Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Re-Evaluating this Children's Book thing...

Alrighty.  Time to be honest.

I promised you the whole trip, trial and error, everything going into this children's book "You Should! You Should!"  Challenges, fears, successes, process, mistakes, paintings, drawings, the whole shebang.  So today I'm going to share with you what's REALLY going on, instead of surprising you with sudden huge news, or telling you more fluffy "yay another painting" junk.

Okay.  So here's the thing.  How do I say this...

First, a confession:

I'm not passionate about painting.  I'm not passionate about art.  I like it and I'm good at it, but it's NOT my favorite thing.  That's another story though.  So here I am in this situation.  Get this....

I have THREE months to finish 24, yes, TWENTY-FOUR acrylic paintings on canvas.  Don said most illustrators have 9 months to a year.  Let's see... I signed the contract June 29th 2012, I've had 5 months already, and only have three UNfinished paintings to show for it.  Sure, designing the stage/characters/style takes a large amount of time, but I really could be much farther along by now.  I really could.  Alas, this is all I have:

Still haven't changed blue to purple
I have major changes to make on sunset
  
Just started this, I'm not even half way

Honestly?:

I don't love to paint.  Honestly?  I'm tired of painting.  Honestly?  I constantly look for excuses to avoid painting.  Wow did I just say that out loud?  No Ginny, you typed it.  But you've said it out loud to your friends lots of times times.  However... I am passionate about the story I wrote, the message behind it, and I'm passionate about sharing that message with parents and children and families and any single adult like me who comes across it.  I'm passionate about my purpose and feel like I have not just a good idea, but an important idea.  I want to write and illustrate fun playful "therapy" books that teach difficult skills and concepts to children in a fun easy way.

If I continue at this pace, however, I won't finish by March.  NOT finishing, is NOT an option.  But!  Something needs to change if I'm going make it.  Either externally or internally.  I've been fighting the internal struggle all these months and I'm still dragging my feet.  So... time to consider what EXternal changes I can make.

Here's what I'm thinking:

