Monday, April 11, 2016

Motivational Monday Blog #4: Expanding your horizons

So what exactly do I mean by this in relation to art? I mean, Ian, seriously bro, what does this have to do with me growing as an artist? Well let me tell you. It actually has a LOT to do with growing as an artist. This weeks blog is sort of a continuation of last weeks blog which I spoke about having the humility to be willing to learn and grow. Exploring your horizons has a direct correlation with a willingness to learn.

As an artist, I had thought that I would always just want to do cartoons, and comic book characters as my form of art. I never imagined that I would ever get into still life drawing, portraiture, even more, exploring new and different mediums of tools. Now being a beginner artist at the time, I made the mistake of wanting to learn for one reason. That was to make more money. WRONG! If you are expanding your art skill for money, you might as well go back to what you were doing before. Because again, it takes patience, and time. I was fortunate that I decided to keep going, because this work taught me something.

It taught me that I was able to create my own voice. My own style by learning and imitating the skills and techniques of different types of art that would in fact help me to to IMPROVE in my current passion of cartoons and comics! This is so important because some artists, not all think that delving into another form or type of art will handicap them, or make their abilities in another art form diminish. Which can be true if you don't keep practicing. It's like not riding a bike for years and then finally riding again; you have to get your bearings back. You may still remember, but you find yourself having to review again and remembering those basics.

The key to expanding your horizons, is to help you get better at your passion. Believe it or not, learning new art styles and techniques when applied to what you already know can open doors to ways of doing your art that you never knew were possible. Or if you are already attempting to try something, focusing on that aspect of that education will help make your attempt that much easier.

My personal goal is to become a versatile artist. I want to be able to create anything I want, whenever I want, and have a unique style and voice artistically because of it. I appreciate the things I have learned in my art education. And as you continue to learn and try new things as an artist, you will see that have a great impact on what and HOW you do your artwork as well.

So go out there, be humble, and learn something new and apply it to what you know. You will be amazed at the results!

Until next week,

- Ian W.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Motivational Monday Blog #3 - The Importance of Learning

I have come across people in my life that have the desire to learn to draw and really want to learn how. This goes for things other than drawing as well. What I always find funny though, is that most don't want to take the time to start from the basics and work up to the level they want to achieve. It's like they expect that when they utter the fact that they want to draw, they should be able to pick up a pencil, or whatever it is they are wanting to do, and do it automatically. And even times I admit because of my skill set and the amount of time, I have fallen into that trap myself.

I remember years and years ago in high school taking on an assignment using charcoal. I figured because I had been drawing comics and cartoons, that this was simply another progression that would come naturally. Well to my dismay, not only did my charcoal look like something a 5 year old totally trampled on, my experience was horrible, and I stayed away from charcoal medium for years. Even though I knew that it would expand my versatility as an artist, something I really wanted to do, I avoided it like the plague. So now fast forward 15 years later, and I'm back living in my hometown. I took a beginner's art class at the local junior college. Even though I was far advanced than most in my class, I always believed that getting a refresher on the basics would be a good thing for me, and put my artwork on another level. 

But can you believe it, the final project of the class was to do a full charcoal portrait of a non-family member. I was dreading it! But one thing about me, is that if I have do do something and really have no choice, I decided to buckle down and learn and get it done. Well, six weeks later, and over 30 hours of hard work, I completed my very first full 100% charcoal piece. I couldn't have been more prouder of myself! Everyone around me marveled and loved the art portrait I had done.

So what is the lesson of this story!? Well it is this. Whether we are starting out in something, in this case art, we need to have the humility to learn the basics, and start from zero and go up from there. You can't get worse than knowing nothing... So plant your feet and be willing to learn. Be patient and you will be amazed at what you are capable of doing. Never assume that if you are at a certain level of skill that you can't learn and get better. Again, you will be surprised at what you don't know. Even if it's from learning to hold a pencil correctly, be humble about it, and learn it. Don't say nothing, not even to yourself. Just learn it.

The keys to learning anything in life is this...

1.) Humility
2.) Willingness
3.) Patience
4.) Persistence 

If you remember those four things, you will be able to learn and should you choose to, master anything your heart desires! I hope this helps you artists out today! Get to drawing, and I will talk to you all again soon!

- Ian W.