Sunday, July 1, 2012

2011 - 'Daily Art' recap (a look back..)

2011 - 'Daily Art' recap (a look back..)

It's been several months now, since i finished my goal of creating/posting art every day of 2011. I wanted to write this sooner, but work has been really busy (lots of traveling, deliverables, etc) combined with the fact that it really took a lot out of me -- and i didn't want to really think about it for a bit. (finally - i'm not the best at writing.. much better at speaking!) -- :)

When i was back in Art School, i remember that when graduation time was nearing, my Professor said that we all to remember that creating art will continue to take an investment from ourselves. That we need to keep 'at it' and keep practicing/always learning and he stressed the importance of constant/daily drawing -- to keep your hand/eye coordination sharp. Because we would no longer be in a class environment and required to do so, meant that we needed to hold ourselves accountable for this. Well, once you get into the 'Real World' and life comes at you with bills, responsibilities, work (and someday, a family) -- it becomes very difficult to find the time to do this! AND -- if you a 3D professional (games/film, etc) you spend a lot of time learning your craft (tools/techniques) and working on someone else's due dates/deliverables and following their direction. (and not much time creating your own art, whether it's creating actual 'final art' or keeping active with sketching)

In my situation, i have spent the past 20 yrs in many different roles on many different projects and while i have managed to 'mostly' be successful at doing this, the past few years have been challenging to find the time (due to the fact that i've been working in the role of an Art Director, not as hands-on as i am used to doing.. combined with long hours at work). So, as a 'Resolution' to myself, i set a goal to create/post art daily, in 2011.

Here are some thoughts on the year (in review):

* the first few months were easy -- i had a lot of ideas and ambition. I think it was mid-March before i thought, 'crap-- this is a serious commitment! when i going to find the time?' and 'how i am going to continue to do this for 9 more months!'

* This really does force you to think about your art EVERYDAY.. some days i knew what i wanted to do, some days it was a continuation of working on a 'longer due date piece' such as a painting (but i would have to find time to do a sketch as well-- to post for that day)

* my figure drawing skills really improved -- i noticed in the first few months and from comparing Jan to April sketches was a big improvement to proportions, etc

* i was able to also LEARN new software/tools/techniques -- using Scribbler Too, Apophysis, etc

* i had a sketch book on me at ALL TIMES -- i had various sized sketch books, but always kept a small one with me

* i enjoyed both digital and traditional art -- learned some new software, love the ability to 'undo' and pick colors and brushes, digitally; also loved getting my hands 'dirty' and using oils, pastels, etc

* when drawing in my sketch book -- occasionally, with pen/ink i would 'mess up' and instantly want to do a CTRL-Z (undo) -- doh! amazing how we have changed as artist's and technicians, thanks to computers!

* one of the unfortunate draw backs to creating art 'daily' is that it can contribute to a 'quantity over quality' sort of deliverable. i admit that there a more than a few pieces i cringe at, when i view the work

* in creating the work, i had some challenges!! Travel: i had to create/post art while making trips to.. Seattle (once to visit/interview, another time to relocate); Germany (three times for work-- finding time to draw on the airplane.. drawing in the hotel room while jet lagged!); Jamaica (finding time to create art when i was on vacation!); Life change(s) -- i had to still create art while dealing with selling my home and dealing with a cross country move; then on the relocation trip out to Seattle, we drove across country (32 hrs) and had to find time to draw in the car, in hotel rooms, etc; Also, had to find time to create art while starting a new job and buying/moving into a new home; Sickness - had a week where i was sick and still had to find time (and energy!) to create art; Holidays/events -- everyone has things going in our their lives (kids events, family visits, etc) -- these are things that i had to work around as well.. i remember being at my brother-in-laws for Forth of July (in Ohio) and not bringing my sketch book. It was 7-8pm and i thought, 'Oh shit! want am i doing to do.. i am at a BBQ and socializing.. and i have no idea what to draw or any tools to do it' -- so i used my iPhone and painted a still life using 'Colors' -- i painted my 'Corona bottle' that was sitting on the table in front of me and then uploaded it from the BBQ! :)


Wacom Cintiq 21” (home)
Asus slate PC (with pressure sensitive pen)
Various software (see upcoming slides)
Pen/pencil – sketchbooks
Oil/acrylic paints on canvas
Pastels (on pastel paper)
Mixed media (matte medium, collage techniques, etc)

* Photoshop CS5 - mainly for editing/post-processing; i do use custom brushes that i've created/collected for finishing touches (splats, grime, etc)

* Painter 12

* Art Rage Pro (best 80.00 i ever spent!)

* Alchemy - (free software)
open drawing project aimed at exploring how we can sketch, draw, and create on computers in new ways. Alchemy isn’t software for creating finished artwork, but rather a sketching environment that focuses on the absolute initial stage of the creation process. 

* Apophysis -- (free software - fractal flame editor for Windows)

* Scribbler Too - (free software)

Figure Drawing Resources (Seattle Area)
Classes, open drawing sessions, forums, etc
Workshops, classes and more (North Capitol Hill area)
Art/Not Terminal Gallery -
Art gallery, classes, workshops (Seattle)
Kirkland Arts Center -
Workshops, classes and more (Kirkland)

Posemaniacs - (loved this site!! it's it almost daily to practice my figure drawing skills! it has a built in timer for 30/60/90 second poses)

** WHAT's NEXT??
This past year (2012) has been a rough one, in regards to my work. I have been doing A LOT of traveling (to Germany, almost once a month) and i have 4 projects that i'm over-seeing at Microsoft. So, i have been cautious about what responsibilities i can take on -- but i have been active in training, taking classes on Zbrush, watching training/tutorial videos on Digital Tutors and Gnomon Workshop. I think my 'next personal growth' and focus will go back to 3D as i get back up to speed with Maya/Modo/Max and Zbrush -- i don't want be away from the technology that i work with, for too long.. don't want to get 'left behind!' -- i  feel that as an Art Director, i need to be current with tools/techniques that we have available to us, for creating content and it's one thing i've prided myself with doing, during my career. i have some personal 3D projects that i'm going to work on (landscapes, in particular). I am also teaching/mentoring at DigiPen college and that's been fun and exciting for me, as i LOVE teaching and it's something i want to pursue late in my career. I am looking forward to working with the students this coming Fall semester.

In terms of my fine art career -- i will be working in my studio (late nights!) to wrap up a few paintings and i want to work on finding gallery representation in the Seattle area (so if you have any contacts, send them my way!) I will still be posting artwork online (via my blog, Facebook artist page, etc) -- stay tuned! 

Thanks for your time! (i may be adding more to this post, as i remember things i wanted to say) -- but at least i FINALLY got this written and posted! :)