Sunday, May 16, 2010
Baby to be #1, you've got to raise the bar
(Materials test for an upcoming anthology story)
I've been working on many new projects since finishing Over the Surface chapter 2, mostly illustrations and short comics. When I am between long comics, I often get feelings of aimlessness or dissatisfaction. I want my next project to be a marked improvement on the last one. I do a lot of art exercises and think about what I want to work on for next time.
During the interval this time around, I've been looking at tons of art from talented people and feeling down about my own abilities. There are so so SO many things I can't do yet that other artists have been doing for years. Today, I remembered something that made me feel better: nobody can do or be it all. The artists that I admire are all extremely talented, but I am holding myself to a standard made up of the best parts of each of them--something that just doesn't exist.
I used to do the same thing with actresses and models I wanted to look like: subconsciously combine the best traits of each of them into this idealized person who, in truth, did not exist, probably could not exist, and was unfair to compare myself to. If I held anyone else to the standard I have made of this eclectically all-talent artist, even the most brilliant artists wouldn't live up to it.
No one can be everything, and we have to just focus on cultivating our own brand of talent. That's not to say there isn't a LOT that I can learn from my favorite artists or that I don't have a long way to go in my art studies, but I need to cut myself some slack when I start thinking, "Augh, why can't I ink like this person AND lay out pages like that person AND color like that person AND..."
Side note: has anyone read the picture book Grasper?? I read it in elementary school and it is definitely one of the ones that stuck with me. It's about intervals in life when you have an opportunity to grow.