Come check out the interview with me on One Fantastic Week! www.onefantasticweek.com/jessi…
So if you're in Utah, we'll be having a one day event to benefit the Christmas Box International charity. It will feature live musicians, local artists, and great drinks at Sunset Coffee! THIS IS TONIGHT COME VISIT ME.
Here's a link to the event page, with the address and more details. It will be hosted April 30th, and I'm really excited to be there. I'll have a lot of new art that no one's seen, and some crazy fun things to share. So do please come down if you can.
So. My work was submitted to a museum at the end of last month, in the hopes of joining their longest running exhibit. On April 2nd, I found out that I had failed, and I was not accepted into the exhibit.
I went through the full flood of emotions, crushing failure, hopelessness, certainty that my work is just a hack and I really shouldn't do art anymore. Failure always seems to bring out the worst in me, the certainty that I will always fail because I am not good enough. I didn't write a post immediately on finding out, because I wanted to really experience the full range of emotions I feel, not just the initial sting of depression. I gave myself that first day to mourn the failure, and to acknowledge that I felt sad, rejected, and generally not great about things.
The following day, I picked myself up and decided to really look at the failure and see what went wrong. Was it truly that I was a shitty artist? Or was there another reason. Why exactly did I not succeed and what could I do in the future TO succeed? I took that moment say that I am not a failure in and of myself, that I can change my future, and I will.
As I analyzed the show and what was going on, it was super easy to say 'well they were just jerks' or 'pft they couldn't recognize fine art if it bit them in the ass'. The usual cheer you up talk that your friends will often say. The reason those fall flat on my ears is that it feels too much like excusing a failure, rather than acknowledging what went wrong. Every time I found myself saying something like that, I stopped my train of thought and continued on to the next.
I sat down and really looked at the show first. Not what was in the show, but *who the show was catered to*. This is something that I had not done before I submitted, and I truly should have. My pride in my work is pretty considerable, so at times I forget that it is not always everyone's cup of tea. In this case, the target audience for the show was a group of older, wealthy benefactors who have a taste for midwest art. Lots of scenic landscapes of waving wheat and paintings of deer, etc. That right there told me where I made my first mistake. I simply do not match the target audience in the least. So for future shows, I will make a point to be aware of the target audience and know if my work will be a good fit.
That thought in mind, I took a step back to compare the quality of my work to that accepted at shows that have a target audience compatible with what I do, and reached the conclusion that I am well within the pack of contenders for fine art. Had my work honestly not been of a fine enough quality, then I would reconsider sending that piece at ALL. But stepping out of myself to look at it, I do stand a good chance of being accepted in shows, they just have to be the RIGHT shows.
Does it still sting to not be accepted? Yes. Picking up my rejected piece will make my pride weep and twitch horribly. Do I think the museum didn't know what they were doing? No, the fault was mine in not researching their demographic first and submitting something more appropriate. Does it devalue that piece of art at all? Absolutely not. But that piece will be sent to a show that's more in line with my demographic, and I believe that success will come more easily.
It always hurts to be rejected from a show, a publisher, etc. Let yourself feel that hurt, but don't let it control you. If it means you need to take a step back and do something entirely different to break the train of sadness, then do it. If it means you need a friend to help you objectively look at why you didn't get in, by all means do. But remember... you'll win some, and you'll lose some, but you're never a failure. You just keep going and learn from every experience.
Edit: OMG TWO HOURS LEFT! I AM POSITIVELY HUMMING WITH EXCITEMENT!
This is it guys. We have three days left on the kickstarter. Three days. It WILL fund, as we’re way past funding amount at this point, but this is your last chance to get a print of the jellyfish dreaming tree as it is ONLY with this kickstarter, for backers at the $25 mark or higher.
