Document your creative process

I believe it’s wise to keep track and document your creative process when you begin a new adventure. Blogs have always been a great tool for this, but until now I had never actually used them for such purpose.
It made me ashamed to show my lousy beginner projects when I started drawing (or coding, or knitting, or…) and I even wrote a post about “not showing everything” you make automatically. Especially when the “Insta” on everything makes it so easy.

But I took pictures anyway. Some I shared on my own Instagram account, but most I’ve kept under wraps in my dropbox. When I browse Instagram, I recognize the anguish many of the aspiring artists feel by sharing their work and to get the insta-validation we crave. 
The road to making any kind of art or craft is a very long one and as most of us already know (although we don’t like it) is that it will take a long time to:

Lose the fear of fine materials
Using your good sketchbook
Wasting lots of money on “practice” materials
Learning how not to be precious about your art
Finding your own style
Stealing so you can be a good artist
Paying for good classes
Trying not to be intimidated by all the great work that is happening out there.
Understand that nothing is truly original

The struggle of doing something every day is less strenuous than the psychological battle that we wage with ourselves. For some people it’s how productive they are, how busy, for others it’s looking at what others are making and hoping, waiting, for our chance. And yet for others, like myself, we battle with the age factor, yeah, 40 is the new 30 or whatever, but the fact is, when I take a class from my fabulous tutor who must be 10 years younger than I am, I feel like I must hurry, that I’m so behind in everything.

And I continue to draw, to experiment, to do something every day, because my little dream is alive.

So today I want to share the very first portrait I ever made and the one I made today.

I am a big fan of Vivienne Westwood and I love the magazine The Gentlewoman, so last year I bought the issue with Vivienne on the cover and I “dared” to try to draw her. Of course it was silly, drawing older people is a tremendous challenge because light and dark values are so important and I had no clue about value back then.

June 2014
June 2014

I did Vivienne on a mixed media block, with $6 dollar paints and ink.

Now fast forward to May 2015. I’m nowhere near mastery but documenting my process keeps me encouraged. For this one I finally pulled out my good paper and I used my new White Nights watercolor set, which I got from an independent art supply store in Calgary.

Document your process (1)

This makes me happy, it makes me wonder where I’ll be a year from now.

Do you keep records of your progress?