Making Time for Art – Even Bad Art

I was at my friend’s house yesterday and they were watching something I’d already seen and then after that came something I wasn’t interested in.  I pulled out my sketchbook and went to work.

This was my pen and ink drawing done with little light and I love this little sketch!

multitool

While I sat there drawing I thought on the people that would have found it insulting that I sat there drawing while everyone else watched TV.  I was still talking with them, paying attention to conversations, listening to snippets and watching a little bit here and there.  I was still actively with them.  But that wouldn’t have been good enough for a number of people from my past.  They are no longer in my life and it wasn’t an active choice, but I find it serendipitous.  I no longer care if someone complains to me that I am drawing in a restaurant.  I’ll say right back to them “I don’t whine about you constantly being on your iPhone, so cut me some slack.  At least I’m still involved in the conversations.”  But I wasn’t always so… confident, I guess is the word.

Most likely this is because – before the last few years – I never put my art or myself first (no matter how often my husband told me to).  My husband’s constant reminders didn’t fall on deaf ears though.  I started doing what I wanted in my free time instead of what I thought I should be doing.  I did what I wanted with my hair for me.  Little things.  Then when I opened my first business I learned to say ‘no’ to people who wanted me to spend my time doing something else because I could have a flexible schedule if I wanted.  The hardest was friends, but I learned.

If I wanted to be successful at whatever I was doing, I had to give it the time.   I had to invest in it.  It had to come first at some point.

This year is the first time that I am putting my things as a true priority – my passions, writing and art.  I did prioritize writing and sometimes art in previous years – meaning they were higher on the list of things to do than before.  But this year those two things come first.  Like my husband must allow his job to come first (unless there are extreme circumstances like an emergency) I must too learn to allow writing and art to hold that same priority.  So every day my husband must work, those are also work days for me.  If he gets up at 5 am, he wakes me up shortly after (my request).  This way we share most of the time we have together in as equal states as possible.  It also alleviates the guilt that comes from taking a complete day off to just fart around with him and play video games, go on aimless motorcycle rides or hang out with friends.

Sometimes when you don’t have that support system in place though, it’s very hard to explain to people why you’re spending time doing something else.  And I honestly cannot help those who struggle with apathetic spouses or non-supportive friends.  I won’t have the arrogance to give tips or advice here or to link articles that I chose that might have spoken to me because how would an article picked by someone who has never felt that struggle you feel, help anything?

I will say that early on in my marriage I learned that both husband and wife serve each other.  I supported my husband’s dreams, he’s supported mine.  Now that he works full time, I have taken on his chores and tend to run around more when he’s home doing things for him so that he can relax – his job is very physical after all.  While he’s at work I have the luxury of staying in my PJs if I want, writing for hours on end uninterrupted, drawing and drawing.  Yes, there are chores, animals to care for, errands to run.  But we both fulfill our end of the bargain. When you support each other, when you serve each other, you find harmony.

A friend of mine is an artist (a painter with acrylics and a multi-media genuis) had her marriage blossom when she finally figured out that her husband didn’t act supportive of her dreams because she’d never been supportive of his.  To him, having a man cave where he could smoke and drink and watch the games with his friends was a dream.  She’d always put it down.  So he’d never been overly enthused or supportive about her art.  Once she helped him clear our their basement and start to work on it he seemed “transformed” to her.  He didn’t complain if she was going to go paint.  In turn she bought him a mini keg of his favorite beer for the first game in the room and he bought her a brand new easel.  Crazy people in love, huh?  She told me when he asked her to paint something football related in his basement, she cried.  He’d never shown any interest, never cared, never said she was good or bad – anything to her would have been better than indifference.  So she painted one whole wall with his football team’s logo, years, championship years and his favorite player.  Needless to say, he became her biggest fan, lol.

Like I said I don’t know what you personally are going through.  Maybe Cindy’s story above helped, maybe not.  But the point is that there is an answer.  Whether you have to have a heart to heart, or Google for art support groups, it’s there.  Someone somewhere else out there (most likely MULTIPLE someones) has been through what you are going through.  They can be invaluable resources on how to get out of situations, fix circumstances or just be a good person to vent to.

Wow!  What a long post!  So sorry!  My goodness.  Here is another piece, this one a COMPLETE FAIL lol.  I drew it for a friend of mine.  The top image is the meme she adored and asked me to make her something like it, the bottom is my drawing.  Lol, needless to say, I was having an OFF DAY.  Still mailed it to her though, lol!  I’ll just have to do better on my next attempt.

omg2

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Super Creepy Skeksis from The Dark Crystal – Great Subjects for Drawing!

Last night I found out that The Dark Crystal was available on instant through Netflix.  I had checked MANY times before so I was super elated!  Because my husband was going to be late coming home (official biker group stuff) I decided to watch.  I was in a little bit of a gloomy mood, so it was perfect.

I remembered so much, I haven’t seen the film in years, but I watched the hell out of it as a kid!  There are some really creepy and dark things in there!  Very spooky.

