This sketchbook thing.... I am loving it. I've been so inspired over the past few years by people who have committed to daily challenges and projects, often for a year or even longer. I enjoy following their progress, and I've been inspired as much by their commitment as the work they have created (a past favorite is here and current favorite is here). I know that to keep my creativity moving forward in a positive direction I need to make some type of commitment myself, including personal work in my sketchbook and adding new illustrations to my shop.
I'm still wrestling a bit with what exactly my own commitment level should and will be. It needs to be a challenge, but it also needs to be something that I feel is sustainable. I love having a lot of interests (watercolor illustration, photography, writing, sewing...), but sometimes being pulled creatively in several different directions can be detrimental to actually getting stuff done. I decided to focus the first two months of this year on learning (primarily photoshop, illustrator, and typography via Nicole's Classes) and some projects around the house (decluttering, purging, redecorating), but it's time to move into the next phase, which will involve actually creating work. So once we move into March, I think the time will be right to dive into my own personal challenge.
I know it will be watercolor, but the rest is still to be determined, including the length and day-to-day commitment level. I would like to narrow in and focus on one theme or idea, but new thoughts and ideas come up every day and I have yet to grab onto just one. Even by typing this out and working through it a bit I realize that I should stick to a shorter timeframe (I can always extend it later), keep it as a sketchbook challenge (sketchbook=less pressure), and probably not put too many rules around it... more to come!
in the sketchbook \\ feb 9 2014 // view out the window
One of my goals for this still new year is to form a more consistent drawing and painting habit, specifically in my sketchbooks. I am hoping this will help me to strengthen my painting style, try out new styles and themes, and also capture moments and things and people around me. Sort of like an ongoing art journal. But most importantly, the goal is to just paint, rather than focusing only on illustrations that will end up in my Etsy shop. Quick sketches, detailed paintings, experiments, new styles. Whatever suits me in the moment and whatever time allows. And I need to also remember to allow room for some failures, because that's what sketchbooks are for.
So here is the first peak inside my sketchbook with what will hopefully be the first in a new series of sketchbook posts. It's a quick sketch of the trees out my office window in my (very snowy) backyard.
My friend Maxine is a floral design superstar and creates all kinds of awesomeness as the owner/designer of The Southern Table. Are you getting married or hosting an event in or around Dallas? Maxine is your girl. Seriously. Her work is as gorgeous. I just returned from staying with her for a few days and I was lucky to receive a bit of a crash course in floral design. The Texas weather decided to turn chilly and didn't cooperate with my hope of escaping to warm, sunny weather, but being surrounded by these beautiful flowers (and wonderful friends) certainly helped inject a bit of spring into my stay.
All this gorgeousness definitely made me fall in love with flowers, and I'm already scheming of ways I can add them into my life a bit more often, particularly now that I'm back in Minneapolis. I returned home to more snow and cold temperatures, and with many more weeks of winter ahead of us, I think that looking across the room and finding a vase full flowers certainly could help. If even just a little.