For the past year I’ve been pretty dedicated to my sketchbook. I try to draw at least a few times a week. I’m going to make a goal to up that to 5 times a week for 2017. But that’s not why I’m writing this post. I’ve noticed over the year little improvements in my sketching. I don’t ever sit down to draw a completed piece, I always sit down to practice. I’ve come to like just practicing and not worrying about a finished piece, like I do with painting. I’m starting to analyze everything I draw though. I’m trying to decide if this is a good thing or bad. On one hand I really figure out a lot of problem solving skills when I look at every drawing with a critical eye. On the other hand, at what point do I stop worrying about getting better at this stuff? In my mind.. never.
I was thinking about that last night. Is there a point where you can just be satisfied with your skill level? Just as a side note, I am satisfied with my skills as an artist, but I’m not satisfied to stay in one spot. I like to compare it to when a band puts out a great album when they are young, and everyone loves it and then as they grow as musicians they experiment with new sounds and direction and then when they put out the next album people are more… meh, about it. Then when the band is asked about it they always say ‘we grew as musicians, and this is a more mature sound.’ I like to think of my art journey like that. I’ve put out some things that really caught on and so forth, then I’ve put out some art that people are meh about, but I really like the meh stuff because I can see the technical skills and growth behind it. It’s a weird world in that sense.
I’ve come to the conclusion that I live two art lives. One where I put out my regular art for everyone to see, and one where I hide in my studio and create stuff with new direction that I keep to myself… for now at least. As a business person and an artist I’ve come to analyze everything. You have to, in a way. I analyze what work of mine is popular, I analyze what’s not, I analyze my skills and if they are improving and in what way they are improving, I analyze my students artwork daily, I analyze how I write emails and how I respond to questions, I analyze my sketchbook, I analyze my facebook page, my youtube, my instagram. These are all things that require certain skills and I’m even analyzing how to get better at being better at stuff. Being an artist and running a business is gymnastics for the brain, but I like it. I never could sit still as a kid, and now I can’t sit still in my head as an adult.
2017 is coming, and I’ve spent this year on skills, I can’t wait to put some of those new tools to work. Thanks for reading my ramblings. Back to the easel. Merry Christmas Everyone!