I am so overwhelmed. So overwhelmed and so completely excited. I wanted to do a big huge update but everything at the house is basically just stacks of mat board waiting to be cut! So the three bottom pictures are me experimenting with one of the test prints (done to make sure that the paper is actually good quality and the prints look nice), where I was gilding the gold parts of the dragon’s mane to mimic the original painting. No, the prints won’t come gilded, it takes about three hours to do ONE print, but this was fun to play around with.
I am so excited everyone. New art will be coming as soon as I make it through this kickstarter, but right now I am just FLAILING with delight! Dream come true right now, right here.
I love you guys.
This is a question that plagues me every time I work on something new, and is one of the reasons I was so hesitant to even DO kickstarter. What if I fail? What if I post up this project and you all watch me crash and burn? There is nothing I hate more than public humiliation and failing in public would be emotionally devastating. So it took me weeks and weeks to do a simple kickstarter and build up the nerve to post it.
It occurs to me, that part of why I feel this way, is that myth that if you are a 'real' artist, then everything you do must be a success. Everything you touch turns to gold, every sketch, every doodle is priceless. You cannot fail, for you are a master at your craft and even the worst of your work is more incredible than the average layman could dream of making.
This is a mythology that I think a lot of us buy into. Too many of us count the successes, only speak of the triumphs, and pretend the box of failures does not exist. We do not talk about submissions to publishers and our piles of rejection letters, until someone is on the verge of giving up art entirely. Only then do we mention it casually, a little 'oh yeah I've failed in the past, don't worry, you'll get there.'
Get where? To a magical point where failure simply does not happen? Where 'no' is no longer in our career's vocabulary? I feel like this is crippling, and maybe it is time to embrace the possibility of failure as real as the possibility of success. And that failure is not a bad thing. As the song goes, it's time to win some or learn some. Failure is just another learning experience and we gain from it regardless.
So today I share that I am nervous. I may fail, I have been rejected before. But tomorrow morning I drop off my art at the Springville Museum of Art, to undergo the jury process once more and see if I make the grade for display. I may, and I may not. But I am giving it a try. And if I fail, I will share that with you as well, and what I've learned from the experience.
Maybe now I can learn to get over my fear of failure, and take the big risks and the chances I wouldn't otherwise, because that is the only way to grow into all that I can possibly be.
Hey all! So I have some news regarding the kickstarter and I thought I’d update it here.
I said when I started that if it hit $1,000 I was going to do something special, and so I am! For all backers at the $25 or higher level (so you’re getting one of the dragon prints), I am including a limited edition print of my Jellyfish Dreaming Tree. I felt it was an appropriate thank you for helping me make one of my dreams come true, by sharing my favorite dreaming tree with you all.
This edition is special because I am specifically limiting it to THIS kickstarter. That means this is the only time you will be able to get this particular print, and once it is gone, it is gone!
There’s a bit over two weeks left on the kickstarter and I am just.. so overjoyed and happy about it, I can’t babble enough. If you’re just hearing about it now, you can find it here:
And it is for the Out of the Ashes, beaded dragon that you’ve all seen on my blog. But here’s a little reminder:
So, a few months ago I asked you all to tell me what you thought about your art. There were a few people who were happy about their art, but the overwhelming majority felt a sense of disappointment, frustration, upset. They were unhappy with their work.
That's a hard thing to feel, to be unhappy with the thing that you do out of love. I've felt that before so I know how crushing it can be and how hard it can be to pick yourself up and continue trying. One thing I noticed, when I feel that way, is that it's often born out of a lack of direction, and a lack of understanding of what I've done right in the past. It's so easy to see all the wrong choices you've made, we're practically hardwired to go 'oh god that was so awful'. The problem is, how can your artistic career (be it writing or drawing) grow into a beautiful tree, if you don't have faith in the roots that support it?
So I'd like you all to do a little exercise. I'd like you all to take a step back into your past, and pull up an older piece of work. This time when you look at it, and this will be really hard for some of you so if you need help feel free to message me. But when you look at it, I want you to look at what you did *right* in that drawing.
