Thursday, December 22, 2016

My 2017 Resolution

Over the last two years I have been adjusting to a life where making art does not comprise the majority of my time. It certainly has been a weird adjustment and I am still figuring out how to budget my time so that I can regularly create my own artwork. 

In the hopes that I will let this inspire me to create more artwork, I have decided to create a New Year's Resolution specifically for my artwork. This is going to be loosely based on a set of goals that I created back in March.

New Year's Resolution (Art Edition)
As my art is still an important part of my life, I resolve to devote a portion of 2017 to the creation of my own artwork. I resolve to create, blog, and exhibit throughout the year in the hopes that I might inspire both myself and others with the work that I produce. These are my goals:
  • During normal work weeks, I will schedule time each week to work on some artwork (sketching, painting, etc.). This does not necessarily mean that I must complete a drawing or painting every week, but I resolve to work on some sort of artwork on a weekly basis. 
  • During vacations, I will devote a portion of my time to catching up and starting new projects. These projects are to be worked on in the hopes of exhibiting my work locally. 
  • Throughout the year, I will develop a plan for improving my figure drawing skills, including regular sketching, with the possibility of devoting a sketchbook to figure studies.
  • I will establish a connection with other artists in the area, including establishing a connection with the Multicultural Arts Center.
These goals may be simple, but it is their simplicity that I hope will inspire me to actually complete them. Writing these goals in such a public forum is somewhat terrifying , but I wanted to post them here in the hopes that it will help hold me accountable for my work. My work may not always turn out the way I want it to, and that's okay. The way to create better artwork is to continuously produce artwork. I will remember that even 15 minutes a day is enough to get started. 
December 21st, 2016

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Artwork with a purpose

As soon as I posted my conclusion to 2016 post, I realized that I wanted to post one more project that I completed this year. This was perhaps the largest project that I have completed and one that I am immensely proud of.

The whole process was amazing. I went to discuss Creekside's website design but ended up leaving with a new job. Over the course of one week, every hour I could spare was spent painting our mission/vision statement on our sanctuary wall. It was somewhat scary for a number of reasons...
I'm not great with heights and this job required me to be up on a lift and very tall ladder.
The act of committing to painting on a wall that was not my own also made me nervous...

In spite of my nervousness, it was exciting to complete this. Here are the rest of my progress photos:

The completed project is about 9 ft by 5 ft (I think...) and I am immensely proud to have used my artistic gifts to complete this project for my church family!

A Conclusion to 2016

With Christmas Break comes an opportunity to catch up on all of those projects I haven't had an opportunity to work on over the last semester. One of those projects is this blog; in November when I was at the Adobe Max conference, I got inspired to redesign the blog and I am extremely pleased with the result. Now the goal is to actually make art to put on this and perhaps even continually update my official portfolio website: (shameless plug...)

For the past month and a half, I have been meaning to update my blog with posts from Inktober...even though it has been a long time since the actual Inktober took place. Busyness should not stop me from keeping an Internet presence for my art (small as it is...).

Here are the highlights from an Inktober that I am extremely proud to have completed. Did I finish all 31 days? Absolutely not! But I set a goal and managed to accomplish it; next year I want to set an even higher goal.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Watercolor Wednesday 2016 - Some Archived Work

Being an artist as a student is very different than being an artist as a professional....particularly when it is not your full time job. As much as I try to believe that I will make art spontaneously while working full time and going to school, it doesn't happen. I'm not that perfect.

Instead, I have to be intentional about my work. This means actually setting a reminder on my phone to paint/draw/whatever. Last year I did a semi-weekly thing where I did watercolor paintings every week. Thankfully, my busy summer month (June) has ended, leaving 6 glorious weeks of nothing to really do...I may even try to paint while on vacation in a couple of weeks.

Anyway, I've actually been able to do some watercolors before starting up on my blog again. In addition to today's watercolor, I have included a couple that I've done over the past couple of weeks. Enjoy!

I'm looking forward to continuing with this series over Winter Break!

Friday, September 30, 2016

InkTober 2016 - Finding Inspiration

Last year's InkTober sort of crashed and burned for me. In fact, upon taking a job as an art teacher, I have found that with all the other stuff that is going on in my life, I have very little time for making art...but I've already talked about that before on this blog.

This year, I'm hoping to start breaking my habit of not sketching as much as I should. After all, I want to keep my skills sharp so I can teach my students in the best way possible, don't I?

So, tomorrow starts another InkTober. I spent my morning pondering over topics I could do...knowing my own weaknesses, I wanted to keep some simple guidelines in place in the hopes that over the next month I'll be able to keep up.

Here's what I'm hoping to do:
1) Keep my drawings simple - the idea is to keep myself drawing, not to create elaborate works of art this year.
2)Carve out a specific time each day to draw - I have thought about drawing for exactly 31 minutes a day or starting to draw at the 31st minute of some hour...still thinking about that though.
3) Have fun! It sounds cheesy, I know, but that's one of the reasons that I got into art in the first place...I enjoy it.

I'm also hoping to not let my panic show through my drawings. I've been looking back at some of my artwork and notice that I go between trying to get fine detail, and panicking about not being able to get it. I want my drawings to be more relaxed this year.

So, here's to a successful #InkTober2016!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

An Unexpected Retreat

This weekend, my parents and I took an overnight trip to Southern California. As usual, we can't go by the Magic Kingdom without making a stop on property (even if it only means going to Downtown Disney). 

My parents had to go help my sister move back in (she goes to school nearby) and there wasn't going to be enough room to have four people, groceries, and a whole lot of luggage in the car, so I opted to stay at Downtown Disney (which was a reeealllly big sacrifice for me, I know). I had planned on shopping, looking at the hotels, and maybe sketching. But my original plans turned into a half a day of sketching in one of my favorite places and a lesson in the art of slowing down and loosening up.

I started at the new(ish)ly renovated Disneyland Hotel. I got to sit in a giant teacup and sketch the lobby. One of the more unique drawing experiences I've ever had. This sketch is also something that I would categorize as my "normal" way of sketching: trying to be exact, feeling nervous and having everything look a bit stiff.
I continue wandering around the hotel and came across the perfect place to have my wedding (someday). It was also at this point that a Cast Member came up and complimented me on what I was doing. Now, at that point, I was just working on proportion, and there wasn't much on the page, so I took that compliment as a Disney employee trying to make my day more "magical". And yet, even though she was probably just doing her job, there's always something about interacting with Cast Members that puts me in a really good mood. I spent the rest of this drawing smiling and humming Disney music, which caused me to loosen up a bit.
Sitting at an outdoor fireplace and sketching? Awesome!
I moved over to the most beautiful hotel on the property, the Grand Californian. This hotel is inspired by "the famed arts and crafts movement" and the ceiling was beautiful...but painful to draw.
I ended with drawing the "main attraction" of the lobby; the fireplace. Although I can't say for sure, I THINK this was inspired by the fireplace in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, so it was especially enjoyable to hear the player piano playing HBOND music. That, combined with the other Disney music, made this my favorite place to draw.

So...what I loved about this was getting the opportunity to slow down and enjoy my art. With all of our busy schedules, it can be hard to enjoy the things we were once passionate about. But we must make that time. 

On a side note. This is my 50th blog post! I have really enjoyed sharing my work with you guys and hope you have enjoyed looking at it.

A quick sketch

I'm really enjoying taking my sketchbook to unique places/historical reenactments and drawing from there!

From the Dickens Fair.