|Soup and a sandwich 6x8 oil on panel|
I've got two solo shows and a handful of group shows coming up in 2017. This should be exciting news but some of my friends are causing me to feel anxious about it. What are you going to paint? Why aren't you in the studio working? You have a lot to get done. Will you have enough paintings? Good lord, don't give me a complex! I know their questions all come from a good place, they are my friends after all. It's just that their excitement tends to turn to anxiety when I don't have any answers to their questions.
I spent the last two weeks pondering the questions and started to get worried that I wasn't as worried about it as I should be. I paint what I paint but maybe I should be painting something different for these shows. So I spent the last three days doing nothing but trying to decide what to paint.
Besides the shows and all the work that I'm looking forward to next year I'm currently working on another comic book project. So after three days of not being able to decide what to paint I turned my focus back to the script for the book. The process of illustrating a comic book could be compared to herding cats. Things can go in every different direction so you have to prepare for it and have back up plans. For me that means lots of thumbnail sketches and several variations for the same scene. A lot of illustrators will admit that they've experienced some sort of block. What do I draw? How do I handle this action sequence? The only answer that's been 100% useful is to JUST DRAW. Just start scribbling out whatever comes to mind and eventually something will come. The best part is, the time spent on those sketches and scribbles is not time wasted. Any time spent drawing will only strengthen your abilities.
So this morning I woke up with that same question, what am I going to paint? Then I remembered what every good comic book artist knows, just paint something, ANYTHING. My tomato soup and sandwich probably won't make it in to any shows but at least I'm not just sitting around getting rusty while I wait for an idea to fall out of the sky. Plus, who doesn't need practice painting ellipses?
*if you haven't yet perfected the ellipse give this blog a look and see if his tips don't help.