Posts Tagged ‘ personal ’

A Surfeit of Inspiration

Ever feel like you have too many ideas?

It’s not something I ever expected to find myself complaining about. A lot of the time, inspiration is fairly thin on the ground for me, and producing anything at all is a struggle. I live for the other times. When inspiration is plentiful – when ideas are coming thick and fast – that’s when I feel like I’m flying, and I remember why I love creating art, writing stories, whatever I happen to be trying my hand at.

Today, I decided I was going to sit down and work on my coursework (and yes, I did manage to get some done). As soon as I picked up my pencil, I felt full of inspiration – for every possible project except the one I was working on. Yup. All these ideas, and not one of them remotely related to what I was supposed to be drawing.

Part of my problem is that my ideas tend to come in packs – I get inspiration for about a dozen new projects at once, and have to restrain myself from starting every single one of them, since I know I’ll never have time to finish them all. There is also the fact that developing these ideas is much more difficult. I have one particular concept for a story that’s been brewing in my head for at least a year now, but it’s never gone beyond that embryonic form – it keeps coming up, in various different guises (different settings, different characters, different ideas for what will happen next) but I never seem to really develop further. It’s definitely an idea I want to move forward with, but actually doing so is another matter.

I don’t know. It feels ungrateful, almost, to complain about having too much inspiration – just recently I was moaning about having none at all. But it’s certainly distracting when you have a number of illustrations of a set text to complete and concepts for a horror/mystery story are waving their little hands at you.

On another note, happy winter solstice, everyone! I walked along the sea front today – the sky was absolutely gorgeous. Shortest day of the year; utterly beautiful sunset. 🙂

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In Which I Continue to Whine

So, a couple of months ago I posted about the difficulties I’ve been having adjusting to second year. Unfortunately, these problems have failed to get much better… Most of the time I feel okay – I like living here, I like my classes, and I like hanging out with my friends – and I’ve had a lot of fun over the past few months, but it’s like there’s this… thing lurking beneath the surface.

I feel very insecure about my work. Maybe that doesn’t quite describe it – I feel like a lot of the things I’m doing just aren’t working, and it’s frustrating me. Sure, some times I produce things I’m proud of, but a lot of the time (like this evening) it feels like nothing’s coming out quite right. On top of that, I know I’m not putting in nearly as much work as I should to do well on this course. I try, but I have so little enthusiasm for my uni work right now. This may be to do with my choice of project, but I doubt it – I find the stories I’m illustrating plently interesting, and in fact I’m usually sufficiently enthusiastic about a piece until I actually start on it, at which point I become sick of it (and work in general) after about half an hour.

The upshot of this is that I’m taking a very long time to produce a comparitively small amount of work – something I can’t keep doing if I want to succeed with this project. This just adds to my frustrations – not am I not happy with the work I’m producing, I’m taking forever to finish it. I feel like I’m wasting a lot of time (it doesn’t help that I have a tendency to procrastinate, but I feel I wouldn’t procrastinate so much if I didn’t have so much trouble staying interested in my work).

Obviously I’m not thinking about this all the time, but every now and then something will set me off and I’ll spend the evening in a horrible negative spiral where I hate my work, I hate my life, and I wonder what the hell I’m doing on this course. I’ve done a lot of wondering along these lines lately – probably not the best thing for my state of mind, but once you start it’s hard to stop. At times I feel like I’m not cut out to be here at all. Other times, I feel like maybe illustration was the wrong course for me – but all I really want to do with my life is draw comics and tell stories, so if not illustration, what then? Changing to another field would mean needing to essentially re-do all my education from around age 16 onwards (my sixth-form choices were entirely geared towards getting me on to an illustration degree course as early as possible), and that just feels like so much of a waste that I’m not ready to accept it – besides, I genuinely do have a passion for illustration.

I don’t have such an enthusiasm problem with my personal work, but the problem with that is that it never gets finished. It would be possible, I’m sure – in fact, I know at least one person who’s doing it – for me to combine these personal projects with my uni work, but aside from copyright issues (the university takes copyright of the work we submit, if I recall correctly, and while I doubt they’d prevent me from continuing to do things with said work I would feel highly uncomfortable with it) I feel like it’s the pressure of working towards a submission that’s killing my enthusiasm – I don’t want to have my personal projects ruined by that.

So, I work. And I look at my work, and I wonder why I spent so much time getting so little done. I have no idea how to get out of this funk – I though finishing something, anything, might help, but it’s so hard getting there when halfway through you’re thinking, “This is absolute crap.” I need a way out if I want to move forward – if I want to succeed – but I can’t find one, and I don’t know what else to try.

Second Year Blues

So it’s been a while since I’ve updated this thing. Just to fill you guys in, I’m now back in Bournemouth again, term has started, and I am living with three of my friends, which is cool. It’s the first time I’ve lived in a proper house that is not my parents’ house, which is also cool – and a little scary if I let myself dwell on it too much, to be quite honest.

