Browse category by Art + Life

Why should I blog if I want to be an illustrator?

April 2, 2018 By inquisitiveart

Sometimes it feels silly to try to keep up on a blog. After all, more time writing means less time drawing, right? Plus, who really cares what I have to say here? Am I just being vain thinking my random musings are worth other people’s time?

Could I ever help anyone with what I have to say?

Why not just wait to blog or post my drawings until I’m actually “good enough” to be an illustrator?

Good questions, self! I can always count on you to doubt my abilities and plans!

I’ll do my best to answer those questions for myself, and anyone else who wants to know or is thinking about starting their own blog.

….

So the only good reasons I can think of for having a blog, or doing most things in life, are because it helps myself or it helps others. And the optimistic/idealistic part of myself hopes that this blog can do both!

How I’m using this blog to help myself:

  1. Organize and better understand my own thoughts/goals/plans by putting them down in words
  2. Document and save my artistic progress-so I can motivate myself to keep going and see how far I’ve come.
  3. Motivate myself to be more consistent in creating and studying through peer pressure. (Thanks guys!)
  4. Learn other useful skills besides illustration like writing, blog tech, social media, etc.
  5. Let people know I exist!

20 ways to treat yourself like a child and be happier

September 6, 2017 By inquisitiveart

When you treat someone like a child it usually means that you’re being condescending, patronizing, or otherwise obnoxious. Sometimes though treating yourself, like a child can be a good thing. Or even great!

Maybe I’m just not great at taking care of myself, but I know that when I am responsible for a kid I take care of them a lot better than I do myself! And when I am indecisive or lazy about caring for myself or doing something I should, it often helps to ask myself “What if I were a child? What would I do for myself?”.

This way of thinking helps me prioritize, be healthier, and be kinder to myself and I think it could help you too!

Here’s twenty examples of how treating myself like a child makes me happier:

  1. Listen to your body when you are hungry and thirsty

    I would never let a child go hungry just because I am busy or too lazy to make a meal! Why do I ignore my own body when I want food? I also am diligent about making my nephew drink enough water when I’m watching him on a hot day. The least I can do for myself is to have a drink now and then. The “Plant Nanny” app is free and has also been helping me get enough water lately. Without it I usually end up ignoring water until late at night and then drinking a ton right before bed.

What’s the point of art? Is it really that important in our lives?

August 28, 2017 By inquisitiveart

What’s the point of art?

There’s my whole blog here, not to mention universities, cultural movements, museums, entire lives, and who knows what else-all dedicated to art. Sometimes it makes me wonder:

What’s the point? What is the point of art, and is it really that important?

Cesar A. Cruz said:

“Art should comfort the disturb and disturb the comfortable.”

So, done. All figured out. Thank you Cesar for clearing that up.

The only problem is figuring out what in the world he meant, and if we even agree with him.

So first off:

Art should comfort the disturbed…”

Comforting the disturbed seems like a pretty worthwhile goal.

I’ve bonded with friends over movies, been refreshed by a beautiful graphic novel, been encouraged by adventurous novels, and was inspired by gorgeous art and mind-blowing sci fi.

I’d say that, yes, art has definitely comforted me when I was disturbed.

And not just me, art has also been a huge part of social movements throughout history and has been used to comfort/encourage/inspire those suffering through horrible experiences.

When people are scared or hurt some of them always reach out to each other with art.

You can look on Instagram right now and see that every recent tragedy has people trying to process it and show how they care about others through whatever medium they use.

Am I In Over My Head?

August 25, 2017 By inquisitiveart

Am I in over my head?

 

Yes.

 

Of course I am.

 

Perhaps I took my own advice on “Making My Life Harder on Purpose” a little too well.

 

I’ve committed to becoming a professional illustrator.

 

To those who know me well, this might feel more “out of the blue” than it is.

 

Backing up a bit

 

I’ve always loved art and thought about going to art school after high school…but didn’t.

