We are running out of post to reflect upon this year. I really can’t believe we are about to wrap up 365 days of Making it Daily. Each of us have had our own hardships and hurdles to navigate throughout the year but we have made it.
Lately, I am feeling a tad uninspired which frustrates me to finish the year out in this fashion. I think I am so overwhelmed with my is of to dos and desperately needing to make the holidays magical for my two little girls I have doing so many low mileage days (or my art equivalent). It is more inconsistent this time of year with days I may have a two a day of photography and carving or carving and illustration but other days where I am waking myself up after putting the girls to bed to carve for 15 minutes and go back to bed. I am not going to beat myself up over it, it is just the way of the holidays.
One of the most difficult projects I created this year were my digital illustrations. Unless you have done much vector drawing you would not know the time it takes to draw out each anchor point, tweak handles, edit paths, add attributes and appearances, build layer after layer trying to keep objects organized in a logical readable order. I love this type of control but I find myself pining for the fluid nature of analog drawing, pencil to paper. Don’t get me wrong, a detailed finished analog drawing is not a quick process either but it does allow for a tad more flexibility in the build.
To me I have only have two real vector drawings that were completed this year, the Juniper tree and the Whale. The Juniper Tree is actually questionable whether it is complete or not but it is very close. That project was so difficult and so technical as I was created mapped gradients called meshes, for almost every object on the tree. This is enormously time consuming but the effect is stunning if you can get it perfectly morphed together.
Ah, vectors, I teach this course and I preach perfection. Vectors show every little flaw, every misalignment, every over-cut, undercut or sliver peeping through. You must strive for a level of perfection as the medium is unforgiving.
I am not complaining as I love the control and the infinite creative freedom that vectors bring. I love playing with typography and graphics to build a cohesive or contrasting bound. When I started using Illustrator, I truly believed that the application completed me creatively. It was the perfect combination of control, experimentation and freedom, a duality that I find in my own personality. Sometimes I feel like I have a split personality, one half that is silly, messy, extraverted and impulsive. The other quiet, controlled, obsessive and a perfectionist. In college, I found myself running back in forth between the computer lab and photo studio to the clay studio. From pissing and moaning that people were not taking care of the chemicals properly or organizing their desktop to turning myself into a mud ball humanoid covered in clay and minerals.
For years I thought this crazy flip was a process of me finding myself and finding my process. Now I know it is just who I am. It is my Ying and Yang. I would not be whole with only one side. I will always need to have the fun messy release and my controlled technical process.