It doesn't have to be done perfectly, it just needs to be the first step of the right things you do in art. The things you liked about it, the things you may still like about it. What did you do right?
I'll kick us off.
This is a really, really old piece of mine. The first thing I want to do is talk about all the things I did wrong, but every time I get the urge to point them out, I'm going to take my hands off the keyboard and just stare at the picture until I focus on something I did right.
This was my first time doing an off balance composition, where the flowers jut higher to one side, rather than being perfectly symetrical, and I really feel I pulled that composition off. In fact I think I did a great job with the flowers overall, not too cluttered and an interesting variety. I also did a great job with the tones, not making the background the same tone as the foreground figures, so nothing gets lost in a blur of 'sameness'. And I was clearly on my way to great floaty hair!
You don't need to write a whole lot about your pieces. Even just one thing is fine. But find something good about your old art. Those are your foundations of understanding, the things you grasped first and are often strongest at.
I have faith in you guys. Together we can all come to have more faith in our art, and our abilities, no matter what level we're at. Be good to yourself. You are amazing.
Tarot I've finished the 78 Tarot Queen of Pentacles card, but am not able to post a full piece until they update it. So please keep an eye on their tumblr and facebook pages for updates! The new deck is looking simply phenomenal. If you are in Seattle, keep an eye out as a gallery exhibit is in the works and you may be able to see the original painting first hand!
DRAGON PRINTS I will be doing a kickstarter in the next week, for fine artist prints of Out of the Ashes. The paper will be bamboo paper, so it's a bit richer and has more character than normal printing does.
Museum I've sent in for another museum exhibit so keep your eyes open. I'll know march/april if I got in.
Conduit Those of you coming to CONduit this year, where I will be the artist guest of honor, will have another treat. My dad has gotten his tickets and will be attending as well! So please come and hang out with us, we're a weird lot, but we do have a lot of laughs and that's what counts, right?
Anthology I will be one of the illustrators in the new Cliches for a Cause Anthology, with the proceeds going to the RAINN foundation.
So... keep your eyes out, more things are coming!
1 pm: Creating Backgrounds and Layouts
5 pm: The artistic Road to fame
1 pm: Designing the Dead
2 pm: Fantasy vs Science Fiction
9 am: Making creatures realistic to their environment
2 pm: Buildings and structures
5 pm: Myth & Symbol, History and Fantasy
I still don't know what time I'll be there tomorrow, for the art show set up. Expect me 'at some point' lol. Between panels I will probably be wandering around aimlessly, or squished in a corner somewhere arting. Please feel free to waylay me to chat. If you want art crits at all, bring the art with you, if you want *redlining*, bring tracing paper cause I'm all out, and I'll redline on the paper so you can take it home.
The amazing Ayla Albertoni was the winner! Congrats!!
How do you paint a fish, when it darts away beneath your brush to hide behind the kelp? How do you lay down the golden scales when the dragon is perpetually in motion? Sometimes I don't paint at all, because I'm sitting there staring at the painting and falling into it. It feels as though I could just... reach my hand out and rather than touch paper, my arm would go through it and I would tumble into the artwork and be lost forever.
At this point I have no idea what my finished art looks like, and that's troubling. So I'm asking a favor... please don't critique my art for a while. That is critique in the sense of message me to tell me what's wrong with it. It's not that I don't appreciate the intent to help me improve, it's that I literally... can't see it. I can't even ask for redline help during the drawing process because it just moves on me before I draw it and I'm frustrated all over again. I've got a doctor's appointment where hopefully they will put me on some decent antipsychotics so that I can get this under control, because how the hell am I supposed to grow and improve as an artist under these conditions?
I'm so frustrated.
And you are more than welcome to voice any opinions at all, like or hate, about the art. Just understand that as far as critiques go, they're pretty much worthless to me until my brain is functioning again.
HELLO ALL I WOULD LIKE TO ANNOUNCE THE OPENING OF MY NEW WEBSITE!
