Illustration Friday – Underwater

Illustration Friday – Underwater

Back on the Illustration Friday challenge!  This week’s word: Underwater. I’m playing texture and depth in my digital work.

Over the past few years I have been dedicated to the task of meeting some financial goals for my family.  While I’m blessed to be illustrating and designing almost full time, I’ve put speed and efficiency above exploring my creativity and experimenting with media like I did back in college.  With some of those goals now (nearly) met, I’m lessening my constraints and giving my right brain a little wiggle room.  In the thick of striving to meet looming deadlines and juggling five different projects on my plate at a time, I’ve daydreamed about what it would be like to discover a new photoshop brush, or to pull out a pad and pencil and just sketch.  I’ve thought on these things so much I feel as though I’m a race horse about to sprint from the gate.  Blessedly, in a few weeks that gate will be opened and I’ll be ready – quite ready – to charge headlong into my well marinated ideas.

I’ve watched good artist friends start out and become quite successful in their own right, dabbling in paints, pixel pushing, or even in one case playing with her food.  While it’s so exciting to see others become successful in their craft, I sometimes wonder, “will that ever be me?” I pause now for a moment and realize, that is me. Being successful in this field means that timing is everything, and each experience I have is a building block to the next big idea.  Moreover, the artist will often have 10 bad ideas for every good one.  So it isn’t that I’m not successful, it’s that my success is rooted in the growing process.  If there’s one thing that I am doing, it’s growing.

I’ve berated myself recently for pushing hard and taking every job that falls on my plate. As a result I’ve been frustrated with quality of my work or my inability to bring any picture to the place where I, not the client, feel like it is complete.  But no more.  I realize now that there is deep value in the quantity of work I’ve produced.  In the hundreds of pieces I’ve done in the past three years, there are maybe 4 or 5 that I’m truly happy with. But the things that I’ve learned through each trial and failure are monumental. I need make no apologies for that.

So as I charge out the gate, developing new styles, learning new tools, and thinking up new stories to tell, I don’t expect that I’ll crank out a series of winners right away.  I believe it will take time, a huge pile of failures, and patience just as it has in the past.  However, I’m thankful that this is my process, because frankly I often love the process more than the end result.  And I look forward to that process because of what it is: messy, beautiful, unpredictable, art.

Leave a comment

1 Comment

  1. Rebekah Bollman

     /  October 10, 2013

    You are definitely growing. Keep enjoying the process – I can’t wait to see the results!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *