I have taken a step back lately to examine the role I would like art and illustration to play here at Doodles and Jots. Over time, and once I have more time, I would like it to play an even bigger and more integral role in my content and maybe even become more consistent, that is after I do lots of experimenting. The great thing about a blog is that it can be a testing ground for a not-fully-baked-plan like this.
What has inspired this personal challenge? Find out next week!
The possibilities are so exciting! Part of this plan is to migrate my style to be EVEN looser to save time and also because it is what I like. I have decided to stop thinking about it and take some action. I decided it would be motivating and fun to turn my plan into a little independent study course for myself! Join in if you like. I think it could apply to more than just art and illustration styles like photography or maybe even writing.
Becoming the artist you want to be
Welcome to part 1 of my 3 part mini course!
Do you admire a particular artist and wish you could draw or paint more like that artist?
I do! There are a bunch of artists and illustrators I would like to be more like. Growing up I was in love with Norman Rockwell, Robert Vickery, Beatrix Potter, Eloise Wilkins, and my mother. These artists inspired me and drove me. As I have gotten older my taste has loosened (interestingly so has my mother’s painting style). Now in addition to still loving my mother’s art and of course still greatly respecting those artists I grew up on, I now also really admire the child-like, graphic, and/or gestural styles of Milton Avery, Elizabeth Peyton, Melissa Sweet, G. Brian Karas, Louis Slobodkin, Douglas Florian, Mariana, and Byron Barton, just to name a few! Of course I don’t want to copy any of these artists exactly. And probably a little part of the reason I like what I like is that I see something a little familiar in their work. I want my style to be mine and honest. But lets face it, we all have our influences. It is part of our nature to build on other’s achievements. So I try and combine the bits and pieces I like from all these artists in a way that is cohesive and also allows me to be myself. Right? Oh, so much more easily said than done!
What gets in the way?
For me it is usually confidence, fear, discomfort, and I am embarrassed to admit, laziness.
- Confidence – I don’t have the “magic” those artists have (This is what I think people are saying: She thinks she is an artist?)
- Fear – People will think I am stupid (This is what I think people are saying: Check out the pregnant lady’s hand. Doesn’t she know how big a hand should be?).
- Discomfort – Doing something different is uncomfortable isn’t it (like wearing ankle socks when you are used to ones with cuffs)?!
- Laziness – Not working as hard on it as I would like to (probably due to the feeling of defeat coming from 1, 2, and 3).
Do some of these barriers exist for you? Do you have others? It would be great if they would go away but what if they don’t? They will make it hard, I suppose. Why do we expect it will or should be easy? There are so many great quotes about things that are worth doing that are hard. I find most goals are achievable one baby-step at a time.
Assignment 1: Surround yourself with your influences
- Make a list of your influences. Do not make it exhaustive. Select a handful of artist you like.
- Next gather a few of you favorite samples from these artists and arrange them on a foam-core board.
- To complete you inspirational poster, add post-it notes describing specifically what it is you like.
I am going to take my time and give myself 2 weeks to complete this assignment. Although I don’t think it actually has to ever be complete. I imagine I will display it in my work space and I will refine it overtime, adding/changing images/notes.
I hope this post inspires you and please join in in you like!
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