We’re only a couple of weeks into the first term, and we’ve already had some pretty difficult assignments. (Well, it’s less the assignments and more the stupidly short deadlines.) I’m not exactly surprised by this – I knew second year was going to be tougher – but it’s kind of exhausting and scary and all sorts of other not-so-cool-things. It doesn’t help that we spent the first two weeks pretty much doing research – this is not terribly inspiring after a whole summer of reading course texts. (Or avoiding reading course texts.)

I feel like I’m starting to get into the swing of things now, which is good – for the past couple of weeks I’ve been feeling incredibly insecure about my work and my reasons for being here, and while these feelings haven’t entirely gone away, I have a slightly more positive attitude. The work I’ve produced over the last week has plenty of flaws, but there’s also stuff in there I’m proud of, and things that I would like to develop further, so there may be a light at the end of the tunnel.

One of the things I want to do more of is updating this blog – I’m the first to admit I’m not great at remembering to do so, but an internet presence is important for an illustrator. I’m actually considering switching over to Blogger – I have no personal feelings about it one way or another (actually, I like WordPress just fine) but a lot of my friends and coursemates have blogs there, so it may be better from a networking point of view. We shall see.

Anyway, I’ve got a couple ideas for blog posts lined up, which you shall hopefully be seeing soon, and I’ll probably upload some more art some time next week.

The Return of the Exhaustion Boxes

So I’ve basically spent the last couple of days packing. And procrastinating when I should be packing.

Tonight is my last night in halls before I return to Penzance for the summer. I’m… excited and not, if that makes sense. I love Penzance and I’m looking forward to coming home, but also I really don’t want to leave all my friends in Bournemouth. (Except most of them are leaving too, so it’s not so bad.)

I’m supposed to leave tomorrow morning but I’m so very, very not packed yet. Hopefully we can get it all done as quick as possible and then I will be out of here – which feels really strange.

I’ll be in a proper house next year – really looking forward to this. I’ve enjoyed my time in halls, but there are a lot of things I certainly won’t miss. Like the kitchen. Oh God, our kitchen.

Oh well. It’s been a fun first year. Roll on summer holiday! Now I just have to find a job or a work placement or something…

Just a quick FYI.

This is my last week of uni before the Easter holidays, and this Saturday I’ll be heading back home for a couple of weeks to see friends and family. I’ll have internet access and I’ll try to post while I’m there, but I may or may not have access to a scanner, so it’ll probably be a couple of weeks before you see any more art dumps. Just a heads-up.

The Magpie of Ressurection

So this blog has been pretty quiet for a while. Quite a bit has happened – basically, I’ve started at university and am now over half way through my first year. It was all very big and scary, and then it was big and exciting, and now it’s pretty much just big. But I’m really enjoying it – I’m learning a lot and I’ve met some of the most lovely people I could have hoped to meet.

I thought it was time I ressurected this blog for various reasons. One reason is that I need to get my art out there for people to see. So, every wednesday, I’m going to post some of the art I’ve been working on the week before. It might be something I’ve done for my course, or it might be some personal work, who knows.

This week’s offering is one of my first experiments with Adobe Illustrator. I’m still getting the hang of the program, but so far I’m really liking the way it works

Magpie on a branch.

EDIT: It doesn’t look as pixellated in illustrator, I swear. I’ve just spent half an hour trying to get it to export in a way that doesn’t kill the resolution, and the only way I can figure out is making it a PDF. (Or converting it to a jpeg or tiff in Photoshop, but jpegs compress and I can’t upload tiffs here.) So, if you want to see the original high-res version, click the link below.

Magpie

Exhaustion boxes.

(A word of warning: the following post is fairly rambling, with run on sentances and everything, and probably quite self-indulgent and boring in its stream of consciousness-ness. That’s what you get when I am freaking out a little bit.)

I’m moving next week.

I start my course at Arts University College Bournemouth on the 27th, but since the lease for my room (I’m in the halls of residence) starts on the 20th I’ll be moving up sometime that week to give me a few days to get adjusted. I don’t know when exactly. Although I should figure it out soon since I’m supposed to tell the university when I’ll be arriving.

It’s pretty fucking scary at the moment. It didn’t feel real at all and until September started, and since then it’s been getting steadily more… well, real. Can’t think of any other words for it at the moment.

I mean, it’s exciting too. I’m looking forward to it big time. It’s just… whew.

It’s also exhausting. I started packing for real today – I’ve been sorting out what I need to take for a while; putting stuff in boxes that can go in the loft, etcetera, etcetera, but today I actually started packing things I’m actually going to take. And it is exhausting. Seriously; I spent today sorting out art materials I want to take from all the crappy art materials I’m leaving, and then I realised I had to buy something to pack them in, so I did, and THEN I put them in one of my new plastic storage boxes and that is tiring, for some reason, and all I have to show for it is one fucking box. (And another empty one, and two cardboard boxes full of books that have to go in the loft, and two plastic bags of clothes that are going to charity and one of stuff to throw away, and very little remaining floorspace.)

Going to continue taking this break, maybe have some tea, calm down, and then start on the DVDs and CDs. Of which I have far too many and will probably need to buy more boxes tomorrow to store them in.