I got into a conversation with someone on Twitter about Sketchbooks and how to work in them.
Personally I’ve got a long and fraught history with Sketchbooks and like many difficult relationships in my life, it took years to finally get to a place where the Sketchbook and I could be friends who fight fair and make each other better.
When I was a kid in High school, I had a ton of sketchbooks. I had no fear and just filled my cheap spiral bound whatever purchased from Wal Mart full of drawings. I was proud of almost all of them (blessed that naive ninny) and never had a problem filling them to the brim.
As I got older and started engaging online with artists communities, I found myself pushing to create better work and this caused me to start realizing that a lot of my sketchbook drawings were (gasp) actually quite terrible. I started getting self conscious when I was around other artists or when I was sharing my work online.
I remember the first time we had a meet up of our artist community at San Diego Comic Con. It was amazing to meet all these great artists who I had gotten to know online in person! (I also met my future husband here, but we only said hello and didn’t actually ‘meet’ until two years later) But I was so nervous about my sketchbook. These events were all about passing around your sketchbook to show other people and to have them do a drawing for you in yours, so it was very nerve wracking to see these professional full time artists looking at my high school sketchbook. That book was very thin because I just kept tearing pages out of it. This was bad because not only was the book thin, it was also obvious that I was a very self conscious artist.
After this I actually abandoned sketchbooks entirely. I chose to draw only on copy paper so there was less pressure. I would walk around with the pages on a clip pad so that if one was bad I could just toss it and nobody would be the wiser.
I would start sketchbooks, but would never get further than halfway through before I abandoned them. I would go through a lull of not drawing and then the drawings would just show a skill level so far away from where I was I had to just get rid of them from the shame.
It also didn’t help that I had a weird hoarding tendency with sketchbooks. I used to travel a lot with my family and would bring back blank books from all over the world. I had some from Nepal, Japan, Germany, and all of them were beautiful and perfect.
I was too afraid to touch them. I knew that the drawings wouldn’t all be good and I couldn’t ruin this one book that I had. This led to me having a whole shelf in my house of blank un used sketchbooks.
It wasn’t until we did our first Kickstarter, with Curiosities, that I sort of got over that way of thinking. I started to realize that this project that we were working towards could be good, could be bad, but we had to finish it. If it wasn’t perfect, that was okay, we were learning and we would do better next time. With our next project we could always show improvement and have people remember the good drawings/paintings rather than the less than stellar ones.
This philosophy got us to finish a project that I couldn’t have imagined that we would have done if I had still been that insecure high schooler tearing out pages from the sketchbook. It’s incredibly important to move on and just keep moving forward even if those mistakes are embarrassing.
After this, I started to think about my sketchbook in the same way. If I did a bad drawing, I just had to do a better one next. People don’t tend to remember failures only successes, so even though my book isn’t totally full of great drawings, people walk away only remember the decent ones. If I had torn out a bunch of pages in the book, I don’t think that I would have been able to finish any of them.
The year to date, I’ve finished two sketchbooks. A huge acheivmenet for myself. I feel like I finally broke through a wall that had been haunting me since high school and now I’m able to move more quickly learn from my mistakes and get better fast.
Even Hayo Miyazaki, the legendary film maker, feels the same way about his films Acorrding to his new book “Turning Point” Miyazaki says:
"Making films is all about—as soon as you’re finished—continually regretting what you’ve done. When we look at films we’ve made, all we can see are the flaws; we can’t even watch them in a normal way. I never feel like watching my own films again. So unless I start working on a new one, I’ll never be free from the curse of the last one. I’m serious. Unless I start working on the next film, the last one will be a drag on me for another two or three years." — Hayo Miyazaki
And that’s the way we should feel about our sketchbooks, we know that there are flaws but we have to keep moving, share it with the world and make the next one better.
Tuesday tips — Costume Design 101.
Costume design is a very important part of character design. It tells you a whole lot about your character; ie. age, personality, what she/he likes, time period, strength, … etc. It supposed to enhance a character’s personality.
Here are my process in tackling costume design.
1. Find a good reference. Inspiration is key!
2. Look for a good silhouette that is recognizable and different from other characters.
3. Pick one silhouette and find smaller shape within. Do tons of variation and have fun.
4. Color variation. Use variation the same color combination for all the design. Keep it simple!
5. Finish up and have fun. It will also a good idea to think of texture and material.
(Question from my Ask.fm account)
I’ve been asked a lot about developing styles and improving so I thought I would make an advice comic for you lovelies~ :>
It’s so hard to explain about our development in art styles. We may be influenced by the same things, but how we illustrate, express, and think is completely different. It’s not something you can buy or learn in a class.
Remember that age doesn’t matter and it’s never too late. You can draw whether you’re 30 or 13. You’re still young! And there’s no rush. We learn at our pace and should be proud of ourselves for continuing to draw. Not many people realize that art is a pretty tough field and I know a couple that have given up and chosen other paths.
Improvement will happen if you keep on doing what you love. It will take time but keep practicing and months (or years) from now you’ll be amazed at how much you’ve progressed. Soon your doodles that used to take you 2 hours will take only a minute or less.
But again, you have to just do it. This applies with music, performance, or anything else. Tutorials, books, and advices won’t mean anything unless you actually do it.
Don’t think about what anyone will think, if you’ll be famous or not, or if you’ll develop a “unique” style. Just start drawing. Fanart, figure drawing, animals, anime, just do it!!
You will improve and you will create great things. Just do it!!
I hope this helps!
THIS IS IT! This is it right here!
Study stress? Find better ways to deal with Half of Us
A Parisian apartment left untouched for over 70 years was discovered in the quartier of Pigalle a few summers ago and I’ve been meaning to share the pictures with you. Time to unlock the vault …
The owner of this apartment, Mrs. De Florian left Paris just before the rumblings of World War II broke out in Europe. She closed up her shutters and left for the South of France, never to return to the city again. Seven decades later she passed away at the age of 91. It was only when her heirs enlisted professionals to make an inventory of the Parisian apartment she left behind, that this time capsule was finally unlocked.
The team that had the honor of opening what must have been a very stiff old lock for the first time in 70 years, likened the experience to ‘stumbling into the castle of sleeping beauty’. The smell of dust, the cobwebs, the silence, was overwhelming; a once in a lifetime experience.
There is a further twist to the story. In the apartment a painting of familiar style was discovered of a beautiful woman in pink. One of the inventory team members suspected this might be a very important piece of treasure. Along with the painting, they also found stacks of old love letters tied with colored ribbon.
With some expert historical opinion, the ribbon-bound love letters were quickly recognized as the calling card of none other than Giovanni Boldini, one of Paris’ most important painters of the Belle Époque. The painting was his. The beautiful woman pictured in the painting was Mrs. de Florian’s grand-mother, Marthe de Florian, a beautiful French actress and socialite of the Belle Époque. She was Boldini’s muse. And, despite him being a married man, she was also his lover. The art world went a bit nutty for the whole story and the painting was later sold for $3 million at auction.
Wow. I’m dead. Posts like this are the reason I have this blog.
Cast of the Broadway production of Disney’s The Lion King.
I REMEMBER WATCHING THIS WHEN I WAS LITTLE IT WAS THE GREATEST THING EVER