Creativity (Or The Lack Thereof) (Pt. 2)

A longer process doesn’t necessarily equate to a better one.

There are countless misconceptions and absurd generalisations that you’ll encounter as an artist. One of the most prevalent is that higher quality materials automatically result in a higher quality piece, which should be true if they’re used correctly, but knowing how to use those materials is important, as is knowing what to use them with. Experience is important. Practice is important. Knowing who you are and what you want to do is important. Some artists are better suited to traditional art, while others are better suited to digital art. There are very few absolutes when creating anything.

Every creative process is as unique as the person creating with it.

That’s why creativity can be so evocative. It doesn’t need to conform, it doesn’t need to appeal to everyone, and it doesn’t need to be aesthetically pleasing. It can be anything that you want it to be. However, having that much freedom is exhausting, as you rarely know how best to proceed.

Or if there even is a best way to proceed. As every artist strives to develop in their own way, but that isn’t easy when you’ve nothing to measure yourself against. Besides that which you’ve created before. But influences and inspirations change as you develop as an artist, and experience affords the confidence to attempt things that you wouldn’t have considered before. Community sites and social media can also skew your progression. Useful as they may be to share your work, user responses aren’t always indicative of how well your work is received. Not that external stimuli is exclusive to the internet. Every second of every day it exists, and being wholly immune to it is impossible. It has affected my progression and it will continue to do so.

One of my most promising attempts.

External stimuli was partly responsible for the lack of creative content on Moggie’s Proclamations in recent months. As I didn’t feel like I was making much progress- if any- with new pieces. Not that completely abandoning every semblance of creativity has helped my progression in the slightest. But I wasn’t enjoying creating traditional pieces, while countless hours with digital pieces had begun to feel stale. Which may seem to contradict what I said in the previous post. But I still feel that extending the creation process for traditional pieces will help, so long as it is extended sensibly.

Not extending it to spend hours on pointless minutiae.

This particular work in progress is the Kulu-Ya-Ku featured in Monster Hunter: World. Originally intended to follow on from the terrifying fluffiness of the Paolumu as part of a series of paintings, which would’ve included other gargantuan creatures from the varied locales of the New World.

That’s still the intention should I ever return to this painting or to Monster Hunter: World. But I doubt that either is likely at this point. I’ve always been particularly fond (and proud) of the attention to detail in the flesh-y skin around the eye, and how the short beige hairs seamlessly grow outwards from their beak. The actual eye (and the tongue) could have been refined, though. They’re not as highly detailed as the rest. But this is a work in progress and it’s likely I was going to address those issues later, as I was in the process of detailing the ridiculous plumage protruding from their head at the time. Those wonderfully colourful feathers swaying in the wind. Ironically, this was one of the few paintings at the time to show actual progression.

Have a nice weekend, all!

Moggie

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.

Monster Hunter: World, Astera, Kulu-Ya-Ku, Anjanath, and all associated trademarks and devices are owned by Capcom.

Creativity (Or The Lack Thereof) (Pt. 1)

How things were and hopefully will be again.

I’d originally intended for Moggie’s Proclamations to be somewhere I could share and talk about my creative content. However, over the last eighteen months or so, the posts have (somewhat intentionally) become skewed towards gaming content. There are many reasons why I decided to take a break from creating anything new, but I hadn’t anticipated that I’d be away from it for this long. Which is entirely my fault. Regardless of the reasons that I may give and how understandable they may be, trying to attribute blame to something won’t change the widening deficit of new creative content.

I need to actually do something about it.

These posts are the beginning of that. I’ve not really got a way to casually discuss creative content as I do with gaming content in posts such as Crawling Through Dungeons. I’ve not really got a way to discuss the near-endless flow of updates to social media sites and my personal site, either.

Prior to this I would discuss any updates in a consolidated fashion through a post such as Further Integration. Which is still an appropriate approach when a number of significant updates have been completed, but when they’re minor or aesthetic updates I’m less inclined to write a whole post about them. For instance, I’ve recently updated the thumbnails for various creative content posts. I’ve also spent some time updating and standardising the layout of various pages on my personal site. I always assume that I’ll eventually write a post which I can discuss these things in, but I rarely do nowadays. Which means that some updates are never discussed. Or that they’re discussed at a point when they’re no longer relevant.

An ever-evolving conceptual approach.

These posts are not intended (nor designed) to contradict Material Studies posts. Which will still serve their original purpose of discussing works in progress or any unusual approaches that I’ve taken with different materials. Hence their name. But they could include creative content that I’ve not shared on Moggie’s Proclamations before, as this one does, and could illustrate (pun intended) my development as an artist, or highlight something that I like which doesn’t fit on my personal site. As is the purpose of this particular sketch. I’ve never been able to successfully refine the concept, but I like it.

