3/20/22: Self-portraits and Poetry

I’m about halfway through a piece of digital fanart that I made mention of in my last blog post (Damien LaVey, from the Monster Prom franchise, for those of you who may have missed it), that I neither hate, nor am I particularly happy with.  I think my solution for fan art in general is to try to stick as closely to the canonical style as possible, which, after some playing around, I think I’m at a decent place with.  That being said, while I was moderately happy with the drawing I did as a pencil sketch, inking revealed that there were a lot of things wrong with the anatomy and the proportions – things that couldn’t be hand waved away with, “oh, it’s just a stylistic thing.”  So while I think I have a solution figured out with regards to how to approach fanart from a stylistic perspective, I still haven’t quite figured out this particular piece of fanart.

That being said, after that frustration, I consequently took a break from my break with yet another piece of self-indulgent fanart, but this time it was fanart of…myself?  Which I suppose is technically a self-portrait.  But, really, what is a self-portrait but fanart of oneself?

Ok, I’m… derailing.  Anyway.

It was an incredibly fun piece to do, possibly the most fun I’ve ever had doing a piece of art (I have been very much enjoying what I’ve been doing lately, but this was really just unadulterated fun – trying to figure out what silly little things to include, getting to go wild with the colors, etc.), and it was also a great study in foreshortening, which is another perspective thing that I have had unfortunately little time and space to practice, even though I think it can make for really interesting pieces. 

It, as many of my “filler” or “taking a break” pieces often do, revitalized me and made me really eager to do more drawing, which is great, but also means I need to get off my ass and take more reference photos, since several of the things I want to do coming up require sort of niche poses that I really doubt other people have captured in precisely the way I want to.  So, that’s on the table for this weekend, I hope (though there might be one I can bang out on my own before then – we’ll see).  Here’s the piece, which I finished yesterday.  I don’t generally give hard and fast titles to things, but this is one hundred percent called “#NoFilter.”

Despite my opining of how my wife was so far ahead in taking initiative about writing more, despite the fact that I’ve been going on about it for weeks, I… still have not done a damn thing about it.  I have a notebook now, which I suppose is something, but I have not yet cracked it open in any meaningful way, and I’m finding a hard time motivating myself to do so.

I got an email yesterday, I think, about the upcoming Camp NaNoWriMo, which got me to thinking about my plans to get back into writing, my previous experiences with Camp, and whether or not participating would be in my best interests.  Historically, Camp has not been wildly successful for me – there’s neither the sense of camaraderie nor the intense seat-of-your-pants-ness that comes with the traditional November run of NaNoWriMo – but there’s also less of the pressure to stringently adhere to the rules.  Which is not to say that I haven’t done the November one as a rebel – I definitely have, having done short story sequences instead of novels more often than not – but the April run allows for different genres, different ways of measuring success, different goals entirely.  Some people edit during Camp, some people outline, some people brainstorm.  I’m wondering if I should set a goal of outlining a poem every day for thirty days.

I tried a similar goal before, when writing was my only creative outlet, and one that I wasn’t doing much with because of the Bees that Live Inside My Head, but now that I feel creatively fulfilled in other ways – and now that I have committed to trying to approach writing with a different mindset and perspective than I did back then – I wonder if it’s worth a shot.  It’s something that will cut through the stagnant fog surrounding me and writing without applying the hardline pressure of completing something coherent and polished.  Instead, I can hopefully just use it as a springboard for the future – thirty outlines of things I would like to fully flesh out.

I did something similar last year during Blogging A to Z, wherein I did thirty rough sketches (really twenty, but I quit because I had other creative ambitions I got excited about and wanted to commit more time to, not because I was “failing” the challenge), and it was actually a lot of fun.  I went back and more fully fleshed out two of them, both of which fall a little flat now, but were, at the time, at the very edge of my ability and which I was quite proud of – enough so that I’m considering doing the same thing this year.

What are people thinking – I’m deferring to the collective on this one.  Have you done outlining, of any kind, for any genre, during Camp, and do you legitimately return to it later to more fully flesh it out?  How did that work out for you?

(The other option is, I could use Camp to aim to finish ten podcast scripts, which is something I’ve been trying to get off the ground for the last several weeks, in many fits and starts.  I don’t know how well that would work, but it might work better than my current strategy which is, uhh, non-existent).

I left work early last Monday because I felt absolutely terrible.  Just incredibly congested, horrible headache, shaky, exhausted.  After seventeen years of working here, I can count on one hand – with fingers to spare – the number of times I’ve left early for illness, so you know I must have felt pretty damn awful.  I spent most of Tuesday on the couch, watching lost media videos and reading, and it seems like that’s mostly what I needed – two COVID tests both came back negative, and I feel more or less ok now (or as ok as I ever feel at nearly forty).  I’m hoping to make some weekend plans – chores need to be done, obviously, and we usually visit my parents, but also the library in the next town over is having a big book sale and the weather is supposed to be in the high 50s, so taking Bear to the park, on long walks, or an outdoor picnic is starting to come back to the table again.

I hope you all are taking care of yourselves, and each other.  Cheers.

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