Last week I talked about trudging through the hard stuff. With the help of Ira Glass I realized that I would never get better unless I let myself suck. Sucking at something is hard. Sucking at something that you are determined to not suck at is even harder...but not insurmountable.
After the Brooklyn Art Library Sketchbook Project (see previous post) I needed to push forward. I needed to look at the things that went wrong with that project and move toward a direction of solving those problems. Thinking about this in a concrete manner was not easy. If it doesn't come naturally for me, I have always preferred to simply walk away. But not this time. This time I looked at my work critically and asked myself, "How can I do this better?"
My first plan of action was to analyze my materials. I had only used a single pencil for the entire sketchbook which left the plants feeling flat and dull. I needed to open myself to all of the amazing materials that artist have at hand. (Duh, Melissa! Have even you been to an art store??) So a new pencil set and a few different microns (pens with an array of tip sizes) were acquired.
The second plan of action was to find a subject matter that interested me more. While I absolutely love being out in the wild and revel in watching the growth of the garden which my husband planted, using that as a subject had not truly connected with me as I'd hoped. This time I focused on animals.
Then I just started to draw. Putting pen(cil) to paper was my only goal. And as the images unfolded, and I worked with the variety of materials, I realized I was getting better. I wasn't perfect. My head was still being a critical bitch but I saw it. I saw progression. Beautiful forward movement. As a bonus, I even started to fall in love with the process.
But a surprise turn on the path came up faster than I expected. That's for next time though.
Do you find it as hard as I do to make a true effort to get better...rather than just giving up? Have you found your way forward? Or are you in the, "Eh. Screw it." headspace?