A year in art - 2017 review and 2018 goals

Hey there :).

On my first look back at my art, 2017 looked like a year of starting and stopping. I started and later discontinued four art challenges, tried a lot of projects I didn't keep up, and tried many changes on this blog which also resulted in dormant periods when I was unhappy with the direction in which I was going.

Gouache mood landscapes.

Having promised myself optimism in 2018 though, I looked back more intensely, and to be honest, I'm quite proud of my progress last year.

I discovered gouache, and how much i enjoy drawing moody landscapes. It helps me calm down and clear my mind, it looks quite good when flicking through a lot of sketches, and it is a good way of looking at my state of mind. If a bit disturbing. November was surprisingly depressing to be honest, but I really love the art, so ... I don't yet know what that tells me.
I've used my sketchbook more in general, reworking old things until they looked better, and going back through to fill empty pages in abandoned sketchbooks has helped to make them feel more 'me'. When I flip through a sketchbook now, I don't see a mess of unfinished ideas and empty pages anymore. I see me. That's a cool thing to have. :)

Tiny bit moody.

In 2017, I finally understood a little bit more about the progress of actually 'working on a piece' instead of just drawing the next thing that comes to your mind. I started preplanning illustrations and sketching out different ideas on a separate piece of paper before deciding on one and refining it. To that end I also bought a light box to transfer my sketch to the nice paper without worrying about constantly erasing wrong lines and damaging the tooth of the paper.

Rediscovering my love for instagram

I finished a cool photo challenge that helped me rediscover my joy for Instagram. It was called '7 days, 7 pictures'. The rough guidelines (I can't find the original rules) say to post a black and white picture of your life without explanation, and I really enjoyed finding things to say about my life, having started on my birthday and ending on the day after my last day at work.

I also started a cool ongoing lettering project, illuminating the letters of the alphabet and finding ways to put owls into every single one :). It reminded me why I love illustration so much, and how I prefer it, colourful, a bit whimsical, and not necessarily realistic. I didn't expect to enjoy the lettering so much, but I do, and the lack of a self-imposed deadline definitely helps.

Lettering with owls :).

I have two main goals for 2018:

I want to be consistent in my art (and in blogging). I don't mean to only work on one project until it is done, but I want to consistently make art. I've seen last year that every piece helps me improve, so I want to value the time I spend creating art, and not worry so much about the individual thing.

I also want to put more focus on studying. I did a few studies throughout this year, but I would love to improve special aspect that are important to me. I love roads, so perspective seems important. I love forests, so trees and texture are on the list as well. And hands. I love hands.

As for the challenges I abandoned last year:
I'm not going to do 365 drawings - I dropped it last year because I realised I wanted to spend more time doing more detailed work, so I will listen to myself and not even try this year. Instead I will attempt the 52 weeks of illustration again -  on a smaller scale, and maybe with varied mediums. Hopefully it will work this year. If not, I'll just have more time to prepare for the next one.
As for Harry Potter ... well, that project is on hold. I ran into so many issues - drawing characters nicely with any kind of consistency, going too big with the scale of the paper, finding many inspirational scenes in one chapter and then zero in the next. I still want to do it, because I really love the idea, but I think I need more time to learn and figure things out. If it comes up in my studies though, I will let you know :).

I'm also still counting the hours I've spent making art. In august of 2016, I started counting with the intention of reaching 1000. After 2017, I am at 815 hours in total, so I am positive that I will hit 1000 this year. I think I will continue to count. I've always enjoyed it, and it's a great accountability tool. However, I will not post regular updates anymore. I ran out of things to say back during the post for 450, and it made me sad. Updating you about my progress in irregular intervals instead, or jut mentioning it when I show you around my sketchbook, seems more apt to me. I have a personal goal though, which is 'do more than 600 hours', because last year I did 599, and you cannot begin to understand how much this annoys me.

In short, I hope 2018 will be filled with a lot of art, and that I will enjoy making it even more when I take off the self-imposed deadlines.
(That's not to say I won't do any drawing challenges, but I might just make sure that I have finished them before I post them. Nobody ever needed an award for the fastest artist anyway.)
I wish you all a happy and creative 2018, and hope you will make sure to de-stress sometimes as well.

Studying Joe Wright's brilliance in Pride & Prejudice (2005)

Comments

  1. I hope your year is going well. I really like all of the images in this post. They are very good!

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