If at first you don't succeed...

     As with most kids, art was always part of my childhood.  Art class once a week, I think, plus coloring books and what not.  To be honest, my elementary school instructor wasn't that memorable nor were any of the projects we did.  Art stuck with me, though.  My grade one year all entered little sculpted animal heads into the local state fair kids' art show.  I remember working so hard, even though I didn't like sculpting and didn't want to do the project.  I gave it my all, though, and made a baby seal head I was proud to call mine.  I received a participant ribbon (which, to be fair, might have been the only ribbon they gave out), and I was so mad.  My mom said all the Good Mom things about what was Really Important and Trying My Best was better than winning and blah, blah.  All I really remember was being so upset, not about the ribbon, but that I didn't do better than I could have.  That's what really stuck.  The drive to be better than I was before.

     So I got to work.  I practiced.  And practiced.  And after that, I practiced some more.  Seeing a pattern here?  Once I hit Jr. High I signed up for an art class, I picked up any How-To-Draw books my parents would buy me and once the internet was invented, I scoured it for any drawing tutorials I could find (usually Sailor Moon).  But most importantly, more crucial than any tutorial I could find or class I could take, I practiced.  I filled up a dozen or so sketchbooks throughout high school.  I constantly had my sketchbook and any free moment and, lets be honest, most of the time I should have been paying attention in class, I would draw.  These drawings had no purpose.  There was no endgame.  No plan.  They were just in my head and wanted to come out and play.  Sometimes they were character designs or concept sketches, but mostly they were just free spirited doodles.

     Lately I've been feeling like my art has plateaued and I'm not really sure where I'm going.  I've been thinking about that a lot and I realized I never sketch anymore.  Almost every piece of art I've worked on for the last year or so had a reason to be.  Either it was an ATC, a journal page, a gift or something for my shop or videos.  And those are good things to work on, for sure, but I think my imagination misses the playground.  So I'm resuming the habit of sketching.  I'm going to try for at least one page a day.  It'll be abit more of a challenge, juggling work and all the rest, but worth it.

     And to tie it all together, there was a bit of time in Jr. High when I went through a faerie drawing phase.  So here's one of the ladies I was quite proud of after drawing.  To see where my faerie drawing skills and all that practice have taken me, click here for my latest video.

     My good friend Michael was kind enough to mention me in his blog this week.  I will be forever indebted to him for introducting me to ATCs (Artist Trading Cards) and a trading site called ATCs For All, and really breathing fire into my creative life.  Thank you, Michael.  I'm glad to be on this artistic journey with such fine company.