So much so that I’ve been trying to refine it for nine years.

I’ll likely attempt it again once I’ve relearned that which I’ve forgotten in the last eighteen months. Not that I feel that I’ve regressed too far. Much of what I do seems to be habitual, which makes it difficult to forget how to do it. But that also makes it even more difficult to adjust old habits.

It is through that adjustment that I’m hoping to share pieces that better represent what I’m trying to accomplish. I’ve been thinking that I’ll need to alter the creation process with traditional pieces, as these are currently at a distinct disadvantage to digital pieces. But a lengthened process could result in more mistakes. So it’s not entirely without risk- which is understandable- as everything that you create represents who you were at the moment you created it. Lengthening that process adds unknown variables. Which could be advantageous, as it could allow for the creation of more complex pieces. But it’s a start. One that I haven’t had in the last eighteen months as my motivation waned and my technique dulled through disuse.

Have a nice week, all!

Moggie

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.

An Uncertain Future

One can never be too sure.

While some may loathe uncertainty I’m rather fond of the possibilities presented by it, but then I’ve never particularly thought too much about the future. Where I’ll be or who I’ll be. What I’ll be doing or where I’ll be doing it. I’ve had some incredibly fortuitous experiences because of this, and I’ve likely squandered some potential because it. I’ll never really know as I’m unable to experience the numerous possibilities afforded by making different decisions. But that’s fine. I’m reasonably comfortable with things as they are at the moment, and I can honestly say that I have few regrets.

Which is all that I can really ask for.

If I’m disappointed about anything it’s the notable lack of creative content last year. I’m still highly enthusiastic about all things creative, but I’ve been (unsuccessfully) considering how best to continue with things as they currently are. I haven’t really been making as much time for it as I should, either.

What I have been making time for is innumerable JRPGs. Starting with the wonderfully charming World of Final Fantasy, then the exceptionally enjoyable Octopath Traveler, followed by the bizarrely satisfying Mary Skelter: Nightmares, and continuing with the breathtaking masterpiece that is Yakuza 0. I also decided to play the exquisitely crafted Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Remastered, and the incredibly engaging sequel Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom. It was then time to revisit Grim Dawn through the outstanding Forgotten Gods expansion pack, and write about the misadventures of my Cabalist. I’d also previously written about the re-release of Diablo and the Hellfire expansion pack, and decided that I’d document my adventures in the blasphemous bowels below Tristram.

Earlier in the year I’d played the absolutely thrilling Battle Chasers: Nightwar, too. Following that it was finally time to begin my campaign in the thoroughly engrossing XCOM 2: War of the Chosen, and I once again became far too attached to soldiers that could perish at any moment. I also revisited the Mexiverse through the delightfully humorous campaign of Guacamelee! 2, and then spent some time with the Bergson family in the beautifully narrated Children of Morta. I then shared my first impurressions of the utterly pawesome Cat Quest and the many cat puns found therein.

There were countless compelling gaming experiences to be had.

I’d also decided that I’d spend the festive season playing the (woefully abhorrent) PC re-release of Chrono Trigger. I wasn’t expecting too much from it, but I still managed to be disappointed. Thankfully, the rushed amateurish PC re-release did little to diminish how enjoyable Chrono Trigger is to play.

Chrono Trigger will feature prominently throughout January as well. I’ve been writing about my time with it, and the result is an interesting series of posts quite unlike anything I’ve done before on Moggie’s Proclamations. I’ll also be writing a Steam guide for it. As I’ve noticed that there are few available which detail anything besides the requirements to unlock each ending, and of those fewer still suggest ways to unlock each ending. It’s quite a sizeable guide, though. So it’s going to take some time. But I’m going to make every effort to finish writing it, as I’ve always been fond of the JRPGs of the SNES and Chrono Trigger is a great example of the best of them. It’s also my favourite video game of all time. Without a doubt. Even Diablo II (and the hundreds of hours spent with it) can’t compare to joy that Chrono Trigger brings me.

Happy New Year, all!

Moggie

Further Integration

The decision was finally made.

I’ve always been bothered that certain creative content (especially that of Material Studies) was never available on my personal site. This was mostly due to not knowing where best to fit them into the existing layout, but also because Moggie’s Proclamations lacked integration with the site in any meaningful way. While it has always been available via a social media icon it isn’t necessarily present elsewhere. Which is more or less what the recent updates to the site have aimed to rectify, as they’re now inescapably linked. I’ve even removed the WordPress social media icon from the site. Opting instead for a text link.

Which, hopefully, is just as identifiable as the social media icon.

The Instagram social media icon is still there, though. The solitary social media site that I actually frequent. Not that I’ve been nearly as active there as I would’ve liked, but that’s the only reasonable outcome when the flow of creative content stops almost entirely and you’ve shared nothing new in over a year. That said, I’m still working on things.

