And I’m back. Artist improvement and not drawing everyday.

We got ofsteded. I am a perfectionist that rewrote all my lesson plans and SOWs. Then I got a horrendous head cold and am now frantically catching up on everything.

Today’s post is brought on my contemplating a popular YouTubers ‘addressing the commenters’ video:

I find her take on on improving and developing as an artist interesting. Art is a slow process, if I ever think I can knock it out quickly it all goes somewhat wrong. Whether you are self employed or doing art on the side is a time suck, the act of going to work and not being able to draw what you want vs having all the time in the world to draw except not really because the work never stops when you’re self employed. Looking at my work everyday makes it is difficult for me to assess whether it’s ‘good’. I usually defer that to my mum and a friend who has a good eye. This is why it’s important to keep some old work. (Who has space for all of it?) so you can have definitive proof of improvement. It’s hard to measure day by day. I have had some students for over a year now, and made them keep all their work, but having them look through it is great for their self confidence. They’ve improved so much, and now can sometimes see what I would suggest they do with an image. (And making them paint 24/7 wasn’t the answer. I had to ease up on them and left them rest when they were tired. They’re all over 70!)

Going back to public opinion, I am addicted to Strictly Come Dancing, and the same thing happens every year. The celebrity that has had ‘prior dance experience’ efforts aren’t regarded in the same light as the celebrity’s that started from scratch and managed to survive long enough to develop their dancing and have something to build off. Voters go for their favourites, who aren’t as technically brilliant, and then complain when a ‘good’ dancer looses the dance off. (Maybe it wasn’t their dance, maybe they where just so tired they couldn’t keep the performance value up, maybe it was PMS) The general public can’t see that the amount effort it requires is probably the same, because you only have a few minutes to look at their training. And even crazier is the dancers who are good, are working full set days on soaps (more than your 9-5) and still do amazing dances.

A lot of people don’t view being an artist as ‘a real job’. You just play with paint all day! They don’t see the admin and how long it takes to improve not to mention the inner critic which says everything isn’t good enough. During inktober I would only have published about five drawings that I felt were ‘good enough’ and based on the likes on instagram, of all the ones I consider ‘good’ only one got the most ‘likes’.

For instance when i go to a certain popular clothes store at a local shopping area, I would wonder why all the staff were so miserable and unhelpful. It turns out they do more work than I can see. There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes. And management is a different story. You can only do so many things at a time.

All you can do is show up and do the work. And on that note, I am going to start implementing my daily drawing practice! It’s all gone to pot this past week. Glad to be on the mend now and that colds pass after a month. Working with students who have chronic conditions has really given me a better perspective on life.

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