Practice, Practice, Practice

A couple months ago, I wrote my first blog post about my need to find new inspiration in my artistic world. Not long after that, I discovered a quick 3-day inspirational artist challenge online about casting a vision for 2017. That got me thinking about what I'd like to explore next year.

For a while now, I've been following surface designers, hand letterers, and illustrators on Instagram and Pinterest. I've been fascinated at how prolific so many of these artists are. It's amazing! Many of them have a goal of one illustration every day. They fill pages and pages of sketchbooks and watercolor notebooks. They practice and practice their craft every day. 

That's what got my attention the most, I think. They were practicing. Every single day, they created something that wasn't there before. No judgement on quality or aesthetic - just practice. I take a lot of pride in my work. I work hard, and I like to have a finished product that is clean and tight. It serves it's purpose and meets the design goals I set out for it. But I'm not good at making something that isn't necessarily intended to be a finished product.

I have never been much of a sketch book artist... someone who goes around drawing ten miniature doodles on one page. Of course, when I was a kid and teen, I was always drawing, but I still didn't like just drawing for "practice." Even then, I had the finished product in mind.

I think this focus on the end product has gotten in the way of my creativity and more recently my desire to learn hand lettering... which is one of the things I really want to learn. Everything I've done so far is complete crap. I can see a progression in the crap, but there's no hiding from the fact that at the moment, I pretty much suck at this. I hate sucking at things... 

In spite of the sucking, I am thoroughly enjoying it! Instead of measuring my success by the completed product, I'm measuring my success by how many practice pages I've filled. I've also entered a fabric design contest for the first time on Spoonflower. It's not a perfect design. I can see things that I would change if I'd had the time before the entry deadline. But you know what? I did it! 

It's all practice. I enjoyed it so much, I did another one. Here's to a new year of practice!