Monday, January 12, 2015

New Year, 2015, The Solution. Part 2

Last post I spoke about how I felt 2014 went for me and what I learned. Now it is time for me to focus on the road ahead. It’s going to be an extremely busy, decked out to the max, rush to the finish kind of 5 months or so till May.

The tail of end of May is Spectrum Fantastic Art Live, and I made the decision about a month, maybe 2, ago to have a table showcasing my work and portfolio. Call me crazy, but I don’t actually have a significant illustration based portfolio.

I also signed up for two more courses at Uni, German 2 and Adv. Figured Painting. I took the German class because I want to keep working on my foreign language skills, and the Adv. Figure Painting class is with the professor that backs my interests/endeavors at this point. So, conveniently the assignments in the class are open ended enough that I can use them as illustration briefs and pump up my portfolio.
Let's get cracking! 

So, with all of that in mind, I used Google calendar to plot out my times where I absolutely have to be somewhere, and the times I’m free to do what I can to advance my art. Everything free is labeled study time, though, so I don’t tell myself it’s actually “free” time.

I also am not dictating in advance what I want to study. If you remember from previous blogs, I've got a bit of a running agenda of sources I’m studying and why. They haven’t really changed. I will say, however, that my attitude has. My goal for this rush period is to dedicated about 2 hours of study a day, from the sources I mentioned, but specifically studying the things most troubling about the current painting or illustration I’m working on.

For instance, maybe I’m painting a Valkyrie this week. If that’s the case, I’ll need to study at minimum, some hands (probably holding a sword or staff), wing anatomy and color, and armor. If I feel particularly troubled I may have to study clouds, or female faces. This way my studies are informed decisions to fix an immediate issue which grants a huge value to why I’m studying in the first place rather than just saying vaguely I need to work on hands.

I have two other areas of real focus these next couple of months. Although, they are not about getting directly better at art, they are necessary to facilitating every other facet of my life which will continue to allow to me make any and all art.

The first up is my health and fitness, I've gotten a bit out of shape and that needs to change, so I’m implementing a 4 x a week 30 mins-1 hour workouts. Nothing fancy, just getting back to basics, body-weight exercises, kettlebell workouts, and maybe hitting some boxing pads with a friend.

The second, and infinitely easier to talk about in more detail is financial planning/budgeting. If you do not currently have a budget, regardless of your income, or if you do not currently track your spending ultimately it will bite you in the ass. It isn't any harder than writing down what you have to or expect to pay and how much you make each month. I've just drafted my own budget, and really am trying to hunker down to afford prints and travel expenses for Spectrum this year.

Lastly, I think I will leave you on this note. I have 4 paintings I’d like to finish by Feb 6th. 3 of which I’d prefer to have done by Jan 26th, so I can submit to the juried annual submission of Spectrum’s book publication.

That is extremely fast paced and will be quite demanding. I do not know if it will come to fruition as planned. I’m not going to worry about that, I’m going to put my best foot forward, and pour everything I can into it. That’s all any of us can do, wake up, decide what you’re after, and go after it.

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