Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Disappointed bears and sad pandas.

This morning I got up, made some coffee, read my email, checked my sites, and then settled down for a good browse through the Idea book.

I've mentioned the idea book a few times, and it's not just some nebulous cloud of post its or a sketch book I got on sale that turned out to have crappy paper and reason for its' clearance sticker. Nor is it a text file (although I do have a back up on my google drive that I can access to add things to when I find myself with phone but without book)

It's an actual book

This book, as a matter of fact.
The name comes from what I used to say to myself before I started keeping Idea Books, I'd come up with these great ideas and forget to make a note of them and then later, I could not recall what it was. So I started saying to myself and anyone else in ear shot, "I should write this stuff down". Naming the book that had the effect of me saying:

"I should write this stuff down... Oh! Wait! I have a book here called just that! This would be an excellent place to do just that!"

So basically I have this, or the text file on my phone, with me at all times.

So every once in a while I'll have a morning when I sit down to work, where nothing pops into my head. Occasionally I will have a really good morning where I wake up dreaming a good idea and I get right to work on that, but most mornings, once the coffee saturates the grey matter, and breakfast hits my stomach, something interesting will pop into my head.

Sometimes, when nothing occurs to me, I'll spend the day doing promotion work, tending shops, refining listings, or listing things that have backed up.

Other times, I will declare it a day off. I've gotten much better at forcing myself to take a day off (well, off-ish). 

But usually this will prompt a stroll through the Idea Book.

Now, when I write these things down I try to be a little more exact about things, I try to avoid writing things like 

"HATS! And  also a moose!" Which I might look at weeks, or even months later and wonder what the hell I was thinking.

So there's a lot of detail, sometimes quick little sketches.

It's not the neatest little ordered list of things either. It's pages of ideas scrawled out, sketches here and there, random lists of items for set work.

When I browse through it, it's with pencil in hand, and I cross out things I did since the last time, make added notes, and new ideas if I see anything that spurs a new tangent.

This morning I came across a note under the lists of animals I want to make sets of illustrations for that just said "Bears!!"

So I set out looking at some bears pictures for anatomy pointers, and started sketching out some things.

I got a shape, and a pose I liked worked out, and sketched it onto a piece of watercolor paper that I'd taped down. I got as far as the ink outline...

And I HATED it. I mean once the ink was down I was screwed obviously, there wasn't much I could do about it. I don't have any liquid watercolor paper (which is a thing now) so there was no fixing it.

For clarification, I'd messed up the snout slightly, when going over the pencil line with the ink, and it was making the face look long, and sad. Since I was going for cute, and happy, this was a problem.

I tried altering the line, I tried deciding the brown bear could be the second of the set and maybe panda bear markings would fix it, but pandas are shaped significantly different than brown bears. So it just kept looking worse and worse. so then I just tore it off the drawing board and chucked it.

Then I engaged in some hardcore work avoidance, by cleaning the kitchen.

I've decided the bears need something, maybe more anatomical research, maybe a trip to the zoo with a sketch pad, maybe just a fresh start a week from now. Clearly bears were not happening today.

It's interesting that no matter how many ideas you have stockpiled, some days you just aren't going to get any work done. 

Of course part of the problem may be that I have about 6 canvases swimming around in my brain I can't work on because my studio is currently inaccessible until well after I could reasonably start working and be done in time not to be wired and awake all night. I have to start working early in the morning, so that no matter how long I work I am still done in time to wind down, otherwise my brain keeps me up all night struggling to get "out of the painting" not to mention it's hot as hell in there when I can get into it.

So today was a bad day in most respects. Hopefully, tomorrow will be better.

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