I love to look at Flickr and tumblr. My contacts there are wonderfully talented, and if I knew them well enough, I’d never stop telling them how their artwork is a constant source of inspiration for me. I learn from them and their art, and I’m grateful.
Most of the time.
I say that because, while I’m usually inspired, sometimes I’m just plain jealous:
“Ooohhh, look at those paint layers! I wish I could create something so subtle.”
“Now, why didn’t I think of that color combination?”
“Sigh. It will be years before I can draw that well… ”
Have you ever wondered if social media was invented just so you’d know how much better everyone else is? Have you ever logged off Facebook because you just couldn’t take seeing yet another photo of someone else’s beautiful kids in a stunning vacation setting?
You know what I mean.
It’s enough to make you throw your art journal and pencils in a deep desk drawer, lock it, and toss the key. Or almost enough, anyway.
Although I get discouraged, I keep drawing, collaging, and painting anyway. And then I go back to Flickr or tumblr to post it all.
Oh, no… Do you think I create envy in anyone when I post my journal pages online?
Nah. No way.
I just finished page five of my journal for The Sketchbook Project 2014. But I have no idea what I’ll do on page six, or seven, or the front cover.
And while I have a working title–Petal and Stem–I’m not yet sure how I’ll letter that.
Hmm… I have a lot of art to do!
In case you are wondering, this is not how I usually work. In fact, for each of my three previous submissions for The Sketchbook Project, I had every page carefully planned. I had already decided on a title and had a cover design all worked out for each one before I ever put pencil to paper.
If that seems a bit strict–or even forced–let me assure you that it wasn’t. The ideas for those previous books simply arrived in my mind fully formed. It just happened.
But this time, it didn’t happen. I waited a few weeks, and still, nothing. I started to worry that if I didn’t find inspiration soon, I’d run out of time. What to do?
I decided to just start drawing. And here I am, at page five! I am trusting that the book this journal wants to be will reveal itself page by page. I hope inspiration will come at some point, but maybe it won’t.
And I am ok with that, which is surprising. I’m used to being in control! But it feels good to let go, too, and try trusting the process.