Climbing up a cliff

At first, I did not realize I lost my way. I thought to myself, what could it hurt to take a week off? To prepare some things for the next chapter of my comic Street Prey (SPREY)? Being nice to myself for a change yielded some surprising results. My art almost instantly „improved“ now that I suddenly had a bit more time to breathe and experiment. And quick first successes made me want to exercise more. At the same time my concept art career received a massive boost with my first gig as a concept artist for a small indie studio.

Suddenly I have new perspectives for my work. Suddenly I got a first contract pay in that was very real. My true luck is not the money itself, although I appreciate the pay very much, but that it caused a massive boost in professionalism in me. I have studied hard since then, even harder than before. And this lead to more gains. And then more good things started happening to me, because it is always like this. Only if you have some momentum already you are given more. By now I‘m thinking that studying the ways of concept art and focussing on this for a future day job might be or bring me closer to my ikigai.

I am still committed to making my comic and everything else on my to do list. It just seems that the concept art training I‘m seeking out is the key to push things to a completely new level I could never have imagined sitting in my old comfort zone. How did that all start? Imagine I was browsing Artstation and Pinterest and thought I wish I could bridge the gap. I thought and wished that for a long time, months, maybe years. I wish somebody could teach me, anybody. What if I could have a shred of the Feng Zhu School of Design? And then suddenly this opportunity came up to take part in a course inspired by his school and Youtube channel. I knew it was an important decision. I would have to make time for it constantly, a lot of time, while also working my contract and continuing SPREY. I haven‘t regretted a single moment. I also took up the good habit of setting aside at least 20 minutes a day to study a bit about business. I still have no idea what I‘m doing, but I still know more than before already. Time passes really quick at the moment. I am realizing that you sometimes get the best results when you focus on one or a maximum of two projects per day. But this thesis needs more testing.

I took this day to go over the last week a bit. I realized I did so so much that I cannot sensibly squeeze this together in one blog entry. It might make it harder for you to learn something from it if you are inclined to do so. So I’ll split the week up in several entries that I will post over the next days. Hopefully I will catch up to the present, soon.

To my surprise – I drew lightnings all week as warm-ups and actually finished that mini- lightning project fornow. The first tasks in the course were all about (re)discovering simple line drawing exercises. Just by chance did I discover that lightning must indeed be my personal element. But I will not stop at this and will explore other elements in the next weeks. Learning at least the basics of how to draw them and spending more time with them and documentaries on how they work are an investment for lifetime. Fire, water, rain, earth, all the elements, weather effects and natural phenomena – that is never going to go out of fashion. You just have to find your own way of how to deal with understanding and depicting them.

See you next time!

100 Days of SPREY – 57, 58

This week turned out to be both amazing and absolutely terrifying, pushing me outside of my personal comfort zone in so many ways. My original plan was to dedicate the week to doing concept work for my own comic and start uploading a daily panel beginning next week as we are used to by now. But now I am confronted with a uniquely new situation. I made the jump and signed my first freelance contract as a 2D concept artist.

The first client is the hardest to get, the second client the second hardest one, and so on, so that step is huge no matter what scope the actual project has.

Now at least for the time of the gig I have new responsibilities that clash with the wish to keep working on my comic and general drawing exercises in the same way I was working before. What is more, while going into overdrive with research and focussed work to do my best for the gig I‘m realizing how inefficient my ways were. And I‘m shocked how bad my past art actually is. On the one hand, I was incredibly delusional. On the other hand, the delusion kept me believing I could become a professional artist one day and made me work hard to get there. I just failed to understand why the world didn‘t see my greatness. Now I understand. And it‘s okay. That all is a thing of the past now.

I have finally reached a level where I‘m employable. And now that there is no delusion clouding my perception anymore, I have the chance to actually see my strengths and weaknesses in a balanced way and get really good. I even discovered a direction that I can go with achievable goals on the way there. I will go videogame prop design. I still believe in myself as a great storyteller and I believe in Street Prey, but I also need an income. Street Prey as it is right now cannot provide that and will need much more work until it has reached a level of quality that attracts an audience. I will of course do the work, but I need to adjust my efforts in a way that I don‘t starve on the road. That too is a prerequisite to do your personal work well. I know I can learn a lot working in the art industry. A lot that will help Street Prey and any other personal work in the future.

I need some time to sort my things now and I can‘t make a prediction how long it will take. Not because I do not want to commit, but because that is the first time I am in a situation like this. So thank you for your patience and see you next blog entry!

Art report 10

Hello, you all! I am back after a little break. A couple of days were needed off for health reasons, the last two or so I took off to research. Although consistency as in showing up every day and doing the work is very very important to us artists, breaks are as important. You need them to process what you learned. And sometimes you need to process even more. I had not only one but a couple of moments where something that I didn’t directly read or otherwise consume *clicked* with me for my art. The next task is to rekindle a sweet balance where I put out enough practise pieces a day while also working on finished pieces and Blendering. It works, it worked before. I am just really more relaxed about it when some days are slower. I finished an illustration today which I cannot share here right now, hopefully the next days then. Everything is fine, sometimes things just take some time. Also it’s still weird to think of the process somewhat disconnected from results, but it works so far!

Art report 08

I did my dailies today plus some work on a bigger illustration, that’ll be ready during this week. I actually have no idea where the rest of the time went, except for in errands. Not every day can be a stellar 100% day, so I’m just happy I made it through this one and got my dose of daily exercise today.

I love portraits. I had a strange thought today: Hey, isn’t it …bad that I’m allowing myself to draw so many portraits lately? Chilling. I had no idea I was keeping that from myself because it could be too much fun. I hope you don’t have secret beliefs like that hidden away in your heads, better check today and unlearn.