We've all been there, you're working on something and no matter what you do you can never get it right. You get so frustrated that you scribble all over it, crumple it up, tear it into a million pieces and pretend it never happened. Here's the problem, it might not be as bad as you think it is and even if it might possibly be the worst drawing that's ever been drawn by anyone in the history of art (doubtful) you might be able to glean some important insights from it down the road.
Reasons to keep your artwork even if you think it sucks:
IT CAN HELP YOU FIGURE OUT WHAT YOU NEED TO DO TO IMPROVE
Of all the reasons to keep your work this is the most concrete. It’s pretty simple really if you destroy all your ‘less-than-perfect’ drawings you’re destroying your opportunity to figure out exactly what went wrong. I’ll admit that it can be difficult to be objective about your work but you have to try. There are some things that you can do to make this process a little easier.
YOU CAN OBSERVE OVER TIME HOW MUCH YOU’VE IMPROVED
This is a surprisingly uplifting and cathartic practice. If you’ve ever taken the time to practice a skill then you’ll know that you usually improve in such small increments that it’s difficult to track your progress without some sort of record. This isn’t just true for artistic pursuits but indeed for any skill whether it’s sports, music, accounting, coding, whatever, you get better at it slowly and if you have those records of your practice to look back on you can really concretely see how far you’ve come. This can be an excellent motivator when you feel like the things that you’re drawing are just not working out, have a look back at all your past work and see that you’ve already overcome that feeling of spinning your wheels.
YOUR IDEA MIGHT HAVE BEEN REALLY REALLY GOOD BUT AT THE TIME
YOU LACKED THE TECHNICAL SKILLS TO EXECUTE IT.
This is another frustrating reality. You have an idea but your hands can’t translate what you have in your head onto the paper or canvas. It’s okay to back-burner an idea while you’re learning and come back to it when your skills have improved. Here’s the rub though, you have to keep a record of those ideas or you’ll forget them. So, keep that artwork even if you think it’s garbage future-you might be able to do something with it that is out of present-you’s scope.
THIS IS THE FIRST STEP TO BEING ABLE TO SEPARATE YOURSELF
EMOTIONALLY, JUST A LITTLE, FROM YOUR WORK.
Objectivity when it comes to your artwork can be difficult but if you can achieve a certain amount of detachment you’ll be better off and here’s the reason why. Instead of getting defensive you’ll be open-minded when someone suggests a change or way to improve. You won’t get your feelings hurt when someone doesn’t like your work.
*Spoiler alert: Lots of people aren’t going to like your work. If Oprah can deal with it so can you.
Lastly, it will make it easier to collaborate with other creatives on bigger projects if you can be objective about your creations. Collaborations can be challenging but, if everyone has a healthy dose of objectivity thrown into their creativity the whole process can be elevated.
Conclusion, keep your drawings. They are a record of your life as an artist, a visual timeline of how far you’ve come and a predictor of just what you are capable of.
TODAY’S LESSON: Don't throw out your artwork, even if you think it sucks,
YOUR HOMEWORK: Find something to store your work in safely. A folder, bin or giant Ziploc should do the trick.
If you liked contour drawing you are going to LOVE blind contour drawing! There is really only one small (but significant) difference between the two. When you are doing a blind contour drawing you can’t look at your drawing until you are completely finished. It’s important that you follow this rule, if you don’t you’re just doing a regular contour drawing.
You’ll see when you watch the video that this method is quite a bit more challenging however, it will also do wonders for your hand-eye coordination which is oh-so important for you artists. Make sure to check out the contour drawing lesson so you can be in on what we’re talking about!
My number one tip for getting the most out of this exercise is to take your time, if you rush you’ll miss all those delicious details in the object that you’re drawing.
TODAY’S LESSON: Blind contour is when you draw the contour (outline) of an object as well as relevant details on the inside of that object using a continuous line and not looking at your drawing until it’s done.
YOUR HOMEWORK: Do 10 blind contour drawings.
Have fun everybody!!
Thanks to a fairly hectic production schedule the last couple of weeks this blog entry is coming to you a little late but, here it is nonetheless!
Today I want to talk to you about the power of observation. You know, the thing that made Sherlock Holmes such a good detective? Now, I know that he's fictional and that you're an artist not a detective but, just bear with me for a sec and I'll explain.
I know, I know, 'What the heck is contour drawing?' and 'Why is it so important?'. You can start by watching the video and then continue reading for a more in-depth explanation.
Okay, so, a contour drawing is a drawing that is primarily the outline of the subject that you are drawing. It gets complicated though because you can (and should) include details that are not strictly part of the outline of the subject. As I'm sure you noticed in my example.
Welcome to another Saturday edition of ARTminute!
So far the response to this project has been very encouraging and I hope that people will continue to watch and participate. If you’re new to my blog or YouTube channel I’ll let you in on what we’re up to here. The idea is that twice a week I release a very short video that is either a mini-lesson about some art/drawing technique or it’s a practical discussion about how to incorporate an art practice into your life. I will also likely include my ruminations on the creative process and ways to stay inspired.
Hello, my lovelies!
I am super pleased with today's video lesson! It's the first video with actual advice about drawing. The subject today is sketching. Since these lessons are so short I really have to segment everything that I have to tell you, which means that we're really just scratching the surface and you'll have to stick with me every week to get more and more into each topic as it comes up.
Okay! Here's the thing about sketching, it's like warming up for a workout. You're often stiff, uncoordinated, and awkward. Which is exactly how your sketches will come out, especially if it's the first drawing you've done all day.
Happy Saturday everybody!
I'm super excited to be releasing episode 2 of ARTminute, on schedule!!
If you know me, you know that I'm a bit of a procrastinator and also sort of allergic to schedules so this is a big deal for me.
Can I get an internet high-five from everyone out there who doesn't have a job with regular hours?
So this is it!! I'm taking the plunge...right off the deep end.
I'm officially launching a series of videos that will be released every Thursday and Saturday. These videos will be little bite-sized art lessons, some of them will be about my philosophy and approach to art-making, others will be straight-up techniques.
Each video will be about 1 or 2 minutes long and will give you enough information to go forth and take some steps (even baby steps) into a creative way of life.
The whole point of these videos is that I really, truly believe that every single person out there is an artist! Don't freak out!! This doesn't mean that everyone is a painter or illustrator it just means that you deserve to have space in your life to be creative! If I can help you find that space then I know I'm doing my job as an educator. Plus, so many people tell me (over and over again) that they wished they could draw better (or at all). I can help with that!!
So, here is the very first video in the series, it's just an intro really, but the next video will hit the waves on Saturday when I'll be chatting about art supplies and how to avoid spending zillions of dollars on them.
So don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel and you can also find me on Instagram! I'd love to see your comments and I'll be happy to answer any questions you might have!!
Stay rad my little blueberries!
Okay, so this is embarrassing but I have written, re-written, posted, deleted, and re-posted so many of these 'I'm starting a blog and I'm so excited about it!' posts that it's now sort of a pathological problem. I start blogs with the best intentions and I always fall short right off the starting line.
And here I am, doing it again!
The difference is, that this is the last time I'm going to try. If it doesn't work I'm just going to accept that blogging isn't for me and give up on it forever! However, I am not willing to throw in the towel until I make one last genuine effort to make it work.
So, I'll skip the heartfelt starting point speech and just tell you that I'll be with you for the next little while sharing my experiences, my knowledge, and my feels.
See you around my little wonders.