 

After graduating with my teaching certification I taught 5th grade, and let’s just be kind and say I had a bit of a rough year. I loved parts of it, but ultimately realized that classroom teaching wasn’t for me.

 

While surviving 5th grade, I started to draw more frequently and focused more on improving while I thought seriously about the foolishness of changing careers right after spending years getting a teaching degree.

 

Then came nine months of working overseas and traveling as a “break”, “while I could” before I “got too settled” into a teaching job.

 

Which were all true reasons for why I went overseas.

How challenging yourself creatively can change your life

How challenging yourself creatively can change your life

July 9, 2017 By inquisitiveart

My life was too easy. So I fixed it.

If you haven’t already read about why I intentionally make my life harder-check it out HERE.

Now that you understand why you should CHALLENGE yourself, I’m gonna try to convince you to challenge yourself CREATIVELY.

By that I mean, challenge yourself to actively create new things! Drawings, paintings, poems, sculptures, fancy sweaters, wooden shoes, gourmet dog treats, whatever! The point is that you are using your imagination to create something that no one has seen before, to create art.

It’s important for everyone to work on some type of art, whatever your occupation because:

  1. Art = self expression

The more you create and explore new possibilities the better you get at expressing and understanding yourself. You bit by bit develop a larger toolbox for creating messages, getting your point across, exploring and learning about what you personally find important, and connecting with others.

2. Art = understanding and empathy

As you explore more of what is interesting and important to you-focusing on the patterns in a bird’s wing you’re painting, exploring how different glazes blend on your pottery, trying out new patterns for crochet-you express yourself and other learn to better understand other artists and people. Art is a large part of culture, it expresses your unique priorities, but can also communicate what a society deems important.

Why I Torture Myself- And Why You Should Too!

Why I Torture Myself- And Why You Should Too!

July 9, 2017 By inquisitiveart

This entire blog is a testament to me making my life harder, and more complicated then it needs to be.

I could just enjoy creating art! Why force myself to draw things I’m bad at? Study the history? Practice a skill so much I’m sick of it and can teach it to others without thinking?

I could just keep it to myself! Why face potential critism and embaressment by sharing my ugly, beginner art with strangers and, even worse, people I actually know?

I could at least set less ridiculous goals and only post after I’ve improved! Why rush to improve? Why not go slow and wait a few weeks, or years, until I’m already a master?

The answer to all of that is that art, and life, is better when you have to struggle a little.

I mean this within reason of course. I personally know the pain of having too much stress and not knowing if you can handle it. Not wanting to go to work in the morning because you know you’ll just end up failing again. Crying in the car on the way to work, dreading another day of unmet (largely self-imposed) expectations.

Just me?

Anyway…

Too much stress and too high of expectations is clearly NOT desirable.

But neither is too little.

I challenge myself artistically because:

  1. Life is better with (reasonable) challenges
  2. Improving artistically has it’s own amazing benefits (for me,
How Do I (re)Start?

How Do I (re)Start?

July 7, 2017 By inquisitiveart

I didn’t realize how much momentum I had until I lost it.
I was working hard pushing a rock along without realizing how well it was going. And then I stopped for too long and now I’m just staring at a brick wall and wondering how much running straight into it will hurt. 
And how embarrased I should be about needing to restart. Again. 
Well this is me. Running into the brick wall/boulder face first. Hoping it will start moving again and not sure what it’ll look like when it does. 
I honestly love this writing/blogging a lot more than I though I would. I always saw myself as a “super visual” person and not as good with words. Sure I could write what teacher’s wanted and do well on essays-but creative writing? Writing for fun? Nah man. That’s like talking. And I’m clearly not good at that. Plus, I’m SUPER VISUAL! I’d rather read the text than watch a youtube video of someone talking-doesn’t that mean I should stick to the more visual side of things? 
But surprisingly writing and doing art tutorials has been so great. I felt like I had found this whole new way to express myself and connect with others. So it’s more frustrating that I just, kinda, gave up on it. 
Life happened. And kept happening. And is STILL happening. 
First, I thought that I would be able to do more writing and work as soon as I was back in the US and not traveling. 

