I’ve been somewhat disappointed with my progress in regards to my technical skills in the world of digital artwork recently. I’m not talking about graphic design – I’m referring to the stuff I find to be truly fascinating and awe inspiring, like digital painting, concept art and animation. I want to tell stories. Not with words, but with pictures. Right now I just don’t feel my technique can communicate my ideas as well as I need to. Sure, I’ve been improving, but at a pretty lackluster pace.
So I decided to kick myself in the behind and really get to work. If I don’t get to work now, some other Joe is going to take my dream job and run with it. I’ve started a new study schedule for myself, outside of my class work, in which I can study digital painting. To start with, I vow to spend a bare minimum of 1 hour every day (and hopefully much more!) studying from the masters – both the old masters of oils and the new digital masters of pixels. A few days back I started my first study, and today it is “finished”…
I decided my first master study would be from John Singer Sargent’s “Madame X”. Sargent has always been one of my favorite artists, so I felt it was an appropriate place to start. His ability to describe such a complex form in very few brushstrokes fascinates me. Something to aim for! I will definitely be revisiting my buddy Sargent in the future!
Started this back on Monday morning, and have spent about 2 hours each day. Digital painting is extremely enjoyable for me, so once I get started on these studies each day it’s not a chore – putting in that extra hour every day wasn’t even intentional, it just happened. It is so easy to do what you love, it’s just a matter of getting started. So why aren’t more of us living our dreams? Probably out of fear – fear of failure and what others will think.
So, how did it turn out? Mediocre at best. Go ahead, compare it to the real deal and you will see. Am I disappointed? No! I learned so much along the way to failure. The art, the real value, is in the process, not in the final product (sound familiar?). Someday I will be able to tell a story through an image, but there will always be a way to tell a better story. So I’m going to keep searching, and I’m sure there will be plenty of failure along the way. But if you aren’t failing, maybe you aren’t working on a challenging enough problem. What do you think about that?
Tomorrow (or maybe even tonight…) I’m planning to start a study that is a little more festive! If you are curious, you’ll just have to check back when it is finished!