Maybe just missing the wine!
Some days are harder than others. Those are usually the days when I realize I have complete control over my life and that my lack of satisfaction and forward movement are all my own fault. That’s when my thoughts turn really destructive and I humiliate myself.
It’s when I realize exactly how lazy and scared I am. That I’d rather sleep instead of try. When I would rather dream, instead of actualize.
I have this amazing dream of how I imagine my life to be. Me being slim and healthy and an awesome yogi, an avid reader, a functional empath…Me and my man successful at art and life and happiness. Having art nights all the time and people salivating for our work. Being happy and free.
It takes time and discipline to get there though. As everything in life does. And apparently I would rather sleep than act. I keep having epiphanies on life and have even shared them here. But those thoughts and ideas do me no good if I can’t manifest them into reality. If I can’t stop sleeping through life and take action. That’s the biggest failure of all, but it seems to be one I am okay with. I must be okay with it since I’m not cultivating the habits I dream of. I am not taking action.
How do you take action in your life. And assume ownership of how it’s turning out per the decisions you are making?
Needed fresh air.
Meditation with exercise.
The trees whispered creation.
The water soothed my angst.
The cool fresh air of the setting sun ignited my need. My need for art.
Walking out from under the bridge, I was exposed.
It’s time to be honest with myself.
Time to start living my dreams.
I need to stop waiting for a miracle to help me.
I am already the miracle.
It’s time for me to realize this and start living in my dreams.
One of the things I am guilty of is looking at other people’s work so much that I neglect my own. I get sucked into perusing all of twitters inspiration collections, especially those from Abduzeedo.com. I look and review and start to feel inadequate as a designer since I am not producing work as beautiful as everyone featured.
And then I realized, it’s not that I am inadequate, it’s that I am not producing.
If I were to track my time, the time spent on perusing other people’s work/blogs/etc. would drastically overshadow the time I spend working on my own art. I had originally chalked the perusing up to research and my attempts to stay with the trends. But at some point, the research needs to stop so that I can contribute my own artistic perspective to the world. And maybe someday land in that inspiration list.
In lieu of that, I decided to try out my own vector art. It’s a technique that definitely has its place and can be used in dynamite designs. I had never really tried this before in Illustrator, and it’s one of those techniques I bookmark tutorials on, thinking that I need to try it. So, I decided to try it and see if it was something I could work on and add to my list of skills.
Ironically enough, I didn’t even sift through my Delicious account to find a tutorial. I just went for it, in hopes of utilizing the knowledge I had seen, and integrating my own personal style.
Because I also want to work on my sketching skills, I decided to sketch an image from J. Michael Straczynski’s “Midnight Nation” (a brilliant graphic novel, I must say). I grabbed my pencil and my Harry Potter sketchbook (yes, that’s right, a near empty sketchbook I had received as a gift after the first one came out, years ago). And I did just a line drawing. This in itself was odd for me, as I love to shade. But because I wanted to do vector art, I was forced out of my safe zone into line drawing. Here is the initial sketch:
I scanned the image in and opened it in Illustrator. I locked the layer it was on, made it 10% opacity, and started to color on the layers below it. Because I had seen so many examples of vector art, I knew that the gradual shade technique I love wasn’t an appropriate approach for the result I wanted. I tried to imagine the lighting and where my lights and darks would be, adjusting the shapes of the lines in hopes of making it actually look like the sketch I began with. And honestly, I just went for it. I hoped that my heuristic approach would work, and that my intuition would kick in and I would come up with something successful.
I don’t think I did too badly:
My next step is to try to put this vector art within a context, or just do some really cool design-y stuff around it that I see in my perusing. I don’t want this process to stop here. I am intrigued by so many different styles, it’s time to put them together and develop my own.
Here is a list of things to remember if you are a new designer, or really any designer that may be stuck.
