Striving For A Style of My Own

I am 57 years old and I have been drawing every day for the last 15 months or so. I started drawing as a young child and drew into my teenage years but eventually I stopped drawing. Now for over a year almost practically every day, I have drawn on my iPad using Procreate. The last few days have been difficult for some reason – I am unclear as to why. I have done some nice stuff recently.So I know I have some sort of ability to draw or at the very least watch a video and be instructed on how to draw.

Patreon

I did all these following various tutorials offered by three of my teachers on Patreon. Artists are able to offer subscription services for their art and art tutorials. Usually they offer a variety of levels of sponsorship, and selected perks and exclusives to their patreons. Most of them also have their YouTube channels, but things like free or hugely discounted brashest, worksheets, etc… are available through their Patreon platforms. Many of the teachers also offer exclusives or early peeks of tutorials they plan to put up on YouTube later. It is also a platform which allows you to ask questions and have some sort of discourse with the teacher. If you are unfamiliar with Patreon.com I highly recommend it. Some teachers give you even further access to their Discord platforms and you get even more instruction and ability to share your work with a community.

One of my teachers @Joel.create offers weekly creative exercises on his Discord platform, furthering the experience of creative learning and offering an area for discussion with other student artists.I love these exercises as they can really help me think completely outside of the box, which is the point of the exercise in the first place. Here’re a couple I did based off of his prompts:

Recently though, I have been feeling stuck creatively. As winter winds down and we are approaching spring, I have been taking some time to focus on some deep spring cleaning of my house. Seven months ago I ordered new carpeting for our house that we moved into 6 years ago. I always intended on replacing the carpet but never got around to it before the quarantining and the last two years of surviving the pandemic. At one point my children were living here for a few months. My son was here for a while since he had knee surgery and I had to nurse him back to walkable and drivable health. It was painful for both of us at the time.

The new carpets were finally installed last week and a fresh coat of paint has gone up in our bedroom. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a chance to paint all the rooms ahead of time but have been spending the last week painting another bedroom. These walls had terracotta orange on the walls and required 2 coats of primer. Yesterday I started putting the first coat of color on the walls – Benjamin Moore’s white chocolate, it’s an off-white that has a tint of yellow to it. I used the color in another room in the house which has a similar light exposure, it’s very cheerful to me.

I’ve sat down a few times to draw the last few days and I am struggling. Every thing looks like shit to me. I’m not usually so judgmental while I am drawing, after perhaps some, but not during the process. I feel like at times I can’t draw anything. I look at the art prompts and start drawing and then ‘clearing’, the digital version of erasing of crumbling up a piece of paper and tossing it into the trash.

My sister and I run a monthly art challenge on Instagram – here’s our March challenge.

I’ve been writing a lot more lately and sometimes I feel that I am either a writing mode or a drawing mode but it’s hard to be both at the same time. Then there is the photographer in me that every so often is still snapping pictures – birds more recently. All of which are still on the card in my camera. I have so many photos that I have not gone through which are on my hard drive that I have downloaded from card after card. Sunsets, wildlife, flowers, animals, our natural world…thousands of raw photos that I have not sat down to go through and figure out how to use.

Still Looking for my own creative style

Ultimately, I would love to incorporate my photography with my illustrations and my writing, but I am too scattered to get that dream realized – at least any time soon. When it comes to photography I think I have more of my own voice, or style than I do with my illustrations. This is because a good portion of my illustrations so far have been as a result of my following a tutorial closely. Granted some teachers instruct better than others and I have learned so much from many of these gifted individuals. Not everyone can teach people the tools of their trade. Right now I feel I am still learning so much about different techniques and variations of ways of doing things that I haven’t really done a lot of my own original compositions yet. I don’t feel as comfortable depending upon what it is I am attempting to do. This makes me shy away from trying sometimes, something I know I have to get over and just do it.

I suppose every artist struggles with finding their voice, their style at some point in their creative career. know I can obviously execute certain things under instruction but then something happens when I go to compose my own ideas. I should probably just start out with stick drawings since basically this how everything looks in when I draw something. I think this is one of the reasons I have taken to liking drawing zentangles lately.

Mandala with zentangles

So enough procrastination, I think I have been writing to avoid drawing today. Time to do some creating – today’s #Marchintoart2022 art prompt is butterfly. I know I can do butterflies and there are ton of tutorials out there that offer varying styles of approach. I have cued up one of my favorite teachers, Tatiana @Tatyworks videos from her Patreon platform which looks pretty cool. I have done other butterfly tutorials with another one of my favorite teachers Art with Flo @floortjesart – I love Flo’s style of teaching, she breaks things down so well and really explains the process so that you can learn it for yourself.

Besides @floortjesart and @tatyworks and @Joel.create, some of the other Patreon teachers who have helped me this last year include @James_julier @genevievesdesignstudio . All the links take you to their Instagram pages so you can check out their work.

Zen garden

My last original composition that has been completed on my iPad – there are many more uncompleted ones. I look forward to feeling spring’s warmer winds; hopefully the change in season will help boost my creative spirits.

Until next time everyone,

Be curious, not judgmental.

Ted Lasso

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