Drawing with Sktchy

Accountability Review, Art, Pencil

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My art time happens once the kids are in bed. Sometimes I don’t have a particular project in mind or I’m beat from 100 15-minute arguments about, for example, why a white spoon is an unacceptable alternative to an orange spoon. When all I want is to clear my mind and make my pen or brush move around, it’s nice to have something to draw that doesn’t require a lot of thinking.

For this, Sktchy is perfect. People sure do love posting photos of themselves on the internet and they put an astounding amount of effort into making themselves look good. Most aren’t professional photos, but the composition and lighting can be remarkably interesting and the images are almost always high enough quality for detailed drawings.

Not that you can’t put a lot of thought into art made from these photos. Many artists using Sktchy are making some really creative and unique work. I just seem to lean on it for my lazier days and let the photographer make the tough decisions for me. And I appreciate it.

 

P.S. Did I get anywhere with my goals this week? No. The worst. Mid-funk. And shrug.

 

+Please feel free, feel requested, to use the comments section below if you have any advice or suggestions. Any advice is accepted. All suggestions will be considered.+

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Routine Inspection & Maintenance

Accountability Review, Advice Requested, Art, Ink & Watercolor, Pen & Ink

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Each month, my planner ends with a number of questions to help recognize achievements, identify challenges, and assess progress. The idea being, that regular introspection will help keep us from veering too far down a path that won’t lead to our goal. The activity of writing this down, rather than leaving it to shower thoughts and disjointed moments of quiet, makes it much more useful. It sounds ridiculous, but sometimes it truly is hard to find time to think.

Here is one question from the planner:

Assess your priorities. Are you happy with how you spent your time? If not, what steps can you take next month to adjust them?

I spent a lot of time on the computer this month. Revamping this website, cleaning up my Etsy shop, scanning, posting, etc. It was a lot of screen time. Once I’m on the computer, I find it very easy to get off track, be underproductive and completely forget about the task I set out to accomplish. This month, much of the computer use was necessary, but in the future, I will need to figure out a way to prevent myself from getting lost in unnecessary details and mindless time sucks (Instagram, Facebook…). It’s true for everyone, but especially with small kids around: There is no time to waste. I need to do a better job of noticing when I’m wasting time and just stop.

More importantly, I need to focus on making art next month. I can’t enter a craft fair or ask for wall space in a cafe if I don’t have anything to show! I need to create a body of work that is cohesive. My flitting nature makes this very hard. I get an idea I like, make one, two or three, and then I’ve totally lost interest. How do people stay interested in one subject/medium/style? I need to give that some thought.

 

 

 

Friday Wrap Up

Accountability Review, Advice Requested, Art, Ink & Watercolor, Pen & Ink

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Good things that happened:

A very cool stranger from Etsy bought a custom home portrait from me this week. I started it, nearly finished it, and I very much like how it’s turning out.

I have been searching for the right paper for a long, long time. Well, an alternate to the right paper, which is Stillman & Birn Zeta. But I can’t seem to be able to buy S&B Zeta in any other form than a sketchbook, so I’ve been experimenting. Finally, this week, I discovered that Bristol vellum is, in fact, an acceptable option! I had always thought it couldn’t take water, and it won’t take as much as S&B, but it works well most of the time. I used Bristol vellum for this new house portrait and it looks super fantastico.

A check arrived for my last commission job- with a bonus. Booyay!

I got the last 6-pack of Vinter Varmer from Sellwood’s Laurelwood Brewery before they sold out for the season. And it was on sale for $5.95!! A bit off topic, but so magical it must be shared. Magical, except for the loading-my-kids-in-the-van-for-a-4pm-beer-run part. I’m a good mother. I’m a good mother.

 

Things I learned:

Sometimes I make something fast and loose and when I’m done I think, “eh.” I share it anyway and get a crazy response. People love it.  Other times, I work for hours on something, feel great about it, and people silently, “eh” about it. I’m not sure if this means:

1. it’s all subjective so don’t worry about it too much, or

2. people don’t know what they’re talking about almost all of the time, or

3. I should stop trying because trying often leads to bOring! and not trying often leads to awesome.

Mystery. Looks like I didn’t actually learn anything here.

 

 

+Please feel free, feel requested, to use the comments section below if you have any advice or suggestions. Any advice is accepted. All suggestions will be considered.+

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Friday Wrap Up

Accountability Review, Advice Requested, Art, Pen & Ink

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Here’s how I did with this week’s tasks:

  1. Add images of art in frames to current Etsy listings In progress. This is taking a long time.
  2. Print copies of latest listing to check quality They looked great! *Hint-hint*
  3. Change website portfolio to 3 columns for better visibility on mobile devices
  4. Move the ‘Shop’ page to end of website menu Changed my mind. Not going to do it.
  5. Figure out why the ‘Connect’ page loads slowly and fix it The image size was too large. FIXED IT!
  6. Add a photo to the ‘About’ page Still need to do this. But I need a good photo. And a haircut.
  7. Complete new ink drawing of phone See above. Soon to be in shop.
  8. Start new drawing (another typewriter?) I’ll do it soon. I took photos of vintage typewriters at Portland’s Grand Marketplace. They have pant loads of typewriters. 
  9. Write three blog posts
  10. Upload at least 4 new images to Instagram and Facebook

 

Good things that happened:

I’ve got a new commission to create an illustration/ t-shirt design for a general contractor. It’ll be a fun project. And it pays! Although, I’m still trying to figure out how to price this type of work. In spite of a vast number of internet articles on the subject, pricing still feels like a mystery.

I requested and was accepted to become a contributor for the Portland Urban Sketchers blog. And made my first post! Now I have to make a point of Urban Sketching at least once a month. This is a commitment I am very pleased to have made.

I met up last Thursday evening with a weekly drink & draw/craft group. It was fun and I will be going again. They were cool people who were not that hard to talk to- even for me. Well, the drinking helps.

Things I learned:

It’s not as hard to meet new people as I’ve always thought. Maybe it’s Portland, but maybe I’ve just never tried hard enough. Even introverts need some level of social interaction. And all the insecurities that come with being around “new people” are  nonsense. In a good mood, I’m willing to flush them all down the toilet forever.

 

+Please feel free, feel requested, to use the comments section below if you have any advice or suggestions. Any advice is accepted. All suggestions will be considered.+

If you’d like to follow this blog, click the follow button revealed by the + below.