Monday, June 14, 2010

Creating in Your Spare Time

First off, a quick thank you to everyone who came out to the SF Etsy Sampler Trunk show! It was awesome, and we had a great time hanging out with other team members and meeting a lot of great people! More on that Wednesday!

Many inquiries have been made about some tips to help one draw more. Without a doubt, I'd recommend going over to Michael Nobbs' website to check out his free guide called "75 Ways to Draw More." While this is a great starting point, we figured that we'd do more than just link Michael's great little starter kit, but we'd discuss a bit of how we stick to our priority of drawing every day.

So Seal's work is a bit more straightforward. She is working as an freelance concept artist, so her day job is to create. For Monkey, who works in a retail shop (granted, it's a huge paper and crafting store) it's a bit different.

So Monkey used to just bring a sketchbook to work, but soon he wanted a change of pace. Thus, he brought some ink, pro-white, cheap watercolor paper, some brushes, and an old tofu box (as a palette) to his work to set up a mini-studio for his lunch breaks.

While if he brings his lunch and is feeling it, Monkey will work on some pen and ink studies (like this) using the magazines other people bring to work as reference photos. However, Monkey realizes that many people might not have the space/tolerant co-workers and/or boss to bring a bunch of art supplies to work.

In that case, it's a matter of getting creative. Monkey used to get caught up in having to be in the "perfect" conditions to make art. To make a long story short (this whole mental hurdle deserves it's own post), Monkey thought he needed the best paper, the best pens, the best whatever, in order to really make good art. After a lot of art school and reading lots of books and having long therapy-like sessions with Seal, Monkey is now the complete opposite. He tries to make art with whatever he can whenever he can. Got a sharpie and a plastic cup to wash your brush in? Draw on it.
Did you just unpack shipment? Have an empty box lying around and a minute to kill on your break? Draw on it (see first photo). Got an extra flyer for an event that's already passed and a pen? Draw on it (the character is not based on an actual customer, just the general vibe we sometimes get -_- )

Basically, you don't NEED fancy stuff to make art. I know a lot of beginning art students that all draw and paint on Rives BFK because James Jean uses it. Now don't get me wrong, it's awesome paper, but if I don't have any more, or can't afford the $5 sheet, I always have large cardboard boxes from work. No sketchbook with you? You can do a lot with a pen and the back of an envelope.

No, not all of these methods are archival, and you probably shouldn't be framing envelopes for gallery shows (or maybe you should, if that's your thing), but the point is that don't get caught up with what your teachers, or the pros are using. That stuff is great to use, but if you don't have it, can't find it, or can't afford it, there are a lot of options. The main message here is: don't let yourself make excuses why you can't create. Anyone else have some great tips to share about creating every day?


leaf said...

i used to be this way as well, needing things to be perfect... but this quote always got me...

"there are always a million reasons not to do something."

and also this...

"just don't be afraid of the paper."

perfection is but an excuse to delay.

a delay that becomes a habit for the everyday.

but nothing will ever be perfect, your mother may say.

and this is something we all know perfectly well...

all of us, in our own way.

i just made that up! :D


Monkey + Seal said...

Thanks for the inspiring quotes and the little poem (and for stopping by!)