January has been a busy month. Between being a new year, starting new projects, spending a couple days recovering from a maybe-cold, and preparing my page on ko-fi (details on that, here), there has been a fair bit going on. Aside from the random-maybe-illness, it's been full of many good things!
While technically just before year-end, and therefore not completed in January, I noticed that I hadn't shared my final digital work of 2019! Major oversight.
"Why fit in when you were born to stand out?"
Over the last few months I have been considering Patreon and Ko-fi as options to give fans of my work more access to me as a creator. It has taken some consideration, and I have decided to go with... Ko-fi!
Maybe this isn't a surprise as my page has been accessible since October, but the current plan I'm using is Free. The change will be that I'm moving to Ko-fi Gold, a subscription to both support Ko-fi's development and to give me access to a number of features that I can put to good use for those following and supporting my work.
I am aiming to be ready to go early February.
As a note, this does not mean my blog and portfolio won't be updated anymore. However, how I update will change. Ko-fi will be updated first with work in progress and final images, and have some exclusive content. I'm still working out the exact changes, and feedback is not just welcome but heavily encouraged.
"Time is an illusion."
There's a trend going on these days, which I have seen on Twitter specifically, of artists sharing the difference in their work after a decade. Seeing so many people do this, and to see such drastic improvements over time, is inspiring. I didn't want to just share a couple of images in a tweet, though. That couldn't quite cover the time in a way that's acceptable to me.
I haven't looked at much of my artwork over the last ten years. Before reviewing it, I knew that not much would be there compared to others. I knew it wouldn't be high in quality and that I would be embarrassed by how bad it all will be. But I also knew that I shouldn't be comparing myself, or my artwork, to others in this way.
It turns out, though, only one of those things is true. There's not much of it. However, the quality isn't bad and it certainly doesn't embarrass me. I tried to create and succeeded in making new things. Some are more complete than others, and I did my best. That much is evident.
I had, and have, room to improve. And overall, it looks like I managed to do it. I fell down a few times, took a couple stumbling steps back, but in the end my skill in digital art is moving forward again.
Let's take a look, shall we?
Ten years ago, in the spring of 2009, I was finishing up a course at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario. It was a two-semester course called Performing Arts Preparation, that I took out of personal interest. I wanted to practice acting, singing, and hoped to become more confident. I did manage these things, and while the year was stressful I do value what I learned and the people I met.
During that time, my health was extremely poor. I wasn't sleeping and I was always exhausted, depressed, anxious, and spent most of my mental space focusing on staying conscious.
It took a few more years before I got myself into a better place.
I did a lot of drawing during this time. Sketches on paper and only sometimes colouring on the PC with Photoshop. It was intended as a distraction but it was a start.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re a model maker, a potter, a dancer, a programmer, a writer, a political activist, a teacher, a musician, a milliner, whatever. It’s all the same. Making is making, and none of it is failure.”
Starting in September, I started to make some big changes.
I don't know the exact cause or the specific thing that made these changes a priority.
It is likely a culmination of things. A bunch of small pieces, perhaps insignificant on their own, that started the avalanche of creativity. Because that's what changed: the desire to create with the strength to finally do it. The want and need has always been there, lurking, but the catalyst was missing.
And I know why it was missing. But I couldn't fix it. I didn't know how.
Earlier this year I mentioned that I began taking courses on Udemy and how much I was enjoying the process. That's still the case! I have finished the Photoshop Essentials and Advanced courses, and moved on to both the Illustrator and InDesign Essentials courses by Daniel Scott.
And for being a person who was using InDesign and Illustrator CS6 on a daily basis for work last year, I'm surprised at how much I have learned about both programs in just the Essentials courses alone. I didn't consider myself an expert, but felt comfortable in InDesign especially. And while I was competent in the program, I had (and have) so much more to learn not only about working more efficiently but also the real capabilities of the program itself.
And we haven't even touched on the interactivity in PDFs yet.
My goal of late has been to create more recent graphic design work for my portfolios since much of what I have done in the past has been proprietary. It is fine if I am pitching to those who have seen my work but, alas, most have not.
Taking the courses on Udemy has been really good for building the portfolio, and it's part of the reason I chose to check out Daniel Scott's courses: he lists that there are many real-world projects for just that purpose.
And that's just what I need.