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Progress on Personal Work

Sketchbook, Creative ProcessLaura JohnstonComment

Dialing back this month has been awesome. It's not like I'm doing nothing, but I was doing so much before that it almost feels like I'm doing nothing. 

Felt like sharing some of what I've been working on. The piece above is one that I started at the beginning of this month. I always have so much energy going into a new piece and can work on it for hours on end, but then it hits a point where details really start to come about and fatigue hits much quicker. It begins to take a lot more energy and focus to achieve what feels like much smaller steps. Maybe if I could knock it out all in one session I'd be golden!? That seems like wishful thinking. :) The same thing happens when I'm creating my more detailed small sculptures, too.

I'm happy with my progress, though. Sometimes people ask me how I come up with these random mixes of subjects. It really is random, I think. I don't sit down like, "Ok, I'm going to paint a lady in a crazy pose with a happy ram chillin' on an ice cream sandwich on some cacti with some bright balloons thrown in there to make it a party." It just happens that way. And I ain't mad at it. Deeper meaning can be extracted, but I guess it doesn't have to be. It can just exist as a combination of things that didn't before. Things that don't necessarily belong together or couldn't happen that way in real life.

I started the piece on the left years ago and just decided to pick up again to see how my daily work on 2D art this year would affect it. Click here to see where I'd left off back in 2013. I've changed up the shading and coloring on the face a little bit, and obviously added a black dripping collar of sorts to the neck. I can't wait to go in and make the bugs pop - I think that's going to be quite the challenge. I would love for them to look very realistic, but we'll see what I can achieve. There are some really disturbing layers underneath this current face - it has gone through some scary changes as I've built up the paint. Not on purpose. Perhaps she is a keeper of darkness, the one who digests the ugly so we can move on from it. *hands moving apart for magic*

Days 172 & 173 of the 365 project

Days 172 & 173 of the 365 project

365 is still happening. I'll be honest, I totally felt like quitting a few times. I have never worked straight through a lull like this before, and as much as lulls suck anyway, it almost sucks worse to force yourself to make work while you're feeling uninspired and be unhappy with what you've created day after day. Luckily I have had a lot of encouragement from my family and friends to continue the project and not give up, so I have not missed a day yet! I do feel really proud of that. I've so needed the support and really appreciate and feel grateful to have it. I've also seen glimmers of hope here and there that the lull will be ending soon, so hopefully that's the case. I KNOW they come and go, so it's got to end sometime.

Above is my most recent sketchbook spread - a portrait that in some ways reminds me of my mom, and a little cactus postcard I made that I decided to sew into my sketchbook instead of mailing out. I just love how these two work together. The colors, the shapes. Sorry friend who didn't get this postcard, don't worry, I have plenty of others to send out. Long live snail mail!

If you read this, thank you. If you follow my work, thank you. If you send me comments or emails, thank you! Really. If there's someone in your life who inspires you or whose work you love to see pop up in your feed everyday, or someone who brings you lunch or greets you with a smile every morning, take a moment to say thank you and let them know that you dig what they're doing. It's such a small thing that means so much. We all love to know that we are appreciated.