SI #3- A Study Plan, Part One!


My plan for this week was to come up with a study plan I could follow in my self-education as an illustrator. Therefore I spent much of my time learning a lot about how to learn. (My university studies would have greatly benefited from so much foresight as well, but that is life. Grow, and learn.)

Illustrating Owls - a new header in progress :)
There are a lot of books, blog posts, articles and videos detailing the importance of studies, or highlighting special subjects. If you care for a general overview or an in-depth look at a wholesome course however, your list of resources shrinks alarmingly.
This is what had left me so confused before. 'Want to learn how to draw a realistic crystal horse? - You'll find the information on YouTube!' But I cannot keep looking for the next tutorial until my project is completed, and then start all over again.



Being a person under 40, I found the most relatable source of reference on YouTube. And I remembered something I had seen some time ago: Draw with Jazza's video 'How to Practise', which goes through three types of practise:
1) innate practise, which is the basic 'draw a lot' advice and increases skills through constant exercise.
2) inspired practise, which happens when you're passionate to create something and work tirelessly.
3) developmental practise, which is the hard one - educating yourself in the fundamentals.

The interesting part for me here, and in many other references, was the importance on continuing to do your own projects along with your studies. When I thought about it, it was a logical thing to do - it would help with keeping up your enthusiasm and willingness to learn.
I don't know if I actually thought about not continuing to make 'other' art while trying to improve, but whenever I do something now, my subconscious tells me all the things that look odd and that I should have studied before attempting them again. But I can see that this path would lead me down the road of being too scared to ever start something again, and so I have decided to give myself projects to work on while studying.


My "Inspired Practise" will therefore be covered by three side projects. I don't want to work on them constantly, certainly not on all three at the same time, but it is important to me that I try to get them done.

One project belongs to the "Art Challenges" tab - following along with the 52 weeks of illustration / 52 weeks of creativity. I started them a bit aimlessly - trying hugely complex paintings on very random topic, and have now decided to streamline them to make it easier for me to keep up and see some progress. ('Streamlining' here means smaller sizes. and more constraints on the topic ideas. This will help me come up with ideas more easily, and work quicker.)

Inktober experiment for "Glowing" by The Script.
The other two projects will be covered under the "Projects" tab - one is a songbook, illustrating songs in ink (I attempted this last Inktober, but failed on daily art and inking skills); and the other is an illustration attempt for my two favourite book series - one a series for teens, and one a series for adults. I hope that these will help me practise a wide range of things, such as backgrounds and composition and character design, while also keeping me interested (hence I am using my favourite books).

I can make sure that I cover the "Innate Practise" by continuing with my Daily Drawing Challenge. I am slightly behind now, but in general I have gotten used to it, and can commit to that happily knowing that it won't take up too much time.

As for the "Developmental Practise", well ... this requires an in-depth look and will be covered in next week's post. For now, let's just say that I've decided to pick a topic for studying on Sundays, and will then work on that topic a little bit every day during the entire week.

I will use this week to get a head start and to redo my challenges, and will get back to the developmental lesson plan next sunday, and onto my first study sessions after that :).

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