Getting Excited for the New Year 2020

Happy New Year everyone!

I hope everyone had a happy holiday. I sure did. I took a nice long break and allowed myself to just relax. I played some video games and binged on some tv shows. And just enjoyed my time with the people I love.

New Service – Art Critique

I’m so excited to start the new year. I love getting a new planner and making new goals for myself. One thing I am really excited about is the new service I’ll be offering – Art Critique. I absolutely love art critique, whether I’m giving it or receiving it. Critique is so important for improving as an artist. My plan is to get that launched as soon as possible. I’m just waiting on PayPal to straighten a few things out.

Photography Goal

I’m also planning to improve my Redbubble store. When I started Redbubble, I had no idea what I was doing. I just put a bunch of pictures up and made them available on every single product. I made a lot of sales but I didn’t put much effort into it. I’m now ready to make some changes and provide a better quality product.

New Years Resolutions

I’m still taking a little bit of a holiday . . . at least until Jan. 6th. I also love making New Years Resolutions. I only make a few because I want to make sure I actually meet my goals.

  • I’d like to read my Bible more, cuz I’m kinda bad about not doing that.
  • I also want to make sure I’m living a very healthy lifestyle with plenty of exercise and good food. I already do this, but I want to make sure it’s a priority.
  • And I want to continue learning to sew. Last year, I made the resolution to get better at sewing. I only sewed a skirt and a Snake bandana for my boyfriend. But, I did improve. So, this year I hope to build on that improvement.

 

What New Years resolutions did you all make? I wish you the best of luck in achieving your goals.

Getting Better at Figure Drawing

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Aside from drawing pumpkins, I’ve been working on improving my figure drawings. My goal is to be able to draw people from my imagination . . . easier said than done though. It’s been a little frustrating, but very rewarding whenever I see improvement. I’ve mostly been sketching simple stick figures to get comfortable with proportion and movement.

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I grabbed an old sketchbook and started filling up empty pages and empty space with as many stick figures as I could stand to do. It’s actually a lot of fun creating little scenes for my stick figures. And I’m able to see my mistakes and fix them.

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I imagine people in my life and get a really good visual image of them and their personality in my brain. And then I draw them. Some of my favorites are on the right side of this page. My wacky boyfriend loves watching JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure and likes getting into the crazy JoJo poses. They make really good poses to draw. Btw, if you like anime you should check it out.

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Yoga poses are usually held for a long time and make really good ones to practice. And if you like sports, just grab your sketchbook and draw while watching. Since they’re moving, sports is really good for quick gesture drawings. And don’t forget your mirror. If you’re struggling with a specific pose, you can just use yourself.

After tons of deliberate practice, drawing from your imagination will be a piece of cake. If anyone out there is also trying to improve, I’ve found a couple of websites that have really good reference photos with lots of variety. Check ’em out.

https://line-of-action.com/

This site also provides teaching material and a community of artists that you might find helpful.

https://www.quickposes.com

This site provides a good variety. I really like the warrior images.

mikeymegamega

I also found this guy on youTube. I was wanting to sketch, but I couldn’t get the motivation to just do it. So, I did a little search on youTube and this guy was just sketching figures while chatting with his viewers. I found myself listening and sometimes I wasn’t listening. But the important thing was I ended up drawing for an hour and I didn’t even notice the time going by. Plus, he’s a talented artist. Go ahead and check him out.

Struggles and Favorites

When I first started drawing figures, I struggled so much with proportion. My necks and torsos were always too long.

What struggles do you have when drawing figures?

I love drawing foreshortened poses. They’re so challenging, which is actually great for the learning process. If you can draw the complicated poses, then the simpler poses don’t seem so difficult.

What positions are your favorites to draw?

How to be a Fearless Artist

I love the feeling I get when I’m ready to make some art. I gather all my colorful supplies and make sure I’ve got plenty of light. Then, I look down at my clean, stark white canvas and suddenly I go blank. Blanker than the empty canvas. Fear suddenly enters into my heart. Like a lil’ wimp, I let that fear take me away from the art to go snack, rake the leaves, or (seriously?) clean the toilet.

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The Scream, Edvard Munch

Creative Courage

 

Writers do it too. Staring at the blinking cursor against the bright white background of the empty document, has the power to traumatize more effectively than a terrorist in war. Before you know it you’ll be laying in a fetal position hugging your stuffed animal and wondering how you ever thought you could be an artist.

lucas scott i suck

Lucas Scott, from One Tree Hill, experiencing writer’s block and typing, “I Suck.”

How to Develop Artistic Bravery

Artists like Bob Ross make it look easy. He fearlessly slops some paint down and creates a beautiful work of art. Below are some helpful tips to overcome fear:

1. Sketch -Before you start the finished piece, grab some cheap scratch paper, do some sketches and work out your ideas. It’d be awesome to create the masterpiece on your first try but that’s also a lot of pressure, and not always realistic. (It’s not impossible though.)

Constantly sketching and drawing will help you improve, which will build your confidence and you’ll be saying, “Goodbye Fear.”

