Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The last 366 Days of Creativity post this year, I promise

So obviously, 366 Days of Creativity didn't make it to 366 days. It didn't even reach half that number. I will not be winning any sort of persistence or commitment awards for my failure to draw something every day of 2008.

But I have learned a thing or two. One, as I fell into the habit of making a panel cartoon as my daily effort, I began to start looking for situations that could be made funnier, then figuring out how best to condense them into one frozen moment in time. Second, I started getting better at shading in the third dimension, which was something I hadn't really done at all in any of my previous Photoshop-drawn comic art. So I do think that even if I wasn't able to complete a drawing every day this year, I still consider the experiment a modest success.

Well, here's what happened. The drawing bug has bitten me again. Even with the easy distraction of Nintendo 64 games, to which I have paid quite a bit of attention as of late, I still have been able to spend a little bit of time putting ink on paper. I've really just been doodling in the sketch books for now, but I still have some ideas from earlier this year that I started and never finished.

And this brings me to a point of decision. Should I endeavor to do something for 2009 like I did for 2008? Maybe not a drawing a day, but something that keeps me at the drawing table (dining room table) more regularly. I do have a new idea for next year, one that many other people have used successfully for all sorts of pursuits, but I am still unsure if I'm going to be able to put into practice.

The idea is to wake up a set amount of time - say, 30 minutes - before normal every weekday, walk out to the table, and draw until the time I usually get up, which is about 6:45 a.m. This is a time of day that I am consistently doing nothing else (except for sleeping), so there wouldn't be anything else that would take priority over this regular drawing time. On weekends, the drawing time would be allotted wherever I feel like I want to fit it in; Saturday is a good sleep-in day, and Nicole and I are often doing other things on weekends that wouldn't allow time to draw. So, no pressure.

If I commit to draw for a period of time rather than create a certain number of pieces, that will relieve a lot of the pressure that I was putting upon myself this year. 366 Days started to become more about getting the thing done rather than trying to improve my craft, and it sucked after a while. But if I had an idea for a larger project, and I worked on it a little bit every morning, I wouldn't feel so bad if I skipped a day.

And, of course, whenever I've finished something, I'll try to remember to scan it and post it. At least, I'll try - if I have a project that's too big for the scanner, I'll have to figure something else out.

Oh, and one more thing, I'm not going to be cataloguing every drawing like I did this year. I had the notion that if the single-panel comic idea took off and became something I could eventually sell, I thought that organizing them into a basic inventory might be helpful at some point. But what happened was that part of the reason for giving up the drawing-a-day was that I dreaded updating the spreadsheet. So, in 2009 and beyond, there will be no more drawing inventory. I'm drawing for me, not for Benjamin Franklin.

So what do you think? Or, more realistically, how many days do you think I'll last this time?

1 Talked Back:

At December 17, 2008 at 5:57:00 PM CST, Blogger Matt and Lori Graber said...

Good idea, modified into a more enjoyable format. With no pressure to produce a finished project each day. Looking forward to 2009 !


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