My Artistic Flaws to Overcome

Otherwise known as, my personal failings as an artist. 😉

Not exactly a “New Year’s Resolution” list–I’m nearly a month late on posting that–but it could serve the same purpose.

Anyway, the things I’m trying to overcome as an artist:

1. I’m impatient.
I can take a long time to get a story written down without trouble, but I can generally see the event unfolding in my mind only slightly faster than I’m capable of typing.
But with a single drawing, I see the entire image in my head, all at once, and I want to get it down! Right! Now!

I’ve long ago learned that what looks like a simple sketch might take a more practiced artist (which is to say, one with any practice at all) several hours to draw, so I know I’m being unreasonably impatient with my own work.
But there is a fine line between knowing this and being able to act on it.

And on the subject of projects that take far longer to create than to imagine, I’ve recently taken up woodcarving, and would also (once I have the tools) like to give wood burning a try.
So now I really need to work on drawing; I’d like to make some of my own patterns, instead of relying entirely on images other people provide… though there’s nothing wrong with using a premade pattern for practice, or occasionally for gifting under certain circumstances.

2. I hate to waste resources.
It is almost entirely for this reason that I prefer working digitally. Granted, the ability to undo a mistake with the click of a button is nice, but what really interests me is that I can never “use up” my papers and pens.
But I do have plenty of sketchbooks, bought over the years with practicing in mind. As I admitted to a friend on deviantArt, how is that not waste if I never use them?

3. To follow up with the digital art, I like to experiment.
I take very much a “what does this button do” approach when trying out different tools and features. I’ll willingly use any shortcut for the sheer curiosity of seeing what it does.
That being said, I still try to make something good.

4. And another “digital” flaw–I am terrible at drawing on one surface (graphics pad) while looking at another (computer monitor).
I think a lot of people who do digital art have this problem.
The other common problem is that computers break down. If I rely entirely on digital art, never practicing on paper, then the loss of such a tool represents time that I am not practicing. Note that this is just as much a problem for writing as for drawing. And a digital file is much more easily corrupted than a piece of paper.

5. I am forgetful.
In seeking advice, I might ask an artist how he or she achieved a particular effect… and then ask that exact same question the next time that artist puts up something using the same effect.
This is also why I don’t enter many contests, or don’t often reply to comments or thank people for following/liking my work (or for offering constructive critiquing), in spite of leaving such messages in my inbox for the very purpose of reminding me.

6. In spite of being a writer by choice, I don’t always convey my intended meaning very well, especially in “real” communication (as opposed to all those fantasy narratives I dream of publishing).
Case in point, if I ask what tools you used to achieve a particular digital drawing, I’m not asking what program you used–I’ll actually ask what program it was if I want to know that, and I’ll usually only be interested in that for financial reasons.
No, if I ask you about tools, I’m asking about details like line thickness, opacity, number of layers, and so on. I consider those to be the tools. The program you’re using is merely the canvas you use those tools on, and makes less difference to me than whether the piece is digital or hand-drawn.
And speaking of which–the tools we use do not make the artist, but they can make a difference to the art, else why do we choose certain kinds? Why would we need to?
The answer: we choose them because they make a difference. Different tools work better for different projects, and our talent allows us to learn those tools and decide which one is best for the effect we want.
I see it one of two ways: either the time and talent, as “things” used to produce our art, are just as much tools as the physical implements (in which case tools most definitely do make the artist precisely because talent does 😉 ) or….
The talent makes the artist, the artist chooses the tool, and the artist uses both talent and tool to make the art.

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