I am so excited! And in honor of the new website, I am raffling off the ORIGINAL of my windswept piece! For the next two weeks, you can enter on my website, for a chance to win this piece!
My website is: jessicamdouglas.com/
I am also offering 10% off coupon on my shop from now until febuary 7th! Just type in 'newsite' when you go to check out!
Please explore, look around, check out the art and all. I plan on having a full tutorial section in later, and will be posting more videos up in the video section as I work. It will be THE place to find out where my art can be found, to shop for my pieces, and to see the latest news.
There is also a contact page, so you can ask me questions about art at any time and I will answer as soon as possible!
I'll announce the winner of the original on sunday, feb. 8th!
Please share this around, I'm really really really excited about the new site!
For those that don't know, I was fortunate to be chosen as one of the artists exhibited at the Springville Museum of Art, for their exhibit on religious and spiritual art in Utah. A friend of mine found out about the exhibit and pushed me to enter, and so I did and was honestly surprised to be chosen. I am an atheist, and my take on spiritual subjects comes from the viewpoint of a nonbeliever, using metaphores to handle complicated subjects. I wasn't sure if they'd like that at all.
The day I got the email that I got in, I literally screamed. I flailed, I jumped out of my chair and danced. I called all of my loved ones and squeeled to them. For me this was the culmination of the ultimate dream. You see, when I was in art school, illustration was a dirty word. They always said, you'll know if you've made it when you are in a museum. Not a gallery, a museum. That was the sign of achievement and that was the secret dream that I tucked away in my heart and never dared to voice, because it was never really an option. And then suddenly it was.
The opening day I was there first thing, with my daughter. Mainly to avoid traffic and being late, but dammit I was THERE. So we got to walk the show with no one else there (since we were early) and see it. I felt a bit off during the show, and it wasn't until the museum director spoke that I realized that the problem was. "Thank you for joining us to celebrate all the wonderful diversity of religion and spiritual choices in art! Please enjoy this celebration of diversity!"
It was diverse, but... very christian. VERY biblical. Even pieces that I thought were other religions because I recognized the trappings of muslim, hindu and so on, when you would read the artist's statements they had been changed to stories from the bible and that was unsettling. I wondered if that was the original intent, or if the artist simply changed it to be more accepted to the mainstream? There was only a handful of art that was not christian based. That was the source of my disturbance. Not the beauty of the displays, but the feeling of hopelessness it gave me when I walked through and saw so LITTLE diversity in an exhibit ... about diversity. It was heartbreaking, and yet at the same time.. I was in a museum. I was living my dream, and just by being there I was showing a unique part of Utah that not many get the chance to experience and touch. Spirituality for atheists, how we handle the topics like death, hope, dreams, the intangibles. How do we make sense of the world without a god there to make sense for us? How could I feel hopeless when I was not completely alone in standing up and showing another side of spirituality and religion in this exhibit?
When I went home and thought about it, I realized that in some ways the display was very apt and appropriate for the way the world, or at least america, is. We tout our diversity and yell to the rafters about melting pots and how everyone is welcome, but when we truly gather, the overwhelming masses tend to be front and center while the unique, the odd and not dominant religions and races tend to be overlooked, to be hesitant to come out and say "this is what I am, this is who I am. Accept it or walk away, but I am here to stay." It is not that we are not here, it is that our voices are quieter, that there are fewer of us, that we are sometimes easily missed in the riot people around us.
I went to the museum today and my thoughts were so full. The ladies who worked there greeted me with smiles, and were so wonderfully professional with my work. They used gloves to handle all of the art, and removed it from the wall with a great deal of care and reverence. You could tell these were women who truly love art in all it's forms. They checked the pieces over to make sure they were not damaged in the course of the exhibit, and then signed me out. I was in a haze of being impressed with how efficient, and caring they were, and took my pieces home with me.
