition to scheduling your ideal day he want you to pair it with how you want to feel at that time. In this case I'm going to imagine my ideal day is where I'm doing art full-time.
So how would I like my day to go?
Excited! I would like to start the morning with an excited perspective and "ready to start the day" attitude. I would like to feel well rested. Should be feeling cheery as I cook myself a good breakfast to start the morning right. By 9 or 10 am I should be in the studio looking over what I want to work on for the day. I'd to sort out some priorities and goals. To start off I'd like to get on the computer and do any social media, blogging, or website stuff. Also I'd like to do some logistical work as well, getting things ready to ship and whatever that entails. Later in the morning I'd work on some pencil work. Whatever I have in the works, thumbnails, studies, pencils to prep a piece for painting, planning new pieces.
By the afternoon I've moved onto a larger painting, a longer term project. Here I'm in my Zen. I'm not happy, I'm not sad, I'm not feeling much of anything other than determination to bring this painting to life. Probably around 1 I'll break for lunch, feeling accomplished and happy that the day is going well. I have lunch with a friend. Maybe run and do and afternoon chore. Take any recently sold painting to the Post Office. Maybe I'll feel a tad bit sad that I'm sending off a painting that I worked hard on. But I'll remember how happy it makes me to to send it off to an excited buyer. Then I'll return home and work on the next exciting work, rocking out to music, and snacking on snacks as I work away into the evening.
Somewhere between 5:30-6:30 I step away from the studio to cook dinner. When dinner is ready I sit down in the living room and watch any TV shows we have recorded. Maybe I'll sketch a bit after dinner, just small thumbnails. At this point I'm winding down and relaxing with my boyfriend. Maybe I'll revisit my painting a little bit in the even, but the bulk of the work is done for the day. I spend the rest of the night reading whatever I'm reading at the moment. Most likely a novel where I draw inspiration from.
Death bed exercise? Today's challenged turned morbid. Essentially the task is to pretend you're on your deathbed and you are looking back on your life. I've done this before, unintentionally. Me thinking morbid thoughts, I guess.
Here's what came to my mind:
My husband has just past and I know that I am soon to follow, but before I go I start one last painting. This painting will be an omage to or life together. I reflect upon our lives. The first time we met. Our wedding day and every other significant moment we spend together. I think about all the good times I've had with the people I love. Upon finishing my last painting I pass away the in the night. Quietly and peacefully.
I don't know those are the type of things I imagine. =/
How do you balance out your day? What drains you of energy and what replenishes it? These are the questions posed to us on day 21. Ryan has focus in on our emotions and think of them at calories or food that we consume. Which emotions give us energy and which have a negative effect.
Some of the emotions that definitely zap the energy from me is worry, anxiety, fear. The basics, I guess you could call them. The type of things that everyone experience. I'm not sure what you would categories this next one, but when I'm surrounded by too many people for too long. Like I dislike having a busy weekend seeing people, going to events or parties. That completely zaps me, but I guess it makes me desperately want to go back home and work on something.
What energizes me? If I come up with a concept that excites me, that'll give me so much energy. Other than than I'm not sure. Usually when I'm at home I just do it. My easel and paints are always ready to go. I feel like when I don't get to work I become antsy. I just need art. I need to work on art. I need to get better. It feels like it's the only thing I have in life. Its the only thing that could possibly give me a future. Yet I'm not any good at it. Or at least I'm not good enough YET. Time and hard work will tell.
Join me in Ryan's 30-Day Art Challenge by clicking here or the link below!
Excuses. We all have them. They hold us back from doing the things we truley want in life. I don't have enough time. I don't have the money. I don't know how to do this or that.
Here's a list of my "excuses":
Today we're taking these limiting beliefs that we listed yesterday and rephrasing them. At first I wasn't sure how to do this, but when I just threw myself at the task and restated the first line the rest of them just flowed out of me.
Okay. So day 10 felt like a super easy day. Ryan delves into what fuels us and sparks our motivation. Today he wants us to jot down some things that drive our curiosity and the things that we find interesting.
Immediately I thought of Quantum Physics, Astronomy, and anything to pertain to outer space. I always find myself looking up such subjects. If I ever come across videos or articles about these subjects I make it a priority to check them out. There is just something so fascinating about the vastness of space, time, and the universe. Something I've been super interested in recently has been multiple dimension beyond the 3D. Today I actually was looking up some stuff on White Holes, the opposite of Black holes. =P
What are you doing in your life that provides fuel? Where do you find your fuel?
This is the question that was posed to us this week. What is the fuel that you're placing in front of you to be consumed and transformed into your art. He explains it in terms of you're the fire and your inspiration is the fuel. I think the best example that works for me right now is when I go to open studio sessions at the Scottsdale Artists' School. My fuel would be the models that I paint from. I visually consume what is in front of me to be transformed into my painting.
Another example I have is the amount of reference and inspirational images I collect. If I see an image that sparks something in me, I save it. Then later I consume it and transform it into whatever it inspires to do.
A lot of times books art easily my fuel. A good book can conjure a fire within me and burn out of me. Then there are dreams! I used to dream a lot and I would record whatever I remembered. That stuff combined with inpirational imagery and reference images would be immense fuel for me.
What do you need in your environment that helps create and helps feel you?
This is another one of those challenges that makes me think because I have no idea what the answer is. In todays challenge Ryan uses Francis Bacon's studio and home life as an example, and how his home and studio life are two completely different environments.
So what kind of environment do I feed off of? I don't know. Right now I my studio space consists of a partial office and the kitchen. I mostly work at the kitchen table. I think I like working in a fairly open space and I love having table space. The more the better.
I also love having the walls decorated with artwork. I like hangin my own artwork to reflect upon. Remind myself of the work I have done and the direction I would like to go. I also like hanging other's art as inspiration and further motivation.
Today we're taking a breather. It's all about gratitude. Ryan thanks you for joining him and taking the time to do this 30 day challenge.
Okay, so the gist of today's challenge is about reflecting on past events. Think of a time where nothing was impossible. A moment you were faced with a seemingly impossible task and you did it.
The only real examples I can think of are from my time in college. Some classes seemed to give out an impossible amount of work. I think this might be a challenge I'll have to revisit at a later date.
Join me in Ryan's 30-Day Art Challenge by clicking here or the link below!