Wednesday, October 5, 2011

An Artists Progression...proof in pictures

Hello people. Yeah I see you shaking your fingers at me. I haven't been on my blog in forever. (hmmm, I think I said that in the last couple of posts too...argh) No excuses....ok maybe one. LIFE. Everyday just gets in the way sometimes....

Anyhoo, today's letter is P, for Progress : ) Yes, we all face progress no matter our occupation. The truth is, we all face progress on a daily basis as humanoids. Yes, I said it. Humanoids. But this blog post is not about progression as human creatures.

This post is about/for/in thought of/ those of us artists who either; as new artists fear making mistakes, cry out in frustration because of the "I-want-to-draw/paint-better-now!!", just plain fear the process, get depressed/down on yourself BECAUSE you're not progressing as fast as YOU would like, and thus stop drawing for a short while because you want to throw yourself a pity party...even have a slight breakdown (hopefully in the comfort and privacy of your own home) and have a one-sided screaming match at your hand for not cooperating with you well as many other reasons I could list. To be compleeeetely and totally honest with you....I've done ALL of the above mentioned.

This blog post is to show proof that given time, practice, hard hard work at that practice, determination, and yet more practice....the lines start to fall into place a little easier...the sketching doesn't seem so enjoy the process more and tend to zone out (then "wake up" and think "wow, I did that just now?") start to have fun with it, and stop thinking of it as so much "work".... Ahh...Progress. Seems like such a nicer term for "It's gonna take some time" huh?

When I moved back to Las Vegas in January 2008, I was just looking for any job to get by. I faxed resume's, called places, filled out applications everywhere. Then three months after I had moved here, I hopped on where I knew that sometimes there were mural or portrait jobs in the art section. I thought maybe I could find a quick job I could do to get by with until I found something more permanent. Thus I found the ad seeking "Caricature Artist". Ad said will train, must love to draw, and must not be afraid of heights. I thought "What the heck?". While I was going through my files of art on my laptop, I was constantly judging it ALL. None of it seemed "good enough" to send... afterall, what if I didn't get the job?......So I almost chickened out. But in the end...I ended up sending in some of my "flimsy" cartoons....and lucky me...I got an interview.

<---- This is my very first ever Caricature from that interview 3 and a half years ago, in March 2008. I came in for my interview and the guy that is now my boss, had me draw him with a marker.

I could NOT understand THIS concept! MARKER?? No pencil first? WHHATT? I was sooo nervous, I wanted to do a good job, and I DESPERATELY needed an ART JOB. He smiled when he saw it, and said "Wow, you really like to sketch!" And as you look at can really see how sketchy I am. I never thought I was particularly good at cartoons. I was always better at realistic portraits.

So, he gave me "homework", which was 4 cartoon people he had drawn, that I had to copy many times over and over, plus a few sheets of formulas. The formulas were just basic step by steps for eyes, noses, mouths, hair, etc. He had me come in every couple of days to show my homework, then gave me more etc.

<---- This one was my second attempt at the boss a few weeks later after I had practiced the formula's.

Once he felt I had practiced enough from magazine photo's and practiced the formula's, he had me come up to the stand and had me start drawing live people for free, plus tips!!! I was scared to death....He explained that drawing from magazines is way different that drawing from life.

As you can see in this caricature, my lines are much cleaner, not as sketchy...but it still needs work.

After several weeks of drawing like this, he finally started me for real. It was official. I was a caricature artist. But in those first few days/weeks/months I was constantly second-guessing myself, feeling worthless as an artist, and really feeling like I would NEVER get better.

I've always had a really intense determination for learning, especially with art, and when I want to learn a new style of art, I will buy books, practice, buy more books, look up videos, go watch other artists, etc. ANYTHING to fill up my knowledge tank in that specific area. So on my days off from the caricature stand ( I was only working a few days a week to start with ), I would go there just to watch my boss draw. Sometimes I would watch him for hours....It was inspiring, amazing, educational, and yet....sooooooo completley INTIMIDATING!!!!! ARGH! I remember there was a guy that started right after me, Alex, and we'd both be watching my boss draw...then look at each other in disbelief....He made it look so EASY!!!

I'm here to tell you that it's not easy at first. Nothing ever is. Walking for babies isn't easy at first. They fall quite a few times before they finally find their balance. Learning to cook can result in quite a few burnt meals ( I'm experienced in this as well... I used to burn macaroni n cheese) What I'm trying to say my fellow artists... DON'T GIVE UP!!!!!!!! Keep that determination! And DO NOT... I repeat DO NOT throw your beginning drawings away...Looking at them years from now will reeeeeeeallly help you in the future. Don't sell yourself short. Don't try to forsee what the results will be. You don't know unless you stick with it. Draw. And draw some more. Artists get better by practicing ALL THE TIME. Musicians, cooks, fashion designers, etc. etc. allllll have to practice constantly and consistently. See where I'm going?......

<---On the left is my second attempt at a self caricature, a couple days after my interview. I drew several of these, but they all look like this. lol.

The one on the right was drawn quite a few months later. The lines and shapes have more of a purpose, but you can still see that I don't have much confidence in my lines because I'm still trying to get confident with my marker. This takes alot of practice in getting to know your marker.

<--Both of these self caricatures were completed in 2010.

Two years after a rocky beginning, you can really see how my lines have becomes so much more cleaner, purposeful, and I've started playing around with exaggeration.Over those two years I learned alot about the shapes in people's faces, and really started studying what to minimize and maximize. I think at this point is when I ACTUALLY started having real true fun with caricatures :)

Check back tomorrow for more progression 2 most recent self caricatures and 'll show some celebrity caricatures. Thanks for reading my caricature progression novel-Part 1.. Night Ya'll. I'm feeling the urge to paint.....