Something You Haven’t Seen Yet:

Here’s a book cover that I had done as a favor (something I don’t recommend on ANY level, even if the commissioner is your bestest friends in the whole world):

Acrylics on watercolor paper, approx 18×24

The author of The Veil Wars never got back in touch with me concerning this piece, so I can assume he didn’t care for it and doesn’t want it. So you guys get to see it! I had stopped working on it in anticipation of hearing back from him, so it’s incomplete. But I might as well stick it up here since I don’t see me ever picking it up again. And look! I can do contemporary soldiers, too!

Regardless of its never being used, this was still a valuable experience in trying to meet the expectations of a client that I’ve never met before (who also lives across the country). Hearing his requests, sharing reference images, drawing sketches and getting feedback on them, then diving into creating an illustration that could more than likely be rejected. It was definitely a valuable experience, if not a waste of some stressful days.

This Summer’s New Paintings:

Besides that, I had forgotten to share my latest time-lapse watercolor piece on here:

This is a long one, but it’s also a very detailed painting. You can jump around and skip the areas that get tedious.

Here’s the painting:

Watercolor, gouache, and white ink on watercolor paper. Approx 22×30

This one was FUN to work on. It’s appeared in one show this summer already (won Honorable Mention), and I’m still waiting to see if it makes it into the Beyond Crayons and Fingerpainting show at B2 Gallery (it’s my last year to of being young enough to enter!). It is currently hanging at my studio/workplace gallery, Uncorked Canvas, which is literally right upstairs from B2 since this August.

Here’s another little watercolor I messed around with (my first attempt on 300 lb watercolor paper, which is actually quite a chore to work with!):

I’m Unprofessional:

Otherwise, I can say that I have been very unproductive this summer. With school being over, I suddenly don’t have the day-to-day lectures that used to give me a huge amount of time to draw during. I realized after sitting through a meeting this last week, wherein I started drawing feverishly in my sketchpad, that my productivity had been entirely dependent on boredom (plus, I concentrate better during boring lectures when I’m absent-mindedly scribbling). My passion for art has not diminished, but I’ve lost the daily habitual time and place to create, and I haven’t formed new habits for creating yet. Which is really the definition of an unprofessional artist.

When I start creating, the passion is enkindled and I can create and imagine new pieces like no one’s business. But, if I put off feeding that passion for too long, that imagination and ability to create diminishes. “Discipline will set you free,” is a quote by a musical artist that has really stuck with me. That, and the knowledge that inspiration begets inspiration. You don’t run out of imagination or exhaust your skill, but instead, the more you create, the more you are capable of creating. Those truths, realized through experience, have really struck me recently.

Professional artists are scheduled, and know that self-discipline is the only way to success. I can’t remember where exactly I read the article that says it, but one of the traits of an unprofessional artist is the habit of waiting for inspiration to strike before sitting down to draw something, which is the endless, unproductive circle that I’m stuck in right now. I can say, after taking a long break from creating any major pieces, that the fear of failure is actually holding me back, too (and the longer I wait, the more I’m sure of failure). I’ve never had that problem, and I didn’t realize what the issue was before now. And fear of any kind is the lamest reason to put off succeeding or growing as a person or professional. So screw that! I welcome failure! If growth must come at the cost of losing a few pieces of paper and a couple of ounces of paint, then bring it on! Because the step that comes directly beyond that failed piece of art is a lesson in how not to fail the next time.

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