Friday, May 13, 2011

Progress, and the end of acrylics

As I continue my quest to improve, I have to face and defeat my old demons. SCAD intensity plus epic life tragedy meant a scrambled Chrispy who had to let things fall aside while he struggled to keep afloat. Now, with this time of peace, it is time to make amends.

It's been a long climb to get back to my old levels of productivity. For the first time in many months, I have a comic buffer. It's still small, but having it means I don't have to devote every single day to completing comics. I can go at my own pace, do the type of work I want to do, take a mental health day and, most importantly, turn my attentions to part projects that got pushed aside when my life hit the dark ages.

The most important project I dropped was my last commissioned painting. When SCAD became the dominant force in my life, work halted on the piece and it was shelved indefinitely. I kept vowing to set aside time to complete it, but week after week that time was not there. I would drag the painting and painting supplies with me whenever I traveled - just in case I had a free day - but those trips always ended with no progress. Even when my schedule opened up, my increased comic obligation and persistent mental funk meant I rarely had time to breathe, much less pay attention to other things. It's only been on this recent kick, which my productivity increasing, that picking this project back up became feasible. This week, my comic finally reached a place where I had a buffer of a few days. I was finally able to take one day and set it aside for other projects, and this painting was first in line.

It seems weird for such a simple composition to have caused so many problems, but that's how it is. I'm quite excited for it to almost be done. Finishing this piece and shipping it off will serve as the closing of the last, awkward chapter of my life - allowing for a fresh start on things!

I refused to take on any new commissions as long as I had outstanding work to do, but now that I'm almost done I can start looking ahead. I'll tell you one thing: Working with acrylics is OUT for now. Thanks to my painting class last quarter, I don't get as much joy from working with acrylics as I used to. That urge will return one day, but it's on to new media for now! I've started dabbling in watercolors, and I'd like to keep practicing that. I still have my large collection of good old colored pencils - and, if I want to combine it all, a nice group of watercolor pencils too! I want to see what goodness I can do with that stuff when I open up commissions again!

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