Thursday, 31 March 2016

Drawing a Day - January

At the start of this year I made it my New Year's resolution to draw every day. Now I'm three months in. I'm a little bit surprised and a lot proud that I've managed to make it this far. I've been posting my drawings daily on Instagram which has been a lot of fun. However I've decided that in addition to daily posts I will now write a monthly blog post to recap on my experiences and what I learned throughout the course of the month. Of course deciding to do that three months in means I have some serious catching up to do!

Lets start with why I decided to do this in the first place. The reasons are threefold;

1. To get me into the habit of drawing regularly. 
Since leaving art school I've found it difficult to find the time to make art. Full time jobs, hobbies and forging some sort of social life all seem to get in the way. There is always an excuse. With this challenge there is no room for excuses. The only rule is to draw every day. If all I manage is a five minute scribble then that's ok. If I want to have any sort of hope of this perhaps becoming a career someday, I need to make drawing a part of my daily routine.

2. To stop me being scared to show my work.
Part of the reason I didn't draw as much after art school was because I felt like everything I made had to be amazing just because it was what I did my degree in. If it wasn't amazing I wouldn't show  it and then eventually I wouldn't make anything at all. There is no way I will be able to draw something amazing every single day, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't do it. Having five minutes left at the end of the day to make a drawing means it will most likely be rubbish, but because I have to post something every day, out it goes in to the big scary world of Instagram. And facing fears is how you overcome them, I hear.

3. To improve my drawing and to hopefully discover a drawing style.
So after a few years of not drawing things on the regular, my skills got a little bit rusty. If an athlete has a big event coming up they are probably going to be training daily. If you want to get better at drawing as quickly as possible, daily drawing is the way forward. I'm hoping that I'll also get a taste for what I'm good at and what I enjoy and from that be able to form a consistent, recognisable drawing style.

Ok, so the whole thing really is that it's always been an underlying dream of mine to have a career as an illustrator. Yet I've done absolutely nothing to pursue this. I'm hoping by making drawing a part of my day, getting feedback from people and forming a style that I'll be able to rustle up a portfolio. My aim is that by the end of the year I will have set up a little online shop and maybe have a couple of craft fairs under my belt. Even if I'm not successful in this I'll be glad to have given it a try.

That being said, lets review how the first month went!

January was essentially about getting in to the habit of the whole thing and finding time in the day to make it happen. I really struggled to get through the first week. Going back to work after Christmas was exhausting, all I wanted to do after work was crawl into bed and sleep. But I somehow made it.

I had no idea what kind of things I wanted to draw so I mainly just drew objects that were around me. It quickly became apparent to me how rusty my drawing skills had become and found myself being frustrated rather than being able to enjoy it.

I tried different styles with many different mediums. Looking over the drawings all grouped together now it seems very haphazard with no consistency. However I feel that the month was a successful warm up. You have to try all the possibilities to know what is worth pursuing and what is best to drop. Although I wasn't happy with a lot of the drawings I produced, they were necessary to help me improve and get me ready for what was to come.

By the end of the month I wanted to be more focused so I decided to go with a theme for the month of February. But you will have to wait until my next blog post to read about that ;)

Thanks very much for reading. Please feel free to leave a comment, I'd love to hear any thoughts!

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