And now I sit here after having done what my heart desired most, gazing at my artwork and thinking heavy thoughts. That perhaps it is time that I do more, speak more, show at more places like this. Be more serious in my art, because if I was the only atheist to show... then that meant I was the only source of 'you are not alone in this world' for that display. And that's been the case my whole life, looking for someone to lead the way and say "you are not alone, you are not the only one and you can still make a difference and be an incredible person." But maybe instead of looking for someone to lead the way, I should simply walk forwards and trust in myself. I am my own light in the darkness.
And that's okay.
Here we go. Being an artist is a weird exercise in having ultimate, total confidence, while also having the humility to accept criticism with grace, and know that you are not the bomb. Except that you have to be 'the bomb' for people to want to buy your art, so you still have to radiate 'I am the best' confidence, while also not being too egotistical. When you send your work in to art directors, you need to have the ultimate confidence to be able to do ANYTHING they ask of you while also having the humility to bow to their art direction. When you speak at conventions you need to have total confidence for your craft and your right to be there as a professional, while still maintaining the conviction that your fanbase is wonderful even if it is not as large as another artist's fanbase, or your success is not measured in the same way as the artist next to you.
It is such a juggling act, to be your biggest fan while also not being too big for your briches. To be self aware of your art to continue growing and evolving as an artist, while still being completely confident in your art at the level it is currently at. While I talk about this, I notice that I have several conflicting emotions that are each triggered by different events. So I'll just go through them one at a time.
What is my value as an artist?
The first is just the basics. There are billions of artists out there, how am I in any way unique or important enough for people to care about? It is so easy to go onto sites like deviantart, and be overwhelmed with the sheer number of artists there are. You look at the mass amounts of images, music, dance, sculpture, fabric weaving, etc. etc. and it just feels like the whole world is nothing but art. And to some degrees that is true. A single artist has a profound effect on everything around them. One drawing can ripple and change entire rooms. The way we live art is shown in our architecture and our clothing, in our furniture.. everything about us. So it really does feel like everyone is an artist.
Would it surprise you to know that artists make up only 1.8% of the civilian workforce? Princeton did a survey that was as broad in the definition of art as possible, and established that in 2011 there were only 2,511,000 artists in america. www.princeton.edu/culturalpoli…
Think about that. Two and a half million artists in ALL of America, all three hundred and sixteen million people! Granted, there is some leeway, but even being very generous in your numbers, you still only get about two percent of the population are artists. You truly do have a very, very rare skillset that IS valuable. It's what you do with it that makes the difference. But you, yourself, as you exist, have uniqueness and value.
Just what is fame and success?
Fame is my bane. Success is what I know. One of the worst things about being a guest at conventions is that there is always someone who is a bigger draw than you are. When I go to a speaking engagement, the biggest thing I fear is someone going 'just who is this looser that's taking up my time?' Or worse... 'couldn't they have gotten someone more well known?'. I know I can keep a crowd engaged, I know I can do GREAT panels, but man. I am not Brom. I am not one of those big names who people rush to in order to see, and I know it. Believe me I know it.
Right before I crumble from my doubts, I have to stop and count up my successes. I have to stop and know what I HAVE DONE to achieve all that I have so far. I have to, or I cannot walk up to the front of the room and address a crowd full of strangers and say "I am a professional."
I have education like no body's business, I have the skills to pay the bills, that is the most important part. I have shown in so many galleries it's not even funny, all across the world. And fans? I used to think only a handful of people knew who I was at all, then about five years ago a friend tried to cheer me up by counting every single unique name across all of the sites, emails, conventions that I attended for one year, and reached the conclusion that I had roughly 97,000 fans. That's not a very big number in the large scale of things, sure. And it's spread out across SO MUCH, that it's hard to realize that 97,000 different people *spoke about my art*. It really made me smile after a while. And.. I have not had to work a retail job in years. I have kept my bills paid, and while I'm not wildly rich, I have not been homeless.
