Create

I got to sit in silence today while I was doing some digital painting. I got to create in solitude.

And that’s what I love to do. Create. Creation is an act of building something, pulling an idea from your mind and making it real.

Our imagination, our ability to build, it’s what separates us from everything else. We created language, we created art, we created architecture. We create.

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Super-Powers

I just drafted a long email for my subscribers about super-powers. And how creativity is one of the ultimate super-powers.

It’s part of what makes us HUMAN. To create. To build. To innovate. Destruction is natural for the rest of the animal kingdom, but humans create.

That’s not to say that humans aren’t destructive. We all have the capacity for destruction, as well. But just because we can, does that mean we should?

I choose to create, not destroy.

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Hard Reset

The last few weeks have been hectic. I bit off more than I could chew and I burned out.

That’s right. I failed by taking on too much. I just couldn’t keep up with my basics. The fundamentals slipped. I may have been drawing almost every day over the past week, but I didn’t post it. I’ve been working incredibly hard on the Drawing Foundations launch and didn’t give myself enough time to take care of myself or stick to my regular routines.

Then I have another business, and one in the works! Trying to build Affinity Art Co. from the ground up (and relying on other people to help with that) has been exhausting.

In a recent email discussion with a friend, I told him that I was trying to do less STUFF so I could really focus on the few things I take on. Single-tasking.

Without realizing it, I lied to him. What I thought I was living wasn’t the truth. The truth was that I do a lot of stuff. And I haven’t been able to commit to it all. Yesterday, after doing my weekly review a day late (and my monthly review to look at the last month and plan for the month ahead) I came to the realization that I have too many projects.

I also made the decision yesterday to do a hard reset on my commitments. I’m clearing the table of everything I had on it, then slowly placing things back (in order of importance) until the table is set nicely.

My health comes first. Without being in good shape physically and mentally, I won’t be able to perform at my best. So I’m sleeping more, drinking more water again, and exercising daily. My diet didn’t suffer during this intense period of burnout because I have an amazing wife who stuck to her routines, even while her husband was going mad.

My regular habits come next. What are the things I truly want to commit to in my life? My family and creating. For me, that means spending quality time with my family, creating art, and teaching. So the daily drawing is happening again, and I’m taking a vacation with my family this week.

Drawing Foundations v2.0 took a toll, and it’s still not a finished project, but I need to take a breather. So my social media is on hold, my other business is on hold, and Affinity is taking up a minimal amount of time.

Extra commitments (other than unfinished, urgent projects) are on hold. At least until I swing the pendulum back toward balance over the next week. It’s time to breathe and hard reset.

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I Had To Laugh

No, this is not my normal drawing routine, but by the recommendation of Chris Beaven, I’m working my way (slowly) through Kimon Nicolaides’ The Natural Way to Draw.

These lessons are incredibly difficult and take a lot of focus! The results aren’t things that one would normally show off, but I have no shame! I’m already a professional production artist as a tattooer, so if my clients get scared away by funny blind contours…well…those aren’t my kind of client!

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A Challenge of Contour

Today’s exercise was an interesting and challenging one. I’ve done blind contour drawings before, but never with so much attention to the senses.

This is the first block of the first exercise from Kimon Nicolaides’ The Natural Way to Draw — and I’m surprised at my results. Yes, she’s wonky, but most blind contours are…well…messy. And I tend to not worry about contour when I’m doing drawing.

I’ve been trained much more in line with constructive drawing rather than what I’ll coin “natural drawing” for now (until the textbook tells me otherwise.)

It’s nice to step outside of my comfort zone to see what new methods, mental representations, and techniques I can pick up. And it was incredibly challenging!

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Open Your Eyes

I don’t normally do anything on Sundays, but we had a birthday party for my daughter yesterday. And…after standing in the sun to man the grill all day, I was a little bit crispy and tired.

So I switched work days. I haven’t been working much this week as we prepared for her birthday and her party, so I figured it would be appropriate to come work today. I also finally got my copy of The Natural Way to Draw by Kimon Nicolaides and cracked open the introduction.

It’s much more digest-able than The Art Spirit by Robert Henri, so far. And I love the philosophy behind the book. It’s very much geared toward slow, deliberate mastery in the beginning. I have yet to tackle any of the exercises, but I’m excited to see where it goes.

I love the comparison to language that K.N. uses in the very beginning – as that’s a comparison I’ve often made, myself. I think The Natural Way to Draw will heavily influence future lessons in the JoshuaGraphic universe. 😀 Get excited, because I am!

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A Balancing Act

I once heard someone describe “life balance” as a fallacy. Balancing is a verb, which means it’s a perpetual state of unbalance, just shifting in one direction or the other.

That’s what I’ve come to accept lately. I have a ton on my plate right now, and that means my life is out of balance. But I’m leaning into that discomfort so I can come out the other side and let the balancing act swing in the other direction.

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Battery Low

The past two days have been…difficult. I wasn’t able to find energy or focus yesterday, and today was more hectic than I imagined it would be when it started. I did draw yesterday, and I drew more today than I was able to take photos of, but I’m absolutely exhausted.

Sorry for the short post today, but I wasn’t going to go two days in a row without posting some sort of progress.

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