A short while back, I set upon the challenge of completing a new illustration every day for as many consecutive days as I possibly could. I did it because I was in a bit of a creative funk, and I wanted to serve my most fundamental creative impulse: to draw pictures that tell stories.
I felt it was important to put some boundaries on the challenge so this is what I came up with:
- To successfully complete a day of the challenge, I must advance a piece through one full phase (either hard pencils, full ink, or finished color).
- Each piece must be a drawing which tells a story. This is very broad, so I will rely on my own artistic-moral compass to guide me in deliberating the success or failure of each day, with the understanding and commitment that this challenge represesnts a meaningful effort to grow as an artist and increase my artsitic fulfillment.
Easy as pie.
In my first whack at #IllustrationADay, I made it 6 straight days. I told a few stories that I'd been meaning to tell, and I found things in the world around me that were worth a second look. For the first few days, each piece came a little easier than the day before. I quickly found myself compelled to explore some of the fundamentals of illustration and had some fun playing with composition.
By the end of the week, my creative adrenaline started to wane and the demands of the real world cranked up. I started to feel the burden of the creative yolk. I labored through the last 2 days but still felt tremendously satisfied by the results.
When day 7 came, I didn't have a story to tell or the time to tell one. 6 days felt pretty good, though, and even though I broke the streak, I had a feeling the #IllustrationADay challenge was just beginning.
I let a week go by before picking up the challenge again.
This time I was motivated by the knowledge that I could stoke the creative bellows for at least 6 straight days and keep burning. At least 6, but at most– how many?
I found myself going deeper and deeper in narrative. I pushed myself to explore color. Rather than a burden, #IllustrationADay became a ritual. My mind became increasingly uncluttered of stories I'd been meaning to tell and coloring can bring a child-like state of nirvana.
But as one arena of my life surged ahead, another was left behind. On the 12th day of round 2, I suddenly found myself with all the time in the world and not much to say.
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I did this piece between rounds 2 and 3.
It represents a big evolution for me artistically, which was triggered by #IllustrationADay. The culmination of a lot of exploring in ink, color, and storytelling. It's the first in a series of pieces which will eventually become a transmedia gallery show, but we'll get to that down the road.
We'll be taking the next few weeks off to gear up for another great push of content.
Including Round 3 of #IllustrationADay and a lot of other really cool illustrated and film projects. Until then, our intern Sad Tom will be handling the daily maintenance of the site and pushing some content. I wish I could tell you it will all be great, but he's pretty worthless so I've got a few reservations. But the Board of Directors of CTOB have spoken, and they say we need to throttle down for a bit, so I'm trying to just relax and embrace it.