Like the Skeksis.  Very creepy, disgusting, vile creatures.

Super Creepy Skeksis

I don’t know what got into me, but I just had to draw one.  So I looked around on Google until I found one that appealed to me.  20 minutes later I had an outline:Untitled

But then I had to go to bed :/  So I took up the work in the morning.  Between doing other things I’ve worked on this today and was happy to finish him up.  He was a joy to work on.  I even posted a video of my shading him in over on Instagram.

Now here are the images taken each time I took a break:

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And now the finished work!

Fingers just for scale!

Fingers just for scale!

 

Creepy Skeksis!

Creepy Skeksis!

NSFW – Quick Nude Studies

Two days and two roughly 30 minute studies of some nude figures. I’ve been using Pixelovely.com for the figures.  And they have a “class mode” where you an set your time and it will automatically change the figures and let you know how long you have at the top (you can also skip figures or choose a NO NUDES option).  I had a lot of fun, especially spinning this around and trying to find places to fit new ones 🙂  I did 30 second poses, 1 minute poses, 5+ minute poses and like an 11 minute pose.

Now, gotta stop farting around.  Off to do some work before the hubby gets home for Taco Tuesday and Faceoff!!

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Personal Growth, Mental Expansion and What New Thing I am Doing

“Art is a way of showing the outside world what your inside world looks like.” Jerry Saltz

expansion

For the last year or so I’ve been feeling a little stilted with my art.  That’s part of the reason I started sharing it here.  I want to open up.  And that’s helped me tremendously.

I also began watching other people on YouTube and rereading some of my favorite art books (it’s time for me to get some new ones, by the way!) and that’s helped too, a lot.  Seeing what other people do, watching their process, and surrounding myself with art in all forms is transformative.

The other day I grabbed two cheap sketchbooks from Fred’s and put one aside.  The first one is for self portrait studies.  I already have two I think I’d love to turn into paintings down the road.  But today I figured out what I want the second one to be for.

I watched a bundle of videos on how to access your more creative, right brain side without questioning the process.  I watched a few art videos by Roben-Marie Smith and this really kinda “neat idea” one by Suzette Morrow.  Now I’ve done a bunch of drawings that I created from squiggles and scratchy lines, but I never really used Morrow’s process.  As I am right now trying to go deeper with my art, trying to both create meaning while keeping the mystery for the viewer, I think that her process of being more intuitive and more self aware while barely controlling the art could lead to some terribly wonderful and exciting abstract work to pull from and create paintings out of.

I don’t know when or if I will share this art.  I don’t see that yet, that decision.  This might be very personal to me and I might be a bit protective (in a sense) of that art.  At least for a while.  I don’t see this sketchbook as good or bad work.  This is more like a mental workbook, a process book.  Many artists see all their sketchbooks like that.  Maybe I do too to an extent.  Maybe most of my sketchbooks so far have been the workbooks for the technical aspect of art and now I am working on the mental and inside aspects.

Whatever the case, I am excited to see what comes from this.  It’s a fairly new process for me.  I’ve done pieces like this before but not with the same intention I have for this book.

It’s been a few days but I am still ‘arting’

I’ve been a little busy with a tattoo drawing, writing a novella for hopeful publication by the 15 of this month, and our group (family biker group, not art related).  I just have been so pressed to get things done that I have let this blog (and some housework, whoops) slide a little.

I’ll show what I have been working on.  I’ve been using Sketchbook Pro on the Wacom Cintiq Hybrid hooked up to my computer. Neither of these are affiliate links, I am just super pleased with their performances.

A friend of my husband’s wants a tattoo of something very specific.  I’m not going to get into exact specifics until I’m done and he’s approved the tattoo, but he’s an EMT and there is an ambulance involved.

So I took a few reference pictures from online, mixed and matched what I liked and tossed what I didn’t or extra clutter.  I drew the basics of what he wanted for myself to get an idea and got the go ahead:

Original layout.

Original layout.

Then I looked into what details I thought I could add in and tried to get more accurate spacing.

TattooforTannern_layout

The hard work came with the lines.  Working with a ruler, perspective, resizing etc.  I have to say this Wacom Cintiq Hybrid tablet is just plan out incredible.  It really frees up the artist to try for anything.

This was what I finished up with as far as just the ambulance and stretcher:

TattooforTannern_almostthere1The lights up top are not perfect.  I’ll have to fix those before I pass it on.

The damn diamond plate is my only sore spot.  Because this is for a tattoo, I had to get those perfect.  I’m not saying he’s going to find a tattoo artist that will do work that small, but who knows.  Because I wanted this perfect I *gagging* traced the damn diamond plate.  Now, I don’t care if other people trace shit, it’s just not something I want to do with artwork unless I am tracing something I drew onto a new piece of paper.  I have done it before and I don’t like that empty feeling I get.  So I detest doing it.

TattooforTannern_almostthere2

Still, that’s what I am up to now.  Sorry it’s been four days!