Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A New Leaf

So I think I would like to try something new with this blog for 2013.  I've been thinking about it since this summer, and while having a sketchblog has been good for my productivity levels, I've also thought that it hasn't been as useful to other people.  I like to comparmentalize so I split off other things to other blogs but splitting my attention hasn't worked out so well.  Maybe this year, instead of spending all my time writing for forums it's time to put it all together in one place and be useful for a change.

Everyone seems to be using this day for reflection, so maybe I'll start this off by looking back at my year.

I did a lot of children's illustrations in January and February, really trying to replace old work in my portfolio.  I did one illustration for Spellbound Children's Magazine and submitted several to the SCWBI bulletin because why not.  In March I picked up a job to do several illustrations for a self-published RPG book that has just come out, that ended up being 7 illustrations over the course of several months.  I'm looking forward to showing off a few of them.  For some reason March seemed to be the month for surrealism.  I did a lot of sketches of strange things that didn't make much sense.

Things really slowed down in April.  I was probably still working on those RPG illustrations.  In May I realized that Art Walk was coming up and started doing some more traditional pieces to sell.  June was mostly sketching and RPG illos and working on small paintings for Art Walk.  In July I did another illustration for Spellbound and started finishing and framing last year's paintings to sell.  I sold a few things at Art Walk and that reminded me that I really like plein air painting, especially in August when the weather is nice.  I finished 10 paintings between August and November.

In October I discovered Daily Spitpaint, which I did as a warm up for a bit.  I tried doing Inktober for a while but didn't get very far.  I don't know where November went.  The start of winter is always hard.  I finished a couple longer paintings and otherwise sat around being depressed.  At the end of November I picked up a job doing illustrations for a theme park proposal.  I needed to do 11 illustrations in 2-3 weeks and I basically lived, breathed and ate digital art until five days to Christmas.  I got news back from the SCWBI bulletin that one of my illustrations will be published in the January issue.

In addition to all that I showed up to almost every monthly Urban Sketchers meeting and did several nice ink sketches every month, and made about 75 comic strips for that comic nobody is supposed to know about

I also set out to do my first metric century on my bicycle so I also biked somewhere between 7 and 100km 6 days a week between May and September.  By the end of the summer, riding to Beaumont (about 40km) was a long daily ride rather than a significant undertaking.  I am still no thinner, but my legs are like rocks.  Fat stubby rocks.  And in November, tired of sitting around feeling sorry for myself, I took up swimming.

What did I learn this year?  That I can really put the work in if I am sufficiently motivated, and what I need to figure out is how to be sufficiently motivated more often.  I've learned that I should play to my strengths because they're going to turn into opportunities that I could never expect.  I've learned that I should bite off a little more than I can chew because I can do more than I think I can.  I've learned that I really need a schedule and that I need to talk to a lot more people about my art.

I think I'm slowly learning to waste less time arguing on the net.  That's a hard one.

Anyway.  Tomorrow I'm going to outline some plans for 2014 and after that it's time to get back to work, hopefully with a new purpose!

For now, here's a composite of the major paintings I made in 2013.

Here's to many more!  Happy New Year, everyone.

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