Accelerating the Fail… Forwards

It is almost as if I I have a relatable pattern here- in exchange for yesterday today is a good day again. Does that mean that like in breathing in and out tomorrow I‘ll crash again? We shall see.

I woke up and got to work immediately. I made an architectural study of this beautiful manor, having to learn how to handle a building as a design subject in the first place. I could have tried to just copy the photo, but then I would probably have learned nothing about how to construct it.

My first realization was that I won‘t come far without thinking about the floor plan. In design you can either go from outside to the inside or construct the inside first, work from base geometry and then put details on top. Both modes have their fields of usage, but here I‘m not competent enough to filter out all noise to understand the design from the outside. So a floor map it was and that helped tremenduously to break the building down in further units.

Then the next realization – if I would try to construct the whole thing in one go, including a decent perspective and better lines than I can do right now…that would be like a python trying to swallow an elephant. And I‘m not even a fully grown python yet, I rather have the cute size of an earthworm.

Okay, so out the window goes perspective, out the windows go sorrows of line quality. I remember prop studies that I love to look at and wonder whether I could just dissect the building into parts like the towers and study those from front view. Getting a grip of the building at all. Yes, that worked.

Then the next realization. I couldn‘t figure out what to make of the main building – C – first. It dawned on me that the front looks so distinctively different than the side view, that I would have to draw both to depict the building sufficiently. And if the back side would look different again, well, I would have to draw that as well. This isn‘t exactly inventing fire, but it was an important moment for me either way. Characters are the same. They can look so different from the side, as you can‘t really appreciate all nose forms in front view for example.

This manor definitely was too hard for my skill level, but I‘m glad I still did it. My skill level would not allow to spell out all the decorative elements in a competent manner. But I learned some more basic lessons here and was reminded of more lessons that were lingering in a drawer in my brain already.

Then comes the big failure of this drawing session. I realized while I had an insight what to work on (strengthening perspective, learning about architecture, expanding visual library)…I can‘t do that this week. I can‘t design a mage academy in a clean way when I don‘t even know about how to visualize the dimensions of it and the functionalities. My reader does not have to be able to walk through the thing… I have to. How else do I find sensible camera angles? How else do I stage and show best what is to be shown? Understanding that I‘m mostly dealing with boxes only helps me so far.

And then comes the most important realization of all: while I‘m not bad at my craft and certainly on my good days have a grasp of what to do with it, I‘m definitely not fit for a weekly comic schedule or something the like at the moment. I‘m beginning to understand the full weight of my inexperience right now. No, I would not have to be an architectural geek to make it work, but I‘m not at the level of competence where enough is on the page to give a good experience for both reader and artist. And again, I‘m surprised that doesn‘t demotivate me at all. On the contrary. I‘m so happy I‘m doing this challenge, it is the right thing at the right time that will help me to continue the climb. I‘m literally failing in light speed, again and again, at different things. And that is so healthy. Okay, I gave myself marks for my performance until now:

I must have been stagnating for a while without knowing what is happening and how to get out of there. I‘m not even bothered by sharing the whole extent of my incompetence with you. Nobody said that an artist transforming must always be a beautiful sight. But what is next? With a now more realistic picture of my skills I must admit I‘m not fit for my current task. But I have tons of ideas how to change that and a lot of fire to get to work at it.

I relaxed with crochet, finished the blanket I was working on and then I read the final volume of Battle Angel Alita. What a manga. I honored the experience with this portrait study of Jashugan. It felt like he was talking to me, the reader, when he told Alita to not give up. As long as you live, do not give up. Keep on going. I needed to hear that today, so thank you, fictitious character. Maybe one day other people will need exactly what my characters will tell them like this. I feel very inspired now and that seldomly happens to me.

The course is clear: Scott Robertson’s How To Draw ready on my desk for tomorrow. Treating this like a life and death situation, I‘ll grind basic drawing skills until the paper and the tablet screens melt. I‘ll do little things for Corvus every day in the course. The environments will give up and let themselves be drawn like characters-! I tell you! I will use my time wisely.

See you tomorrow!

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