2. It’s NOT permanent – Some art supplies can’t be erased like graphite pencil. So it feels like your marks will be permanent and if you make a mistake, what do you do? First, relax. Start out with a lighter touch and build gradually. Oil takes forever to dry so if you make a mark you’re not happy with just wipe the paint away and cover it up with more paint. Remember that many art mediums are forgiving and workable.

Or, like Bob Ross, you might get a “happy accident.”

3. Act Brave – Being an artist requires bravery because you’re doing something that cost you. Your art comes from inside of you. And what if people don’t like it? What if they put it down? Just be brave. And if you don’t feel brave, then PRETEND.

Do the opinions of other people strike terror in your heart? If so, be inspired by the war hero. Look fear in the eye, be strong and stand up for your artwork. Allow the reactions from people to be constructive criticism to help you improve.

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Hide the Knives! Van Gogh Self Portrait with bandaged ear

The Tortured Artist

Artists are sensitive and have to develop a thick skin. It may seem like I’m being a drama queen but I think fear is a common problem for everyone . . . not just the creative souls. Remember . . . feeling these raw emotions is a big part of art. And for me, overcoming fear makes me feel like a BOSS, and gives me the power to overcome whatever obstacles I might face.

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Bob Ross!

Being Your Own “Worst” Critic

Do you like your art? Are you conveying your message? Are you giving it your all? Maybe bravery in art, is really in facing yourself.

100 Days of Learning T-Shirt Art Project

My best friend is a grade school teacher and asked me to work on a school art project with her and her daughter. Of course, I’m always down for art. Her daughter is also an artist and we have a lot of fun making art together. We brainstormed for a couple of days and got a practice shirt out of the way, but I still wasn’t sure what I wanted to do.

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Diamond

Finally the idea hit to use her kitten, Diamond. I recently took some pictures of her with plans to do a drawing so that was Puuuurrrr -fect. Haha, yea I went there. Based on the ideas we talked about during our brainstorming sessions, I came up with this design.

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Shirt design and sketch of Diamond

Everyone loved the idea so we got to work. We planned on using those two butterflies but they didn’t make the cut. I put my drawing of Diamond under the shirt and traced it with a pencil. Then after I added the sun I got started adding the fabric paint.

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My girl helping me out

I’ve never heard of this 100 days of learning thing, but I guess it’s something schools do when they hit 100 days in the school year. You have to use 100 things, so we glued a bunch of little diamonds.

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Diamond posing with her shirt

There’s Diamond checking out her portrait. She was upset that I made her quit messing with the shirt and look at the camera.

My friend thought about saying something along the lines of “being brighter.” So it seemed appropriate to use lyrics from Rhianna’s song, “Diamonds“: Shine Bright Like a Diamond. It’s also consistent with her personality.

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t-shirt drying

I forgot to take a picture of the finished shirt. We just added some more diamonds and the words “100 Days of Learning,” inside the sun and I wrote her name on the back. I also forgot to take a picture of the finished shirt I made for her mom. Haha, I was getting tired.

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The teacher’s shirt

I added a bunch of yellow, orange, and blue lightning bolts all around the shirt to represent all the electricity from the brain power. It still needed something else though. My friend finally came up with a really good finishing touch: At the bottom I wrote in blue paint, “Leads to a Brighter Future.”

These shirts were a lot of fun to make and I love supporting art and education.

Getting Motivated to Make Art

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The days are still long and hot. The deafening sound of cicadas can still be heard. I’m still waiting impatiently for football to start! Summertime isn’t over yet and even though I love those Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer (any other Gilmore Girls fans love that song in s3e1??) I can’t waste another second . . . . I miss making art! But as much as I love making art I have to admit that being an artist can be crazy hard sometimes.

Where Do I Begin?

nike just do it

My biggest struggle is getting the motivation to get started. Self-employed artists can’t wait for motivation to kick in. Gotta be like Nike and Just Do It. I’m sure you’re like me and you have plenty of projects and ideas to work on so pick one and just get started. It’s that simple.

Self -Discipline

teddy roos discipline

I remember in High School our band was the best band in the area. For band members school officially started a month before classes started. And two Weeks before classes started we were at the school with the football team doing our 2 a days. dragon band

The Dragon Band had pride and discipline and that’s what made us so great. Or it’s possible that our band director scared the discipline into us . . . but heeey, that’s cool. Band was awesome!

If you struggle with discipline you might try making yourself accountable to someone. Or imagine what the end result will be like. I have a friend who makes bets with people. His last bet required him not to shave his face (which he hates).

Meet Dynamite

dynamite

This picture is the main thing stopping me with this project. I’m guessing it was taken with a disposable camera, or at least a film point and shoot, and they used flash which makes the details in the dog’s eyes and coat really hard to see. It’s just not a fun drawing and I don’t really want to do it.

But I know the finished piece will bring a huge smile to the face of Dynamite’s owner. I also know that overcoming the challenge feels awesome. And my skills will improve. PLUS, I might possibly help somebody who is reading my blog and looking for some motivation encouragement.

What exactly am I waiting for? A Firm Kick in the Pants! This is the perfect project to pull me out of summer time and get me back to work again . . . What do you do to get motivated to make art? Hopefully, you don’t struggle with that and you ARE making tons of art.