Phase 3 has started this week. I think (and hope) that I am now doing well enough at my bread and butter job at Google that I can scale it back a little. I am trying to work but 50-55 hours of effort in a week of work and study. This will hopefully allow me some time to work on my artwork. So far, this new schedule is helping.
I started drawing a couple hours a day since Monday this week. This has been accomplished by finding time in two ways. First of all, like I said, less than 60 hours a week of work/study for work. Yes, it would be wonderful to work only 40 hours a week at work. But truthfully, I don’t see the effort going below at any time less than 45-50 hours a week. I still have much to learn, and my pride in my work as well as wanting to be a help to others prevents me from doing that. Especially since my co-workers have been so good to me.
Secondly, I am finding more time by giving up time on the internet. I have curtailed my internet time by half, and I would like to slice that in half or even 3/4. My addiction to the internet seems to have abated in the last few months. The extra hours at Google have helped me realize I not only don’t need to spend the time on the internet, I really don’t want to.
I have been keeping an offline log of a schedule, and learning to focus. But I haven’t been posting here, as much of the information is mundane, and also some of the information has been covered in this blog before.
So. 6 days of drawing, about 2-3 hours a day. Here is a general synopsis of what has been happening in this process:
The first day I started, my sketches were tentative scribbles, and going over some well established patterns still resident in my mind. The first few nights were like that. My mind needed to make the connection that I could still draw (And that I still wanted to draw). The artistic mind (well, my mind at least), is like a shy child that has to be brought out and nurtured. Most of my work was kind of flat. As I continued sketching over the next few days, my work has become less flat, and my mind is now laying down more different ideas. My figurative work is getting larger on the paper. The characters are starting to become less plastic and have more character.
This is not to say there are good yet, or good enough to show. A few flashes of insight have come through, and my pattern work is getting a flow to it again.
Another key to drawing consistently is going back to drawing basics. I dropped the computer, and sketching on paper with a ballpoint pen on office paper. I don’t want to think too big yet, or consider making masterpieces. I simply want to draw, and draw consistently so it becomes habit. I have the paper and pen nearby, always when at home. This is what I used to do when I was younger. You couldn’t find me without a sketchpad. This is what I am going back to. When I get into the flow, and feel like it, I’ll add photoshop and illustrator back into the mix. Right now, I’m heading back to a junior high school mentality. My hope is that just having the freedom to not think too much or too hard will lead me back to the joy of the process rather than getting wound up in larger issues that I really am not ready to embrace. I need to put the time in and progress until I reach that level.
The good thing is that I have trod the process before in various times of my life. From my experience, if I dedicate real time to my art, I will in a rapid fashion progress up to the stage of proficiency that I once had. And after that?
After that, my hope is that I will have laid down a significant and consistent folio of work that will allow me to progress to a higher level of professionalism than I ever had before. I have no illusions however. It will take consistent work and being open to new ideas.
Only in this way will I be able to reach the grand vision of what I want to accomplish. My first week into this new phase of my life is timid. I am however happy in that this week has been consistent.