Building Assets

Yesterday was a hectic day full of errands, including some unexpected obstacles that nearly “toppled” my ability to draw for the day, which is now unacceptable on Mondays.

Sundays are literally my ONLY days off from drawing now. No excuses. But I made progress on a few projects yesterday, and did the same today. That being said — I’m still losing valuable drawing and practice time with administrative STUFF that I wish I could go ahead and outsource.

But life doesn’t work that way. You have to have assets to leverage before you can…well…leverage them. When you look at things through this lens, you can start directing your efforts to the things that are building up assets for you to leverage.

Like my drawing time — I’m approaching my drawing skills like a craftsman, like someone on a path of mastery. Eventually, I’ll have a skilled asset that’s so good that people won’t be able to ignore it, and I’ll be able to charge an absolute premium for it.

I’m also creating assets with my businesses. Drawing Foundations is a slow-moving project, but it’s part of a larger body of work that will become an asset, along with my drawing skills. I’m handling administrative things for Affinity, which will be another asset once the doors are open. The skills I’m picking up as I open that business will be yet another asset — in marketing, administration, business operations, and public relations.

So I’m creating assets. I have to remember that when I feel like I’m getting overwhelmed by the small stuff. Focus on ONE thing at a time until that one little step is complete, then find what’s most important next, and chip, chip, chip away.

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Representations

I couldn’t sleep last night because of the stitches, but I’m not going to skip a day of drawing.

I did something a little bit different today, though — I filmed the entire process and talked into a mic about the thoughts that were going through my head. Or, as described in the book Peak — i was trying to communicate my mental representations.

I finally finished the book yesterday. It was honestly difficult to work through, but the last few chapters were enlightening and encouraging.

Filming served two purposes — I got a more accurate measurement of the time I spent at the drawing table, and I will have a record not just of WHAT I produced, but exactly HOW I produced it. Along with my thoughts as I’m working.

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Bad Nerves

I can’t seem to focus today. I don’t like sharing a lot of personal stuff, but I’m pretty nervous right now.

I went to the doctor this morning for something that is hopefully minor, but possibly major. I had a scalpel in my back for a couple of minutes, and now I’m just waiting.

So I’m a bit nervous, and the stitches in my back are rather irritating. Here’s to hoping that I get some good news.

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Demo Day

Demo Day! HUGE day today for me and the team of Affinity. We paid the deposit for our new location, got the key, and started announcing it like crazy.

That being said, it took up a lot of time that I should have been drawing, but I had a landlord to meet, so I made an exception for my regular routines.

After lunch, I finally made it to the cabin and started doing more filming for demonstrations on Drawing Foundations. I did a couple of warm-up sheets, a few gestures, then jumped straight to filming.

It’s good to be back on track. Tomorrow is another strange day for me, though. I have a doctor’s appointment in the AM, and I need to do more filming.

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Energized

Yesterday was a rough day for art making, I was starting to get some energy back…but things kept going wrong that needed immediate attention. I still managed to draw for a few minutes ABOVE my “floor” — and I tried something a little bit different by using a dead-ish sharpie marker.

Today, though…I got a great night’s sleep, nailed all of my fundamental routines, and tackled the drawing board with excitement. I still struggled with my earlier gestures, but started to catch my rhythm toward the end.

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Working Through

Well, I’m sleep-deprived yet again, and I wanted to tackle some weaknesses that I’ve been developing.

I didn’t get a ton of drawing time today, and I don’t have the energy to do it anyway, so I used today to focus on a specific area of the body — the torso.

As someone somewhere once said — if you’re having trouble drawing something…draw 100 of those things. I started that process with the torso today.

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Two “Off” Days

The past two days have been incredibly “off” art-wise. I’ve still DONE the drawing time, but I’m not especially happy with the results.

I’m still working my way through the FORCE studies, trying to move from copies to practical practice, but I can’t seem to translate the ideas that I’m learning from Mattesi to my own gestures.

To the best of my reasoning, I think he has developed (through repetition and study) a shorthand mental-visual library that he’s able to access very quickly in his gesture drawings. So I tried slowing down and looking at the lines he decides to put on the page, to “read” his “handwriting” as it were.

I’ve come to the conclusion that the only way I’m going to develop a similar visual library to his is to study his anatomy books (or develop my own shorthand visual library from other resources like Steve Huston, Nicolaides, Michael Hampton, Proko, Watts, etc.), practice very slowly, then practice as fast as I can with the shapes and lines that I enjoy the most.

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Rhythm and Purpose

Nicolaides’ The Natural Way to Draw is really pushing me outside of my comfort zone with the blind contours. The results are always interesting to me, though. Looking at where the lines end up can be surprising in both good and bad ways.

But…creating art is a never-ending experiment. And the finished drawing is always a new result that you can learn from. For instance — I’m not incredibly good at blind contours, so I see a weakness I can start attacking.

I followed up my contour drawing by cracking open FORCE by Mike Mattesi again, and this time…I’m trying something that I haven’t done in a while. I’m reading the book, and copying the drawings in the book as I go. I usually try to read the book and apply the principles with original sketches, but I used to copy instructional work a LOT.

And you know what? Approaching it like this has been really useful. Not because I’m copying — because I’m still trying to think about everything I’ve learned from other sources as I draw. This has been useful because I’m looking at the art and trying to think about WHY he drew things a certain way, based on the reading.

After I think about the big why I start to try drawing with the same intention as the instructor. Not copying what he did exactly, but copying why he did it.

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