August Art Goals!

Gosh, it's been a little while since I last posted about my art goals. The last time I updated you all on them was June.. last year! My art goals are back though and I'm pleased to say that I think they will be a more regular occurrence over here on the blog!

Regularly settings goals for yourself is a great practice when you're trying to improve or explore a new route. Having something to look upon and reflect on how you're progressing and how you feel about it is an amazing resource for yourself! Though the trick to getting your goals to work for you and not the other way around is learning how to hold yourself accountable, something I'm still learning myself! But as with most things, I think it will come with practice, so we're back to setting ourselves some goals for the month!

One of the things I struggle with when setting goals is that I just want to do ALL the things so will end up making a list of 10, 15, maybe even 20 goals! Of course I become overwhelmed by such a massive list whenever I try to do something and inevitably abandon ship! This time I'm going to TRY to keep it simple by limiting myself to just three goals this month to see how I get on.

So after a long think, here are the goals I want to accomplish this month!

1. Start a regular sketchbook practice!

I swear this seems to be like a constant goal for me haha! Obviously keeping up with a regular sketchbook practice can have a tonne of rewards but it's still something I tend to struggle with, I think it's my inner perfectionist causing chaos there! I want to be able to sit down with my sketchbook at least every couple of days to just play around in it and hopefully discover or develop some new skills to use in my work! To have a dedicated space to practice and experiment will be incredibly helpful in moving forward and improving with my art so I'm setting this as a goal again!

2. Experiment more with abstract paintings!

If you look back through my posts to the beginning of the year you'll see that I was doing a lot of abstract paintings in acrylic. Lately my buzz for abstracts has been reignited and I've been experimenting with a couple of mixed media abstract paintings! I really love how they have been coming along and have already discovered a few new little tricks that I love to use so I definitely want to continue with this!

3. Practice with some colour studies!

If I'm to be creating more abstract paintings again then a particular resource I would like to develop is a catalog of colour studies and experiments. My sketchbook will be a perfect home for this so I can flit through it to see what colour combinations catch my eye as inspiration for a new painting! It's also just good practice in general for any artist to play around with colour, after all it's a skill that can be transferred over most mediums and styles!

 

So those are all my art goals for myself! I will check back in at the end of the month to chat with you all about how it went and what I can do to improve for my next set of goals! In the mean time I would love to hear about your latest goals and how you're planning to tackle them!

A New Project : Creature Compendium

Lately I've been looking at my recent artwork and have felt frustrated by the lack of consistency between pieces. I think part of this is due to me being so busy with commission work; which is utterly amazing; that when I do sit down to work on my own stuff I tend to flit between ideas and mediums. I decided that to counteract these feelings it would be best to start a fun little personal project! I sat down and started making a list of what I wanted to focus on. I knew I wanted to go back to my monochromatic art and since I've been enjoying creating a lot of digital art with an inky style, that this would be my main focus. From here I started listing adjectives I would want to describe the finished work; whimsical, slightly creepy, witchy; which helped me narrow down onto a subject matter! I also made a small list of what I wanted to improve on, which was botanicals, animals, bones, and minerals! Once I had set all these parameters in place an idea came to mind which sounded like it would be so much fun to work on. My own Creature Compendium of original nature spirits!

I was so excited to start working that I created a list of twelve prompts to keep me focused and so far I've ticked off the first two, Peonies and a Luna Moth.  From my peony prompt I was able to create my first creature, a peony Eyeshy, a nature spirit that inhabits a variety of flowers and peeks out of their centre with a single eye. My Luna Moth prompt inspired the creation of my second creature, a Luna Mothalope, a variety of antlered moth spirit.

So far I'm really happy with the first two illustrations of this new project and I'm excited to create more creatures! I hope you find them interesting to look at!

5 Tips for When an Art Piece is Not Going Right

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As artists, illustrators, and designers, we've all been there. We're in the middle of the creation process when you take a step back expecting to love it, but you don't. It either looks weird or unbalanced or maybe you don't even know why you don't like it. Don't panic, here are five tips that I use to help!

TIP #1 - LEAVE IT FOR A FEW DAYS! This is something I always do. I will leave a piece of artwork for a few days to let the frustration subside and then come back to it with fresh eyes. The majority of the time I do this I can instantly pinpoint why I don't like it and can start working on it to "fix" it!

TIP #2 - CRITIQUE FROM FRIENDS! You've been sat wondering why you don't like this piece but you just can't put your finger on why that is. Show it to your friends or post it on social media asking for people to critique it. This is a great way to get multiple ideas on how to move forward with the piece.

TIP #3 - INSPIRE YOURSELF! Hop onto Instagram or Pinterest or even you favourite artist's website! Looking through work you love and admire helps you to realise what you like and how you can implement it more! Don't compare yourself to other artists though, doing so will only frustrate you more, you just want some fresh inspiration and ideas!

TIP #4 - START AGAIN! Sometimes it feels like a piece is too far gone so starting over again is a good option. Sometimes when I dislike one of my paintings I will just paint over it and end up liking it so much more!

TIP #5 - MOVE ON! There are times when a piece is just not working and it has frustrated you to a point where you just can't bear to continue with it. That's okay! We're all doing this because we love to be creative so don't force something if it doesn't feel right. Move on to something else!

These are just a few of the tips that I utilise in my own art practice and find useful. I hope that they can help you too! Do you have any tips to add? What do you do when you're struggling on a piece?