Beastly Practices

I’ve had my fair share of them.

While I will admit that this year has come as somewhat of a surprise when it comes to my creative pursuits, and that, despite what I would have believed at the start of the year, I’ve actually made significant progress with various aspects of them- I’m not entirely happy with how things are progressing. Then again, I would hardly be me if I were to ever be happy with anything that I do. I’ve thought about it for a while and the only way I can describe it is to say that I lack enthusiasm.

Or I lack any sort of personal fulfilment from creating things.

There are a few reasons for this. Most prominent of these is the declining state of my health over the last few months, which culminated in a recent few days of winter flu pretty much putting me entirely out of commission. Which, in some ways, is actually more beneficial than not. As I had to stop for a while to recover.

This gave me time to think about the situation. How I would change it- if I could- and what the actual problem was. It could be a lack of confidence, too. I don’t doubt that I’ve made great strides in what I’m attempting to do, and that, if this were five years earlier, I’d be running every which way with every one of these materials. I’ve also been wondering if I’m now setting expectations I can no longer surpass (nor even attempt to). I’m consciously aware I’ve done that before. While I’m not looking to stagnate any time soon, having an unrealistic expectation of my abilities (and therefore demanding more from myself) is not the way to stop me from stagnating. If anything it’s an invitation for me to start.

Raised on a healthy diet of people flesh.
Raised on a healthy diet of people flesh.

I’ll admit, it’s a weird place to be. Having the knowledge and capability to do what you want to do but not the ability. That’s why I’m thinking I might need to take new approaches to old topics, within which I may even be able to revive some of my older ideas/inspirations once again. Honestly, if I had the motivation I had a five years ago coupled with my current level of ability- I’d be thrilled. I’d probably take up never sleeping at all. Arguably a good or a bad thing depending on how long the human body can survive without sleep.

It’s not very long, is it?

I’m also thinking I may need to take a short break from all things creative. It certainly helped to have the time recently to think about it, albeit not the way I would have liked to acquire that time but it was helpful all the same. Maybe with enough consideration I can find a solution that allows me to work towards what I want to do in the future.

The above sketch is a new pencil approach I’ve been thinking about. Relying on a 2B for darker shadows, smoothing shading, and a generally fluid technique which can be detailed but just as easily blended for optimal flexibility. It’s something that could translate to ink quite comfortably, too. Speaking of ink, I’ve been thinking about switching from my 0.05 to 0.1 pen for the majority of my lining and detailing. In cases where the smaller nib is preferred I’ll obviously switch back. But I’m starting to feel that there’s more work and time going into areas that could just as easily (and perhaps more appropriately) be approached with 0.1 pen. Which means there are more experiments to add to the list. I should probably stop doing that.

Have a nice week, all!


Art, design, and the like found herein (unless otherwise specified) is drawn and owned by David Wilkshire (also credited as Moggie) from 2006 to present date.

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