< Piro >
Friday - November 24, 2000
[Quick update... I've added/replaced banners for linking to Megatokyo - you can find the new banners, in all three flavors in the links section. The old banners REALLY sucked, so if you have used banners, please replace em with the brand spankin' new ones. thx - piro]
Well, I hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving. ^_^ I decided to take today off earlier in the week, and made the mistake of saying 'sure' when Dom asked if he could fill in. Y'know, there should be some sort of license required before you can use Photoshop. I also think that photoshop should immediately freeze up when you attempt to draw with a trackball. I'm getting Dom a mouse for Christmas.
In other news, i seem to be over my drawing funk. I get in those every once and a while, and they are usually induced when I start roving thru Japanese fan art sites. My first reaction is a kind of depression, a resignation that no matter how much i improve, I'll never produce work like this. That usually lasts a day. Then I go thru a phase where I look closer at drawings that so irritated me earlier, and try to look closely at just what it is that makes them better than what i do. The final stage is to attempt to apply some of what I've observed done by other artists.
This is sort of how I go about improving. I know i get a lot of emails saying that my art is great and whatnot, but there really is a lot of room for improvement. The artistic ego is a funny thing. Like I've said before, most people stop drawing at a very young age because what they do becomes more of as source for ridicule than for praise (and in elementary school, who needs more source for ridicule?) It takes a lot of time and effort to produce artwork that people react to in a positive way.
When you start to receive that acceptance of your work, it's a pretty good feeling. The problem is that at that time you become your own worse critic. You get to the point that you really can't trust what people tell you about your art. "oh, its great!" doesn't do much to help you improve further. Self critique, of course, is hard to do in an honest way. I think your maturity as an artist really comes from how well you can critique yourself honestly, in ways that really help you to improve.
Oh, one other thing. I would never call myself an artist. I'm not. 'Artist' is a gift word. I can't recall who the poet was (I believe it was Frost) who reacted to a student who called himself a 'Poet'. Frost reacted to this by saying you can't call yourself a poet, it's a gift word - it's something that other people have to bestow upon you. The same goes for artist. And even if people say that you are an artist, you have to be at a point that you are willing to accept that term. Me? I'm not quite there yet.
Oh, and one other thing that helps you get over a drawing funk - having a goal for your drawing. ^_^ On Wednesday I sprung three new characters on you, some 15 year old high school girls who happen upon Piro in the shoujo manga section of the bookstore. I don't have too many character sketches and drawings of these three, so I sat down and started to draw Yuki, the one who ends up causing the most trouble. I was pretty happy with the drawing, actually. Perhaps not too inventive, but not that bad either - it seems to capture a bit of her personality.
One of my goals for the weekend is to fix up Megatokyo and Fredart, as well as get the T-shirt designs done (if you want t-shirts by Christmas, i need to get these done so you can order them by December 12th). One section over at fredart that really needs work is the 'wandering' section. I'm going to start updating that once a week with three new links to Japanese sites that i just happened to visit and like.
Ack. oh yea, and I have to get the doujin stuff done before the 30th. (gulp)
Well, Sarah and I are going shopping today, out to fight the battles in the parking lots, look and see what kinds of gifts i cant afford to buy. :)