- Inspiration is good, but know when to stop
- Know what the end result you want is, and just go for it
- Trust your intuition…tutorials are there to teach you techniques, you need to apply them as yourself
- The process is on-going, always keep learning and trying
I’m sure there are a ton of ideas that can be added to the list, but these are the ones that struck me as I was trying new vector art.
There’s a quote from Nickelodeons series, “Avatar, the Last Airbender” that seems appropriate to end with. This is not verbatim, but it goes something like this:
“You are going to fail a lot before things work out…even though you will probably fail over and over and over again…you still have to try every time. You can’t quit because you might fail.”
Meeting up with a friend you haven’t seen in a while is such a beautiful thing. I had missed her, our conversations, her inspiration, her soul. Rachel is a unique beauty in my world.
One thing I love about Rachel, is her ability to weed through my chaos and pick out the flowers. Pick out what’s essential. We talked about such a plethora of topics: emotions, memories, Osho, what happens if you don’t breastfeed enough or pump quick enough (I’m a bit scared now), love, life, how to be productive, what’s important to us, developing our selves, art. Her insight is necessary for me. She helps me to clear the clutter.
“Megan, you just have to write down what’s important to you, what the habits are you would like to see in your life, and focus on them.
Just do them.
I can’t stand doing the dishes, I hate doing the dishes. I forced myself to do the dishes every night for a while, and now I can’t go to bed without doing the dishes.
And I still hate doing them!”
Such an important lesson for me. Some of things I want to have in my life I hate doing. The seem like such menial tasks. But doing all of these things are essential to achieving my goals. I had been procrastinating, and in complete Wisdom, Rachel reminded me those things aren’t going to happen unless I do them, even the boring things. She reminded me I am control. And that I know what it takes to be an artist, to do what I need/want and that I know how to achieve. I just need to stop being afraid, stop procrastinating and do it. Being the amazing friend she is, she even helped me flesh out a to do list: one that I started this morning and already feel great about. This blog is on it 🙂
She reminded me what it was like to be a bit spontaneous. To sit in a bookstore and talk. Drinking coffee and laughing. Realizing some things really are hard to do with one hand.
She is one of my few links to college, such an important time in my life. And I am so grateful she came into my life then, and is still around.
I am grateful for coffee talk with My Soul’s Friend.
I really don”t do enough art. I”m ashamed to admit that I look at so many other artists that I become paralyzed. The fear of not being as good stifles me.
And the irony is that I would rather sit here and type, again, about how I want to do more art, than actually do art. My to-do list is miles long, and I have yet to cross anything off. I keep getting resolved to do more, to actually develop my artistic style to live my art and yoga life, but I don”t follow through. I go to the bars, watch football, watch Extreme Midget Wrestling, watch a movie, hang out with friends…everything else.
I am getting better about developing my home yoga practice. So that”s positive. And I definitely meditate more. I guess that”s just my learning curve. I am finding peace through yoga and meditation first, it seems, to hopefully explore art without stress and angst.
For being an artist and a yogi…I”m crazily stressed-out.
I really must get into an art routine. I feel so panicked and stressed and I keep thinking it’s due to work and relationships. But all of a sudden, tonight I don’t think that is the reason. I now think it’s because I don’t do enough art.
I spend so much of my time knee deep in social media that I forget that inspiration is pointless if you don’t produce. In fact, it is counterproductive. I look at so many styles and at so many wonderful and gifted artists out there that I forget to develop my own personal style. And I get intimidated thinking I will never be that good. And I won’t unless I put art back into my routine.
Once art is part of my routine again, I will feel good. I will feel on the path to my authentic self and will grow into the life I want.
Art is a necessity, and one that I don”t give enough energy to. When I”m emersed in a piece, I feel bliss. But circumstances keep driving my attention away and my mind reels. Art needs to become a habit again.
I need to pour my emotions into art, not onto another human being. They do not need to bear my life, but my art can. My art is strong enough. Art is my listener and therapist. Art is my redemption.