Painting in acrylic is so very time consuming.  I don't look forward to the the hours and hours I'm going to spend sitting at a canvas alone isolated in my bedroom, mixing and fussing with paint.  But... Monday, Will Terry did a digital painting demo for us in class.  He got twice as much the work done in half the time.  It looked incredible.  Also, talk about easy set up and easy clean up!  Plus the portability!  Not to mention all the great photoshop tricks with layers and filters and brushes and opacity.  And the UNDO BUTTON!  I vowed never to go digital... I myself don't enjoy looking at digital art the same as real paint on real surfaces.  I really feel like digital painting is fake painting.  I don't think it should be called "painting."  There's no "paint" involved in digital painting.  But... it is SO much faster and easier.  I decided I wouldn't switch to digital until it was absolutely necessary.  

~~~For those who don't know what digital painting means, check out my only ever full digital painting (Little Miss Muffet) where I show the process here.~~~

So... (grin)... what if I put the two TOGETHER??  What if I start a painting out traditionally, scan it, and finish it digitally???  What if.  What if!

I'm only 3 unfinished paintings into this process.  If I were to change everything, now would be the time.  So...

What I ask of you:  

Please be patient with me as I spend the next week building a new process.  I need to get a tablet, do a practice painting, finish it digitally, and seriously evaluate.  Also, please don't be mad I'm not the passionate artist I proclaimed to be.  I have to admit, it feels great to be honest.  But I do still find value here, and will continue to work hard until I find my niche!!  Don't give up on me yet.

Thanks for reading.  Thanks for supporting.  Thanks for being there.  I'll be honest... this whole experience has been a challenge.  I'm really, really excited to cross the finish line, look back and say, "I did it."

16 comments:

  1. A lot of artists vow never to go digital, but one thing I've noticed is that no one cares as long as the finished product is good. I thought you had finished drawings to all of these. could you scan those all in, make them smaller and then use the artograph at school to transfer all of them to canvas?

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    1. "No one cares" except, I do. I don't LOVE it (most of it... I can think of a few artists digital work I do quite love) and I don't want my stuff to have the digital look. But there are "ways" to work around that (thanks Will Terry). :) I have finished thumbnails, and a few finished drawings. I planned to finish each almost finished drawing before each painting. I know I know. And yeah I did use the "artograph" (wow I never knew that's what it's called lol) on each of the ones I already did. It's saved me loads of time already.

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  2. I am definitely not an artist so I can say, with children's books, I can't really tell the difference between "digital painting" and "real painting" in the books. I say just do what makes you happy! Its okay to let go of some of your "vows". A lot of the "vows" we make are not set in stone. Goals can be re-evaluated. The purpose of goals is to get you where you want to be. If you want to change where you want to be, its okay! Just change your goals! Love you Gin!

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    1. Haha you can't tell eh? Well I could show you. I can tell and that's important to me cuz this is what I do, ya know? Don't you worry though, this whole process of reinvention is getting me a little excited actually... I think it will be good for me! Thanks for your support and seriously good words. Reinvention and re-evaluation and re-goaling. ;) I love you loads thanks for commenting Candace!!

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  3. Remain flexible and open to new ideas and you'll have a more relaxed and enjoyable life experience. This applies to painting too.

    Good luck!

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    1. Can you write that in my brain for me? ;) Thanks Lee! Thanks for helping me figure this out... even though it's WAY too early to say "I figured it out" yet... Cuz I haven't. lol But thanks.

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  4. I think you're coming up with some great ideas and I can see this process has really made you grow. You've probably heard this before but someone once told me, "You eat an elephant one bite at a time." I'm not a great artist or painter but I know that with the big things I have to do,(especially with my job) I really have to think about breaking everything down into smaller chunks and make sort of a timeline of when things need to get done. Otherwise, I can get really overwhelmed. I know you will get this book done because you're passionate about the book and it's message as a whole. It does surprise me to hear you're not passionate about art because you're an amazing artist. However, it sounds like your passions are for more important life lessons. The good thing is you're blessed with an awesome gift to be able to share your true passions. Love you Ginny!

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    1. Mandy! I have the best of friends. I have heard that expression once actually, and recently haha, but it was not in reference to anything to do with art, so thanks for reminding me of it!! Yeah I made a timeline a couple months ago... and I haven't followed it. I need to do this again asap! I'm too afraid to find out how much work there is to do in such little time... but I need to. Thanks Mandy I love you too.

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  5. What a great avenue Gin! I think that is a fantastic idea. It gives you the chance to do both: digital and classic. It sounds like that presentation was just what you needed at just the right time. I'm so glad you're still going forward with this. It is a fantastic project and I hope it is the first of many similar stories. Love you Ginny!

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    1. Thanks Tammy!!! I'm hoping it works out. Yeah, that's true... I hadn't realized that actually. Maybe Will's demo was a big blessing! Thanks dear friend. I appreciate your support!!

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  6. I'd recommend you buddy up with someone who also wants to get something done. Set dates for each other and hold the other accountable to get it done on time (you can decide between you what that means). So much more good could get done if we would just do our part to structure it so it will happen.

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  7. Hi Ginny,

    Most professional artists come to the conclusion that digital skills are an asset in this fast paced world because you can produce more work and you are able to make changes to that work quickly and efficiently. Clients don't appreciate how much work goes into a piece of art and so try to judge each project you approach with an objective position. Does this client require Ginny's masterpiece? or do they just want Ginny's awesome ideas and fun engaging artwork. How ever you create it and how ever it manifests itself it will still be your vision.

    As an exercise, each morning in the shower I draw something in the condensation on the mirror. It helps me to loosen up and remember that art should be fun even if its a job. Because the drawing will disappear, I am not so hung up on the outcome and expectations. Free to experiment and just play really.

    I don't believe you when you say that you can't get the paintings done on time. I think your decision to reassess your approach to this project is wise and very professional being that your motivation is to get the work done on time but I think you might surprise yourself if you go for it and just try to paint a little faster. Maybe that tree doesn't need so much detail or maybe this line doesn't need to be so perfect? Can you sacrifice a little of the quality of your vision for the sake of just getting it done? I have fine artist friends that have been offered one-man shows only to procrastinate until the very last minute and paint all the paintings the day before the opening. I know that doesn't sound very realistic but I have seen it done and its amazing what people can do when they just try.

    As for not enjoying painting all that much. Don't forget to loosen up every now and then and just experiment. Try to always be learning new techniques and keep it interesting. if your heart is just not in it then try out some other mediums. I hear what you are saying about painting because I don't have the patience which is why i mostly draw.

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    1. I believe what you are saying. I really appreciate your thoughts, you've given me a new, and professional perspective. My vision will remain! I like how you keep your love for art alive. I actually always draw silly things on my gallons of milk. Usually just faces n stuff. Right now they have holly. And I never said I can't get them done I just said I can't at THIS PACE and that's a true statement. ;) And you seriously have a great idea on the switch up on mediums.... I WAY prefer drawing over painting. So I'm gonna see if I can include more line work... maybe.

      Thanks for your time and really helpful comment TJ!!! Seriously. I aprpeciate it.

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  8. Good on you Ginny for getting your (current) lack of enthusiasm for painting "out there".

    I've been through something similar with engineering, quite a few times in fact. Our identity is closely linked to our vocation: "I am an artist" or "I am a teacher". Now that I'm trying to change vocation I'm finding that link is being strongly challenged, and that there can be more than one answer to the question "who am I?". I would guess that if you were suddenly extracted from art for a while you'd see what an important part of you it is, as well as the fact that yes, you are much more than "an artist".

    I very much empathise with having to adapt to your work demands by either working yourself very, very hard (and compromising in other areas such as studies and sleep) and/or not meeting your ideals, as I had a situation very similar to this during my undergraduate studies. Mandy's and Daniel's suggestions worked well for me, as well as the important concept of taking control of my own life and making the things I needed to happen, happen.

    I hope you can plan and work your way through these 3 months knowing you have a big fan club cheering for you. Go for it!

    painful but

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    1. Thanks Roelant! It was scary to be so honest lol... but it's a goal I have. I'm use to saying what I think ppl want to hear. One day there will be a childrens book about it!

      Glad you can relate even with engineering. Yeah that who am I question is a little rascal of a devil! Thanks for your thoughts on that. Haha I WILL totally get this going and I'm starting to feel excited so thanks and thanks and thanks!!!

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