Fame is a funny thing. There are people who have incredible names but cannot get a job to save their souls. Frazetta was mourning that no one wanted his style of work, in his later years. I have sat at numerous panels and watched artists who work for Marvel, DC, DISNEY and other places mourn the lack of work and how no one seems to care. The whole panel at one con turned into a big fest of 'no one likes my art enough'.
But you know... when I walk into the room, I am the only person who can do what I do... and that's why I'm there. I am not there because I am the most popular, I am not there because of who I know. I am there because what I do is incredible, worthwhile, and for a little moment in time I can sit down and answer the real, hard questions for people. Face to face, at their pace.. we can talk about what I do and how I do it. We can talk about the pros and cons of both a school education and a self taught artist because I have been a little of both. We can talk about helping children grow as artists, because I have a unique perspective on that, we can talk about SO MANY things... and it can help someone else. And that's the important part at the end of the day. When I walk into those rooms, I draw the successes I have had around me like a cloak, and for a little while I simply am the expert. I am the professional. I am the place with the answers and I will give my all to that moment. And when I go home, I can have self doubt, and I can worry about if I am enough. But for that moment in that room, I am enough.
Success is where it is at, every single time. And there are hundreds of thousands of artists who are quietly being successful without the glamor of being a household name.
And I think that's okay with me too.
Standing your ground
The hardest part is when you have to stand up and say "Hey, give me the same respect as my peers.". I know a few people will roll their eyes at this, but as a woman this can be even more of a trial. One of the more well known male artists in the art industry made a statement in an article that there are no famous female artists, because women cannot paint. He said "The market has spoken", basing his claim on the fact that no woman has outsold the highest selling male artists. Ironically about three weeks after his article hit the news, a woman did, indeed, outsell him. A woman from the 1800's, but a woman none the less.
One of my teachers in art, was a man named Mike Dringenberg. Shortly after I had mastered my first watercolor lessons from him, I did a painting that I called creation. I gave it to him as a gift, and a thank you for devoting so much time to me, as an artist. I remember his words, he was shocked and almost reverent as he said "Why would you give this to me? You should sell it! You can get several hundred dollars for it!"
And he was speaking honestly. When he looked at my art, the value he placed on it was in the hundreds of dollars. I never realized how important that was to me until I began to price my originals for sale and had people fight me on it. Inevitably the argument over the price came down to time. How much was my time worth, and did I really spend that much time on that piece? When money is involved, it feels like every artist stumbles just a little, their feelings of self worth can influence their estimation and just how much value they put on their time.
Learning to value your time is one of the most important things you can do as an artist. Not only your time spent painting, but your time spent in ANY way involved with the art. What education did you have? Were you school taught? Value those lessons. Were you self taught? Value that. Did you spend an hour driving to a con only to sit in a corner with a young girl and go over her sketchbook for the next three hours? That, my friends, is priceless. Every moment counts and is worthwhile, so do not be afraid to ask for your worth. Be it in monetary gain, in promotional gain (please please always have your name where you are going, on the art you are selling. I have read too many stories of artists who did the art for designer labels that never received name credit), or simply emotional gain.. such as sitting with that girl and helping her to grow. Know what you want out of every exchange and don't be afraid to ask for it.
But what if people argue iwth me? Well.. then they argue. I think the thing that frightens people the most about asking for their worth are manipulation tactics. Where the other person tries to make you feel guilty, tries to push you onto the defensive, and make you feel bad for asking for something in return. For me, it's hard because that's when all of my self doubts from the earlier paragraphs sneak up. Well I'm really not that well known... well... I mean I did only spend five hours on that and I mean maybe I should only charge minimum wage because the person I'm talking to only makes minimum wage, etc. It happens. It does and it's hard when it happens. I don't have good advice for myself on this because I don't really know how to deal with it and I become terrified that my ego is getting in the way. Just who do I think I AM asking for these things? I think I'll leave this with the words of my friend Desiree, who said this: "I think what you're describing is healthy self-confidence, and that's something that every professional has to have. The difference is that as an artist you have to trade on the value of your name and the value of tangible products that you've created. Maybe to someone who isn't running their own business based solely on their own talents and skills that looks like egotism, but in my opinion it's both something that has to be done for you to run your business and also something that is psychologically healthy, b/c it means that you value yourself and your creations."
