As most of you (all 2 of my readers) have noticed, most of my posts are usually posted very near the end of the day. I have a lot of near-misses, and about 3 missed days, and 4 without sketches. The whole "sketch-a-day" stint was supposed to help me, but instead it has become a chore, a burden, an obligation, you get what I'm saying. I'll end each day remember the sketch, rolling my eyes and quickly trying to whip something up.
And I hate myself for it.
Today, however, I came across a few design articles that really hit home in regards to my feelings about design, this whole sketching thing, and my art in general.
The first article, from whence the other inspirational articles came, is Principles of Great Design: Craftsmanship. It goes through the concept of craftsmanship and honing your skill, and the first part of that is to PRACTICE!
Sketching every day for me is a practice. If I hope to at least maintain my level of skill I need to be drawing and designing every single day. If yesterday's post is any proof, my skill has already gone down—I didn't even draw gesture lines while doing that exercise, arguably the most important part of, uh, gesture drawing. Seeing that decline in skill both scared and motivated me to do more for my art, and to keep on truckin' with the daily sketching.
That section linked to this next article: Design Something Every Day! Talk about relevant! The topic is as the title says, and reading it reeeally motivated me to keep going, and even gave me fresh new ideas. The author interviewed some people who challenged themselves to design every singe day for an entire year(!) and they talked about some of the difficulties and rewards of doing such a challenge. I agreed to all of the difficulties, like finding time between other projects, figuring out what to draw every day, second-guessing my art, and wondering if it's worth showing.
Then they shared their techniques.
The one I found most helpful is to design with a theme in mind. Now, I came into this thinking that my creativity had to magically crap out an idea out of nowhere every day! Would limits help me? They most certainly would. For you've heard the phrase, "to think outside the box" meaning to think creatively, right? Well, apparently you can't think outside the box if there is no box. That's the point of a theme. If I tell myself I'm only going to draw animals for a week, I'd get all that done so much faster! Not to mention I'd buff up my animal-drawing skills (of which there isn't much to mention) and give you guys something better than gesture drawings to look at every day.
Second of all, posting is a good idea. It keeps me accountable for all my drawings so I can't cheat out a few days or weeks and just drop it all together. It's an easy way to track my progress. And I suppose you guys enjoy my drawings, right?
That basically covers all of it, but the other articles I looked at are 6 Reasons to Why You Should Do Personal Design Projects and How to design for your worst client: You. They all made me feel a lot better about myself, knowing that other designers are experiencing the same thing I am. Other designers sometimes lack creativity and don't want to do personal projects because it's easier just being told what to do. It's easy for other designers to lose sight of why they became artists in the first place... just like me. Knowing that I'm not alone is comforting, and what's even better is knowing that people can make it out of those ruts to tell about them. If they can do it, I can too.
So I've decided to do a sketch every day for the entire year.
I don't know if I'll post every single one of them here... maybe I'll start a flickr account for that or something... but I'm going to do this, and it's going to be damn fun.
And of course, making a post like this would be entirely fruitless if I didn't provide a sketch! So here's one: didn't take much effort, as it should be, and it just hopped out of my brain. I like it for that.