I had a fun experience this evening. Shortly after sitting down at my computer I found myself staring at one of my first blogs. I wrote it back in 2010. Most of it is down right cringe-worthy, but once I got past how “out there” I was, I noticed the amount of art I had been posting. Almost every single post I hit “publish” on had some doodle or sketch included. And I was a prolific writer of short, quippy posts. So there is a ton of really, really crappy art on that blog.
I mean, look at these two drawings side by side.
Now, I have to say, I’ve always been really proud of my art. To an extent that is now a little embarrassing as I look back at “what” I was so proud of. And maybe “proud” isn’t exactly the right word, but it’s always been a really important way I’ve expressed myself. Which is what really struck me about this old, zany blog. It is chock full of drawing after drawing that I created on a whim to either illustrate a moment I experienced or imagined. A joke. A comic. Whatever was on my mind.
And it made me a little bit sad.
I’m guessing there are about four years between the two images above. I fought so hard to get to that drawing of Zelda (on the right). Not the illustration itself, but that point in my artistic ability to actually transfer the image in my mind to a medium that could be shared. At that time, I believe I was still heavily motivated by the love of creating and the desire to explore art and my own ability.
Somewhere in there, I stopped having fun with the art. Not that I really stopped enjoying it, but it became about something else. Other people, really. It was less personal. That’s probably why I’ve been struggling so much with my art this past year. In a season of my life when time for making new art is so scarce, I was not satisfied with the majority of what I was making.
I have been completely crushed by the pressure to monetize any skill I posses. Art, blogging, the dolls, sewing, designing, any stray idea, BOOM. “I have to do this. I have to sell this. I have to turn this into a business.” But I can’t do it anymore. It is killing my creative soul. I admire deeply anyone who can take their passion and turn it into a career. I am just not one of those people right now.
I noticed recently that most of the art I chose to display on my online portfolio, pieces I am still very happy with, are not actually pieces I created for a client. The majority of them were things I drew in my spare time just because I had an idea and I could do it.
Most years, I don’t make real resolutions. But 2018 is going to be the year that I resolved to make art for me again.
Pardon my reminiscing, but I wanted to post one more drawing to really remind myself down the road that it’s really okay that I am just making art for no reason other than that it makes me really really happy in a goofy grinning, full of myself kind of way.
These Galaxy Princesses are characters who have really stood the test of time for me. The reason I created them was insignificant and even a little pathetic in hindsight, but I remember finishing them and being so incredibly satisfied with what I had done.
I guess I’m posting this because I feel like I need to bid farewell to that old mentality in some way. So, hopefully PIXELPLEAT can become a little more like the outlet that my old, embarrassingly open and weird blog was. A place for me to share my thoughts, ideas, and experiences the way I see them.
As always, thank you for taking the time to read.