Hence the recent focus on Moggie’s Proclamations. I’ve taken the time to update both the Creative and Gaming pages, which resulted in a new layout and improved categorisation that better reflects the diversity of content available on the blog. I’m eager to start writing posts more regularly again, too. Not that we’ve been short of content in September. But none of that is creative content. Which is the (for lack of a better word) problem, but that extends further than just the blog to myself. I need to make the time for my creative pursuits. I need to have the ideas and the motivation for them. I’ve been taking some time out purposefully as, due to certain things that happened last year, I lost my way, but I’m ready to find my way again.

I’ll upload a new piece any day now. Just you wait.

As with all of the updates I’ve ever made they’re not entirely finished. They’ll never be entirely finished. As both the site and Moggie’s Proclamations are perpetual works in progress, and will change as I change. But this is the happiest I’ve ever been with everything that I do. It’s also the best and most accurate representation of what I do that I’ve ever had. Which, when you consider how long the site has been in existence, and the number of iterations it has been through, it’s not really surprising. If you keep changing things you’ll eventually happen upon the layout, design, or content that best represents your intentions.

I’ve also been updating some of the older content on the blog.

As before these updates are simply alterations to presentation and the original content remains (mostly) intact. It’s staggering to think that there are nearly three-hundred posts on Moggie’s Proclamations now, which illustrates the amount of content there is to work through and why these updates are implemented over several weeks.

It would take me a few days to read through all of the content available on the blog. Let alone update it. But I’ve grown accustomed to this process, and I’ll often be updating something without being entirely aware that I’m doing it. Editing a few tags or categories here or there certainly helps to eventually standardise them all. Adding new posts to pages eventually builds a comprehensive library. I guess that’s the funny thing about Moggie’s Proclamations. I’ve always enjoyed working on it, which means it’s never felt particularly laborious posting new (or updating older) content. With that said, if you notice that anything looks different, or isn’t where you remembered it was, I probably tweaked something for some reason or another.

Have a nice week, all!

Moggie

A Refined Outlook

Things are slowly but steadily improving.

I’ve not yet mentioned it on Moggie’s Proclamations but I’ve added Instagram to the list of social media sites I frequent. I’d been thinking about doing so from as early as the end of April last year, however it took until the end of October last year to actually set everything up. I’m quite happy with it, though. Naturally being entirely new to the site I’ve few followers to speak of, but I’m pleasantly surprised to find that my pieces are being found and engaged with regardless. It’s certainly a better and more consistent response than I’ve received on Twitter over the years.

It features more traditional artists than expected, too.

Then again, given the nature of the platform, that’s not really too surprising as it is all about taking photographs of things. Which I definitely do. Yes. I’m hopeful that over the next year I’ll be adding much more content to Instagram and that it’ll serve to mostly tie together my creative, gaming, and other content.

I can’t really share too much about Moggie’s Proclamations on Instagram as I would on Twitter. But that’s also fine. I’ve been thinking about intergrating this blog with my personal site and having the two work together, to raise awareness of the content on here. Especially the creative content. As I would like the Material Studies posts to feature on the site somewhere. Somehow. Hence the recent updates to my personal site, as I would like to have a more cohesive approach to things. Which, to be fair, is actually working, as I’ve found that I’m quite pleased with everything as it stands at the moment. However, both this blog and my personal site will never be truly finished as they are a perpetual work in progress. They change as I do or as what I do changes.

Most of the updates to my personal site are relatively minor as they mostly address layout or page issues. However, there are some substantial changes made to the actual number of (and categorisation of) pieces on the site. With some being moved to different sections, some consolidated into a new page structure, and some removed. So it’s quite a significant update despite not looking any different. But it may start to look different as I work with the new layout to accomodate the Material Studies posts.

In the same way this blog has also seen a few minor updates.

Mostly, again, to mirror the recategorisation or removal of certain pieces, but also to standardise the categorisation of posts. I’ve got more updates for Moggie’s Proclamations, and I’ll be working on those slowly and steadily over the next month. I’m hoping to find time to create content at some point, too.

That’d be nice. But I’m still rather hopeful that this year will provide more content than the last and that things will continue to improve. I feel as though I’ll be done with the majority of the updates at the end of January, and that, at that point, I’ll have very little else to do other than focus on new content. I found it quite refreshing working on the content for Instagram, as that features myriad pieces from different periods in time and of different states of completion. It’s interesting to see how well the finished pieces and the works in progress sit comfortably next to each other. These social media changes will likely be the last that I make. So, wherever this goes, and whatever happens as a result of it, this is likely to be the last iteration. Let’s make it a good one.

Have a nice weekend, all!

Moggie