LAURA JOHNSTON

•••••• artist ••••••

365 - 6 Months In

Sketchbook, Creative ProcessLaura Johnston1 Comment
Days 178 & 179

Days 178 & 179

I have successfully completed half of the 365 project without missing a single day. Yeah!!! You can see the entire project so far here.

Days 94 & 95

Days 94 & 95

I started this project with the simple inspiration to create a good habit in sketching everyday, to practice without worrying about selling stuff, and to gain fans and momentum for my 2D work. Plus, I missed drawing 'for fun'.

As part of the highs, those things have happened. What's also happened is a ton of development in peripheral areas, some of which I didn't even consider when I decided to embark on this project. 

For one, I have realized, really realized, where my skill level is and what I need to work on. That's huge, and I'm learning more about what I need to work on every day. There's really no way to know that unless you create consistently. You might go around saying to yourself, "I could make that" but unless you're actually doing it, you don't really know. It turns out things are more complicated than they seem like they'd be. (They always are.)

On that note, my appreciation for different styles and types of art that I come across has increased as I've gone through this project, too. Experts make things look simple. 

Day 186/365. Some studies for a painting I am working on. Because I like to make things complicated.

Day 186/365. Some studies for a painting I am working on. Because I like to make things complicated.

Day 174/365. The song "Take Me to Church" has been stuck in my head for days. Some from-the-mind portrait practice today.

Day 174/365. The song "Take Me to Church" has been stuck in my head for days. Some from-the-mind portrait practice today.

Getting real about where I am has never made me feel down during the process, but it has definitely humbled me. I'm more humble, and I feel more confident at the same time. I am motivated to continue on a regular basis, because I know that practice will get me there. Things are going to take time, and I'm more ok with that than I ever have been. Patience +50.

Even though it doesn't really feel like I've been working on my discipline, I guess this project is kind of a test of discipline and I can feel its affect on developing new daily habits in other areas of my life, too. Exercise routines, especially. It goes hand-in-hand with patience. I used to give up so readily at a lack of immediate progress. 

I'm of course learning a lot about art, too. I am growing in my work - learning the best application for different mediums, getting better at portraits, discovering the work and type of processes that really excite me. Just because you can do something doesn't mean it's necessarily your jam. I'm excited to look back through at the end of the project and see progress, and remember what the learning curve felt like along the way.

Days 136 & 137

Days 136 & 137

It hasn't been all high, though, for sure. The low? Being in a lull (which happens naturally, regardless of sketching everyday or not) and working through it. I've never worked straight through a lull before in this way, and at times it had me completely questioning myself. On a few occasions I really wanted to quit. The hardest part was feeling uninspired and trying to make something anyway, and that something just coming out horribly because there was no passion behind it. 

Is there really benefit to putting something down on paper everyday just to do it? Why not just create when you're feeling it? These are things I wondered/still wonder a little bit. I've seen some benefit, for instance it's really cool to have this visual documentation of the entire process through both good and bad times. Plus, as some of my friends have said, maybe something from those weird times will inspire a new idea, or I'll come back and pull from it for future work that I am feeling passionate about. 

Thank goodness for friends talking me into sticking with the project when I felt like quitting, by the way! 

Days 28 & 29

Days 28 & 29

Happily the lull ended a couple of weeks ago after a few months of dragging on. Honestly though, looking back, there are some cool things that happened during it. I can't imagine NOT keeping a daily sketchbook now. Creating daily in this way will likely shed solid light on the lulls over time - when they happen and why - and better intel will arm me with more tools to work through them more effectively. Even if that means dialing back or just hunkering down. 

If you're feeling inspired to start a daily project, you should totally do it. I highly recommend it. If you decide to share it publicly, let me know - I'd love to follow along! I appreciate that you all are following along with mine... 6 more months to go! If you've just jumped on board, I'm posting the project over on Instagram! See you there. :)

Day 135. My old friend acrylic! Palestine sunbird for#roamtheglobe week 15!!

Day 135. My old friend acrylic! Palestine sunbird for#roamtheglobe week 15!!

Day 170. Felt like quitting today. 😖 But made this instead.

Day 170. Felt like quitting today. 😖 But made this instead.

Days 162 & 163

Days 162 & 163