Saturday, August 30, 2008

Becoming an Artist - For Real

So I finally have time to myself. A whole weekend to do some artwork and here I am blogging and fooling around on the computer! I figure if I do this, it should be something semi-productive. In this case, writing about my trials and tribulations of becoming what my dream has always been, being an artist.

I have been an artist all my life. I've been drawing since I was a child, pretty continuously. I knew I wanted to be a commercial artist since I was 10 years old and was very serious about it.

When I was in high school and college I kept getting pushed into the fine arts. It worked out just fine. I am glad I did that since I find that knowing how to draw and paint makes doing artwork on the computer and design work so much easier. I know way too many graphic designers who do not know how to draw. I find that to be quite sad, like they are missing out on an aspect of their education. I have a BFA in drawing and painting, so my background is in the fine arts.

My work background is in the graphic arts and that was by accident. Lucky that the newspaper business was in need of paste-up artists in the early '90's and that's when computers were really starting to be used in the design field. I got free training and learned as much as I could. I ended up at several jobs that allowed me to really do whatever I wanted to do in graphic design and Web site design. It was fun for a while, but then I got sick of it. When I get good at something, I lose interest in it. I think that's what happened. It wasn't fun anymore. I still do it, I can make a living at it at least!

It's funny, I read "The Artist's Magazine" and other magazines promoting full-time professional artists and almost every single one of the people interviewed has in their resume, "so, and so worked as a graphic designer for 20 years and quit to become a full-time artist". I tell my husband that every time I read another article! It's not just me who has the itch to do what is really a natural progression from graphic arts.

It may be because one goes from working on someone else's vision to wanting to do your own. I never have done something for myself. I don't think I have ever done my own project. Even when I draw and paint it's always been something that has been an assignment or a commissioned piece of some sort.

Right now I have my opportunity to do something that is my choice, whatever I want to do. I have to clear out of my head unhelpful comments that past professors made about what is or isn't art by their definition. I just have to do what I like and just do it.

I'm such a procrastinator though and have such a fear of failure it's hard to get started or if I start, it's impossible to finish!

So, here I am again. I have 3 projects going right now. One I am determined to finish this weekend. This is a colored pencil drawing that has potential I think as long as I keep my confidence up. I would like to enter it into a juried show this fall.

The other one is a watercolor painting which is about 75% done, but as I look at it more and more I'm losing interest in it and not liking it. It might have to be scrapped. I'll post pictures.

Third project is one for my Pop -- which there is always something going on for my Pop! It's a cover of a magazine with a Harley swapped out for his Indian Motorcycle, also colored pencil. That one is a big project. It's been on my easel for 2 years now.