My Existence…

The first of a hopefully ten-piece #DrawingPride.

I am… so bummed. Because apparently I have no idea how to spell “existence?” As in, I spelled it with an “a” instead of the second “e.” And I was apparently so confident in that misspelling that I did it three separate times.

Uggghh.

I’m proud of the piece anyway. Some day I will buy some White-Out and fix this, but that probably won’t happen during Pride Month, so I’ll have to own up to this mistake. Even writers aren’t all perfect spellers.

Prompt #3 from #DrawingPride 2018, radical.

Happy Pride & An Attempt to Banish Art Block

I’ve not done any original art in what is probably about a week now. I would say that’s unacceptable, but what good is that — it doesn’t change anything. I’ve been feeling less than inspired and overall just kind of blah. I’d run through my backlog of ideas — which, to be fair, took me nearly six months, so that’s not awful. I’m the person who used to stew for weeks and not have any ideas they deemed worthy of committing to paper, so in the context of my personal history, that’s pretty good.

Still, this isn’t where I want to be.

I thought I had a solution; I was going through old art of my from last summer, when I was head-over-heels, up-to-my-neck submerged in the Good Omens fandom, and I found a piece of fanart. I had painted, in watercolor, a version of a Tarot card (The Lovers) featuring Aziraphale and Crowley. I was an even less skilled artist than I am now, and yet I still really liked the piece, even upon rediscovery.

I thought I might like to try my hand and doing a partial Tarot deck — a few of the Major Arcana, maybe — in my own style and interpretation (but not fanart). I know it’s not a groundbreaking concept (I think everyone and their mother has done a Tarot deck), but because it’s slightly derivative, it gives me the structure I need to function when I fall into one of these Brain Weird spirals.

I still plan on doing that, by the way, but if I’m doing my own take on something, I want it to the best possible take, which means some research. I wanted something I could jump into right away.

And then I found out about #DrawingPride.

June is LGBTQ Pride Month, and to celebrate, some queer artists participate in a 30 day art challenge. My schedule, skill level, and Brain Weird won’t allow for a consistent work a day without stressing me the hell out, so I don’t think I’m going to participate officially, but I am going to draw some inspiration from the prompts and aim for two per week (which will ideally be about ten in total).

I’m also not going to adhere to the chronological prompts for 2020, but pick and choose the ones I most relate to from the past three years (including the current one):

For instance, I really feel no authority to do twink or leather, bathhouse or ballroom; but bisexual, safe space, genderqueer, transition, nonbinary, family, equality, etc.? Those I’m down with. Those I feel comfortable and confident in putting to paper, because they are much more in line with my own experiences.

So this is what I’ll be spending June doing, and during the in-between times I’ll be doing a little research into the symbology of traditional Tarot cards so that I can attempt to capture the essence and meaning of the cards in my own interpretation.

Let’s see how this works out for me.

A Few Days Left

My daily sketch:

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I did not feel up to drawing a full human figure this evening, so I focused on a single eye.  I’m not thrilled with it, but the sheer act of drawing a human eye from a reference photos forced me to notice things that I, in the past, have repeatedly messed up when attempting to draw faces.  While I really struggled to get them into the drawing — a combination of rushing and sheer lack of skill — I realized that I usually ignore the bottom/top plane of the top/bottom eyelid.  “Eyelids are not flat,” but all too often I draw them as sort of being like form-fitting jeans, perfectly contoured to the eye, and they aren’t; they have some thickness.  I am going to need some serious work to map all this out, but I did happen upon this page which seems like an excellent resource.

I’m thinking I might use that page above for a series going forward, where maybe I devote a week at a time doing daily sketches to some of the tutorials the artist offers.  As in, a whole week where my series of seven daily sketches are just ears, or just eyes, or just lips, etc, culminating in a week of full face sketches.  Just a thought, but one that is rapidly gaining traction in my mind.

Bear has been waking every morning asking me if it was time to leave for Arisia yet.  He’s so funny.  There are several things I’m planning to take him to, including Make Your Own Wings (his from last con finally fell apart) and a Make Your Own Mini-Hat/Fascinator (which is not strictly a kid’s workshop, but which welcomes well-supervised kids), a few sword/fencing demonstrations, and both the Geeky Bellydance performance and the Masquerade.  He’ll also be accompanying me to some kid-friendly panels, and probably spending some time at some other playdates/makerspace kid events with my mom.

Honestly, I wish I had something like Arisia growing up; some place that celebrated my geeky interests, my intense interests, my creativity.  My parents tried to be supportive (and were successful in some ways, and less successful in others), but I feel like getting to know like-minded peers at a young age, or even seeing grownups still enjoying and reveling in the geeky interests that had already begun earning me eye-rolls from my family, would have done wonders for my self-image.  Maybe I wouldn’t feel the need to apologize to people for how into certain things I am.  Maybe I wouldn’t feel embarrassed, in certain social circles, for my level of enthusiasm over some silly piece of pop culture.

Meanwhile, I feel like work kicked into hyperdrive this week and looks to maybe be calming down, now that finals have actually started?  I have only two finals to sit with students this term, and will be spending the rest of my time doing some correcting and editing on student papers and doing some vocational evaluations.  All in all, for me, the next few days are relatively chill, which is welcome.  Coming back post-Arisia and having only casual/incidental student meetings and a single final to sit is far easier to handle while suffering post-con burnout than a full-fledged day of classes and training.

Tomorrow is my Friday, but hey, maybe for you, it’s just Friday Jr.  You’re still almost there.  You can make it.