78 Tarot is celebrating it's 1 year birthday. And to kick it off... is the announcement of the next deck!
78 Tarot NAUTICAL themed! I'm so excited guys!
Along with the new theme comes several returning artists, and a lot of new favorites. They'll be announcing them bit by bit throughout the day over on their facebook page: www.facebook.com/78TarotProjec… as well as having some giveaways!
The first major announcement, Amy Brown has joined the deck, and will be doing one of our Wild Cards that were so popular last deck!
Guys I'm so excited. Jump over, join the fun! You can also follow the announcements on the tumblr site here: 78tarot.tumblr.com/
Or the actual website, here: seventy-eight-tarot.com/
You know. Sometimes I look at my art, and I feel completely frustrated. Stagnated. I feel like I have been trying and trying for so many years and I am STILL not where I want to be, where I strive to be. It's worse if I think about my friends and colleagues, who all started out about the same skill level as me, and yet some have grown into world re-knowned artists who's work truly is mindboggling. I sit here and think.. wtf have I been doing. All I do is putter around with these pencils, and then get distracted with shiny rocks and stones. Why am I not painting masterpieces like the glorious or dazzling with watercolors the way the incredible does?
It's very self defeating, because I look at them and I see what their vision is, what they are seeing and creating, and I forget about my own visions. I forget about what I see and create, what drives me. To be honest, I've been in that slump for months now, because I just.. didn't feel that I could live up to the images in my head, that I haven't grown in years. It got even worse when I found that box of old art. Oh my god, half of that work could be posted TODAY and no one would realize it was a billion years old. That's how little I've improved.
Or so I tell myself.
I had a few moments, where I had some older pieces that I was quite happy with as they were back when I painted, that these days just don't feel so finished. They were the top of my skill, the best I could do when I did them. And so ... I colored over them. Not even redrawing the images, I just flat out sat down and colored over them entirely.
My mother figure was so lovely in my head, matronly, beautiful... wise.. wtih her butterflies skittering about. I loved her hands, I felt so comfortable with it back when I painted it. And yet now.... when I colored over her, just iwth a little bit of pencils and watercolors...
You cannot say that I have not grown as an artist. The same iamge, but worlds difference in handling tone, color, skin, contrast...
My growth did not come with anatomy, but it came with the mastering of the mediums I love best. Of utilizing color, textures, patterns.
It comes to us in different ways, and when I look at the changes I've made as an artist, when I compare me *to myself*... I am so proud of how far I've come.
Another thing I've noticed is a definite style is beginning to develop. I can't define it, I will leave that to better artists than I, to understand the intricacies of what my style is. All I can do is feel my way along. But I"m starting to SEE it, to see what makes my work uniquely my own. And that's incredible for me.
And finally I will leave you with this difference. My two skin coloring tutorials. My very first one, made... probably ten years ago:
and my second one, made much more recently:
If reviewing those doesn't show the growth and change as an artist, I don't know what will.
And those are just redoing old pieces.... when I stop and compare my subject matter from the past, to what is in my head now... I've grown as an artist in a philosophical way. My understanding of WHY I draw has truly come leaps and bounds. I didn't realize it till i realized that my life goal was literally.. to be in a museum. To be seen, in places where people contemplate art purely to FEEL. Not in places where they buy pretty prints to hang on their wall. The art is stil beautiful, yes, but... it has a depth of meaning that I crave and need.
So... perhaps I am not as stagnant as I thought I was. I believe I have some new art to do.