How Do I (re)Start?

How Do I (re)Start?

July 7, 2017 By inquisitiveart

I didn’t realize how much momentum I had until I lost it.
I was working hard pushing a rock along without realizing how well it was going. And then I stopped for too long and now I’m just staring at a brick wall and wondering how much running straight into it will hurt. 
And how embarrased I should be about needing to restart. Again. 
Well this is me. Running into the brick wall/boulder face first. Hoping it will start moving again and not sure what it’ll look like when it does. 
I honestly love this writing/blogging a lot more than I though I would. I always saw myself as a “super visual” person and not as good with words. Sure I could write what teacher’s wanted and do well on essays-but creative writing? Writing for fun? Nah man. That’s like talking. And I’m clearly not good at that. Plus, I’m SUPER VISUAL! I’d rather read the text than watch a youtube video of someone talking-doesn’t that mean I should stick to the more visual side of things? 
But surprisingly writing and doing art tutorials has been so great. I felt like I had found this whole new way to express myself and connect with others. So it’s more frustrating that I just, kinda, gave up on it. 
Life happened. And kept happening. And is STILL happening. 
First, I thought that I would be able to do more writing and work as soon as I was back in the US and not traveling. 

How I learn any drawing skill + printable Skill Study Sketchbook!

How I learn any drawing skill + printable Skill Study Sketchbook!

April 22, 2017 By inquisitiveart

In my quest to develop my artistic skills I’ve developed a structure that helps me get focused on and improve on whatever my current goal is-you should try it!

The most valuable things I have learned from the (embarrassingly huge number of) productivity and learning articles I’ve read are that I need to:

  • stay motivated
  • break the subject into manageable parts
  • gather resources
  • and work consistently.

In order to improve my illustration ability I first clarified what I want to improve on (perspective, anatomy, shading, etc). Now I work on each part individually, create tutorials on it as I learn, and incorporate skills I’ve learned before in each new project.

This learning can get messy, disorganized, and overwhelming with all the various skills I want to learn and resources I find.

For a long time I had sketches for studying something, random doodles, projects for gifts, and more all cluttered together in my sketchbook so I couldn’t just focus on one thing at a time. I also had all my resources jumbled together in my bookmarks folder and random lists of “books to read” so I could never find exactly what I needed-even if I had already found it in the past and saved it!

I needed an organized and clear space I could keep my sketches that were specifically tied to learning skills. I also wanted something that would eventually make great sources of reference if I want to go back and remember something in the future.

Mt. Doom almost killed me- but it was worth it!

Mt. Doom almost killed me- but it was worth it!

April 5, 2017 By inquisitiveart

The sun had almost finished rising above the distant hills as we arrived at the trailhead for the Tongariro Crossing. My three companions, one friend I had been traveling with for a while and two hitchhikers we’d picked up the day before, and I soon set off on a trail I had been hearing about since arriving in New Zealand. I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

I bounced along the first 2 kilometers of nearly flat walking while admiring (and photographing) the gorgeous views of the mountains in the distance. Including the steep, volcanic cone we would be climbing. My gross overconfidence was quickly revealed though once we reached the actual ascents- mostly sets of uneven steps that led to more, steeper steps.

I was soon lagging behind my three, ever so patient, companions and cursing myself for making them wait as I used my hands to push down on my legs and propel my body up one step at a time.

“Why was I doing this again?”

After a blissful break that I spent guzzling water, we set off up the side trail to summit Mount Ngauruhoe (better known as Mt. Doom) which seemed like a great idea for about three minutes. Then my renewed energy suddenly flatlined. I was once again struggling to force two tired and heavy legs up a set of steps while watching my companions slowly get farther and farther ahead.

Then we reached the side of the mountain and all pretense of a path disappeared.